At the launch, we were afforded the opportunity to test-drive the newly updated Elantra, in six-speed manual guise, along the winding roads between Brits and the Magaliesburg area. Hyundai is confident the Elantra will gain ground quickly in the competitive South African passenger car segment and expects to sell at least 200 cars a month.
The 2012 South African Car of the Year winner gets its new “fluidic sculpture” design language from the ix35 SUV and Sonata sedan. There’s no brusqueness to the design, and it’s 20mm longer than the previous model.
Mechanically, the Elantra is powered by the same 1.6-litre Gamma MPI four-cylinder engine equipped with D-CVVT, delivering power that has a maximum output of 96kW and a peak torque of 157Nm. The vehicle will be available in a six-speedmanual or a six-speed automatic.
The manual offers a smooth, comfortable and relatively quiet ride with adequate power in most situations, claiming an average fuel consumption of 6.4 litres and 6.9 litres in the automatic. The manual derivative jogs from 0 - 100km/h in 10.1 seconds with a said top speed of 200km/h.
The car has new bumpers (front and rear) and radiator grilles and chrome lining beneath the passenger windows. It also has different fog lamps with a new front fog light and headlight along with an LED light guide and projection headlamps. It also has bigger and better looking rims with new 17-inch alloy wheels replacing the original 16-inch steel rims. The car is available in an array of premium-looking colours.
The interior has also been refurbished with an improved styling display on the centre console having an attractive overall design that looks more modern and sleek. Owners of the previous Elantra used to complain about the centre vents so Hyundai has had them conveniently raised for potential new customers. The updated car also gets a new audio system with integrated Bluetooth features and a redesigned climate control interface, including the addition of electric folding side mirrors. The overall look and feel is very welcoming, spacious and comfortable.
With a five-year/150 000km manufacturer’s warranty and a 5 year/90 000 km service plan, the Elantra 1.6 manual is priced at R247 900 while the 1.6 automatic will set you back R262 900. Against competitors such as the Volkswagen 1.4 TSI Comfortline DSG, Toyota Corolla 1.6 Prestige CVT and the Chevrolet Cruze 1.4T LS, the Elantra is good value for money, making for a good, reliable family car and is already available on Hyundai dealers’ showroom floors.