The Hyundai Elantra currently on sale is an improved version of the sixth-generation model. The current facelifted model has been significantly improved with new looks and features, so much so it is often mistaken as an all-new Elantra. The revamped model is available as a single 2.0 Executive variant in Malaysia, effectively downsizing the offerings on sale.
Pre-facelift Sixth Generation Hyundai Elantra
We don’t blame you if you find it hard to spot the similarities with the pre-facelift model. Hyundai decided to redesign the C-segment sedan without traces of the predecessor. Angular lines anchor the new looks throughout – triangular headlights, fog lights, and taillights that supplement the new hood, front fascia and fenders, grille, trunk and rear fascia. The result of the modern styling comes with an overall length increase of 70 mm to a total of 4,620 mm.
On the inside, the cabin largely remains the same, apart from a refresh to the driver instrument cluster design, a new multifunctional steering wheel with control buttons and a new center climate control layout that joins the leather seats and soft-touch dashboard.
As standard, the Elantra does come with a Smart Key with push start, rear air conditioning vents, a rear-view camera, manual head lamp leveling, Hyundai’s Smart Trunk and the 7-inch touchscreen unit with USB, Bluetooth, voice recognition and compatibility with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
The new Elantra comes with six airbags as standard, as is the passive safety list that includes ABS, ESC, Downhill Brake Control, Brake Assist, Vehicle Stability Management and Hill Start Assist Control. However, what often is unspoken is that the vehicle structure has been built with 53% of advanced high-strength steel, giving it a stiffer torsional rigidity and 25.3% greater bending strength.
The 2.0-liter four-cylinder naturally aspirated engine outputs 150 hp and 192 Nm of torque at 4,000 rpm. The engine is mated to Hyundai’s 6-speed automatic transmission with power going to the front wheels. Hyundai has tuned the ride and handling to lean more towards comfort and is a carryover in mechanics from the pre-facelift. At speeds, there is a slight body roll during a turn in, but when kept with the momentum of going through bends, the Elantra manages to keep its composure together. The 2.0 engine and transmission deliver more than adequate power when you put your foot down.
The choice of Eco, Normal, Sport and Smart driving modes are a standard affair apart from the latter. Smart mode essentially switches to the most suitable driving mode based on the driver’s input, while Sport is more hesitant to upshift. When it comes to sedans within this segment, the Elantra drives better than most.
The new Elantra is a reliable vehicle for someone who likes the new design and the standard features that come with the single variant on sale. However, at its current price of RM109,888 on-the-road without insurance, the Elantra faces fierce competition with other more feature-filled vehicles. These include the Honda Civic 1.8, Proton X70 Executive, and even the brand’s own Ioniq Hybrid. The Ioniq HEV Plus variant while priced at RM115,888 is a RM6,000 premium on top of the Elantra. For the price, it comes with a host of active safety features, including Lane Keeping Assist, Autonomous Emergency Braking, Adaptive Cruise Control to warrant the price difference. What we feel the Elantra needs to entice the crowd better is the addition of more equipment and more power previously available in the 1.6 Turbo variant.
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