Hyundai Elantra : News & Reports

3 Oct 2014 | Author: | Comments Off on Hyundai Elantra : News & Reports
Hyundai Elantra

Hyundai Elantra

: First Look

Priced from under $20,000, the new Elantra

will challenge Ford Focus and Toyota Corolla

Hyundai Still Playing Catchup?

In the late 1990s and during the early part of this decade, Hyundai was constantly playing catchup to its Japanese and European rivals. The company has always been a price bandit, able to undercut its rivals and still offer a very strong new car warranty, but now Hyundai’s manufacturing and fabrication facilities are improving and that means the quality of its cars are improving, as are standard features.

Having recently dabbled with the Hyundai Santa Fe it’s clear that the South Korean car company is almost done playing catchup and will soon be able to challenge some of its Asian rivals head on, and the Elantra is yet another prime example of Hyundai’s tenacious approach.

Even the interior is thoroughly new,

featuring steering wheel controls, a new

centre console and improved dash plastics

Homebush Bay, Australia Hyundai has come clean with its new Elantra, calling it a ‘big small car’ that will compete for market share against vehicles like the all-conquering Toyota Corolla and other builds such as the Honda Civic and Nissan Tiida .

The new Elantra will be priced from $19,990, and Hyundai hopes the smoothly styled vehicle will appeal to new car buyers looking for an efficient, feature-packed small car. The Korean car maker has also divulged that it will release a Euro-hatch variant of the new Elantra in 2007, broadening the range and increasing appeal.

However, i t would take a miracle to knock Toyota’s Corolla off the top spot, and this new small car from Hyundai will not be the vehicle to do it but it’s tight pricing and strong feature list will do it no harm.

It’s true that the new Elantra is expected to outsell its predecessor based on its the improved value for money ratio, asking less than $20,000 for the SX model has the following features:

Pollen-filtering air-conditioning

Dual front airbags

Speed sensitive power steering

Remote entry with alarm

Variable driver’s seat height

Deluxe centre console with armrest and bi-level concealed compartments

Active 4-way adjustable front head restraints

Hyundai will also offer a ‘Protectz Pack’ for under $1,790 on SX models that adds ESP, TCS (traction control system) plus curtain and front-side airbags. These features are standard on Elite and Elite S models.

The value-for-money component is there, Hyundai has made sure of that, and the entry level model features a 2.0-litre engine slightly more powerful than Toyota’s Corolla, adding more weight to its case. And though 20mm shorter in overall length than the outgoing Elantra model, it offers class-leading interior space, and has 65mm more height and 50mm more width in the cabin than the Corolla.

It has the numbers on paper to dominate the Corolla, but reliability aside, and one of the key buying factors for new car buyers is appearance. So what about the new style?

Hyundai has made leaps and bounds in terms of build quality, functionality and refinement in the last few years, but its ability to design a contemporary Korean vehicle is still not ideal. The new look is an improvement over the older model Elantra, but may be too swoopy and curvy for some buyers.

Hyundai explains that Elantra’s design philosophy tries to harmonise opposites, taking sharp modern styling and soft, contoured curves to craft an individualistic character.

Viewed from the front, the Elantra displays elements of Hyundai’s improving design DNA, which pays homage to the American-designed Santa Fe with its similar grille shape and wraparound headlight units.

The new Elantra has a much higher window line than past models, adding a touch of sophistication to its profile, and both the front and rear windscreens are more steeply raked, supplying the car with a sportier character. At the rear, the brake light designs mimic those seen on the Santa Fe once again, featuring a slimline wraparound style.

Hyundai says the wheel arches are slightly flared and match well with the Elite’s 16-inch alloy wheels, giving a strong presence on the road and balancing its taller dimension. Hyundai will also offer a 17-inch alloy wheel and tyre combination, increasing the sharp looks and the car’s grip levels.

Offered in a range of new exterior colours, the Elantra moves away from Hyundai’s pastel colours and includes primaries like silver, black, red, blue, and white – though ‘violet pearl’ and ‘indigo blue’ will please long-time Hyundai buyers.

As well as strong safety features, such as twin airbags on all models, plus ESP, front side and rear seat curtain airbags as an option on the entry level SX and SLX and standard on Elite and Elite S models, the new Elantra is fitted with the third series version of the 2.0-litre Beta engine. This 4-cylinder, twin camshaft engine gets 16-valves-per-cylinder and CVVT (continuously variable valve timing) for a maximum power output of 105kW @ 6000rpm. Peak torque isn’t quite as impressive – 186Nm @ 4600rpm – yet both these power specs make the Toyota Corolla’s 93kW and 161Nm look weak in comparison.

Hyundai Elantra

The more cost effective models are offered with manual gearboxes and one of the few question marks over the vehicle’s head is the implementation of the 4-speed automatic gearbox, which is a $2,000 cost option. Using a 5-speed auto gearbox would have really improved fuel economy and performance, and the 4-speeder is widely acknowledged to be a lifeless shifter.

To the Elantra’s benefit is a recalibrated ECU and CVVT system. These now provide the 2.0-litre small car with a SULEV (Super Ultra Low Emission Vehicle) badge, and more specifically Hyundai has reduced localised fuel efficiency ratings by more than 1L/100km in the automatic models. The following figures are for fuel efficiency rating on the combined cycle:

7.8L/100km (automatic)

7.4L/100km (manual)

While reducing fuel consumption and increasing power output, the new Elantra is quicker than its precursor, able to accelerate from 0 to 100km/h in 8.9 seconds in manual models (autos are slower). Contributing to its dynamic ability is the car’s new suspension system which, according to Hyundai, improves ride and handling thanks to its MacPherson front struts a newly designed rear suspension package it calls Independent Torsion Blade. This last feature is more sophisticated than the previous model’s multi-link rear suspension system and is more compact, increasing boot space by 35 litres for a grand total of 405 litres.

Other changes to the car’s ride and handling characteristics include thicker stabilizer bars to reduce body roll during cornering, and a new EASS (Electric Assist Steering System) steering system that improves steering inputs. The new EASS system is engine and road speed-sensitive and also takes into account the steering wheels turning angle and responds appropriately to dial in more or less power, depending on the situation. The brakes have also been boosted, now 275mm on the front axle and 262mm on the rear axle.

As well as the increased boot space, other aspects of the Elantra’s interior have been extensively modified. Being a class leader in interior room in the small car segment, almost every conceivable dimension has been extended when compared to the outgoing Elantra. Behold:

Front hip room: up 32mm

Front shoulder room: up 22mm

Front head room: up 9mm

Front leg room: up 8mm

Rear shoulder room: up 40mm

The interior design and styling has also been changed, and the end result is much closer to its Japanese counterparts than the Elantra has ever been before. As Hyundai explains, the aesthetically sculptured dash looks far more Lexus than Hyundai, and slopes downward from the windscreen to give a spacious feeling and greater visibility. The centre console is also a more modern appliance, featuring digital readouts with blue back lights.

A couple of firsts for the Hyundai Elantra include auxiliary jacks for iPods (and other portable audio devices) to play through the car’s MP3/WMA/AAC-compatible CD stereo and steering-wheel-mounted controls for audio and (except SX) cruise controls. Cloth trim is standard on all models bar the Elite S models, which get leather trim.

Pricing for the new model, which Hyundai hopes will follow in the Getz’ footsteps and take a solid chunk of its relevent market share, starts at $19,990 for the manual Elantra SX and fetches $21,780 with Protectz Pack, which adds ESP, TCS, curtain and front side airbags. The next model, called the SLX, adds cruise control, front side and cabin side curtain airbags, rear centre head restraint, twin tweeter speakers, fully automatic climate control, leather steering wheel with audio and cruise controls. The Elantra SLX starts at $22,490 for the manual and with Protectz $23,480.

Next comes the Elantra Elite which gets all of the SLX’s equipment and then adds the life-saving ESP feature, TCS, 16-inch alloy wheels, front fog lights, trip computer and tinted glass for $24,990. At the top of the table is the Elantra Elite S, which sells for $28,990 is an automatic-only model (all other models are manual, and add $2,000 for the automatic gearbox option). It adds a power sunroof, perforated leather trim on seats, doors and armrests.

All new Elantra models are covered by Hyundai’s long-established 5-year/130,000km new car warranty. With its standard features, improved interior space and new look exterior style, the fourth-generation, 2006 HD Elantra is a big improvement for the company. Hyundai’s biggest problem is no longer self inflicted – it has the likes of the Honda Civic, Ford Focus, Mazda 3 and Toyota Corolla to deal with.

Hyundai Elantra
Hyundai Elantra
Hyundai Elantra
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