Globally, Hyundai Elantra has been around for 26 years however its Indian introduction was only back in early 2000. Since then we have seen many alterations on this sedan; however, in 2016 it looks to give rivals like Toyota Corolla Altis, Volkswagen Jetta, Skoda Octavia a stiff beating for what their money it worth. Into its 6th generation, the All-New Hyundai Elantra is the 3rd incarnation to be produced for customers in the India. What this product has to offer is something new in terms of its design and features along with taking a step forward in terms of its engine performance with the introduction of an all-new petrol engine to the model line-up.
2016 Hyundai Elantra – Exterior
'Prestige Redefined' is what the Korean automaker is referring to this all new model as. However putting this phrase aside, what we get in front our eyes is an all new platform that boasts of a bold and dynamic design. Based on Hyundai’s Fluidic 2.0 design language, the All-New Hyundai Elantra is characterized by the company’s signature chrome hexagonal grille that forms the focal point. Its sleek headlamp cluster comprising of HID and LED DRL provide it a distinctive look. Apart from that, treatment given to the fog lamp clusters on either side will definitely remind you of the Toyota Camry Hybrid. Wonder whether or not it actually was an inspiration for this particular element.
Move to the sides, especially the front three quarter will again strike a resemblance with Jaguar XF or for that matter the XE. But then again depends on how one would perceive it to be. With a coupe like silhouette, the new Elantra features a sharp shoulder line clubbed with creases. Chrome highlighted door handles, a new set of 10 spoke alloy wheels and indicator inserted side mirrors, forming an integral part of the design. Onto the rear, the split type LED taillights instantly catch your attention as these are inspired from its hatchback sibling - Hyundai Elite i20. Its wedged tailgate along with reflector inserts on either side complete the overall look of this sedan. On the whole, in comparison to the outgoing model, the design is far more appealing than before.
2016 Hyundai Elantra – Interior
To give it a more premium appeal, Hyundai has fitted the new Elantra with a whole lot of features. Its all-black interior (leather seats included) comprises of a new layout which offers silver inserts throughout the cabin. The dash in particular comprising of an instrument cluster with a new large 3.5 mono TFT screen. The center console makes way for a 5.0 HD Touch screen Multimedia System which also houses 8.0 Smart Audi Video Navigation setup with Voice Recognition. This system has a 4 + 2 speaker setup that offers connectivity for Apple CarPlay and Android devices. Other features on-board include Bluetooth compatibility, USB Port and Aux-In. Then there is Dual Zone FATC with cluster Ionizer, Start Stop Button, rear AC vents, Sunroof all thrown to woo the end user. The feature that we liked the most were ventilated seats for the front and rear passengers, it really came in handy especially since we were driving in the city of Chennai that experiences humid climatic conditions.
Measuring 4570mm in length and 1800mm in width, the new Elantra provides electrically adjustable front seats which offer good amount of head, shoulder and leg room. However the story is very different towards rear, its coupe like roofline means that the headroom is a bit compromised and with the front seat pulled all the way back there is very little room left for your knees. This area feels a bit cramped. Talking about safety features there are 6 airbags on offer, ABS with EBD, Reverse Parking Camera, Hill Start Assist Control (HAC), Electronic Stability Control (ESC) have all been thrown into the package. For your luggage, this sedan provides 458 litres of space, which is good enough for a weekend getaway. Putting that aside, the Smart Trunk feature is worth taking a look into. What Hyundai have tried to do with this particular element is to simply improve things for the end user. The Smart Truck automatically unlocks and pops the boot lid the moment the owner stands 3 feet away from the car within 30 seconds – isn’t that cool. It does come in handy when both your hands are lugged with things, a very good thought we must say
2016 Hyundai Elantra – Engine and Performance
With new elements thrown in already when it concerns exterior design and interior features, the Elantra comes fitted with both petrol and diesel power trains. However since this was an insight into the product, we were given the keys of the diesel Elantra to get a feel of the vehicle. This particular variant features the tried and tested 1.6 VGT CRdi engine which according to Hyundai has been re-worked a little to provide better performance. The car felt quite refined when driven in the city and equally agile when shown the open wide roads of the highway. Though at ceratin junctures one can feel a bit of slugish behaviour from the engine which only gets rectified when the turbo kicks in past the 2,500rpm mark.Hyundai during the launch as well as in their product briefing spoke in length about enhancing the NVH levels to quite an extent with this diesel derivative, however we what we noticed was that this remained true only through the course of a linear acceleration but the moment pressed hard upon, the engine screames its heart out, and this screaming can be heard quite prominently. Mated to a 6-speed Automatic transmission, this sedan offers 2 Driving Modes namely Eco and Sports. The Eco Mode refers to a state of driving style that is more inclined towards better fuel economy while the Sports Mode relates to outright performance. As far as specifications go, the diesel provides a 1999cc engine under the skin capable of producing 150 Bhp of power output with 192Nm of torque.
Ideally we were really keen on getting our hand on the newly introduced petrol engine but then luck wasn’t too much on our side. We somehow managed to drive it only for a few kilometres and arrived to this conclusion that it was pretty punchy. To remind you, the powertrain underneath is a 2.0 litre petrol engine that churns out 126Bhp with 259Nm torque. Transmission duties are carried out by a 6-speed manual gearbox which catered to decent shifts. For more on this variant, we will be getting a comprehensive review really soon. As for its ride characteristics, Hyundai has introduced Advanced High Steel (AHSS) Structure which makes the All-New Elantra all the more better. It soaks in potholes and broken road with utter ease. Meanwhile the handling is pretty good considering the overall size of this vehicle and the Hankook tyres with section 205/60 R16 that propelled it.
2016 Hyundai Elantra – Verdict
Our first and couple of hour’s stint with the All-New Hyundai Elantra brings us to the conclusion that this Executive Sedan has matured and transformed into a potent product. In comparison to what it was and what it is now is definitely an improvement nevertheless. Most importantly what it provides for the end customer are new looks, feature loaded cabin, comfort and performance which is right up there with segment leaders like the Toyota Corolla Altis, Volkswagen Jetta, Skoda Octavia, Chevrolet Cruze among many others. It’s pricing remains attractive therefore missing it out from your list of probable vehicles would not be the wise thing to do.