A new middleweight contender - Hyundai Elantra

"No brand has taken such a massive leap over the past decade as Hyundai" those were the words of Acting Editor for Auto Express, Graham Hope. His words carried all the more gravity as Hyundai has just topped the list for “most improved” car manufacturer of the last 10 years in a survey carried out by the UK based magazine. These are very big achievements for the motor company which has, in the past, struggled with a “cheap” label which was strapped to it so mercilessly in Alec Baldwin’s epic speech from the bestselling movie Glengarry Glenross (Hyundai reference at 2.39). This week I looked at its latest effort, the all new Hyundai Elantra.

The drive

After driving the car and scouring the net for reviews of the drive quality, I came to the conclusion that the vehicle simply is not an exciting car to drive. However it is important to note that this is not necessarily a critical flaw; mid sized cars don’t tend to be very enjoyable drives, and the big competition for the Elantra (the new Holden Cruze) is no better in the drive quality department. All the standard features are present and accounted for but unfortunately, like many in its class, drive wise the Elantra has no killer feature.

The Styling

As luck would have it the Elantra was parked beside an i45 in our company car park. In this context, a comparison was inevitable. Like the Holden Cruze, the Elantra takes much of its styling from its older brother (the Cruze shares a lot of its stylings with the Series Two Commodore). However, unlike the Cruze, the Elantra does not manage to scale down quite as well. The front end simply looks squashed, and while the back end and side panels look well, this unfortunately doesn’t cover the flaw. Inside the car it is refreshingly simple whilst integrating some handy features as standard (Bluetooth, iPod integration and comprehensive steering wheel controls). Whilst the interior won’t sell the car as such, it does manage to avoid making critical design mistakes with a well landscaped centre console and straightforward radio and air conditioning controls.

The Elantra in a flash

Fuel Efficiency 7.1L/100km
Starting Price $20,590
Engine size 1.8L
Fuel type Petrol
Cylinders 4
ANCAP rating 5 stars


Final thoughts

Hyundai ElantraThe Elantra, despite its minor failings, should sell well with fleet managers who are looking at a good value, fuel efficient, mid sized car, because in comparative terms it does compare very well with the Cruze. I would also imagine it will sell very well in the Novated Lease space, as the car does offer solid value for money whilst at the same time delivering everything one would expect from a mid sized car.

What do you think of the new Elantra?

Have you driven the new Elantra?

Post your comments below.

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