The 6th generation Elantra has been launched in India and it is a fresh attempt by Hyundai to revive the D-segment which has been shrinking. The new Elantra then brings in a breath of fresh air being armed with a new, more handsome design language, the usual long list of features and a new petrol engine amongst other changes. The new Elantra is available in both petrol and diesel in 5 trim levels.
The petrol engine is a new 2.0 litre, 4 cylinder unit that produces 150 bhp and returns 14.6 kpl while the diesel motor is a 1.6 litre, 4 cylinder that has a turbocharger to develop 126 bhp. Both these motors deliver a punchy performance; there is plenty of power reserve available on tap not just when you are pootling about in the city, but also when you need it for quick overtakes. The diesel Elantra returns a best-in-class fuel efficiency figure of 22.5 kpl.
Both petrol and diesel versions of this sedan can be purchased with either a 6 speed manual or a 6 speed automatic gearbox. In the automatic, the driver can also toggle between Eco and Sport driving modes at the touch of a button. Out on the highways, it is evident that the Elantra prefers to be driven as a comfortable, long distance mile-muncher rather than being thrashed which is why we prefer the automatic over the manual. The engines are quite refined and the excellent suspension setup on this car results in all but the worst of our roads being sponged out very well indeed. Built on a new platform with 53% Advanced High Strength Steel (AHSS) structure, the new Elantra is a big improvement in ride and handling overall when compared to its predecessor.
Gone are a lot of curvy elements; they have now been replaced with more grown up, straight edged details that lend the new Elantra a much more mature look than the model it replaces. The front end of the car now features the signature hexagonal grille that all new Hyundai vehicles sport, and it also gets projector headlights with LED daytime running lamps. The projector fog lamps of the new Elantra are mounted in housings that have a cool looking boomerang shape. The rear of the car also looks very stylish, especially thanks to its tail lamps and its superbly designed boot-lid.
Step inside the car and one immediately notices that the interior is built very well and is a very nice place to be but more conservatively designed. The list of features in this car is rather long as well, including an 8 inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, dual zone automatic climate control, navigation, electric sunroof, cruise control, front ventilated seat, smart boot release, rear ac vents and more. Hyundai has taken safety pretty seriously and thanks to that, the Elantra comes kitted out with 6 airbags, ABS with EBD, vehicle stability management and hill start assist. Space is good both at the front and rear but headroom is a bit compromised at the rear due to the low-slung design.
The new Elantra is a vast improvement over the previous gen model in every department. We love the styling and it drives much better now; it also is very well equipped and good value as well. Hyundai has priced this new car between INR 12.99 lakhs and INR 19 lakhs (ex-showroom). That makes it less expensive than its rivals. However, whether or not it revives the segment and brings in good sales numbers is something that we will have to wait and watch.