2016 Hyundai Elantra Test Drive
2016 Hyundai Elantra – Click above for high resolution image gallery

2016 Hyundai Elantra Review

Car Tested: 2016 Hyundai Elantra; Road Test No. 731

Price OTR Mumbai: Rs. 15.77 – Rs. 23.88 lakhs

The new Hyundai Elantra has evolved in styling inside out and now has mature characteristics

The Hyundai Elantra has been one of the best selling cars globally having sold more than 11.5 million units. Hyundai had launched the fifth generation Elantra in 2012 and it was, at one point, the best-seller in the segment. The D-segment has shrunk as the craze for SUVs has caught up in recent times. Inspite of this, Hyundai has launched the sixth generation model in India and the Koreans aim to lead the D-segment again. Hyundai claims that this is the best Elantra they have ever made. We were in Chennai to sample this latest sedan from Hyundai.

Motor Quest: Hyundai first launched the Elantra in India in its third generation, which was the 2000 model. The fourth generation wasn’t introduced to the Indian market but the Elantra made a comeback to the Indian soil in its fifth generation, which was the 2010 model. Now the sixth generation is here with some promising aspects to kill the D-segment sedan space.

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The updated design language gives it a mature stance

Exteriors – The outgoing Hyundai Elantra had a swanky design language that looked very eye catchy but that kind of styling suits more to the C-segment sedans. The D-segment sedan buyers are mostly looking out for a simple yet classy styling and Hyundai has now come up with a similar design language with the new generation Elantra. The Fluidic Scuplture 2.0 gives it some straight and sharp creases and gentle curves. The front profile is dominated by a chrome highlighted hexagonal grille accentuated with L-shaped projector foglamps housing.

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The rear profile with new LED tail lights look very attractive

The exteriors are now sharper and look mature with the straight and bold lines

The new LED DRLs pattern looks attractive and the projector lights are sleek. The side profile now looks sober and elegant having a straight shoulder line that highlights the length of the Elantra. The twin 5-spoke alloys look neat and even the roofline merges with the boot quite well. However, the rear still manages to hint about the previous gen Elantra, which is good because it looks quite youthful and sharp with the LED pattern on the tail lights.

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The neatly designed dashboard looks premium with a fancy touchscreen

Interiors – Once you enter the cabin you get a feel of a German car the way the dashboard is designed. Just like the exteriors, the new Elantra now offers mature interior styling which looks uncluttered and user friendly than before. The cabin is all-black with brushed silver elements and the roof is finished in light grey which really makes you feel that you are in a proper D-segment sedan. The three-spoke steering feels great to hold and there are integrated buttons to control the infotainment system, cruise control and the big MID display in the instrument cluster as well. The instrument cluster is very informative and easy to read. Unlike many Hyundai cars, it shows distance to empty and average fuel consumption.

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The infotainment system is modern and user friendly with lots of features

The all-black interiors are loaded with new features and look well designed

The 8.0-inch infotainment touchscreen system is the party piece of the new Hyundai Elantra. It’s one of the biggest screens in the segment having a very user friendly interface with smooth performance. The touch quality is very good and you don’t see any lag while swiping between menus. It offers Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity which makes it more convenient to access your phone data and it even has voice recognition. Sound quality is excellent and even the navigation system looks modern having informative display. The big screen also doubles up as a rear parking camera display, which makes it a breeze to park this big sedan.

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The ergonomics are good and all the controls are well laid out

You get dual-zone automatic climate control system which has a strong and silent airflow all the way to the rear passengers with the help of rear aircons. The cooling is super effective and the front ventilated seats adds to the comfort in the scorching heat of summers in India. The centre console is very neat and tidy, there is no clutter of buttons and the dashboard looks pleasant. The fit and finish is excellent, it’s hard to find any rough edges or bad plastics in the car and quality is Hyundai’s forte, which you won’t complaint about.

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The new Elantra offers fantastic back seat experience

There are a lot of storage places to keep your bottles and knick knacks. The dashboard has cooling function but no illumination. There is a neat tray ahead of the gear lever with a smooth sliding action that looks cool. Because of the all-black theme you might think that it doesn’t looks spacious but there is ample room for both front and rear passengers. The light coloured roof adds to some airiness along with the sunroof, which is a tad small in size. The rear seat cushioning is perfect with good support. Legroom is excellent but headroom for tall passengers is just average. Sadly there are no controls on the arm rest for the rear passengers and even no socket to charge your phone or laptop at the back. The boot is huge and you can fit in a lot of luggage. It has an interesting feature of hands-free smart trunk with which you can open the boot without putting any effort. Some of the key features include keyless entry and go, 10-way power adjustable seat, drive mode select, etc.

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The engines offer good performance and feel refined

Performance – The Elantra is available in both petrol and diesel engine options. Hyundai is using a new 2.0-litre petrol engine which punches out 151 HP & 192 Nm. This engine comes mated with both manual and automatic transmissions. We got a chance to drive the petrol automatic variant at the media test drive. This new motor feels quite peppy and has a strong mid & top end. The 6-speed automatic gearbox mated to the petrol engine is the second generation autobox and is more refined now. However, being a single clutch transmission, there is some amount of lag, you feel it more once you completely floor the pedal to the metal. This engine delivers an ARAI certified fuel economy of 14.59 km/l and 14.62 km/l with both the manual and auto gearboxes respectively.

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The 6-speed auto transmission is new and offers better drivability

Both the engines offer good performance and get improved NVH from Hyundai

The diesel is the same tried and tested 1.6-litre U2 CRDI engine which has been refined as per Hyundai claims. It still delivers the same 127 HP of power and 260 Nm of twisting force. Power delivery is linear and power feels quite adequate. Mated to this oil burner is a 6-speed automatic and manual transmission which has been carried forward from the previous generation model. Hyundai claims that the diesel Elantra is the most fuel efficient sedan in its segment delivering 22.54 km/l as per ARAI standards. Hyundai has worked to improve NVH levels too. There is barely any wind or tyre noise heard inside the cabin. Even the engine bay is well insulated.

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Ride quality has improved with better high speed stability

Driving Dynamics – The biggest improvement in this Elantra over the previous generation model comes in the driving dynamics department. Hyundai has used 53% ‘Advanced High Strength Steel’ in the body frame (previous generation used only 21%) which makes the structure more rigid and lighter. This translates into improved handling characteristics. The car feels more planted at high speeds and doesn’t feel nervous around corners. Though the handling has greatly improved, it still doesn’t beat the benchmark set by the Elantra’s German rivals. Leaving hardcore enthusiasts aside, these kind of dynamics will be happily accepted by the majority.

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The chassis is rigid & lighter making it a confident machine to drive

It gets improved ride and handling balance compared to the outgoing model

Ride quality has been good with the previous generation model and Hyundai has further improved it. Ride is cushioned even on undulated surfaces. The damping is much better now and you can feel this at both low and high speeds. There is no bouncy feeling and even when the car is fully loaded, the suspension does a good job of keeping the passengers comfortable. Braking performance is progressive with good pedal feel and bite. Hyundai has also added the ‘Hill Hold’ function which prevents the car from rolling backwards on a slope.

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The new Elantra has been awarded the highest rating by IIHS

Safety and After Sales Service – The new Hyundai Elantra is loaded with safety equipment having dual front airbags and ABS as standard on all variants along with 6 airbags, ABS, ESC, Vehicle Stability Management and Hill-Start Assist Control standard on the range topping variant. The new gen Elantra has been awarded the top safety pick from IIHS having green signals for all aspects. Hyundai is well known for its after sales service and with the launch of the new Elantra, the Korean carmaker announced new Hyundai Premium Assurance Program offering 3 years unlimited kms warranty for all the customers of the new Elantra. It also comes with free maintenance for 3 yrs/30,000 kms, 3 yrs roadside assistance, 3 times update on ‘Map Care’ and 3 times Customer ‘Home Visit’. On top of that, Hyundai loyal customers will get additional 4th year extended warranty.

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A very well rounded package for a D-segment sedan priced attractively

Verdict – The sixth generation Elantra is a step above the previous generation model in every sense. The second iteration of the fluidic design looks more mature and sophisticated. The interiors are a good place to be in with loads of features on offer. Both the petrol and diesel engines offer respectable performance with the convenience of the automatic transmission. With improved dynamics and safety, the all new Elantra looks poised to take the top spot in the D-segment. The icing on the cake is that Hyundai has launched it at a very competitive price which makes the entire package even more desirable.

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The new Elantra is here with an aim of being the segment leader

What’s Cool

* Straight and simple lines on the new Elantra makes it look classy
* The all-black styling gives you the feel of a German car
* The list of features is unlimited and many of them are segment first
* Both diesel and petrol engines now offer better NVH
* Ride is extremely good and even the handling has become sharper
* Well priced variants considering the rivals

What’s Not So Cool

* Headroom at the rear is tight for tall passengers
* Sunroof is small in size
* No power socket for rear passengers

Alternatives: Toyota Corolla, Skoda Octavia, Chevrolet Cruze, Volkswagen Jetta

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Hyundai has made drastic changes over the previous Elantra

2016 Hyundai Elantra Specifications

* Engine: 1582cc, DOHC, VGT, 4-cylinder, 16V | 1999cc, DOHC, VTVT, 4-cylinder, 16V
* Power: 127 BHP @ 4000 RPM | 151 BHP @ 6200 RPM
* Torque: 260 Nm @ 1900-2750 RPM | 192 Nm @ 4000 RPM
* Transmission: 6-speed automatic, 6-speed manual
* 0-100 km/hr: 9.28 seconds (Petrol MT), 9.68 seconds (Diesel MT)
* Fuel Consumption: 15 km/l
* Fuel Type: Diesel | Petrol
* Suspension: McPherson (Front), Torsion Beam (Rear)
* Tyres: 205/60/16
* Brakes: Disc brakes, ABS
* Safety: 6 Airbags, ABS, EBD, ESC, VSM, HAC

2016 Hyundai Elantra Dimensions

* Overall Length x Width x Height: 4570 mm X 1800 mm X 1465 mm
* Wheelbase: 2700 mm
* Ground Clearance: 140 mm (est.)
* Turning Radius: 6.0-metres (est.)
* Fuel Tank Capacity: 50-litres

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The mature characteristics will appeal to a larger audience this time

Further Reading

2016 Hyundai Elantra Video Review
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Hyundai Elantra Facelift Review