Hyundai Elantra Long Term Review
Car Tested: Hyundai Elantra CRDI SX AT
Kms Done: 7094 kms
Test Started at: 17,048 kms
Test Concluded at: 24,142 kms
Mileage: 11.13 km/l, 14.03 km/l (best), 9.52 km/l (worst)
Fuel Consumed: 364 litres
Fuel Cost: Rs. 41,429/-
Rs. per km: Rs. 5.84/-
Major Repair – None
Service Cost – None
The Elantra impressed us thoroughly with its good ride, comfortable cabin, frugal engine
Hyundai came to India at a time when the automotive scene in the country was just about evolving. The Korean giant launched the third iteration of the Elantra in 2003 and this model saw a fair amount of success in the country. Marketed as a ‘performance luxury sedan’, the third generation Elantra found many homes in quick time. However, in the design department, it did not set any charts on fire. But Hyundai’s new fluidic architecture completely changed the way the Korean cars looked and were suddenly transformed into design masterpieces. One of the first models to grace this design was the fifth generation Hyundai Elantra. Launched in India in 2012, the Elantra took the segment by storm and managed to be the best seller for quite some time. We have been driving this beauty for a long time now and it never ceases to impress us. With more than 7000 kms on the odometer, it’s time to say goodbye and pen down our final report.
The most striking feature of the Elantra is its design and there is no denying that. The beauty lies in the form and proportion. The fluidic elements have been tastefully incorporated in the styling which is neither overdrawn nor minimalist but just feels right. This actually makes it look more expensive than it is while people have also drawn comparisons with the leading German brands. Not only that, the Elantra has a strong road presence and doesn’t go unnoticed wherever you go. Sharp character lines have their role to play in enhancing the visual appeal along with the coupe like sloping roofline.
To put things into perspective, we had compared the latest D-segment cars and the Elantra took on the likes of the latest generation Toyota Corolla, the Renault Fluence facelift and the third generation Skoda Octavia. In spite of being the oldest car here, the Elantra was a clear winner in the design and appeal department. Just goes on to show how good the fluidic architecture is.
The fluidic theme is carried into the interiors and the waterfall effect dashboard layout along with the spacious interiors makes the cabin a good place to be in. Build quality is just fantastic and with more than 24,000 kms on the odometer, there wasn’t a hint of anything getting loose, let alone a rattle. Quality of materials used is good and attention to detail is immaculate. Usually beige upholstery is prone to getting dirty over time but the Elantra did not show this particular trend. Hyundai has openly said that it wants to be known as a quality car maker and this truly shows here.
Seats offer ample amount of comfort with good back support. We walked out pretty fresh after a 600 km sprint to Goa in the peak of summer. Yes, the ventilated seats were a boon and are quite addictive. The AC chills well and is assisted by the solar glass which cuts out heat enabling it to work more efficiently. However we didn’t like the position of the central air-conditioning vents. These are placed a little too low for our liking and the steering obstructs the air flow. So if you like the “air in your face” kind of feel, the central vents don’t exactly give you that. This, although minor, issue is rectified in facelifted model.
The rear seat has a more sofa like seating position with backrest being slightly reclined. Most people who buy cars from this segment are chauffeur driven and the rear seat is comfortable enough for the job. The rear armrest has audio controls which is a very thoughtful and useful feature for the rear passengers. Legroom is sufficient in both the rows but under-thigh support is lacking for tall passengers. Boot space is more than enough to stow the entire family’s luggage.
Sound quality is pretty good and the audio system supports Bluetooth streaming but there are a few minor flaws. One of them being that you cannot change the song from the steering controls but we expect this to be sorted in the facelift which will be launched early next year. We have already praised the attention to detail in this car and to just give you an example, if the CD is in the player, a small blue light will illuminate on the eject button, so that at all times one knows if the slot is full or empty. Most features offered on the Elantra are quite handy, especially the automatic headlamps and cruise control.
Our test car was the top of the line SX variant and had the bells and whistles in plenty. Powered by a 1.6-litre oil burner, the Elantra produces 128 PS of power and 260 NM torque. Mated to this engine is a 6-speed single-clutch autobox which makes life extremely easy. Given today’s traffic and road conditions, automatic cars have become more and more desirable. Powering our way through the city during peak hours was a piece of cake and the Elantra did eat the traffic jams for breakfast, that too with ease. Translating this in our terms meant that there was no fatigue, whatever the traffic situation may be. The gearbox works well be it the city or the highway. The sixth gear is quite tall enabling you to stretch your legs on the highway quite comfortably without the gearbox feeling stressed at high speeds. However, if you want to make progress in a hurry, the gearbox feels a tad slow owing to its single clutch nature but the tiptronic mode comes handy here. Slot it into manual and you will hit the rev limiter before up-shifting making progress more brisk. The VBOX reading for a 0-100 km/hr run stands at 10.56 seconds, which is reasonably quick.
On the efficiency front, the Elantra consistently delivered around the 11.50 km/l mark with the worst fuel efficiency being 9.52 km/l (in peak hour city traffic) and the best coming to 14.03 km/l (highway run). Overall, the convenience offered by the automatic transmission far exceeds the efficiency loss (of around a km per litre) over a manual variant. With a fuel tank capacity of 56 litres, range is pretty good (around 600 kms) but the Elantra does not show ‘distance to empty’ on the multi-information display which is quite a turn off. The steering is light and weighs up decently and handling is fair, better than most Hyundai cars. The point to be made is that we auto journalists want all cars to be superb handlers but unfortunately all cars are not made to deliver outstanding handling. In this given segment, stress on ride quality is far more important and the Elantra excels in offering a comfortable cushioned ride.
The light steering makes city driving very easy and parking in tight spots is not difficult with assistance from the rear parking camera and sensors. Even at high speeds the Elantra feels well planted but over bad roads, there is a bit of the bouncy feeling which looks more from outside than what the passengers feel inside. Even with five adults on board and luggage in the boot, the Elantra manages to stay without bottoming out on most speed breakers. The low resistance silica tyres offer decent amount of grip in the dry but on wet surfaces the grip levels are much lower. On rainy days, the ESP will frequently interrupt ensuring you don’t end up aquaplaning. Braking performance is good with all four discs having sufficient stopping power. NVH levels are fantastic and you can barely tell if the engine is idling.
Hyundai has the second largest sales and service network in the country and service quality is pretty good. Seldom would you hear of an issue with a Hyundai dealership. The Korean manufacturer ensures various quality control measures to keep the service quality in check. The Elantra is the most value for money prospect in the segment with reasonable service costs. The Elantra’s service schedule is 1 year/10,000 km, whichever is earlier.
Hyundai Elantra Cost Of Spares
* Engine oil per service – Rs. 1569/- (at Rs. 296/- per litre for 5.3 litres)
* Brake Oil – Rs. 264/- (0.75 litres)
* Oil Filter – Rs. 417/-
* Fuel Filter – Rs. 1989/-
* Brake pad (Front & Rear) – Rs. 4599/- & Rs. 2997/- (not included in periodic maintenance cost)
* Front Bumper (without painting) – Rs. 8695/- (not included in periodic maintenance cost)
* Rear Bumper (without painting) – Rs. 12,459/- (not included in periodic maintenance cost)
* Headlamp Assembly (Each) – Rs. 13,448/- (not included in periodic maintenance cost)
* Tail lamp Assembly (Each) – Rs. 8489/- (Outer) & Rs. 4823/- (Inner) (not included in periodic maintenance cost)
* Cost of routine servicing for 1,00,000 kms – Rs 50,870/-
(all prices are for Mumbai including tax)
The Hyundai Elantra ticks all the right boxes. It excels in design which looks fresh even today. It has generous premium feel interiors and loads of features on board. The engine packs good punch for both city and highway styles of driving with a very comfortable ride. In terms of service, Hyundai has the widest after sales network of all the manufacturers in this segment and service costs are reasonable too. Thus it’s no surprise that the Elantra has swept so many awards including the ‘2012 MotorBeam Car Of The Year’ accolade. To keep the product fresh, Hyundai will be launching the Elantra facelift early next year which is expected to be even more loaded than before along with a minor cosmetic upgrade. If you are looking for a D-segment sedan, there is no beating the Hyundai Elantra as a complete value for money package.
The Hyundai Elantra is a complete deal which packs in a beautiful design, roomy feature rich interiors and a good ride quality. The icing on the cake is that all this comes at a very compelling price making the Elantra the most value for money preposition in its segment.
What’s Not So Cool
* Sluggish gearbox
Further Reading –
Picture Editing – Sri Manikanta Achanta