Hyundai did many things right over the last few years but if there’s one aspect of car-making that the South Korean manufacturer nailed to perfection, it has got to be its ‘Fluidic Sculpture’ design language. It was the fifth-generation Elantra that debuted the popular design theme, going on to become one of the world’s best-selling cars. The Elantra had a decent run in India too and was, in fact, the best-seller in its segment until the Toyota Corolla Altis came along and stole its thunder.
The sixth-generation Elantra, launched in New Delhi today, is Hyundai's attempt to regain the top spot in the entry-luxury segment. Based on an all-new platform and wearing an evolved version of the fluidic design, the new Elantra is more attractive and potent than its predecessor.
The new Elantra lineup consists of three trim levels - S, SX and SX(O) that further diversify into 9 variants based on engine and transmission options. The petrol variants are priced between ₹12.99 and ₹17.99 Lakhs while the diesel variants have price tags ranging from ₹14.79 to ₹19.19 Lakhs. All prices are introductory and ex-showroom, Delhi.
The swoops and curves of the current Elantra are gone, replaced by sharp lines and crisp detailing. Up front, the trademark hexagonal grille with a thick chrome surround, HID projector headlights and the boomerang-shaped recesses in the bumper housing the fog lamps lend the car with a distinct identity. Though not to the extent of the outgoing version, the profile shows off the Elantra’s coupe-like styling complete with a sloping roof and rising window line. The prominent waist line cuts across the door handles and fuses with the taillight only to re-emerge in the form of an integrated boot-lid spoiler. Split taillights with LED elements, plastic bumper insert and a shark-fin antenna complete the sporty rear.
While the exteriors are clearly an evolution over the current Elantra, the interiors have undergone a complete transformation.
The curvy layout of the present car has been ditched in favour of squarish elements with minimalist design. Build quality, fit and finish appear to be top notch as usual with the top-end variants boasting a bucket list of standard features. Key equipment include dual zone climate control, auto cruise control, drive mode select, keyless entry with push button start, 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, electric sunroof, electrically adjustable driver’s seat, ventilated front seats, music system with BlueTooth, USB and Aux compatibility and a ‘Smart Trunk’ that automatically opens the boot if it detects a person with the key standing behind the car for more than 3 seconds.
Safety is well taken care of with the SX(O) variant equipped with Antilock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), 6 airbags, Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Vehicle Stability Management (VSM), Hill Assist Control (HAC) and reverse parking camera with sensors.
Powering the new Elantra is an all-new 2.0-liter petrol engine from the ‘Nu’ family that produces 150 bhp and 192 Nm of torque. The diesel variants come with the tried-and-tested 1.6-liter CRDi engine with 126 bhp and 260 Nm of torque. Both the petrol and diesel variants have an option of a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed automatic transmission.
Hyundai has also introduced a Premium Assurance Program to differentiate the Elantra from its mass-market siblings. Basically, this program entitles the new Elantra for a 3-year unlimited warranty, free roadside assistance, free maintenance (upto 30,000 km) and includes a 3-time customer ‘Home Visit’.
With a firm grip on the mass market segments, Hyundai appears to be leaving no stone unturned in making the new Elantra a success in the premium segment. But with dwindling sales of D-segment sedans and the Corolla continuing to be as strong as ever, the Elantra has its task cut out.