Hyundai Elantra: First Drive
The all new Hyundai Elantra is finally here and this time it intends on dominating the segment rather than being just another run of the mill product offering. It's got all the bases covered and Hyundai is betting big with this one!
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Hyundai had to pull the plug on the 4th generation Elantra a few years ago as the car wasn’t able to command the desired level of market penetration, despite the segment witnessing a growth. Incidentally the 4th generation Elantra suffered on the account of its image. It wasn’t able to generate enough appeal amongst buyers who preferred a more contemporary design and new age interiors. At the time, fuel costs were in check and the Elantra was an able performer on both petrol and diesel offerings, however that wasn’t enough. Adding to the woes, Hyundai offered a lucrative discount on the Elantra and even that card failed to trigger a major response in the market. The eventual outcome was that Hyundai had to pull the plug on the Elantra; however the company did promise that they would be back.
In true Hollywood fashion, the 5th avatar of the Elantra is back and better than ever. The car boasts of Hyundai’s signature fluidic design theme and while the entire range from the Eon up to the Sonata follows the same line of thought in terms of exterior design, it is the Elantra that walks away with the laurels thanks to its proportionate looks that are bound to catch eyeballs. Its coupe inspired body lines, pronounced character lines, stretched headlights and taillights, sculpted wheel arches all work to give the Elantra a rather aggressive stance.
The icing on the cake however have to be those neat 16 inch alloys shod with 205/60 R16 rubber which work their magic in completing a rather desirable exterior package. By moving away from the contemporary and exploring the element of design, Hyundai has been able to address a major grouse that people had with the previous Elantra. That was a car that was designed to look as though it could be driven in either direction! However the past is the past and the new Elantra is a definite winner in the looks department.
The elegance of the exterior is matched with the well appointed interiors that exude a quality fit and finish which is at par with what one expects from a car of this segment. The plastics are great, the texture and feel of materials all exude a premium feel. The two tone dash with chrome accents around the center console is rather stylish and the beige interiors offer an airy aura to the cabin. Speaking of which, cabin space is rather decent and while leg space is great all around, the sloping roof line does hamper headroom for tall passengers at the rear. Having said that, the overall appeal of the Elantra stands as testament to how much attention Hyundai has paid to customer feedback regarding the demands that can be afforded to a car of this class.
Another element that shines through on the Elantra is also something that we have observed across the new range of Hyundai vehicles and that is the company’s ability to package the vehicle with a high level of kit. The Elantra comes with a host of creature comforts and features which include dual zone climate control, ventilated front seats (only on top end variants), high end audio system with AUX/iPod and Bluetooth connectivity, rear seat audio controls, steering mounted audio and cruise controls, a cooled glove box, an electro-chromic rear view mirror with rear view camera, rear parking sensors, rear air conditioning vents, electronically folding and heated ORVMs, electronically adjustable driver seat as well as push button start/stop. In terms of safety features, the Elantra comes with six airbags, ABS, vehicle stability management (VSM) as well as electronic stability control (ESC). In total, it’s a rather exhaustive list that surpasses what most of the competition offer and this is bound to work heavily in the Elantra’s favour.
Readers' opinions ( 35 )
by Team ZigWheels Photography : Kunal Khadse
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