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!
Powering the Elantra is a choice of two engines, namely a 1,797cc petrol unit and a 1,582cc diesel mill. The four cylinder petrol engine boasts of a dual overhead camshaft, four valves per cylinder, multi point fuel injection and variable timing valve train technology (VTVT). It is capable of churning out a solid 149.5PS @6,500 rpm and a decent 181Nm of torque @ 4700 rpm. The diesel unit is incidentally the same engine fitted into the new Verna which is already on sale in India. This four cylinder common rail direct injection mill features a variable geometry turbo (VGT) and pumps out a decent 128PS @ 4000 rpm and a rather decent 265Nm of torque between 1,900-2,750 rpm.
Both engines are offered with a choice of manual or automatic transmissions. Incidentally both transmissions are six speed units that complement the engines perfectly and allow for an enhanced drive experience. In terms of fuel efficiency, the diesel manual would be the best bet and should offer a mileage in the range of 14-16 kmpl with ease. The petrol unit would obviously be lower but it is expected to be reasonably efficient as well. Having said that, the market is strongly swinging towards diesels and even Hyundai is expecting the sales volumes to be driven by the diesel variants.
Speaking about engines, the 1.8 litre petrol promises to be quite a performer, however I was unable to get behind the wheel of that car. What I did get to drive was the 1.6 litre diesel in both manual and automatic avatars. While I was a little skeptical about the diesel’s ability to perform in the Elantra, especially considering the fact that this is the exact same engine from the Verna in the exact state of tune, I was in for a revelation.
The engine generates enough grunt and ample torque to power the Elantra with élan. It’s smooth, refined and NVH is rather impressive. While I did not find it underpowered, I don’t expect the Elantra diesel to win any quarter mile races. The manual was the obvious choice amongst the gearboxes as it complimented the engine perfectly and offered a more engaging drive experience as compared to the automatic box. Having said that, the six speed automatic isn’t lethargic and frankly considering current market trends I wouldn’t be surprised if the automatic diesel Elantra found a solid fan following!
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by Team ZigWheels Photography : Kunal Khadse
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