Hyundai will launch the fifth generation Elantra (known as Avante in some international markets) in India around mid 2012 with an unveiling expected at the 2012 Delhi Auto Expo. The car will be assembled at Hyundai’s manufacturing plant located near Chennai.
The new Elantra will take on the Honda Civic, Chevrolet Cruze, Skoda Laura, Volkswagen Jetta and the Renault Fluence. Here, we take a brief look at what the Elantra has to offer for in terms of looks, features and performance.
Looks and comfort
The third generation Elantra which Hyundai discontinued couple of years ago was conservatively designed and did not have a striking look. But, the new Elantra design is stunning and would widely appeal to buyers looking for a 13 lakh sedan in India just like how the Honda Civic stirred the segment with its futuristic looks.
The upcoming Elantra adopts the popular ‘fluidic sculpture’ as adopted by Hyundai cars such as the i10, Verna and the recently launched Eon small car. We feel that the new Elantra will be a better looking model with its attractive curves. The Elantra measures 4,529 x 1,775 x 1,435 mm (length x width x height) making it slightly smaller than the Skoda Laura (4,569 x 1,769 x 1,485 mm) and slightly wider but shorter in length and height when compared with the Honda Civic (4,545 x 1,750 x 1,450 mm). Read more about upcoming sedan launches here.
Both the Civic and Elantra have the same wheelbase of 2,700 mm and so, we can safely assume the Elantra will have as much legroom as in the Civic sedan. When compared with the Chevrolet Cruze which measures 4,597 x 1,788 x 1,477 mm, the Elantra is much smaller. When it comes to boot space, the Elantra has 419 litres, while the Civic and the Cruze have 405 litres and 450 litres respectively. Overall, the Elantra is much more compact than the Civic, Laura and the Cruze, making it easier to drive in city traffic, though the interior space could have been compromised a little.
On the inside, expect the Elantra to come with an instrument layout similar to the one in the Verna. The plastic quality, fit and finish and upholstery of the Elantra will most likely have a premium feel and will be at par with what the competition offers.
New Elantra vs. competition
The Elantra will likely be powered by a 1.8-litre Dual Continuously Variable Valve Timing (D-CVVT) petrol motor that puts out 146 bhp of power. The Elantra diesel is expected to get a 2.0-litre common-rail diesel engine that makes 138 bhp of power. The engines will be mated to 6-speed manual and 6-speed Shiftronic automatic transmission.
As per the specifications, the petrol motor of Elantra is more powerful than the 1.8-litre i-VTEC motor of the Civic which makes 130 bhp, but less powerful than the 1.8-litre TSI of the Laura which makes 160 bhp. As far as the diesel Elantra is concerned, it is as powerful as the 2.0-litre (140 bhp) TDI of the Laura, but less powerful than the 2.0-litre motor of the Cruze that makes 148 bhp. Only the on-road performance will give a clear insight about whether the Elantra performs better than its peers, but its specifications are promising on paper.
The upcoming Elantra is expected to be loaded with safety features such as six airbags, ABS with EBD, Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Traction Control System (TCS), brake assist, 3-point seatbelt with front seatbelt pretensioners, Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS), daytime running lights, anti-theft system integrated with remote keyless entry, trunk open warning, front & rear crumple zones.
With regard to comfort features, expect the Elantra to come with AC, cruise control, sliding centre armrest, a 6-way adjustable driver seat, tilt-and-telescopic power steering with integrated audio and phone controls, power windows with driver side auto-down, dual power heated mirrors, rear defroster, keyless entry with alarm, iPod/USB auxiliary input jacks, AM/FM/CD/MP3 audio system with 6 speakers and Bluetooth hands-free phone system with voice recognition.
The Elantra is expected to be priced in the range of Rs. 12 – 15 lakh which is where most of its competitors are also priced such as the Honda Civic (Rs. 12.21 -13.96 lakh), the Chevrolet Cruze (Rs. 12.03 – 14.44 lakh) and the Skoda Laura (Rs. 12.44 – 15.05 lakh).
The Elantra could give a fresh lease of life in Hyundai India’s premium car sales provided it’s offered at a competitive price without trimming down the features. Further, Hyundai’s plans to assemble the Elantra in India prove the company’s ambitious plans in selling the Elantra. Do you think this premium Hyundai sedan has enough oomph to grab the attention of the Chevrolet Cruze and the Skoda Laura buyers?