SUVs are gaining increased acceptance not only in India but all over the world and that has been quite a hindrance to the D-segment sedans, especially in India. Nonetheless, that hasn’t stopped manufacturers from bringing out D-segment sedans to India. Apart from the Toyota Corolla Altis, one such player who’s been in the segment for quite a while is the Hyundai Elantra. Launched back in 2016, the sixth generation Elantra has a lot going for it. The car has now entered MotorBeam’s long-term fleet.
Like most modern Hyundais, the Elantra takes the fluidic design approach further and to be honest, the Elantra has become a lot desirable now. The styling isn’t all that flashy but hey, it will make people take a second glance. The fascia gets a large imposing chrome grille, projector headlights with LED DRLs and an aggressively styled bumper with projector fog lamps. The black plastic inserts above the fog lamps aren’t just for show, they actually channel air to the wheels thereby aiding in aerodynamics and also in keeping the tyre temperatures low. At the side, you get 16-inch alloy wheels and there is a strong character line that runs all the way from the front fender to the tail lights. The rear looks gorgeous thanks to the LED rear combination lamps and the sloping roofline.
The interior of the Elantra looks sporty because of the all-black treatment on the dashboard. Starting with the 3-spoke steering, it gets a plethora of buttons and is wrapped in leather. Behind the steering is a twin-pod instrument cluster with a 3.5-inch Mono TFT LCD screen in between. The centre console is adorned with an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system. The unit also supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. In terms of features, the Elantra comes with automatic climate control, cruise control, Smart Trunk, engine start/stop button, rearview camera, leather upholstery, rear AC vents, electric sunroof and ventilated seats. Our long-term car isn’t the top end variant and hence misses out on the sunroof and ventilated seats. That said, we really didn’t miss the sunroof but the ventilated seats, yes!
The front seats offer good comfort and support which makes city driving and occasional long drives very comfortable. We haven’t got an opportunity to be chauffeured around in the Elantra, so, we will hold back our judgements on the rear seat comfort. The Elantra we’re driving comes powered by a 2.0-litre petrol motor that produces 150 HP of power and 192 Nm of torque. The powerplant is mated to a 6-speed manual gearbox but for those of you who want the convenience of an automatic, Hyundai also offers a 6-speed automatic gearbox.
Engine refinement does deserve a special mention here as the powertrain is super smooth and NVH levels are just incredible. You can barely hear the engine noise inside the cabin. The 6-speed manual gearbox works like magic, gear shifts are effortless and what makes the drive that much more enjoyable is the light clutch.
For those looking for even more practicality, the Korean carmaker also offers the Elantra with a 1.6-litre diesel engine with a 6-speed manual as well as a 6-speed automatic gearbox. The suspension is stiffly sprung and this by no means has compromised the ride. In fact, drive the sixth gen and the fifth gen Elantra back to back and you will notice how vastly the handling has improved.
The sedan stays glued to the roads at higher speeds and doesn’t feel bouncy at all. Feedback from the steering has improved but not by a huge margin. Being used to driving diesel-powered cars, the petrol-powered Elantra definitely made us stop more often at the fuel stations. Delivering currently around 10-11 km/l, on a full tank, the vehicle delivers a driving range of around 400-450 kms.
Overall, the Elantra has impressed us with its long list of features, extremely refined and peppy petrol motor and practicality. Moreover, Hyundai’s aggressive pricing makes the Elantra a compelling buy in the segment.