The fifth-generation Elantra (codename: MD) comes powered by a 126bhp 1.6-litre diesel and a 146bhp 1.8 petrol. The diesel is the same as on the Verna and feels just as smooth and refined. Overall performance is quite strong and it pulls well once on the move. There is a bit of turbo lag however and this could be mildly irritating in traffic. The Elantra also does not feel as quick as something like a VW Jetta, despite also having a six-speed gearbox.
The petrol motor has decent performance but when worked hard, it sounds gruff and feels a bit strained. We drove the 6-speed automatic car and found the gearbox a bit slow to respond. Also, it hangs on to higher gears a lot. The petrol Elantra is fairly quick, but it doesn’t feel exciting.
The new Elantra is not as agile or as confidence-inspiring a handler either, and the steering, like on the Verna, feels light and disconnected. The rear is softly sprung and this is soon pretty clear, this car is better suited to being driven at a more relaxed pace. The flipside however is that the Elantra rides pretty well on its 205/60 R16 tyres.
Attractive, well equipped, very refined and comfortable, Hyundai’s all-new Elantra has a lot going for it.
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Issue: 165 | May 2013
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