What strikes me each and every time I walk up to our Hyundai Elantra is just how stunning it is in the flesh. This past month has been hectic in terms of work, which was peppered with an unusual dosage of shoots and city runs. But regardless of how deep-set my exhaustion may have been, it’s always been a relaxing drive home whenever I’ve had our sleek longtermer, even after the familiarity has set in.
Above: The cooled front seats are a segment first and work very well, especially in summer.
Positive impressions continue to pile high once you get in. I’ve always been a fan of the two-tone dash, which makes it a cheery place to be in, and the fit and finish is very impressive. And, as we mentioned in our last report (February 2013), the long equipment list had us plenty excited.
Of particular note for me is the Elantra’s segment-first cooled seats which, coupled with the more-than-effective air-conditioner, really do an excellent job of keeping us comfortable in Mumbai’s sweltering heat. On really hot afternoons, I switch on the air-con and put the seat coolers to max. A minute or two is all it takes to get the cabin to a manageable temperature. And it helps that the leather seats aren’t frying-pan hot.
Above: The front seat's back support is slightly on the firmer side.
It’s not just in the city that the car impresses, though. We’ve done a few long runs on the highway as well and the Elantra has proven itself to be a relaxing and comfortable cruiser. Stability at even high speeds is good, the brakes have commendable bite and though there is a lack of power as you go faster, you still have enough in hand to execute overtaking manoeuvres.If I had to nitpick, I’d say that the back support on the front seats is a bit firm, and the Bluetooth is a bit fiddly to use.
The Hyundai has one of those systems where it won’t allow you to sync your phone to the sound system if the car is in motion. It’s a good safety feature in theory but, more often than not, I have to stay stationary until one of my passengers syncs a phone to the system, which can get quite frustrating at times.
Above: The fit and finish and build quality are very impressive and rival cars even a segment higher.
There have been a number of occasions on which I’ve missed a front parking sensor on the Elantra. Tiny omission though it may seem, it’s odd that it’s missing on what is otherwise such a well-equipped car. It would have made squeezing the car into Mumbai’s customary tight spots just that much easier, especially as the Elantra’s nose is quite long and it’s quite easy to misjudge the distance to the car/wall up ahead.
But make no mistake, these tiny niggles have been nothing more than a blemish on the Elantra’s report. It has done what it’s been asked of without even a hint of resistance, and it’s done all of it in style. And yes, the more we drive it, the more we like it.
Price: Rs 18.27 lakh (on-road, Mumbai)
Test economy: 14.9kpl (overall)
Maintenance costs: None