The Korean Jackal and Hyde: Hyundai Elantra

As we all know that the Jackal and Hyde story it’s all about a person with two different characters and goes terrorizing the citizens. So why would we link the Jackal and Hyde story to the latest Hyundai Elantra? Let’s find out from this review.

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The Hyundai Elantra is a ‘good looking” vehicle, with a contemporary twist on the body line and a roof line that swoops down at the C-pillar; presenting a coupe-like sedan. For the headlights, instead of LEDs or Xenons the Elantra opted for the halogens, while the rearlights are regular bulbs with a fancy design. The DRLs, however, make the headlights more character and upmarket. To finish the exterior look, there is a sporty looking rim, wrapped in 225/45 R17 rubbers. The overall design will grow on you when you drive it on a daily basis.

Moving interior, the Elantra is a little monotonous compared to the bright and shiny exterior of the car. It resembles the previous Elantra quite a bit, but contains more soft touch materials for that premium feel for example, the steering, The steering’s grip has a sort of upmarket feel to it and could easily fair better than any Japanese C-segment out there.

The driver stares at an analogue speedometer and tachometer flank on both side of a 3.5-inch TFT monotone center screen that is easy to read. Another screen that you can find inside the Elantra is the 7 inch infotainment system, and it comes pre-loaded with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. The system is linked to 6 speakers around the car for a just appropriate sound quality.

Below the infotainment, you do find the manual climate control along with a manual mechanical parking brake. However, there is no cost cutting on charging ports and 12V sockets. Hyundai provided two 12V sockets and a USB port upfront and another USB in the center armrest.

Sitting inside, the front seats give you the assurance that the seats will keep you in place when you’re taking corners by having huge side bolsters. The back and thigh support keeps you comfortable when you do long distances. To spruce up the look, there’s an Elantra wording embroidered on the seat back of the front seats. Moving to the back seats, the comfort level is also great as the seat back inclination is adjustable to suit most people, in other words more head- and leg-room. Three Malaysian dudes should fit the the back seat, but three 6 footers should be quite a squeeze.

Boot space of the Elantra is rated at 458 liters, expandable with the rear seats down. The boot release button on the Elantra is rather unique, but hidden from plain sight. It is fixated into the Hyundai badge on the tailgate. On the flip side, there is a boot release system which acts like a smart trunk. The smart trunk on this car releases the boot cover when you approach or stand behind the car for about 5 seconds. The car beeps five times and the boot pops open. This reduces the need of awkwardly kicking under the rear bumper.

Safety systems in the Hyundai Elantra is a fairly standard comprising the usual six airbags, Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Stability Control (ESC). Hill-start Assist Control (HSC), Downhill Brake Control (DBC), Brake Assist System (BAS), and Vehicle Stability Management (VSM).

How does it drive?

Driving is where the Hyundai Elantra stood out, where the exterior didn’t portray a whole lot. The car’s handling isn’t too shabby and it made our video engineer grin a lot. Powering the Elantra is a 2.0-liter inline 4 engine that pushes 152PS at 6,200rpm and 192Nm at 4,000rpm. This package is very efficient when doing long distance driving. We’d manage to clock as low as 6.1l/100km on city drives and highways, which very frugal for a 2.0-liter. Coupled with a 6-speed and accurate gear ratios, efficiency is achieved from effective throttle response and gear shift points. All you have to do is leave the vehicle drive mode in smart mode.

The Hyundai Elantra uses McPherson struts upfront and torsion beam at the rear. The damping of the Elantra is, I would dare say, on par with the Mazda3 that we tested recently. The suspension soaks up bumps with ease and works with the stiff car chassis, in order to keep all 4 wheels on the tarmac.

Electric power steering in the Hyundai Elantra is the favorite part of car for us. It gives you confidence to point the car at the direction you want to go at any speed, and the plus point that we love is the steering feel; though it’s an electrical power steering. The 4 wheel disc brakes have decent braking performance to bring the car to a stop when situations call for it. On the down side, the Elantra could use a better underfloor insulation for a much better NVH level.

The Hyundai Elantra is somewhat under the radar in this country. But it’s a worthy C-segment contender nonetheless at a remarkable price of RM109,888. Hyundai Malaysia offers 5-year or 300,000km warranty along with a free 24 hour breakdown service. The car is offered in five colors: Polar White, Fluid Metal, Teal Blue, Phantom Black and this interesting, Fiery Red on our test car.

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