By Bennett Oghifo
The 2016 Hyundai Elantra continues to offer ambitious styling, value proposition with improved quality reputation and fuel economy to provoke arch Japanese rivals like Toyota Corolla, Nissan Sentra, Mazda 3 and Honda Civic.
Restyled for 2016 model year, the 6th generation Elantra receives numerous changes including Hyundai’s fluidic design inspiration, cosmetic modifications inside and out, upgraded infotainment, quieter cabin, powerful engine and larger headlamps that wraps around the side of the body with a signature hexagonal grille that helps identify it as part of the Hyundai family.
Hyundai isn’t slowing its car development and the Elantra is a proof. First remodelled in 2011 through 2014, the Elantra has since then undergone remarkable makeovers, returning with an inspiring 2016 model that delivers tremendous economy without sacrificing performance and comfort.
Depending on what you want in a family sedan, the new Hyundai Elantra promises more and indeed represent a pretty good value, adding large number of standard features and niceties like Bluetooth, rear-view camera, better road handling, roomy trunk, new front and rear ends with LED fillips around the headlamps.
This is in addition to Hyundai excellent five-year or 100,000km warranty coverage plus keyless ignition and entry; immobiliser, sport-tuned suspension and sharp styling that gives the Elantra one of the most distinctive looks in its class.
Standard features include 16-inch alloy wheels, folding electric outside mirrors, full power accessories, air-conditioning, cruise control, a trip computer, tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, 60/40-split-folding rear seats, fog lamps and a six-speaker sound system with a CD player – satellite radio and a USB/iPod interface.
Hyundai Motors Nigeria Head of Sales and Marketing Jatin Nadkarni who said this much in his product presentation affirmed that the Elantra is Hyundai’s best selling model ever since the fourth generation model debuted in 2006.
Currently available in three trim packages including the Executive GLS 1.6 AT (automatic transmission), Elegance GLS 2.0 AT and Elite 2.0 AT, the Hyundai’s sales and marketing helmsman says the Elantra yet remains the family sedan to beat.
He said the cars are powered by two engine variants a Nu 2.0 MPI four-cylinder engine capable of producing 156bhp @ 6,200rpm and U2 1.6 MPI four-cylinder churning out 127.5bhp @ 6,300rpm, both mated to a six-speed automatic transmission.
He said EPA had estimated fuel economy of the new Elantra at 28 mpg combined but achieves 1mpg on the highway. The 2.0 Elantra however makes 60 mph in 8.2 seconds, which puts it on the quicker side of the family-sedan average.
Also added as standard safety features in all 2016 Hyundai Elantra sedans are antilock disc brakes, hill-start assist, stability and traction control, driver and passenger side including side airbags, rear-view camera, Blue Link emergency telematics system that provides services such as remote access, emergency assistance, theft recovery and geo-fencing (allowing parents to set limits for teenage drivers.)
The new Elantra has meanwhile received five-out-five-star rating, with four stars for total frontal crash safety and five stars for total side-impact protection, Mr. Nadkarni added.
In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the Elantra earned a second-best “Acceptable” rating in the small-overlap frontal-offset crash test and top “Good” rating in the moderate-overlap frontal-offset crash test.
He said: The IIHS also awarded it “Good” rating in the side-impact, roof strength, head restraint and seats (rear-impact whiplash protection) test.
Showing the automobile media the new Elantra, Mr. Karthik Nayak, branch manager Hyundai Motors Nigeria Limited, Kofo Abayomi Street, Victoria Island Lagos explained that from whichever angle you view the Elantra, it pulls its exterior design inside, with lots of swooping lines and attractive surfaces to match the generally pleasing aesthetic of the car.
He said: The centre stack for instance, integrates well with the numerous other curves throughout the cabin, while the buttons and knobs are easy to find and feel.
What’s more, the Hyundai Elantra’s interior is appreciably spacious with roomy backseat large enough to accommodate the kids, he added.
“Compared to arch rivals, the Elantra is noticeably quiet at freeway speeds and is indeed one of the quietest cars in its segment. The ride quality is fine and it soaks up road noise better than its competitors. That’s an important metric for the Elantra, since its interior space spills over into mid-size territory.
“Suffice to say the Elantra is an excellent value on many fronts incorporating radiant interior; lots of useful cubbies and storage bins with a covered one that sits ahead of the shift lever. This bin also contains the aux jack, a power point, and the USB port in an easy to reach module, perfect for connecting smartphones,” Nayak recounted.
The new Elantra would undoubtedly appeal to young and upwardly mobile executives looking for a refreshingly potent sedan that delivers excellent road manners and practicalities – thanks to Hyundai fluidic sculpture design that now incorporates contemporary Hyundai DNA in its product cycle, which to a large extent, gives the Elantra image of a diminutive Sonata.