Hyundai’s Elantra has got a mid-cycle update, which brings with it new technology and a wardrobe change. It’s also now BS-VI compliant.
I think it was Heraclitus, an ancient Greek philosopher, who said that ‘The only constant in life is change.’ This dictum couldn’t be more apt in the case of technology today. You go to bed thinking that you’ve just bought the latest smartphone, only to wake up the next morning and realise that an updated model has hit the market.
This fluidity of technology hasn’t left the automotive world untouched. It’s no surprise, then, that we have so many mid-cycle updates and face-lifts every year. So, what we have here is one such example – the updated Hyundai Elantra. It’s a mid-cycle update, which includes a completely revised front and rear end design, along with an updated interior that brings with it new technology!
The technological highlight of the new Elantra is Hyundai’s Bluelink app, which makes it a connected car of sorts, and it can also be used to remotely start the engine and cool the cabin.
For 2019, Hyundai has given the Elantra completely redesigned front and rear-end styling. Consequently, the front bumper is a new unit featuring some rather sharp design lines, a large grille, an air splitter, and full-LED triangular headlamps. The bonnet has also been recontoured with a mild power dome.
The rear of the car tells, more or less, the same story – it gets a new bumper, new taillights, and a new boot lid with the car’s name splattered across it in big bold letters. That, along with a new set of alloy wheels, pretty much sums up the exterior styling updates.
Hyundai has revised the cabin by introducing beige upholstery and a dual-tone colour theme for the dashboard and door pads. The dashboard, in fact, has mock carbon fibre styling on the instrument cluster cowl, centre of the speedometer, and rev counter.
This aside, there’s a new HVAC panel to accommodate a fan-speed knob for the dual-zone climate control. The infotainment system now features Bluelink connectivity, and is hooked up to an eight-speaker Infinity sound system.
Some of the handy features worth noting here include the new rear-view mirror with emergency call buttons (it’s not auto-dimming though), electric driver’s seat with bolster adjust, front-seat ventilation, front parking sensors, a tyre pressure monitoring system, and wireless phone charging.
Under the skin
Under its new skin, the 2019 Hyundai Elantra is identical to the car it replaces. It has the same underpinnings, suspension setup, and powertrain options. The only difference is that the diesel model has been axed from the model line-up. Hyundai claims that it has been done owing to higher demand for the petrol engine. And the Elantra’s 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine has always offered good driveability.
And the engine is now BS-VI compliant. Power and torque output remain at 150bhp and 192Nm respectively. Also, Hyundai continues to offer the petrol Elantra with a choice of a six-speed manual gearbox or a six-speed automatic.
As before, the powertrain feels very refined, and rather quiet too at city speeds. The torque converter automatic has very smooth shifts and, for the most part, gear shifts are absolutely seamless in urban driving conditions. Factor in its light steering, and the Elantra automatic truly is a breeze to drive in the city.
The engine offers enough power for high-speed runs and delivers strong acceleration when you need it. The car comes with switchable drive modes for different driving conditions – for instance, Sport mode is what you need on the highway.
There is now a new drive mode called ‘Smart,’ which offers a clever balance of Eco and Sport modes, actively based on throttle inputs. It’s actually quite useful in the way it holds gears and manages revs for a more economical drive, even when you’re on the highway.
Like any automatic gearbox, there is a delay in kickdown acceleration even in Sport mode, but it’s not all that slow. While there is adequate power across the rev range, the engine, under kickdown acceleration, starts pulling from 4,000rpm and goes all the way to 6,500rpm, at which point a smooth upshift is executed. The engine’s note isn’t too bad either.
Overall, thanks to the rev-happy engine and smooth shifting gearbox, it’s a car that you’ll enjoy driving both in the city and on the highway. The car’s high-speed stability is good too. The only complaint here is that its light steering seems numb at high speeds. A better steering setup, like the latest Hyundai products would definitely make the Elantra more fun to drive.
Overall, the Elantra is a car that’s been set up with all-round comfort in mind. The suspension setup feels firm at high speeds but absorbs bumps fairly well. This, combined with the light steering and effortless powertrain, makes it a D-segment sedan worth considering.
It’s fairly practical, with a decent amount of ground clearance, a big boot, and a rear seat that offers just right amount space. So, all in all, the Elantra is just as capable in the city as it is on the highway and over long-distance journeys.
- Hyundai Elantra
Engine: 1,999cc / 4-Cylinders / DOHC / 16 valves / VTVT
Transmission: 6-Speed Automatic / Front-Wheel Drive
Power: 150bhp @ 6,200rpm
Torque: 192Nm @ 4,000rpm
Price: Rs. 20.39 (ex-showroom Delhi)
X-factor: A good all-rounder, loaded with equipment, is comfortable and drives well.
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