It has long lived in the shadow of its top-selling i30 hatch sibling, but the all-new Elantra sedan now offers more power, more equipment, newer styling and a more modern chassis platform, all for the same price as the four-year-old i30.
At $20,490, the base Elantra Active includes a trip computer and cruise control over the identically-priced i30 SX hatch. A standard six-speed manual and optional six-speed auto both trumps the other Hyundai’s five- and four-speed units respectively.
Hyundai’s ‘Nu’ design of four-cylinder petrol engine makes its Oz debut in this fourth-generation HD series. With 110kW and 178Nm, it is the most powerful naturally-aspirated 1.8-litre in its class. Although it lacks the direct injection of the 1.6-litre ‘Nu’ unit seen in Veloster coupe, the bigger Elantra donk gets dual variable valve and cam timing. Unfortunately, unlike the i30, a diesel engine isn’t offered.
Other range variants include the auto-only $25,590 Elite and $28,990 Premium, the former adding alloys, fogs, climate control, auto wipers and parking sensors; the latter flagship gets leather trim, heated front seats, sunroof and auto headlights.
The small car market is divided roughly 50/50 between hatches and sedans, yet the hatch-only i30 has single-handedly given Hyundai a regular top-5 sales performer while the sedan-only Elantra has languished. Time will tell if this impressively-specced all-new model can redress the sales imbalance.
For our first drive of the all-new Hyundai Elantra, pick up a copy of Wheels August issue, out Wednesday July 20th.