It is an exciting season for the compact cars (C-segment) in Malaysia. Think about the Honda Civic, Mazda 3, Toyota Corolla Altis, Chevrolet Cruze, Kia Forte and many more in this category. The all new Hyundai Elantra is Hyundai’s answers to compete. While all other competitors strive to create the best styling, performance, handling, comfort, fuel economy Hyundai did not lose out at all. In fact, just like the Korean pop band – Girls Generation, the Hyundai Elantra is sexy to look at, attractive, energetic and at the same time comfortable. It is a mixture of good feeling for the Hyundai Elantra.
The Hyundai Elantra also known as Inokom Elantra, it’s a CKD product by Sime Darby Motors. The design of the Hyundai Elantra are based on the “fluidic sculpture” design philosophy found in the Hyundai Sonata that we report a while ago. With this design theme & incorporating a new “Wind Craft” concept grafted into the 5th generation of Elantra, the car’s design is well balanced and looks really competent to the segment. The distinctive hexagonal grille and fluidic designed head lights with sporty looking bumper gives the Elantra an unique attitude. This is one of rare cases we look at and didn’t find a part that looks like other competitor in the market.
The rear tail lights design continuing the body line from the front certainly looks handsome and sporty. In fact, this is probably my personal favourite part of the Hyundai Elantra. The boot space of the Elantra certainly looks big and definitely one of the few largest boot space car in the compact segment. The Elantra coupe-ish sleek design and low roof line resulting good aerodynamic and good looks.
Once you stepped inside the Hyundai Elantra, you will immediately feel the spacious & comfortable. The fluidic design continues to the interior. There’s soft-touch material on the top part of the dashboard but the plastics on the below. The center part of the dashboard is crafted as it is from a sexy lady body line. There are some glossy black and silver theme to highlight the high-tech look and feel. However, with this choice of material used for the dashboard, this may not be everyone’s cup of tea. The steering is leather wrapped with and equipped with basic audio control as well as some function for the Multi-info display in between the speedometer. As the car we tested was the 1.6L High Spec model there’s no auto cruise, the 1.8L Premium Spec Elantra will be the one to go for if auto cruise it’s a must for you. The electronic power steering is light and very easy to manoeuvre. The audio system supports AUX, USD and iPod connection, however we believe special connection cable is required from Hyundai for your “i” devices.
The Hyundai Malaysia packs the push-start button as standard across the Elantra variant line up other than the manual transmission model. Aligned with the trend, the Elantra also equipped keyless entry system. Between speedometer there will be a green “ECO” word to indicate if you are saving earth (driving economically). Hyundai has also specially design the 6-speed automatic transmission with shiftronic themselves. The smaller and lighter designed gearbox gives better performance and reliability. Hyundai also claims the gearbox it’s maintenance-free for life. When we drive the Elantra, the gear change was smooth and quiet, each higher gear changes gives the Elantra a continuous seamless pickup resulting a near no performance loss. Drivers that like to take control once awhile can switch plus-minus gears on the gear lever. There is a manual transmission model but only in the 1.6L variant.
The Hyundai Elantra, we tested is powered by a 1.6L Gamma engine that is capable to produce 130PS at 6300 rpm and with the max torque of 157Nm. This is one of the most powerful natural aspirated 1.6L engine around. The 1.6L engine feels powerful when driving alone or with 1 passenger. If you are more power conscious driver, the more power 1.8L will satisfy your needs even with full load. The 1.8L Nu engine produces 150ps @ 6500 rpm and a max torque of 178Nm which is on par with the 2.0L engine by the Japanese automakers. The Nu series engines are the new engines which are lighter, more powerful and more fuel efficient. The fuel consumption of the 1.6L Elantra does not amazed us. However feedback from the owners of the 1.8L Elantra, the 1.8L variant Elantra provides much better fuel economy.
The Hyundai Elantra has surprisingly spacious interior with plenty of leg room for people sitting in front or back seats. Due to the sporty lower roof line, taller passengers sitting at the back will feel the Elantra lack of headroom. All models of Elantra are equipped with leather seats as standard. Again, the top of the range 1.8L model gets a better quality Nappa leather seats. There are 2 air bags as standard across all models. Other safety features like ABS, EBD are equipped as well. the 1.8L Elantra Premium will get an additional VSM (Vehicle Stability Management). One of the many good features is the Escort headlight function, that will continue to light up 30 seconds after the driver leaves the car. The Hyundai Elantra 1.6L model variants are equipped with 16″ alloy wheels while the more powerful 1.8L gets the 17″ wheel. The ride quality of the the Elantra it’s comfortable and quiet. Just like the Hyundai Sonata we tested, the Hyundai Elantra ride’s is excellent even going thru speed bumps.
The Hyundai Elantra is definitely one of the best buy in the Malaysia market. The Elantra wins in many aspect when compare to its competitors. It is one the best family compact sedan out there. There are many features and details that Hyundai put into this new Elantra that you need to experience yourself. As a verdict, we like the exterior very much. As for the interior, we hope Hyundai uses a better choice of material next time. The both 1.6L & 1.8L engine it’s one of the best in the market today. The electronic power steering requires more feedback to the driver. These are just small bones that we try to pick from eggs as we always expect improvements from all automakers. Just like electronic industry, entertainment industry in Korean, Hyundai as a Korean company is coming strong by giving better value to their customers, the Japanese automakers needs to buckle up to secure their market share.
The Hyundai Elantra 1.6L manual are priced at RM 86,888.00, while the Hyundai Elantra Auto standard is priced at RM 91,888.00. The model that we reviewed is the 1.6L High Spec, which is selling for RM 96,888.00 and the top of the range 1.8L Premium Hyundai Elantra RM 111,888.00. The 1.8L Premium Elantra will have tons of additional features like sun roof, GPS Navigation with DVD and reverse camera. All priced are on the road with insurance. There a few colours to choose from as well, so be sure to visit the Hyundai showroom and experience the details by Hyundai putting into the new Hyundai Elantra MD. All Hyundai models comes with 5 years or 300,000km waranty.
Photo Gallery: Hyundai Inokom Elantra 2012 Malaysia Review