The new Elantra is at the large end of the small sedan market. The Hyundai Elantra will make its first public appearance at the 2011 Australian International Motor Show in Melbourne. Elantra was designed at Hyundai’s North American Design Center in Irvine, Calif.
With its 138-horsepower engine (132 horses and PZEV-rated in California and the Northeast), the Elantra feels ready to take on anything the daily commuter can throw its way. Throttle response is well modulated, and when paired with the light-effort clutch makes for effortless green-light launches and smooth operation in stop-and-go situations.
The 2.0-liter four-banger eagerly climbs into redline territory, and during our aggressive driving loop proved capable of hanging out there for extended periods without complaint; though it was loud, the engine otherwise maintained a nice level of refinement. Equally impressive was the five-speed stick shift, characterized by slick movements and relatively short throws. Under the hood there are wholesale changes starting with the switch to the latest generation four-cylinder engine known in-house as the “Nu”. At 1.8-litres, it replaces the 2.0-litre Beta engine in the outgoing Elantra. Also new is a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission that replaces the former five-speed manual and four-speed automatic.
And on the road, the suspension settings feel firm but not hard, with good cushioning and control of body movements. In the interest of keeping the weight down and control the cost of the new Elantra has a twist-beam rear axle instead of independent of the previous scheme car. drive aggressively in our mild, no restrictions were felt as a result of this switch to simple hardware, but the MPG improvement of the electric steering assist missing a good feeling, even if the level of support about the same. The stock tires are 195/65-15s but 205/55HR-16s 215/45HR-17s, and on the larger alloy wheels.
Based on the specifications, the 2012 Hyundai Elantra Touring is appropriate for lengthy distance. The technology, both comfort and entertainment goes towards the sedan have capability to spoil both driver and people.
Pricing starts at a pleasing $20,590 for the Active six-speed manual, lifting to $25,590 for the mid-spec Elite automatic and then to $28,990 for the top shelf Premium automatic. Add $2000 for an automatic Active to make it $22,590. The other two models come only as autos.