Be it great comfort, a fun driving experience or a refined design, the sedan segment is a perfect testing ground for brands to showcase their best features because of the tough competition. Mexico Automotive Review took the 2019 Hyundai Elantra LIMITED TECH NAVI version for a spin to check out what the brand is bringing to the table and how it complements the company’ lineup.
According to Ernesto Mejía, Product Planning, Sales Training & Homologation Director at Hyundai Motor de México, Elantra is the perfect addition to the company’s portfolio in Mexico. With Grand i10 sedan covering the A-segment and Accent present in the B-segment, Elantra tackles the C-segment, allowing Hyundai to participate in all car segments.
As the top-tier model in Hyundai’s lineup, Elantra competes directly with other medium segment sedans such as Kia Forte, Toyota Corolla, Nissan Sentra and Mazda 3 Sedan. Hyundai bet on technology and a solid value-for-money proposition to stand out in this market with the new Elantra. At a price of MX$390,100 (US$20,300), the car includes several connectivity features that are usually found on premium cars, such as a Qi wireless smartphone charger, a highly reliable navigation system in the top version, advanced Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity and a 35W Arkamys 3D audio system connected to an infotainment system with a 7-8in touchscreen (depending on version).
Elantra’s 2019 facelift sets it apart from its predecessors. Not only is this vehicle larger to ensure greater passenger comfort, but its upgraded exterior design including LED DLRs around the headlights and a reinvigorated grill with elegant chrome lines hints a well-equipped interior. The combination of stylish straight lines on the hood and doors with aluminum rims sporting three tire sizes (depending on version) highlight this sedan’s discrete elegance. Elantra’s sober exterior design, however, says little about this car’s agility and fun driving experience. All its versions are powered by a 2L, four-in-line engine connected to a six-gear manual or automatic transmission (depending on version) that delivers 147hp at 6,200rpm and torque of 179Nm.
The four drive modes that Elantra offers can truly improve the driving experience. Drivers can use the ECO mode for inner-city commutes during the week to drop kids at school or go to work and trust that the car will offer solid fuel efficiency. The SPORT and SMART modes can deliver a more aggressive driving for inter-city trips over the weekend. Though the gear shifts may feel a bit clunky when driving the ECO mode, the SPORT mode completely corrects this issue and delivers agility and great handling. The car’s throttle responds well and swiftly reaches speeds of 120 to 150km/h, which is great when overtaking on the highway.
Elantra’s exciting sportiness does not necessarily come at the cost of high fuel consumption. This vehicle delivers a great balance between sporty features and fuel efficiency for its segment. The official combined fuel performance figures for Elantra are 18.5km/l for the manual transmission version and 18.4 km/l for the automatic transmission ones, which easily beats Kia Forte sedan, Mazda 3 sedan and Nissan Sentra, although it falls slightly behind Volkswagen Jetta. Combining solid fuel efficiency with a more than respectable sportiness and fun driving makes Elantra a great option for drivers that enjoy transporting their families comfortably and also like pushing their car to new speeds without having to pay large gas bills.
In terms of interior design, the first thing that stands out from Elantra is its spaciousness and available technology. Though sedans traditionally are less roomy than its SUV counterparts, Elantra offers more than enough space for up to five adults to commute comfortably. One of our favorite comfort features are Elantra’s windows. Hyundai went the extra mile in this area and equipped Elantra with tinted solar glass in all windows. This advanced material prevents excessive solar radiation from entering the cabin, thus making driving for several hours under the sun a more enjoyable experience. The reduction in heat inside the cabin takes pressure off Elantra’s air conditioning system and makes long commutes more pleasant.
In terms of comfort technology, Elantra comes with power windows, an electric driver’s seat with lumbar support, smart key and a cruise control system. Though these amenities may not be as surprising for a car in this segment, Elantra makes up for this in both active and passive safety features. Aside from seemingly standard electronic safety equipment such as VSM, ESC and TCS, Hyundai added several equipment that is generally found in much more expensive vehicles. All versions of Elantra equip a rear-view camera to ease parking and the top-tier version comes with a Blind Spot Detection (BSD) system with Cross-Traffic Alert. BTS alerts the driver when there is another vehicle or an obstacle that poses a threat when changing lanes, for example.
Elantra comes with a sturdy suspension that adds to the car’s smooth maneuverability, which makes it a great option for stress-free driving on the pothole-ridden streets of Mexican cities, as well as on both paved highways and rocky country roads. The combination of a frontal McPherson suspension and a rear suspension with a coupled torsion beam axle reduces the pressure the car takes when passing a street bump rapidly. Thanks to this suspension, sudden lane changes at high speeds are not an ordeal for passengers or the driver, either.
All in all, people interested in an elegantly discrete sedan that comes with plenty of equipment, a great value-for-money rate and a stupendous balance between performance and efficiency will find a great option in Elantra. Hyundai went the distance to add plenty of connectivity and safety features in its flagship C-segment competitor, while also ensuring that this car can be both functional and safe without sacrificing a more-than-enjoyable driving experience.