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The Hyundai Elantra looks the part but lacks the dynamic nous of segment leaders

11 Nov 2011

FOLLOWING the highly successful Holden Cruze’s lead in offering more metal for your money with its latest Elantra, Hyundai aims to lure more buyers with bags of style, space, economy, safety and standard features. Plus, the fifth-generation sedan has also undergone Australian steering and suspension tuning for improved driveability. So has Hyundai succeeded in finally sorting out its one-time small car dud?
Model release date: 1 July 2011 to 1 December 2013

Previous model

Elantra sedan

Released: October 2006
Ended: June 2011
Family Tree: Elantra

The fourth-generation Elantra was perhaps the most disappointing as well as controversial. Hyundai quickly rectified its dead steering feel and ponderous handling, but the rot had set in and soon volumes plummeted from a high of 13,000 a year to a fraction of that. Unlike its predecessor, the HD only came in one body style, a rather dumpy four-door sedan, powered by a 105kW/186Nm 2.0-litre VVT four-cylinder petrol engine mated to a five-speed manual or four-speed auto driving the front wheels. Three well-equipped models were offered – SX, SLX and Elite. Within a year of its launch, the Elantra was completely overshadowed by the European-focussed i30 hatch, which went on to become the powerhouse in Hyundai’s small-car armoury.

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