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The Hyundai Elantra is a stylish alternative to its higher-selling rivals

3 Aug 2012

ELANTRA was one of the foundation stones of Hyundai’s – indeed, the Korean car industry’s – push into the Australian market that has subsequently reaped such great dividends, so the arrival of the all-new fifth-generation model would have been significant enough without it also being a radical new design.

The sleek new styling caused enough of a stir when it lobbed here in the middle of June 2011, but the new Elantra also offered plenty of safety and convenience features while still undercutting Japanese rivals such as the Mazda3 and Toyota Corolla, the locally made Holden Cruze and Ford’s German-made (but soon be come from Thailand) Focus.

This car – especially as tested in Premium model specification – embodies the new Hyundai determination to put behind it the cheap-and-cheerful reputation that established the brand here in favour of quality.
Model release date: 1 July 2011 to 1 December 2013

Previous model

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

THE fourth-generation HD-series Elantra was initially launched without the hatchback models normally essential for the Australian market, but with sharp pricing, new styling, an industry-leading warranty and plenty of standard features.

Available in four grades, SX, SLX, Elite, and Elite S, the front-wheel-drive Elantra sedan was powered by a 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine, offering 105kW of power at 6000rpm and 186Nm of torque at 4600rpm, which was faster yet 16 per cent more frugal and smoother than before.

Gearbox choices were a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic.

All models included dual front airbags, anti-lock brakes, air-conditioning, power windows and mirrors, remote central-locking with alarm, and MP3/CD audio. Stability control was available throughout the range.

The all-new front-drive chassis again featured MacPherson front struts, but its independent “Torsion Blade” IRS rear end was claimed to be more sophisticated than the previous multi-link affair.

A new electric rack-and-pinion steering system was initially criticised for being overly light and feel-free, prompting Hyundai to implement a quick-fix recalibration for all models coming to Australia.

Get the full story: Hyundai gets serious with its value-packed Elantra sedan. We test the top-spec Elite

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