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The attractive new Hyundai Elantra is good value with strong safety credentials

29 Jun 2011

HYUNDAI is following the highly successful Holden Cruze’s lead in offering more metal for your money with its fifth-generation Elantra small car. Built off an all-new base with a fresh drivetrain and an emphasis on top-class quality, the South Korean sedan aims to lure people away from other small and medium-sized vehicles with high levels of cabin space, excellent economy, five-star crash-test safety and a long list of standard features. Typical of today’s Hyundai fare perhaps, but the MD series goes further with striking design and much improved dynamics. Elantra is no longer the laughing stock of the small car segment.

The Road to Recovery podcast series

Model release date: 1 July 2011 to 1 December 2013

Previous model

Elantra sedan

Released: Oct 2006
Ended: Jun 2011
Family Tree: Elantra

THE fourth-gen Elantra was perhaps the most disappointing as well as controversial, copping lots of flack in Australia for its dead steering feel and ponderous handling. Hyundai quickly rectified that but the rot had set in and soon the one-time 13,000-plus annual sales achiever’s yearly volumes plummeted to a fraction of that. Unlike its predecessor the HD only came in one rather dumpy four-door sedan shape, powered by a 105kW/186Nm 2.0-litre VVT four-cylinder petrol engine mated to a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transaxle 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 combatant in Hyundai’s small-car armoury.

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