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First look: Hyundai refreshes Elantra

Light update: The refreshed Hyundai Elantra range is expected to arrive in Australia late this year.

Fresh look, extra equipment for upgraded Hyundai small car but diesel a no-go for Oz


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15 Aug 2013

HYUNDAI has introduced a facelifted version of its Elantra small car in its South Korean home market, with the upgraded model due to arrive in Australia in the final quarter.

Among the highlights are a fresh new look and extra features, which include a redesigned front bumper, grille and foglights, the addition of daytime running lights, a 17-inch two-tone alloy wheel option and a chrome beltline moulding that aims to accentuate the Elantra’s “premium image”.

Rear styling modifications for the Elantra – sold as Avante in Korea – include LED tail-lights and a bigger two-tone rear bumper, the latter stretching the Elantra’s overall length by 15mm.

With the new front bumper adding 5mm, the small sedan now measures 4500mm from end to end. The wheelbase remains at 2700mm.

Overall, Hyundai claims the facelift projects “a more stable, balanced look”.

Inside, the company says customer feedback has led to a raft of minor ergonomic changes, such as higher positioning of both the central dash air vent and (adjustable) front centre armrest, while new features include a 3.5-inch LED display, ventilated seats and an air vent in the rear compartment.

A ‘Smart Parking Assist System’ is now included, along with the familiar Hyundai-Kia ‘Flex Steer’ system that offers the driver three different modes of steering feel: normal, sport and comfort.

Local specifications will be confirmed closer to launch, but Hyundai Motor Co Australia has ruled out adding to the mix a 94kW/279Nm 1.6-litre diesel engine now available in Korea.

For the record, the new oil-burner is paired with either manual or automatic transmission, the latter adding automatic engine idle-stop that pegs combined-cycle fuel economy to 6.2 litres per 100km. The manual delivers 5.4L/100km.

The current Elantra range is powered solely by a 110kW/178Nm 1.8-litre petrol engine that returns 6.6L/100km with the standard six-speed manual, and 7.1L/100km with a six-speed automatic.

Elantra sales are down 4.4 per cent this year in Australia, with official VFACTS figures showing 5171 new registrations to the end of July. It did, however, notch up 820 sales last month, a 15.7 per cent increase on July 2012.

Hyundai’s small-car sales are dominated by the i30 hatchback, sales of which are up 7.6 per cent this year to 17,272 units. The Elantra provides useful incremental sales volume for buyers in the market for a roomy and highly specified sedan.

Standard safety equipment on all models includes electronic stability and traction control, six airbags (front, front-side and side curtain) and ABS brakes with electronic brake-force distribution and brake assist.

Other features fitted across the range include remote central locking, an alarm, cruise control, trip computer, electric windows/mirrors, driver’s seat height adjustment, multi-function steering wheel, Bluetooth connectivity and MP3/CD audio with five-inch touchscreen.

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