1 Oct 2000
Australia finally fell in line with the rest of the world when the third generation Lantra became Elantra.
The comely XD model also expanded in size, equipment and style, as well as in name.
It was a better car to drive, though a hefty weight gain blunted its performance in either 97kW/165Nm 1.8 and 104kW/182Nm 2.0-litre guises.
Meanwhile, many missed the old Sportswagon, as only a four-door sedan and five-door hatchback Elantra arrived. At least the latter was roomy and versatile.
Equipment, interior presentation and refinement levels grew, but couldn’t keep up with other rivals like the Holden Astra and Honda Civic.
A driver’s airbag, power steering and air-conditioning were standard in all models (GL, GLS and – from early ’03 – GLS Elite).
Heavy discounting kept Elantra sales ticking along – it even became Hyundai’s best-seller for a time.