Hyundai’s eye for de­sign is re­flected in its stylish new big­ger sedan

Geelong Advertiser - Motoring - - FRONT PAGE - WITH CAM WARD

HYUNDAI ELANTRA EN­GINE: 2.0-litre, four-cylin­der, petrol; 112kW/192Nm. TRANS­MIS­SION: six-speed au­to­matic ECON­OMY: 7.2 litres/100km (com­bined) PRICE: $27,990 drive away WOW FAC­TOR: Smooth han­dling, spa­cious in­te­rior WITH great sales comes great re­spon­si­bil­ity. That is es­pe­cially true for Hyundai, which pro­duces the best sell­ing car in Aus­tralia, i30.

A fair per­cent­age of those will ob­vi­ously go to first-car buy­ers, drawn by the i30’s win­ning blend price, econ­omy and fea­tures.

But there will be peo­ple for whom a grow­ing fam­ily man­dates the need big­ger car.

En­ter Elantra, Hyundai’s cost-ef­fec­tive means of keep­ing such buy­ers in the fam­ily.

Hyundai has gone for less-is-more treat­ment this new­est ver­sion the

launched sev­eral months ago. It a strik­ing and stylish new low pro­file that, from the front any­way, shows clear signs of shar­ing as­pects of Hyundai’s de­sign DNA.

Aero­dy­namic aids in­clude wheel air cur­tains that help chan­nel air­flow around the wheels, un­der­body cov­ers, a new-de­sign lower rear bumper spoiler and longer bootlid. The new Elantra is 20mm longer, 25mm wider and 5mm taller than its pre­de­ces­sor.

“There’s an all-new de­sign with the car, very smart,” Blood Hyundai’s car sales man­ager Dom Leo said.

“It’s also got that ‘open mouth’ look you can see in the i30 and Ge­n­e­sis. They’re all go­ing for look; it’s very smart-look­ing from front.”

Whereas Hyundai now of­fers no fewer than five sep­a­rate hatch ver­sions, with Elantra you get a choice of just two spec lev­els — the en­try level Ac­tive (which I drove) and Elite

along the choice of six-speed man­ual or six-speed au­to­matic trans­mis­sion one 2.0-litre four-cylin­der petrol en­gine.

Now in its sixth gen­er­a­tion, the new power plant de­liv­ers both more power and more use­able torque than Elantra Se­ries II’s 1.8-litre MPi four-cylin­der en­gine it re­places.

That trans­lates to a smooth drive, linked with light steer­ing touch, which makes for easy driv­ing, ei­ther on the open road or around tighter sub­ur­ban routes.

That’s in part ow­ing fact that sus­pen­sion and han­dling new Elantra have been tuned for Aus­tralian driv­ing con­di­tions. (An­other lo­cal link is that fact that Aus­tralian steel has been used in the con­struc­tion.)

Hyundai Aus­tralia’s se­nior man­ager of prod­uct plan­ning and its lead test driver, Andrew Tuitahi, said they “tested across ev­ery road sur­face we could find” to get the mix right.

The front sus­pen­sion has a new sub-frame with geom­e­try de­signed

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