Toronto Star

No point messing with success

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LOS ANGELES — Hyundai’s Elantra is its bestsellin­g car in Canada, just behind the Santa Fe Sport SUV in sales, and the Korean company doesn’t want to mess much with success.

Even so, it introduced the sixth generation of the Elantra here to the world this week, looking to build on the mid-sized sedan’s popularity. The car is slightly longer by just 20 mm, but this was part of its redesign to achieve a more aerodynami­c shape.

An all-new, 2.0L four-cylinder engine makes 147 hp and 132 lb.-ft. of torque. This is not a powerful car, but it is designed to be quieter, more spacious, and better handling.

More than twice as much highstreng­th steel in the constructi­on and more than 40 times as much newly-developed adhesive makes the body 30 per cent stiffer. The front and rear suspension have both been tweaked for better control around curves.

No prices have been issued but it’s safe to assume there won’t be much of a jump from the car’s current $15,799 base price if it’s to stay competitiv­e. All trim levels will get a drive mode button to adjust the powertrain and steering between Normal, Eco and Sport.

The Elantra is a little larger inside, too, now with 2,713 litres of passenger volume. That’s still smaller than the 2,769 litres in the Honda Civic and the 2,761 litres in the Toyota Corolla, but the trunk is a fair bit larger than most, at 407 litres.

Engineers added sound absorption materials and tinkered with the subframe to reduce road noise, and Hyundai now claims the Elantra offers a considerab­ly quieter ride than before. It’s a warmer ride, too, with standard heated seats in the front at all trim levels.

There are no Canadian fuel consumptio­n estimates yet, but Hyundai claims the Elantra will be more fuel-efficient than before. American consumptio­n claims are for a combined 7.1 L/100 km using a six-speed automatic transmissi­on. In Canada, we will also get an optional six-speed manual transmissi­on.

The new car will be immediatel­y obvious from the fifth-generation by its vertical LED daytime running lights, located below the headlights.

There’ll be many new driver’s aids available in the Elantra’s optional technology, including autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane keep assist, blind spot detection with cross-traffic alert, and a rear view camera.

As well, optional adaptive cruise control will allow the Elantra to follow at the same speed as the vehicle in front, and adaptive HID headlights will swivel in the direction the steering wheel points.

Don’t expect to get any of these technologi­cal aids for anywhere near the base price.

However, the current Elantra tops out fully-loaded at $25,849. To get such features for less than $30,000 was unheard of just a couple of years ago.

There will also be two additional display screen options in the cabin: a seven-inch touchscree­n for audio and a rear-view camera, and an eight-inch touchscree­n for Navigation. Both will be equipped with Android Auto for integratio­n of a compatible smartphone.

Also, a 315-watt Infinity premium sound system will be available with eight speakers, including Clari-Fi music restoratio­n technology that helps rebuild compressed sound files for better musical reproducti­on.

The new Elantra will be available in Canada late this winter, in February or March. Freelance writer Mark Richardson is a frequent contributo­r to Toronto Star Wheels. For this story, his expenses were paid by Hyundai. To reach him, email and put his name in the subject line.

Engineers added sound absorption materials and tinkered with the sub-frame to offer a considerab­ly quieter ride than before

 ?? MARK RICHARDSON FOR THE TORONTO STAR ?? Hyundai introduced the sixth generation of the Elantra at the Los Angeles Auto Show this week, looking to build on the mid-sized sedan’s popularity.
MARK RICHARDSON FOR THE TORONTO STAR Hyundai introduced the sixth generation of the Elantra at the Los Angeles Auto Show this week, looking to build on the mid-sized sedan’s popularity.
 ?? Mark
Richardson ??
Mark Richardson

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