2007_elantra_small.jpgHyundai showcased it’s next generation year 2007 Hyundai Elantra at the 2007 New York Auto Show this week. The new 2007 Hyundai Elantra is wider, taller, and looks nothing like it’s butt-ugly predecessor. Hyundai says it beats the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla in terms of interior room. More details on this latest offering by the Korean company after the jump.

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The new 2007 Hyundai Elantra looks like it took inspiration from the Toyota Corolla Altis, as much as the new Hyundai Sonata (NF Sonata) looks like it got inspiraton from the Honda Accord. Take a look at the rear lights. It just screams Corolla Altis. It has the same fat side profile too, although I’d expect any car trying to offer good interior room would end up looking like that.

The US market Hyundai Elantra comes with a 2.0 litre DOHC engine with continuous variable valve timing. The CVVT unit controls the intake valve timing by advancing and retarding the intake cam in relation to the exhaust cam. There are two different variations of the engine which comply to two different emmission standards. The ULEV version produces 138hp at 6000rpm and 184Nm of torque at 4600rpm. There is a SULEV version of the Hyundai Elantra available in certain green states in the US (California , Maine , New York, Vermont and Massachusetts) which makes slightly less power (132hp at 6000rpm and 180Nm of torque at 4600rpm) due to different tuning for lower emissions. These engines are mated to either a 4-speed automatic or a 5-speed manual gearbox.

Hyundai claims a 9% chassis stiffness over the current Toyota Corolla model. Power steering is also electronic, which adjusts power assist according to vehicle speed. This ensures easy turning at low speeds and more feel at high speeds. Hyundai also claims the interior is 2 decibels quiter than the 2006 Honda Civic. Hyundai seems to be taking the “better than competitors because of this and that” approach to marketing the new Hyundai Elantra.

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small_old_elantra.jpgTo be honest, I think it’s a huge improvement over the current Hyundai Elantra (pictured left) which really does not tickle my fancy at all. While I wouldn’t even drive the previous generation of Hyundai Sonata for free, I would definitely be willing to fork out money for the current Sonata NF. Of course, this is assuming I can afford it. But then again, that market segment has alot of other more appealing choices. Hyundai is definitely improving.