Elantra 8

After all the official teasers and spyshots, this is it for real. The 2016 Hyundai Elantra has been unveiled for the first time in South Korea. In its home market, it’s called the Avante.

The C-segment sedan rival to the Civic and Corolla is fronted by a bold hexagonal grille and headlights which has been lowered and positioned a little further outwards. Sporting the company’s Fluidic Sculpture design, the rear lights are also less curvaceous than before while the rear bumper has been entirely redesigned.

It might not look significantly smoother than the outgoing Elantra MD, but this new AD’s aerodynamic drag has been reduced; its 0.27 Cd is the best in class, Hyundai says. Contributing to this are the Wheel Air Curtains (minimises air rotation around the wheels) alongside “Bumper Ribs” and an “Undercover”. We presume that the latter means a flat underbody.

2016-Elantra-Rear

The new sedan is 20 mm longer and 25 mm wider than the outgoing car – measuring 4,570 mm long, 1,800 mm wide and 1,440 mm high, with an unchanged wheelbase of 2,700 mm. Boot capacity is 458 litres. Hyundai says that the use of Advanced High Strength Steel has been upped to 53%, or 32% more than before, thereby increasing the car’s stiffness.

Hyundai claims that noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) has been improved significantly thanks to repositioned windscreen wipers, thickened glass windows and a rear-wheel guard which is made from new materials. The Elantra also has an improved Motor Driven Power Steering (MPDS, electric power steering) that is said to provide better response at different speeds.

Inside, highlights include hints of the Genesis and Sonata in design, soft-touch materials, dash buttons grouped according to functions, and a centre stack that tilted 6.9 degrees towards the driver. There are also rear air-con vents, Integrated Memory Seat (IMS), Smart Trunk (pops open the boot automatically when key is near after three seconds) and an available eight-speaker Harman audio system with amplifier.

2016-hyundai-avante-ad-0011

Tech-wise the new Elantra gets active Autonomous Emergency Braking (uses radar and camera, acoustic warning first, followed by a visual display and auto braking), High Beam Assist, Blind Spot Detector with Lane Change Assist and Rear Cross Traffic Alert.

Lastly, what’s under the hood. There’s a choice of two petrols – a 1.6 GDi (gasoline direct injection) with 132 PS/164 Nm or a Nu 2.0 MPi with Atkinson cycle, 149 PS and 183 Nm of torque. The sole diesel is a 1.6 VGT with 136 PS and 306 Nm. Buyers can choose from a six-speed manual or a six-speed conventional automatic. The seven-speed dual-clutch automatic is reserved for the diesel variant.

What do you think of the Elantra’s new appearance?

Current Hyundai Elantra FL Sport Edition