Just a year after the facelifted Hyundai Elantra was introduced in the United States, the C-segment sedan is being given a small but significant revision for the 2020 model year. The updated AD model ditches the standard six-speed manual gearbox – cue purist booing – for a new continuously variable transmission.

The new Intelligent Variable Transmission (IVT), which first made its debut in the US-market Kia Forte (Cerato to you and me), replaces the old six-speed automatic in the 2019 model. It uses a world-first chain belt to deliver a claimed 1.2% improvement in fuel economy compared to a regular push belt, plus a wide ratio pulley system to provide a broader ratio of operation next to its competitors.

Hyundai hopes to please customers who might be irked by CVTs and the disappearance of the manual option by claiming that the IVT simulates the gear shifts of an automatic. It does this by modulating pressure on the transmission pulley depending on driving conditions and driver inputs. A 0.4 litre per 100 km reduction in fuel consumption across the board (down to 6.7 litres per 100 km on the base SE) should also sway buyers.

The manual option has also been dropped for the turbocharged Sport model, although a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission remains the standard affair here. The engine options remain identical to before – a 2.0 litre naturally-aspirated, Atkinson-cycle petrol that puts out 147 hp and 179 Nm of torque and a 1.6 litre direct-injected turbo mill that produces 128 hp and 212 Nm in the Eco model and 201 hp and 265 Nm in the Sport.

Less controversial is the addition of Hyundai’s SmartSense active safety features as standard, including Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (autonomous emergency braking), Lane Keeping Assist and Driver Attention Warning. Other new standard features include dual-zone climate control, a 3.5-inch monochrome multi-info display, a heater for the 2.0 litre engine, auto start/stop on the Eco model and a dual-tone horn.

Closer to home, the facelifted Elantra has just been launched in Malaysia, priced at RM109,888 on-the-road without insurance. It uses a higher tune of the 2.0 litre engine making 152 PS and 192 Nm of torque, and it soldiers on with the same six-speed auto as before.

GALLERY: 2019 Hyundai Elantra facelift in US


GALLERY: Hyundai Elantra 2.0 Executive facelift in Malaysia