FIRST DRIVE: 2021 Hyundai Elantra 1.6L IVT – RM159k

It has been nearly six months since Hyundai-Sime Darby Motors introduced the seventh-generation Elantra in Malaysia. The C-segment sedan is available in one variant only, which is the rather well-equipped 1.6L IVT. It’s fully imported from South Korea, and costs an eye-watering RM158,888.

Even though it goes toe to toe with the likes of the Toyota Corolla sedan and Honda Civic, price-wise, it most closely rivals the CBU Mazda 3. At least, if you’re parting with that kind of money in the Zoom-Zoom camp, you’ll be driving home in the range-topping variant with a larger 2.0 litre engine.

The Elantra may be at a price disadvantage, but peel back the price tag and you’ll realise that there’s a lot to like. Its distinctive, although questionable looks is the work of Luc Donckerwolke, whose past works include the Lamborghini Diablo, Murciélago and the Gallardo, the last of which went on to become the best-selling Lamborghini of all time.

The cabin feels sufficiently premium for its class, and the key touch points are all made from good quality materials. Perhaps, on paper, the 1.6 litre Smartstream engine and CVT pairing may make it out to be uninspiringly lethargic, but the truth is quite far from it. Find out what we truly think of the Elantra in this video review, and as usual, share with us your thoughts, below.

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Matthew H Tong

An ardent believer that fun cars need not be fast and fast cars may not always be fun. Matt advocates the purity and simplicity of manually swapping cogs while coping in silence of its impending doom. Matt's not hot. Never hot.

 

Comments

  • Korean Fan on Apr 30, 2021 at 11:31 pm

    Its really difficult when majority sapot Honda but not hyundai. Sigh

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 3
    • (Like) Honda Civic 1.5 VTEC Turbo RM140k.
      (Dislike) Hyundai Elantra 1.6L IVT

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 2
      • pdesign on May 28, 2022 at 12:57 pm

        why hyundai is great cars they built with high quality cars and the elantra looks different

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
  • Samy loo on May 01, 2021 at 12:03 am

    Sonata price for elantra. Top kek

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0
    • Ajibkor on May 02, 2021 at 4:58 pm

      Seperti dijanjikan, harga kereta akan diturunkan secara berperingkat. Saya akan pastikan setiap janji ditepati,

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 6
      • Amran on May 03, 2021 at 5:38 pm

        All go down except for HyundaiKia plus Dsegment cars. Keta rakyat marhaen masih mampu milik. Syukur ON!

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  • Joejambol on May 01, 2021 at 12:15 am

    I think hyundai can already close shop in malaysia

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 34 Thumb down 1
    • pdesign on May 28, 2022 at 12:59 pm

      that’s why hyundai move to indonesia for head quarters and many things

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  • Afeeq on May 01, 2021 at 5:54 am

    This car is worth RM100K not RM150K and it should also come with the “2.0L MPI 4-cylinder engine with Smartstream Intelligent Variable Transmission (IVT)”. This car is a rip off.

    (Source: Hyundai America configuration website)

    Hyundai Malaysia dropped the ball with this one.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 29 Thumb down 1
  • Ganeson on May 01, 2021 at 7:32 am

    Having test driven it myself recently, I couldn’t agree with you more. We went in to see the Kona and came away forgetting the Kona and wanting to look at the Elantra. It was initially not what we were looking for but we found ourselves talking about what we really need from a vehicle and finding excuses why the Elantra deserves the gong. It’s a really really nice drive. Take away the hats plastics, add a genesis badge and the price makes sense. As it is, I’ll be looking in the second hand market in a couple of years time.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1
    • FudgeMeSideways on May 02, 2021 at 2:05 pm

      Dear Hyundai-Sime Darby Motors,

      Don’t insult the intelligence of your customers.

      Truly,
      Consumers.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0
  • They’ll be lucky to sell 1 per month at this price. Customers have a plethora of choices for vehicles under 159k and they are more powerful with turbo or bigger capacity engines, as good in features and functionalities, much more mainstream design that will last the test of time, not to mention better resale value down the road.
    Hyundai and other manufacturers who are sticking to NA engines need to understand that consumers have accepted the age of turbocharged vehicles and prefer them as they are generally more effective and useful in day to day use. Turbocharged cars are so effortless in driving and they can be just as efficient with fuel as any other car nowadays.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 20 Thumb down 0
  • ZoomZoom on May 01, 2021 at 10:36 am

    C segment, always an attractive car.
    Just like Turbo Sport Utility Vehicles.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
  • Ahmad92 on May 01, 2021 at 10:45 am

    It may not be lethargic, but it will be slower than most cars in the same or lower price bracket.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0
  • firdaus on May 01, 2021 at 11:50 am

    only 2 things Korean that sells in Malaysia…
    Kimchi and K-Pop….Hyundai’s and Kia’s can go to hell!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 11
    • u forgot samsung

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
    • Ahmadjr on May 02, 2021 at 5:52 pm

      only 2 things Malaysian that sells in obersi…
      Nasi lemak and sambal

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1
    • DonkeyKong on May 03, 2021 at 10:55 am

      Ironically the K-pop personality cult members are more likely to be driving Myvi, Vios or City. What? No love for Korean cars?

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
      • stasta on May 08, 2021 at 12:30 pm

        no love for sime darby and naza, who marks up the price of kia and hyundai cars in malaysia until super high price.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
    • pdesign on May 28, 2022 at 1:06 pm

      in malaysia hyundai and kia is expensive and not really popular in malaysian market but in indonesia mazda is almost dead the brand doesn’t even exist even hyundai and kia is more popular either than mazda

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  • It’s just a matter of time when Sime Darby realize it’s a mistake for bringing in the Elantra at this price point.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0
    • Korean Fan on May 02, 2021 at 11:57 am

      Sime Darby should learned from NAZA… same car. Kia Cerato 2.0L from RM99,888 only.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 2
      • Cerato Owner on May 03, 2021 at 1:17 am

        That price was for Kia Cerato 1.6L full specs. the 2.0L version was RM20K extra.Although the prices were much lower, they have many more features not found in this Elantra. The 6 speed auto gearbox in the Cerato is much better and more durable than the CVT/IVT in this Elantra. At RM159K, the car is still fitted with cheap torsion beam suspension, CVT, 1.6L NA engine.The new CBU Cerato GT with 7 speed DCT, 1.6L turbo engine and multilink rear suspension was only selling below RM150K but it’s already sold out as only very limited units imported by Naza.It looks much better than this Elantra as well.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  • Hyundai car, 1.6NA, 160k, no way I will buy, will you? No matter how good is the car, not justified!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 0
  • Semi-Value (Member) on May 01, 2021 at 11:05 pm

    boring to drive, average interior, unattractive looks, sime darby dealer…. thats the problem

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 8
  • If it is priced slightly below 100K like it used to, it will definitely and easily be a hot selling car.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0
  • Good luck SD. You’ll really need it to sell a NA 1.6L with CVT at 160k.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0
  • Vicky on May 02, 2021 at 11:59 am

    Better close shop.. Price not relevant and outlets after sell are keep on reduced.Hyundai india I think more better than malaysia….well done. Must change CEO first.. This team are totally failute..

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0
    • pdesign on May 28, 2022 at 1:08 pm

      in malaysia hyundai price is not relevant but in indonesia hyundai price is almost same like the japanese cars with lot of features

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  • autodriver (Member) on May 02, 2021 at 1:25 pm

    1.6NA port injection engine is truly lame engine no matter what. Selling at 159k is unacceptable by 99.99% of people and the 0.01% may wait till it pre reg slash 50k to buy it. Hope Hyundai car can be CKD after Indonesia plant is ready and hope the price at least 30% cheaper than now.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
  • DOA

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1
  • Ben Yap on May 02, 2021 at 4:17 pm

    Elantra has the space of a C-segment, price of a D-segment, engine performance and suspension of a B-Segment.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0
  • Mee kuning on May 02, 2021 at 5:58 pm

    This car is only appealing for kimchi die-hard-hard fans. Like all other past kimchi cars, RV will drop like rock.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  • Contender on May 02, 2021 at 7:18 pm

    This Hyundai Elantra will be a rare sight on our roads… you’ll see more Lamborghini Urus than this Elantra or Sonata ! LOL

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0
  • Dong gor on May 02, 2021 at 8:16 pm

    160k for a 1.6 Korean NA? How did it come to this… Or maybe Korean is trying to pull out from Malaysian market.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0
  • Ongtk on May 02, 2021 at 9:37 pm

    The Hyundai sales and service outlet at Sg. Pinang in Penang has closed shop. I not sure if it has been relocated elsewhere. Auto Bavaria is now occupying the space.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  • Notnice on May 03, 2021 at 9:29 am

    You guys forget about tax? Anything cbu suffer the same fate. Swift sport 140k this 159k is the result of our wonderful tax. Poor Malaysian still need to drive their 30 years old unsafe wira even in 2021.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0
  • buloh on May 03, 2021 at 9:37 am

    available in malaysia since 6 months ago, yet i havent seen this model on our road… tutup kedai la,, at RM160k 1.6 na sape nak beli…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0
  • Vanguard on May 03, 2021 at 6:53 pm

    This “cold” car will be sold at huge discount when year end comes……

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  • badz149 on May 04, 2021 at 12:20 am

    Preve at half the price can smoke this overpriced piece of junk. why even bother releasing this if you’re not gonna offer it at a more reasonable price point? RM100k is at most I would expect them to sell this but that also already pushing it. at 160k, it’s pretty much DOA!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
 

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