Hyundai-Sime Darby Motors (HSDM) has officially introduced the Elantra 1.6 Executive in Malaysia, nearly six months after the 1.6 Premium originally landed in Malaysia. The new entry-level variant is also fully imported from South Korea, and it is going at an introductory price of RM139,888.

That makes it about RM19k cheaper than the Premium. So, what are the features that have been omitted to bring the price down? Quite a few things, but mostly to do with the interior. The Executive model gets black fabric upholstery with white contrast stitching, manual seating adjustment, and a more conventional analogue instrumentation with a 4.2-inch multi-info display on the rightmost side of the panel.

It also loses out on the heating and ventilation function for the front seats, and the heated steering wheel (still leather-wrapped with the requisite multifunction controls) function and wireless smartphone charging tray have been removed, too. The electrochromic rear-view mirror also gets omitted.

Another compromise HSDM had to make was to offer just the basic functionalities of Hyundai SmartSense. The Executive only gets passive cruise control, blind-spot collision warning, and rear cross-traffic alert. Other advanced safety assist systems such as AEB (with pedestrian and cyclist detection), adaptive cruise control, high beam assist and lane keeping assist have been stripped from the list.

That’s pretty much it in terms of differences. Otherwise, it shares the same LED projector headlights, LED combination tail lights with continuous light strip, 17-inch dual-tone alloy wheels, floating eight-inch display with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as the 1.6 litre Smartstream engine (123 PS, 154 Nm) and intelligent variable transmission with four drive modes.

Company managing director, Low Yuan Lung said: “We have received a significant number of interest from customers on the new Elantra and also a preference for lower pricing. As with all fully imported cars, the exchange rate is one of the determining factors for the price of the car.”

“The Elantra is a complete built-up unit that is fully imported from Korea, therefore the exchange rate does affect how we price the car. Having said that, we would still like to make the Elantra accessible to all our customers with the introduction of this variant,” he added. Watch this space for a full gallery of the new variant! In the mean time, what do you think of this base variant?