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    Thread: Fluidic Elantra Test Drive Review!

    1. #1
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      Fluidic Elantra Test Drive Review!

      Looks: Hhhmmm! Usually, I don't write much about the looks of any car, as it's mostly subjective. But the new Fluidic designs from Hyundai have me just completely smitten. Nearly wanted to buy the Verna just for it's looks. Ended up with a Cruze somehow! Which until the launch of the Elantra was probably the best looking D-Segment car!

      Then come Hyundai with their fluidic designs and what I think today is the best looking C+ Segment car on Indian shores

      The front view...
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      Seems like the fluidic desings are not just about the looks, but the aerodynamics seems to play a huge role. I had the opportunity to clock the speedo quite a few times on the test drive and unlike say a Cruze, it just felt at ease cutting through air!

      I personally feel Hyundai could have given the Elantra a much bigger hexagonal grille to make it look more butch and in your face!

      Click image for larger version. 

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      A close-up of the twin barrel headlamps. Pics do not do justice to the headlamps, but they look quite sexy in real. What I did not like however, was the shape of the fog lamps! A oval much sleeker version of the fog lamps would have just made it look even better. But a round/oval shaped fog lamp would not really conform with the Hyundai's "fluidic" design I hope?

      The profile view is where one can really make out the smooth lines of the car. One could spend a few hours just staring at this car and not know how time flies by! Specially in Coral White and the Maharajah Red colours.

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      Hhhhmmm! Now the rear view is somewhat confusing! The rather tall bumper and wide bumper coupled with the high boot design might need some getting used to.

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      Also, unlike the previous Hyundai models, you see that the badging is quite bare minimum at the rear. The conventional CRDi badge you find on the older Hyundai's is now moved to the front quarter panel. And the boot adorns just the Hyundai logo along with the Elantra and the trim model badges.

      The tail-lamps again conform pretty much to the fluidic design! I've seen better tail lamps though!

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      Overall, the car is a complete stunner! Sometimes, I look at these go on the road and heart secretly wishes I had waited for this one

      Now that we are done with the looks, let's look at the other important aspect of the car.

      The Elantra comes fully LOADED!

      A list of the Safety Features:

      1. ABS + EBD.
      2. Hill Start Assist Control - Eliminates the chances of the car rolling backwards or the need to use the handbrake on slopes. Available in the A/T only.
      3. Vehicle Stability Mangament (VSM)
      4. 2/6 Airbags depending on the trim. Top end SX model comes with 6 Airbags while the Base and S versions come with Dual front Airbags.
      5. Impact sensing door unlock.
      6. Clutch Lock.

      Could not find the Euro NCAP Ratings for the Elantra, however, the car seems to be quite safe. So not only does it look good and aerodynamically efficient, it's is extrememly safe as well. Not just for the occupants but also for the pedestrians.

      Here is a result from the Australian NCAP test for the Elantra.


      Star Rating:

      1.8 litre auto
      Overall Score: 33.21 (out of 37)
      Airbags: Frontal+Side+Head

      The tested model of Hyundai Elantra was introduced in Australia in mid 2011. Dual front airbags, side airbags and head-protecting side curtains are standard equipment. Antilock brakes (ABS), electronic brake distribution (EBD) and electronic stability control (ESC) are also standard. Advanced seat belt reminders are fitted to both front seats. Pretensioners are fitted to the front seat belts to reduce slack in the event of a crash. A three point seat belt is fitted to the centre rear seat. This provides better protection than a two point (lap) seat belt.

      5 stars. The Elantra scored 14.24 out of 16 in the offset crash test. The passenger compartment was in excellent shape after the crash. There was a slight risk serious chest injury for the driver and a slight risk of lower leg injury for the driver and passenger. The vehicle scored 13.97 out of 16 in the side impact crash test. There was a moderate risk of serious chest injury for the driver. A further two points were scored in the pole test.
      Below you will find attached the PDF file with the complete results of the NCAP test. Click on the image to download the PDF.
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      And here is a video of the crash test.


      Coming up in the next segment: Interiors and more......
      2002 Tata Indica DLS.
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      2005 Suzuki Baleno - India's fastest Naturally Aspirated Baleno timed on a drag strip officially!
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      2011 Chevrolet Cruze - The Torque Monster.
      2016 Ford Ecosport 1.5 TDCi Titanium - The SQ Machine in the making.
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      2013 BMW X1 - The RWD Sideways Machine
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      Dealers for Rainbow/Mosconi/Eton/Stetcom/Tru Technology/Blam Audio/Mobridge/Stetsom/Audible Physics/AIV/Gladen/Dampmat/Dr Artex Damping and more.

    2. #2
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      The interiors.....

      This is what greets you as you open the door and enter the car.

      Click image for larger version. 

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      The front seats are pretty comfortable. I found them a bit too soft for my liking, after being used to the Cruze and Baleno seats which don't give me much of a back ache. The awesome part about the front seats are, they are ventilated. So yes, they blow cool/hot air onto your back which I think should be standard on all cars in this segment.

      The rear seats are pretty comfortable too. But I'd strictly call it a 4 seater. While the transmission tunnel isn't as big as say the Laura, the rear AC Vents make it quite tough for the middle seat passenger to sit comfortably.

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      Rear passengers also get Audio Controls that are flushed into the rear arm-rest.

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      Where the Elantra really scores is the rear leg-room. It's almost palatial coming from the Cruze! This is the leg room I had with the SA who's about 5 feet 8 inches sitting at a comfortable position and me in the rear seat. In Cruze you'd probably find barely any leg room for me. So Hyundai has struck it right with the Elantra with regards to good leg-room.

      Click image for larger version. 

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      Front door pads are pretty decently built, unlike most of the Hyundais I have seen till date! The window control knobs have good feel and quality about them. Though I don't think the door pad can hold large bottles, purely because of the speakers being in the place they are, the bottles end up sticking out at an angle. The grab handles though, feel pretty nice and solid while opening/shutting the door.

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      Rear door pads, again space sufficient only for small bottles.
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      The ORVM controls, lock/unlock button and window controls. Only driver side gets Auto roll down.

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      The Start/Stop button on the SX model that I got to drive. One can also switch of Traction Control and VSM if need be. But I'd suggest anyone to keep it on. More on that later.
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      The things that matter most. The steering wheel is sort of too huge to begin with and is totally not sporty, say unlike the Cruze. What makes matters worse is that the steering has no feel whatsover at any speed, a typical Hyundai trait.

      The steering is light and very easy to maneuver in the cities, it does weigh up a bit as you go faster! But steering response is one very disappointing factor in the new Elantra.

      Click image for larger version. 

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      Steering Controls allow you to play around with a lot of things without having to take your hands off the steering wheel.

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      Now comes the best part of this car. The Supervision Cluster. This thing just looks out of the world and when compared to the boring, plane jane intrument clusters we've been used to Hyundai, this is such a welcome change!

      Click image for larger version. 

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      The Central dashboard layout. Not a big fan of the styling, but mostly works like they intended it to.

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      Buttons don't feel cheap, so that's a good sign.

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      Front seat passengers get Split AC with ACC. The bottom most buttons are for the ventilated seats with a 3-speed blower option.

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      Notice the glove box release button, it's a press type and the reason Hyundai has implemented this is to stick to their design principle of fluidic sculpture design philosophy.

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      Glove box gets an AC vent too. However it is too small to significantly hold anything other than the Owner's manual and maybe a couple of CD cases.

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      The hand brake is kind of in a weird position and it means I have to bend my arm quite a bit to pull it up/down. The front arm-rest is retractable as well, at the fullest retractable position it makes using the hand brake slightly uncomfortable.

      The vehicle has pretty decent cubby holes to keep your wallets, phones etc.

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      A complete wide-angle pic of the interior of the Fluidic Elantra. It's quite a nice place to be in, be it in the front seat or the rear.
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      The SX model comes with the reverse cam and display on the IRVM.

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      2002 Tata Indica DLS.
      2004 Suzuki Zen - A G13B eater.
      2005 Suzuki Baleno - India's fastest Naturally Aspirated Baleno timed on a drag strip officially!
      2008 Suzuki Swift VDi - The Rattle King.
      2011 Chevrolet Cruze - The Torque Monster.
      2016 Ford Ecosport 1.5 TDCi Titanium - The SQ Machine in the making.
      2017 Skoda Octavia VRS - A 400+HP corner craving machine!
      2013 BMW X1 - The RWD Sideways Machine
      2019 Polo GT TSI - The Commute Workhorse.
      2014 MOC SQ Pro Champions.
      Harmonixx Tuning - Importers for Audiofrog & Arc Audio/APR Tuning Authorized Dealers/Engine Remap Specialists for all makes/models.
      Dealers for Rainbow/Mosconi/Eton/Stetcom/Tru Technology/Blam Audio/Mobridge/Stetsom/Audible Physics/AIV/Gladen/Dampmat/Dr Artex Damping and more.

    3. #3
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      Engine and Handling!

      The Engine in the Elantra is the same one present in the Verna. While the rest of the competition save the Fluence are running 2L motors, Hyundai decided to do a bit of cost cutting and plonked in the same 1.6L that definitely does not do justice to the rest of the car.

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      Engine Specs:

      Displacement: 1582cc.
      Power: 128PS @ 4000 rpm.
      Torque: 26.5kgm @ 1900-2750 rpm.

      The biggest difference you see from the previous gen Hyundai CRDi mills to the current ones is the refinement. This mill is no different either. Extremely quiet compared to the previous gen motors. While the engine scores high on reduced diesel clatter, where IMO Hyundai seriously went wrong was not plonking in a bigger engine to get it to make additional torque that is a must for a car that weighs this much.

      Driving in the city is not too much of a pain like say, the Cruze! Turbo-lag isn't really much of an issue and the mapping being quite linear, you neither get showed back into the seat kind of a feeling. Knowing the monstrous performance engines Hyundai had dished out on the Old Verna and Old Elantra, this was sort of pretty disappointing for me. At the very least they must have offered a higher capacity engine as an option on some variant and then this would have been THE car to buy in this category. Right now, I'd have to think quite hard to make that decision.

      Coupled with some decent gearing, the car does reach good top speeds. I managed to do a OBD-read top speed of 210kmph. And the engine did not feel like it was going to break down. Yes, it did take some time to get there. But that is understandable because of the small capacity engine having to lug a huge car.

      Here are some stats from the OBD logger.

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      Some performance figures.
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      Handling:
      Contrary to the popilar belief, the Elantra is not such a bad handler at all. Yes, it does come loaded with ESP and VSM and they seem to be working pretty well under hard cornering. The ride quality is brilliant. Specially on our bad roads. This is what majority of the public in India wants. A soft, plush ride. And the Elantra does that brilliantly.

      I did try to push the car to it's limits and beyond and I was surprised by the way it handled. Ok, it doesn't handle as good as it's European counterparts the Jetta or the Laura or as good as the Cruze, but none of these cars will give you the plush ride the Elantra exhibits. On my usual test turn at Hebbal flyover, the Elantra actually shot out of the turn at a higher speed than I could manage with the Cruze and no it did not feel scary, infact, it was pretty composed. So yes, this car can handle.

      The only downside I could notice was under hard braking. With ESP and VSM I expected the car to be rock stable under braking from high speeds. But it wasn't. And that took me by surprise. I turned off the VSM and tried the same to see the difference and what I inferred was that the Electronics on the car aren't as effective as they were intended to be. Upgrade tyres and getting used to the handling and braking by spending time with the car will help sort that bit out.

      Overall, the Elantra is a brilliant car. The only turn off for me was the 1.6L engine and the lifeless steering! Had Hyundai just taken care of the former, I'd still buy this car over the Cruze anyday!

      For those who love to be chauffeured, for those who want to just get from point A to point B, the Elantra is the car to get. It looks awesome, is feature rich, has a plush ride, brilliant A.S.S.

      I haven't driven the Petrol Elantra yet, I have been told that the TD car will be coming home sometime next week. Now that is another car I am looking forward to drive.
      2002 Tata Indica DLS.
      2004 Suzuki Zen - A G13B eater.
      2005 Suzuki Baleno - India's fastest Naturally Aspirated Baleno timed on a drag strip officially!
      2008 Suzuki Swift VDi - The Rattle King.
      2011 Chevrolet Cruze - The Torque Monster.
      2016 Ford Ecosport 1.5 TDCi Titanium - The SQ Machine in the making.
      2017 Skoda Octavia VRS - A 400+HP corner craving machine!
      2013 BMW X1 - The RWD Sideways Machine
      2019 Polo GT TSI - The Commute Workhorse.
      2014 MOC SQ Pro Champions.
      Harmonixx Tuning - Importers for Audiofrog & Arc Audio/APR Tuning Authorized Dealers/Engine Remap Specialists for all makes/models.
      Dealers for Rainbow/Mosconi/Eton/Stetcom/Tru Technology/Blam Audio/Mobridge/Stetsom/Audible Physics/AIV/Gladen/Dampmat/Dr Artex Damping and more.

    4. #4
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      Important tid bits.

      1. Headlamps are pretty decent at night for the average driver. However, for the fast drivers I would suggest an upgrade.

      2. We Indians love chrome, however the chrome door handles on the SX do feel out of place on the car.

      3. Hyundai for some reason is using Nexen tyres for the Elantra. I did not find the tyres too bad size being 205/60/16. For all the stuff I tried, they did not let go under braking or cornering. And were pretty silent as well.

      4. ORVMs also get side repeaters, fold automatically at the press of a button. What I love is the way they fold, quite like the newer BMWs. The ORVMs are also heated.

      5. Car comes with a Manual Shift Indicator which tells you when to shift to achieve the best mileage.

      6. Auto Headlamps come standard only on the SX version.

      7. Car comes equipped with Automatic Impact Sensing Door Unlock mechanism. So if the BCM (body control module) detects a crash it will automatically un-lock the doors.

      8. Drivers seat is power adjustable. Quite easy to get that near to perfect driving position. It has even lumbar support adjustment.

      9. Follow me home headlamps.

      10. Solar Glass prevents UV Rays from damaging your skin.

      11. Car comes with Cruise Control.

      12. Car comes with all 4-wheel discs.

      13. Car has speed sensing auto door lock.

      14. All variants come with leather wrapped steering and gear knob.

      15. All variants have body coloured ORVMs.

      16. ICE isn't that great, mostly owing to the location of mid-bass.

      Will add more when I TD the petrol variant sometime next week.
      2002 Tata Indica DLS.
      2004 Suzuki Zen - A G13B eater.
      2005 Suzuki Baleno - India's fastest Naturally Aspirated Baleno timed on a drag strip officially!
      2008 Suzuki Swift VDi - The Rattle King.
      2011 Chevrolet Cruze - The Torque Monster.
      2016 Ford Ecosport 1.5 TDCi Titanium - The SQ Machine in the making.
      2017 Skoda Octavia VRS - A 400+HP corner craving machine!
      2013 BMW X1 - The RWD Sideways Machine
      2019 Polo GT TSI - The Commute Workhorse.
      2014 MOC SQ Pro Champions.
      Harmonixx Tuning - Importers for Audiofrog & Arc Audio/APR Tuning Authorized Dealers/Engine Remap Specialists for all makes/models.
      Dealers for Rainbow/Mosconi/Eton/Stetcom/Tru Technology/Blam Audio/Mobridge/Stetsom/Audible Physics/AIV/Gladen/Dampmat/Dr Artex Damping and more.

    5. #5
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      C+ Segment Comparisons.

      Looks - Elantra > Cruze > Jetta > Laura > Fluence > Altis.

      Performance - Cruze > Jetta/Laura > Elantra > Altis.

      Interior Quality - Jetta > Laura > Elantra > Altis > Cruze.

      Handling - Jetta > Laura > Cruze > Elantra > Altis.

      Ride Quality - Altis > Elantra > Jetta > Laura > Cruze.

      Where the Elantra really scores is the fresh looks it brings to the market with Hyundai's Fluidic design. It's a design that will not get boring in the years to come. And it gives a fresh lease of life to the otherwise boring and dated interiors we have come across so far.

      Would I buy the Elantra?

      Definitely yes! If only they gave it a 2L motor. Hyundai, I hope you are listening

      PS - Do not have the Price List with me right now, will add those details later next week along with a TD report of the Elantra Petrol.
      2002 Tata Indica DLS.
      2004 Suzuki Zen - A G13B eater.
      2005 Suzuki Baleno - India's fastest Naturally Aspirated Baleno timed on a drag strip officially!
      2008 Suzuki Swift VDi - The Rattle King.
      2011 Chevrolet Cruze - The Torque Monster.
      2016 Ford Ecosport 1.5 TDCi Titanium - The SQ Machine in the making.
      2017 Skoda Octavia VRS - A 400+HP corner craving machine!
      2013 BMW X1 - The RWD Sideways Machine
      2019 Polo GT TSI - The Commute Workhorse.
      2014 MOC SQ Pro Champions.
      Harmonixx Tuning - Importers for Audiofrog & Arc Audio/APR Tuning Authorized Dealers/Engine Remap Specialists for all makes/models.
      Dealers for Rainbow/Mosconi/Eton/Stetcom/Tru Technology/Blam Audio/Mobridge/Stetsom/Audible Physics/AIV/Gladen/Dampmat/Dr Artex Damping and more.

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      what is a clutch lock?

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      one query - the Verna and Honda City may not figure in the list above but where do you think they stand?

      Asking this because i have frequently seen people debating over the Verna (D) vs Honda City (P) so kind of curious to know...specially on the ride part

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      very nice review mclaren1885. covered all the points needed.
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      Quote Originally Posted by mclaren1885 View Post
      Front seat passengers get Split AC with ACC.
      Never knew cars also have window ACs

      On the serious note please explain this Split AC part

      Quote Originally Posted by mclaren1885 View Post
      Here are some stats from the OBD logger.
      How did you manage to record the data on a test drive car?

      Quote Originally Posted by mclaren1885 View Post
      Will add more when I TD the petrol variant sometime next week.
      Haven't you already test driven the petrol variant? I think you or someone else posted a report sometimes back, what was that?

    10. #10
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      Quote Originally Posted by sriharsha View Post
      what is a clutch lock?
      One has to press the clutch to start the car. Just turning the key will do nothing. This is to prevent small kids from accidentally starting the cars. You find this feature on most of the Hyundais and Chevrolets. Haven't see Maruti implement it in most cars.

      Quote Originally Posted by fordfan View Post
      one query - the Verna and Honda City may not figure in the list above but where do you think they stand?

      Asking this because i have frequently seen people debating over the Verna (D) vs Honda City (P) so kind of curious to know...specially on the ride part
      Totally different segments Anupam. You are comparing a 10-12L car with these cars that range between 17-24L.

      Quote Originally Posted by Jack Sparrow View Post
      Never knew cars also have window ACs

      On the serious note please explain this Split AC part
      Split AC meaning the drivers side compartment can have a different temperature setting and will cool/warm it accordingly. The passenger side can have a different temperature setting.

      Look at the picture below.


      You see two individual temperature control buttons. The right one for the drivers side which I had set at 22 deg for the TD and the left one is for the passenger which was set to LOW (below 18 deg).

      Quote Originally Posted by Jack Sparrow View Post
      How did you manage to record the data on a test drive car?
      If I tell you I'd have to kill you
      2002 Tata Indica DLS.
      2004 Suzuki Zen - A G13B eater.
      2005 Suzuki Baleno - India's fastest Naturally Aspirated Baleno timed on a drag strip officially!
      2008 Suzuki Swift VDi - The Rattle King.
      2011 Chevrolet Cruze - The Torque Monster.
      2016 Ford Ecosport 1.5 TDCi Titanium - The SQ Machine in the making.
      2017 Skoda Octavia VRS - A 400+HP corner craving machine!
      2013 BMW X1 - The RWD Sideways Machine
      2019 Polo GT TSI - The Commute Workhorse.
      2014 MOC SQ Pro Champions.
      Harmonixx Tuning - Importers for Audiofrog & Arc Audio/APR Tuning Authorized Dealers/Engine Remap Specialists for all makes/models.
      Dealers for Rainbow/Mosconi/Eton/Stetcom/Tru Technology/Blam Audio/Mobridge/Stetsom/Audible Physics/AIV/Gladen/Dampmat/Dr Artex Damping and more.

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