Hyundai Elantra 2021 Review
Korean cars have come an incredibly long way since their humble beginnings, and unfortunately their tenure here in Malaysia hasn’t quite been the smoothest or the strongest – especially with slower progress over the last decade or so. Hyundai is a brand that has managed to hold on, with their most recent range of product offerings renewing and re-invigorating the brand – if consumers will take notice, that is.
The Hyundai Elantra is one of the newer products launched here, with the seventh generation model introduced locally at the end of 2020 in two different variants. This is perhaps in contrast to its larger sibling, the Hyundai Sonata, which had rather peculiar specifications at launch.
It may mean that Hyundai is banking on the Elantra to improve their positioning in our market, alongside the Kona compact crossover. This is an interesting departure from their previous approach which had far less emphasis on this C-segment sedan model.
It is definitely an interesting choice to put emphasis on given that sedans as a whole are seeing less popularity, with models like the Hyundai Tucson and Hyundai Santa Fe seeing increased pickup over the years as part of a market-wide trend towards SUVs and crossovers.
Hyundai Elantra 2021 Specifications
Across both variants of the Hyundai Elantra, you get a surprisingly small powertrain in the form of a 1.6-litre naturally aspirated petrol engine. This mill makes 123 PS and 154 Nm of torque, paired with a CVT-type automatic transmission known as the IVT. There are eight virtual ratios that you can roll through as you drive, and four different drive modes – Smart, Normal, Eco, and Sport.
Drive is delivered through the front wheels exclusively, with a McPherson strut front geometry and a torsion beam rear axle. This hasn’t changed a great deal over the last few generations, though what is disappointing is that there isn’t the turbocharged powertrain variant of the previous generation that proved to be surprisingly potent.
Dimensionally, the Elantra is surprisingly large with a wheelbase of 2,720 mm for a length of 4,675 mm, and a width of 1,825 mm. This is actually larger than the largest Japanese offering in class, though you would not imagine this given the proportions and styling of the car. Hopefully in the coming months and years, Hyundai will offer one of the six other powertrains available for the Elantra – perhaps even the hybrid variant.
Hyundai Elantra 2021 Exterior
You can get the Hyundai Elantra in a range of four colours – Polar White, Intense Blue, Amazon Grey, and Electric Shadow. Beyond this the specifications are pretty much flat across the range of two variants – both models come with 17-inch wheels wrapped in 225 45 R17 tyres, both models get Dual LED headlights with dedicated LED daytime running lamps, LED positioning lamps, LED rear tail lights, and LED rear fog lamps. The styling is a mild evolution on what we’ve seen with the Hyundai Sonata, although it’s worth mentioning once again that the Elantra looks like a smaller car thanks to its sportier proportions.
Hyundai Elantra 2021 Interior
While the exterior of the Hyundai Elantra doesn’t differ as much between the two variants, there are a couple of changes when it comes to the inside. The seats are wrapped in black fabric for the lower spec model, being upgraded to black and light grey leather for the higher spec variant. A powered driver’s seat is added, as well as three-stage heated and ventilated seats. There’s even a heated steering wheel (for reasons beyond our understanding). Perhaps the single largest difference is the fact that the instrument cluster foes from a 4.2-inch TFT LCD cluster for the entry level variant to a full 10.25-inch Supervision TFT LCD cluster with adjustable lighting.
Hyundai Elantra 2021 Safety Features
A car launched in this day and age simply has to come with advanced driver assistance systems when it’s available even on entry level, mass market econobox models. The Hyundai Elantra is no different, though the lion’s share of this is limited to the higher specification variant. More specifically, we’re talking about items like Smart Cruise Control with Stop & Go (traffic jam) functionality, Blind-Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist, Lane Keep Assist, Lane Following Assist, Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (for junctions as well), High Beam Assist, and Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist.
Both variants get items like six airbags, electronic stability control, traction control, ABS with EBD and brake assist, as well as hill-start assist control. This is a fairly reasonable expectation for a modern car, and a decent offering at the price point.
Hyundai Elantra 2021 Strengths & Weakness
There’s no getting around the fact that the Hyundai Elantra has one of the weakest powertrains available in its class, if you were to ignore a certain Japanese C-segment car that has an even smaller naturally aspirated 1.5-litre petrol engine option. The mill powering the Elantra just isn’t powerful enough to be competitive, meaning that a lot of its value has to be found in the features and build quality that it possesses.
Thankfully however, it does offer a lot in this regard. The interior is roomy and comfortable, as is the layout of the switchgear and the general aesthetic. Hyundai has taken steps to ensure that their products can no longer be regarded as cheap or poorly built – and the last decade and a half has been a testament to this. There’s a reason that Hyundai products take top honours in a number of awards around the world.
But it is also perhaps an indication that Hyundai has a better understanding of Malaysian consumers than one may realize: performance hasn’t been a very strong deciding factor for car buyers in the last few years, and in that sense where the Elantra may be a little short compared to its rivals, it has in turn allowed the Korean brand to focus on the elements that do appeal to customers.
Hyundai Elantra 2021 Price
Pricing for the Hyundai Elantra starts at RM 139,888.00 for the Smartstream G1.6 Executive variant, which also represents the entry level to the very narrow lineup. The range topper is the Smartstream G1.6 Premium which goes for RM 158,888.00. Smartstream in these cases refers to the petrol engine family, rather than a specific variant.
Hyundai Elantra 2021 Features
Keyless entry and start, dual-zone automatic climate control, and rear air conditioning are all part of the standard equipment when it comes to the Hyundai Elantra – regardless of which variant you choose. On top of this, you also get a floating-type 8-inch display with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto readiness, including AUX, USB, and Bluetooth connectivity to boot. A rear-view camera and a smart hands-free trunk mechanism are included, as well as a type pressure monitoring system. The higher spec Elantra also gets an electrochromic rear view mirror and a wireless smartphone charging system.
Hyundai Elantra 2021 Fuel Consumption
The manufacturer quoted fuel consumption figure for the Hyundai Elantra is flat across the range at 5.6 litres per 100 kilometres, which translates to roughly 17.9 kilometres per litre of fuel. Being naturally aspirated this is unlikely to change a great deal depending on your driving style, although that CVT-type automatic transmission may play a large part in keeping fuel consumption down at highway speeds.
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- Body Type: Sedan
- Transmission: Automatic
- Engine Capacity: 1598 cc
- Fuel Type: petrol
- Seat Capacity: 5
- Price: RM 158,888
User Review of Hyundai Elantra
Best Cheap Safe
Simple and Sleek
The Korean C Class
A luxurious comfort and economical car
Big body with pretty face