Hyundai Elantra Sports New Design, More Safety Tech, Better MPG

Posted by at 11:35 am on September 9, 2015

Elantra

Hyundai Motor Co. pulled the wraps off a redesigned Elantra compact sedan that gets more mature, streamlined styling, higher engine output and better fuel economy.

The sixth-generation of the mainstay small car also delivers better driving dynamics, through greater use of lightweight high-strength steel and an overhauled suspension system.

Engineers also aimed to dampen noise and vibration with reworked windscreen wipers, thickened door glass and rear-wheel insulation, the South Korean carmaker said in a release.

The Elantra is Hyundai’s best-selling nameplate in the U.S., with sales up 10 percent to 173,238 vehicles through August. Hyundai’s efforts to refine the ride are part of its push to up its game in perceived quality and handling.

“It is not only through great design that the all-new Elantra improves on its predecessors,” Hyundai said. “The compact sedan’s power output, fuel-efficiency, comfort and safety features have all been upgraded, with extensive use of new technology to set a higher standard of refinement.”

Yang Woong-Chul, vice chairman of Hyundai Motor Group’s r&d unit, unveiled the redesigned Elantra during a ceremony  at the company’s Namyang technical center outside Seoul.

Hyundai said the next generation is loaded with high-tech upgrades, including a memory seat that remembers a driver’s preferred seating position, autonomous emergency braking, automatic dimming of high-beam lights and blind-spot detection. It also gets rear cross-traffic alert and a hands-free auto-opening trunk.

On the exterior, stylists pursued a more refined look accented by slim, sporty headlamps and clean surfaces. The makeover also adopts the brand’s large hexagonal grille.

The car is slightly longer and wider than the current generation and achieves better rigidity, thanks to a 32 percent boost in the use of high-strength steel.

Under the hood, the Elantra offers a 1.6-liter direct-injection gasoline engine or 2.0-liter Atkinson cycle powerplant. Hyundai is also deploying a version with a 1.6-liter diesel.

Availability of the engines will vary by market.

Transmission choices include a six-speed automatic, a six-speed stick or a seven-speed dual clutch transmission. The DCT will be offered only with the diesel variant, Hyundai said.

The Elantra nameplate debuted a quarter century ago, and Hyundai has sold 10 million units of the car globally since.

The sixth generation goes on sale this year in South Korea, where it is marketed as the Avante.

Hyundai did not say when it would arrive in other markets. But it expects global sales of 700,000 next year, with 110,000 units in the home market and some 590,000 being sold overseas.

In the U.S., the Elantra ranks No. 3 in the compact segment behind the Toyota Corolla and Honda Civic.

The U.S. version is manufactured in Montgomery, Ala.

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