The diesel-powered Hyundai Elantra finally enters the MotorBeam garage and we were wanting to lay our hands on one from a long time.
We first got the petrol variant which honestly had bad drinking habits owing to Mumbai's traffic that it was being put through.
The car we've got now comes with an automatic gearbox, so Mumbai's traffic is not a headache anymore plus it's a diesel, so, we won't have to stop at the gas station very often.
Let's start with the most appealing part of the Hyundai Elantra, its design and looks. The improved fluidic design language definitely needs a mention here.
While the previous model too had it, the current model, somehow, not only looks elegant and sexy, some might even mistake the Elantra for a more expensive car.
The slim projector headlights with LED DRLs, LED tail-lights and the coupe-like roofline accentuate the vehicle's looks.
The large chrome grille and the heavily sculpted bumper with the boomerang-shaped fog lamps housing with projector fog lamps give the Elantra a premium feel.
Get inside the cabin of the Hyundai Elantra and you are greeted by a modern and sophisticated cabin with plusher quality of materials.
Though the centre console houses a plethora of buttons, everything is within the reach of the driver and nothing is confusing here.
There is a 3-spoke multi-function steering wheel and a twin-pod instrument cluster with a large MID display.
The touchscreen infotainment system gets all sorts of connectivity options like Apple CarPlay, USB, Bluetooth and Navigation and feels intuitive to use.
Audio quality is good enough but it doesn't sound very crisp.
Considering the hot summers in India, the ventilation function for the seats came as a boon.
The ventilation could have been more powerful though but the AC is a very good performer.
Other features on offer are cruise control, electric sunroof, power adjustable driver's seat, leather upholstery, reverse parking camera and various driving modes.
The reverse parking camera offers good visibility in the day but in the dark, its performance could have been better.
The diesel Hyundai Elantra comes powered by the same 1.6-litre engine as seen in the Creta and Verna.
The oil-burner makes 126 HP of power and 259 Nm of torque and comes married to a 6-speed automatic gearbox.
The sedan doesn't feel underpowered for sure but at the same time, it doesn't feel exciting either.
Performance is satisfactory but the diesel motor is extremely refined.
The different driving modes like Eco, Normal and Sport don't make much of a difference and the vehicle likes to take it easy.
On part throttle, the car knows what to do exactly but the problem arises when you go hard on the gas. It gets confused and takes some time to downshift and then gather speeds.
Fuel efficiency on the highways is around 13-14 km/l but in the city, it drops to 9-10 km/l which isn't very great considering that this is a small 1.6-litre engine.
The suspension has been tuned to be stiff which takes a slight toll on the ride quality.
Drive the vehicle on good roads and you'll barely feel anything but on bad roads and sharp potholes, there are thuds that creep into the cabin.
Having said that, the ride is mostly good if you're driving sedately.
The steering is light and offers very less feedback though it is vastly improved over the previous generation Elantra.
Braking performance comes from all-wheel disc brakes which offer excellent stopping power and the grip from the tyres is also great.
Overall, we feel that the Hyundai Elantra is a very good car for people who aren't into aggressive driving but for those who want refinement and comfort along with a long list of features and a pleasant driving experience.