Hyundai's D-segment offering, the Elantra, will officially go on sale from August 23. Bookings have already opened (albeit unofficially) across Hyundai dealerships in the country.
The sixth-generation Elantra (third all-new model for India) isn't a radical departure from the current iteration. Instead, it builds upon the existing strengths of the saloon. The biggest change is the entirely new platform that Hyundai claims is better not just for outright performance and handling, but also for quietness and durability. Notably, the new generation is both wider and longer compared to the outgoing model.
The Elantra is expected to carry forward the existing 1.6-litre diesel engine, that currently produces 128PS of power. Reports suggest that the motor might be up-tuned to produce close to 140 horses. The current 1.8-litre petrol engine might be swapped for a larger, 2.0-litre unit that develops 156PS. Both engines are expected to get a 6-speed manual and a 6-speed automatic transmission.
There are a host of changes inside-out. While you can read the whole jingbang here, let's skim through the major changes. The exterior has been redesigned completely but bears strong resemblance to the current Elantra. The Fluidic design theme is slightly subdued now, with crisp character lines replacing the bulbous theme. The larger grille, sleeker headlamps and the coupe-like sloping roofline do enough to freshen things up.
The insides have received an overhaul as well. Notable features include a 4.2-inch TFT screen on the instrument cluster, a 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system, dual-zone climate control and leather upholstery. Safety is well-catered for as well, courtesy seven airbags, ABS, traction control, and a whole lot more.
As of now, the Elantra retails for a price ranging between Rs 15.1 lakh and Rs 19 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi). With the new generation, expect prices to remain at the same levels. The D-segment as a whole isn't showing as much promise as manufacturers would've liked, which is why aggressive pricing is key. Battling the likes of the Toyota Corolla Altis, the Volkswagen Jetta and the Skoda Octavia is no easy task, but the Hyundai does seem well prepared, at least on paper. We will be driving the new Elantra soon; do look out for the first drive report.