The new Hyundai Elantra does well in traffic and offers decent fuel economy too

At the heart of the new Elantra is the 126bhp, 1.6-litre turbo-diesel from the Verna which, on the Elantra, is mated to a six-speed, torque-converter automatic gearbox. While both the power and torque are quite modest for this class of car, the real-world performance is actually quite good. Drive in an unhurried manner and the gearbox works well enough to keep you in the right gear at all speeds and makes the Elantra feel quite peppy. Part-throttle responses are good and there’s little hesitation from either engine or gearbox in stop-start traffic. Out cruising on the highway too, you’ll have little to complain about with the powertrain.

It’s only when you mash the throttle down that you notice the power delivery isn’t very linear (there’s a noticeable step up after 2000rpm) and that the engine gets quite noisy as the revs rise. You do have the option to shift gears manually in tip-tronic mode for better control, but there are no paddle shifters.

In terms of all other aspects, the diesel automatic is the same as the other Elantras we’ve tested before. So the low-speed ride is quite good. Out on the highway, at high speeds, the ride gets slightly bumpy and the power steering is overly assisted. Like the other variants, the cabin is well built and finished. Unfortunately, the rear seats lack sufficient thigh support and can get uncomfortable on long rides. However, Hyundai’s primary objective with this car was to provide unstressed and relatively economical motoring. And that’s exactly what this Elantra does well. It’s easy to drive in traffic, returns fairly decent fuel economy (we got 11.2kpl in the city), and is packed with features. The Elantra diesel automatic won’t make you gasp or give you thrills. But it will meet the requirements of most self-driven executive car buyers.

Technical data

Price Rs 15.85 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi)

L/W/H 4530/1775/1470mm

Wheelbase 2700mm

Engine 4 cyls, 1582cc, turbo-diesel

Power 126bhp at 4000rpm

Torque 26.5kgm at 1900-2750rpm

Gearbox 6-speed automatic

Fuel tank 56 litres

Tyre size 205/60 R16

Fuel economy (city/highway)11.2/16.2kpl