Car of the year 2012… It’s not hard to see why, really. With a spacious interior, good engine, slick 6 speed gearbox and a huge boot, surely that all has to count for something? The Koreans just keep getting better and better each year with their cars. Take the Elantra 10 years ago. Still new in the market and I know that nobody in their wildest dreams would ever of have imagined that they would have come this far.
The model we have here is the 1.8 GLS, which means that it is the top of the range model. Fitted with all the luxuries minus of course the leathers, which could have made it even better, mind you. But on a serious note, everything else is factory-fitted.
On the outside, you have sharp lines merging into a sporty front bumper with integrated spotlights and 17inch wheels. The rear boot has a slightly lifted edge, giving one the perception that it creates some form of down force. None the less, it’s pretty subtle, but looks good. The rear of the car is also fitted with park distance control, which can be disabled from the drivers’ cockpit. Everything else is electronically adjustable. From the 1 touch driver windows to the mirrors. The steering wheel is adjustable for height only and features volume, track/station seek, trip computer and cruise control.
The 1.8l DOHC 4 cylinder engine produces 110kw and 178nm of torque. This will see the Elantra sprint to 100kph in 9.3seconds and will run on to a maximum speed of 205kph; pretty good if you ask me. The fuel tank is 48.5l and with an average tested consumption of 8l/100, you will get around 550km on a tank. The Elantra also features driver, passenger, side and curtain airbags. The cabin has also been designed with front crumple zones and side impact protection bars. This should keep the occupants safe during most low speed accidents. ABS brakes with Electronic Brake Distribution keep stopping distances down to a minimum.
Front rain sensors are standard, but can also be disabled. The windows also feature a very light tint on them; this keeps the sunlight glare down a little.
Boot space is a generous 420l with the seats up and a 485l with the seats down. They also fold flat with a 60:40 split. Driver and passenger space is also very good and even with the front seats all the way to the back, an average-sized passenger would fit without any trouble.
The audio system is a basic 6 speaker unit, with AUX and USB. The sound is on par with most other vehicles in its class. It’s by no means spectacular, but it gets the job done. The dual zone climate control makes sure both the driver and passenger are happy with their pre-set temperatures. This is a nice feature in a car on this level.
The Hyundai Elantra 1.8GLS retails for R234 900 and is backed by Hyundai’s 5 year 150 000km warranty with roadside assist and a 5 year/ 90 000km service plan. Service intervals are 15000km with a 1500km service interval leeway, just in case you are out of town.
For more info, check out Hyundai.co.za