People in Europe know it as “The Avante” and The Americans know it by something they have given it themselves “North American car of 2012” and we know it as Verna’s cousin – The Elantra.
It’s all set to embark its second innings in India keeping in mind that first one was run out by miles, we expect the check list this time to be a bit long. Will this be able to hit the sweet spot like Verna did? Well, I am not sure…
Going by its fluidic sculpture it looks Hyundai’s very much own kid. It has got everything in right proportions for a head turner. The sweeping layered headlamp looks like those in the Verna and is very attractive. The hexagonal front grill has now become the trademark of the fluidic design. On the rear too; the story is pretty similar with high waist line with a hint of curve down. The most peculiar thing about its looks is its tail lamp, sweeping all through its side like a water fall in to a river. It has got the best tail lamps in the segment category.
On the outside the inspiration from Verna and Sonata like design has worked well but with the interiors it’s not the same story. It seems like their inspiration was Eon. Quite simply it looks like it has got stretched interiors from Eon. It’s catastrophic. Even the graphics on your instrument cluster are not either modern or pleasant.
Just to make you feel special, India is the only country in the world to have a diesel motor option. Probably because without diesel it would have been like going to an Italian restaurant and asking for kebab. Because if you do that, Sonata will be the answer!
Talking about what it gets underneath is the same motor from Verna and specs are pretty similar too; 126 horses of power and 260 NM of torque. The ride quality is really good, it nimble around like cheese. But it lacks something, something that has to do with the feeling of joy, something that you get while driving its competitors. Plus when you start cruising at high speeds and the going gets either fast or twisty its back starts waggling. And the good bit is that it comes loaded with features such as Automatic climate control with individual climate settings, ventilated front seats, electrically adjustable driver seat, cruise control, ESP and 6 air bags taking care about your safety. Real ac vents and music control are nice touches.
The product is there with a combative price but surely we need more of that as far as marketing and promotions are concerned to make it the signature of success. The buzz is still not hitting the glass like it did in case of 3 series. Hyundai has a lot more to face in terms of Brand homage and fidelity of Toyota with the Altis and The canny speedster of the diesel-rocket Cruze along the persistence of Jetta and Laura waiting to compete. The segment has seen a slowdown in terms of numbers where the stalwarts such as Altis/Cruze are doing below average numbers. Will the new Elantra resurrect the fortunes of the segment and those of Hyundai? Only time will tell. There is so much do, words are just not enough!