Korean entertainer

2014-07-26 00:00

I HAVE an acid test for a car’s ergonomic design — will the dash bash my shin as I get in?

The new Hyundai Elantra competes against the Toyota Corolla, which was the most recent car to have dented my shin as I swung my not exactly svelte self into the driver’s seat.

At the KZN launch of the new Hyundai Elantra on Thursday, marketing director of Hyundai Automotive South Africa, Stanley Anderson, got my hopes up. “The excellent ergonomics of its interior design and the roomy cabin makes it a perfect compact family sedan,” he said.

Anderson was at pains to point out the 2014 Elantra was not a mid-year facelift of the 2012 Elantra, but an “enhancement” of that Car Of The Year (Coty) winner. The new Elantra is about R3k dearer, which buys you 215 / 45 R17 alloy wheels and a radio with Bluetooth, which linked in three easy presses to my Android phone. If not a full-on facelift, the new Elantra did at least get a bum tuck and a nose job, viz. different lights and bumpers, a wider, lower grill and a horizontal highlight in the form of chrome trim along the window line.

drivE it like her water broke

Our Cape Town correspondent Dave Fall got to drive the Elantra first and reported he was thoroughly impressed with the Elantra’s coupled torsion beam in the rear. Now these twisted beams are a lot cheaper than a multi-link set up, but they can also cock a wheel when pushed into a corner.

Trying to do exactly that along the twisties near KwaMashu, I found neither Hyundai nor Fall exageratted when they said this front-wheel driven car will hunker down and maintain grip.

The Elantra is not, however, designed for such spirited driving, but to save fuel. The 96 kW/157 Nm engine delivers its peak Watts at a relatively low 4 850 rpm, thanks to variable valves, but the Newtons only peak at 6 300 rpm. This means the Elantra goes better when you wind up the first four gears.

But a rev limiter will break your speed and with two blokes in the front seat, I could not flick those four gears fast enough to get close to Hyundai’s claimed 10,1 seconds from zero to 100 km/h.

Hyundai also offers a six-speed automatic for the Elantra, which the giant Korean company builds inhouse. Both transmissions are geared for cruising and low fuel consumption and the 1,6 engine will crest even Umhlanga’s hills in fifth.

Packing stuff

Apart from all the cupholders and receptacles up front, the boot swallows 485 litres, second only to the Nissan Almera’s 490 litres.

Hyundai also provides a full-sized spare wheel, recognising the realities of South Africa’s roads — unlike the run-flats on German cars.

As for the dashboard, I am happy to say the new Elantra maintained the 2012 Coty’s recessed design, with no corner to slam into the average

biggish Seffrican’s left shin.

‘you pays your monies…’

The Elantra 1.6 Premium manual costs R247 900, the automatic R262 900. As reported in Wheels, the Corolla Quest and Nissan Almera are currently the two cheapest family luggers on sale in SA.

The Almera is some R77k cheaper than the new Elantra, but this only looks good on a spreadsheet. On tar, you will feel what your money did not buy.

When it comes to fixing things, Hyundai also includes a five year or 150 000 km warranty; five years or 150 000 km roadside assistance and a five year or 90 000 km service plan are standard. For comparison, the cheaper rivals offer three years or 60 000 km.

Elantra 1.6 Premium (manual): R247 900

Elantra 1.6 Premium (automatic): R262 900

A five year or 150 000 km warranty; five years or 150 000 km roadside assistance and a five year or 90 000 km service plan are standard package.

Service intervals are 15 000 km.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.