Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Review: 2015 Hyundai Elantra 1.6 S A/T

Photos by Ulysses Ang
When the Hyundai Elantra arrived in the local scene in 2012, it revolutionized the compact car genre. From a segment practically cornered by the Japanese, the Elantra has since turned it into a free-for-all slugfest. Today, compact car buyers are less brand loyal and more focused on getting great value. Indeed, the swoopy Elantra is responsible for removing existing prejudices and opening minds to considering a brand like Hyundai. Fast-forward three years later and the players are still fighting tooth and nail just to get the would-be buyer’s attention. So what does the ‘game-changer’ do? Stick to a tried-and-tested formula.

What you see here is the 2015 Elantra, a car so minimally refreshed, you actually have to park it beside a 2012 model to appreciate. Hyundai took a huge gamble introducing its “Fluidic Sculpture” lingo before, here not so much. The changes are fairly limited to the usual suspects: new headlights with LED park lights (not DRLs), new rear lamps, reshaped bumpers, and new alloy wheels. Don’t get the Elantra wrong. It still looks nice and fresh for what’s essentially a three-year model, but don’t you just wish Hyundai took a big gamble on the re-design like they did three years ago?



This year, Hyundai is changing their trim naming convention. From the previous GL and GLS trims, they’ve now introduced a Toyota-esque single letter designation to tell trims apart. The new bottom-end models are ‘E’, the mid-range ones are ‘S’, and the range-toppers are ‘L’. This particular Dazzling Blue unit represents the mid-grade 1.6 S and can be differentiated with its high-gloss chrome grille insert. Aside from that, there’s not much to talk about: 205/55R16 tires, side mirror turn signal repeaters, and that’s about it.

Inside, it’s a pretty bleak scenario with the Elantra losing its telescopic steering adjustment for the steering wheel (now available only for the L variants). Though driver comfort has been somewhat compromised, the overall comfort is still there. You just have to get used to sitting closer to the steering wheel than before. The interior is best summed up as ‘fifty shades of gray’ with literally everything covered in 50 gray scale tones. The entire center portion of the dash has been ripped out and replaced with one with better A/C vent placement and clearer controls for the climate and audio system. On the subject of the audio system, sadly, the 1.6 S takes a step back by eliminating the de rigueur USB input. It doesn’t even have an aux jack! In this day and age where optical drives are being removed from laptops, Hyundai sees to it that your driving tunes only come from a CD (at least it plays MP3s).



Three years ago, it’s the roomiest one in the compact sedan segment, today it might have lost that distinction, but it’s still good for five adults with elbow and knee room to spare. That said, the rear center occupant still has to make do with a two-point lap belt. And get this: P 1,008,000 doesn’t even get you ISOFIX child seat anchors. The trunk is flat and roomy with 419 liters of space and the rear seats do fold for added cargo space, just not in a 60/40 split.

Under the hood, the 2015 Elantra 1.6 S continues with its tried-and-tested Gamma DOHC D-CVVT 4-cylinder engine with 130 horsepower and 156 Nm of torque. And though you can get it with a row-it-yourself 6-speed manual, this engine is best suited to Hyundai’s smooth shifting 6-speed automatic. The automatic is adept at adjusting to your driving requirements and makes the Elantra feel like it’s equipped with a larger engine. It still doesn’t like full throttle applications, but treat it sensibly, and it will progress very, very well. The Elantra was already a quiet commuter to start with, but the updated version offers an even more serene experience. It easily tops the competition in isolating unwanted noise. The increased sound deadening means it’s cathedral-quiet at any speed. In terms of fuel mileage, it does 9.009 km/L in purely city driving.



One big change for 2015 is the addition of Flex Steer across the line. A button on the tiller adjusts the steering effort between three modes: Comfort, Normal, and Sport. At low to mid-range speeds, the effect is noticeable, but at higher speeds, the steering automatically tightens up for added precision. As a result, it’s largely a gimmick. After a while, you’ll find that Normal, and to some degree, Sport gives the best balance. The rest of the chassis doesn’t see a change. This means it’s tuned more for comfort as opposed to corner carving fun. Still, it hits the right balance with a ride that’s not too firm or too soft. Sadly, brakes remain to be a disc/drum combination and equates to an inorganic pedal feel.

In a world of ever changing trends and tastes, it seems Hyundai is slowing its pace down. Perhaps it has found its sweet spot in terms of value and is sticking to it. And that’s a bit scary. Yes, the Elantra is still a solid and respectable compact sedan with a roomy interior and commendable build quality, but it’s not the same game-changing car it once was. More than anything, it has digressed somewhat by offering less equipment at a slightly higher cost. And that’s the rub. When Hyundai launched the Elantra three years ago, it was one of the compact cars to beat. It offered excellent value and its rivals all took note. This time, the others have caught up and this Hyundai is slowly being left behind.



2015 Hyundai Elantra 1.6 S
Ownership 2015 Hyundai Elantra 1.6 S A/T
Year Introduced 2012 (Refreshed: 2014)
Vehicle Classification Compact
The Basics
Body Type 4-door Sedan
Seating 5
Engine / Drive F/F
Under the Hood
Displacement (liters) 1.6
Aspiration Naturally Aspirated, Dual CVVT
Layout / # of Cylinders Inline-4
BHP @ rpm 130 @ 6,300
Nm @ rpm 156 @ 4,850
Fuel / Min. Octane Gasoline / 91~
Transmission 6 AT
Cruise Control No
Dimensions and Weights
Length (mm) 4,550
Width (mm) 1,775
Height (mm) 1,445
Wheelbase (mm) 2,700
Curb Weight (kg) 1,274
Suspension and Tires
Front Suspension Independent, MacPherson Strut
Rear Suspension Torsion Beam Axle
Front Brakes Vented Disc
Rear Brakes Drum
Tires Hankook Kinergy Eco 205/55R16 H (f&r)
Wheels Alloy
Safety Features
Airbags 2
Anti-Lock Brakes (ABS) Yes
Traction / Stability Control No
Parking Sensors No
Exterior Features
Headlights Halogen
Fog Lamps Yes, Front
Auto Lights No
Auto Wipers No
Interior Features
Steering Wheel Adjustment Tilt
Steering Wheel Material Urethane
Seating Adjustment Manual
Seating Surface Fabric
Folding Rear Seat No
On-Board Computer Yes
Convenience Features
Power Steering Yes
Power Door Locks Yes
Power Windows Yes
Power Mirrors Yes
Climate Control Manual
Audio System Stereo
CD
MP3
No. of Speakers 6
Steering Wheel Controls Yes

60 comments:

  1. No way... 1M pesos for a piece of crap korean car?! They must be joking. At that price, I'd get myself a TOTL Sylphy 1.8L.

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    1. It is a mediocre compact car with no stand out features, uninspired looks and way too overpriced for what you're getting. I think koreans are becoming delusional with their pricing. Better get an altis or a mazda3 1.5L. Better bang for buck.

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    2. Mediocre din naman yang Syphilis na yan eh, made in China or Thailand lang yan, mas progressive at industrialized naman ang S. Korea compared diyan na parehong 3rd-world pa rin. Ano ba pinagyayabang ng Nissan STD na yan, pareho lang naman yan nung Elantra at Altis na may non-independent torsion beam rear suspension at crappy interior.

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    3. The Koreans think that by raising their prices similar to the established Asian, European and American badges that have withstood the test of time in terms of quality and resale value they have the right to stand beside them. They still have a long way to go.

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    4. Reeda, I think it is because of the rising Won in the exchange rate.

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    5. I think the point of this car is to give the most of essential things rather than be too excessive which is at times a hassle to some drivers. This is a good option if the buyer is more conservative. This would be a bad choice to people who wants the best out of everything but would simply settle to a sub-compact.

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    6. Korean crap car??? This really made me smile. Halata na wala kang pambili.

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  2. I'll just wait for the new Civic... although i'm betting that the new civic will cost around 1.2 to 1.3M...

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    1. I'm wishing they'd bring the BTCC winning new Type R here.

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  3. Chevrolet Cruze is Better than Elantra

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    Replies
    1. Mmmm...both are crappy. Read the reviews.

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  4. chevrolet cruze and elantra are both made in Korea. They're the same banana. crappy.

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    Replies
    1. They are better than the Japanese craps.

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    2. Have you owned either?

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  5. when is saw the price, i have exactly the same impression as most of the comments here :-)

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  6. More expensive than Altis 1.6V, Sylphy 1.6 Upper or Mazda 3 1.5V?!?!?!... With (-) minuses on the features compared with their Japanese competitors, well, good-luck Elantra!

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  7. I wonder those people that don't even have a bicycle or kariton plant in their country more bitter than ampalaya... Reason why this country never progress for such people.

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    1. Good one sir.

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    2. Nice reply Sir.. :)

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  8. I like this Elantra. It really looks good and it's very un-Japanese.
    It's a bit expensive but increased interior quietness is a must for better road feel and comfort.

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    1. Very un-Japanese? Of course it is. It's a Korean piece of crap, what do you expect?

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    2. i don't know why people are making a big deal about interior quietness, be it part of the cabin design or the tires you use...

      i have a very simple question; are you driving with your audio/music off?

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    3. Yes. I drive with the audio off most of the item. I only turn it on when traffic gets unbearable.

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    4. Plus, as any audiophile would know, a quiet interior forms the foundation of a great sound system.

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    5. You're right, Uly.
      I also consider cars with noisy interiors as bad cars.

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    6. @Tiger: Then I guess the Nissan GTR, Lancer Evo and Subaru WRX STI are bad cars because of their noisy interiors huh?

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    7. Yes. A car with noisy interior is too irritating for me to drive.

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    8. if it's super quiet inside, how can you hear if somebody is honking at you for some valid reasons?

      it's not supposed to be "that quiet" inside... it's like driving with ear plugs on and it isn't safe!!!

      also, a real audiophile does his listening in a private room via high end audio systems, not while driving inside some "quiet" cars with fancy sound sys!

      cheers :-)

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    9. You will still hear honking even on the quietest cars around. The only difference would be that you will enjoy a more serene and stress-free atmosphere during your daily commute. There is no longer any need to speak over tire roar and wind noise at highway speeds, nor the need to turn up the stereo to mask the irritating noises in the city (loud exhausts, road construction, excessive honking, diesel clatter, etc.). This way, you get to preserve your sanity during extended drives and you save yourself from hearing loss from prolonged exposure to noise.

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    10. All you old fogies are looking at the wrong market segment. Get a land-yacht like the Camry and STFU about interior quietness.

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    11. Here's my 10 pesos worth: if you want a quiet car, buy a Lexus/Toyota hybrid! To state that "cars with noisy interiors as bad cars"...should think otherwise. I drive a BMW X5 35d (twin turbo DIESEL) pushing 265-hp & 425 ft-lbs of torque. It's not quiet at all, but is it a "bad car"??

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  9. In my opinion, compact cars like this Elantra and from other brands should not breach the 1 million peso mark, it's just way too expensive even if its fully loaded with features. A 1 million peso and above pricing should be in the range of a decent midsize sedan or an SUV.

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  10. phase out na po Lancer. do your homework.

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    Replies
    1. sira ulo yung evo lang ang phase out.

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    2. ogag! mitsubishi will stop producing the lancer including the evo10 - they will focus more on small SUV's. The present lancer will be the last one to be produced. do your homework!

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  11. Hindi nga phased-out, outdated lang. 2009 pa yun na-introduce. As usual, napapag-iwanan na Mitsu PH. Siraulo na lang bibii pa ng brand-new Lancer ngayong 2015. Parang yung Adventure, late 90s ba dapat itinigil pagbenta nun e.

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    Replies
    1. pag itinigil na nila yung adventure, wala nang gagamitin mga UV Express. Low maintenance. Practicality my friend.

      Peace

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    2. An old design isn't inherently bad. If they can offer it at a good price, then it would have its merits.

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  12. Korean cars used to be crap. Not anymore. Just read up on european and us market reviews to enlighten yourselves. That being said, korean cars owe their success to providing value for money. They undercut japanese competition but still provided similar if not better offerings than their competitors. Now they are starting to increase prices thus eliminating the major reason for their rise. I guess success has gotten into the heads of the top brass.

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    Replies
    1. I think their prices are heavily affected by the strong Korean Won.

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  13. Ang mga maka Japs matagal na kayong niloloko ng mga ito... biruin mo... ke-lumalumang engine, babaguhin lang ng konti ang body at sasabihin nang bago... wow... at least ang Korean cars natuto sila sa kapalpakan nila... after several years number 3 na sila worldwide.... At kung ano ang product na nasa Pinas yun at yun na rin ang nasa europe at US.... Ang Fortuner at Monty wala ito sa europe at US pang asia lang... ngayon lang yata may dadalhin sa US... sana makapasa sila sa compliance.... Ibig sabihin ang Korean cars... ayaw ng mga makaJapanese na mga Pinoys pero gusto naman ng mga tiga US at Europe... Pasado kasi ang product nila sa compliance... mga Pinoy na maka japanese cars ay ok lang sila sa lumang bago.

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    1. There is nothing wrong with selling vehicles that are designed for the target market. If these vehicles meet the local regulations and address the needs/wants of the target audience, then it is justified.

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  14. ^Most think Japanese cars (particularly Toyota & Mitsu) are more reliable, has good quality and resale values... but kudos to Hyundai (for pirating a European), they have narrowed the gap in just several years!

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    1. Car makers from Europe, America and Japan are doing the same. A Japanese designing cars for Mercedes benz, a Korean working for a Japanese automaker, Europeans working for American brands and vice versa. It's not like the Chinese stealing the design and technology of their American, European, and other Asian rivals.

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    2. ^Just underscoring that, had they not hired a European (or joined the bandwagon), they might not get off the ground that quick...

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  15. Hi Guys! I am a newbie to the auto world. Medyo nabiyayaan lang po tayo ng magandang work abroad kaya soon, am planning to buy a new car. Lots of stories and feedbacks.. na Honda & Toyota are the efficient cards in terms of the engine performance, maintenance etc. , but to be honest..I have been following this Hyundai Elantra coz I got really attacted with its design exterior and interior. It's very modern unlike the corolla. Civic is ok. I read an article about Hyundai's acquisition of the BMW's lead designer few years back. Reason why Hyundai's car sales has gone up, since then. So I really like this car. I dunno. Talagang ang lakas ng dating sakin nung design nya. Very modern, stylish, sporty. But a lot of mu friends and workmates were advicing me to buy a Civic instead. I dunno... Let's see. Good thing.. car prices here in the Mideast (Qatar) are cheaper.. coz there is tax here.. cheaper ng mga 250k to 300k.. like top price of that 2015 elantra here is only 70k... multiply it by 12.21 and thats the price in the php. only 850k.. fair enough for this compact car. Any advice mga parekoy! Thank you! lm/ -DSL

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    Replies
    1. If you are planning to get an Elantra, you can reach me at 09428248922. I'll give you the best deal possible

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    2. Dito sa abu dhabi mas mura sir nakuha ko ng 50,900 nung 2014 ramadan, 2015 model. More than a yr ko na ginagamit sobrang tipid sa gas at ang ganda ng design��

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  16. * No tax in the mideast countries is what I mean. -DSL

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  17. Even here in Saudi Arabia, this car dominates the compact car segment in a huge way.Mas malapad kasi si elantra kumpara kay corolla.Nakakagulat din kasi its a Korean car, na hindi gaanong reputable ang pagiging matibay kumpara sa Japanese made cars pero mas mabenta sya. Kaya tuloy si Toyota promo ng promo para makahabol sa sales nila.

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  18. Here in Qatar, most of the Indians drive Corolla. They always say, resale value.. resale value. I don't want to buy a car coz of its resale value. I will buy car becoz in my eyes it performs well and looks great, and Elantra for me is very good-looking. Performance is still questionable honestly but I would test drive it before buying. I wont mind if Honda and Toyota are more reliable in terms of ganda and tibay ng makina. This Elantra will not be awarded if this car is just a crap. Their free service for certaine years tells anyway that they are confident with their car. Time has changed and so as the cars! Rock on Hyundai! Tucson 2016 is coming.. another beautiful design by Hyundai. Toyota should change their design team I suggest. Imagine if Toyota has this Hyundai's designs, plus their famous engine reliability. Aaah.. winner!

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  19. Is the "9.009km/l" fuel consumption in light, moderate, or heavy city traffic conditions? Thanks!

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    1. Combined. Largely in heavy traffic though plus the weekend.

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  20. which is more fuel efficient 1.6 or 1.8 AT?

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    1. 1.6 i guess, im consumes an average of 8L/100km city & 5.8L/100k on high way

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