Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Review: 2016 Hyundai Elantra 1.6 GL A/T


When Hyundai launched the fifth-generation Elantra in 2011, it almost turned the compact sedan segment upside down. Once a segment cornered by the Japanese, it was now being seriously contended by a car from an unlikely manufacturer. The Elantra “MD,” as that model is codenamed, rocketed to second in the local sales charts for a time. Wait lists were long and reviews were glowing. Since then, the Japanese fought back. That brought the Elantra back into obscurity despite a mild refresh. Now, Hyundai is out with their all-new Elantra. The question is: can they turn the tide?

That depends. See, the biggest reason why anyone would love the Elantra is also the biggest reason someone else would hate it. The previous Elantra towed the line between sportiness and comfort, style and practicality—buyers loved them because you could actually get a Corolla with a longer warranty from someone other than Toyota. In other words, it was a fine, but unoriginal choice. The new one is pretty much the same: finer, but just as unoriginal. Sure, the 2016 Elantra “AD” packs a new body, better refinement, and improved efficiency, but at the end of the day, not a lot has changed.




This starts with the sheet metal. Though the 2016 Elantra features a completely new body, you can’t help but draw similarities with the previous model. The overall proportions are largely unchanged, though it’s less curvaceous and more angular this time. The Fluidic Sculpture 2.0 has finally made its way to the Elantra—and you see it in the large hexagonal grille, slim headlights, and widened appearance—but you still can’t help but criticize Hyundai for not doing more. Yes, it’s pleasant and modern, but unless you do a double or triple take, you’ll still mistake it for the previous-generation Elantra.

It’s pretty much the same story when you open the hood. Opting for the 1.6 GL nets you an engine that feels like a throwback: the very same 1.6-liter Gamma 4-cylinder engine from the previous Elantra. Surprisingly, maybe because of the switch to Euro 4 emission levels, it nets lower power (2.5 horsepower) and torque (2 Nm) than before. Thankfully, the response from the 127.5 (don’t forget the 0.5) horsepower, 153 Nm of torque engine doesn’t feel so penalized because the 2016 model does see a substantial reduction in weight: by some 60 kilograms, in fact.



Still, don’t expect that reduction in weight to offer up blistering performance. In fact, don’t expect this car to light up your passion for enthusiastic driving at all. This is pretty much a straightforward Point A to Point B commuter car and everything has been tuned to that effect. The powertrain is, in a word, practical: quiet, refined, and smooth. Treated to sensible throttle inputs and the speedometer needle will climb effortlessly. The accompanying 6-speed automatic is well-matched to the engine too, going up and down its ratios, matching up to your driving requirements nicely. The combination is so smooth that once or twice, you’ll actually mistake it for a CVT, minus the rubber band effect. The same drivetrain configuration is responsible for the Elantra’s commendable mileage figures: 8.26 km/L (average speed of 17 km/h).

Like the drivetrain, the interior doesn’t stray far from Hyundai’s playbook. It’s basically a scaled down version of what you’ll find in the newest Sonata. The bulbous treatment is replaced by geometric cleanliness and the controls have been tweaked for better tactile feel. The steering wheel doesn’t adjust for reach, but the driving position is still comfortable, if a bit awkward. The controls are all well-placed and clearly marked, but you feel that the center console could have been redesigned as not to use too much space.




Given its mainstream positioning, the large expanses of hard plastics is forgivable (at least fit and finish are consistent), but the lack of even the simplest toys isn’t. Priced at P 978,000, it lacks features which should have been standard on any modern day compact car: rear disc brakes, rear parking sensors, one-touch power windows up or down for the driver, Bluetooth hands-free telephony, adjustable rear headrests, and 3-point ELR seatbelts for all occupants (the rear middle seat has a two-point lap belt). In short, it’s pretty much where the previous Elantra left off, which would have been okay five years ago. But it’s 2016 and this mid-grade model feels like an Uber X fleet special.

If you do plan to Uber X this car, at least you’ll learn to forgive the interior shortcomings with the strides it has made with the ride and handling. Everything feels much more composed compared to before. Not only does it quiet down Manila’s hellish traffic, but run it deliberately through a pothole, and it’ll absorb the impact well. It’s smooth without being floaty. Though typical Elantra drivers won’t push it to the limit, when you do, it’ll remain secure. Long straightaways and sweeping bends is what it does best, remaining stable despite a good amount of body roll dialed in. It’s only when you hit quick transitions where the non-independent rear suspension begins to show its limitations. The electric power steering is still lacking in feedback, but it does feel more natural despite losing its trick Flex Steer system this year.



Overall, the 2016 Hyundai Elantra is nothing to be excited about. Despite noticeable improvements to areas such as ride, handling, and to some degree, style, it sticks too closely to the previous generation’s formula of walking on the middle ground as well as lackluster specifications. Yes, it offers a crisp design, a wealth of interior space, and a long warranty, but those are marginal gains compared to what its competitors are doing. The compact sedan category is steadily shrinking in the country, giving way to the rise of compact crossovers. Hyundai’s lukewarm approach to the all-new Elantra could very well contribute to that decline further.

2016 Hyundai Elantra 1.6 GL A/T
Ownership 2016 Hyundai Elantra 1.6 GL A/T
Year Introduced 2016
Vehicle Classification Compact
The Basics
Body Type 4-door sedan
Seating 5
Engine / Drive F/F
Under the Hood
Displacement (liters) 1.6
Aspiration EFI, Normally Aspirated
Layout / # of Cylinders I4
BHP @ rpm 127.5 @ 6,300
Nm @ rpm 154 @ 4,850
Fuel / Min. Octane Gasoline / 91~
Transmission 6-speed AT
Cruise Control No
Dimensions and Weights
Length (mm) 4,570
Width (mm) 1,800
Height (mm) 1,450
Wheelbase (mm) 2,700
Curb Weight (kg) 1,215
Suspension and Tires
Front Suspension Independent, MacPherson Strut
Rear Suspension Torsion Beam Axle
Front Brakes Vented Disc
Rear Brakes Drum
Tires Hankook Ventus Prime2 205/55 R 16 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
Aux
USB
No. of Speakers 4
Steering Wheel Controls Yes

67 comments:

  1. Hah! I knew that the Mazda 3 is still better than the new Elantra even after 2 years.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Duh. Any Japanese car is better than Korean crap. Hell even the f***in' Sylphy is a better bang for the buck at this price.

      Delete
    2. Agree. Why do people keep buying Hyundai? I wont trade a Honda city for this.

      Delete
    3. I like the Slyphy too, I wonder why the Sylphy is not selling well.

      Delete
    4. People buy Hyundai because of their warranty scam and European design.

      Delete
    5. The Sylphy isn't selling well because of the bland design and Nissan's notorious aftersales services. Other than that, the Sylphy is pretty decent but somewhat unremarkable. Many offer better cars.

      Delete
    6. Yeah warranty! When you buy a Hyundai your hands are tied for the next 5 yrs and will be a milking cow buy these fools..... otherwise you lose the warranty!

      Delete
    7. I bought a Santa Fe. So far so good. �� Comfort wise it's night and day with my old fortuner. Peace.

      Delete
    8. ^ yeah the santa fe is good. The crossover/suv segment of hyundai is very competitive. I just wonder what's wrong in their sedan/compact cars. Lol.

      P.S. Genesis Coupe owner here. :)

      Delete
    9. You shouldn't compare a santa fe to a fortuner. Compare it to a rav 4. The santa fe is still a soft roader.

      Delete
    10. It's a loser replying to himself. Btw Honda City = shit.

      Delete
  2. These Korean cars will suddenly stop working after a few years. Computer error.

    ReplyDelete
  3. anyone see the jag xe line from the side?

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks for the honest review, Sir Uly. I was actually torn between this one, Mazda 3 hatch (1.5) and Honda City VX!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Get the 3 hatch, or better yet, get the Mazda 2 R.

      Delete
    2. ^
      Idiot fanboy detected. See, you didn't even ask what he needed in a car. You straight up assumed he wanted a mazda.

      Delete
    3. The 3 hatch is in the C segment, much better than the City which is in the B segment, its a bigger and better car, check the features, specs. Sizing up on the 2 and the City, the 2R offers better value, at 925k, over the 908k City. Check the features between the 2 R and the City VX, you'll see. The only downside of the 2 is the lack of interior space, get an Altis if you want interior space.

      Delete
    4. Nah. Don't deny your fanboyism. If you weren't an idiot fanboy, you would've given other options. Eh papano puro mazda binigay mo. Nag altis ka lang ng sinita kita.

      Delete
    5. I care not for your bashing, but based on his 2 choices, I gave my opinion on what is the better/best choice. I gave him the 3 hatch because its one of his choices and then I gave a better alternative to the Honda City which is the 2 R(More features and toys). Now that you mention it, I added the Altis if he wanted a sedan with more legroom than the Mazda's. You simply cannot deny that the 2R is a better alternative than the City VX. Instead of bashing me, would you care answer his question? Lets hear your opinion.

      Delete
    6. Based on your first answer, you didn't give a damn whether he needed interior space or not. Whether he's a first time car buyer. You automatically assumed he wanted the "fun to drive" cars. FYI, the city is more spacious than the mazda 3 even though its a segment higher. What if he lives in the metro and parking is scarce? The city might be a better choice because its smaller, has a rear camera. What if he wanted a smaller car but with loads of space? This is nitpicking but do you know that the altis has a beige seats? Do you know how hard it is to keep beige seats clean?

      Anyway, enough of that. All in all, your fanboyism got the better of you. Mazda agad sa iyo eh. Di mo muna inalam ano needs niya. The altis has become large over the years. Kung maluwag ang kalsada at madaming parking space, the altis might be better if he needed legroom. The mazda 2 and city is good for darting in traffic and parking in small spaces.

      Delete
    7. Actually, the best car to drive in the city is the honda jazz. The best interior space you can get out of its exterior size. Shit is maximized as hell. Easy to park, decent power, quite reliable and has the most versatile interior.

      Delete
    8. I didn't assumed that he wanted fun to drive cars. The city is not more spacious than the Mazda 3. Check the width, I have a friend who has a Honda City(2011 model), its a good car, I actually liked it, but when they changed the conventional auto to a CVT, I didn't like the new City anymore. CVT's are terrible to drive. I live in the Metro, btw, the 2 is small as well, and has a back-up camera, and leather seats as well. If he wanted small car with lots of space, he would have chosen the Jazz immediately. I see a lot of big SUV's on the road, although I admit that they're cumbersome for daily use. I based my opinion on the 2 options he had, its not fanboyism.

      Delete
    9. Here's a lesson for you, it's not all about the width, nor the length or the size of the wheelbase. But yeah the mazda 3 is wider in terms of interior width. The city's trunk space and legroom can be compared to executive sedans. CVT's are for fuel efficiency. The old city wasn't as fuel efficient. I'd rather have that than a "sporty" feeling transmission.

      Delete
    10. You know what people? Eh nasa 900k price na pala kayo, just get a NISSAN JUKE. Tapos! Win win. Best car for that price.

      Delete
    11. Who's blind now? Comparing a subcompact City's trunk and legroom to a midsize sedan, lol. You apparently never even sat in one or maybe you're talking about the older midsize sedan models. For the CVT, I agree with you about it being optimized for fuel efficiency, but I'll stick with either a 6 speed manual or a conventional 6 speed automatic. The Juke's CVT tranny is very sluggish and there's a several second delay in acceleration. It's like calculating what gear and how much power to use. Read Topgear's review on the Nissan Juke. And in my opinion, I would rather buy a proper compact sedan than a CUV like the Juke or the Ecosport.

      Delete
    12. The Juke's usefulness outweighs that "sluggish" transmission. Roads in the Philippines can be described as shitty. Small CUVs are pretty effective against these shitty roads compared to compacts or subcompacts. Of course, they can never be used for off-road but at least it'll survive small floods and super high speed bumps.

      Delete
    13. It's pretty annoying even just thinking of driving a car daily with a sluggish transmission. Yeah, roads and the drivers themselves are shitty in Manila. I'll give CUV's credit for having more ground clearance than a sedan, but there's just 2-3 inches difference anyway.

      Delete
  5. uly, why even bother reviewing this car?..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Technically the review matters for me. Because I can be sure that I won't buy this. All car reviews are important as it should help the newbie car buyers to choose the better car :)

      Delete
    2. ^ Agreed. I don't discriminate against any brand here. I'm willing to test drive anything. My objective is to provide an honest, straightforward opinion on a new car.

      As Mr. Anon said, I'm here to help you find the best car for your needs, wants, and budget. I'm not here to be a pseudo celebrity.

      Delete
    3. ^ Don't bother with these haters. 9/10 of them can't even afford to buy a car in cash. It's usually the losers who can't afford that are closed minded. Only shows that they're completely out of their element. They can't make an objective A-B comparison.

      Delete
  6. it lacks the toys found even on the base model previous gen like sun shade mirror lights, reach adjustable steering wheel, flex steer, rear sensors, one touch driver's mirror. Hyundai's used to be feature-laden but what they are offering us right now are basic transportation which is contrary to the KAFTA trade agreement which should allow them to fit more features for the lesser or same price.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The toys are standard on the 2.0 GLS model.

      Delete
  7. Kia Forte far better given same pricing despite being essentially the same car. Weird.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Thanks for this informative and critical review. It helped in my decision-making.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Nice review. Since buying the 2011 Elantra, I shifted loyalties from Toyota to Hyundai after seeing that their quality is the same as Japanese. I own two cars from that company now, Elantra and the Santa Fe. However, this new generation Elantra's styling is a little bland compared to the previous generation which was a head turner. If I have to replace my car, I would choose the Civic since I don't like the Mazda's cramped interior.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Shhh.... don't say that. The idiot mazda fanboy might get mad.

      Delete
    2. Shhh. The Mazda fanboy might get mad and feel more inspired to put more money towards a Mazda 3... though realistically even if he saved for the next 5 years, the loser still can't afford it. =D

      Delete
    3. I think Mazda is the Honda in the 90's. I think they produce some of the best cars in the segment nowadays, why the hate for Mazda and the Mazda fanboy?

      Delete
    4. Because fanboys like you are annoying. You're blind. All you can think about is fun to drive and crap. You completely ignore the strengths of other cars because of your fanboyism.

      Delete
    5. Every car has its weakness. Blind? I don't think so. The Mazda 3 suits my lifestyle as a man in his early 20's. It's not my fault if I like Mazda and not Honda or Toyota. If you like boring and bland cars like the Vios or Innova, then so be it. The only strength of Toyota and Honda are their respective badges, foothold in the country, availability of parts, resale value, interior space, but if we are talking about the cars themselves, Mazda's current lineup are on the top, maybe except for the BT-50 and CX-9. Its not my problem if you cant afford Mazda's or Subaru's maintenance.

      Delete
    6. I've kinda remember my uncle bragging about his new innova. Even belittling my new Santa Fe because of high maintenance and with other stuff. I simply replied. Well. Im willing to pay for the extra comfort and extra horses that I'm getting. Just sharing.

      Delete
    7. I planned on getting the 6 last year but was put off by the flood of new cars with the same design. I don't want to spend that much on a car which shares the design of a car (3 & 2) that costs half as much. Maybe sales of Mazda's higher end units will suffer from this as well.

      Delete
    8. True. I saw a mazda 6 and I thought is a measly 3. I had to take a second look to know it was a 6.

      Delete
    9. @ Anonymous May 30, 2016 at 11:53 PM

      Really? Mazda is the new 90's Honda? As I recall, that generation produced some of the worst douchebags and ricers of all times. In a way, you just said that Mazda fanboys are ricers and douchebags. The way they're acting, you seem on point.

      Delete
    10. Mazda has been churning out great cars today, and I haven't seen a single riced Mazda yet. I live in Makati CBD btw. Honda fanboys would say Honda is the best, and Mazda fanboys would say Mazda is the best. Anyway, it depends on what you want and need in a car.

      Delete
    11. Are you saying Makati CBD is ricer territory?

      Delete
  10. Yeah, comments by fanboys are really biased. But when I bought an SUV last year, one of my top choices was the CX5 but I was disappointed that interior room is cramped compared to my car. Mazda's design are good but maybe the long sweeping design of the hood eats into the interior space

    ReplyDelete
  11. "The steering wheel doesn’t adjust for reach, but the driving position is still comfortable, if a bit awkward." -- Kindly expound on "awkward."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's not going to cause any body pain, if you get what I mean...but you sit more upright than usual. The pedals are okay, but I find the steering wheel a bit too far.

      Delete
    2. Hi Uly, how about tranmission modes? are there eco and sports mode to choose from? I can see there is a manual mode (+,-). I was planning to buy the manual but considering it would be used by my wife as well I think ill choose AT but having sports mode is a good thing for me.

      Also, How is the highway fuel consumption?

      Delete
  12. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Hi Uly, how about tranmission modes? are there eco and sports mode to choose from? I can see there is a manual mode (+,-). I was planning to buy the manual but considering it would be used by my wife as well I think ill choose AT but having sports mode is a good thing for me.

    Also, How is the highway fuel consumption?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No adjustable transmission modes except for the +/- override. No eco mode, no power mode. It's plain.

      As for highway fuel consumption, I didn't take it on the highway (had it for the weekday--not weekend).

      Delete
    2. No adjustable transmission modes except for the +/- override. No eco mode, no power mode. It's plain.

      As for highway fuel consumption, I didn't take it on the highway (had it for the weekday--not weekend).

      Delete
  14. How about the fuel consumption?

    ReplyDelete
  15. Fuel consumption should be good but for only P40,000 more it makes more sense to buy the 2.0, which should be way better in the highway and more spirited driving. If you get the 1.6 better buy the manual

    ReplyDelete
  16. Got the 1.6 AT and i was amazed by the fuel consumption. 7.7L/100km from Manila to Ilagan, Isabela.:) This 6th Gen Elantra is "Sulit". The 6 speed tranny was quick on the 1.6 variant. Car audio was excellent too!

    ReplyDelete
  17. I don't get it when you say 8.26km/L at average of 17km/hr. What does that mean?

    ReplyDelete
  18. I would like to get one of the elantra's variants. The 1.6gl manual.. sir uly okay po ba ang elantra? Oh mag aaksaya lang ba ako ng pera..newbie here..thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm also planning to get the 1.6 GL MT Elantra only because it's one of the most fuel efficient compact sedan nowadays. According to the 2016 DOE fuel economy run results, this variant yielded 27.83 km/l better than the Mazda 2 with 26.72 considering it's a B-segment, Mazda 3 is not even in the list Civic 1.5 RS is also at 27 but they don't have MT Variant which i'm looking for.

      The reviews above are way far if they will review the top of the line GLS 2.0. They featured a base model of elantra so what do they expect, the features that comes with a much expensive car? Any base model of any brand would be the same, some would even have hubcap wheel cover only. So whenever we compare, we should compare it equally base to base and top of the line to top of the line and should also compare the price. GL MT at the price of 878K considering a C-Segment compact car, I think is okay.

      Delete
    2. The price was indeed taken into consideration.

      If you read the article, I even compared it to the previous base Elantra... The new one has less features at a more expensive price. So no go.

      As for the 2.0, I welcome Hyundai to give me the opportunity to drive it. That's no problem.

      Delete
    3. Agree. But I will not compare it anymore to the old elantra. Who would by an old one.compare it to the same generation on other brands base models, same segments and price. They are as bare as this.

      Uly what do you think about the 2016 Lancer EX 1.6 GLS MT?
      it's almost the same price as this but the interior is a bit outdated for me, though exterior has been face lifted and now has fog lamps and DRL included in the base variant, but looking at the entire body it is still the same Lancer EX decade ago.

      Delete
    4. Okay, let me explain.

      The new Elantra has less features and a higher price compared to the old base model. This is perhaps the first time it's ever happened.

      Normally, you'll either keep the same equipment and increase the price or increase the equipment and increase the price. Weird why Hyundai decided to remove content rather than add to it.

      As for the Lancer EX, check out our review. Since it's mechanically the same, our old review still holds up.

      http://www.carguide.ph/2013/03/review-2013-mitsubishi-lancer-ex-glx-at.html

      Delete
  19. Thanks Uly, I guess I will just go with Elantra for one reason only, that is its fuel efficiency. I will just add side mirror repeater, fog lamps and infotainment with reverse cam upfront. And probably just upgrade the head and taillights in the future.

    But maybe if you can suggest other C-Segment Sedan with Manual tranny and fuel efficient, I might think again.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Hi, anyone here who knows where can I purchase OEM Front Bumper Fog Lamp DRL Light Cover Set 8ea for 2016 Elantra? Saw one on Ebay for 17k set, just wondering if I can find one here.
    Dealership said that they only have fog lamps and it will cost me 18k which is more than the price of the complete set with DRL.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Hello everyone and Mr. Ang! I'm currently in the market for a new sedan for my mom and I need advice. A large majority of her time in the city and the car I will purchase will be her first (she learned how to drive late, I know). Anyways, she said she only wants a sedan and not an SUV because realized that she doesn't really like the high riding height when she test drove the Subaru XV. Also she needs the trunk space of a compact sedan for the occasional trip to the province. So far, she's driven the Civic, Corolla Altis, Elantra, Focus, Forte Sedan, Mazda3, Jetta, Sylphy, Cruze (which she hated) and the Lancer. So far, her shortlist includes the Mazda3, Altis, Elantra, Jetta and the Civic. Our budget is from about PHP 900K to PHP 1.3M. I am hoping you guys on carguide could give me some advice and opinions. The most important aspects she considers are fuel economy, space and overall ease of use. Hopefully you guys can give your insights about this topic. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete