Like it or not, I think Korean cars have come a long way, a long long way. Take the Hyundai Elantra which I have just driven. It looks great, the curves and all and the colour suits me as well. From the front, I like the design of the daytime running lights and it suits the design all around.
Until the sun sets and then you turn on your halogen headlights. Yes, this is the Hyundai Elantra 2.0. It is powered by a 2-litre naturally aspirated engine which produces 152ps at 6,200rpm and it is mated to a 6-speed automatic. It is a front wheel drive car and even though, in the world of forced induction, this car isn’t that far off. You just need to know what to do.
What do I mean by that? If I left the car as it is, the car feels laggy. I have to press hard on the accelerator in order to get the car going and if I am chasing my friends heading uphill in high powered cars, I have to drive the hell out in order to keep up. That is until you change the car in sports mode and suddenly, throttle response is so much better which allows me to get out of the corner faster.
Handling wise that is where the car suffers, yes you get McPherson struts at the front but you get a tubular beam suspension at the rear. Going through tight corners and the car rolls a fair bit. Definitely, a bit of area for improvement when it comes to handling.
On the inside, you get a whiz of gadgetry. A nice 7″ TFT screen greets you at the centre offering both Android Auto and Apple Car Play. You have plenty of ports about to plug your USB cables in and you get a nice start-stop capability. The whole interior is wrapped in both suede and leather which gives it a nice luxurious feel to it.
The steering has plenty of buttons, way too many of them which makes it a little complex and scary especially for those who are first time users to multifunctional steering wheels. The driver’s seat has an 8-way power seat which makes it very adjustable.
Driving the car is very practical as well, you get both front and rear parking sensors and a rearview camera. As a day-to-day car, it was a breeze to drive, easy to manoeuvre around town and with the sensors about, squeezing through tight spaces is easy. In terms of comfort, it isn’t super soft as what you might expect of their Japanese cousins and the overall noise from the outside does seep in.
Still, for the price they are going for, you can’t blame it. It definitely has a lot going for it with all of its equipment and bells and whistles. If I were shopping for a car in the price range, it is definitely a tough choice because there are just so many great choices out there, including the Hyundai Elantra 2.0. The 2.0 Executive goes for RM116,388 on the road without insurance whilst the 2.0 Dynamic goes for RM120,588.