1 Oct 2006
HYUNDAI launched the fourth-generation Elantra (known as Lantra until 2000’s XD release) without the hatchback models essential to total success in Australia.
That’s due, along with a coupe and wagon variant, in late 2007.
Still, sharp pricing, all-new styling, an industry-leading warranty and plenty of standard features have kept the sedan’s sales ticking along nicely.
Available in four grades, SX, SLX, Elite, and Elite S, the front-wheel drive Elantra uses Hyundai’s 2.0-litre CVVT Beta four-cylinder engine, offering 105kW of power at 6000rpm and 186Nm of torque at 4600rpm.
In this application, it is claimed to be faster, yet 16 per cent more frugal and smoother than before.
Gearbox choices are a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic.
All models include dual front airbags, anti-lock brakes, air-conditioning, power windows/mirrors, remote central locking with alarm, and MP3/CD audio. Stability control is also available throughout the range.
Compared to its XD predecessor, the HD Elantra is 65mm higher (1490mm), 50mm wider (1775mm) and 20mm shorter ( 4505mm), while a 40mm-longer (2650mm) wheelbase and 58/66mm wider front/rear wheel tracks result in a wider footprint and, allegedly, improved stability and handling balance.
Hyundai claims the result is class-leading interior space too.
The all-new front-drive chassis again features MacPherson front struts, but its independent “Torsion Blade” IRS is claimed to be more sophisticated than the current multi-link rear-end.
Steering it all is a new electric rack-and-pinion steering system that’s both engine and road speed-sensitive.
The steering on the first batch of HD Elantra models was criticised for being overly light and feel-free, prompting Hyundai to implement a quick-fix recalibration that has since been adopted for all models coming to Australia.