The all-new Hyundai Elantra has been around for quite some time already. Launched in South Korea earlier this year, the compact sedan has been making waves abroad. However, it hasn't landed in Southeast Asia, that is, until now.
Malaysia is the first to get the redesigned Elantra in the region. With that, does this mean the Philippines is next? But before we answer that question, what is available in the ASEAN model?
For the Malaysian market, at least, there is only one engine option. It uses a 1.6-liter engine with 123 PS and 154 Nm of torque. That engine is paired with an eight-speed Intelligent Variable Transmission (IVT) which is Hyundai-Kia's take on a continuously variable transmission.
The Malaysia-spec Elantra has a rather loaded equipment list. On the outside, it has dual-LED headlights and 17-inch alloy wheels. Step inside and you're greeted by a 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster and an 8.0-inch infotainment screen that features Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. It also comes equipped with ventilated seats, dual-zone climate control, and even wireless charging.
As for other features, it comes with something called Hyundai Smartsense. It's essentially the brand's suite of active safety systems bundled in one package. Smartsense includes adaptive cruise control, blind-spot detection, lane-keeping and lane follow assist, automatic emergency braking, and rear cross-traffic alert. Also standard are traction and stability control, along with six airbags.
So, will we get the Elantra soon? Unfortunately, it doesn't seem like it. When Hyundai Philippines announced four incoming models for 2021, the Elantra wasn't included in the list. Instead, what we can anticipate is the facelifted Kona, the heavily updated Santa Fe, the all-new Tucson, and the next-generation Starex.
As it is, the current-generation Elantra is approaching its fifth year of production, making it ripe for a full redesign. If Hyundai Philippines wants to make a splash in the compact sedan segment, they should bring in the all-new Elantra sooner than later. That said, sedan sales are on the decline, so there is a possibility that the sixth-generation Elantra will be the last in the Philippines and they will focus on crossovers instead.
Of course, the fate of the Elantra in the Philippines isn't sealed yet, so there is still a slim chance of it arriving here. It may not land next year, but that doesn't mean a 2022 launch is likely.