The coronavirus may have stopped factories and slowed down global commerce, but that hasn't stopped Hyundai from revealing an all-new compact sedan. This is the 2021 Hyundai Elantra and it looks mean, sexy, and is packed with a lot of tech.
Serving as the highlight of the Elantra's more aggressive looks is the jewel-pattern front grill. Part of the company's Sensuous Sportiness design language, the redesigned Cascading Grill, along with the sleek set of headlights, gives the Elantra a bold and sporty appearance. Meanwhile, the low hood further accentuates the Elantra's sleek looks.
Speaking of sleek, the Elantra adopts a coupe-like shape which gives the illusion of motion even while standing still. A choice of 15-, 16-, and 17-inch wheel design are available which Hyundai claim will complement the overall look of the new compact sedan.
Complementing the compact's distinct front end is its unmistakable rear. A wide horizontal line extends across the center of the trunk and stretches all the way to the far edges of the car. Meanwhile, the 'H-Tail Lamp' gives the Elantra a flying H logo-like shape. It even gets a blacked-out deck accent which enhances the compact's coupe-like appearance.
Thanks to a new platform, Hyundai has also made their compact sedan bigger, wider and more spacious than before. It now measures 4676mm long (+55mm), 1826mm wide (+25mm), and 1414mm tall (-20mm). Despite being shorter in height, Hyundai claims that the Elantra offers more headroom thanks to the unique shape. In addition, the company also paid special attention to giving extra rear legroom, and improved shoulder room via a wider track.
Hopping inside the Elantra, and occupants are immediately greeted by two massive screens. That's because both the instrument panel and the touchscreen infotainment measure 10.25-inches each. Also noticeable is the cocoon-like cabin layout which envelops the driver like an airplane's cockpit. With the high-mounted center console, the driver can easily adjust onboard functions with ease.
As far as tech and amenities are concerned, however, the 2021 Elantra has plenty on offer. These include Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, an eight-speaker Bose sound system, intelligent voice recognition that can recognize HVAC commands, heated and ventilated seats, etc., wireless phone charging, and a customizable 64-color mood lighting system.
Under the hood, the Elantra is powered by a 2.0-liter MPI inline-four that produces 147 PS and 179 Nm of torque. Power is then sent to the front wheels via the Intelligent Variable Transmission (IVT). With it, Hyundai stated that the IVT provides better performance and efficiency, and it can simulate gear shifts like those in an automatic transmission. Moreover, Hyundai said that its chain-drive design improves fuel economy by 1.2% instead of the more typical push-belt design.
Aside from a naturally-aspirated 2.0-liter, the new Elantra is also available as a hybrid for the first time. Simply dubbed 'Elantra Hybrid', it's powered by a 1.6-liter GDI Atkinson-cycle, four-cylinder engine that is helped along by an electric motor and a 1.32-kWh lithium-ion battery pack. It has a combined system output of 139 PS along with 265 Nm of torque. The powertrain is then mated to a six-speed dual-clutch transmission, and Hyundai claims it's capable of averaging over 20 km/l.
To keep the driver and passengers safe from harm, the 2021 Elantra comes with the latest in SmartSense. It serves as Hyundai's suite of intelligent driver aids that include forward collision-avoidance assist, lane-keeping assist, lane-following assist, high-beam assist, and driver attention warning. Other SmartSense features available as an option are blind-spot collision-avoidance, smart cruise control (also called adaptive cruise control), safe exit warning, and reverse parking collision avoidance assist.
Hyundai plans to begin building the 2021 Elantra in Korea later this year. However, there is no word whether the ongoing pandemic will affect the company's supply chain, as well as its workforce. Let's just hope that Hyundai will be on schedule to build their latest compact sedan and that it will be available in the Philippine market as well.