2020 Hyundai Elantra – coupe styling, 10.25 inch dual screen, new 1.6-litre hybrid, better than a Honda Civic?

Hyundai unveiled the 2021 Hyundai Elantra sedan via YouTube stream at West Hollywood yesterday, showing off its coupe-like proportion and for the first time, a hybrid powertrain option.

This is the first proper look at Hyundai’s new design direction dubbed ‘Parametric Dynamics’. The bold look utilized unconventional lines all over the car, with a touch of angularity and sharp edges, creating an almost sci-fi look.

Along with the Hyundai Sonata, this is the second car to fall under Hyundai’s 'Sensuous Sportiness' design identity.

All-new platform, design and styling

Compared to its predecessor, the C-segment sedan is lower by 20 mm, longer by 56 mm, wider by 25 mm, and longer wheelbase by 20 mm thanks to the usage of Hyundai’s third-generation K3 vehicle platforms. Even compared to its three key rivals, the Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla Altis and Mazda 3, the all-new Elantra excels in all dimensions.

The front features parametric-jewel-pattern grille that is wide, which integrates both the LED headlights and turn-signal. The prominent lower lip design, first featured in the 2019 facelift model, has been aggravated further in the new Elantra.

From the side, the use of sharp lines continues with a big Z-like crease on the doors, along with a low slung front bonnet lines which mimics coupe like design.

Wheel sizes range from 15- to 17- inch, which has been designed with similar ‘Parametric Dynamics’ to compliment the overall look.

Moving to the back, the wide and horizontal line extends across the center of the trunk, creating a fastback, although the rear boot operates like any other conventional sedan. You are greeted with the sharp and futuristic looking LED ‘H-tail lamp’, meant to mimic Hyundai’s corporate logo. To further enhance the coupe-like design, the lower portion of glass features black deck accent.

Premium, driver-focused dashboard with new tech

For the interior, the Elantra adopts an aircraft-cockpit, driver-focused layout, which Hyundai calls this the “Immersive Cacoon”. The range-topping model gets a 10.25-inch information display and infotainment system with voice recognition system, with the infotainment angled directly to the driver side.

Two-spoke steering wheel looks the business, and the streamline aircon vent design reminds us of the one in the Volkswagen Passat.

The infotainment supports wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, which is a first for the C-segment. Options include Blue Link Connected Car System, Qi wireless charging and eight-speaker Bose premium sound system with Super65 wide-range speakers in the front doors and a woofer at the back.

10.25-inch headunit on the top spec Elantra, 8-inch head unit below for the lower spec.

For the lower spec Elantra, it will come with a standard 8-inch head unit, and it too supports wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Coolest feature however is the customizable 64-color LED mood lighting system, which reminds you of the one in a certain German luxury car brand.

Safety, uncompromised

Working in tandem with the new infotainment system is Hyundai’s SmartSense safety features, which includes Forward Colission-Avoidance Assist (FCA), Lane Keeping Assist (LKA), Lane Following Assist (LFA), High Beam Assists (HBA), Driver Attention Warning (DAW) and rearview camera with dynamic guidelines.

Optional features includes Blind-Spot Collision Avoidance Assist (BCA) with Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist (RCCA), Smart Cruise Control (SCC), Highway Driving Assist (HAD), Safe Exit Warning (SEW) as well as Reverse Parking Collision Avoidance Assist (PCA).

Another interesting option buyers could add on is the smartphone-based Hyundai Digital Key, which uses a dedicated app that features Near Field Communication (NFC) and Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology and allows the new Elantra to be unlocked, started and driven without physical key. The Digital Key also can be shared between friends and family with the ability to custom-tailor its preset and settings. However, only Android phones can make full use of this technology.

Under the hood

The petrol model gets the 2.0-litre MPI Atkinson-cycle engine with 147 hp at 6,200rpm and 179 Nm of torque at 4,500 rpm. Combined with an Intelligent Variable Transmission (IVT), which is essentially a CVT, it utilizes chain-design belt instead of conventional belt to improve fuel efficiency by 1.2%.

The transmission closely replicates automatic transmission step shifts, while improving linearity between driver inputs, car behavior and acceleration. Hyundai claims the combination of these two offer the best-in-class fuel economy.

Shifting our focus to the new hybrid variant, power comes from a smaller 1.6-litre GDI Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder engine with a permanent-magnet electric motor rated at 42 hp, powered by a 1.32 kWH lithium-ion-polymer battery positioned under the rear seats. These combination delivers a total of 139 hp and 264 Nm of torque, sent through the front wheel through Hyundai’s own 6-speed dual-clutch transmission. There are no official fuel consumption figures, although Hyundai is optimistic that the Elantra will only use 4.7-litre of fuel per 100 km.

Interestingly, hybrid model will be fitted with fully independent rear suspension, whereas petrol models comes with torsion beam setup. The reason is unclear, although we suspect this is due to packaging or cost reasons.

Production timeline

The 2020 Hyundai Elantra will begin its production in September this year at two locations – Korea and United States. Sales will begin in the fourth quarter of the year, although this is subjected to external factors due to COVID-19, as it also threatens the automotive industry’s supply chain, production and delivery.

Hyundai Elantra
Hyundai Elantra