Canada's second-best-selling car gets a major makeover.
The Hyundai Elantra is one of the most popular cars in Canada, duking it out regularly with the Honda Civic for the top sales spot. For 2017, the sixth-generation version of Hyundai's compact sedan gets a major makeover that's intended to keep in that fight against an equally new Civic.
With the introduction of the sixth generation Elantra, Hyundai cranks up the pressure on its competitors, making significant improvements in both content and engineering.
At an event held in Brentwood, B.C, to introduce this latest version of its best-selling vehicle to the media, Hyundai Canada president and CEO Don Romano explained that the 2017 Elantra has been developed and equipped to “disrupt the competition.”
During the development process, Romano said, the company was able to specifically address Canadian consumers. "We didn’t get a car meant for the Americans and handed off to us. We were able to include what our customers want – what we are calling 'high-want' Canadian features."
That process involved putting extra content in high-volume models, not just the top trim levels. For example the lowest entry-level model, the $15,995 L, which accounts for only 5% of Elantra volume will cost $200 more than the current version, but comes with height adjustable driver’s seat, heated front seats and remote keyless entry in addition to power windows, heated mirrors and remote keyless entry.
But where the game gets really interesting and the pressure on the competition more intense is the GL trim level, which accounts for 55% of all Elantras sold in Canada. This model will now come with a heated leather steering wheel and Blind-Spot Detection with rear cross-traffic alert.
The GL also gets a back-up camera, a seven-inch colour touch-screen infotainment system with Android Auto and alloy wheels.
The top-level Elantra GLS will add dual-zone automatic climate control, a power sunroof, larger alloy wheels, proximity key entry,Smart Trunk activation and heated rear seats.
If you really want to have it all in an affordable small car, higher trim levels of the the new Elantra will be available with integrated memory for the driver seat and mirrors, a larger touch screen with navigation, 315-watt, eight-speaker Infinity audio system, leather trim, eight-way power seats and rear park assist.
The new Elantra has a fresh new look from its jewel-like headlamps and LED daytime running lights to its larger trunk.
It is 20-mm longer, 25-mm wider and 5-mm taller. The increased exterior dimensions have translated into a bigger interior. It now actually has more room inside than the Audi A4, Acura TLX and Volkswagen CC – similarly equipped luxury cars costing much more.
The 2017 Elantra boasts an entirely new engine, an Atkinson cycle four-cylinder displacing 2.0 litres and producing 147-horsepower and 132 lb.ft. of torque. It is paired with a six-speed manual transmission in the L model but otherwise with a new six-speed automatic developed in-house.
But, perhaps the most significant advance with the new Elantra over the outgoing models and the competition is the amount of high strength steel used in its manufacture. This may not seem significant but it brings improvements in three critical areas – ride and handling, interior noise levels and safety. Fully 53% of the steel used in the new Elantra is high strength, compared to 21% in the current version.
The new Elantra will be built in factories in South Korea and Alabama and go on sale in late February. Due to the current currency fluctuation situation prices have not been finalized yet.
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