Hyundai Elantra - Know its alternatives
The sixth generation Hyundai Elantra had its work cut out. The vehicle while being attractive enough had to contend with the new Skoda Octavia, Volkswagen Jetta, Toyota Corolla Altis, Honda Civic and the Mazda 3. The Elantra was by far the most technologically advanced as well as beautiful iteration of the car. It had Hyundai’s Fluidic Sculpture 2.0 design language, looked aggressive, had tons of features as well as new set of engines. However, the competition has revamped since the Hyundai’s launch in 2015 and the Korean has started to look dated.
In terms of specifications, the Hyundai Elantra measures 4,570 mm in length, 1,800 mm in width and 1,465 mm in height. The wheelbase stands at 2,700 mm. Hyundai offers a choice one engine with the Elantra. This is the 2.0-litre naturally aspirated unit that produces 152 PS of power and 192 Nm of torque. There is a lone 6-speed automatic that is offered here. Earlier there used to be a 1.6-litre petrol turbo unit but it has now been discontinued. Prices for the new Hyundai Elantra start from RM 109,888. Here is a list of alternative cars that one can choose instead of the new Hyundai Elantra.
The Skoda Octavia is in its fourth generation and is a much sought after vehicle primarily because of the feature kit. It has power adjustable driver and passenger seat with memory, sunroof, sun blinds, advanced music system and more. Skoda offers the Octavia with a 1.8-litre TSI motor that is turbocharged and good for 160 PS of power. This engine is mated to a 6-speed dual clutch gearbox that offers faster shifts than the Hyundai’s unit. Dimensionally, the Skoda Octavia measures 4,670 mm in length, 1,814mm in width and 1,476 mm in height. The wheelbase is 2,668 mm which is lower than what Hyundai offers. However, there is no lack of space in the Skoda’s rear seat. There are also AC vents under the front seats. These direct air flow onto the legs of the rear passenger. Prices start from RM 128,000.
The Honda Civic has been well received in Malaysia. Ever since the Hyundai’s launch, there has been a new Civic. We like the Civic’s futuristic styling coupled with LED DRLs as well as lights. The cabin too is similar to that of an aircraft and has all the essentials one could ever ask for. The Civic, however, isn't as spacious as the Elantra or Octavia at the back. Take a look at its dimensions and you will be able to guess. The length is 4,631 mm, the width is 1,878 mm while the height is 1,416 mm. The wheelbase of 2,700 mm is good, however, the sloping roof eats into headroom. There are two petrol engines on offer. One is the 140 PS 1.8-litre non-turbo unit whereas, the other is a 1.5-litre turbo. The latter produces 173 PS of power and 223 Nm of torque. Both are mated to CVT. Prices for the Honda Civic start from RM 104,224.
Toyota Corolla Altis
The most reliable of all of these cars mentioned here is the Toyota Corolla Altis. Widely acknowledged, the Corolla Altis is the safest bet. It has recently got a facelift and a much-needed feature addition. It measures 4,620 mm in length, 1,776 mm in width and 1,460 mm in height. The wheelbase is the same as the Honda Civic at 2,700 mm. The Altis is equally spacious and since the roofline doesn’t slope in abruptly, the headroom too is good. Of this lot here, the Altis is the only one which comes with a digital video recorder. Akin to the videos you see of Russia where cars have camera recorders fitted to capture their journey, the Corolla Altis too does this. Toyota offers a choice of two petrol engines. One is the 139 PS/173 Nm 1.8-litre unit whereas the other is a 2.0-litre motor that produces 145 PS/187 Nm. Both are mated to CVT units. Both of them are naturally aspirated as well. Prices start from RM 110,790.
The Mazda 3 sedan has also recently turned out to be a formidable rival to the Hyundai Elantra. It also has an identical wheelbase to that of the others here at 2,700 mm. The other dimensions are 4,470 mm in length, 1,795 mm in width and 1,465 mm in height. The Mazda 3 sedan, however, has now started to age and it is high time the Japanese carmaker brings in a facelift or an all-new generation. It is also the only one car here that offers a head-up display as standard. Mazda also offers the best package of riding and handling in this mix. We are also fans of the 2.0-litre naturally aspirated motor that produces 162 PS of power and 210 Nm of torque. There is also the 6-speed automatic transmission. Prices for the Mazda 3 sedan are very competitive. It is priced starting at RM 104,027.
If you are looking at other options to a Hyundai Elantra, one will also get the Mazda CX-3 that retails for 131,000. It is slightly more comfortable as well as easy to drive. It gets the same engine and transmission combo but in a detuned manner. The engine here makes 154 PS and 204 Nm.
Hyundai is expected to bring the facelifted Elantra to Malaysia soon. The car has already been spotted at a yard in China and it will be only a matter of time before it makes its way down here. This one should have a tad more features like wireless charging, an H-band that will allow passive entry into the car and more. Expect it to be priced slightly higher than the outgoing car. There will be no changes to the powertrain though.