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Mobility Test Drive: 2012 Hyundai Elantra


We got the chance to test drive Hyundai Elantra at the height of the 2012 yuletide rush, and we thought it was just apt to include the Car Of The Year multi-awardee in our knockout issue. Who hasn’t seen the Hyundai Elantra? After winning the American, Canadian, South African and Car of the Year-Philippines awards in 2012, its
popularity has hit critical mass with the demand for the car becoming far greater than what official distributor Hyundai Asia Resources, (HARI) could supply.


One look at the Elantra and you can tell it’s a lean, mean driving machine. Its overall look is
one of strength, and its fluid lines and styling are unmistakably macho. Once inside the cabin,
the first thing you will notice is the roominess, with the legroom space one would expect from a
higher car segment. Wherever you sit, there’s just so much space-and being part of a taller-than average family, I truly appreciated this from the get go.
The Elantra’s interior is well mapped out. Everything is within reach and where it’s supposed to be, with many convenience features for both the driver and the passenger. The cardholder on the visor, overhead storage for sunglasses, numerous cup holders, plus a 12-volt convenience outlet at the passenger’s side-these are the thoughtful extras which have the passenger in mind.


Both the 1.6L GL Hyundai Elantra variants are fitted with a gamma multipoint fuel injected dual continuously variable valve timing (MPI D-CVVT) engine mated to either a six-speed manual transmission or a six-speed gate-type automatic transmission, and produces 128 horses and 157Nm of torque. The top ofthe line 1.8L GLS AT has a Nu 1.8L MPI D-CVVT engine, offering 148hp and 178Nm torque.
The 2012 Hyundai Elantra is equipped with an anti-lock braking system (ABS) with electronic
brake-force distribution (EBD). The manual version has an SRS airbag for the driver, while the AT versions provide for both front passengers. All variants have keyless entry and feature a
high-mounted stop lamp for added visibility.


The Elantra’s head unit is an audio/video and navigation (AVN) system that has a 7-inch WVGA touch-screen display with integrated tuner, CD player, MP3 with aux-in and USB port. When in reverse, the head unit’s screen automatically displays the view of the rear camera, along with parking sensors, both of which come stock with the top tier variant. Capture



It’s no wonder the Hyundai Elantra has garnered so many awards. It has big car conveniences but handles like a small car-being very nimble and agile, plus it doesn’t scrimp on the style and fun factors. Its MacPherson strut fronts and coupled torsion beam axles at the rear provide a smooth ride. The leg room it offers makes it perfect for comfortably getting you around the city as well as on long leisurely drives out of town. The Elantra comes with motor-driven power
steering, which makes steering duties easier by making it lighter. Now, while this may be a plus for some, it might not sit well with others, especially those who appreciate feedback at the wheel.


Although we’ve heard of people getting better mileage from the Elantra, based on the on board
display from for the time we had the AT unit, it was running around 12.Sii/1 OOkm. The MT variant did a little better at approximately 11.51i/1 OOkm, which translates to about 8km/li and 8.7km/li, respectively. Not bad considering the horrendous daily, almost standstill, traffic we had to endure during the Yuletide rush.

One detail that is often overlooked is the fact that the driver’s seat height can be adjusted, yet this makes a world of a difference by improving the driver’s POV. This, together with the convenience plug on the passenger side gets our (gadget freak’s) nod of approval.
While the additional perks that come with the more expensive AT version (namely the rear
disc breaks, fog lamps, better head unit, parking sensors) are much appreciated, the best buy
among the three variants available is still the entry level 1.6L GL with manual transmission which offers the best value for money.



The Hyundai Elantra is available in Phantom Black, Clean Blue, Tomato Red, Santorini Blue, Bronze, Sleek Silver and Ceramic White. The 1.6 GL MT is priced at PHP 818,000; the 1.6L GL AT is PHP 888,000; and the top-of-the line 1.8L GLS AT is available at PHP 958,000.

Over a year after the model was launched and with a newer model due, the Elantra is still in high demand in the compact sedan market. It’s exciting to find out what Forbes Magazine’s fourth Most Popular Car in the World has in store for us next.

First published in Gadgets Magazine February 2013

Words by Mika Fernandez-David