Hyundai Elantra SR

Hyundai launched its updated Australian Elantra range March this year, presenting revamped body, interior, engines, with a suite of previously extra features now standard. There was entry level Active or higher Elite models, both with 2 litres naturally aspirated engines.

Hyundai Elantra SR

Now arrival of the new top of range SR introduces more highly powered engines and sporty additions and driving assistance aids. The SR has all of the Elite's features but adds more of its own.

External changes include sports body kit, with redesigned front and rear bumpers and side skirts, larger air intakes, twin barrel sports exhaust, and black look Bi Xenon headlamps, LED Day Running Lights and sport design LED tail lights. Electric sun roof is standard. Wheels are 5 double spoke, 17'' alloys, and space saver spare. With front Macpherson struts, a multi-link independent rear suspension now replaces the previous torsion bar, and as always with Hyundai, the suspension is painstakingly tested and tailored to handle Australian roads. The car looks very sporty and stylish - Hyundai are continually improving their offerings and competitiveness.

Six-speed manual transmission is standard, with 7-speed dual clutch auto optional. Dual clutch transmissions have separate odd and even gear assemblies, so whilst driving with one gear the next is made ready for instant use. This makes gear changes very smooth and fast, increasing fuel economy, and 7.7 L/100km dropping to 7.2 respectively. Manual transmission includes drivers screen prompts when gear changing is necessary, and Auto has mode choices of Eco, Normal and Sport.

We found, testing our manual transmission car, the suspension setup was very tight and stable, but good over bumps and corrugations, and steering had a good amount of feel. The car is a pleasure to drive, also a great deal of fun, very zippy and maneuverable, with very adequate acceleration. The manual gearbox is smooth and very easy to use, maybe more fun than an auto, creating an interesting choice.

The previous 2 Litre naturally aspirated engine is upped to 1.6 Litre twin scroll turbocharged, as in the Veloster, and this makes a big difference, dramatically raising peak power to 150 kW at 6,000rpm, and torque to 265Nm all the way from 1,500 to 4,500 rpm, meaning the engine shows no weakness through a wide range of speeds. Front brakes are bigger, to handle increased power.

Internally, there are black leather appointed seats, with red available, black headlining, sports flat bottomed steering wheel and gear knob for manual, wheel mounted paddle shifters for auto, alloy metal pedals, heated sport front seats, black leather appointed upholstery with red stitching. Interior surfaces on doors, dash and centre console are fairly soft, leather grain appearance plastic, pleasant to the touch. Overall we felt the cabin is very modern, comfortable and spacious, inviting to be in.

Rear seats fold forward 60/40 style, allowing longer objects to extend from the boot, similar to a hatch but without the rear window raising. Actually with its quite high rear the car does look quite hatch like, but longer.

Multimedia setup includes very usable 7.0" touch screen, impressive audio system with steering wheel control, MP3 capability, 6 speakers, Apple CarPlay & Android Auto (no satnav, use own phone), 12V outlets, AUX / USB audio input with iPod compatibility, Bluetooth connectivity, hands–free phone operation & audio streaming.

The driver console has round analog tacho and speedo, with square screen between these that can, by flipping a switch on the wheel, show various drive information, including, probably generally most useful, a digital speedo display.

Driver aids common with the Elite include electric folding mirrors, rain sense wipers, steering mounted cruise control, rear camera and park assist, electronic stability and traction control, ABS, Hill assist, electronic brake force distribution. SR model additions include Blind spot detect, lane change and rear cross traffic assist.

There is dual zone climate control, with dual rear outlet vanes, keyless entry, engine immobiliser, burglar alarm, central locking, active door lock when driving, proximity smart key and push button start.

Overall a very impressive car, with huge amount of standard and also optional equipment, a very inviting and compelling choice and steep competition to the likes of Honda Civic, Mazda3, Toyota Corolla, and maybe its own variant the i30 hatch.

  • Engine: 1.6L petrol direct injected turbo 4-cylinder turbo front wheel drive
  • Transmission: front wheel drive 6 speed manual, optional 7 speed dual-clutch automatic
  • Dimensions mm: L 4,570 W 1,800 H 1,440 WB 2,700
  • Turning circle: 10.6m
  • Steering: electrically assisted
  • Kerb weight: around 1,400kg
  • Tank: 50 litres
  • Thirst L/100km: combined 7.7 manual, 7.2 auto,
  • Co2 gm/km: 6.1 man, 5.8 auto
Price: $28,990 manual, $31,290 auto plus ORC
  • Warranty 5 years/unlimited
  • Services: 12months/10,000km
  • Safety: 5 stars ANCAP