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It is a competitive world out there. If you’re not focused on the prize – being on top of your game, you’re destined to slip off, into forgotten land. Luckily, Korea’s stylish car brand, Hyundai, has been hard at work – producing two rather sporty new options.
First up, Hyundai’s all-new Elantra. The Elantra is a compact four-door sedan designed to compete with the likes of VW’s Jetta and Toyota’s hero child, the Corolla, with the addition of Honda’s Civic and Ford’s Focus. The previous Elantra was great-looking – swooping lines that mimic the sexy curves of the waves of the ocean. Interestingly, it won the Car of the Year prize in South Africa in 2012.
The new Elantra is equally as attractive, borrowing design nuisances from the Honda Civic combined with the Audi A3 Sedan. Its design works – it is fresh, bold and up to the challenge of replacing its predecessor. Looks aside, the new Elantra is lighter and far more rigid making it feel more secure and refined.
The Elantra features an Advanced Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD) standard on all derivatives for active safety, with the addition of an Electronic Stability Programme (ESP) in the Elantra Sport.
Passive safety is taken care of by the driver, front passenger, side and curtain airbags in all the derivatives. The intelligent use of different grades of steel strength also enhances the safety cell for the Elantra’s occupants in case of a collision or accident.
As of June, there are four derivatives available: The 1.6 Executive manual and 1.6 Executive automatic (both driven by a 1,6-litre naturally aspirated petrol engine). There is also a 2.0 Elite, with a naturally aspirated 2-litre petrol engine; and the range-topping Elantra 1.6 TGDI Elite DCT Sport, with a powerful 150 kW 1,6-litre turbocharged petrol engine.
Interestingly, the launch of this car took place on the race course. So, I did what one does when they are on a race course – I raced an Elantra Sport around and around the track with glee. The car is nippy, offers good levels of grip, instilling great confidence with its failsafe handling.
Both specification levels – Executive and Elite – offer comprehensive features which are all included in the recommended retail prices, starting at R299 900 and ending at a very competitive R399 900 for the Elantra Sport with several special designs, trim and technical characteristics.
The standard features list includes an 8-inch hi-resolution infotainment system, rear park assist, six airbags, Isofix latching points for child seats, cruise control and attractive alloy wheels on all the derivatives.
On the inside, the Elantra continues to depict a modern, driver-oriented design, optimized for intuitive control, improved interior roominess, high-quality materials and premium technology features. All four derivatives’ seats are covered in environmentally-friendly man-made leather called made SoyFoam™.
The Elantra Sport is visually differentiated inside as well with model-specific interior appointments such as a flat-bottomed steering wheel, red sports seats, and red contrast stitching. It is very visually appealing in the flesh.
Fuel economy ranges from 6,5 litres/100 km (manual) and 6,9 litres/100 km (auto) in the two Executive derivatives to 8,3 litres/100 km and 7,9 litres/100 km in the Elantra 2.0 Elite auto and the Elantra 1.6 TGDI DCT Sport respectively.
The recommended retail prices of the new Elantra range are:
Elantra 1.6 94kW Executive (manual) R299 900.
Elantra 1.6 94kW Executive (auto) R314 900.
Elantra 2.0 115kW Elite (auto) R349 900.
Elantra 1.6 150kW TGDI Elite DCT (7-speed Dual Clutch Transmission with paddle shifters) R399 900.
Service and Warranty
Hyundai’s 5-year/150 000 km warranty and additional 2-year/500 powertrain warranty is part of the standard package, which also includes 5-year/150 000 km roadside assistance and a 5-year/90 000 km service plan.
Service intervals are 15 000 km for all derivatives, with an additional initial service after 5 000 km for the Elantra Sport.
The buff Tucson Sport
Next up, the beefy Tucson Sport. The Tuscon Sport is now the sportiest-looking SUV in the highly successful Tucson range, which to date has sold 7500 units in 13-months. That’s about 550 units a month. In other words, it’s a great seller – giving a reason for Hyundai’s decision to add a model to the line-up. Enter the Tucson Sport, garnished with a masculine body kit, as well as four big, black 19-inch alloy wheels and a pair of exhaust pipes to create the bolder-looking version of the SUV. The latest Bay Watch movie that has just released; we’ve all seen the pictures of Zac Efron buff, ripped physique in the new movie. Compare images of his new body to his previously slim but toned one? There is a big difference. Well, the transformation to the Tucson Sport is visually similar.
Luckily, the Tucson Sport isn’t just a visual show of brutality. Rather, it is infused with a more powerful output from its zesty 1.6-l turbocharged motor. The standard motor pushes out a healthy 130kW of power. The Sport, on the other hand, has an additional 20kW taking it up to a playful 150kW.
Only available in manual, its 6-speed gearbox is light and easy to operate.
The Tucson Sport's recommended retail price of R499 900 include Hyundai's industry-leading 7-year/200 000 km warranty, roadside assistance for five years or 150 000 km, and a 5-year/90 000 km service plan. Its service interval is 15 000 km.
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