Hyundai produced the first Elantra in 1990, which has since then become one of its most enduring car brands going up to six generations.
The first two generations of the Elantra were marketed and sold as the Hyundai Lantra in Australia because of some naming complications with Mitsubishi Motors Australia. By 2001, though, the car models that had similar names to the Elantra had been discontinued, and Hyundai was once more free to market and sell the Hyundai Elantra under its original name. We have dedicated a separate article for the Hyundai Lantra, so only the remaining four generations of the Elantra will be discussed here.
Third Generation (XD; 2000-2011)
Also called the Hyundai Avante and the Hyundai Elantra XD in South Korea and Russia respectively, the third generation of the Hyundai Elantra went by the Elantra brand name in most markets. The South Korean automaker assembled it in several places, with Ulsan in South Korea, Beijing in China, and Taganrog in Russia. The car came in two main body styles, namely, the 4-door sedan and 5-door hatchback.
Hyundai launched it in 2000, replacing the station wagon version of the Lantra with a five-door hatchback style. By 2001, all American models of the car regardless of trim levels had the same standard features which included standard front and front-side airbags, air conditioning, power steering, power locks, and power windows. Despite the vehicle's compact nature, the United States Environmental Protection Agency listed it as a mid-size car owing to its spacious interior.
By 2003, a facelift refreshed all the third-generation models and added some new features like new headlights and taillights, an updated hood and trunk, a new grille, new front and rear bumpers and a redesigned dashboard. The top trim level (GT trim) came with a stiffer suspension, fog lights, alloy wheels, leather seats, lip spoiler and blue-lit instrument cluster. The Canadian trim levels were different from those sold in America, with the Canadian GT model coming with four-way disc brakes, fog lights, alloy wheels, and ABS. Leather and TCS were exclusively available for the GT edition.
The XD trim levels of the vehicle were available with 1.8, 1.6, and 2.0L petrol engines and a 2.0L turbo engine that ran on diesel. The North American versions were only available with the 2.0L engine. The vehicle was available in two transmission types - the 5-speed manual gearbox and the 4-speed automatic transmission. Here are the rest of the engine specifications for the Hyundai Elantra:
- 1.6L DOHC (2000-2003) - 79 kW, 143 Nm
- 1.8L DOHC (2000-2003) - 94 kW, 166 Nm
- 2.0L DOHC (2000-2003) - 100 kW, 181 Nm
- 2.0L CRDi (2000-2003) - 83 kW, 235 Nm
- 1.6L DOHC (2004-2006) - 77 kW, 143 Nm
- 1.8L DOHC (2004-2006) - 97 kW, 162 Nm
- 2.0L DOHC (2004-2006) - 103 kW, 185 Nm
- 2.0L CRDi (2004-2006) - 83 kW, 235 Nm
Fourth Generation (HD; 2006-2009)
Unlike previous generations that had multiple body types, the fourth generation of the Elantra only had one body style, which was the 4-door sedan. The vehicle had its introduction at the New York International Auto Show, sporting a style reminiscent of the 1960s called the Coke bottle styling. Like before, the fourth generation sold under the Avante brand name in South Korea, Hyundai’s home market. A modified Elantra called the "Elantra Yue Dong" entered the Chinese marketplace with a new exterior and a different facelifted 2011 Elantra model. The model got updated once more in 2017 and is now known as the Hyundai Celesta.
The powertrains for the fourth generation included four petrol engines which were the 1.6L Alpha I4 and the 1.8L Beta II I4 engines (made for the versions of the car sold in China), the 1.6L Gamma I4 and the 2.0L Beta II I4 engines. There was also a turbocharged diesel engine in the lineup which was the 1.6L U-Line I4 engine. All engines came with two transmission options which were the 5-speed manual gearbox (standard) and the 4-speed automatic transmission (optional) and had improved fuel economy. Only the 2.0L engine was available in North America.
The Elantra received an overall score of Marginal in the Side Impact Test and an overall score of Good in the Frontal Crash Test, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. All Hyundai Elantras produced after November 2009, fortunately, got an overall rating of Good in the Side Impact Test. The vehicle came with side airbags, rear head curtain airbags and front seat-mounted airbags.
Fifth Generation (MD/UD; 2010-2015)
Hyundai unveiled the fifth generation at the 2010 International Busan Motor Show in April 2010. Unlike the fourth generation, it had two body types which were the four-door sedan (codename MD but UD for the US market) and two-door coupe (codename JK). The design team retained the "fluidic sculpture" theme first seen on the Sonata.
For the 2014 year, the Elantra sedan received significant updates. The trims, for one, were changed, such as the GLS becoming the SE trim and the introduction of a brand-new Elantra Sport. The Sport trim packed a powerful 2.0L GDi engine. The facelifted models came with significant changes like L-shaped fog light housings and new front and rear styling with tinted taillights. All trims had new wheel designs available, including a driver blind-spot mirror as one of the updated features of the vehicle. The Limited and Sport versions came with a new Driver Selectable Steering Mode. Some of the latest changes in the car's interior were 4.3-inch LCD touchscreen radio with backup camera and raised HVAC vent locations and new HVAC control design. The SE preferred package, Limited and Sport models also had increased centre armrest location, straight pull gear selector with leather boot and an updated navigation system.
The 2015 model year saw other changes, too, with a new SE style package offered for SE trims. The package included a sunroof, projector headlights with LED accents, aluminium door sill, chrome belt moulding, and leather steering wheel and shifter. A Sport Tech package also added premium navigation and audio.
In the 2016 model year, the SE style package was replaced by a new value edition for the same trim, coming with wheels from the Elantra Coupe SE, smart key and push-button start, side-mirror turn signals, and heated front seats. The Limited models likewise featured a smart key with push-button and a dual-zone climate control system. On the other hand, while the Sport models had its price slashed, they no longer featured leather seats and a sunroof.
Versions sold in the United States and Canada had 1.8L gasoline engines, which wasn't the case in other markets. North American models had a 1.6L gasoline direct-injection engine that produced 103 kW and 167 Nm with a six-speed automatic transmission or six-speed manual gearbox. Middle-East Elantra models ran on an MPI version of the 1.6L engine that delivered 95 kW. In Israel, things were different still, with the market receiving a 1.6L GDI engine producing 98 kW and available with a 6-speed automatic transmission only. The US version of the vehicle ran on a new 1.8L Nu engine producing 110 kW.
Hyundai Elantra Sixth Generation (AD; 2015-present)
For the sixth generation, the Elantra reverted to a more conservative design, abandoning the "fluidic sculpture" philosophy that was the defining design element of previous generations. The vehicle now resembles a fastback with a sloped roofline from the windshield to the rear. Overall, the car sports fewer curves with pentagonal head and taillights, redesigned body panels, a hexagonal grille, and a bumper accentuating straight lines along the vehicle's body.
The Hyundai Elantra received extensive alterations for the 2019 model year, including new wheel designs, updated centre stack, new safety features, and a new exterior look.
For the 2017 model year, Hyundai introduced the Eco Trim, which had a turbocharged 1.4L DOHC inline-4 Kappa engine producing 95 kW coupled with a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. The new SE model of the vehicle came with fewer features compared to the previous generation SE models. It has a 2.0L Nu four-cylinder engine producing 110 kW coupled with either a 6-speed automatic transmission or a 6-speed manual gearbox.
The Elantra 2.0 released in 2019 had a six-speed transmission, with the 2020 model year going for a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT), the same one used by the 2019 Kia Forte. The upgraded powertrain will allow the Elantra to match Forte FE's EPA fuel economy rating of 41 miles per US gallon (highway driving). In the US, the 1.4 Turbo and 1.6 Turbo engines were available on the 2019 Elantra sedan, but which wasn't obtainable in Canada. Here are the full specs of all the engines offered on the sixth generation of the Hyundai Elantra.
- 1.6L Gamma MPi (2016-present) - 94 kW, 155 Nm
- 2.0L Nu MPi (2016-present) - 115 kW, 195 Nm
- 1.6L U2 Turbo Diesel (2016-present) - 100 kW, 300 Nm
- 1.4L Kappa Turbo (2016-present) - 96 kW, 211 Nm
- 1.6L Gamma Turbo (2017-present) - 150 kW, 265 Nm
The Hyundai Elantra has remained one of the most enduring car brands in existence to this day. Running for six generations of excellence is no mean feat. If you are looking to upgrade your Elantra or any car brand at all, or are looking for new parts, or even looking to sell them off, you need to look no farther. At Carpart.com.au, you can find a part, get online parts, used car parts, and even buy auto parts online at the very best prices.