By on July 17, 2010

Our Korean contributor Walter Foreman hipped us to this, one of the first videos of the 2012 Hyundai Elantra taking to the streets [via DaumTV]. Of course, in Korean spec it’s called the Avante, but when it finally gets sold stateside, it’s sure to be known as the “baby Sonata.” Or perhaps “that car that makes the Cruze look so deathly boring by comparison.” Or possibly, “a precisely scaled execution of Hyundai’s fluidic sculpture design language.” Or, if Hyundai’s really successful over the next year or so, people will refer to it as “just the new Hyundai.” It’s amazing how much change people can become accustomed to.

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57 Comments on “Today’s Avante Is Tomorrow’s Elantra...”


  • avatar
    MarcKyle64

    I foresee a lawsuit over the name by the heirs of the Studebaker Corporation.

    • 0 avatar
      Macca

      Not to be a contrarian, but this likely wouldn’t result in a (successful) lawsuit. Previously used car names pop up now and then under different brands, such as the Dodge Lancer/Mitsubishi Lancer. Even though the “Avanti” name is still in use with a replica company, the one-letter difference should also prevent any action, given that Toyota makes the Verso concomitantly with the Nissan Versa.

      The last example holds up only because the two appellations are used in different markets. So if the Avante is a KDM name and the car becomes the Elantra in the US market, then there’s little ground on which to sue.

    • 0 avatar
      John Horner

      With product name trademarks there is a strong “use it or lose it” aspect to the law.

  • avatar
    mjz

    This is going to be a HUGE success. I like the Avante name better than Elantra, wish they would use it here.

  • avatar
    slance66

    Looks like a baby Lexus IS. Should be a winner in the subcompact space.

  • avatar
    carguy

    Like most new creations coming from Hyundai recently, this one looks like a winner. There is no doubt that this brand is one of the few automotive success stories of the last few years.

  • avatar
    mjz

    No wonder Honda delayed the next Civic.

  • avatar
    Amendment X

    Gorgeous. Hyundai is like Toyota in 1990.

  • avatar
    getacargetacheck

    “that car that makes the Cruze look so deathly boring by comparison”

    I don’t care how good the Hyundai is. There’s no reason to buy anything but American cars now. I’ll take the Chevy.

    • 0 avatar
      ALB-MAN

      doesn’t matter, the money goes to Korea anyways

    • 0 avatar
      Macca

      I’m not even sure what “getacargetacheck’s” comment means. There’s “no reason to buy anything but American cars now” other than the fact that the foreign competition continues to pump out highly competitive, if not downright superior, offerings in just about every segment – usually at a better price. And apparently he’s not aware that the Cruze is a Daewoo/Opel creation, a real American revolution indeed.

    • 0 avatar
      stationwagon

      @ALB-MAN
      the Chevrolet Cruze will be assembled in Lordstown, Ohio. the plant just made its last Cobalt a few weeks ago.

    • 0 avatar
      MarcKyle64

      Have American cars greatly improved in their build quality since my 2007 Cobalt? I highly doubt it. That crapbox was the worst new car I have ever owned, with sorry build quality that made it’s presence known by rattling, exterior trim that faded to gray and had permanent spots in two years, a steering shaft that broke at 8,000 miles, two recalls for leaking fuel and power steering problems, intermittent radio malfunctions and a clutch that started grabbing and chattering at 14,000 miles. I feel sorry for the poor guy who will bust his wallet to keep it running when it reaches 100,000 miles.

    • 0 avatar
      gslippy

      “There’s no reason to buy anything but American cars now. I’ll take the Chevy.”

      Then you’ll be one of the fewer each year who do so. Your comment sounds like it was cropped from a 1970 UAW slogan.

    • 0 avatar
      Cammy Corrigan

      “There’s no reason to buy anything but American cars now.”

      Like a Ford Fusion, which is built in Mexico. Or a Cadillac SRX, which is built in Mexico. Or a Chrysler 300C, which is built in Canada. Or a Chevrolet Impala, which is built in Canada (big shout out, Mikey!). Or a Chevrolet Aveo, which is built in South Korea and Mexico. Or the Ford Fiesta, which is built in Mexico. Or a Dodge Challenger, which is built in Canada. Or a Dodge Charger which is built in Canada. Or a Chrysler Town & Country, which is built in Canada. Or a Dodge Grand Caravan, which is built in Canada. Or a Dodge Ram, which is built in Mexico. Or a Dodge Journey, which is built in Mexico. Or a Ford Edge, which is built in Canada. Or a Lincoln MKX, which is built in Canada. Or a Ford Flex, which is built in Canada. Or a Lincoln MKT, which is built in Canada. Or the Lincoln MKZ, which is built in Mexico. Or a Chevrolet Equinox, which is built in Canada. Or a GMC Terrain, which is built in Canada. Or the Chevrolet Camaro, which is built in Canada (another big shout out, Mikey!). Or a Chevrolet Captiva, which is built in Mexico. Or the Chevrolet Avalanche, which is built in Mexico. Or the Chevrolet HHR, which is built in Mexico.

      Unlike those foreigners, like Toyota Camry, which is built in the USA. And the Toyota Avalon, which is built in the USA. And the Toyota Solara, which is built in the USA. And the Toyota Venza, which is built in the USA. And the Toyota Sequoia, which is built in the USA. And the Toyota Sienna, which is built in the USA. And the Toyota Highlander, which is built in the USA. And the Toyota Tundra, which is built in the USA. And the Honda Civic, which is built in the USA. And the Honda CR-V, which is built in the USA. And the Honda Element, which is built in the USA. And the Honda Odyssey, which is built in the USA. And the Honda Pilot, which is built in the USA. And the Honda Ridgeline, which is built in the USA. And the Honda Accord, which is built in the USA. And the Acura TL, which is built in the USA. And the Acura RDX, which is built in the USA. And the Nissan Rogue, which is built in the USA. And the Nissan Altima, which is built in the USA. And the Nissan Maxima, which is built in the USA. And the Nissan Xterra, which is built in the USA. And the Nissan Pathfinder, which is built in the USA. And the Nissan Armada, which is built in the USA. And the Nissan Frontier, which is built in the USA. And the Nissan Titan, which is built in the USA. And the BMW X5, which is built i the USA. And the BMW X6, which is built in the USA. And the Mercedes-Benz M-class, which is built in the USA. And the Mercedes-Benz R-Class, which is built in the USA. And the Mercedes-Benz GL-class, which is built in the USA. And the Mazda 6, which is built in the USA. And the Mitsubishi Galant, which is built in the USA. And the Mitsubishi Endeavor, which is built in the USA. And the Mitsubishi Eclipse, which is built in the USA.

      Or there used to be the Crown Victoria, which while being built in Canada, used over 90% of parts, built in the USA. Which supported a lot of American jobs.

      Oh my goodness! It’s almost like this issue, isn’t black and white…..

    • 0 avatar
      mikey

      Whoa! Thats me shouting Cammy. Good researching. Just to set the record staight,here in Oshawa,GM is retoooling to run the Equinox with the Impala,on a three shift basis. Now thats something worth shouting about.

    • 0 avatar
      John Horner

      Isn’t it interesting how much auto manufacturing is done in Canada? In certain quarters one is expected to believe that nationalized health care paid for with high tax rates (not to mention the VAT tax) is a certain death knell for manufacturing jobs. And yet, lightly populated Canada manufactures many of the United States’ best selling vehicles. How can that be?

    • 0 avatar
      mtymsi

      The argument is no matter where the vehicle is actually built or the parts sourced the profits ultimately go back to the country where the manufacturer is based.

      I have also wondered about that, thinking if the vehicle was actually assembled in the U.S. even if by a foreign based manufacturer U.S. employees are being paid. I really don’t know which scenario is more beneficial but I’m guessing it’s the manufacturer’s nationality. IMO an overwhelming majority of buyers don’t take into consideration the assembly country, the part sourcing countries or the nationality of the company. They purchase the vehicle they want to purchase.

    • 0 avatar
      Sam P

      “There’s no reason to buy anything but American cars now. I’ll take the Chevy.”

      There are plenty of reasons not to buy an American car. Here are some of them.

      - BMW 3 Series
      - Infiniti G35/37
      - Hyundai Sonata
      - Porsche Boxster/Cayman
      - Audi S4/S5
      - Toyota Tacoma

      And before you label me as a domestic hater, my parents own two Jeeps, both of which I convinced them to buy. Great SUVs.

    • 0 avatar
      getacargetacheck

      I might as well tilt at windmills and expect success than to try to convince certain car enthusiasts that their “choices” are bit-by-bit helping to whittle down the American middle class. But consider that it’s not just assembly jobs that help assure a good living but also legal, finance, accounting, marketing, management and engineering jobs. Especially engineering jobs. Sure, Toyota assembles the Camry in Kentucky. But how many American engineers does Toyota employ compared to GM, Ford and Chrysler? These jobs are direct routes to upward mobility. And, yes, I know GM and Ford use foreign engineers for American market products. But overall, the Big Three and their suppliers are big employers of high-value engineering jobs. Make no mistake, our politicians and corporate leaders are globalists. They care mainly about serving business and the bottomline, respectively. My concern is with the men and women who make their living in the United States (and lower Ontario as it might as well be the 51st state). So, in order of consideration: Big Three nameplate, country of assembly, US parts content. Unfortunately, there’s no way buyers can judge the amount of engineering “content” as the automakers are not forced to disclose this. The best substitute is the make of the car.

    • 0 avatar
      Cammy Corrigan

      @getacarcheck

      Do you truly believe that a Ford Fusion (built in Mexico) is better for the U.S economy than a Toyota Camry (built in the U.S)?

      Let’s assume that the price of a Ford Fusion and a Toyota Camry is £20,000. Now every car company aims for a 10% profit margin (no-one gets anywhere near it. Toyota is close, but most run at about 5%, but let’s run with the hypothesis that Ford and Toyota run at 10%). Which means of every £20,000, £2,000 goes back to the country of the company (U.S Ford, Japan Toyota).

      In the case of the Toyota Camry, the remaining £18,000 has to stay in the United States to pay for the up-keep of the plant, paying the employees, maintenace of tools & equipment, cleaning of uniforms, etc.

      In the case of the Ford Fusion, £2,000 will wing its way to Dearborn, Michigan. But the remaining £18,000 will fly out of the country straight into Hermosillo, Mexico for the reason stated above.

      Not to mention that Ford Fusion will turn up in the US government’s import sheet further cementing the US’s reputation as the world’s biggest importer. This does your balance of trade no good and creates an unsustainable balance sheet. Whereas, the Toyota Camry can be exported adding to the US government’s export sheet, which helps adjust your balance of trade.

      In the scenario of the Toyota Camry, it employs people in real jobs, creating real things and adding real value to one’s country.

      In the scenario of the Ford Fusion, it only sustains a few people in paper jobs at head office. Jobs which could be easily exported if the price is right (just ask call centre workers).

      I know I’d much rather have a foreign company creating factories and manufacturing jobs in the UK, than have a successful UK company manage a factory abroad.

    • 0 avatar
      getacargetacheck

      Cammy, Ford employs more engineers in the US than does Toyota. Every Fusion purchased supports those Dearborn engineers. Every Camry purchased supports engineers in Japan. Of course, there is some local engineering talent employed in both cases in Kentucky and Mexico. I agree, a Camry is not a bad purchase for the American economy on the whole. However, a better purchase to support high-intellectual value American jobs would be a Malibu, Avenger or Sebring. And none of those choices are as bad for the buyer as a comparable Chevy or Dodge would have been in, say, 1979 or 1982. Those dark days are long gone.

    • 0 avatar
      Macca

      Phil Ressler, is that you?

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      Every Fusion purchased supports those Dearborn engineers

      Cammy can defend herself, but I figured I’d chime in because this line of reasoning bugs me.

      What matters, in terms of a product’s economic impact, is how much of the cost (not the profit; we never see the profit) ends up nearest to you. The engineers in Dearborn are a much smaller slice of that cost “pie” than the line-workers and administrative staff responsible for assembly at both the automaker and it’s suppliers.

      Engineers, flat out, aren’t paid enough or numerous to offset their colleagues at the assembly plant.

      This is, of course, before you even get into discussions about outsourced engineering and design. How much of that Fusion was engineered by Ford guys in Dearborn versus Mazda’s boffins in Hiroshima? How does it compare to Toyota’s not-insignificant Calty studios? Nissan’s in Smyrna?

      The end story is that, if your local economy matters to you, buy the product assembled (not designed, not branded, but built) as close to your hometown (not the whole country) as possible. Or buy used.

    • 0 avatar
      picard234

      @ Cammy: I’m not so sure that’s a correct argument. Since I can’t find the symbol for British pounds on my keyboard, I’ll use $.

      If $2,000 profit on the Fusion goes to Dearborn, good for Ford. But that doesn’t mean the remaining $18,000 stays in Mexico. What about the parts on that car that are engineered by Denso, Bosch, Visteon, Yazaki, etc? A good chunk of that money goes to suppliers (like mine), most of which engineer those parts in SE Michigan. Ford would write it up as material cost, but those materials come from somewhere.

      (Yes, then we can argue how much of the money Denso receives goes to Japan vs. how much goes to the engineers in Southfield. But my head is ready to explode.)

    • 0 avatar
      colin42

      £ = Alt + 0163

    • 0 avatar
      carve

      “…the profits ultimately go back to the country where the manufacturer is based”

      What are these “profits” you speak of?

      When GM sells a foreign-built car here, the place where it was produced comes out ahead, and GM, with tons of money on the hood, doesn’t make anything and, after expenses (largely sent to Mexico, in this case) comes out BEHIND.

      When Toyota builds a car here, both sides seem to come out ahead.

    • 0 avatar
      srogers

      “I don’t care how good the Hyundai is. There’s no reason to buy anything but American cars now. I’ll take the Chevy.”

      The Chevy is a Daewoo. There’s your Amerikan car for you.

  • avatar
    educatordan

    Nice. Wonder what the price increase will be (or stay the same?)

    • 0 avatar

      In Korea at least, the price increase is expected (unofficially) to be between $400 and $600 USD. That seems a little on the low side if you ask me, but that’s what people are saying here.

      Wait and see I guess. When the official pricing is announced here, I’ll let you know, but I don’t know how much that can be translated to US pricing.

      The current Elantra retails for between $10,800 and $15,000 USD here in Korea.

    • 0 avatar
      dwford

      If it follows the pattern of the 2011 Sonata, the price will go up a few hundred $$, but have more standard equipment to compensate.

  • avatar
    Chicago Dude

    Looks about 10 times better than the Sonata. But it looks like rearward visibility is horrible.

    This and the next Focus are going to be big sellers. Hopefully Honda can make it a three-way race.

    • 0 avatar
      segfault

      If the visibility is bad, that points to a lack of consistent design among Hyundais. One of their selling points on the new Sonata talks about its large glass area and superior visibility.

    • 0 avatar
      Canuck129

      Agreed, looks much better than Sonata, not nearly as busy and less of a mish mash. I thought the same thing about visibility. Head lights are way too massive though!

  • avatar
    european

    prrreeeeeeeeeeeeety

  • avatar
    LALoser

    Daum TV!…..

  • avatar
    mcs

    From the April press release:

    “The new Avante encompasses Hyundai’s latest ambitions, featuring the best styling and performance in its class,” Steve S. Yang, President & CEO of Hyundai’s Global Business Division, said at the Busan Exhibition and Convention Center (BEXCO) today. “We’re confident that it will once again redefine the compact segment worldwide.”

    With sportier and even more elegant lines than its predecessor, the new Avante ? badged as Elantra in markets outside Korea – continues Hyundai’s ‘fluidic sculpture’ design philosophy.

    Hyundai has applied its latest 1.6L Gamma Gasoline Direct Injection engine and a 6-speed automatic transmission to the front-wheel drive compact, the first time GDI and six-speed automatic have been featured on a compact sedan in Korea. The new Avante delivers a peak output of 140ps and maximum torque of 17.0kg·m. It is also about 10 percent more fuel efficient than its closest competitors, thanks to GDI, the six speed automatic and other fuel economy enhancements.

    The new Avante will delight and surprise with a raft of other advanced features not found on other compacts, including HID (High Intensity Discharge) headlamps, LED combination lamps in the rear, heated rear seats, puddle lamps and a color TFT LCD information display nestled in the gauge cluster.

  • avatar
    european

    so i visited chevy.com to check if they started selling
    the cruze. nope. still selling the cobalt.

    make your own damn conclusions.

  • avatar
    seabrjim

    My union friends said the same thing when I traded my colorado for a tacoma. Which is made here.The colorado was a rebadged Isuzu. Just like an “American” chevy is made in Korea. Globalism is’nt good for us, is it?

  • avatar
    Geo. Levecque

    whether the Vehicles we purchase are made elsewhere, most Consumers in both of our Countries have no clue where they are manufactured, it goes back to both Ford and General Motors who like people to think they are made in America, do you think they will ever learn? Also I think that GM is using some of the bailout funds to build vehicles in China and then export these vehicles back to North America wonder what the UAW thinks of this?

  • avatar
    Scottie

    I’m curious what the Next model Hyundai/Kia will build in the States.

    They have Santa Fe and Sonata in Alabama, and just the Sorento in Georgia.

  • avatar
    mtymsi

    Really like the styling from the picture. The GDI engine and 6spd bring the drivetrain right to the forefront in this segment. Hyundai should do very well with this.

  • avatar
    Toyondai92

    I just found my first new car.

  • avatar
    ajla

    If this car is going to get a GDI engine and a 6A transmission, then I’m hoping that the Soul, Forte, and Elantra Touring receive similar powertrain upgrades.

  • avatar
    SherbornSean

    Beautiful car. Hyundai is a peer of Toyota and Honda.

  • avatar
    reclusive_in_nature

    Another small, underpowered vehicle. Yawn. Just another contributor to global laming.

  • avatar
    shaker

    I’m really surprised by the accelerated evolution of Hyundai’s designs — I own a 2008 Elantra (which was a decent, less expensive alternative to the Civic when I bought it). Now, with a modern powertrain and looks like that, it’s certain to be a winner.

    I looked at G5′s and Cobalts, Civics, Sentras, Fits, Versas, etc before taking the Elantra (I wanted a manual tranny at the time).

    I was actually seriously considering a G5 GT Coupe with the 170HP motor at the time, but they were going for 19,000 + MSRP at that time, while the Elantra was 17k + 2000 rebate. A G6 GT at the time was completely out of reach @ 25k and higher.

    I feel sorry for the the guys at Lordstown – GM has given them the Cruze, which looks like a Cobalt (i.e. – a generation behind) compared to this new Elantra, and it will also likely have some off-putting (probably eye-popping) MSRP’s when it hits the lots.

    • 0 avatar
      picard234

      I love Pizza the Hutt, but I disagree with your assessment of the Cruze. While no GM fanboy, and I haven’t driven one, I sat in a Cruze and was very impressed. It was roomy, attractive, and the fit & finish were impressive. What remains to be seen is how it drives, and whether or not they can build it right.

  • avatar
    Robbie

    If only GM could be more Hyundai like…

  • avatar
    AaronH

    Hyundai makes up for the goofy/infantile Tucson with the new Elantra…The USA Cruze does not have a proper engine.

  • avatar
    bill h.

    Looks pretty sleek, though I’m waiting for the inevitable day when the front light cluster sweeps so far back it just merges with the windshield.

  • avatar
    AlmostFamous

    I hate when people make this uneducated statement. “Unlike those foreigners, like Toyota Camry, which is built in the USA. And the Toyota Avalon, which is built in the USA. And the Toyota Solara, which is built in the USA. And the Toyota Venza, which is built in the USA. And the Toyota Sequoia, which is built in the USA. And the Toyota Sienna, which is built in the USA. And the Toyota Highlander, which is built in the USA. And the Toyota Tundra, which is built in the USA. And the Honda Civic, which is built in the USA. And the Honda CR-V, which is built in the USA. And the Honda Element, which is built in the USA. And the Honda Odyssey, which is built in the USA. And the Honda Pilot, which is built in the USA. And the Honda Ridgeline, which is built in the USA. And the Honda Accord, which is built in the USA. And the Acura TL, which is built in the USA. And the Acura RDX, which is built in the USA. And the Nissan Rogue, which is built in the USA. And the Nissan Altima, which is built in the USA. And the Nissan Maxima, which is built in the USA. And the Nissan Xterra, which is built in the USA. And the Nissan Pathfinder, which is built in the USA. And the Nissan Armada, which is built in the USA. And the Nissan Frontier, which is built in the USA. And the Nissan Titan, which is built in the USA. And the BMW X5, which is built i the USA. And the BMW X6, which is built in the USA. And the Mercedes-Benz M-class, which is built in the USA. And the Mercedes-Benz R-Class, which is built in the USA. And the Mercedes-Benz GL-class, which is built in the USA. And the Mazda 6, which is built in the USA. And the Mitsubishi Galant, which is built in the USA. And the Mitsubishi Endeavor, which is built in the USA. And the Mitsubishi Eclipse, which is built in the USA.”

    Here goes, in a purely economic sense, the money goes home. Meaning, when GM makes a car, the money goes to the stock holders, who are mostly American. When Toyota makes a car, I have no idea who makes the money because I haven’t seen the breakdown of stock holders, but I’m guessing its much less than half American. However, I would like to point out that whatever nationality has a majority of stock benefits the most. For example, if Americans bought a majority of Toyota stock, Toyota becomes an American company headquartered in Japan. It’s not about where its based, its about who owns it. They make the money on it.

    Also, before you say “Yeah but Toyota built a factory in my back yard and they gave me a job and fed my puppy and put my kids through college!” please realize that while they might have, they are doing it as a PR move unless you’re in design or a white collar job. Manufacturing in the USA by car companies really is stupid. Americans simply out-priced themselves to do work like that. Americans now primarily do skilled labor jobs, service jobs, or have white collar jobs simply because it doesn’t take a large degree of formal education to work in manufacturing. The jobs that Toyota, Honda, and Nissan have in America are simply so they can say it was made here.

    They could never make the Tundra in Mexico and pass it off as an “American” truck. It’s all PR, they don’t really care about the local economy or the US, it just happens to cost less to make the truck in Texas than to suffer worse sales because its really un-American in a very patriotic segment. What if GM moved Corvette production from Bowling Green? Suddenly its not nearly as American as it claims to be, and sales here fall fast. Car companies only build here to produce the image that people on this thread reflect.

    In other words, the money runs home to the stockholders, and building cars in the US is strictly for PR, its not like Toyota or GM truly care about you and your little town. It’s all about dividends.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      Here goes, in a purely economic sense, the money goes home

      Some of it. The razor-thin slice of profit goes home. The costs mostly stay where the product was built

      In the case of GM and Chrysler, those profits didn’t exist, or when straight to bankers. Often, profits go to the rich anyway, and you only see a pittance.

      please realize that while they might have, they are doing it as a PR move unless you’re in design or a white collar job

      So? Those blue-collar employees, knuckle-dragging neanderthals you might think them, take home a paycheck and spend it in that community. People who work in businesses that those workers favour get a slice of that, and so on, and so forth.

      Do you think the bankers who own Ford spend much outside of where they live?

      building cars in the US is strictly for PR

      No, it’s mostly because of cost. In order to survive in manufacturing you have to keep costs low, which means running lean, which means next to no inventory, which means JIT, not just for the automaker, but for the suppliers as well.

      You cannot run JIT when you’re exporting expensive goods far away, nor can you supply parts in one country and ship to another without risk; similar risk that you’d face if you consolidated assembly. Only at the very high and very low end of the price spectrum can you get away with remote manufacturing; the former because the margins are fat enough and the volumes low enough to make it work, the latter because you can make zillions cheaply in some third-world factory and deal with the invetory.

      The PR of local assembly is a fringe benefit.

  • avatar
    Steven02

    Boring no, but I don’t think that it is attractive either. Besides, boring sells.

    • 0 avatar
      SomeDude

      +1. To me, the beauty is in subtlety. Like the new Sonata and the new Tucson, this one’s got too many curves, it’s just … too much. The design is not downright ugly (like Honda+Acura or the Cube) or amateurish (eg Kia Forte Coupe), but it is not quite mature yet. A good try though.

  • avatar
    Roundel

    Agree, its too busy for me. I prefer a more conservative design…. guess thats why I bought a Jetta.


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