Hyundai Reveals Sixth-Generation Elantra in South Korea With Atkinson, Diesel Engines

Mark Stevenson
by Mark Stevenson

Hyundai’s compact model, the Elantra, will arrive with the brand’s newly adopted trapezoidal grille, new engines and a number of enhancements to improve perceived quality.

The automaker, who looked at the Dodge Dart and said, “Yeah, that looks good but needs more grille,” revealed the sixth-generation Elantra on Wednesday in South Korea.

While the visible changes are likely to garner the most interest from consumers, the Elantra may be set to receive a new 2.0-liter Atkinson-cycle engine in America. In Korea, the engine produces 146 horsepower and 132 pounds feet of torque mated to either a six-speed manual or automatic transmission. U.S. specs have not yet been released.

Also new for Elantra is a 134-horsepower, 1.6-liter VGT diesel engine and seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox, though don’t hold your breath that the combo will find its way it to the States.

A 1.6-liter GDI engine will continue on in markets outside the U.S. with some revisions. There’s no word on whether the Elantra will be offered again with the 1.8-liter four cylinder in the U.S.

While compact cars are rarely thought of as premium offerings — especially those from Hyundai that sell more on value and content than they do on style and high-quality appointments, the next-generation Elantra will offer improved NVH characteristics through the use of more sound-deadening material, thicker glass and re-engineered windshield wiper blades that “are carefully positioned to dramatically reduce road and wind noise in the cabin,” said the automaker. If the outside world is still too loud, an optional eight-speaker Harman audio system will surely drown it out.

It’s not just NVH, but also ride and handling that gets engineers’ attention this time around. Improvements to the electric power steering system and suspension, specifically the rear shock absorber and spring positioning, are meant to make the car more engaging while improving ride comfort.

Overall, the Elantra does grow slightly. The sixth-generation car will be 20 mm longer and 25 mm wider than its predecessor. That growth translates to a “spacious interior comparable with that of the segment above,” Hyundai said in its release. The Elantra also utilizes 32-percent more high-strength steel, now making up 53 percent of the total steel content.

While the new compact is more stylish, Hyundai won’t be abandoning its value and feature propositions just yet. Integrated Memory Seat (IMS) — because that needs an acronym — for the driver will make an appearance. So does a suite of safety and convenience equipment including Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB), High Beam Assist (HBA), Blind Spot Detection (BSD) and Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA). The Elantra will also carry more initialisms than any other car per dollar*.

* probably not true

Hyundai’s Smart Trunk, as seen on the Genesis, Santa Fe, Sonata and Tucson, will also make an appearance on the Elantra for the first time.

The Elantra nameplate has been on sale for over 25 years and sold over 10 million units, said the automaker in the release. According to GoodCarBadCar, 222,023 Elantras were sold in the U.S. in 2014.

How the new conservatively styled Elantra will stack up against the visually bonkers tenth-generation Civic will have to wait ’til next year.

Mark Stevenson
Mark Stevenson

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  • FreedMike FreedMike on Sep 09, 2015

    I still the Forte is better looking.

  • Boogieman99 Boogieman99 on Sep 10, 2015

    Judging by the front and the rear, they must really like the Mazda3. Is it even legal for them to design something that looks so identical... Hopefully it drives better than the current generation.

  • Kwik_Shift_Pro4X Defender looks way better than the Bronco in both 2-door and 4-door.
  • ToolGuy I found this particular episode to be incredibly offensive.I am shocked that eBay Motors is supporting this kind of language and attitudes in 2024.I will certainly keep this in mind next time I am choosing where to buy auto parts (I buy a LOT of auto parts).
  • SaulTigh When I was young in the late 80's one of my friends had the "cool dad." You know the guy, first to buy a Betamax and a C-band satellite dish. Couple of stand up arcade games in the den. Bought my friend an Atari 2600 as soon as they came out. He had two of these crap heaps. One that only ran half the time and one for parts in the yard. My middle school brain though he was the most awesome dad ever, buying us pizza and letting us watch R rated movies recorded on free HBO weekend. At the time I though he was much better than my boring father.Now with adult hindsight, I now know he was "dad who should have taken better care of his family" and not had so many toys.
  • Dave Has to be Indy 500. Many more leaders and front passes than NASCAR, and Monaco is unwatchable with the inability to pass on that circuit.
  • Jeff How did the discussion get from an article about a 56 billion dollar pay package for Elon Musk to a proposal to charge a per mile tax on EVs in California or paying increase registration on vehicles to make up for lost gas tax revenue? I thought such a discussion would better fit Matt's Gas Wars series.
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