Published on September 20th, 2017 | by Subhash Nair


Hyundai Elantra Sport Review: The Evil, More Exciting Twin

After spending a few days with the well-balanced, well-built Elantra GLS, we hopped into the Elantra Sport for a change. While most would assume the differences between the two are merely cosmetic, the truth is the difference is pretty much night and day. Throughout our review, we will be making comparisons to the base model Elantra. Whenever you see the words Sport or Turbo, just note that we’re talking about this red car with the nicer engine and gearbox. Yes, the naming can be a little confusing. The GLS comes in a couple of trim levels (called Executive and Dynamic) while the Sport is also sometimes refered to as the Elantra Turbo. Bear with us.

Let’s start under the hood, where it matters most. Instead of the rather conventional naturally aspirated, conventional automatic transmission pairing, we find ourselves with a turbocharged, downsized, direct injected engine and a dual clutch transmission.

It’s more than 100kg heavier, but you don’t really feel this at all. In fact, the new powertrain more than compensates for the weight it adds as efficiency, output and power delivery all improve dramatically. We’re not talking small numbers here (besides the engine capacity, of course).

The 2-litre in the original model gave us 150hp and 192Nm, but you get 201hp and 265Nm of torque from the downsized 1.6-litre in this model. The magic of turbocharging and direct injection is responsible for this, but the engineers at Hyundai have done a good job at tuning the motor to deliver torque right at the start of the rev range. Pair that to a rather quick shifting 7-speed dual clutch transmission and you get something truly deserving of the ‘Sport’ moniker. Rounding the whole package off is a set of paddle shifters.

We drove long distance with the Sport and were quite pleased with how it performed. It was confident, planted and rapid. Just like other variants of the Elantra, NVH, ergonomics and comfort were strong points. The biggest difference here was its ability to go from fuel-sipping cruiser to engaging fighter jet without even having to switch to Sport mode.

Not only does it return 7 litres per 100km on average but you still get the performance when overtaking becomes necessary. Compared to the standard model, there’s a steep difference in road tax too, but the insurance cost may offset this until your NCD kicks in.

Aesthetically, the car is a lot different inside and out. The dimensions and shape is unchanged, but the details and materials are different here.

Starting with the exterior, you get bi xenon projector headlamps. Note that both the deadlamps and taillights are vastly different from the base model as are the bumpers. The Daytime Running Lights here also feature their own unique look and position.

While the rim size and tyres are the same on both variants, the design of the rim itself here is… well, sportier.

On the inside, you get a lot of red leather on the door cards and the seats, though the seats have both red and black leather as well as well-suited contrast stitching. Personally, we preferred how the suede interior of the 2.0 Dynamic model felt, but this interior is suited to the 1.6 Sport’s driving characteristics and personality. A black headliner also adds a level of elegance to the cabin.

If you’re already looking at the Elantra and wonder whether the extra RM11,000 is going to give you a significant performance difference, you can rest assured that it does. This variant of the Elantra is proof that Hyundai are doing the right things to ensure there’s excitement in their range of locally-available products. At its price, what you get is very competitive – especially when you consider the exceptional warranty and service package they’re throwing in.

There are German and Japanese options at this price range and the Elantra Turbo boldly goes up against them. In almost every aspect, this Korean alternative keeps up with its rivals, so if this is the flavour of C-segment sports sedan that your heart desires, don’t waste any time with booking a test drive.

Hyundai Elantra 1.6 Turbo Sport Specifications

Engine: Inline 4 turbo
Capacity: 1591cc
Gearbox: 7-speed Dual Clutch Transmission
Max power: 201hp @ 6000rpm
Max torque: [email protected]
Price: RM131,488


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Written work on @subhashtag on instagram. Autophiles Malaysia on Youtube.

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