Mark Jones
Road Test Editor
3 minute read
7 Jun 2017
9:00 am

Hyundai launches sporty Elantra and Tucson

Mark Jones

You’ll either love or hate the new Tucson Sport model with its imported body kit.

Hyundai SA have gone on the offensive, and added a very cool looking Sport model to their top selling range of Tucsons.

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And while they were at it, they introduced the all-new Elantra range that is also easy on the eyes. The Tucson Sport gets an imported body kit comprising front bumper, side skirts and rear diffuser, while local supplier, Tiger Wheel & Tyre was enlisted to supply the blacked out 19-inch alloy wheels.

But this is not just a case of ‘show without the go’; you also get 150kW of power and 295Nm of torque from the 1.6-litre four cylinder turbo petrol engine running through a six-speed manual gearbox to the front wheels.

Now those smart petrol heads out there might notice that this is 20kW and 30Nm more than the standard 1.6 turbo petrol Tucson.

Whether this is a local software development or not remains a secret, but this extra urge breathes through a somewhat louder fourpipe performance exhaust system. So you are either going to love what Hyundai have done with the Tucson or not.

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I like it as I have already said. I just think it would have been nice to have a double clutch auto option. But the model you get for now comes in at R499 999 with a five-year/150 000km manufacturer’s warranty, with an additional two-year/50 000km manufacturer powertrain warranty, and a five-year/90 000km service plan.

Then you have Hyundai’s new Elantra, which also features an exciting flagship derivative that boasts a 150kW turbocharged petrol engine and a seven-speed dual clutch transmission, and also goes by the name of Sport.

The Elantra that enters the market with three other derivatives: The 1.6 Executive manual and 1.6 Executive automatic (both driven by a 1.6-litre naturally aspirated petrol engine); and the 2.0 Elite, also with a naturally aspirated petrol engine.

I only got to drive the Sport and I was hugely impressed by how pleasant this model was to drive. Smooth, traffic friendly auto gearbox and plenty urge when you wanted it.

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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.

“First-time drivers of the new Elantra will be pleasantly surprised to see standard features such as an 8-inch hi-resolution infotainment system, rear park assist, 6 airbags, Isofix latching points for child seats, cruise control and attractive alloy wheels on all the derivatives,” says Stanley Anderson, sales and operations director of Hyundai Automotive South Africa.

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“We are confident that we are bringing a very attractive and well-rounded package to an important segment in our market. The new Elantra will again fill an important slot in our model line-up for car buyers who are looking for a bigger or a family sedan. And when its cost is compared to the specification-adjusted prices of its competitors, the new Elantra is bound to be the choice of many discerning buyers,” says Anderson.

The 2017 Elantra is lighter than the outgoing model, and its rigid chassis is now reinforced with 53 percent advanced high-strength steel, providing improved stifness at a lower body weight.

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This increased usage results in a 29.5 percent stiffer torsional rigidity and 25.3 percent greater bending strength, which bring improvements in vehicle ride and handling, quietness, durability and driving performance.

Improved ride comfort, handling and stability are achieved through Elantra’s redesigned rear suspension geometry.

Additionally, an increase in rear bushing diameter helps to improve long term durability.

Pricing of the Elantra range is

  • 1.6 Executive (manual) R299 900
  • 1.6 Executive (auto) R314 900
  • 2.0 Elite (auto) R349 900
  • 1.6 TGDI Elite DCT R399 900

Hyundai’s five-year/150 000km warranty and additional two-year / 50 000 powertrain warranty is also part of the standard package, as is a five-year/90 000km service plan.