FIRST DRIVE: 2021 Hyundai Elantra 1.6L IVT – RM159k – paultan.org

It has been nearly six months since Hyundai-Sime Darby Motors introduced the seventh-generation Elantra in Malaysia. The C-segment sedan is available in one variant only, which is the rather well-equipped 1.6L IVT. It’s fully imported from South Korea, and costs an eye-watering RM158,888.

Even though it goes toe to toe with the likes of the Toyota Corolla sedan and Honda Civic, price-wise, it most closely rivals the CBU Mazda 3. At least, if you’re parting with that kind of money in the Zoom-Zoom camp, you’ll be driving home in the range-topping variant with a larger 2.0 litre engine.

The Elantra may be at a price disadvantage, but peel back the price tag and you’ll realise that there’s a lot to like. Its distinctive, although questionable looks is the work of Luc Donckerwolke, whose past works include the Lamborghini Diablo, Murciélago and the Gallardo, the last of which went on to become the best-selling Lamborghini of all time.

The cabin feels sufficiently premium for its class, and the key touch points are all made from good quality materials. Perhaps, on paper, the 1.6 litre Smartstream engine and CVT pairing may make it out to be uninspiringly lethargic, but the truth is quite far from it. Find out what we truly think of the Elantra in this video review, and as usual, share with us your thoughts, below.

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