After little more than two years in the country and seven successful market models, Hyundai is slowly climbing the ladder to become a Mexican favorite. During the first half of 2016, the South Korean OEM ranked 16th on the best-seller car list in Mexico. While the brand has many models to offer, the Elantra holds a special position within the OEM’s sales accounting for 27 percent of Hyundai’s total sales in the country.
The Elantra has a sporty look that many OEMs are trying to imprint on its sedans, making them seem edgier. The car’s grill reminds me of that of an Aston Martin featured in a James Bond movie thus increasing the feeling of being in front of a sports car.
The Hyundai’s exterior conveys a sense of luxuriousness that clouds what the inside has to offer. Not that the interiors are not comfortable. Quite the opposite, they are large and comfortable but fail to live up to the expectations that the outside design creates. However, you’ll find that the car’s interior is very functional.
On the cluster, the car offers basic information regarding fuel levels, speed and temperature, while the steering wheel is equipped with speed and volume controls. The dashboard features a 7” tactile screen where the rearview camera is displayed. The only downside is that the resolution is not very good, so do not rely too much on it while you park.
The Elantra’s features are attractive enough but we decided to hit the road just to see if its performance was just as convincing. In our five-hour drive between Mexico City and Tuxpan we came to one conclusion, the Elantra is a good and stable car. Particularly on roads with many curves, the Hyundai maintains the same stability you feel while driving on a straight path.
The Elantra acceleration is good although its 147hp do not make it ideal for speeding so if you were planning to engage in a Fast-and-Furious-sort-of race, the Elantra might not be for you. However, what the car lacks in speed, it makes up with its excellent braking system. In addition, the Elantra flips through three different driving modes at just the touch of a button – Normal, Sport and Eco – but I must confess that both Eco and Sport were not exactly my cup of tea. The Normal driving mode offers a standard configuration but the Eco and Sport modes feel quite different. While driving on Eco, the Hyundai has a harder time accelerating on steep roads but it offers better fuel consumption. Meanwhile, the Sport mode makes the Elantra accelerate a little faster and you can feel the speed change.
Finally, the Hyundai has one last advantage being sufficiently separated from the ground. Its elevated frame is high enough to maneuver the many speed bumps and potholes in the city. The suspension is a bit stiff though, so you might want to take it slow on those bumps. All in all, the Elantra is a good car. The kind of car that Billy Joel’s uptown girl would drive.