The Hyundai Elantra is classified as a compact car which is manufactured by the South Korean carmaker Hyundai with production starting in 1990. The Elantra was initially marketed as the “Lantra” in Australia as well as various European countries. The first generation of this vehicle was initially launched in October of 1990 and had the codename “J1” during the design and development phase of the project. This car received a major facelift in 1993 with many changes to it which ultimately help with increasing its overall popularity with consumers.
The Elantra originally used a 1.6 liter straight-four engine which was designed by Mitsubishi. The DOHC 16-valve 1.6 liter unit was able to produce a total of 113 horsepower at 6000 rpm, allowing the vehicle to reach 60 mph in just 9.5 seconds. This vehicle underwent a number of different tests to see just how fast it could go and the results were quite impressive. In 1993 another 1.8 liter incline-four engine became available for this vehicle and it was capable of 124 horsepower at 6000 rpm.
A significant facelift in 1992 changed quite a few different things about the Hyndai Elantra, and these changes included new ABS brakes, power-operated side mirrors, optional allow seven-spoke wheels, fog lamps, and front airbags. The second generation of this vehicle started in 1995 and went until 2000. When this vehicle launched, it was marketed under the “Hyundai Avante” name in South Korea with an “Avante Touring” wagon body style. This vehicle also had a silver Mercury-style false grille in 1996 and 1997 throughout certain European markets. When the second generation of the Elantra launched, it came with a 1.5 liter Alpha SOHC L4 1.8 liter Beta DOHC engine which was capable of 127 horsepower. A 1.5 liter lean-burn gasoline engine was also added, and the design was based on the Alpha DOHC.
In 1998 the Elantra received another facelift with new grilles as well as a few other minor cosmetic changes to its exterior. A new 2.0 liter engine also became available with the new facelifted Elantra. In Australia, there was a GLS model available which had a number of different features, including allow wheels, softer cloth seats, and velour trim. The GLS also had the addition of a body-colored rear license plate light holder along with exterior side-view mirrors.
The fifth and current generation of the Hyundai Elantra was first introduced in 2010 at the Busan International Motor Show in April of 2010. This vehicle was given the codename “MD” during its initial design and development stage before release. This vehicle uses a 1.6 liter gasoline direct-injection engine which is capable of producing 138 horsepower and 123 pound-feet of torque. This engine is used in combination with a 6-speed manual transmission for various markets throughout the Middle East and a 1.6 liter MPI version which is capable of 128 horsepower as well. This vehicle has a gas mileage of 40 mpg in the city and 48 mpg on the highway, making it a very fuel-efficient vehicle.
The latest Elantra is going to be available in two different trim levels, including the GLS and the Limited. A few of the premium features which come with this vehicle include an electronic push start button, navigation with touch screen, heated front and rear seats, and more. This vehicle was named North American Car of the year at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show, beating out the Ford Focus and Volkswagen Passat for the title. While it may be true that the Elantra has its flaws, it has also undergone numerous facelifts throughout the years to become a much better vehicle overall.