HYUNDAI ELANTRA 2.0 GLS 6A/T Review
by Eric Tipan
Five things that make this sixth-generation compact sedan simply appealing.
The pace at which the Elantra is catching up with the competition is impressive. From humble beginnings in 1990 and early shortcomings during its first two generations, it has made great leaps and bounds in both performance and ease of use.
We highlight five features of the GLS that show how far it has come in making your driving experience as easy as one, two, three, four, five.
With the Smart Key on your person, the GLS responds to your mere presence with the “welcome function” that appears more impressive in dark basement parking areas. Dome lights in the cabin automatically turn on along with segment-first “door pocket lights” on each door handle to make it easier to see the button that unlocks the doors – an absolutely nice touch by Hyundai. It makes the Elantra GLS feel more upscale than its status in the compact sedan segment, and puts it just a touch ahead versus some competitors in this regard.
It is nothing short of outrageous that there are still some models out there, double, even triple, the price of the GLS that still come without a reverse monitor. Common sense and propriety ought to dictate that anything above P1 million should come with this feature as standard. If you can find it on OLX selling for as cheap as P1,500 well, I rest my case. Reverse parking is made so much more precise and easier with this. No more leaving your vehicle’s nose sticking out because you’re in a hurry to park and didn’t have time to check. It also eliminates the hassle of having to step in and out of the vehicle to check how much space you still have. And also forget about accidentally nicking your bumper on the wall or a post because you were simply trying to park as neatly as possible.
Since they got you in the driver’s seat without hassling you to whip out the key, it seems elementary to make it come with an engine start/stop for total ease of use. A feature only standard on the GLS takes the keyless function to its fullest expression. Now you don’t have to worry about leaving the key in the car if you’ve got to step out for a second, like going back in the house to grab your iPhone. Just go ahead and take your time because the GLS is equipped with an immobilizer; so good luck to anyone jumping in and attempting to drive off with it while you’re out.
Driver-centric horizontal layout
Even without concentrating to feel the positive effect of this feature, the new driver-centric horizontal layout of the cockpit is immediately noticeable each time you get behind the wheel. Before I could literally put my finger on it, there was an utter sense of neatness I felt as soon as I looked at the dashboard.
The new layout shows meticulous attention to detail in terms of design and placement of keys and buttons. It’s not so much opulence, if at all, but more about a good sense and sound judgment of how big and where to position things so that the driver doesn’t have to twist, reach, and turn to make tiny little adjustments.
Key/button size is also significant as it greatly reduces the chances of switching off climate control when all you really wanted to do was to change the radio station.
Six-speed automatic transmission
The six-speed automatic transmission of the GLS is, as Hyundai puts it, “more refined with reduced frictional losses.” That statement is not without basis. First of all, the Nu 2.0 MPi engine is amazing. It’s so responsive and makes a chunk of its 192Nm of torque available right from first gear. This allows the GLS to feel connected and responsive to the driver. On the first five kilometers that allowed me to open up the engine, the transmission was almost as seamless as a dual-clutch, and effortless in adjusting the gears, making the drive feel almost as smooth as being in a Sonata.
If you’re paying over a million, P1.158 million to be exact, you’re within your rights to expect simple, little pleasures in a vehicle that ought to make your time inside easier and a lot more satisfying. These five highly-improved features show that Hyundai’s efforts have paid off handsomely. Visually appealing and tangible, these improvements have enhanced the overall driver interface with the vehicle and experience behind the wheel.
The next time you’re hunting down your next compact sedan, don’t overlook “ease of use” because that’s one of the Hyundai Elantra GLS’s best features, among many others.