Hyundai Avante 1.6 S Review
Bread and Buttered Up

clifford chow
1 Feb 2019
 

...while the brand plays nomenclatural musical chairs, we must admit that the Avante cuts quite a pretty face.

The Hyundai Elantra makes a comeback, in different clothes, but with the same formula of value, value and more value.

While the Korean brand has been riding on the publicity wave of their lovely i30 hatch and wagon, there has been a compact sedan quietly performing the role of the family workhorse. The draw of Hyundai’s compact sedan is really quite simple, chuck in the most you can into a car and sell it at a price which is still attractive to the buyer.

Then again there are those who still do not see the need to spend an extra buck on extras, and that is why Hyundai also fielded the Elantra S model, which formed the bulk of the number of cars sold between the higher-spec “Elite” and “S” models.

So what do you do, when the proven formula works so well? Hyundai set about to tweak their compact sedan, and are now selling it as the Avante (again), while the brand plays nomenclatural musical chairs, we must admit that the Avante cuts quite a pretty face.

The new car now features triangular head (halogen units instead of LEDs) and foglamps, and a new grille, which spans under the headlamps forms a slightly cheeky grin. In the rear, the angular theme continues, with angular-styled tail-end LEDs. But look at the car from the side, and you can see that apart from some resculpting of the door sheet metal, the rear door still has that sharp-pointy bit which may get in the way of things, when you need to enter the car in tight quarters.

Inside

The Avante S… perhaps “S” could be for “Simplified”? But whichever way you see it, the car may lack creature spoils like the butt coolers, climate control and the wipers do not activate when it rains (which it did rain). But the car sells on the strategy of price. At $79,999*, which is a $7,000 difference for the extra frills, quite a sum if you are car shopping for a ride in this segment.

But the car does offer wireless charging with a QI compatible charging pad, and mobile connectivity via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. and USB ports for charging your devices. Other goodies like automatic headlamps, cruise control and a reverse camera.

Quality of interior plastics are up to standard, though the faux leather seats would likely get rather hot under the sun. Passenger accommodation for four adult passengers is good, thanks to its rather long 2,700mm wheelbase, the same as the Toyota Corolla Altis.

Boot capacity is also respectable at 458 litres, more than what the Corolla offers, and rear seats do fold in 40:60 fashion, and seat backs can be lowered with a tug of some cleverly placed catches in the boot.

The Drive

Under the bonnet, the Avante utilises the same proven natural breathing 1.6 litre “Gamma” engine, found in the previous Elantra, and is good for 126bhp and 155Nm of twist at 4,850rpm. Drive to the front wheels is through a 6-speed automatic.

Like its predecessor, we find that you will need to work the engine a little to get the car going. Cabin noise is quite minimal, and we like that the Avante feels well screwed together. There is also a sense that engineers have improved on the brakes slightly, and they would be just adequate in my books.

Steering is predictable, and feel is a little on the slightly artificial side. That said, the days of tofu handling are quite behind them, and even with something this budget-friendly, the Avante offers quite the refined ride.

Our Thoughts

Practical, safe buy for the family. There is its sister car, the KIA Cerato which comes across as a little more edgy in design, though edginess in styling is not for everyone.

*Price accurate as at 1 Feb 2019 

In Summary

We Like

Value for money, Engine sweet spot above 5,500rpm, Well-built for its price

We Don't

Faux leather can get warm under the sun, Brakes can still be improved on

Verdict

A competent family workhorse, with enough frills i believe for a satisfying most user needs

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Engine

Engine Capacity 1591cc
Engine Type Inline 4
Bore x Stroke (77 x 85.44)mm
Power 126bhp @ 6300rpm
Torque 155Nm @ 4850rpm
Power to Weight 100.8 bhp per ton

Performance

Acceleration 11.6s (0-100 km/h)
Top Speed 195 km/h
Fuel Consumption (combined) 14.9 km/L

Misc Technical Data

Transmission 6 -speed Auto
Drive Type FF
Steering Electric

Measurements

Body Type Sedan
Dimension
(L x W x H)
(4620 x 1800 x 1450) mm
Wheelbase 2700 mm
Turning Circle 10.6 metres
Kerb Weight 1250 kg
Boot Capacity 458 L
Fuel Tank Capacity 50 L

Brakes

Brakes (Front) Ventilated Discs
Brakes (Rear) Discs