Hyundai Avante Review
Hyundai Motor Company which is India’s largest car exporter is planning to introduce its all new model, the Avante, to provide further competition in the Indian market. Hyundai showcased the Avante at this year’s Beijing Motor Show and the car should be available to the Indian market by the beginning of 2011.
The Hyundai Avante will be made available in both petrol and diesel variants although the petrol version will hit Indian markets first with the diesel engine following some time later. Since the decline of sales of the Hyundai Elantra, Hyundai has not had a vehicle to directly compete in India’s d-segment category. For this reason the Hyundai Avante has been much awaited as it replaces the much maligned Elantra while also providing stiff competition to the likes of the Toyota Corolla Altis, Honda Civic, Chevrolet Optra, Skoda Octavia, Chevrolet Cruze, Volkswagen Jetta and Skoda Laura. The Hyundai Avante seems quite an ambitious project as it is also expected to eat into sales of higher segment cars like the Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, Skoda Superb, Volkswagen Passat and Nissan Teana.
Expected to be sold between 11 – 14 lakhs, the Hyundai Avante follows the trend of Hyundai vehicles by providing good value for money. What it lacks in options and power it definitely makes up for with its fuel efficiency and price.
Performance – Hyundai Avante India
The Hyundai Avante has been globally launched with two engine versions – the petrol and diesel. In India Hyundai is hoping to initially launch the Avante with a petrol engine and follow it up soon with a diesel version. Considering the fact that the Indian car market is very fuel conscious, it seems very likely that Hyundai will not wait too long to make the diesel introduction.
The petrol engine is a 1.6 liter, 4 cylinder, DOHC, Gamma, with variable valve transmission and is capable of generating 118 horsepower and 156 Nm of torque. The petrol engine has Gasoline Direct Injection Technology (GDI) which allows it to increase fuel efficiency by around 8 to 10 percent. There are also reports that Hyundai could introduce a 2.0 liter DOHC 4 cylinder engine into the Avante to provide additional engine options, but we will have to wait and see if this is true.
The diesel version of the Hyundai Avante will run on a 1.6 liter, 4 cylinder, CRDi engine that produces 115 horsepower and a maximum torque of 260 Nm. Both engines are mated to a five-speed manual transmission and although buyers may look to get a better performance the fuel efficiency of both are top-notch. Initial reports also suggest a four-speed automatic transmission that could be used in conjunction with the diesel engine, but these are not confirmed at the moment.
The Hyundai may not be the best performing car in its segment but it offers maximum comfort for all passengers. The ride quality and handling in the Avante are very good and this is due to the suspension, steering and brakes of the vehicle. The suspension in the Avante is a MacPherson strut type at the front and a stabilizer bar at the rear. The Stabilizer bar allows for a firmer ride and better handling.
Braking in the Avante is also consistent with vehicles in its class and it uses front disc brakes and rear drum brakes. The telescopic and tilt power steering is also very light and allows the driver to move sprightly in slow moving traffic while giving him/her the freedom to get the best driving position. Hyundai engineers and designers have paid great attention to detail and have tailored the Avante to suit Indian roads by giving it a high ground clearance of 185 mm as well as tight turning radius of 5.67 meters.
Acceleration is also good in the Avante although it is by no means the quickest in its class. The Hyundai Avante is touted as having a top speed of 185 kmph. The petrol engine has been tested and gives a mileage of 11 km/l in the city and 14 km/l on the highway.
The Hyundai Avante has been introduced in the Indian market to take the place of the outgoing Hyundai Elantra and it is possible to see some similarities in the exterior styling of the Avante. The Hyundai Elantra was a big disappointment in the Indian market and Hyundai has rebranded the Elantra as the Avante for this reason. This is not to say that the Avante does not possess an original style but Hyundai vehicles have not typically been known for their styling and designs and tend to offer more features rather than anything else, for a much less price than their competitors.
The exterior styling of the Avante is impressive with clean, crisp lines and a beautifully sculpted body that looks like it has been adopted from higher end model sedans. The present fifth generation version of the Elantra has a much sporty design and continues the trend of Hyundai’s “fluidic sculpture” design philosophy.
The five-door sedan has a chrome embellished front grille that houses the Hyundai logo and the air intake is situated below the grille in the front bumper. The air intake features 3 horizontal slots and is shaped like an upturned mouth with the fog lights on either side of it.
The headlights are long upwards sloping and integrate well with the hood and end above the front wheel wells. The wheel wells bulge slightly out from the body and give the Avante a broader more planted feel. The rear of the car is also beautifully crafted with sharper lines than the front that end off at a large boot. There is a lovely curve from above the rear wheel wells that amalgamates itself with the rear bumper to form a smooth shaped crest below the boot. The Hyundai Avante also comes with standard 15 inch alloy wheels that enhance its sporty image.
Since the Avante is basically the Elantra for Indian buyers the interior styling is quite similar. The front cabin is ergonomically designed and brightly illuminated making it easier for the driver to see all information. The dashboard slopes down sharply in the middle to incorporate the center console with navigation touch screen and this is probably the best feature of the Avante.
Steering wheel has the usual audio and cruise control buttons and the front seats offer maximum comfort and support for both occupants. The driver seat can be manually adjusted to ensure the most comfortable position for the driver.
Rear seating in the Avante is also spacious and can easily accommodate three average sized people. There are 3 seatbelts to ensure the safety of all rear passengers and the seats also provide ample cushioning and support. The overall space in the cabin is very good for a car in this segment and the Avante has loads of legroom although the lowish roofline cuts into desired headroom.
Pricing and Recommendations
The New Hyundai Avante in India is a very stylish and economical vehicle in the small car segment and is extremely suitable for those who require economy and looks without paying a premium price. It has all the necessary features that make it a wonderful car for the city or the highway and also provides impressive safety features like dual front SRS airbags, side curtain airbags, Electronic Stability Programme (ESP), anti-lock braking system (ABS), electronic brake force distribution (EBD), remote central locking, rear defogger and rear parking sensors.
Hyundai is also planning on releasing a whole host of colours for the Avante giving the Indian market a real choice. The Hyundai Avante will also feature a list of options not found in its direct rivals and includes High Intensity Discharge (HID) lights, heated rear seats, LED rear lights and colour TFT LCD info display. According to Steve Yang, President and CEO of Hyundai’s Global Business Division, “The new Avante encompasses Hyundai’s latest ambitions, featuring the best styling and performance in its class…We’re confident that it will once again redefine the compact segment worldwide.”
Expected to be priced between 11 – 14 lakhs depending on trim levels and options, the Hyundai Avante should prove to be stiff competition to the other vehicles in the D-segment. It just remains to be seen if Hyundai has learned its lesson from the Elantra and has now decided to actually give the Indian market what it wants.
2011 Hyundai Avante India Specifications and Price
Vehicle Category: Sedan
Engines (petrol): 1.6 L, 4-cyl, DOHC, Gamma, VVT, 118 HP, 156 Nm torque
Engines (diesel): 1.5 L, 4-cyl, CRDi, 115 HP, 260 Nm torque
Drive train: Front engine, 5 passenger, 5-door sedan, FWD
Transmissions (standard): 5-speed manual / six-speed automatic
0-100 kph: 11.1 sec (est.)
Mileage city/hwy (petrol): 11 / 14 kmpl
Base Price: Rs.11 – 14 lakhs(est.)