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Old 29th August 2006, 03:28   #1
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That picture was taken during a lazy Sunday at home. I was washing the car when my 3 year old wanted to "help" me... Now, I am sure some of you are wondering why this picture to start a car review on a car enthusiast forum? It is like this. This picture summarizes what I thought I was getting into when I took the car. The "family" car for somebody with two kids, and cart loads of baby luggage to lug around? This was something I thought would make those endless trips from Bangalore to Kerala fast, safe, and comfortable. Of course, it does all that. But then, there is this spark, almost tinged with naughtiness that makes the car what it is.

I guess this has to start with the Engine, because that is where that spark comes from. The stock car makes 112bhp and 25Kgm of torque. Now, I know that is not really impressive. But, those 112 horses are really race bred horses (unlike some other petrols, mostly from Hyundai where mules were used instead of horses?). And then there is 25Kgm of torque, mostly used to tease and torture hapless petrol burners. And then I put in the Petes/K&N. Allegedly, bhp went up to 131, and the torque figure was now at a more respectable 30Kgm. And it does 200Kmph on the speedo with little, or no effort. No slowing down. Accelerates all the way until it redlines in 5th. Sounds wicked? Absolutly. The Pepper variety that is.

And for the mileage conscious the figure I normally get hover between 11 and 14, depending on how wicked I am feeling that day.

Actually, the car feels a lot more faster than the figures suggest. Believe me when I say this, this can smoke most things out there. I know there are faster cars out there, but then, I have not met a lot of folks who would do what I do with this to a 220/280CDI? Those poor souls are mostly scared of what the next service bill would read? And I have friends/family who own Mercs/BMWs/Audi etc. Compare that to me, throwing this around with gay abandon, smug in the knowledge that *nothing* would give way? And who cares even if it does? Parts are cheap, and then there are comprehensive bumper to bumper warranties, and then there is the manufacturer who does not really plan to fleece customers after selling the cars? Perfect? Well, almost. There is a perceptible turbo lag before 2000 rpm, which was reduced by the petes box, but then the kick you get when the turbo spools up is addictive. That small glitch, I can live with. Maybe the next Hyundai CRDi will have variable vane geometry? Or maybe twin turbos?

Lets continue to look at the good stuff. Like I said fast, and anybody who has seen this take off would vouch for that. What those folks dont easily see, is that it is very safe too. ABS/EBD helps tremendously with braking, and it probably has one of the shortest stopping distances, for eg. the autocar figure for 80-0 is 21.39m. That I am sure is class leading, and probably compares favourably with even the Mercs? Traction control helps prevent wheel spins on slippery surfaces. Also helps on the odd track day, when you are turned in, and want to floor the throttle before the car is fully straightened out. Airbags, crumple zones, collision unlocking doors, 5 star NCAP for side impact etc add to the safety net.

Lets move on to the interiors. Pics below will give you an idea of what is inside, without me vaxing eloquent about this too much.

Stuff which matter to me most are Climate Control, a Laptop charging point, distance to empty, trip meter, ticket holders, coin box, cup and bottle holders, map pockets which bulge out to hold full bottles and generally cheerful interiors. Stuff which does not matter to me too much include blue dials, crome tweeters, chrome inserts on door handles etc.

While the gear knob is nice to hold, with a well slotted solid feel to shifts, the steering wheel is rather thin to hold. Would have loved a smaller thicker wheel instead. And the gear shift could have been better with shorter throws as well. But then, maybe I am asking for too much?

And then there was the excellent headunit which did not play mp3. That was a killer, considering the long drives I do, frequently alone. Needed music to keep company. So eventually replaced that with a DVD/Navigation system from Kenwood. Also added JBL ovals at the back, a boxed JBL subwoofer, and Boston components at the front. While a JBL amp drives the speakers, used a cheaper Sony to drive the subwoofer. Did not attach a center speaker as I was not sure where to keep that one, and I did not want one on top of the dash. A DVD full of mp3 is a lot of music, and keeps going for ever. The only flip side for the head unit, it does not play mp4/ogg/divx. Some conversion work on some of my downloads, but then I could not find anything better.

About the seats - while the seats are comfortable, with lumbar adjustment for the driver alone, the bench length is not enough for somebody standing at 6ft. Under thigh support suffers for tall folks as a result. There is more than sufficient leg room at the back, but then the seats are low due to the sloping nature of the roof towards the rear. Still comfortable than most in this segment. A E280 has better under thigh support, but then you get 5 Elantras for the price of one of that?

Suspension and handling - The CRDi unit is rather heavy, and gives the car a nose heavy feel. Takes some time getting used to if you have only driven petrols before. And that is only for folks who throw their rides around. Others wont feel anything amiss. The suspension is hardened, for taking the weight of the engine, and probably to cope up with bad roads. While this gives the car extraordinary stability at high speeds, at slow speeds, the ride turns harsh. My wife complained so much so that I had to replace the original 195/60 Kumhos with 205/60 michelins. After the wider tires came on, the ride was softened by the extra sidewall flex, and the width helped as well. Also, high speed tire noise was reduced considerably. Grip levels improved as well.
Everybody was happy until I tried throwing the car around on track, and that ate up the sidewalls on the front tires. Sadly, back in the market for new rubber, probably will upgrade the rim size too. Might have a madder wife, so does anybody make those adaptive damping struts for Elantra? Hope not, because I would still have a mad wife for blowing up more money on the car.

And that reminds me of service costs, almost no real troubles from the car yet. The engine is better than ever, and probably in it's prime. Only regular service, sometimes slightly earlier at 8000Kms each, instead of the 10000 the company recommends.

Stuff I need to do on the car? For one, I need to get some timings going. Will get a GTECHPRO next trip out. Will update the thread as soon as I have one.

And then I want better lighting from the headlamps, although the current 100/80 Philps rallye bulbs are pretty good. Still need those projector HIDs for the all night runs. http://hidtech.com can do a custom job, will try that whenever I get to stay in the US for longer than couple of weeks.

And to conclude, it has been an absolut ball with the Elantra. It is so much fun(ok, perverted fun maybe?) to watch dismayed faces in the rear view mirror each time I go near another car, and then wait for the turbo to spool up...
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Old 29th August 2006, 08:39   #2
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You really seem to be enjoying the car!! I guess a lot of us have not really considered this vehicle seriously enough. Great that you brought some of this to light.. Good job...
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Old 29th August 2006, 08:44   #3
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Nice review..!!! It was fun reading....

CRDi fan....hmmm....me too.....Love the neck breaking torque....300Nm

With your upgraded rubber the speedo is under reading so the top speed is more than 200kph
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Old 29th August 2006, 08:53   #4
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Believe every word he says!!!

He torqued his way around the track. I was impressed. With traction control + great brakes, all he had to do is floor and guide it and the Elantra looked after everything else. Have driven a petol one - it may not be the most communicative of cars but it certaily is capable. The torque it puts out makes it a no brainer for long journeys
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Old 29th August 2006, 09:33   #5
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Excellent review! Auto mag guys watch out!

The part I liked " The "family" car for somebody with two kids, and cart loads of baby luggage to lug around? This was something I thought would make those endless trips from Bangalore to Kerala fast, safe, and comfortable. Of course, it does all that. But then, there is this spark, almost tinged with naughtiness that makes the car what it is."

Oh love that kenwood thingy. And nice pic with kiddo. You could haev framed better and hence could have got a good album pic, but guess you took it all of a sudden.

Owner' pride, others envy.emmm
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Old 29th August 2006, 09:43   #6
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You can call it irony... the best cars from Hyundai arent selling well.
Nice review there..... it was fun reading it.
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Old 29th August 2006, 10:10   #7
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Great review there, tadukuttan - you've summed up the Elantra CRDi very VERY well. It is budget bhp at its best, and then some more!

Best of luck with the tyres....and the wife!
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Old 29th August 2006, 10:27   #8
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Hey nice review there Tadukuttan.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by tadukuttan
..... Like I said fast, and anybody who has seen this take off would vouch for that.
...

Quote:
Originally Posted by tadukuttan
And that is only for folks who throw their rides around......

Everybody was happy until I tried throwing the car around on track, and that ate up the sidewalls on the front tires. Sadly, back in the market for new rubber
For the way you were throwing your car around the track.... change of tyres would be a must...
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Old 29th August 2006, 10:50   #9
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Fun reading your review, tadukuttan. Honestly never gave a second thought to the Elantra until I heard about yours from other BHPians. Let me test it in the near future.

The standard 0 - 100 for the Elantra CRDi is 11.62 seconds. With a Petes box, I would presume atleast a 1 second improvement (considering Rtechs powerboxes Octavia shaved off 2.xx seconds on its 100 kph run).

Quote:
Everybody was happy until I tried throwing the car around on track, and that ate up the sidewalls on the front tires.
Why dont you keep a separate set only for the track? That will balance out between track use, and a good ride for daily driving.

Quote:
but then, I have not met a lot of folks who would do what I do with this to a 220/280CDI?
They may be closer than you think. Thanks for sharing your review with us!

Last edited by GTO : 29th August 2006 at 10:52.
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Old 29th August 2006, 11:15   #10
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Brilliant review! I am inclining more and more towards the elantra. If any more such reviews come in, the verna plan may go haywire!
Could you elaborate more about parts costs. Regular replacements like filters etc.,
What all under warranty and not under warranty part faliures you have had, no matter how minor.
And after the pete's box, they still honour warranty? Or do you remove it before you go for service?
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Old 29th August 2006, 11:27   #11
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I will say "A review from heart"......Its was really nice to read the review.
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Old 29th August 2006, 11:56   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk1979
Could you elaborate more about parts costs. Regular replacements like filters etc.,
Found an older(21/02/2006) paid service bill, and it went like this -

Filter ASSY-Engine Oil - 357.89
Filter Air Cleaner - 382.58
Filter Catridge - 812.94
Engine Oil - 752.32
Engine Oil Additive(Something I asked for) - 252.42
Periodic Maintanence Service - 750.00
Caliper Greasing (asked for) - 150.00
Consumables - 100.00

Total - 3500 odd?

And service interval is 10,000Kms.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk1979
What all under warranty and not under warranty part faliures you have had, no matter how minor.
Had the brake disks replaced under warranty once as they had got warped due to overheating. And that happened after a particularly spririted run down to Kerala in the night.
Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk1979
And after the pete's box, they still honour warranty? Or do you remove it before you go for service?
The showrooms in Kerala are used to seeing the petes boxes, and couple of them actually sell it. I do not take it out before leaving the car.

In Bangalore, I am not sure. Will call up the petes guys and ask them about feedback from the local showrooms. Anyway, it hardly takes 15 minutes to take it out.
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Old 29th August 2006, 11:59   #13
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Well written - presenting both sides to the coin.
The common caution (Ive heard) with crdi is that its performance drops and trouble begins post 50,000 Kms. But from what I read, you seem to be nowhere near any sort of trouble. !!

Awaiting your post 50K review.
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Old 29th August 2006, 12:00   #14
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Great review tadukuttan. Makes me feel buy this car earlier than i planned to.
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Old 29th August 2006, 12:06   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO
Why dont you keep a separate set only for the track? That will balance out between track use, and a good ride for daily driving.
That was the original idea. But then, I dont know what would happen to my resolve to use the original 15 inch alloys if I go out and buy some good looking 17 inchers.
Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO
They may be closer than you think. Thanks for sharing your review with us!
Yes. I did read your review of the 220, and man, if I had the dough to keep her happy(like 35K for a service), I would be running to get one...
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