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Old 30th October 2006, 11:29   #1
Join Date: May 2006
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Thumbs up Elantra Ownership Report (10000KM)

Hi everyone

Its been long since I wrote on this forum. I was infact waiting to do 10000KM before attempting the same. I have had some queries on my 5000KM review as well. Let me try to address all that as well.
Yes, Elantra comes a Decontent version at 9L (OTR) in TRV. VFM and Real VFM if I may say. The differences from the earlier Elantra being absence of these features - SRS Airbags, Alloy Wheels, Automatic Climate Control.

I pitted this version against the full version and came to a conclusion that for an extra price of 80K, I would rather go for a Decontent. For me, I look upto this car as a real VFM car and spending each penny on this has to be done with care so as not to destroy the image I have about this car in my mind (read - every penny spent on this in the stock form is "worth").

I went for this car after having considered the Rider 1.9 and was convinced that given certain criteria like rear seat comfort, maintenance cost, service costs, paint and spare parts costs, ***, I would choose this car anyday. Now, you may wonder what then makes Elantra a sad story in India. It has and still sells in great volumes in the Europe and US, but Indians still havent come to terms with its looks, particularly the front. If some of you had a chance to look at the old GT version of Elantra (it was never launched in India), I would say it looked much better than any facelift it has had ever. But it still sells, and for a reason - its the torque, the VFM factor and the pleasure of driving this that has done it good. Front looks were secondary for them, though not for us.

As one of my friends put it, when you are seated inside a car and enjoy driving it, why bother about its looks. I agree only to a certain extent, but would say an engine has to be so responsive to agree to a statement like this. My earlier Lancer did look good, but the engine was disapponting. More awful was HM (Hindustan Motors) and the reason why I decided to move was when I got to know the nitty-gritties of how things are done in their "Chennai plant". Anyway, with all due respect for the Lancer and keeping alive my desire of owning a "good" Mits one day, let me talk about my Elantra.

But sure, I also wanted to do something about the front part. The vertical grill looked agressive for my Marketing Executive, it would look just awesome for all of them, but for me it looked awful. I decided to go to other sites of Hyundai Motor and see how Elantra looked in all those countries. I was astonished to find that Elantra still came with a horizontal grill and that too on colours like Brick Red, it was a full black grill with even the chrome strip on the bonnet painted black. It looked a lot better. The first thing I demanded during my oil change was a replacement of the grill. Of course, I had to pay, but I would never regret having done that. The grill initially looked OK, and I wanted to make it look good.

With this in mind, I approached one of my friends who owns an authorized service station for the Merc, for his opinion. He gave the grill back with the horizontal bars painted the same colour as the body - Ebony black. Boy, it now looked much better. I am now considering changing my spare grill (vertical) to a mesh -- the site for the Elantra modded in Tripod tells me it will look good. I am going to try that some day, but will keep this grill for sometime for it sure gives the car an elegant look.

Now, I had to change the wheels - an alloy was what I wanted. Getting an alloy with the stipulated PCD settings was impossible. Got the latest Hidesign alloys from Cochin - the 8 spoke one. And that changed the look and how !!! I could now call my Elantra "My Boy".

I still have problems with the music player and since I know how much better a normal audio plays, I am comfortable buying them than the MP3s. I have fewer MP3s than the WAVs.

I have decided not to go by the company recommendation of changing the engine oil at every 10000KM. I would advice a change atleast every 7500KM. I did my first at 5000 and planning the next at 12000.

Ride till 10000? It has been a pleasure - whether in the city or on the highway. I am just awestruck having experienced the power delivery (with the Turbolag), stability at corners, ease of handling, to mention some of them.

I am more confident when it rains. I am still enjoying the sight when drivers drag their cars towards the left and curb their instincts to press on the gas, when I, on my Elantra, would never imagine lowering the speed. Forget about lowering, I would still blast like I did before the rains or probably more. I love this part of it and thanks for all the safety features, I now love the rains for a different reason - earlier I would drive slow and enjoy the rains - now I drive fast and enjoy the ride as much as the rain. It is sheer pleasure. You need to experience it to feel it.

Engine rattles at lower rpms - I use only Hispeed Diesel and that too only from the best gas station around - but is a perfectionist past 2000rpm and at speeds above 100+. Engine then settles into a nice rhythm and complements the ride.

Some areas where I would ask for improvement would be on the power of the headlights (someone please suggest some alternatives like Xenon - please give all details so that I can attempt), Engine refinement, looks (that would get a change in the Elantra 2007 though I would say it would then loose its character - the new Elantra looks much like the Toyotta Corolla and I am sad at that. Why cant Hyundai come out with good designs when all others seem to fall in place?), to name a few.

Hyundai has done wonders with the Engine refinement in the new generation CRDi it has developed for the Verna and possibly for the new Elantra 2007. After test driving the Verna, I am quite eager to test drive the new Elantra even though it is less in CC than the current version - after all torque is all that matters.

To sum it all, my Elantra, sure, carries himself around with Elan !!!

- Jay
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