Hyundai Motor Co.'s significantly redesigned Avante compact on Thursday proved it is a really suitable entry-level vehicle for everyday city driving in terms of fuel efficiency and safety features.
In a 130-kilometer test drive that took two hours in Namyangju, just east of Seoul, the revamped sixth-generation Avante, or Elantra, boasted an average fuel economy of 16.5 km/l, and its numerous safety functions worked as advertised.
The tester was a full-packaged model equipped with a 1.6-liter gasoline engine, an intelligent variable transmission (IVT) and 17-inch tires.
Given that it is not a performance car nor a premium model, the Avante face-lift met many expectations when it comes to functionality, such as acceleration, braking and cornering. It drove like the ideal vehicle for singles in their 20s and 30s and those with small families.
Despite being poised overall, the car seemed less sure of itself when speeding well over the normal speed limit of 160 km/h, with some road and wind noise seeping into the cabin.
Hyundai said the 2019 Avante received new active safety features like driver attention assist and safe exit assist (SEA) to woo customers who want an economical yet safe car.
The SEA technology, developed by Hyundai, sounds an alarm when a passenger wants to leave a vehicle and another car is approaching from behind. The all-new Santa Fe sport utility vehicle, launched early this year, is the world's first vehicle which has this feature.
For the exterior, the newest Avante underwent dramatic styling changes, making it look like it is an all new model instead of a midlife face-lift. The entire front and rear sections have been redesigned, and nothing seems to have been carried over, with glimpses of the previous model only visible if the vehicle is seen in profile.
In particular, the pointed and triangular headlamps, which offer quad-light emitting diode (LED) projectors together with LED daytime running lamps, stood out among details. The headlights now pierce into Hyundai's ever-evolving bold cascading grille.
The rear side has also been fully redesigned to have a new trunk lid, taillights and bumper. A large "Avante" moniker is now placed on the rear of the trunk lid, and the license plate has been moved down to the bumper.
In contrast to the exterior, the changes to the interior are more muted. It gets a new center-stack, steering wheel and user-friendly features such as a rearview camera and a new standard 5-inch infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. (Yonhap)