Local dealer Komoco Motors is pulling out all the stops to make the 7th generation Avante the benchmark of its segment
SINGAPORE – Remember a time when shopping for a sub-$100k 1.6-litre family sedan meant settling for a no-frills, mass market econobox? This clearly isn’t the case any longer. Stalwarts like the Honda Civic, Mazda 3 and Toyota Corolla Altis now offer style, refinement and quality that’s closer to Continental offerings like Volkswagen and Volvo, for example.
On Friday, a new challenger to the Cat A COE sedan segment from Korea was unveiled in the form of the 2021 Hyundai Avante. Also known as the Elantra in other markets, this 7th generation compact sedan makes a serious statement of intent with its flamboyant style and impressive features to match.
From the outset, the all-new Hyundai Avante, codenamed CN7 aims to be a disruptor in its segment, hoping to shake things up. This would actually be a good thing. Around the world, the compact sedan segment has fallen behind market share to the C-segment Sport Utility Vehicles (SUVs) such as the BMW X1 and Toyota RAV4, for example.
If sedans are going to be relevant, they have to offer more to tempt customers away from SUVs.
The designers of the Hyundai Avante have gone all out to give this sedan as much presence as they can with bold styling cues. Heavily creased front doors, wraparound headlamps and fastback rear windscreen give the can an agressive, sporty look.
Inside job – class leading interior dimensions
Last week, the comprehensive press presentation included lots of comparisons between class competitors such as the Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla Altis, and Mazda 3.
Without boring you with too many numbers, suffice to say that the Avante has class-leading interior and exterior dimensions and looks the part as well. In the metal, the car is visibly sizable prompting some overseas media outlets to compare this car with the Toyota Camry, which sits in a class above the Avante.
Power struggle – engine and tech details
Hyundai has eschewed the turbocharging trend with the Avante by fitting it with the naturally-aspirated 1.6-litre “Gamma II” gasoline engine that makes 123hp. Surprisingly for a new model, this output in in fact lower than in the previous generation Avante that was rated at 128hp.
Worry not. Despite the deficit in power, the new Avante is still able to accelerate more quickly to 100km/h. It does it in 10.4 seconds, a tad faster than its predecessor. This is mainly thanks to lighter construction and Hyundai’s new IVT (Intelligent Variable Transmission) that replaces the old conventional automatic gearbox.
The new Avante is not only quicker, but the new powertrain also boasts class-leading fuel efficiency. Its claimed combined consumption figure of 5.4-litres per 100km is even lower than the Mazda 3 which features a Mild Hybrid Drive (MHD) system.
Driving impressions – watch this space
When we get to drive the 2021 Hyundai Avante, we’ll be sure to tell you all about it.