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Short history of Hyundai Elantra

Hyundai Elantra is a compact car produced by the South Korean manufacturer since 1990. While the model is called ELANTRA in virtually all markets around the world, it is called AVANTE on the domestic market. As a compact C-segment sedan, the Elantra competes internationally with models such as the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla. A modern and safe car is available to customers at PANEK Rent a Car, and today, we present a short history of this most popular Hyundai model in the history.

First generation (1990-1995)  

In October 1990, Hyundai introduced the first-generation Elantra. The car was originally known as the Lantra and was powered by 1.5l and 1.8l Mitsubishi engines that were mated to a 5-speed manual and 4-speed automatic gearbox. The model of the first generation in 1993 underwent a facelift in 1993, which slightly refreshed the image of the car, but after the next two years, the second generation of Elantra appeared.

Second generation (1995-2000)  

The second generation of the popular Hyundai appeared in 1995 and was immediately available in both sedan and station wagon versions. The new car was larger than the first generation model and was offered with a wide range of gasoline engines from 1.5L, 1.6L, 1.8L and 2.0L, and also with a 1.9L diesel engine in some markets. The gearboxes include either a 5-speed manual or a 4-speed automatic.

Third generation (2000-2006) 

With the third generation, the Elantra has grown even more, and the station wagon version has been replaced by the liftback version, in which the tailgate opens together with the rear window. Under the hood, the manufacturer used improved Alpha II and Beta II engines with two camshafts (DOHC). The engine displacement remained the same as in the previous generation model, but the 1.9 diesel engine was joined by a new one with a capacity of 1.5 liters. The choice of gearboxes remained unchanged, so customers had a 5-speed manual and a 4-speed automatic at their disposal.

Fourth generation (2006-2010)  

The completely redesigned fourth-generation Elantra made its debut at the 2006 New York Motor Show. The car attracted attention with a more rounded design, and under the hood there were improved and more fuel-efficient Alpha II, Beta II and Gamma engines. In this generation, for the first time, in addition to the conventional 5-speed manual and 4-speed automatic transmissions, the continuously variable CVT has been introduced for the first time. In 2009, at the Seoul Motor Show, Hyundai presented the Elantra equipped with a hybrid powertrain, which in July 2009 went on sale in the domestic market as the Avante LPI Hybrid. Interestingly, in addition to gasoline and electricity, the engine could also run on LPG, and polymer lithium-ion batteries differed from conventional lithium-ion batteries by using a more stable and fire-resistant dry electrolyte instead of the commonly used liquid or gel.

Fifth generation (2010-2015)  

This generation debuted at the 2010 Busan International Motor Show in April 2010 and represented a giant leap forward in terms of design and technology. Increasingly larger external dimensions and an extended wheelbase (2700 mm) meant that the model began to be perceived as a car occupying a place slightly above the compact class. The fifth generation Elantra also received new engines, and the gearboxes, manual and automatic, had 6 gears. Elantra has finally become a world-renowned model, and production lines have been deployed in many countries, including the United States, Malaysia, India, China, Russia and Algeria. The fifth generation of Elantra underwent a facelift in 2012, and with it a 2-door coupe and a longer and wider version called Elantra Langdong, created especially for the Chinese market, appeared in the offer.

Sixth generation (2015-2020)  

The next-generation Elantra made its debut in South Korea as Avante in September 2015. Stylistically, the model took a step back, as the manufacturer decided to give the model a more conservative style, leaving, however, the so-called “flowing sculpture” in the rear part of the body, which was a hallmark of all models since 2011. For the first time, Hyundai expanded its body line with the Elantra GT Hatchback, which was distinguished by bold, sporty styling and a more powerful engine. The sixth generation, although more conservative in style, was nevertheless a huge leap forward in terms of technology. Under the hood there are 1.4 T-GDi gasoline, 1.6 SmartStream and 1.6 CRDi diesel units. There was a 7-speed DCT dual-clutch gearbox, and depending on the market, there was also a choice of a continuously variable CVT and a 6-speed manual. The extensive facelift carried out in 2018 introduced a number of elements and systems that affect driving safety, and in 2019 the Elantra Langdong PHEV model appeared on the Chinese market – the first Elantra in history to be equipped with a plug-in hybrid.

Seventh generation (from 2020) 

The all-new, seventh-generation Elantra made its debut in March 2020, while showcasing Hyundai’s latest styling theme, “Sensuous Sportiness”, with distinctive, bold, polygonal side sculpting. With this generation, the Elantra returned to a sportier style, and the body and wheelbase were again increased compared to its predecessor. The car is equipped with the latest safety solutions, and you can read more about the current generation in our previous articles.