Lifestyle

Not granny's Elantra: Hyundai Elantra SR Turbo road test

BACK ROAD HERO: Hyundai Elantra SR Turbo a stirring steer with a superb chassis and 150kW/265Nm turbo four-cylinder.
BACK ROAD HERO: Hyundai Elantra SR Turbo a stirring steer with a superb chassis and 150kW/265Nm turbo four-cylinder. Mark Bramley

Hyundai Elantra? You're not going to bore me are you?

Hold your horses. Spot that Turbo badge on the front grille? Then there's the "SR" on the boot lid. The "R" is in red too, so clearly this thing's a bit fruity.  

Yeah, but it's still an Elantra.

Maybe, but this one's not for grandma. We've got a turbocharged 1.6-litre here boasting a healthy 150kW and 265Nm. Throw in independent rear suspension, a six-speed manual gearbox or seven-speed DCT and beefier brakes and it's quite the sporty package. Some choice racier body styling bits too, you'll notice.  

2016 Hyundai Elantra SR Turbo.Photo: Mark Bramley.
2016 Hyundai Elantra SR Turbo.Photo: Mark Bramley. Mark Bramley

Really? It still looks like bowls club or retirement village fodder.

Bit harsh. Okay, so it doesn't exactly look like a performance machine markedly different to the mass market Elantra Active and Elite variants, so perhaps consider this thing as something of a street sleeper.  

So, sell this "hot" Elantra to me then.

See it more as a warm Elantra rather than anything to challenge the hot hatch market. This SR Turbo variant is the halo model in the range, and Hyundai asks $28,990 for the six-speed manual version and $31,290 for one with a double-clutch auto gearbox and flappy steering wheel paddles, all before on-roads.  

So you know, the new Elantra range arrived earlier in the year starting from $21,950 for the Active and $26,990 the Elite, the latter boasting goodies like leather, dual-zone climate, smart key and 17-inch alloys.  

2016 Hyundai Elantra SR Turbo.Photo: Mark Bramley.
2016 Hyundai Elantra SR Turbo.Photo: Mark Bramley. Mark Bramley

So this range topping SR Turbo version gets even more toys then?

Well, your key bits are the boosted engine and sports-focused chassis, but yes, you score some goodies too. New bumpers and skirts, new radiator grille, new 17-inch rims and chrome touches for the exterior will attract sporty sedan buyers, as will the snazzy (for a Hyundai) cabin.   

Luxuries include a ten-way electrically adjustable driver's seat, both front chairs being heated, and safety gear including blind spot detection, lane change assist, rear cross traffic alert and front parking sensors.

No autonomous emergency braking though, which is becoming more commonplace in this segment, nor is there sat nav. But as Elantras come with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, you can display your phone's maps on your 7-inch touchscreen.  

2016 Hyundai Elantra SR Turbo.Photo: Mark Bramley.
2016 Hyundai Elantra SR Turbo.Photo: Mark Bramley. Mark Bramley

Those front bucket seats have increased lateral support for heavy cornering, there's red stitching for the leather, racing inspired flat-bottom steering wheel, alloy pedals and carbon fibre effect inserts and trim. You can even go full red leather interior for an extra $295. Still think it's one for grandma?  

2016 Hyundai Elantra SR Turbo.Photo: Mark Bramley.
2016 Hyundai Elantra SR Turbo.Photo: Mark Bramley. Mark Bramley

Well if not granny, who's this thing aimed at then?

Hyundai says it's one for that niche sporty small sedan shopper. They like the practicality of a sedan boot, like the traditional sedan body shape (they reject hatchbacks and SUVs you see), and seek good value to go with optimised ride and handling.   

Direct competitors? Think Mazda3 SP25 GT ($29,790), Nissan Pulsar SSS ($26,990) and Holden Cruze SRi Z-Series ($27,140).  

The sporting driver then. Will they like it?

I like a back road blast as much as the next man, and I had a ball in the SR Turbo. A really pleasing mix of balance, feedback and enough performance to keep you interested.

2016 Hyundai Elantra SR Turbo.Photo: Mark Bramley.
2016 Hyundai Elantra SR Turbo.Photo: Mark Bramley. Mark Bramley

The turbo 1.6-litre four-cylinder (a modified version of that found in Hyundai's Veloster SR) is a gem, which takes a little persuasion to come alive with the DCT gearbox, but once you hit the mid range you're gifted impressive pull and decent surge up to the redline.   

Take control through the steering wheel paddles, keep the revs up and smiles come readily through the twisties.

Hyundai's Australian-focused ride and handling team have custom tuned the chassis and suspension for our market, and as we've become accustomed to, they've nailed it. Revelling in having that independent rear suspension, the team has created a brilliant warm sedan that brought me more driving joy than any other Hyundai I've driven, the Veloster sports car included.  

2016 Hyundai Elantra SR Turbo.Photo: Mark Bramley.
2016 Hyundai Elantra SR Turbo.Photo: Mark Bramley. Mark Bramley

You were probably enjoying a driving nirvana of a road though?

Fair point. Hyundai showed off the SR Turbo on a route between Albury (NSW) and Lakes Entrance (Victoria) across the Central Highlands and Alpine regions. Talk about an uninterrupted blast with endless stunning corners, blissful views and scant traffic. It could make almost any car enjoyable, but also serves well to show up any deficiencies.  

And were there any?

Not that I'd care to grumble about. Hyundai said there should be optional 18-inch wheels with Pirelli rubber arriving soon for the SR Turbo, so if you really love your driving, these should up the grip and cancel out the small instances of understeer I experienced. As long as they don't harm the excellent everyday ride.  

*UPDATE* said 18-inch wheels pricing has been confirmed, with a set of four plus Pirelli 225/40/18 Dragon Sport tyres costing $1890 plus GST.

2016 Hyundai Elantra SR Turbo.Photo: Mark Bramley.
2016 Hyundai Elantra SR Turbo.Photo: Mark Bramley. info@tonicfilms.tv

So it does well as a cruiser too?

As said before, the Aussie-based engineers custom tune these Hyundais for our conditions. Yes it's slightly stiffer than a boggo Elantra, but always proved able to absorb imperfections with little fuss. No harsh ride to report when doing the everyday stuff. These chaps do the handling/ride balance so very well.   

If you're in the auto gearbox model you can choose between Eco, Normal and Sport modes. This alters your steering weight, throttle and the length of time a gear is held, so keep things in Normal and you have your grandma-esque Elantra comfort.  

2016 Hyundai Elantra SR Turbo.Photo: Mark Bramley.
2016 Hyundai Elantra SR Turbo.Photo: Mark Bramley. Mark Bramley

And the other sensible stuff I should ask about?

Space wise you do okay. The rear seats will fit three kids or two adults pretty comfortably, and your boot space is 458-litres, a mere 30-litres shy of Hyundai's Tucson mid-size SUV boot. Not bad for a small sedan.  

I dig a clutch and self-shifter, should I get the manual gearbox one?

It's not a bad thing, and you do feel more involved with the drive, plus it suggests you get up to speed from standstill more rapidly. The DCT is hard to fault though, so it's really whether you consider yourself a two- or a three-pedal kinda driver. Most will go auto of course, such is the lazy nature of we Aussie drivers.  

2016 Hyundai Elantra SR Turbo.Photo: Mark Bramley.
2016 Hyundai Elantra SR Turbo.Photo: Mark Bramley. Mark Bramley

You'd recommend the Elantra SR Turbo then?

It's an impressive all-rounder for sure, and bodes very well for Hyundai's forthcoming genuine performance N models like the Golf GTI-rivalling i30N due next year.  

High performance Hyundais? Can they really pull that off?

Wait and see. They're not doing much wrong at the moment though, are they?  

2016 Hyundai Elantra SR Turbo.Photo: Mark Bramley.
2016 Hyundai Elantra SR Turbo.Photo: Mark Bramley. Mark Bramley

Vital statistics

Model: Hyundai Elantra SR Turbo.  

Details: Four-door front-wheel drive small sedan.  

Engine: 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder with maximum power of 150kW @ 6000rpm and peak torque of 265Nm @ 1500rpm.  

Transmission: Six-speed manual or seven-speed Dual Clutch (DCT) auto.  

Consumption: 7.7l/100km (manual) or 7.2l/100km (DCT auto).  

Performance 0-100kmh: 7.0-seconds (estimated).  

Bottom line plus on-roads: $28,990 (manual) or $31,290 (DCT auto).  

2016 Hyundai Elantra SR Turbo.Photo: Mark Bramley.
2016 Hyundai Elantra SR Turbo.Photo: Mark Bramley. Mark Bramley

What matters most

What we liked: Excellent chassis for enthusiastic driving and everyday duties, eager engine, decent cabin spec, performance and luxury touches at a decent price.  

What we'd like to see: The arrival of 18-inch wheels with slightly grippier Pirelli rubber, autonomous emergency braking, a bit more exterior muscle to differentiate it from normal Elantras.  

Warranty and servicing: Five year/unlimited kilometre warranty, lifetime capped price service plan.  

2016 Hyundai Elantra SR Turbo.Photo: Mark Bramley.
2016 Hyundai Elantra SR Turbo.Photo: Mark Bramley. info@tonicfilms.tv

The verdict

Driving experience  18/20  

Features and equipment   16/20  

Functionality and comfort   17/20  

Value for money   18/20  

Style and design  15/20  

Total   84/100

2016 Hyundai Elantra SR Turbo.Photo: Mark Bramley.
2016 Hyundai Elantra SR Turbo.Photo: Mark Bramley. Mark Bramley

Topics:  car launch hyundai elantra hyundai n performance motoring review road test sr turbo



10 best street art spots to take an Insta selfie

IF YOU are in need of a few trendy new Instagram snaps, then get your phone and selfie-stick ready and head to Brisbane.

Theatre royalty graces Brisbane stage

Don't miss Charles Edwards in this incredible theatre performance.

WHEN acting royalty comes to town, you sit up and take notice.

Don’t go chasing waterfalls…find them on these drives!

The Scenic Rim is just one place nearby that you'll love.

BRISBANE isn’t all bright lights and city slickers.

Your boots are made for walking these tours

Brisbane Greeters tours are a great way to learn the local history of the city.

YOU don’t need a bike or bus for a seriously good tour of Brisbane.

Discover Brisbane’s laneway gems

Brisbane's laneways will surprise you.

NOT all of Brisbane City is as it seems…

Drink where the cool kids do this summer

There are a bunch of new bars open in Brisbane, make sure you're there!

CHECK out these new funky bars.

Science Festival seriously awesome

Don't miss the World Science Festival Brisbane!

CALLING everyone who wants to see something totally cool.

150 residents meet to fight for their dump

FIGHT BACK: Residents met with council representatives over fears the Avondale Waste Facility would close.

Councillor promises to fight tooth and nail

Bundy's little brave heart after third operation

BRAVE HEART: Bundaberg's little Noah Lammi has undergone his third open heart surgery. He is now recovering in Lady Cilento Hospital Brisbane.

Another open heart surgery for Bundaberg youngster

WATCH: Fire close to homes, firefighters work to control it

Emergency crews work to control Burnett Heads fire

Residents are urged to keep there windows shut as smoke fills air

Local Partners

Theatre royalty graces Brisbane stage

WHEN acting royalty comes to town to direct the theatre performance of the year, you sit up and take notice.

Un-American tale makes Lion weakest link in Oscars line-up

Dev Patel in a scene from the movie Lion.

PSYCHOLOGY researchers find US films most likely to win at Oscars.

Can rightful winner Midnight take out golden Gosling in Oscars?

Can Lion pip La La Land at the post in this year's Oscars? Sunny Pawar (pictured) helped bring a powerful film to the big screen.

WILL Aussie film Lion triumph or will popular La La Land prevail?

Living End, Grinspoon stars hit stage for American Idiot

Chris Cheney of The Living End stars in the Australian production of Green Days musical American Idiot at Brisbane's QPAC Theatre.

TAKE a look behind the scenes of Green Day's American Idiot musical

Samuel L Jackson dismisses La La Land ahead of Oscars

Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone in a scene from the movie La La Land.

Hollywood actor and Oscars voter says Denzel should win top gong

'Why we drove 800km to buy a treehouse with a disco ball'

The new owners have planned a few updates, but will stick with much of the original design.

A couple travelled almost 800km for the home of their dreams.

The trick homeowners are using to buy more properties

Chantelle Subritzky leaves her home each week for Airbnb guests.

Queenslanders are going down this path to help pay their mortgages

Stunning home blends South Pacific beauty with Orient style

Immaculate residence with two outdoor living areas

$140k damage: landlord says property trashed, contaminated

He had what he calls "the tenants from hell"

Submarine, buses and 3000 tyres removed in $100K clean up

The list of things removed from this property is beyond astonishing

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!