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15 Jan 2019


Facelift (What's New)
Extensively redesigned exterior
LED head lights and rear combination lamps
7.0-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity
New Safe Exit Assist
Engine has been revised for smoother operation

The facelifted Hyundai Avante brings with it a host of style and equipment enhancements, adding to an already appealing family sedan package.


The Hyundai Avante, or else previously know as the Hyundai Elantra, has been a staple on Singapore roads for a long time. Yes, the nomenclature can be slightly confusing, but the Avante and the Elantra are one and the same (something about naming the car differently for export markets).

Anyway, the facelifted model has now arrived in Singapore, badged as the Avante (some new global directive, supposedly). Regardless of what it's called, we have to assess how good it is.

The extensive facelift features a sharper design and additional equipment

Is it brand new?

This Avante is a facelift, but a reasonably substantial one. The car has grown 50mm longer, and extensive updates have been made to the car's overall design, with a brand new hood, fenders, head lights, front grille, trunk, wheels, and the list goes on.

Overall, the Avante's new design is sharper, sleeker and quite handsome, especially from the side and rear profile.

The Avante sports a new face, with a bold front grille and sleek LED head lights

Ugh, but that face though…

The most significant visual change is that unmistakable new front grille, and yes, it's quite a bold look indeed. We can't say we are a fan of it - it feels like it's trying too hard to impose a character that inherently isn't there. It's a bit much, sort of like when you tell that grouchy kid to smile for the class photo and he does an all-teeth-no-lips smile.

How about the cabin?

Move inside the cabin, and you will notice a neater centre console. The big change is the infotainment screen, now larger and with a better-organised interface. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity is a big plus, allowing you to seamlessly connect your phone.

Apple CarPlay connectivity gives you easy access to functions like navigation and music

There's also a new infotainment cluster, with this Elite trim model housing a 4.2-inch LCD screen to display information like speed and fuel consumption. In Elite trim, you also get a memory driver's seat as well as ventilated front seats, great for our ridiculously temperate climate.

Key to the facelift is the inclusion of new Hyundai SmartSense safety and convenience technologies in the Avante. Now, you get Blind Spot Collision Warning with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert and Lane Change Assist, as well as the new Safe Exit Assist, which warns you of oncoming traffic when you try to open the door.

Also standard on all trims are the rear view camera with dynamic guidelines, as well as three drive modes - Eco, Normal and Sport. 
It's still the same engine, yes?

At the heart of the facelifted Avante is a familiar drivetrain, a naturally aspirated 1.6-litre engine with 126bhp and 155Nm of torque, paired to a six-speed automatic gearbox. There have been improvements made to it, including enhancements to the drive-by-wire throttle and valve timing system.

In our estimation, the engine feels smoother and more responsive than before, with what feels like shorter gear ratios to facilitate brisk acceleration. Driven with a light foot, the car is surprisingly quick to pick up speed. It doesn't sound great when you climb high into the revs, but there's no denying the overall usability of the engine. 

The 1.6-litre engine delivers power is a smooth and surprisingly brisk manner

As far as ride and handling goes, the Avante retains its assured yet supple ride. We especially like that even at highway speeds, the car feels stable and planted. Admittedly, there's not much information from the steering wheel, but at least it's reactive and accurate enough, and the car is more fun to pilot that we'd expect from a car in this class.

Additionally, the Avante also impresses with its quietness and refinement. Sound proofing materials have been added to make the cabin better insulated, and it shows. We also managed to achieve a fuel economy figure of 12.1km/L, which is quite good considering we didn't do that much highway driving.

Safe Exit Assist sounds an alarm to warn you of oncoming traffic when opening any of the doors

So is it worth the money?

The additional equipment and styling upgrades are certainly welcome, but where the Avante continues to impress is its overall driving maturity, competency and composure. Yes, the front fascia is quite in your face, but it's something that is easily overcome by, you know, actually being in the car.

Ultimately, a lot of buyers in this particular segment will be concerned with one key factor - price. The Avante Elite is priced quite reasonably at $86,999 (as of 14 January 2019), exactly the same price as the top-spec Kia Cerato. Between the two, we reckon the Avante has the edge by having a more responsive engine and a more composed ride at higher speeds.

With its ample equipment, composed ride and overall maturity, the Hyundai Avante is a highly appealing compact sedan 

Hyundai distributor Komoco Motors reckons the mid-spec 'S' variant, priced at $79,999, will be the best-selling variant, so stay tuned for our review of that variant coming very soon.
Car Information
This model is no longer being sold by local distributors

Price

: -

Engine Type

:

4-cylinder in-line 16-valve DOHC

Engine Cap

:

1591cc

Horsepower

:

94kW (126 bhp) / 6300 rpm

Torque

:

155 Nm / 4850 rpm

Transmission

:

6-speed (A)

Acceleration (0-100 km/h)

:

11.6sec

Top Speed

:

195km/h

Fuel consumption

:

14.9km/L

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