The D-segment sedan space is one of the hotly contested markets in the Indian auto industry. With more customers opting for premium cars in recent times, the competition has got ever tough. Hyundai has introduced a new generation of the highly desirable Elantra model to spruce things up and make matters tough for others. It features new award-winning exterior design philosophy and is built on a lightweight platform.
The main rivals such as Toyota Corolla, Skoda Octavia and Chevrolet Cruze are already successful in their own rights but the entry of the new Elantra, well-received in several foreign countries, is expected to stir the market and make the complexions swing. Here is the how the 2016 Elantra stakes up in our comprehensive specs comparison:
Elantra vs Corolla vs Octavia vs Cruze Exterior Styling:
The new generation Elantra has a stiffened body shell with 53 per cent Advanced High Strength Steel (AHSS) and as a result the torsional rigidity has increased by 29.5% and the bending strength by 25.3% helping in better handling and riding dynamics. The kerb weight from 1.3 tonnes had got down as well due to the lightweight material usage.
The 2016 Elantra rides on a new lighter platform. Making world premiere at the 2015 LA Auto Show, the Indian debut was hosted at the 13th edition of New Delhi Auto Expo earlier this year. The previous generation of the D-segment sedan was the first model to feature Fluidic design language in India but the new-gen model will stand more intact with the Euro-spec car following the design ethos of Fluidic Sculpture 2.0.
The prominent hexagonal grille with five vertical strips and sleek stretched-back headlamps remain identical to the Genesis G90 sedan. The new headlamp cluster incorporates static bending lights in addition to a tweaked bumper with vertically stacked LED DRLs.
The rear-end gets newly designed LED lights whereas the simpler side profile and new set of 16-inch alloy wheels look a lot sporty than the model it succeeds. The overall shape has been kept, however, in place as recently the Hyundai designers were awarded with International Design Excellence.
The Skoda Octavia is in its third avatar as the completely overhauled exterior and interior were based on the Vision D concept. Having striking resemblance to the 2013 European Rapid, Skoda opted to go with a matured outlook. Because of that the softer character lines appeared with more roundish edges to give the Octavia a classy yet modern and premium appeal.
It features LED Daytime Running Lights and front grille with vertical slats bringing a composed face. The Octavia sedan is definitely longer and wider than the Laura and the tailgate has the two diagonal lines first witnessed on the Rapid besides a C-shaped tail lamp cluster with reversing lamps and turn-blinkers in the centre.
The Toyota Corolla took design cues from the Furia design philosophy and is a comprehensive changeover compared to the previous generation model in terms of aggressive stance, While being more mainstream than its American sibling, the Corolla boasts a square-ish design language at front with sharp lines for the mean looking bumper, swoopy grille and the bonnet.
The blackened headlights and cluster gives provision for an LED insert flowing upwards towards the distinctive bonnet which has bold creases on the either side.With uniquely flared wheel arches, the Toyota Corolla allows for the doors to slope forwards on the sides and at the rear it comes with wraparound tail lamps and bulged lines bringing a Camry appeal.
The American sedan has its own peculiar band of customers for many reasons. One of which is the exterior styling that needs little customisation to be turned into a sporty sedan. The bog-standard Chevrolet Cruze will, however, has a powerful and dynamic exterior too. The big hexagonal two-piece front grille with the signature bow-tie in the middle has been retained from the previous model and it has additionally been applied with black horizontal slats and chrome highlights.
The traditional sweptback headlights stay put alongside the new fog lamp housing. It receives a chrome surround with embedded LED DRLs. The rear section has kept the sporty theme in check as well with the tail lamps more horizontal and a bumper portion again alluring the customising franchises.
Coming to a definitive conclusion in which car has the best exterior is something nearly impossible. Skoda Octavia has its elegance and classy while the Cruze pertains to sporty executive sedan seekers. The Toyota Corolla Altis has the sharper appearance appealing to a good amount of buyers but the upcoming Elantra is sort of in the middle and we predict it to stick by the styling requirements of a matured car buyer and a youthful entrepreneur.
Elantra v Corolla v Octavia v Cruze Dimensions:
The newly launched Elantra measures about 4,610 mm in length, 1,800 mm in width, 1,450 mm in height and has a wheelbase of 2,700 mm and 458 litres boot capacity. Compared to the existing model it is a massive 60 mm longer, 25 mm wider and 20 mm shorter with identical wheelbase. Weighing a little over 1.5 tonnes, the Chevrolet Cruze measures 4,597 mm in length, 1,788 mm in width and has height of 1,477 mm. It features 2,685 mm wheelbase with 165 mm ground clearance and bootspace of 470 litres.
Meanwhile, the Skoda Octavia stretches 4,659 mm long, 1,814 mm wide and boasts height of 1,476 mm. It is offered with wheelbase of 2,688 mm while standing above the ground at 155 mm. The kerb weight stands at 1,260 kg alongside a bootspace of 590 litres.
On the other hand, the Toyota Corolla has proportions of 4,620 mm in length, 1,775 mm in width, 1,475 mm in height, 2,700 mm wheelbase and features 175 mm ground clearance. The kerb weight measured at 1,230 kg and the Japanese sedan can accommodate 470 litres of trunk capacity. Analysing their proportions, it is clear that the Octavia is the longest vehicle ahead of Corolla Altis while the Cruze is the shortest.
The Czech sedan also betters the competition as its the widest by 14 mm over the Elantra but the Cruze is the tallest of the four. However, the crucial wheelbase allowing for more interior room goes in favour Corolla and the new-gen Elantra. The Octavia comes out strong in this respect as well as it betters the rest of rivals with 590 litres of cargo volume – massive 120 litres over Corolla and Cruze.
Elantra v Corolla v Octavia v Cruze Interior and Features:
The entirely revised interior features a new design derived from the Sonata and the soon-arriving Tucson with brand new centre console, dials and buttons. The driver-oriented and more upmarket cabin than the existing Elantra will have an updated eight-inch touchscreen infotainment with Android Auto and satellite navigation with BlueLink telematics and Apple CarPlay connectivity.
The provided class-first equipment are dual-position seat memory, hands-free small trunk release and LED door handle approach lighting. The other important features are automatic climate control system, cruise control, rain sensing wipers, multi-spoke sporty steering wheel with mounted controls, separate temperature settings for driver and co-passenger, 60:40 Rear seat split, ventilated seats, engine start/stop button, etc.
Chevrolet released an updated Cruze with added features earlier this year. It includes MyLink infotainment system with a new 7-inch touchscreen with applications like internet radio, grace note & SIRI eyes free compatibility, Bluetooth audio streaming and phone telephony with voice recognition control and rear view camera.
The sporty steering wheel also gets buttons for infotainment and Bluetooth handsfree. The significant features in the equipment list are dual front airbags, keyless start, side airbags, Anti-lock Braking System, factory -tinted glasses, passive entry passive start (PEPS) taht automatically controls, anti-theft alarm, electric sunroof, six-way power adjustable driver seat and rain-sensing wipers. Getting in the Cruze will make you feel plush with the fighter jet inspired alike cockpit well aligned to give a premium stance.
The existing Octavia received significant improvements on the inside with faux wood trim and beige theme but the whole design is typical of a VW Group’s vehicle. The high-end variant features steering mounted audio controls, touch screen music system, front and rear parking sensors, six airbags, ABS with EBD, ESP, traction control, power seat for the driver with memory function and rear AC vents.
It has adequate ample cubbyholes, cruise control, front and rear parking sensors, 12 way electrically adjustable seats, leather seat upholstery, cooled glove box, 60:40 split rear seat, body coloured ORVMs, panoramic sunroof, etc.
The Toyota Corolla has conservative design approach for the American as well as European spec car and in India it is no different. The top-spec variant gets fake wood inserts and beige leather upholstery trim for the seats besides standard features like driver and passenger airbags, ABS with EBD, rear AC vents, parking sensors and electronically internally adjustable OVRMs while on the high side you could find front parking sensors, touch screen infotainment system, electronically adjustable seats.
Some of the driver aid bits are hill hold control, ESP and brake assist among others. The top-spec model will also have leather upholstery, electrically adjustable driver seat, leather-wrapped steering wheel, beige and black interior colour theme, full folding rear seat, etc. All these D-segment sedans offer excellent levels of equipment and it’s hard to choose between who’s the got the best package. Perhaps, individual preferences would come into play here.
Elantra v Corolla v Octavia v Cruze Engine Specifications:
The 2016 Hyundai Elantra will get two engine options a 2.0-litre petrol and 1.6-litre diesel (instead of 1.8 petrol and 1.6 diesel). The 2.0-litre MPI four-cylinder motor is good enough to produce a maximum power output of 152 PS at 6,200 rpm and a peak torque of 192 Nm delivered at 4,000 rpm. The 1.6-litre four-cylinder CRDi VGT diesel mill should develop 128 PS at 4,000 rpm and 260 Nm of torque between 1,900 and 2,750 rpm.
The transmission choices will include a six-speed manual and a next generation six-speed automatic gearbox. On the fuel economy front, the petrol MT models are claimed to deliver a fuel economy of 14.59 kmpl and 14.62 kmpl for ATs while the diesel MT offers class-leading 22.54 kmpl and 18.23 kmpl for AT.
As the Chevrolet Cruze received a mid-life refresh lately no changes were made to the powertrain lineup. The same 2.0-litre VCDi engine is good enough to produce a power output of 164 bhp and 380 Nm of peak torque. Transmission options on offer are a 6-speed manual and a 6-speed automatic. The automatic version is claimed to return 14.81 kmpl of mileage and the manual version at 17.9 kmpl.
The 2.0-litre turbocharged diesel TDI producing 141 bhp and 320 Nm of torque is provided across all trim levels of the Octavia sedan. The Elegance version with an oil burner gets a six-speed dual-clutch DSG automatic gearbox as standard while it is an optional extra for the Ambition trim. The 1.4-litre TSI petrol engine has a power rating of 138 bhp and 250 Nm.
It comes mated to a six-speed manual transmission while the Elegance petrol gets a 1.8-litre TSI which is good enough to pump out 177 bhp and 250 Nm and is linked with a seven-speed DSG transmission. The petrol MT and diesel MT are rated with an ARAI-certified fuel economy of 16.8 kmpl and 20.6 kmpl while the diesel AT is claimed to return 19.3 kmpl and the petrol AT at 14.7 kmpl.
The engine line-up for the Toyota Corolla Altis comprises of a 1.8-litre petrol engine and a 1.4-litre diesel motor. The petrol mill is good enough to produce a maximum power output 138 bhp and 173 Nm of peak torque. The diesel engine develops 87 bhp and 205 Nm of torque and comes mated with a six-speed manual transmission while the petrol models can be bought with a seven-speed automatic gearbox. The manual petrol variants come with claimed efficiency of 16.7 kmpl and the diesel counterpart with 21.3 kmpl. Both the automatic petrol and diesel versions can deliver the same fuel economy as the manual variants.
The Skoda Octavia offers more powertrain options than any of its competitors. Moreover, it has the highest petrol power output among the four with 177 bhp from the 1.8-litre TSI engine. The Cruze’s diesel-only mantra has also made it equipping the most powerful engine delivering 164 bhp. All the cars in comparison gives owners to choose between manual and automatic transmission options.
Elantra v Corolla v Octavia v Cruze Pricing:
The 2016 Elantra is priced between Rs. 12.99 lakh and Rs. 19.19 lakh (ex-showroom). Chevrolet Cruze (three trim levels and eight colours)comes with a price range of Rs 13.95-17.46 lakh while Skoda Octavia (five trim levels and six colours)is sold at Rs 16.27-21.99 lakh and Toyota Corolla Altis (nine trim levels and seven colours) at Rs.13.79-18.67 lakh (All above prices mentioned are ex-showroom Delhi).
The Octavia is the expensive sedan of the three models currently sold but the Elantra is sort of priced in the middle making it an attractive proposition.
Elantra v Corolla v Octavia v Cruze Comparison Verdict:
As Hyundai Elantra will be the new kid in the block, its modern styling and fresh exterior will appeal for buyers in aplenty. With that said, the rest of cars in comparison are no slouches either. Skoda Octavia is the longest, most powerful and widest of the four models but the ever important wheelbase and there in interior room goes to the Elantra and Corolla. Despite not having the most powerful petrol and diesel engines, it boasts the best-in-class diesel mileage of 22.54 kmpl which will be a decisive factor for buyers. As for the equipment level, everyone has its own strengths and apparently depends on customers’ preferences.
Despite Octavia coming out on top in many aspects, it’s the expensive car of the lot while Corolla Altis enables the highest trims for buyers to choose from. The Chevrolet Cruze’s single engine lineup perhaps can be considered as a disadvantage but it has own unique group of buyers. The sixth-gen Elantra is expected to raise the bar in the segment as it is priced well with good equipment level and moreover it is the newest model among the four.