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Hyundai Elantra Active (2012)

by Barry Green,reviewed February 2012

The new Hyundai Elantra is a good car – Australia’s Best Cars awards confirm as much.
In the 2011 awards announced in December, the base model Active model finished a close fourth in the small cars under $25,000 category behind the VW Golf 90 TSI Trendline, Ford Focus Sport and Hyundai i30 SX.

Elantra scored highly in pricing, depreciation, warranty, safety, space, practicality and ride quality to finish ahead of the popular and highly-regarded Mazda3 Neo, Honda Civic VTi, Kia Cerato Si and Toyota Corolla Ascent.

This was despite only average scores for running and repair costs and standard features and handling. The latter area proved particularly disappointing, as we were expecting more given Hyundai’s claim that the suspension and steering had been specifically calibrated for local driving conditions.

Better body control and more communicative steering, together with higher grip levels, would clearly serve Elantra better and take it closer to the winner’s circle.

Longer and wider than its predecessor of the same name, new Elantra is significantly larger in terms of interior and boot space (420 litres).

Its 1.8-litre Nu four-cylinder engine, which replaces the old 2.0-litre unit, has four percent more power and returns better fuel economy, but is shorter on torque.

The ADR combined cycle is 6.6 litres/100 km, though we averaged 10.1 over some 400 km of varied driving.
Hyundai Elantra Active 2012


Safety, space, level of depreciation


Handling, smoothness/quietness

Key features

Airconditioning, steering wheel mounted controls, cruise control, central door locking, engine immobiliser and keyless entry with alarm, CD player with USB/auxiliary input/iPod compatibility, MP3, bluetooth


Dual front/side/curtain airbags (DFSCA), anti-lock brakes (ABS), electronic brake distribution (EBD), brake assist (BA), electronic stability control (ESC), traction control (TCS), height adjustable front seatbelts with pretensioners and load limiters

Car Details

Vehicle make Hyundai
Vehicle model Elantra Active
Vehicle type Small Under $35,000
Year 2012
Price when new $20,590 MLP
Current price range $ - $
ANCAP crash rating
5 out of 5 stars

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Approved Repairers

Our expert team of approved repairers can perform general and specialist repairs, including auto-electrical, air-conditioning, radiator repairs and automatic transmissions.

Engine 1.8-litre, inline 4-cyl
Max power 110 kW @ 6500 rpm
Max torque 178 Nm @ 4700 rpm
Acceleration to 100 km/h 11.3 sec. (average, as tested, two occupants)
Braking from 80 km/h 26.9 m (average, as tested, two occupants)
Economy ADR 6.6 litres/100 km
Emissions rating
3 out of 5 stars

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This review is based on road testing conducted by The Road Ahead. Further vehicle reviews, in-depth comparisons and coverage of consumer motoring issues can be found in the Club's magazine. Prices listed were current at the time of review and are manufacturers list prices and do not include statutory and delivery charges. Prices can vary from time to time and dealer to dealer.