A steady competitor in the compact saloon segment, Hyundai’s Elantra has been redesigned for 2004, and the fresh-faced offering now also has a new two-litre diesel powerplant.A steady competitor in the compact saloon segment, Hyundai’s Elantra has been redesigned for 2004, and the fresh-faced offering now also has a new two-litre diesel powerplant.


The saloon’s front is now distinguished by a new inverted grille with fog lamps integrated into the sleek bumper. Looking decidedly European, the black mouldings along the flanks continue the two-tone effect from the front while providing extra protection on the doors.


The Elantra is fitted with McPherson struts at the front and a dual link suspension at the rear, both fitted with gas pressurised shock absorbers.


Available with a 1,6-litre four-cylinder petrol or a 2,0-litre common rail diesel engine, both models come with a five-speed manual gearbox.


Regarding their performances, the 1,6-litre produces 76 kW at 5 800 r/min and maximum torque of 143 N.m at 3 000 r/min. The diesel engine produces power of 83 kW at 4 000 r/min and peak torque of 250 N.m at 1 800 r/min.


The 1,6-litre goes on to a top speed of 182 km/h while the 2,0-litre’s top end is 180 km/h.


The safety equipment list is extensive and includes ABS, EBD, passenger and driver airbags with a passenger presence detector to avoid the unnecessary deployment of the airbag. Seatbelt pretensioners and load limiters are standard on both models. Front and rear crumple zones are standard too.


The saloon also offers a roomy cabin with 60/40 split seats. The ergonomically friendly facia is mostly unchanged, but features small detail changes.


The Elantra is equipped with standard leather interior, climate control, a front-loading CD player with MP3, power windows and mirrors, and a luggage net as some of its convenience items.


The range comes standard with a three-year/60 000 km maintenance plan.