The radically restyled Hyundai Avante is packing lots of cool tech under the hood
Updated December 18, 2020 with video review
First published November 25, 2020
The seventh-generation Hyundai Avante is at once a radical redesign and reassuringly familiar face. Once one of Singapore’s best-selling cars, its popularity has been chipped away in recent years by the growing popularity of SUVs and crossovers, but the new car looks promising, once you get past the slightly higher than expected price tag that most cars in this category seem to have trended into.
Marketing forces are at work in product categorisation again, and Hyundai now classes the Avante a four-door coupe rather than a sedan. Hyundai calls the design ‘Parametric Dynamics’, and it certainly looks the part with a sleek front end and a roof that slopes seamlessly to the tail of the car. Call it whatever you want, but this is a nicely designed car that has long moved past the utilitarian roots of the first-gen Hyundai Elantra from 1990.
The naming convention is another slightly confusing issue as only in Singapore and South Korea does the car retain the Avante nameplate, and in the rest of the world the car is still called the Elantra.
At 4,675mm in length and 1,825mm wide, it’s 45mm longer and 25mm wider than the current Honda Civic, a car that’s often seen as a major competitor to the Avante. A newly developed 1.6-litre four-cylinder engine powers the car, though with just 123 horsepower it’s best to call it accomplished rather than actually quick. Power is transmitted to the front wheels through a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT). However, Hyundai calls its system the IVT for Intelligent Variable Transmission. It uses a chain drive which practically eliminates the loosey-goosey rubber-banding effect of conventional belt-driven CVTs.
The car is available in ‘S’ and ‘Elite’ trims, with the Elite version getting some fancier bodywork chrome, a set of larger 17-inch wheels, better leather seats with memory for the driver’s position, and LED headlamps over the S version’s halogen units.