The seventh-generation Avante mixes striking looks with a long list of features in an attempt to propel Hyundai upmarket
SINGAPORE — The new Hyundai Avante goes on sale next week in Singapore, after weeks of closed-door viewings at local distributor Komoco Motors’ building on Alexandra Road.
Nearly 1,000 people have viewed the car in small, socially-distanced groups, but having finally received approval for sale by the Land Transport Authority, the new Avante will roll onto the main showroom floor next week for the general public to see.
That will still be something of an early glimpse, because Singapore is the first right-hand drive market in the world to launch the new Hyundai Avante.
Today was the press’ turn for a closer look at the Hyundai Avante, which is now in its seventh generation if you count all the times it was known here as the Elantra.
You’d think that such a striking-looking car would blast out into the open to grab as much attention as possible, but the car’s public debut is only timely now because stocks have begun to arrive. Komoco is selling two versions: the Avante S and the Avante Elite, which comes with more equipment.
At the moment they cost S$99,999 and S$106,999 including Certificate Of Entitlement (COE), but prices could change after next week’s COE auction.
Both versions come with a 1.6-litre non-turbo engine and a continuously variable transmission. An all-new design, the Gamma II engine replaces the previous model’s Gamma engine.
It’s slightly down on power (with 123 horsepower compared to 128hp) but it burns clean enough to meet tough Euro-6D emissions standards. Also, the Avante consumes just 5.4 litres of petrol per 100km, which Hyundai says is a class-leading number.
While there’s a tad less power than before, the new Avante is quicker than its predecessor. It takes 10.4 seconds to reach 100km/h, compared to 11.6 seconds. That’s despite packing a continuously variable transmission (CVT), what Hyundai calls its IVT (Intelligent Variable Transmission) which uses a unique roller chain design rather than a belt to minimise the dreaded CVT-rubber-band effect.
Some of that improvement is down to weight reduction — a new platform means its body is stronger and more rigid but weighs less.
The new car is also larger than before, with a significant stretch to its wheelbase. The new Hyundai Avante is 4,675mm long and 1,800mm wide — that’s 55mm longer and 25mm wider than the last model. At 2,720mm, the wheelbase is 20mm longer; Hyundai takes pains to point out that it has more metal between the axles than main rivals such as the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla Altis, and more legroom in the back as a result.
While longer and wider, the Avante loses 20mm of height. That gives it a racier silhouette, and as we wrote in March, the new Avante is an eye-catching car with flashes of Audi in its styling aesthetic, and hints of Mercedes in the cabin.
It’s the second car to follow Hyundai’s “Sensuous Sportiness” design language, but the body’s four-door coupe shape, the aggressive slashes along its flanks, the full-width rear light bar and the large, intricate front grille are all part of a theme Hyundai calls “Parametric Dynamics”.
The cabin is no less striking. Hyundai says the driver is cocooned in a cockpit-like zone while the passenger has a useful grab handle if the guy behind the wheel starts to go all fighter pilot. The air-con vents blend into the dashboard, and an 8.0-inch infotainment system pairs up with a 10.25-inch display for the digital instruments. That’s the Mercedes-like bit.
Unusually at this price point, the infotainment system works wirelessly with both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto — something rare even in luxury cars.
In fact, the Avante is generally well-equipped for the money, especially when it comes to safety kit. Stability control and six airbags are standard, and many features from Hyundai’s SmartSense suite of active safety systems come with the car.
They help avoid frontal, rear cross traffic, cross-junction and around-the-corner collisions. Some systems help with blind spot monitoring and keeping the car in its lane.
Hyundai is also quick to point out that its safety systems go above and beyond what competitor brands can offer – for instance, its radar cruise control can do full stop-n-go, something the systems on the Mazda 3 or Nissan Kicks can’t. Its forward collision warning/mitigation can detect pedestrians, cyclists, stationary and moving vehicles at junctions too.
The Avante has been a best-seller here in the past, and with this sort of feature set and an eye-catching design, the seventh-gen model could repeat that feat as long as COE prices don’t reach stratospheric levels.
The Avante Elite gets the following equipment over the S model, for S$7k more:
– 17” Sport Rims (Factory Fitted)
– Dark chrome Radiator Grille- Sunroof
– Full LED Headlight
– Driver Memory Seat with electric lumbar adjustment
– Passenger Power Seat
-Driver and Passenger Heated and -Ventilated seats,
-Rear Heated Seats
-Smart Cruise Control with -Intelligent stop and goFactory -Fitted Leather Seats
-Front & Rear Parking Distance warning (8 sensor system)
But the standard equipment list for even the Avante S is impressively long:
Keyless Smart Entry with Push Start Engine Button
Audio Steering Control
Front And Rear Recording Camera
Reverse View Camera with dynamic guidelines
Rear Aircon Ventilation
Bluetooth Handsfree Feature
Drive Mode Select (Eco/Normal/Sports/Smart)Tyre Pressure Monitoring Sensor
Electric Folding Side Mirror
Signal repeater on Side Mirror
Electric Heated Side mirror
Auto Light Control
Sport Rims 16” (Factory Fitted)
10.25” Supervision Cluster
Mud flaps Front and Rear
LED Light Guide
LED Day Running Lights
LED Rear Combination Lights with LED H Tail Lamp
Dual Zone Climatic Control Aircon with auto defog
Telescopic Steering Wheel
Drivers Electric Seat with electric lumbar adjustment
Auto Cruise Control
Blind Spot Avoidance Assist
Rear Cross Traffic Avoidance Assist
Lane Keeping Assist
Lane Following Assist
Forward Collision Avoidance Assist (Car/Pedestrian/Cyclist & Junction)Rain Sensor
Leather Steering and Leather Head Knob
Telescopic Steering Wheel
Illuminated Sun Visor (Driver/Passenger)Electronic Parking Brake with auto hold function
Rear Parking Distance Warning (4 sensor system)
Komoco expects the Avante S to be the dominant seller, and it should roughly outsell the Elite version two-to-one. If you’re wondering about the Avante Hybrid, which borrows the Ioniq Hybrid’s fuel-sipping petrol-electric drivetrain, that doesn’t come with the steering wheel on the right yet.
As for the Avante S and Avante Elite, either edition shows a clear desire by Hyundai to move up the perception ladder, away from budget cars and closer to premium offerings.
Now that it’s out on the main showroom floor, if the Avante succeeds in pushing Hyundai upmarket, rival brands will wish it stayed hidden behind closed doors for longer.
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