Hyundai Elantra facelift to launch as petrol-only model

The Hyundai Elantra facelift has been a long time coming. Revealed in August 2018, and on sale across many international markets already, the updated Elantra will finally go on sale in India by end-September.

Talking points of the update include sharper exterior styling and a slightly redone cabin. However, we have now learnt Hyundai will launch the updated Elantra with a petrol engine option only; there won’t be any diesel on offer. The petrol engine in question will be a BS6-compliant version of the existing 152hp, 2.0-litre unit. As before, the engine will be available with 6-speed manual and torque converter auto transmission options.

Part of the reason for Hyundai’s decision to drop the diesel engine from the Elantra line-up is the clear preference for petrols in the small volumes executive sedan segment. Hyundai sold 214 petrol Elantras from April-July 2019 but only 90 diesel Elantras. In the same period, the petrol-diesel sales split for the other models was 1058-110 units for the Honda Civic, 580-253 units for the Skoda Octavia and 402-80 units for the Toyota Corolla Altis.

Hyundai could re-introduce a diesel version of the Elantra in the future but it won't be any time soon. The Korean carmaker is adopting a cautious approach with its diesels and had stated in the past that it will only introduce its BS6-compliant diesels when BS6 grade fuel becomes available pan-India.

The current Elantra’s 128hp, 1.6-litre diesel (also shared with the Verna and Creta) is on its way out, and will make way for the Hyundai-Kia combines’ latest 1.5-litre diesel engine that made its India debut on the Kia Seltos. The new 1.5-litre engine will be sold in two states of tune – 90hp and 115hp – and will be the mainstay of Hyundai and Kia’s diesel engine range in India.   

The executive sedan segment has been badly hit by the current sales slowdown, but the arrival of the Elantra facelift could be a bit of a bright spot. Expect Hyundai to price the Elantra in the Rs 14-19 lakh bracket.