The Hyundai Elantra has had a rather unusual stint at the OD garage. It came to us at the fag end of 2016, but out of the ten months of its tenure at OD, it has spent over three months at the Hyundai service centre. Ironically though, most of that garage time was due to some documentation problems and logistical issues involved in procuring some minor components. As I mentioned in my previous reports, one of the problems was a defunct A/C compressor, thanks to a busted electrical socket.
Once that was fixed, the Elantra came back to us for a week, after which it returned to the service centre for a change of tyres. Both the Hankook front tyres developed sidewall bubbles, which were traced back to an impact with a massive pothole on the old Mumbai-Pune highway during one of our shoots. The tyres were replaced under warranty, but took a while to arrive. It is commendable that the Elantra's wheels and suspension components were not damaged in the incident.
Save for these two unscheduled trips to the service centre, the Elantra has been an impressive car. During its tenure, it won a comparative shootout against the Toyota Corolla and put in many miles of comfortable highway runs and city commutes. Very recently, it also braved through one of the Mumbai floods and was out of the situation before the water could cause any damage. Its last stint before going back home has been a 2,500km road trip from Mumbai to Rajasthan and back. The NH48 isn't in a great shape post the rains and I was constantly worried about hitting the potholes and busting a tyre again. But despite many harsh impacts the Elantra returned home without any damage or breakdowns.
The Hankook tyres took quite a beating before developing an impact damage on the sidewall. They were replaced under warranty, but a torn pair would have set us back by Rs 12,000
What's worth noting though is that the engine and gearbox are now feeling a bit harsh. The drivetrain doesn't feel vibration-free anymore, though it is still more refined than some of its rivals. Diesel engines getting harsher with time is a common thing with the quality of fuel sold to us. What is a little worrisome for me though is that the gearbox has also developed an audible clunk when engaging the Park mode. We will have Hyundai look into it when the car goes back for its final service before signing off from the OVERDRIVE garage. But there is no denying that this car and its ventilated seats will be sorely missed. It has been a delightful and luxurious commuter. The only things we would like Hyundai to fix are those spongy brakes and the waiting period on the parts.
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