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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

FULL REVIEW: Hyundai Elantra B-tec

FULL REVIEW: Hyundai Elantra B-tec 2001-2006.

Hyundai Elantra B-tec 2001-2006, CKD by Kah Motor. Why I review this car? It’s because of its poor resale value. It's great news for you (potential buyer) as the 1st owner already absorbed the depreciation. Now, you only pay 1/3 of the new price for a used 5 years old Elantra (more on that later).

Here’s my research on the 2nd hand value of the Elantra.
2001:RM 25,000
2002: RM28,000
2003: RM31,000
2004: RM36,000
2005: RM42,000

Note that back in 2003, a brand new Elantra costs RM91,000 OTR. Today, a used 2003 model’s yours for RM31000. That’s 34% retained value in 5 years (or 1/3). A far cry compared to 56% retained value for Corolla Altis. This is bad news for 1st owner but massive bargain for you. Again, I do not have an Elantra to review/test so I dished out a “Super review” by “John Mellor’s GoAuto Australia”, Full specifications from my own research AND 12 OWNER’S REVIEW from USA, Australia, New Zealand, India and Malaysia.

Without further ado, here’s a “Super” test from “GOAUTO Australia.” The specification’s sourced from my own research. Lastly, there’s owner’s review from

Hyundai Elantra 1.8GL
Model release dates: October 2000 - September 2006

HYUNDAI'S new generation small-medium entrant is now prefixed by an "E" and represents much more than simply a name change from the Lantra we have come to know and, in many ways, like. Still cost-effective, it is expanded in size, equipment and style to take on entrenched rival sedans from Europe and Japan. It is also a better car to drive, though a gain in weight has helped blunt its performance in both 1.8 and 2.0-litre guise.

THE change to Elantra should be an easy one for Hyundai given the new generation is markedly different in appearance. Gone are the soapy shapes to a sharper, sleeker look that works well with the wider proportions. While it has not taken long to be mistaken for the Euro-look Holden Vectra and BMW 3 Series, the car improves on more than just the aesthetic - a more aerodynamic body reduces drag 12 per cent and helps improve fuel efficiency by up to 5 per cent.

The Car – Seat Plan

INTERNAL dimensions are up considerably in the Elantra sedan compared with its Lantra predecessor. Front and rear headroom are increased 26mm and 9mm respectively, while rear hip-room is 27mm up on the previous Lantra and rear legroom up 9mm. A vanity mirror with flap cover can be found on both front sun visors.

The Car - Seats

THE Elantra's front seat cushions are wider and the front seatbacks taller than the Lantra. The fore-aft adjustment bar at the base of each front seat is now the full width of the seat squab and replaces in-board levers. The front door map pockets gain moulded 500ml bottle holders. Using the Holden Vectra, Audi A4 and Volvo S40 as a benchmark, Hyundai focused on the use of high-quality trim materials and fabrics. GL trim is a two-tone grey treatment with darker side bolsters and lighter centre panels with muted colour speckling.

The Car - Dash

THE Elantra's dash is angled toward the driver and places all major controls within easy reach. The sedan features an in-dash slot to hold parking tickets and the like. A rubber grip mat is fitted to the centre console open tray to better hold loose objects. The former in-dash cupholders were deemed too close to the gearshift and "bottle holes" beside the handbrake.

The Car - Controls

ELECTRIC windows (front only in GL) are standard across the range. The power window switches are now more ergonomic, moving to more logical pull-up/push-down buttons - though there is no auto-down for the driver. The steering wheel adjusts for height but not reach. The electric door mirrors now feature heated lenses to dry off early morning dew. Variable intermittent wipers are provided on all Elantra grades. A remote fuel-flap lever is provided on both sedan and hatch; the sedan has a boot

The Car - Wheels/tyres

ON the GLS specification, alloy wheels and tyres with a slightly lower profile are used - the tyres measure 195/60R15

The Car - Luggage

THE sedan's boot volume has increased 43 litres to 367 litres over the former Lantra four-door sedan, when the seatbacks are upright. The rear seat split-folds 60/40 to enable longer items to be carried. A twin-buckle, centre-rear seatbelt retracts into the parcel shelf to enable the split-fold to be used without interruption from a belt. The boot floor and side panels are fully lined.

The Car - What's changed

THIS is not an all-new car from Hyundai. It is a new generation of the old Lantra finally using the export name found across the world - Elantra. The external appearance has changed dramatically with a sleeker, more angular appearance and greater dimensions in all areas. The mechanical package has come in for an upgrade with both the 1.8-litre and 2.0-litre engines increased in power, torque and fuel economy, while down in emissions and NVH (noise, vibration and harshness). The manual gearshift has an improved shift action while the optional automatic transmission gets adaptive fuzzy logic control for better performance. Safety has gone up a notch with body strengthening and a driver airbag and front seatbelt pretensioners/load limiters standard all models; ABS brakes and a passenger airbag are optional.

The Car - Stand out features

INTERIOR comfort and appearance has increased substantially, particularly through the use of good quality cloth fabric, a more liberal application of soft plastics and the smart dash presentation. Versatility is there, along with a degree of cleverness, too - the double-buckle centre-rear belt, which frees up the aperture to the boot when the 60/40 split-fold comes into play, is a good example. Little details previously not seen on the Lantra can be found throughout the Elantra cabin. The glovebox, for example, gains a light, damped action lid opening and elastic strap to hold the owner's manual and service book against the back wall, clear of other contents.

The Car - Climate control

FACTORY fitted air-conditioning is standard across the Elantra range. The air-conditioning system now uses the ozone-friendly R134a refrigerant gas. Rotary dials are used for the blower, air distribution and temperature. Not unlike the current generation Mazda 323/Ford Laser, the centre blower dial is smaller to make it easy to locate sight unseen.

Our verdicts:

+ve: Styling, interior presentation, front passenger comfort, versatility, packaging
-ve: Lacklustre performance, poor rear accommodation, no rear storage

Mechanical - Engine

ELANTRA is powered by two versions of Hyundai's "Beta" twin-cam, 16-valve, four-cylinder powerplant - a 1.8-litre on GL and 2.0-litre on GLS. Both bring improvements in refinement, economy, emissions and output. The 1.8 is up 3kW in power to 97kW at 6000rpm and 2Nm in torque to 165Nm at 4500rpm. The 2.0 now develops 104kW at 6000rpm (up 3kW) and 182Nm at 4500rpm (up 2Nm). Official city/highway (manual) fuel economy figures point to 8.5/5.6L/100km respectively for GL; GLS is slightly higher. Both the 1.8 and 2.0-litre engines are up in power, torque and fuel economy, while down in emissions and NVH (noise, vibration and harshness). The GL manual is claimed to reach 100km/h in 9.7 seconds while the GLS is slightly quicker at 9.1; across 400 metres, the GL requires 17.1 seconds compared to 16.0 for GLS. Engine enhancements encompass most major components such as cylinder block, crankshaft, pistons, cylinder head, valve train, intake manifold and the exhaust system. Major NVH benefits accrue from adoption of an eight-counterweight crankshaft (previously four) and cylinder block strengthening. The 2.0-litre model now has an engine cover installed to reduce NVH and improve under-bonnet aesthetics. A heat shield has been added between the engine and air filter, reducing heating of induction air and increasing output 2 per cent.

Mechanical - Suspension

ELANTRA continues with all-independent suspension with MacPherson struts up front and a multi-link design at the rear. The rear configuration has, however, been redesigned and retuned, and gas dampers fitted to each corner with new offset coil springs and stabiliser bars front and rear. Spring and damper rates are firmer, while the road wheels are also now up to 15-inch and shod with wider tyres. Up front, the suspension mounts off a new front-end cradle frame and has redesigned A-shaped lower control arms. The redesigned multi-link rear layout features new rod-type quad lateral links now pivoting from the car's centreline off a new bolt-on rear cross-member. The links are longer than before, adjustable on the rearmost links and designed to better control rear wheel geometry through wheel travel.

Mechanical - Transmission

HYUNDAI has improved both the standard five-speed manual transmission and optional four-speed automatic. The former is claimed to have a smoother and more precise action, an improved shift lever change mechanism and reprofiled gear teeth that run quieter. The automatic, meanwhile, now has HIVAC (Hyundai Intelligent Vehicle Electronic Control) fuzzy logic which optimises gearshifting points and speed according to driver style and terrain, including skipping ratios on downshifts.The manual transmission has an improved shift action with the use of double cone keyless synchronisers on first and second gear. The manual lever mechanism gains poppet ball assembly with bearings rather than shift rail, reducing friction and improving shift smoothness and response.

Mechanical - Brakes

BOTH sedan and hatch variants use 257 x 24mm ventilated front disc brakes but the sedan makes do with self-adjusting rear drums while the hatch has solid 258 x 10.4mm discs. Hyundai claims the heavier mass of the hatch required better performing brakes than the sedan. The standard brake booster has been upgraded to a 10-inch diameter unit, up from nine inches.

Mechanical - Steering

THE Elantra uses a power-assisted rack and pinion steering system. The minimum turning circle is 10.12 metres while the number of turns lock to lock measures 3.15.


HYUNDAI claims the Elantra's stronger body improves its crash performance. The stronger, bigger bodyshell features reinforced one-piece centre pillars and an uprated lower dash crossbar. High-tensile steel is used in the doors' side impact intrusion beams. A driver's airbag and front seatbelt pretensioners with a load-limiting device are now standard. Anti-lock brakes and a front passenger's airbag with a passenger presence detection device are optional. Rear disc brakes are only available on the hatch variant. Head restraints and retractable lap-sash seatbelts are provided for all five occupants. The former Lantra base model did without rear head restraints - the rear bench seat of all Elantras now has three. The centre rear seat position made do with a lap-only seatbelt. It now has a retractable three-point belt. Child seat anchor brackets are now fitted to three points in both the sedan and hatch. Previously only one position was utilised.


ENGINE: Beta 4 cylinder, 1795cc DOHC 16valve EFI
Max Power: 97kw@6000rpm
Torque: 165Nm@4500rpm
Compression ratio: 10.1:1, Bore x Stroke: 82mm x 85mm

Transmission: Front wheel drive 4 speed Grade Logic automatic gearbox
Gear ratio:
1st 2.842, 2nd 1,529, 3rd 1.000, 4th 0.712, Reverse 2.480, Final drive: 3.770

Front: MacPherson Struts, anti-roll bar
Rear: Multi-link, anti-roll bar


Front ventilated discs, rear solid discs, ABS + EBD

Power assisted, rack and pinion, turning Lock to lock: 3.15. Turning circle 10.1m

Length: 4495mm
Width: 1720mm
Height: 1425mm
Wheelbase: 2610mm
Track front: 1485mm
Track rear: 1475mm
Kerb weight: 1193kg
Ground clearance: 140mm

See “Owners’ review” below. “In bold” . Different owners quoted different figures.
Fuel tank capacity: 55litres.

PERFORMANCE: (1.8GLS Auto – Malaysian Assembled)
0-100km/h: 11.5 secs
0-400m: 18.6 secs
Top speed 195km/h (Anyone can challenge this figures?)

Owners’ review. Source: There’s 12 owners from various Countries. 4 from Australia & New Zealand, 1 from Malaysia, 1 from India, 6 from USA. 4 of which negative ones. In fact there’s more complaints in Car survey, they have 120+ owner's review there, go check it out. But only 6/10 positive comments.


Note that (in bold) the Elantra have a series of common faults, namely Fuel leak, clutch problem @ 6000km (not applicable in Malaysia), MAP and Oxygen sensor malfunctioning. In Addition, like Proton the Power window/s also gave way (2 owners' claimed). There's lots of recalls, exhaust manifold, brake booster, computer reprogram (ECU), fuel line repositioning and clutch. If you want to buy, check or fix the common recall/complained problems 1st. This is one of the reasons why Hyundai Elantra have poor resale value in Malaysia.

END OF A LONG REVIEW. Thanks for reading this.

Monday, June 16, 2008

The Star AMBP Bloggers 2nd gathering @ Cineleisure

(Picture by: Joyce-tedion).

This is the second time we (The Star All Malaysian Bloggers Project - The Star AMBP) meet up. 1st time was held back in January. Check out this article published in The Star on 16 June 2008. Here's the link:

It's held in Cineleisure "Outpost Cafe". We have few guest blogger speakers. They are: Peter Tan ( - see picture below, Kimberly Low (, Aizuddin Danian (Project Petaling Street), Chin Vincent (Cinema Online, hopefully it’s the correct spelling. Do correct me if I’m wrong), and Rohan Thomas (Microsoft), each took turn to give an awesome and eye opening speech.
(Picture: Peter Tan).
Everyone were attentive and glued to the seat, see picture below.

Wholesome Buffet was served, followed by Special Screening of "The Incredible Hulk Movie" (in Cineleisure itself) sponsored by "Cinema Online".
Also, there were lots of goodies being given away.

Fellow bloggers like "Joyce Tedion (Note: it's a he) from "", Ewin, Julian, Hurley (, "Darkfoxdx the Poet", Darren the photographer from The Star, and of course the lovely lady from Cinema Online Inayah Arrifin, were great companies.

Also, I'm a bit pai seh not to know him. Mr. Josh Lim, founder of Advertlet also turned up. I admit, I never heard of him before till that day. I don't have the chance to talk to him as he was with his fans and friends.

Almost forget to mention, I WON the grand prize... TWO Tickets to "Dreamz Musical Circus" worth RM300 (see picture). Beside this, I won an exclusive "Incredible Hulk" Baseball cap, "Narnia Prince Caspian 1st day cover", Microsoft Hi-tech Document bag with many compartments, Latest Cinema Online Magazine etc...

"The Star Classifieds career quiz which tests your like/dislike and reveals your most suitable field/occupation.

NOTE: I took few photos with my new friends but using their "SLR/Semi-Pro" Camera. Till now, they haven't send me the photos yet.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Fuel price increased TODAY...

Fuel Price increased TODAY by 78cents for Regular Petrol (from RM1.92/L) to RM2.70/L. For V-power, new price => RM3.15/L.

I was considered lucky, filled up my petrol 2 days ago (both cars) 3 June 2008. Hence avoided the crowd. Here's the aftermath as taken today:

Above: V-Power Pump.

Above and below: Super and Diesel.

RM.78 per litre for petrol? RM1.00 incrase for Diesel? RM3.15 for V-power? That's a lot... Adding salt to the wound, the Cooking Gas, TNB also raised their prices. For sure "tsunami's coming". No, not the sea tsunami, I'm talking about economic tsunami. As fuel increase, so will Food & Beverage line (Include Restaurants, Hawkers, Hotels), RICE (already), Transportation line (lncluding Airlines (More fuel surcharge!), Public buses, Express buses, TAXIS). Speaking of taxis, the government better increase the taxi fares (if not 1) There'll be a PROTEST by taxi drivers, 2) Overcharging / ripping off customers will be more rampant).

BUT AND A BIG BUT... (A poem)

Our "Gaji" (Salary) is STILL THE SAME.
Our Car prices are still the same*
We still need to pay toll
But we are not on a roll.
Yet we still have to pay more
For the price of our petrol.

* = (man, why don't they consider my proposal,
Remove fuel subsidy AND remove excise duties, import duties
and sales taxes as well?). But if the Government wants to cari makan, just remove the excise duty will do. Please reconsider...

Jefflim "sigh~" out. The End. Thanks for reading this...

PS. Oh! Almost forgotten, there's "ANNUAL Subsidy Rebate" for All Petrol Passanger cars below 2000cc and Diesel SUV Below 2500cc. How much? It's RM625 only.

Does anyone knows how little is it? It's only RM12 per week. Assuming that a person paid RM86 for 45L of Fuel tank before the price hike. He/She will how have to pay RM121.50 after the price hike. Again, if he/she consumed the fuel in 1 week... Enter the "Annual Subsidy": RM12. As a result => 121.50 less 12. Still have to pay RM109.50 theoretically. This is still a FAR CRY of RM86.50 before the hike.

Monday, June 02, 2008

I WON, I WON... Thanks to The...

I WON, I WON, Thanks to The Star's ALL MALAYSIAN BLOGGERS (AMBP) at the Popular book fair on Saturday. What did I won?
A: Grand Prize winner of 2 Complimentary tickets to "DREAMZ" "The Enchanted Epic to Stir your sense". It's showing Daily @ Pavilion, First World Plaza @ 9pm. The tickets' valid until End of August, Off-peak season only WORTH RM280 (if not mistaken).

Besides this, I also "won" some sponsored goodies. Picture below, clockwise from top. The Star recyclable bag, The Star "Mug base" (Don't know what it's called), AllMalaysian fridge magnet, Merdeka 50th anniversary souvenir booklet, a ball pen (Not functioning though), "NIVEA Aqua Cool Spray-on deodorant, and an Orange Booklet by TOC (The Otomotif College).

Here's the happening website which was actually part of The Star Online: Do check it out...