11 March 2024
Hyundai Avante Hybrid Elite Facelift Review –  Keeps Getting Better

The CN7 wiped the floor with its competition back when it first debuted, and this facelifted Hyundai Avante Hybrid is poised to sweep the field yet again.

Practical, Affordable, and Fuss-Free. These were the attributes that made the Hyundai Avante (or Elantra) such a popular choice over the decades. What any family needed was wrapped up in one neat little package, ready to take on life’s adventures.

The most recent variant, the famed seventh-generation CN7, was particularly well-received, thanks to its futuristic-looking facade and wallet-friendly prices back in the days of reasonable COEs. But, in the age of electrification, the Avante has fallen behind its competitors, and it was definitely due for an upgrade.

Thus, Hyundai has brought its hybrid know-how to the car, giving this facelift a powertrain that will be pretty much a sell-out success by the time you get to Komoco’s showroom.

Don’t believe me? Read on.

Same Assertive Looks

The Avante Hybrid certainly turns heads with its edgy design, a refreshing departure from the mundane styling of some of its competitors.

One of the first things you’ll notice about the Avante Hybrid is its pointed nose and widened triangular grille, which give it a bold and aggressive look. This is a car that demands attention, and the sharp creases along the side and rear of the car add to its character, giving it a sporty and dynamic appearance.

While the rear of the car remains largely unchanged, the updated bumper and plastic C-pillar piece adds a subtle yet effective touch to the overall look. 

Its sharp lines and distinctive features make it a standout choice for those looking for something a little more modern and chic.

Same Sleek Modern Cabin

The Avante Hybrid’s interior remains largely unchanged from its petrol counterpart, with minor tweaks here and there that are easy to miss unless you’re scrutinising every detail.

The wireless charging pad has been updated, and there’s a new 12V battery reset button, typical of a hybrid model.

Hyundai is not aiming for luxury with the Avante, but it is still extremely well-equipped, especially in the ‘Elite’ variant.

This variant offers wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a bunch of USB C ports for occupants, and a clear reverse camera for added visibility.

The Elite gets ventilated and heated front seats plus electric memory seats for the driver, and a sunroof, items not offered on the ‘S’ trim.

The Avante also has a sizable 474-litre boot and generous rear legroom for adults. The upholstery has also been upgraded to eco-friendly artificial leather, which feels good to the touch, and makes the cabin feel a touch more premium.

All of this, and you don’t lose physical controls for media and air-conditioning, which maintains the cabin’s overall ease of use. It’s really a lovely place to be in.

Overall, it’s a functional and practical space; everything is laid out ergonomically, and everything falls to hand naturally.

This Is The Part You Should Focus On

The Hyundai Avante Hybrid has received a significant upgrade with its facelifted model – a hybrid powertrain. While the drivetrain of the previous model was adequate, it lacked efficiency and entertainment value.

Compared to rivals which previously offered hybrid drivetrains in Singapore, Hyundai’s offering may seem late to the party. But, this new powertrain feels like the final piece of the puzzle, making the Avante feel complete.

The new hybrid powertrain, also found in the Kona Hybrid (and Kia Niro), combines a 1.6-litre engine with a 34kW electric motor, producing a combined 129bhp and 265Nm of torque. This represents a significant improvement, especially in terms of torque, over the outgoing naturally aspirated 1.6-litre variant.

The hybrid powertrain gives the Avante Hybrid a more energetic persona, and the car no longer feels asthmatic when trying to keep up with fast-moving traffic. The car also darts off the line with more oomph, especially if the car is in EV mode.

The car is paired to a 6-speed DCT; a great choice for the Avante, and it contributes to precise and smooth gear changes.

The gearbox also manages the transition between electric and petrol power well, and you don’t feel a drop in power each time the swap occurs.

Efficiency has also seen a notable improvement, with Hyundai claiming a very modest 21.3km/litre figure. In my time with the Avante, I easily clocked 22.5km/litre, and I’m confident you can pull it off without much effort too. Unless you’re one of those gentlemen who engage in private-hire throttle-pushing shenanigans.

Safety is paramount in a family car, and the Avante is equipped with Hyundai’s full suite of driver assistance systems – most of which are easy to operate and can be useful in heavy traffic.

The steering assist and adaptive cruise control, for example, can be easily toggled using buttons on the steering wheel, turning your dreadful morning commute into a painless one. This is a true lifesaver for long journeys and a feature that is normally only offered on higher-end vehicles.

Sport mode is available, but the Avante Hybrid shines brightest when driven with a prudent foot. Engine noise is acceptable, NVH (Noise, Vibration, and Harshness) dampening is effective, and the car is especially refined when chugging along exclusively on electrical power.

Best of all, this facelifted model is now exclusively offered with this 1.6-litre hybrid drivetrain, making it the only Cat A hybrid sedan in the market.

Yes, the Prius did appear in your head, didn’t it? Maybe it’s time to move on.

The Best Never Rests

The CN7 Hyundai Avante has always been a great choice, but the introduction of the hybrid powertrain takes things to a whole new level. While this facelift may seem like just cosmetic changes, the addition of the hybrid powertrain significantly enhances the car’s efficiency, performance, and overall quality.

Factor in the already impressive equipment you get as standard, and the Avante becomes an even more compelling choice in its segment. I mean, at this point, what other rivals does it have?

While Hyundai may have been late to the hybrid game with the Avante, this facelifted model proves that it was worth the wait. 

Nice cars finish last, right?

Technical Specifications

Hyundai Avante Hybrid

Engine: 1.6-litre 4-cylinder 16-value DOHC
Power: 96 kW (129 bhp)
Torque: 265 Nm
Gearbox: 6-Speed (A) Dual Clutch
0-100km/h: 10.5 seconds (claimed)
Top Speed: 178 km/h
Fuel Capacity: 42 litres
Fuel Consumption: 21.3km/litre (claimed)

Price: S$164,999 (S) / S$170,999 (Elite), both with COE (accurate at the time of this article)
Contact: Hyundai Singapore

Photo Credits: Sean Loo (@auto.driven) & Mu’tasim (@mutasimdrives)

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