Subtle changes make all the difference.
The Hyundai Elantra was released for the 2021 model year not too long ago and we were impressed by its bold exterior design and clean but modern cabin. We also got an N Line version that is sporty and affordable, helping to tide us over until the properly fast Elantra N arrives. It looks like a winning recipe, but interestingly, China's version - called the Avante - is rather different. For one thing, China won't be getting the N Line version at all, but the base car that underpins this model isn't exactly the same as that sold in other markets. So did we score or is China's market getting the better car?
The length and wheelbase of the car is the same as ours, although this differs from what other markets like Korea are getting. What is immediately noticeable is that the Chinese model is meant to look a little sportier, as it gets a black roof, black mirror caps, and a black trunk spoiler. It also gets a unique diffuser with twin-exit exhaust tips. It appears that the front grille is slightly different too, while the headlamps feature a hint of tint in the corners where our amber lights reside. Inside, there are yet more changes that set the Chinese model apart.
Much like our model, the cabin features a pair of 10.25-inch screens, one with touch capability for infotainment and the other for driver info. However, where we have traditional buttons for the climate control system, the Avante has a touch-sensitive pad. We're not sure if this works as well, but it certainly should hide fingerprint marks. Look further down and you'll see another change. The gear-lever is a completely different shape and features gear selection markings on top of the actual knob. Finally, the Chinese version gets a flat-bottomed steering wheel. So is it the better car? Well, it looks more sporty with the exception of the gear-lever, but we're happy with a more bland model if it means we can keep the N Line.