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2024 Hyundai Avante Hybrid review Avante advantage
REVIEW
2024 Hyundai Avante Hybrid review: Avante advantage

This sharp-looking model is the only full-hybrid sedan eligible for a Category A COE.

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2024 Hyundai Avante Hybrid review Avante advantage
REVIEW

2024 Hyundai Avante Hybrid review: Avante advantage

This sharp-looking model is the only full-hybrid sedan eligible for a Category A COE.


By Leow Ju Len

Clock icon 4min read time

YOU know when you jump into a low-slung sports car and feel like the handling’s so sharp it could cleave tarmac in two? It’s a smidgen like that when you go from a lofty sport utility vehicle (SUV) to a compact sedan, even a mass-market one like the Hyundai Avante Hybrid.

Newly facelifted, the Avante is certainly good-looking enough to make most SUVs look like someone’s dumpy cousin. Its rakish lines and crisp silhouette give it the aspect of a torpedo on wheels, while its aggressive grille and slender headlights wouldn’t look out of place on an Audi.

It looked striking enough before its minor update, but the Avante now has the distinction of being the only full-hybrid four-door to be eligible for a Category A Certificate Of Entitlement (COE). That’s a real advantage, because if you don’t feel like paying more than absolutely necessary for a figurative piece of paper, want a proper petrol-electric powertrain and can’t stand the thought of joining the SUV horde, the Hyundai is the only way to go.

Hybrids have caught on big in Singapore, accounting for 47 per cent of registrations in February, according to the Land Transport Authority. Yet, the vast majority were so-called “mild hybrids”, which employ a relatively wimpy motor-and-battery combo to merely assist the combustion engine.

In contrast, the Avante is a full hybrid. It’s similar in principle (but not quite in practice) to the Toyota Prius, so electricity shares a lot of the heavy lifting with its 1.6 litre engine. And much like the pioneering Toyota, the Avante is a pretty average car in many ways, but it’s outstanding in the fuel economy department.

Hyundai says the Avante sips 4.7 litres of petrol per 100 km, but I returned the car after a couple of days with the trip computer showing 4.3 litres per 100 km, roughly 8 per cent better than claimed. Your mileage may vary, as the saying goes, but at that rate you would stop for petrol once every three weeks or so.

In any case, the Hyundai definitely packs the right hardware for the job. It has a lithium-ion battery pack with 1.32 kilowatt-hours of capacity, and an electric motor that feeds 32 kilowatts (or just over 43 horsepower) into the six-speed, twin-clutch transmission.

The setup means the Avante Hybrid could bomb along at 120 kmh on electric power alone, but it also means the Hyundai spends a lot of its time running around with its petrol engine asleep, as in switched off.

The engine doesn’t spring back to life to rejoin the party quite as smoothly as the one in the Prius – you’ll definitely feel the odd lurch – but the Hyundai does feel like the more responsive car, even if you select the fuel-saving Eco driving mode. The electric motor certainly makes its presence felt by chipping in with a noticeable push, anyway.

And while it’s only sharp relative to an SUV, the Avante does have a fairly taut chassis; on sporty tyres with bigger wheels it might be downright fun, but that would wreck the fuel economy.

Where the Avante truly excels is where many Hyundais do: it serves up superb value for money. The 8 inch touchscreen and 10.25 inch driver display look rudimentary by current standards, but connectivity is handled by Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, which are must-haves.

Partnership CDG ENGIE Komoco
On the inside, the Avante features an 8 inch touchscreen and 10.25 inch driver display.
PHOTO: BIG FISH PUBLISHING

The S$6,000 Elite pack adds a wireless charging pad to make sure your precious phone doesn’t run low, as well as front seats with built-in ventilation. The driver gets electric seat adjustment (and two memory settings) and, just for kicks, a glass sunroof.

In the back, the Avante has air-con vents and two USB-C charging ports, not to mention a surprising amount of space. Sporty-looking cars can be cramped inside, but the Hyundai is roomy for its class.

It isn’t all fun stuff. Blind-spot monitors are standard, and so is a camera system that scans the road ahead so it can hit the brakes for you if it predicts that you’re about to crash into something or someone.

If you like your car to handle some of the driving, the Hyundai has adaptive cruise control and lane-keep assist, so you can cruise along with only the lightest touch on the steering wheel.

It all adds up to an appealing car, and one that’s worth shortlisting if your underlying principle is that you want something hybrid, but also want it to be well-equipped and pleasing to the eye.

Of course, SUVs do have their advantages. The Avante’s boot is pretty large at 474 litres, and it’s expandable, but the loading floor has a deep lip you need to haul your stuff over, and you certainly wouldn’t want your pooch to travel in there. It’s not as versatile as an SUV, in other words. But it isn’t as impractical as a low-slung sports car.

Technical Specifications
Hyundai Avante Hybrid Elite
Engine: 1,580 cc, 16-valve, in-line four
System power: 129 hp
System torque: 265 Nm
Gearbox: Six-speed automatic
0-100km/h: 10.5 seconds
Top speed: 178 kmh
Fuel Efficiency: 4.7 L/100 km
Agent: Komoco Motors
Price: S$176,999 with COE
Available: Now

REVIEW 2024 Hyundai Avante Hybrid review: Avante advantage

This sharp-looking model is the only full-hybrid sedan eligible for a Category A COE.

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