The Hyundai Elantra is a great choice for new-car buyers, writes bmag’s motoring guru, Chris Nixon.

New-car buyers with $20,000 to spend find plenty of choice and great value. This includes the Series II Hyundai Elantra introduced in January, though surprisingly for the budget brand, the base-model Active is slightly more expensive than some rivals. “Base” includes power windows, central locking, six airbags, air-conditioning, CD audio system with Bluetooth and steering-wheel controls, stability control and anti-lock brakes. The second generation features Australian-calibrated suspension, selectable steering modes, rear-park alerts and fog lights.

The Elantra has a spacious interior and generous boot. The 110 kiloWatt engine is strong and frugal. Ownership benefits include a 5-year warranty, three years’ capped-price servicing, free initial 1,500km service, a year’s free roadside assistance and, for more expensive Elantras, three years’ free navigation map upgrades.

1.8 petrol engine/110kW/178Nm

FOR: Space, value, ownership package.

AGAINST: At this price, nothing significant.

THE VERDICT: A good, small sedan but compare against Corolla, Mazda3, Cerato, Civic, Focus, Pulsar and Cruise.