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by Daniel DeGasperi

The 2014 Hyundai Elantra will arrive in January with a significantly different suspension set-up tuned by Australian engineers.

Exterior modifications to the small sedan are limited to new alloy wheels, redesigned headlight bezels with ‘blade’ LED lighting as recently introduced in the ix35, and tail-lights with black surrounds.

More significant interior changes to the facelifted Hyundai Elantra include remodelled air vents, which have been raised from flanking the lower climate controls to sitting either side of a new infotainment screen, and new ventilation and audio/sat-nav controls.

2014 Hyundai Elantra 2

Rear air vents are now included on some models, and new options include ventilated seats and auto reverse parking – though it is unclear which local grades will have these features available.

Hyundai Australia claims it has worked extensively on retuning the Elantra’s suspension to improve both ride quality and body control. The Elantra has undergone the same suspension retuning program as the recently released ix35 Series II, which was heavily tested on Australian urban and country roads for the first time, then retuned at Hyundai’s local headquarters in North Ryde, Sydney.

While a 1.6-litre turbo-diesel four-cylinder has been added as an option in overseas markets, Hyundai Australia will retain the 1.8-litre petrol four-cylinder as the sole option for Elantra here, tied to either a six-speed manual or automatic transmission.

2014 Hyundai Elantra 3

It has said, however, that an Elantra SR is “under consideration” internally, utilising the same 130kW 2.0-litre petrol four-cylinder used in the hatchback version of the same grade name, the i30 SR.

The regular local lineup is expected to mirror the current range, comprising Active, Elite and Premium grades, with adjustments made to pricing and specification to allow the Elantra to more closely mirror its i30 hatchback sibling.

Prices are also expected to remain the same or similar when the facelifted Hyundai Elantra arrives in January 2014.