Cruising South Korea’s southern coastline in the Elantra
South Korea’s beautiful panoramas have gained notoriety through the rising popularity of the country’s films in the past few years. But to experience its beauty first-hand, passing through little-known areas, was another sensation
During our visit to South Korea, nine Indonesian journalists were given the chance to enjoy the seaside panorama between Busan, Korea’s second-largest city after capital Seoul, and Yeosu, which has been in the spotlight for its six-month World Expo.
Nine journalists had the chance to drive three Hyundai Elantra M16 GDis along the toll road connecting Yeosu and Busan, including a trip across the Geoga Bridge — the 8.2-kilometer engineering marvel that combines a grand bridge and an undersea tunnel inaugurated by South Korean President Lee Myung-bak in December 2010.
Despite our enthusiasm to take the cars for a tour along the 200-kilometer journey, a few of us needed a while to adjust to the left-hand steering wheel.
Under the hood, this sporty compact model boasts a 1.6-liter, four-cylinder engine that delivers up to 138 horsepower at 6,300 revolutions per minute (rpm) and 167 Newton-meters of torque at 4,850 rpm. Hyundai claims that the Elantra’s fuel efficiency is a modest 16.5km per liter — quite economical for Jakartans, considering the traffic jams in the Indonesian capital.
Freshly redesigned last year, the Elantra took home the US Car of the Year award in 2012, after having broken into Kelly Blue Book’s (kbb.com) list of 10 Best Green Cars of 2010.
Since the test drive took place on public roads, we did not have the chance to push the pedal to the metal and really test car’s engine performance. Our tour guide, Kimberly Kim, warned us not to exceed 100kph due to the speed traps located throughout the toll road.
The Elantra, which has a 1,600cc-engine under the hood, is a sleek and sporty model with large headlamps. The interior design is simple but very user-friendly with displays located in the middle of the dashboard.
It took us about four hours — including a stopover for a quick lunch, where I had kimchi ramyeon (instant noodles with radish-flavored pickled cabbage) to reach Busan, and settle into a traffic jam in the coastal city.
– JP/Primastuti Handayani