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2011 Hyundai Elantra

2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid

Hyundai Veloster Concept
Hyundai looks to expand its range of fuel efficient vehicles

The auto industry these days has its eyes on Hyundai. Hyundai has made great strides over the past two decades when it comes to improving its quality, reliability, and public image. Hyundai has gone from making the simply terrible Excel from the 80s to making credible luxury sedans like the Genesis and Equus today (along with a full stable of more mainstream vehicles).

Now, Hyundai is looking to make a huge leap in fuel efficiency for its vehicles according to Detroit News. Hyundai's North American CEO, John Krafcik, is looking to boost the fleet fuel efficiency average from a current level of 30.9 mpg (the industry's highest total) to a whopping 50 mpg within the next 15 years.

"We're committing today to a 50 mpg target by 2025," stated Krafcik. "We're all in. Let's go as far as we can. We don't know how to get there."

Hyundai will need to devote as much as 20 percent of its production to hybrid/plug-in hybrid vehicles and roughly 5 percent of production to electric vehicles to meet that lofty goal.

Hyundai is already well on its way to boosting fuel efficiency across the board with its mainstream vehicles. The Hyundai Sonata is among the most fuel efficient midsize family sedans available on the U.S. market with fuel economy ratings of 24/35 mpg city/highway with its standard 198 hp 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine. For those that crave more power, the 274 hp 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder engine option beats its competitors' V6 offerings in power and fuel efficiency at 22/34 mpg.

The Sonata will also be available in a hybrid variant which will achieve EPA ratings of 37 mpg city and 39 mpg highway.

Next year, Hyundai is also bringing its 40 mpg Veloster which looks to upset Honda's hybrid-only CR-Z along with a subcompact Accent and compact Elantra which will both approach 40 mpg.

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RE: Upping Fuel Economy?
By tng on 8/5/2010 12:14:51 PM , Rating: 1
Well it is just not mid sized sedans. I have a Ford Focus long term rental on the East coast (about a year and a half now) and with normal driving it is lucky to get 30mpg. Many other what I would consider compact cars out there that I have driven in similar situations are the same.

RE: Upping Fuel Economy?
By Steve1981 on 8/5/2010 12:55:56 PM , Rating: 3
Just so we compare apples to apples...

Once upon a time I owned a 2006 Honda Civic (more or less the current model). It netted me about 35mpg on the freeway and about 25mpg in the city. Why is it worse than your 1980 Civic?

Well, the current model is considerably heavier at 2800 pounds (EX w/ Automatic) due to size and safety increases and has considerably more in the way of emissions requirements placed on it. Its engine puts out 140 horsepower versus the 55 of the old Civic 1.3 liter, which means in spite of that weight gain, my newer Civic is appreciably faster than the 1980 model. Get the picture?

RE: Upping Fuel Economy?
By Samus on 8/6/2010 1:24:44 PM , Rating: 2
Personally, I find it incredible that the hybrid nets any improvement in fuel economy on the highway. It's essentially carrying heavy technology that does nothing to improve highway mileage, and should theoretically just weigh the car down causing decreased fuel economy.

The only reason the hybrid is probably getting 4MPG over its 2.4l non-hybrid variant is because it has a different tune or a weaker engine altogether.

Generally hybrids don't do well on the highway. Their technology is geared toward urban traffic.

RE: Upping Fuel Economy?
By YashBudini on 8/6/2010 2:14:11 PM , Rating: 2
It's also surprising that nobody has touted a hybrid's accomplishments or even measured them say in stop and go traffic that rarely exceeds 15 mph. Can you imagine being stuck in traffic for 2 hours and rarely having the ICE turn on?

Part of the reason hybrids have not done better on the highway has to do with design. They are all geared towards the same performance or better. Nobody is willing to create a hybrid where the gas engine works only uphill with moderate driving speeds on level ground. Many luxury models are simply touting high HP totals and 0-60 times. The big Lexus hybrid is a joke as far as economy is concerned. Nobody wants or expects the same performance as the original diesel rabbit, but clearly the deck is stacked more towards performance than economy.

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