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Buick Regal GS

The current generation Chevrolet Malibu is available with I4 and V6 engines

The 2011 Kia Optima SX (pictured above) like its Hyundai Sonata relative will only be available with four-cylinder engines
CAFE leads to engine downsizing for GM

Manufacturers are preparing for upcoming CAFE changes which will require corporate fleets to average 34.1 mpg by 2016. As a result, a number of auto manufactures are turning to direct injection, turbocharging, hybrid technology, and full electrics to boost their fleet fuel economy.

General Motors is taking a big step, according to GM Inside News, to improve the fuel economy of its bread and butter midsize sedans. The next generation Chevrolet Malibu (due out as a 2012 model) will reportedly only be available with four-cylinder engines.

The current generation Malibu is available with a four-cylinder base engine and an optional six-cylinder engine like most other midsize sedans on the market. It's likely, however, that the next Malibu will use two new four-cylinder engines featuring direct injection technology -- the base engine will be normally aspirated while the uprated motor will be turbocharged.

GM already uses this approach with the new 2011 Buick Regal. The base Regal is available with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine producing 182 hp and 172 lb-ft of torque. An optional 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder engine producing 220 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque will be made available later in the model year. An even more potent Regal GS will come later next year with an uprated turbo four producing 250+ hp.

Another manufacturer that is going four-cylinder-only is Hyundai (along with its accompanying Kia brand). The 2010 Sonata is currently only available with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine (24/35 mpg). The 2011 Sonata will be available with a 2.0-liter turbo four cylinder which outpowers and outgrunts the optional V6s in other midsize sedans while delivering 22 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway. Both powertrains will also make their way into the upcoming 2011 Kia Optima.

Toyota's Camry and Honda's Accord are both due for complete redesigns within the next two years, so it would be interesting to see if they too go for a top to bottom four-cylinder engine lineup.



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RE: Sounds almost too good to be true...
By chromal on 8/31/2010 10:27:28 PM , Rating: 3
I think Hyundai's have shown remarkable improvement, and I think I'd rather drive one than, say, a Kia or Daewoo, but, gonna have to say I prefer Japanese design and built vehicles to South Korean ones, if only because they've been doing it well, longer.

I guess the Sonata makes sense if you don't need or want AWD, don't prioritize handling. I see a lot of them on the road, though consider them mostly forgettable.


RE: Sounds almost too good to be true...
By YashBudini on 8/31/2010 11:55:55 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
I think Hyundai's have shown remarkable improvement,


They same might be said of then Governor Clinton, who took AR from being ranked 50th in state literacy to being ranked 49th.

There's always room for huge improvments when you're at or near the bottom.

quote:
I guess the Sonata makes sense if you don't need or want AWD,

You really gotta laugh at how brainwashed the public is about stuff. Sitting on a steep hill in a blizzard waiting for a red light I had FWD and 4 Vredestein snow tires. The Jeep Cherokee next to me had 4WD and all season tires. The light turned green and I drove away, while the 4WD Jeep sat there with 4 wheels spinning. What a farce.


RE: Sounds almost too good to be true...
By Reclaimer77 on 9/1/2010 12:27:34 AM , Rating: 4
Holy crap, I think I'm actually agreeing with Yash over something.


By chromal on 9/1/2010 12:48:36 AM , Rating: 2
I don't disagree, seeing as every car I've driven daily has been FWD, and at 8700ft elevation at home, that means something in the winter. Nevertheless, Subarus and Audis are immensely popular around here.


By chromal on 9/1/2010 1:00:31 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
There's always room for huge improvments when you're at or near the bottom.
That kind of goes without saying, I think. Or were you winding up to go after me for the AWD I don't own? Heh. Still, the Sonata ranks up there with the Nissan Altima and Honda Accord, if that sort of car (sedan) is your cup of tea.


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