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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 Brandon Hill on 9/1/2010 12:33:42 AM , Rating: 4
I didn't throw "my" Mazda under the bus :) I said that it's been reliable with the exception of the parking brake handle.

I LOVE my Mazda 3. It was the perfect vehicle for my mid to late 20's years. Now that I'm married, thinking about kids, and "settling in a bit", I want something a little larger and cushier. Better fuel economy wouldn't hurt either.

I try not to be "brand loyal" and instead try to be "car loyal" -- meaning, I choose the best vehicle that suits my needs at the moment (and is within my budget) regardless of who makes it.

RE: Sounds almost too good to be true...
By Lord 666 on 9/1/2010 12:39:03 AM , Rating: 2

Don't you own a Prius?

RE: Sounds almost too good to be true...
By Brandon Hill on 9/1/2010 12:39:52 AM , Rating: 4
Oh hell no. I like the idea of the Prius, but couldn't bring myself to drive one :)

RE: Sounds almost too good to be true...
By Samus on 9/1/2010 2:02:08 AM , Rating: 1
The last exciting car Mazda made was the GLC, exciting because it worked. I've owned two Mazda's, a 1998 Protege (a decent car) and a 93 MPV, the biggest piece of shit ever. Both, however, were riddled with problems, things that any noteworthy manufacture would recall. Like the defective castings in every single 96-98 Protege 1.5l manifold that cracked just around the time they were not federally responsible to replace emissions equipment (70,000 miles I think, might have been 80,000...)

The only good thing about Mazda is they test-market Ford's European platforms first. But I'd never buy a Mazda again. I'd rather own a Korean car at this point. And at least Hyundai and Kia build their car's in the United States. Mazda just opened an assembly plant here 5 years ago, and it's so small it accounts for a fraction of their total vehicles sold in North America.

If you're buying Japanese, you'd be crazy to get anything other than a Toyota or Honda. Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Suzuki, Isuzu...these companies are barely profitable for a reason.

By nolisi on 9/1/2010 1:12:37 PM , Rating: 2
You are entitled to your opinion, but if I'm going to make a judgement on Mazda, I'd make it on data that was more recent than 10+ years old.

If you're buying Japanese, you'd be crazy to get anything other than a Toyota or Honda.

While I haven't seen/heard much negativity about Honda's reliability, I'm forced to ask if you missed the slew of recalls coming out of Toyota in the last year or so.

"So, I think the same thing of the music industry. They can't say that they're losing money, you know what I'm saying. They just probably don't have the same surplus that they had." -- Wu-Tang Clan founder RZA

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