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2011 Hyundai Elantra achieves 29 mpg in the city and 40 mpg on the highway.
Hyundai continues its push for great fuel economy across the board

Even though many manufacturers are looking to hybrid vehicles to boost the fuel economy of their automotive fleets, advances in traditional internal combustion engines can also lead to increased in fuel economy. Last week, we told you about the Chevrolet Cruze Eco which achieves a healthy 28 mpg in the city and a whopping 42 mpg on the highway.

Not to be overlooked, Hyundai has announced that its all new 2011 Elantra will also reach the magic 40 mpg mark. According to Autoblog, the Elantra is powered by a brand new 1.8-liter "Nu family" engine that generated 148hp at 6,500 rpm and 131 pound-feet of torque at 4,700 rpm.

Motor Trend reports that these power figures and fuel economy are achieved using a 10.3:1 compression ratio and traditional port fuel injection. Direct injection is no doubt a feature that will be added down the road and should further improve power and fuel efficiency.

The resultant fuel economy is 29 in the city and 40 mpg on the highway. Those figures are for all models of the Elantra, and not just specific trim levels like the Cruze Eco. For example, while the Cruze Eco is rated at 28/42, other trim levels are rated at 24/36.

Hyundai made the bold claim earlier this year that it wants to meet a self-imposed CAFE of 50 mpg by 2025. Vehicles like the Hyundai Sonata hybrid and new Elantra should help it inch closer towards those goals.

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Higher mileage in Europe
By ssobol on 11/15/2010 9:15:53 AM , Rating: 1
The last couple of times I've been in Europe and rented cars I find that they have get much higher mileage than in the states.

In 2009 I rented a Ford Fusion (4-door hathback, different body than the US version). It was diesel and I got 54.9 mpg in normal combined driving around the UK (I was not driving in a manner to extend the mileage). I believe that this model of the Fusion will be available in the US in 2011 as a gas model, but will have a listed fuel economy in the low 30's.

In 2010 I rented some Nissan 4-door hatchback (don't remember the model, but haven't seen it in the US). This ran on gas and got 49+ mpg (same sort of driving).

Granted that a UK gallon is about 17% bigger than a US gallon, this difference does not entirely explain the different.

Why aren't some of these cars available in the US?

RE: Higher mileage in Europe
By protosv on 11/15/2010 9:43:52 AM , Rating: 3
The gasoline version of the UK Fusion gets 43 miles per british imperial gallon, which works out to just under 36mpg in US units. The rest of the difference might account for differences between the EPA's method of mpg measurement and the British equivalent agency's methods perhaps?

RE: Higher mileage in Europe
By FITCamaro on 11/15/2010 9:53:27 AM , Rating: 2
Also the difference between diesel and gas.

RE: Higher mileage in Europe
By Flunk on 11/15/2010 10:33:43 AM , Rating: 2
Also, "Regular" fuel is higher octane than it is in the US. Around the same rating as "Premium" is here.

RE: Higher mileage in Europe
By FITCamaro on 11/15/2010 12:59:30 PM , Rating: 2
Really? Is there not midgrade and premium then? Or do they go up to 100 octane or so for premium gas. Would definitely make a difference in fuel economy and power as you could run higher compression ratios.

RE: Higher mileage in Europe
By GreenEnvt on 11/15/2010 1:30:34 PM , Rating: 4
Not really, that is a common misconception.

North America rates octane using the formula (RON+MON)/2. Europe just uses RON. RON has a higher value than MON, so the European values appear higher, but in essence are quite similar (slightly higher, but nothing like it looks at face value).

Also, even if that were the case, higher octane doesn't mean better mileage or better performance unless the vehicle is equipped to detect and handle it. Lower octane is actually preferable in most cases, but at high compression ratios, you end up with pre-detonation which will damage the engine. Thus you need to use higher octane fuel, which resists burning more then lower, to prevent pre-detonation.

RE: Higher mileage in Europe
By Richard875yh5 on 11/15/2010 9:51:23 AM , Rating: 1
Something of big importance is failed to be mention here. The high compression of the Hyundai engine will require premium fuel. Add that extra cost per gallon, and it now does not look that good. With the Eco Cruze, it is done using regular gas, a savings of about twenty cents per gallon over the Hyundai.

RE: Higher mileage in Europe
By dougwenzel on 11/15/2010 10:06:12 AM , Rating: 2
Where do you see that? None of the information Hyundai has sent out says anything about needing Premium fuel?

RE: Higher mileage in Europe
By goku on 11/15/2010 10:12:57 AM , Rating: 2
exactly, I see no mention of needing premium fuel either. Anyway this isn't all that high as some of toyota's engines are already like 10.5:1 CR and they too only require regular grade fuel. Part of the reason why they can have such a high compression ratio w/o needing premium is thanks in part to knock sensors and variable valve timing. Variable valve timing can be used if and when the car knocks and or to adjust the car's dynamic compression ratio which is the actual measure that you should lookout for. An example of this is the Prius with the compression ratio of 13:1 using regular gasoline but due to the valve timing, it's dynamic compression ratio is only like 9.5:1.

Compression ratios listed are only the "geometric" ratio, they do not take into account effective ratio like a dynamic compression ratio rating would.

RE: Higher mileage in Europe
By Randomblame on 11/15/2010 12:09:36 PM , Rating: 2
It really depends on the design of the cylinder head and the shape of the combustion chambers. I have a 78 280z running a block from an 81 with flat top pistons and a cylinder head from a 74 to make just under 10:1. I had to do a little bit of work to the head to prevent detonation like grinding down the extra thread where the spark plugs go in and removing burs left by the machining process but it runs regular just fine with the ignition timing unmolested.

If I can build a 10:1 engine with different components from 30 year old engines and have it run regular I'm fairly certain hyundai can do it from scratch in 2010

RE: Higher mileage in Europe
By FITCamaro on 11/15/2010 3:59:18 PM , Rating: 2
I don't really see the point of having a high compression engine if you're just going to bleed all that compression out the exhaust valves. I had a 10.4:1 compression 355 in my 89 Camaro. Looking at the static compression it was barely on the verge of being able to run premium gas (carbed). But with the valve overlap of the cam, it bled off more compression than it should have.

Should've gone with the LT4 hotcam.

RE: Higher mileage in Europe
By Brandon Hill on 11/15/2010 10:38:21 AM , Rating: 3
I HIGHLY doubt that Hyundai would release a non-sporting econobox that required premium fuel.

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