The Hyundai Elantra sedan posts solid fuel-economy ratings, although it's not at the head of this constantly evolving class. One reason is that it lacks a specific model with aero improvements to reach the 40-mpg bogey. Its competition offers special versions with aerodynamic tweaks, even different powertrains, to hit the magic marketing number, while others are newer and simply more fuel efficient in all trims.
The 2.0-liter inline-4 in the Sport returns the worst ratings of all Elantras. The automatic earns EPA ratings of 24 mpg city, 35 highway, 28 combined, while the manual loses just one mpg in the highway test, for ratings of 24/34/28 mpg.
The Elantra SE sedan's 1.8-liter engine is rated at 28/38/32 mpg when teamed with the automatic transmission. We've observed close to the combined rating in test drives. On the Limited model, the 1.8-liter inline-4 and auto combination fares slightly worse, with ratings of 27/37/31 mpg
With the manual transmission, the Elantra with the standard 1.8-liter engine is also rated at 27/37/31 mpg.