New transmission makes 2020 Hyundai Elantra more fuel efficient

April 1, 2019

The 2020 Hyundai Elantra will be a frugal compact car when it goes on sale later this year. The EPA last week said that Hyundai's compact sedan will return estimated 31 mpg city, 41 highway, 35 combined with the addition of a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) to the Elantra lineup.

Car and Driver first reported on the government fuel economy ratings for the 2020 model year last week, which show the 2020 Elantra SE trim level will return the best ratings. All other trims are estimated at 30/40/34 mpg. Those figures are up as much as 3 mpg on the highway compared to last year's Elantra, which paired a 6-speed automatic transmission with the 2.0-liter inline-4 engine.

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A Hyundai spokesperson confirmed that the CVT will join the lineup, but the automaker isn't saying if other transmission options such as the 6-speed automatic and 6-speed manual will return for 2020.

Hyundai nabbed the CVT from its corporate cousin Kia. The 2019 Kia Forte debuted the CVT last year and its fuel-economy ratings are identical to those released so far for the 2020 Elantra. 

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The figures also give Hyundai legitimate claim to a compact sedan with a 40 mpg fuel economy rating, a noteworthy accolade following the brand's scandal that involved misleading fuel economy estimates derived internally for the Elantra a few years ago. The South Korean automaker eventually paid $41.2 million for false EPA ratings that claimed the previous-generation Elantra returned 40 mpg on the highway.

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