First Look at 40 MPG Hyundai Elantra

40 mpg is the new magic number when it comes to small cars, and the battle lines are being drawn. The latest entry comes from Hyundai, whose new 2011 Elantra gets 40 mpg, on the base model. Oh snap.

Last week GM was the one making waves with its Chevy Cruze Eco, which set the bar at 42 mpg on the highway. It is a lofty number requiring a number of aerodynamic improvements such as a front grille shutter and lowering the ride height, as the Cruze Eco does. The Elantra, which looks great, also manages to get 29 mpg, which is one better than the Eco. While Hyundai hasn’t released pricing for the 2011 Elntra the Cruze Eco is priced at $18,995. The current Elantra starts at about $14,145, and prices shouldn’t go up too drastically, meaning the Elantra will have a price advantage over the Eco that ought to make up for that 2 mpg discrepancy.

Under the hood, the 2011 Elantra gets a 1.4 lter engine that makes 148 horsepower and 131 ft-lbs, the same neighborhood as the Cruze. There are going to be just two trim levels initially, GLS and Limited. Even the base model GLS gets power windows, remote keyless entry, six airbags and four disc brakes. Limited models get bigger 17” wheels, fog lights, sunroof, and leather just about everywhere. The Elantra also weighs just 2,661 pounds for the GLS, and just over 2,700 for the Limited, making it quite the light car. Style didn’t suffer though, and I really dig the “flowy” lines. More details will emerge after its official L.A. Auto Show debut.

There are also rumors that the new Elantra might get a “touring” edition featuring a hatchback. Of course there is always the possibility of a hybrid or Eco Elantra as well. 45 mpg Hyundai anyone?

Source: Hyundai

Chris DeMorro is a writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to Hemis. You can follow his slow descent into madness atSublime Burnout.

Christopher DeMorro

A writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs, can be found wrenching or writing- or else, he's running, because he's one of those crazy people who gets enjoyment from running insane distances.