New Transmission Coming for 2020 Hyundai Elantra
The Hyundai Elantra is a vehicle known for scandals. In 2016, the automaker was forced to pay $41.2 million to 33 states after making falsified claims of a 40-mpg fuel rating in 2012. This led to several years of modest fuel economy claims as the automaker tried to come back from this negative publicity. With the 2020 Hyundai Elantra, the automaker made a major shift as it strives to make its vehicles more fuel-efficient and attain those ratings once claimed. Instead of the six-speed automatic transmission that was standard in most trims for the 2019 model, most Elantra trims now come with a continuously variable transmission (CVT). Here is a closer look at what you can expect from this transmission, the reasons behind the shift, and the new fuel-efficiency ratings of the latest Hyundai model.
Introducing Hyundai’s Intelligent Variable Transmission – A More Fuel-Efficient Transmission Option
The main reason for making the shift to CVT technology is to increase fuel efficiency, and the transmission delivers on this goal quite well. Hyundai has named its CVT the Intelligent Variable Transmission (IVT), and this transmission uses the latest technology to make the vehicle significantly more fuel-efficient. It uses continuous shifts through modulating pressure on a pulley system based on the driver’s input and the driving conditions. This technology allows the transmission to constantly adjust to run at the optimal level, increasing the vehicle’s overall fuel efficiency at the higher gear ratios while improving performance at low gears.
Hyundai’s IVT is also the first CVT in the compact car market to use a chain belt instead of a push belt. This adds another layer of improvement to the vehicle’s fuel efficiency.
Improved Driving Experience
Not only does the IVT improve fuel efficiency, but it also improves the driving experience. The transmission features Shift Control Strategy technology to make the vehicle more enjoyable to drive and easier to handle. This technology incorporates vehicle behavior, driver input, and acceleration to improve the performance of the transmission. Not only that, but Hyundai’s IVT also features technology that simulates gear shifts. This makes drivers feel the changes in gear like they would with an automatic transmission, improving the driving experience.
Although it’s hard to believe there could be any downside to such advanced technology there are a few. If you like the feeling of switching fears upon acceleration you might want to go with a sportier transmission. Also, repairing or rebuilding a continuously variable transmission is much more expensive than a traditional or manual transmission. A variable transmission tends to make loud sounds upon acceleration, and if their belts get worn out or stretched too much the entire transmission could go out.
New MPG Ratings for 2020 Elantra
Making the shift to the IVT adds a slight price increase to the Hyundai Elantra, but with that increase comes improved efficiency. With this new transmission, the 2.0-liter four-cylinder model of the Elantra will now have up to 41 mpg on the highway and 35 mpg combined, making it two to three mpg more efficient than the previous year’s model. Now, the MPG ratings once falsely claimed for the Elantra are a reality.
The 2020 Elantra will feature the IVT in all trims except the Sport and Eco. These two trims keep the dual-clutch transmission. Even without the IVT, the Eco maintains a 41 mpg estimate for highway driving. The Sport has much lower ratings, with a 33 mpg highway rating.