2011 Hyundai Avante/Elantra - Click above for high-res image gallery

Hyundai has just announced that the 2012 Elantra, which will debut next Wednesday at the LA Auto Show, will achieve 40 miles per gallon on the highway and 29 mpg in the city. The engine behind these impressive numbers will be a 1.8-liter inline four-cylinder producing 148 horsepower and 131 lb-ft of torque. We're checking on transmissions options, but a five- or six-speed manual and six-speed automatic are the safe bets.

40 mpg highway ratings are "the new black" for small cars these days, with other vehicles like the 2011 Ford Fiesta and 2011 Chevrolet Cruze achieving 40 mpg or more on the highway and letting everyone know about it in their marketing material. The difference between those American small cars and the new Elantra is that only particular models of the Cruze and Fiesta can reach 40 mpg – more specifically the Cruze Eco, which tops out at 42 mpg, and the Fiesta with a special SFE package. Hyundai tells us that every Elantra model will achieve 40 mpg, from the base model on up, which means that you won't have to pay extra for the privilege of joining the 40 mpg club.

[Source: Hyundai]

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