2020 Hyundai Elantra Gains Efficiency Thanks to All-New CVT

Discussion in 'In the News' started by xcel, May 18, 2019.

  1. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    [​IMG] Just after the 2019 mid-model year updates, Hyundai adds a new AT that handily improves efficiency across most of the Elantra lineup.

    Wayne Gerdes – CleanMPG – May 15, 2019

    2020 Hyundai Elantra

    The almost perfect first time buyer, Rideshare, and low TCO compact is even better.​

    2020 Elantra Pricing vs 2019 (MSRP)

    SE w/ the 2.0L and IVT - $18,950, +$650 over the 2019 MY.
    SEL w/ the 2.0L and IVT - $19,700, +$200 over the 2019 MY.
    Value Edition w/ the 2.0L and IVT - $20,600, +$100 over the 2019 MY.
    Eco w/ the 1.4L GDI-T and 7-speed DCT - $21,250, +$200 over the 2019 MY.
    Sport w/ the 1.6L GDI-T and 7-speed DCT - $23,800, +$100 over the 2019 MY.
    Limited w/ the 2.0L and IVT - $22,800, +$100 over the 2019 MY.

    D&H for the 2020 MY Elantra's are $920, no change from the 2019 MY.

    For those following the Rideshare Total Cost of Ownership Study here at CleanMPG, the 2018 Elantra ECO has proven to be an excellent solution after 115,000 miles to date thanks in part to its ultra-low purchase price, low refueling costs vs competitors, low maintenance and repair, and possibly the lowest total cost of ownership of any vehicle you can purchase new today!

    The 2020 Hyundai Elantra, with its all-new and quite unexpected Intelligent Variable Transmission (IVT) transmission, is ready to move the efficiency bar yet again. Alone with better fuel economy, the hard charging brand adds Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA) as standard equipment to the Elantra lineups war chest.

    [​IMG]2020 Hyundai Elantra Intelligent Variable Transmission (IVT)

    Hyundai’s new IVT provides improved efficiency and simulates gear shifts like a standard AT. This transmission performs continuous shifts by modulating pressure of the transmission’s pulley, depending on driving conditions and driver inputs. It utilizes a wide ratio pulley system, which provides a broader ratio of operation when compared with its competitors. This allows for improved fuel economy at higher gear ratios and improved performance at lower ratios.

    As opposed to a steel belt, the IVT uses a chain belt, a world’s first in the compact car segment. A chain improves fuel efficiency by an ~ 1.2 percent when compared with a conventional steel belt system.

    2020 Elantra Trims Fuel Economy Improvement due to the IVT

    2020 Combined MPG vs 2019 City/Highway/Combined MPG

    SE w/ 2.0L and IVT: 31/41/35 (+3/+3/+2) vs 29/38/33
    SEL w/ 2.0L and IVT: 30/40/34 (+2/+3/+2) vs 28/37/32
    Value Edition w/ 2.0L and IVT: 30/40/34 (+2/+3/+2) vs 28/37/32
    Limited w/ the 2.0L and IVT: 30/40/34 (+2/+3/+2) vs 28/37/32

    SE manual transmission and Sport MTs were discontinued.

    2020 Hyundai Elantra Standard Features
    • Intelligent Variable Transmission (new)
    • Dual Automatic Temperature Control (now incl. with SE and SEL trims)
    • 3.5-inch mono TFT cluster display
    • Efficient Positive Temperature Coefficient Electric Heater (2.0L engine only)
    • Engine Idle Stop & Go on Eco model (new)
    • Dual Shell Horn (new)
    • Hyundai SmartSense features
    • Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (new)
    • Lane Keeping Assist (new)
    • Driver Attention Warning (new)
    2020 Hyundai Elantra Interior Features
    • Standard: 5-inch color audio system
    • Standard: Bluetooth and steering wheel audio controls
    • Blue Link Connected Car System with three years of complimentary Blue Link services on Value Edition and above
    • Qi wireless charging on Limited trim
    • Available AVN 5.0 with faster processor, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay and HERE HD Traffic 8-inch
    • Multimedia Navigation System offered with higher level trims
    • Infinity premium audio with 8 speakers including a center channel and subwoofer on the Limited trim
    • Drive Mode Select is standard
    • Standard: Rearview camera with dynamic guidelines
    2020 Hyundai Elantra Engine Specs

    The Elantra SE, SEL, Value Edition and Limited offer the 2.0L MPI Atkinson Cycle engine with 147 horsepower, the Eco continues to offer the 1.4L GDI-T w/ 128 hp is now rated at an EPA estimated 36 mpg combined fuel economy rating, 1 mpg over the 2016 – 2019s 35 mpg thanks to a new Start/Stop system.

    2020 Hyundai Elantra SmartSense Safety

    The 2020 Elantra offers a new list of standard advanced safety features.
    • Forward Collision Assist (FCA) uses the car’s front-facing camera to help detect an imminent collision and avoid impact or minimize damage by braking
    • Lane Keep Assist (LKA) helps prevent accidental lane departure by sensing road markings, automatically steering the car if necessary
    • Driver Attention Warning (DAW) system monitors a spectrum of driver-related characteristics to help detect driver fatigue
    SmartSense features included on the Elantra Limited with Ultimate Package include:
    • Smart Cruise Control (SCC) using a radar sensor mounted on the lower front grille maintains a set distance from the vehicle ahead in varied traffic conditions by automatically adjusting vehicle speed as necessary
    • Safe Exit Assist may sound an alert when a vehicle approaches from behind, letting passengers know it may not be safe to open the door to exit the vehicle
    • Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist with Pedestrian Detection utilizes both the front forward-facing radar and camera through sensor fusion to help detect a vehicle or pedestrian, and warn the driver of a potential collision. If the driver does not react to avoid the impact, the system may apply emergency braking in certain circumstances
    Blind-Spot Collision Warning with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert and Lane Change Assist is available all trims except SE.

    Early Conclusions

    The addition of Start/Stop to the 1.4L GDI-T mated to the 7-speed DCT equipped Eco trim is gimmicky as it provides little in fuel savings for the average driver when a possibly larger AGM battery cost replacement overwhelms the perceived or actual lower fuel costs.

    If the IVT mated to the same 2.0L I4 produces as indicated, the SE, SEL, and Value addition could be the new go to choice for a std. compact for high efficiency and low total cost of ownership.

    The 2020 Elantra arrives in dealer showrooms this month.
    JonNC and BillLin like this.
  2. EdwinTheMagnificent

    EdwinTheMagnificent Legend In His Mind

    Wayne , are they offering a manual transmission in ANY Elantra for 2020 MY ?
    BillLin and xcel like this.
  3. RedylC94

    RedylC94 Well-Known Member

    Interesting! CVT questions:
    1. Can you set it to NOT fake shifting through silly fixed ratios?
    2. Is that chain CVT system similar to the (German?) one in a circa 2007 Ford 500?
    3. What specifically is the mechanical efficiency? (If you're not allowed to reveal that, just give me the efficiency of "a conventional steel belt" CVT, and I can handle adding 1.2%.)
    4. Is there a torque converter for start-up? Or mechanical clutch? If not, what?

    Last edited: May 18, 2019
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  4. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    HI Edwin:

    The Elantra MT is gone for 2020 in both the SE trim and Sport. :(

    BillLin likes this.
  5. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi RedylC94:

    1. The fake shift ratios are embedded in the shift programming.

    2. I believe the chain is similar to those developed over a decade ago but I am not sure. The steel belts in conventional CVTs look like chains with no sprockets between the sheaves just as the IVT does so I am speaking outside my knowledge base.

    3. For the 7-speed DCT in the Eco trim, it was something like 98 percent IIRC whereas the Sonata Hybrids std. AT without the torque converter was in the 95 or 96 percent range. Std. ATs are down in the low 90s IIRC.

    4. If you look at the IVT transmission pic, it sure does look like their is a torque converter along the left side? I am just not sure?

    I am skeptical about the 2.0L's efficiency improvements - SE trim matching that of the 16 - 18 Eco trim. The Eco's 1.4L is one of those drivetrains that is simply punching way beyond its weight. I have never experienced even close to the same level of efficiency from the 2.0L variants and I have driven all of them as the 1.4L.

    BillLin likes this.
  6. RedylC94

    RedylC94 Well-Known Member

    I was asking about the efficiency of this chain CVT versus a "conventional" belt CVT, not about DCTs or standard automatics. You said they claim it's better than conventional belt CVT. I'd bet it's not as efficient as a DCT (or an old-fashioned manual). Possibly close to a conventional automatic with the converter in locked mode?

    xcel and BillLin like this.
  7. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member


    I whole hardheartedly agree. The 7-speed DCT is essentially an automated manual which is the reason for its sky high efficiency ratings. And all the problems associated with its automation. I do not know the efficiency of this CVT and probably never will. I will send a note to the PR team and see if they have that available. They provided me with the Eco trims DCT and the Sonata Hybrids 2+ years ago but that is where it stopped.

    The CVT belt, steel belt, or chain is fraught full of inefficiencies from the two high pressure pumps at the sheave pressure plates to plain friction across on average 50 percent of the sheave to belt contact surface at any given moment. The reason they are used is because they are much less expensive and far lower weight than a std. AT with its numerous clutches, meshed gear sets, and control functions.

    BillLin and RedylC94 like this.
  8. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    I had to go to the EPA data files to retrieve them but here are the 2020 Elantra Lineup official EPA ratings.
    • 2020 Hyundai Elantra Eco - 33/41/36 mgUS city/highway/combined
    • 2020 Hyundai Elantra SE - 31/41/35 mgUS city/highway/combined
    • 2020 Hyundai Elantra SEL/VE/Limited - 30/40/34 mgUS city/highway/combined
    Not bad!

    BillLin likes this.
  9. EdwinTheMagnificent

    EdwinTheMagnificent Legend In His Mind

    I had a Ford 500 CVT rental in 2004. I remember thinking "I could drive this car for ten years and never go over 2000 RPM."
    The only time the Prius goes over 2000 is in the mountains , so...……. not so often in IL.
    xcel and BillLin like this.
  10. MaxxMPG

    MaxxMPG Hasta Lavista AAA-Vee Von't Be Bach

    The advantages of CVT designs vs multi-speed planetary automatics is the wider ratio spread possible within the small space available.
    To get the same ratio spread in a 8/9/10 speed automatic, there are more clutches and each one adds drag when not applied. In the Hyundai 6 speed that the CVT replaces, there are five friction clutches and only two are applied at any given time. Those that aren't applied are adding drag/resistance that lowers efficiency. The CVT has a simple planetary gearset and two clutches - forward and reverse. So there is only one clutch not applied and creating drag. The chain is more efficient than the belt, says Hyundai, although they don't give much more detail than the referencing the angle of the inner pully surfaces. I suspect it has something to do with the chain being more flexible than the belt but there isn't much information out there.

    The ZF 9-speed gets around the drag problem buy using two dog clutches since they have no slip when engaged and no drag when not, but that opens a whole other can of worms getting them applied when the car is in motion. A dog clutch is what you are engaging when driving a manual and moving the shift lever. The difference is the manual transmission has a clutch pedal and synchronizers to equalize speed between the gears to avoid grinding. The ZF box has neither and relies on the computer disregarding the accelerator position and tapping the throttle until engine speed is close enough to engage the dog clutch without ripping it apart. Think of it as shifting gears in without pressing the clutch pedal and using only the accelerator to get the speed just right to pop the lever into the next gear. The problems in making this happen are baked into the design and the ZF 9 speed will never be a smooth-n-snappy gearbox.

    DCT will always win the efficiency race because it doesn't need to use energy pressurizing fluid and there are no wet clutches to cause drag. But dry DCT designs will always feel like a robotically-shifted manual and not everyone likes that feeling.

    Hyundai is jumping into the CVT pool with both feet - with the Elantra getting it for now and next up the Venue. I expect it to end up in the Accent before long. Kia is already using it in the Forte and 2020 Soul, too.
    Jay, JonNC, xcel and 2 others like this.
  11. litesong

    litesong litesong

    Seems the 2020 Elantra is 3-4 MPG better than our 2013 six speed automatic & 2016 six speed manual Elantras. Feather footing real MPG for the 2013 Elantra, averaged 39MPG, pencil & paper, for its first year using ethanol free gasoline. Our 2016 manual Elantra averaged 35 MPG, but under heavy stop & go conditions, a different driver AND most often using E10. Recently, the 2013 auto Elantra got 43 MPG(trip computer), while passing over a 3000+ mountain pass. The 2016 manual Elantra, got 46MPG (trip computer), while passing over a 4000MPG mountain pass, in both directions. Tho I like CVT(IVT) transmissions while driving them (don't like my mechanic to repair them tho), I'm happy with our auto & manual transmissions, neither car(at a total 130,000 miles) needing any repair, ever. The 2020 Elantra is "seemingly nice", but our 2013 & 2016 Elantras are "proven great".
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  12. litesong

    litesong litesong

    Proving the greatness of our manual Elantra again(successfully sued by lead foot drivers for poor economy):
    The other day, my wife & I drove to Mt. Rainier, over 4600 foot Cayuse pass, 5500 foot Chinook pass, to Yakima, up to Snoqualmie pass & back home, obtaining 44MPG. The 2016 manual significantly out-performs our 2013 automatic Elantra in the mountains & suspect, will out-perform the 2020 CVT, at least in the mountains.... & probably other places.
    xcel likes this.
  13. litesong

    litesong litesong

    Sure glad I got our manual in the best looking Elantra ever. Probably still got 200,000 miles to use it (longer?).
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2019
    xcel likes this.
  14. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Litesong:

    The best looking Elantra for sure!

    2015 Hyundai Elantra Sport

    A short drive into Death Valley.


    MaxxMPG likes this.
  15. litesong

    litesong litesong

    Our 2016 Venetian Red Elantra(built in the U.S.), compared to our 2013 Venetian Red Elantra(built in S.Korea), has slightly more metal-flake, with a deeper red AND more depth. STILL, much more metal-flake is called for..... bbbiiiiggg chunks of metal-flake, deep in the paint. Ford has excellent paints. If ya pay extra, Toyota, Chevy & Chrysler have nice paints. Went to a Mazda dealer once, thinking their paints had to be good....& was disappointed.
    xcel likes this.
  16. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    Earlier today I made a request to take out the more efficient 2020 Hyundai Elantra SE/SEL with the all-new CVT. We should be able to get one after the new year sometime?

    2020 Hyundai Elantra


    I doubt it will match the Eco but if it is more efficient, as the EPA estimates indicate, than the 2019 with the std. 6-speed AT, good for all of us!

    BillLin likes this.
  17. MaxxMPG

    MaxxMPG Hasta Lavista AAA-Vee Von't Be Bach

    I think it will be pretty close to what the Eco offers when out on the interstate. Around town, it will be a few mpg lower. It's a very interesting option for commuters.
    BillLin and xcel like this.
  18. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    January 3rd is when the 2020 Elantra w/ the IVT (CVT) arrives on my doorstep. I am very curious as I see little discussion about the new CVT. With Hyundai not incorporating the CVT into the all-new 2020 Sonata but only the Elantra just after the mid-model refresh in 2019, I wonder why? A drive quality issue? Higher power output issue? Sizing issue?

    2020 Hyundai Elantra Limited


    The 2020 Elantra that is scheduled to arrive is the 30/40/34 mpg city/highway/combined rated Limited trim.

    The 2020 Elantra SE is rated at 31/41/35 mpg city/highway. Both trims are up 2 and 3 mpg city/highway from the 2019s - which all but matches the 2017 - 2019 Elantra Eco's 33/40/35 mpg city/highway/combined rating. I still have my doubts that a CVT change will bring the SE/SEL up almost 10 percent and compete with the ECO trim as the HP and torque specs (147 hp and 132 lb-ft. of torque for both MYs) did not change? The Positive Temperature Coefficient Electric Heater on the 2.0L I4s surely did little for this either? The only thing I can think of is that Hyundai somehow kept the Atkinsonized low power lobes to hold all the way through the EPA test cycles while sacrificing some drive ability. The ECOs 1.4L GDI-T was monstrously efficient burying its EPA at will and one of the reasons was it did not let go of that efficient combustion region unless really pushed. At the same time, I would not consider a dry-clutch equipped Eco trim after our 156k mile brutal duty cycle test drive so the CVT could be a great addition to the std. Elantra lineup! Or not??? The SEL or Value Addition equipped trim w/ the new transmission in particular.

    Inside, the larger 8" display is always welcome as is the std. FCA, LKA, and driver attention warning safety features.

    litesong and BillLin like this.
  19. MaxxMPG

    MaxxMPG Hasta Lavista AAA-Vee Von't Be Bach

    The IVT has a gear ratio spread that's the same as the 8 speed they're using in the Sonata/Santa Fe. They won't use the IVT on the larger vehicles because the very nature of the CVT is best suited to lower torque and lighter weight vehicles. There are some big CVT crossovers out there, but you will notice they are the ones that are notorious for near constant transmission failure. The wider ratio spread within a given case size is the advantage of the CVT. But the efficiency they claim goes away as line pressure increases to survive higher input torque. The Hyundai 8 speed in the Sonata is their old 6 speed with one extra clutch pack, so it has all the efficiency advantages designed into the old 6 speed box, but with a little wider ratio spread. It would technically fit into the Elantra, but they chose the IVT to take advantage of the other benefit of CVTs - fewer parts inside the box and so there are cost advantages that are worth chasing.

    Regarding the 2020 Elantra:
    Dyno numbers for the Elantra SE 2.0/IVT (31/41) are 39.9 / 61.9
    Dyno numbers for the Elantra Eco 1.4/DCT (33/41) are 44.0 / 59.7
    So if the steady states match or slightly beat those you recorded for the Eco, you're not going crazy. The highway EPA test numbers tell the story.

    There is a new Elantra coming by next summer. "New" (meaning revised version of current car) platform and "sensuous sportiness" makeover. Here's hoping we get the 1.2L turbo engine they've got in the prototype '21 Elantra they're testing in what looks like Death Valley.
    BillLin, JonNC, litesong and 2 others like this.
  20. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    I was snooping around both the Hyundai and Kia sites trying to find out more on the CVT and guess what, the 2019 Forte was equipped with it! I should not have gone MIA for as long as I did!

    On the engine side, the 2020 Elantra is equipped with a second-generation "Nu" 2.0L I4 that has been heavily atkinsonized on the low power lobes and a cooled EGR system. The engine and in-house-built CVT are the first of the “Smart Stream” powertrains that will make their way into future Hyundai/Kia products.

    One of the main criticisms with CVTs is the rubber-band-like acceleration feel so Hyundai built their CVT with adaptive style shift logic when high power is demanded. A chain-type belt instead of push belt is now part of the hardware, a first in the compact class.

    The CVT has a high to low ratio of 2.680 - 0.385 or equivalent to a 6.96:1 spread in high. The Final is 4.892.

    2020 Hyundai Elantra RPM@60 mph

    SE - 1,519
    SEL/VE - 1,525
    Limited - 1,519

    Comparing the new 2020 Elantra CVT to the 2019 Elantra's 6-speed AT shows a major drop in highway RPMs. And I mean major.

    SE - 1,519 vs 2,213
    SEL/VE - 1,525 vs 1,921
    Limited - 1,519 vs 1,914

    About time and way to go Hyundai!!! ;) Now let us hope the reliability is as good as the 10 year/100k mile warranty attached to it.

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