Several years ago Hyundai announced its plan to be the most fuel-efficient automaker in the U.S. The news was met with much skepticism. But not that long afterward and an impressive new lineup of award-winning vehicles and the Korean automaker has already met its goal and is well on the way to achieving the 2016 Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standard of 35.5 mpg early.
The news comes as the EPA releases its Light-Duty Automotive Technology and Fuel Economy Trends Report for 2009, which rates Hyundai first at an average of 30.1 mpg. This also makes Hyundai the only automaker with an average of 30 mpg or higher. In second place is Honda at 29.7 mpg, third belongs to Volkswagen at 29.6 mpg, Toyota is fourth at 29.4 mpg and Kia (also owned by Hyundai) is fifth at 28.0 mpg.
Possibly even more impressive is that Hyundai has done all this without having a single diesel or hybrid in its lineup. Hyundai does, however, plan to introduce its first hybrid based on the all-new 2011 Sonata, next year. New turbochared engines and direct-injection engines are also planned.
"Our thoughtful application of cost-effective, fuel-efficient technologies has helped us achieve our goal of leading the industry in fuel economy ahead of schedule," said Hyundai Motor America CEO John Krafcik. "Now we hope to extend that leadership with the launch of our new direct injection, turbocharging and lithium-polymer hybrid technologies, all of which will be a part of the 2011 Sonata lineup launching early next year."
More: Report: Hyundai Most Fuel Efficient Automaker in the U.S. on AutoGuide.com