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Same performance from a smaller engine

I hve a 2017 VW Golf Sportwagen with a 1.8 liter engine and 6 speed transmission that gets 34 mpg (highway). The identical 2019 model has a 1/4 liter engine and 8 speed transmission that gets 37 mpg. How do they get the same performance with better mileage from the smaller engine.

Eight speed transmission allows the engine to operate in the “sweet zone” for performance testing. The 1.4 L engine allows for higher MPG when driven for economy.


@Purebred is spot on.