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Hyundai Elantra Real World MPG 2012

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  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,631
    I would say all things were NOT equal... even though it might have seemed like it to you. Think about all the variables: was temperature exactly the same? Speed? Stops/use of brake? Wind?

    If the new gas was 100% gas vs. E10, that could explain part of it. As could the additional miles on the engine.

    But at least it looks like there's nothing wrong with your car!
  • eweinereweiner Posts: 36
    edited February 2012
    To address some comments above....I did buy the car on the promise of high MPG. Anyone who says that MPG was not a factor is not being honest.

    Here are some of my observations.

    Yesterday I believe I finally figured out why I am not seeing the MPG ratings I expected on my 2012 Hyundai Elantra. Some of you will probably say that you’ve known this all along while others will imply that I must be stupid for not figuring it out sooner.

    All I can say is that I have not seen a post that clarified things for me in this manner. Also, I am slow sometimes so bear with me.

    I left the office yesterday afternoon at about 3PM. It was sunny and 53. Just as I got on the highway I reset the MPG and drove the 23 mile Inter-county Connector home. My home is just off the ICC, one mile and 2 lights.

    While on the ICC I put the cruise control on and set it for 59. Low and behold, I finally saw that elusive 40ish MPG. It ranged from 38.7 to 40.2 and rose and fell with the ups and downs of the highway ( it’s not a level drive at times ).

    As soon as I got off the ICC, on that final 1 mile to my house, the MPG immediately fell and by the time I parked I was in the 36 range.

    The following morning (very early) I reversed the trip. It was 35 degrees outside. By the time I reached the ICC (again only a mile away) my MPG was 34.6. I set my cruise control to 59 and on this 23 mile drive reached a 35.1 MPG.

    After thinking about these results I have concluded the following:

    1. 40 MPG is possible in fact you’re likely getting it on your highway drives. Unfortunately, it is being obscured by the absolutely horrible city/local MPG

    2. The city/local MPG is likely WAY under the conservative 29 estimate and could be as low as 18 to 20 MPG. That’s right a tiny car like this may only be getting 18 to 20 in the city…how is that possible?

    3. Every organization that is testing the car, as well as many posters here, is focused on the wrong MPG rating. It’s the city/local driving MPG that is causing your overall MPG to look so bad. There is also to much focus on point in time trips instead of everyday commutes

    4. It does not take much city/local driving to completely trash your overall MPG. Just look at the impact from that 1 mile drive from the ICC to my home. Or look at the impact from minor hills on the ICC (a brand new and relatively flat highway)

    5. The colder the weather the worse the MPG seems to be. Why didn’t my MPG recover to 40ish the following morning? Clearly there was more highway MPG to offset the city/local MPG, right? I conclude that the highway and city/local MPGs must be lower when it’s cold. Perhaps significantly

    6. The car appears to have no intelligence when it comes to creating or maintaining MPG. If it did, I believe I would not see such a dramatic fluctuations from hills or from one mile of local driving

    7. The ECO mode should do a better job of offsetting the “Lead” foot syndrome. Does not take much of a press of the pedal to achieve a big reaction in RPM

    Now this is by no means a scientific test but it does help me to rationalize my results. At this point I guess have to accept that my average MPG will not be as high as expected for my driving situation. I do, however, remain hopeful that MPG will improve as we move into the warmer sprint/summer/fall.

    I also hope this information forces the conversation to focus more city/local MPG and why is it so bad for a tiny lightweight car.

    I will always feel that Hyundai, and other companies are using puffery and misinformation to mislead consumers by emphasizing unrealistic MPG ratings that are not consistently achievable by most drivers unless they are at the 100% highway level.
  • I agree 100%.....the best I've gotten so far is 25.5 MPG, thats combined city and highway, it's ridiculous, I did the same exact driving with a 2009 Corolla and got an average of 28 sometimes 30. Plus after driving this car for almost 2 months, I find the ride isn't that great. A lot of road noise, poor handling, weak suspension. There's no comparison to the Corolla. Hyundai does a good job with styling and all the the little extras but it doesn't do what it's supposed to. I bought this car for one reason and that is gas mileage. There's alot of better cars I could have bought and gotten this gas mileage. Maybe we should start a class action action suit.
  • knocker81knocker81 Posts: 40
    edited February 2012
    I don't know what the computer has to do with gas mileage. Whether the computer is correct or not the gas mileage is still the same. The only way to check gas mileage is fill your tank, drive, record your mileage, fill again, then divide miles by gallons. Bottom line the car gets terrible gas mileage.
  • We don't permit using the forums to organize legal action, but that aside, what would a suit entail? In order to prevail, the class would have to demonstrate that Hyundai knowingly & deliberately deceived consumers and somehow "rigged" a vehicle sent to the EPA for testing to achieve a higher MPG rating than is reasonably possible to achieve. Hyundai didn't create the EPA MPG numbers - that's what every manufacturer puts on the sticker. Some consumers are getting within range of the EPA estimates, so obviously it's not impossible. I don't think you'd find a lawyer in the land to take such a case, as it's nearly impossible to prove.

    Plus, as a consumer, if the suit were settled in the consumers' favor, you'd be looking at something like $200 three years from now, or a $500 coupon off the purchase of your next Hyundai. That's how these things tend to go.

    Need help navigating? kirstie_h@edmunds.com - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

  • crankeeecrankeee Posts: 297
    edited February 2012
    totally agree with your comments. We have a 4000 lb 2010 Buick and the 3200 lb 2012 Sonata. City mileage very close on both cars since we have the same terrain with both cars. 20-22 on Buick and 20-24 on Sonata. The variation depends on amount of stop and go not speed.
    The big difference is the highway MPG. Speed also is the biggest factor on the highway but the Buick is 28-29 and the Sonata is 35-38 totally dependent upon speed if no big hills. The 20% difference is totally driven by weight & speed IMO.
    So we agree with your conclusion. The EPA #'s must be some freeway or not stop and go that affects all cars except the hybrids that are also lower weight across the board.
    Changing your driving route to include more freeway (if available to you)will do more to increase mileage. The averages posted are driven by the specific conditions mainly in city driving that affects the actual versus EPA.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,631
    Two key points here:

    4. It does not take much city/local driving to completely trash your overall MPG.
    5. The colder the weather the worse the MPG seems to be.


    And yes, these points have been brought up here before. :)

    I get to experience these first-hand all the time, because I live where it can be 50 one day and below zero a couple of days later. FE does really suffer in cold weather. Also, it's real easy for city driving to ruin FE. It's possible to adjust for it to some extent, but it takes some attention. The keys are to keep your foot off the accelerator as much as possible by anticipating stops and coasting (in gear) as much as possible, e.g. on downgrades. Also shut off the engine if you'll be stopped for more than a couple of minutes, e.g. waiting for someone. Using basic techniques like that I routinely get 25%+ better FE on my wife's Hyundai than she does. (She doesn't use ANY fuel-saving techniques.)

    But if you have to make lots of stops and are stuck in heavy traffic (meaning a low average speed) a lot of the time... your mpg will suck with a non-hybrid. Weight has little to do with it. The mpg of any car when it's stopped is zero.
  • I also totally agree. i have 8700miles on my 2012 and continue to get 20-22mpg in all city driving, so much for the dealer statements that the mileage will get better as the mileage increases. I have owned 2003 and 2004 Elantras and got about the same. The all highway drives with cruise on can get 35-40mpg,but the average will quickly fall with stop and go city driving. I have been using the Eco mode all the time and decided to turn it off to see any changes. I have found that the city mpg has increased a few mpg 2-3 but i attribute this to my wife and her heavy foot. There is a marked difference in accerlation when it is off. I believe that when she drives she does not have to press down on the gas petal as hard thus the better mileage. Again how you drive does make a difference. I could not agree more with you as to the horrible suspension this car has. Here in New York City the pothole capital of the world, my teeth can rattle from the way this car handles any imperfection in the roads. There are times that i wonder if there are any shocks in this car. I have read that Hyundai improved the suspension on the 2012 after there where complaints on the 2011. They could not have done much. For those that drive in other states where the highways and roads are well maintained they may never notice this fault. Take this car to some poor maintained roads and see what i am talking about. This car has some serous cab rock and roll on those kind of roads.
  • AS I understand it Hyundai did not send the Elantra to the EPA for testing. They tested it themselves and sent the results to the EPA.

    There is a recent court case by a women who took Honda to small claims court over exaggerated MPG claims. She won nearly 10K in damages.
  • Well, see... that's part of my point. If you look at the class action proposed settlement, it's almost nothing. You're almost always better off pursuing some sort of remedy on your own, whether legal or by working with dealerships/manufacturers.

    I believe the basis of her win was tied to her ability to prove, via documentation, that mileage decreased following the software update provided by Honda (which is what's happening with these vehicles). She may have "won," technically, but she won't get anything yet. The case was immediately appealed. It is widely believed that anything tied to "false advertising" won't be upheld, though the post-software update reduction in MPG probably will.

    Don't get me wrong - I am not disputing anyone's claim that they're not getting expected MPGs, and I don't ride with anyone so I can't say whether it's a vehicle issue or a driving issue. Some people have reported getting close to the EPA numbers, others haven't. I can't tell you why that is.

    Need help navigating? kirstie_h@edmunds.com - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

  • g2iowag2iowa Posts: 123
    Good post. Since people have such high expectations regarding their FE, it is often hard to tell if people have legitimate complaints or not. Thus it is critical that details be provided when discussing real world FE. Critical facts like how long have you owned the car, its mileage, type of driving done, real speeds driven, real amount of stop-and-go traffic driven, type fuel used, whether you are really trying to eco-mile (higher tire pressures, coasting to stoplights, etc.), etc. Seems like there are some posting here who expect to get 40 mpg driving 75 mph or higher on freeway; that ain't gonna happen! Or who expect 29 mpg driving in heavy city traffic with lots of stop lights/signs; that ain't gonna happen. Or those who have a lead foot and want to accelerate quickly all the time. People have to be realistic about what their car can do FE-wise, esp. in winter and with ethanol. And be honest about how they are driving (e.g., avg mph).
  • Ahhh, back from Chicago again tonight and it feels good to be home. You might think this should be posted in the Toyota Camry threads so bear with me.

    My last trip to Chicago (from Dubuque, Iowa) in January was in a Hyundai Elantra GLS (6-sp auto) and I averaged just under 35 mpg for the trip. 380 miles total which were mixed at about 90% Hwy and 10% City driving. I averaged around 68 mph on the Hwy.

    This trip was on the same route with a bit less city driving in a Toyota Camry LE (6-sp auto) and I totaled 360 miles. My driving style was very similar. Both cars were full of fuel (within 1/2 gallon or so) at pick-up. Upon returning to the Dubuque area, I was running on fumes in the Elantra last month but the Camry had 1/4 tank left!

    I'm sitting there thinking how great the Camry mileage was right? Well the Camry has an 18.5 gallon fuel tank and an EPA Hwy Rating of 32mpg. I burned about 13 gallons going 360 miles so: my estimated mileage was 27.7mpg! I burned about 11 gallons out of the Elantra's 12.8 gallon tank for 34.5 mpg. What a difference perception makes!

    Maybe if the Elantra had a 20 gallon tank we wouldn't have so many complaints! ;) But seriously folks, look at the percentage under EPA Hwy mileage I got in both vehicles. Even I'm surprised....

    I'll report back after my March trip. :)
  • Here is what I got on many tests on the highway for 2012 Elantra Auto: 60MPH = 40MPG; 65MPH=38MPG; 70MPH=35MPG; 75MPH=32MPG. Speed kills the FE.
  • fushigifushigi Posts: 1,218
    yennhi2, I can easily believe your numbers. In December my wife's Elantra got about 34 MPG on a 100 mile trip that included about 7 miles of suburban driving with the rest being highway. The highway driving was generally at 70-75MPH. And it was using winter-blend gas with 10% ethanol.

    I've little doubt that if we were to knock 5 MPH off our speed we'd get better economy.
  • The point to this whole dscussion is really about the city driving....when Hyundai claims 29 mpg city it should be close. I drive a approximately 50/50 city and highway. I should at least get the 29, not 25. All this talk about gas type, winter driving, time of day...maybe we should see if the grounhog will pop his head out early, maybe that will improve gas mileage. I'm starting to think I made a mistake with this car. Like I said in an earlier post I was driving a 2009 Corolla under the same conditions and getting 28-30. The ratings for Corolla are 27/35. The sole reason I bought this car was for gas mileage, and the more I drive it I'm realizing it's not for the ride.
    My point about the class action suit isn't really about the money...it's about exposing the scam that Hyundai is running, first with the limited production of this car, where they don't seem to have any in stock, driving up the price where people are actually paying sticker or more. I feel like I've been had...only 34 mths left on the lease.
  • For the city FE, I really like it. The distance from my house to school is about 16 miles and it takes 35 minutes to ge there, it had about 25 traffic lights and 3 stop signs, my speed is about 40 to 45 MPH , the display show average speed is 25 to 26, no AC use, no highway/interstate. I always got 30 to 31 MPG at the Pump. For the same route with my 2009 Civic auto, I only got 28MPG. I am happy with the elantra city MPG, but not with the highway MPG. The speed for all the highway/interstate here is 70 MPH, with that speed the Elantra only got 35 MPG, but the Civic got 38 MPG.
  • If you're getting 30/31 then there's something wrong with mine.
  • pflyerpflyer Posts: 25
    Hi everyone.

    I am the Cruise Control proponent person and thought I would update my latest tank.

    Miles: 248.3
    Computer MPG: 35.7
    Gas added: 7.8
    Average MPH on Computer: 33 mph

    I filled the tank up until I could not cram anymore gas in. I don't think I filled it up as much last tank, but it's always hard to tell. I have found my computer mileage is about 2-3 mpg too high.

    I probably added about half a gallon after the pump clicked off; also, I filled it up EXTREMELY slowly so as to get all the gas in I could.

    I estimated about 50/50 city/highway and with an average speed of 33 mph, I would say that is about right on the guess.

    So... I came up with just short of 32 mpg, but once again, it all depends on how much "cramming" I do from tank to tank.

    Needless to say I am very happy with the mileage. Cruise Control seems to make about 1-2 mpg difference. I have gotten 43 before on the HWY at 65 mph over almost 60 miles of travel.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,631
    Suggestion: rather than trying to overfill the tank, set the pump to its lowest flow (near end of pumping) and pump until it clicks off. Also try to use the same station and pump as much as possible, although that may not be practical most of the time.
  • pflyerpflyer Posts: 25
    I don't really care about getting the mpg calculation to the nats rear end.

    I am quite happy with my mileage and trying to inform others that the mileage numbers listed on the Monroney is not only realistic, but also attainable.

    If I really, really tried, I think I could beat the highway mileage easily; I just don't want to get run over by trucks, so I cruise at 65 in the right lane.

    Best wishes and I hope those with serious mileage concerns get the paperwork started with the dealer. Lemon Laws are very powerful in most states, but you must get started early and be persistent.
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