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Hyundai Elantra Real World MPG 2012

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  • doodlydodoodlydo Posts: 1
    I too have been disappointed in my 2011 Elantra Limited's gas mileage.
    My daily commute is 63 miles one way over a variety of state highways where my speed is generally 60-65PMPH.
    I traded in a 2010 Honda Civic for this car. The Civic was rated at 36 MPG and I was getting 33-34MPG.
    My Elantra has been running in the 32-33MPG range over the same course for over 30K miles. Given the amount of time you spend in the car and the number of times you fill up each week gives you a lot of opportunities to 'sort out' the cars mileage. I tried coasting to stops, driving a little slower, running premium gas, windows up/down, etc. and it didn't really make a difference. Lead footed starts where the biggest killers in mileage.

    Then I started reading these posts and it seemed most complaints were about the Limited model and the mileage kings sounded like they were driving the base models.
    Since I was due for tires, I did some checking on tire sizes and their impact. I was a bit surprized at the speed difference between the low profile 17" tires on the Limited and those on the base model.
    Since I already have 46K miles on the car in 14 months and needed some tires with a higher mileage rating (was tired of buying new tires every 25K miles!), I sprung for new 16" wheels and a tire size in the middle of Elantra's offering. The tires are 80K rated Michelin tires, but I can not attest to their 'rolling resistance', but I here to report my mileage after 6K miles on the new tires is now 2MPG higher. I am now pretty consistently running 34-35MPG.
    I suspect that Hyundai only has one speedometer gear they put in the car and if you go to the physically smaller diameter low profile tire that comes on the Limited model, you will get lower mileage.
    If you want to see how tire size can effect your speed, check out any tire dealer's tire size calculator. The one I use from Discount Tire will tell you how much different your speed will be off from the standard tire.
    Just thought I would share some food for thought.
  • pflyerpflyer Posts: 25
    Well...

    That is true for any new car you buy.

    I usually buy used, but bought the Elantra new.

    I plan to keep it for years. I did pay cash, so no loan for me.

    Yes, the first owner of any financed vehicle is usually upside down for years.
  • I completely agree about the made-up fact. The problem is another made-up fact is that certain cars have problems based on the number of complaints on a forum. Neither population is a representative sample of the entire population.
  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,039
    edited April 2012
    I'm just replying to the thread and not you personally. I actually agree with what you're saying.

    If one read many different brand/model forums here and in other websites you get a general appreciation for "what is going on" with a particular brand/model. The new Elantra has had many complaints about people not being able to achieve the EPA numbers. This was not true of the old model Elantras so it isn't Hyundai or Elantra bashing. These people bought Hyundais and wanted them to be great additions to their family. Hence, the complaints when it didn't live up to their expectations.

    In comparison to other cars, it is apparent that the number of people complaining here is much higher than other brands/models. People state their concerns here in looking for some sort of answer. So what kind of answers do they get?

    Some people honestly try to understanda and help them while many others reply with comments that these people just don't know how to drive or maintain a car.

    Listen, Braniacs. Many of these people had cars that they had no trouble reaching EPA numbers with in the past so it is not the way they drive or maintain their cars! they didn't suddenly become aggressive drivers after buying their new Elantra. Do you realize how insulting it must be for people to read "Well, my car is fine so you are just stupid or lying". People just can't seem to comprehend that some people may have cars that aren't performing correctily. If yours is, that's great and it's fine to say so. But please, in the same breath, don't insinuate that others that aren't getting the right performance don't have a clue. I truly believe that the vast majority of people that take the time to become a member of these forums and figure out how to post have the mental capacity to understand the concept "YMMV" which, for the most part, is determined by how one drives.
  • pflyerpflyer Posts: 25
    Not sure who you are referring to, but I will assume it's me.

    First, never called anyone stupid; don't think anyone on this board is stupid.

    One of the pitfalls of typing verses talking is you do not see the nonverbal communication in the message.

    I am truly sorry for anyone who is dissatified with whatever vehicle they are driving. I have purchased cars before that have been real letdowns. It happens. Thus, my comment about life being short and moving on.

    My point in my entire posting is that the EPA figures are reasonable, at least for comparison with other vehicles. Some were getting better mileage with their older cars. I don't have a reasonable explanation.

    The HOST pointed out an "untrue fact." Hmmm. Have to think about an untrue fact. What I then asked the host was (in her opinion) more people were satisfied with their Elantra mileage than not on this forum. Of course, the answer is most are NOT satisfied, thus my comment about dissatified people participating in this forum.

    My guess is if we took a large sample (several thousand Elantra owners) the percentage of "mileage happy" people verses "mileage unhappy" people would be comparable to most other vehicles.

    It's not personal and I am not gloating in any way. I want to drive cars I enjoy and feel I am getting my money's worth. If that is not the case, I will change my situation.

    All the best.
  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,039
    The HOST pointed out an "untrue fact." Hmmm. Have to think about an untrue fact. What I then asked the host was (in her opinion) more people were satisfied with their Elantra mileage than not on this forum. Of course, the answer is most are NOT satisfied, thus my comment about dissatified people participating in this forum.

    One of my points was exactly that and it seems you missed it. This particular forum about the new Elantra real world mpg has an uncommon amount of complaints in comparison to other brands/models. I don't even own an Elantra but am interested in it and I read many forums about other makes and models mpg results. Normally, you get about the same amount of people getting better or worse. Actually, from reading these forums over the years I would say you get more that "brag" about their new cars MPG rather than bash it. That's why it's a little unusual to see the number of complaints here. Again, in comparison to other brands/models. Take a look at other forums. You will see complaints, but not the steady stream that has happened here since the "40 mpg" Elantra came out.

    And I wasn't aiming my "braniac" comment at any one person. Just a whole bunch of people that say the same thing over and over without a clue as to whether the person they are "advising" may actually have a better handle on vehicle maint and driving techniques than they do or not.

    The host may be have been referring to your "fact" about most people come to forums to complain. She reads more posts that most posters so I think she probably has a pretty good handle on it. You were stating it as a fact and she was simply rebutting it. I personally think most people post to either learn something or share something rather than to complain.
  • pflyerpflyer Posts: 25
    Didn't miss your point.

    Think you are missing mine, but don't care.

    I'm done. Wish all the best with their cars.
  • dc_driverdc_driver Posts: 712
    I think the general consensus in this thread is that it has been proven that the Hyundai Elantra can achieve the EPA numbers. An independent third party (Popular Mechanics) confirmed this, as well as many other owners. This is not the Civic Hybrid issue. But I agree with Backy, if you are getting significantly less that the EPA numbers and have accounted for things like driving habits, weather, gas quality, etc, you should take your car to the dealer after you hit th break in period and not let up on them.
  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,039
    An independent third party (Popular Mechanics) confirmed this

    Yes, I know and there has been several other third party testers that did not achieve it, Consumer Reports among them. I've never said that the Elantra, if there are no problems, cannot hit the numbers. What I am saying is that when so many people can't come close to the numbers when they have done it easily with past vehicles, it indicates a problem with quite a number of them. Ergo the complaints.

    And what you and Backy suggest is exactly what I would suggest, that it be checked out by the dealer until it is fixed. However, it seems that a lot of people get lip service from their dealers similar to the lip service they get from a lot of "helpful" posters within these forums.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,769
    So CR hit 39 mpg highway on their test Elantra - 1 mpg under the EPA average. City was only 20 mpg but better than other high-mpg compacts such as Civic and Focus. Automobile Magazine exceeded the EPA average in their tester. We heard about Popular Mechanics already. C/D and MT didn't hit the EPA average in their Elantras but they flog every car they test.

    I have a strong suspicion that the Elantra demands driving the car differently than other, lower-mpg cars in order to achieve its EPA rating. Differently than many folks are used to. Torque has been mentioned. It's not a high-torque engine. Likely demands a light foot on the gas... again something not everyone is adept at, or simply not willing to do (see comments re "granny" driving). It's easy getting 29 mpg highway on a 2006 Elantra... its EPA rating. 40 mpg is much harder for a car to achieve. If it were easy, we'd see lots of 40 mpg cars compact or larger. How many are there, non-hybrid, non-diesel? Not many.

    It's very possible some Elantras with disappointing FE numbers have some kind of mechanical or digital problem. I suspect most do not. Still worth checking out if one has tried everything else to maximize fuel economy over time.
  • dc_driverdc_driver Posts: 712
    edited April 2012
    I think the issue is the posted 29 city and 40 highway EPA numbers. These numbers are not guaranteed and people are fixated with them. I used to see the same complaints in the Mazda 3 threads and forums I participated in when people could not hit the EPA numbers. Just looking at the Elantra window sticker on Google, Hyundai clearly states that in city driving the expected range is 24mpg to 34mpg, while highway is 33mpg to 47mpg. Based on the complaints I have seen on this forum, most people seem to be within the range Hyundai stated.

    One thing I can tell you since moving to Minnesota. My Mazda 3 and Honda Odyssey saw a solid 3-5mpg drop in average fuel economy. Cold weather and shorter trips, more stops, more idiling to warm up the car, etc are to blame. I could get mad since neither vehicle are close to EPA numbers anymore, but I know why. And applying just some of the basic hypermiling techniques yields an instant gain. Problem is, I enjoy driving too much to use these techniques all the time.
  • dc_driverdc_driver Posts: 712
    edited April 2012
    It looks like highway miles across all the major brands including Honda (Civic), Mazda (3 w/Skyactiv), Ford Focus, Hyundai Elantra, etc in the CR test all do well with highway but struggle with hitting EPA numbers for city driving. Highway they seem to meet or exceed. It could be the way CR drives these cars it the city, but I think this highlights the issue I mention above. People are focused on getting the EPA averages and are not able to achieve it. None of the cars CR tested could hit their stated number for city. The bottomline if you don't do a lot of highway driving, you may have a hard time hitting the EPA numbers for any car in the Elantra class unless you have idea driving conditions for city driving. I have tried the hypermiling techniques and it is not hard to exceeded the EPA numbers, even for city driving, but I cannot imagine driving like this all the time....
  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,039
    edited April 2012
    It may be a matter of "you have to drive this car differently" and that may be why so many people that hit the EPA numbers easily with prior cars driving somewhat conservatively aren't hitting the numbers with their new Elantra driving the same way. If they have to drive very conservatively to get the numbers on the Elantra that may be the rub possibly. There may also be a few that aren't running properly to account for the large number of complaints.

    I guess there is no real answer to this...at least from information that can be gathered in a forum such as we have here. I've been reading a lot about the new Mazda CX-5 and visiting specific forums about that car. It seems on the MPG issue(which is why most people are looking at this vehicle it seems) the reports are about 3 to 1 in favor of achieving the stated EPA numbers. Obviously, you have to take any report from new owners with a grain of salt but there is not anywhere near the percentage of dissatisfied owners.
  • crankeeecrankeee Posts: 297
    edited April 2012
    dc: Good point that you can not "hypermile" all the time. We traded in an older car that got 18/28 for a 2012 Sonata that returns 24/36 on the same type trips. 25-33% increase in MPG was exactly what we looked for since we bought based upon the EPA estimates. The fuel savings helps pay for the car that also has a great warranty - so no repair bills for some time. All in all, we got what we paid for - great car so far so good experience. Hypermiling is fun to see what you can get but life is too short for that game all the time. Enjoy the new car.
  • dc_driverdc_driver Posts: 712
    I actually took the Sonata Turbo back and exchanged it for a Hyundai Genesis Coupe :) I will say this, that Sonata gets amazing gas mileage in turbo form. On the first tank of gas I was easily getting the EPA rated city and highway numbers if I drove it conservatively. I am having too much fun with the Genesis Coupe to hit the EPA numbers but I suspect it wont be hard if I tried with a manual 6 speed.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,769
    I think it's really hard to drive for maximum FE all the time. I do the best I can but if I don't consciously use a light foot, I see FE drop way off especially in the city.

    I did a lot of driving in Irving, TX last summer in various rental cars--Sonatas, Jettas, Fusions, Sentras, Cruzes etc. I never got better than 20-22 mpg on any of them for a week of driving. Very hot weather, short trips, lots of stops at lights, and not driving with a mindset of best possible FE. But when I did take them out on the highway and checked FE there, I saw mid-30s even on the mid-sizers. It appears the "city" portion of the EPA cycle is not "city" driving for many people.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,914
    the point I was disputing was the EXACT statement made, not what one might infer from the statement from words that aren't there. The statement was:
    Satisfied people rarely participate on these internet boards

    which is incorrect. In this particular discussion, there are more members complaining rather than expressing satisfaction. Across all of "these internet boards" here on Edmunds, there are probably more satisfied people, onlookers, information gatherers, etc., than dissatisfied people. In fact, in our discussions here about the Elantra, most people like their vehicle.

    We see a lot of members in other Elantra-specific, and non-Elantra specific discussions who are considering buying, or in the process of buying, an Elantra, which wouldn't likely be the case if there were mostly posts from dissatisfied Elantra consumers in our forums.

    Apart from the gas mileage complaints (and who knows what may be causing that issue), it gets great ratings from owners in our reviews section too:
    http://www.edmunds.com/hyundai/elantra/2012/consumer-reviews.html?sub=sedan

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  • dc_driverdc_driver Posts: 712
    edited April 2012
    I also think some cars are more forgiving than others. Probably comes down to the gearing for the transmissions and how the car shifts.

    Another poster was mentioning that the larger tires on the Elantra Limited appear to have a factor and switching to smaller wheels and tires resulted in a 3-4mpg increase.

    I do think that some car companies and dealers need to be a little more forthcoming with these city ratings for mpg. While the EPA ratings may be achievable, as the CR test points out, it will not really be seen by most people in normal driving. I am guilty of having a lead foot sometimes. I know it kills my city mpg, especially in the dead of winter in a short trip. My 2006 Mazda 3i Touring model would regularly get 17-19mpg on many of these types of trips, even though the car was rated at 24mpg city. Our Honda Odyssey was no better. It is rated at 17mpg city and we would be hard pressed to get better than 12-14 in the dead of winter in Minneapolis for city driving.
  • crankeeecrankeee Posts: 297
    Kirstie: I agree that people are quick to complain when their expectations are not met. Car buying is a subject to many variables that far exceed the capabilities of any model. The Edmunds boards are a great resource to flesh out common problems that really do occur with a particular model. We try to dismiss the indivicual complaints or the posters with an obvious agenda. We had one on the buick Lacroose board that was so negative that the other members started policeing his comments.
    We also used the Edmunds boards to guide our purchasing timing and decision overall. saved us some money and we ended up with overall very good models initially.
    Thanks for the service!
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,914
    I am quite familiar with that poster - he obviously got a lemon, or is just picked the wrong vehicle for his needs. I think most people are savvy enough to pick out those complaints from the other pros & cons posted.

    If you look at the consumer reviews link I posted for the 2012 Elantra, you see plenty of MPG complaints - yet, most of those consumers still rate their vehicles 4 -5 stars. I think that system lends itself to more overall quality evaluations, since you're required to rate individual aspects of the car separately (quality, value, fun-to-drive, etc.)

    Glad you found, and hopefully continue to find, Edmunds' services useful!

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  • walt750walt750 Posts: 2
    My Last car: 07 Toyota Corolla - Rated at 36 and with not even thinking about it got an average of 34 mpg at the pump. I liked it very much for that reason. It didn't have all the fancy new equipment. It was a work car after all. The 2012 Elantra is a step up in a "work car". More than I really pictured or needed for my commute. But I still bought it for the rated mileage. It had the looks and the EPA rating. So after the first few weeks, I was disappointed ... getting 28-32 mpg was shortening my time between the pumps (Not a good thing) The Corolla was 1 once every work week fill up... the Elantra ... every 4 days. Ok, so today ... something different. I hit 40+ on the built in MPG monitor on the way home. Hopefully a glimpse of good things to come. It made me feel better about my car. I even posted a video of the event.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rZ05rl8jjpc
    ">link title
  • dodgeman07dodgeman07 Posts: 574
    Your statement was, "Satisfied people rarely participate on these internet boards..."

    Which is ridiculous. Several other members have posted that they can achieve the EPA ratings in a new Elantra.
  • I hated the 2012 Elantra I used to have (originally got it because I was told how wonderful it was by lots of family friends that owned them, come to find now that none of them come close to 40mpg either). Driving 70mph in the flats of California's central valley never got me more than 33mpg. Normally I averaged 32.5mpg per tank with mostly highway driving. A month ago I sold the Elantra and bought myself a 2012 Mazda 3 Skyactiv. On the same Bay Area to Sacramento drive I get 42-43mpg in the Mazda driving the exact same way I used to in the Elantra, and per tank have been averaging 38mpg. My relatives (who bought the Elantra from me) recently took it from the Bay Area to San Diego. They told me the best mileage they ever got was 32.5mpg. Overall the Mazda is a much superior car. The only areas the Elantra is better in are more rear knee-room (although less leg extension room), more trunk room, and slightly grabbier brakes. The interior of the Elantra feels cheaper and dysfunctional compared to that of the Mazda, but does have more storage. One thing that also really disappointed me with the Elantra were the dim headlights and high-beams that were focused too much in the centerline of the car, which made them useless around turns as you had no light on your peripheries.

    The only 2012 Elantra owner I've talked to in person that ever achieved 40mpg was going 50mph on I5... Any faster and he said his mpg dropped off quickly.
  • I purchase my 2012 Elantra Limited earlier this year because of the 40 MPG highway rating. this car replaced a VW Jetta TDI which I loved and got the 44 mpg it was rated at. I try to do my homework before I purchase. With that said Hyandia saw me comming. The car is not what I expected but the worst of the problem is the mpg. Based upon the mpg I got with my last two cars I expected to get close to the hwy MPG on the sticker. I don't even get close. I average 29 mpg highway. If I drive in th city it is much worse. I have a 2008 2500 dodge Ram diesel that gets 20 mpg hwy. I thought there was something wrong because the car just doesn't seem to have the power it should down shifting at the slightest incline and it seem to have dead spots. But after taking it back to the dealer they informed me that there was nothing wrong with the car and that no one is getting the 40 mpg listed. My next step was to right th EPA to try and understand the process of how the mpg is calculated. They informed me that there is a formula that each manufacturer is required to follow but it is not strickly monitored.
    After 21k miles on this car I am looking to get out of it. Any other suggestions besides Hyandia?
  • walt750walt750 Posts: 2
    What is wrong with the Jetta today? I too looked at the Jetta .. perhaps not hard enough.

    I have always liked toyota. But the mileage numbers have not changed (actually have gone down) in the recent years.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,914
    If you recently bought a Hyundai or Kia, a reporter would like to learn what you cross-shopped. Please email PR@edmunds.com no later than Friday, April 27, 2012 with details and your daytime contact information.

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  • I recently took a loss to get out of a new Elantra Limited. I can tell you for sure that if you purchase this car based on 40mpg highway you will be dissapointed. I have owned over 10 cars and always got what EPA said or better. On the Highway I could only get 33.1 with over 1000 miles driven on this car. Suspension is bouncey, Steering is always wandering and needs small corrections constantly on long trips this actually becomes annoying. Engineering is weak on this car. I went out and purchased a Jetta GLI with 2.0 Turbo with 200hp and right of the bat I recieved 35 mpg highway and I was passing cars that were going slow, Something I didnt dare try to do with the Elantra with the lack of power on a two lane highway, and if I did I blew any chance of getting even 32 mpg on the highway. I am an exprianced driver and I can tell you unless you have the most ideal conditions you will never average 40 mpg Highway. And dont be fooled by people using the computer results when they get on a smooth part of the highway and set there cruise at 55 mph and then reset the calculating computer. That is not real gas mileage. I feel I was swindled by this car and the gas mileage and it cost me a pretty penny to get out of it. But I am happy now not driving it. I couldnt get out of it fast enough!
  • fushigifushigi Posts: 1,248
    Please understand that your experience doesn't reflect that of others. My wife hit - and sustained - 40 in her Limited a couple of weeks ago under less-than-ideal circumstances: 71MPH, AC on, and E10 gas. Granted, the 40 is based on what the computer said but even accounting for it reading a couple of MPG high, if we'd turned off the AC & slowed down a little it would have been higher.

    The suspension is firm. I suppose one might call it bouncy, but we far prefer firm to floaty. Her car's steering is dead-on. No wandering at all. Are your roads grooved by any chance?

    Sounds like you're something of a power junkie so the Elantra probably wouldn't have been a good fit for you in the long run.

    I hope you enjoy your Jetta. I see a base GLI costs about as much as a fully loaded Elantra Limited and about $7,000 more than a base Elantra. Comparably equipped/loaded the GLI w/nav is about $4500 more than an Elantra Limited w/Tech. So while the MPG you achieve may be marginally better, you won't make up the difference in purchase price. But as long as you enjoy the ride, paying a little more for the pleasure can certainly be worthwhile.
  • If you are using the computer you are not getting the real results. I have been driving for 30 years and have owned nearly every brand of car that is of the usual consumer, foriegn or domestic. IF you ever owned a german car and understood the quality and feel of a precisely engineered vehicle you might understand more of what the Elantra lacks? I do hope you are getting the MPG that the computer is telling you, but unless you take it the old fashioned way buy taking the gallons used into your mileage you will never truly know? I seen a big difference in the two on the highway. Again if you wait until you get on the highway at speed and reset you surely will see positive results that will slowly drop over time, but that is just not what you are really getting for MPG. I am glad however you enjoy your car. There are many more people on here have an issue with trying to get 40 mpg, and then it also could be some cars in the production do and others dont? But again that would point to a lack of engineering perfection.
  • crankeeecrankeee Posts: 297
    edited April 2012
    Max: agree with your comment on the computer MPG. Felt compelled to reply to your comment on German vs. other imports. I have driven for over 50 years and have to say that some of the best cars we had were Japanese in terms of value, durability, reliabilty and ergonomics. Comparing the Elantra to a comparable price German car would be tough since that would be an Opel, Voklswagen or whatever they sell for $20,000. Consumer mags have been pretty tough on the big name German cars we all know. VERY expensive to buy, drive and maintain and poor overall grades for quality - esp. long term with VERY high maintenance costs for the A's, B's and M's of the world. Guess if you pay $40-$80,000 for a car you don't care since you get free maintenance for 3 years at that price. The current Korean cars are getting pretty good consumer's comments and for the price are often deemed value vehicles - that term applies to few German made "upscale" machines.
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