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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: 2,952
    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: 2,952
    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: 2,952
    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: 18,682
    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: 2,952
    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: 18,682
    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: 10,824
    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: 10,824
    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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