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Hyundai Elantra Real World MPG 2012



  • maxx4memaxx4me Posts: 1,341
    edited April 2012
    I had the Elantra (new model sedan) in Missouri as a rental and drove around the cornfields like a madman. I actually thought I would leave the road a couple of times I was having so much fun cornering in the car. I think it is a great car with only one observed complaint: the steering is too sensitive, in that you can find yourself in the other lane of highway traffic before you know it. That is not good for a young driver, nor a sleepy driver. There simply was no margin for error. As for the gas mileage, I think the complaints by those owners who are not achieving optimal MPGs is quite valid actually. EPA estimates have been lowered over the years, not raised; meaning the numbers of late have been artificially low with most owners actually beating the estimates these days. That lowering was in response to the much over inflated estimates a decade or so ago. So I don't care if it is the Elantra, or any other car for that matter. Nearly everyone on the road these days matches or betters the EPA estimates on their vehicles. If people are way below the 40 highway estimate, then Hyundai/Kia needs to drop their add campaign. There is too much smoke in this Elantra debate for there not to be some fire. Even though the 40 is more likely coming from the EPA and not Hyundai corporate, perhaps someone at the EPA can take another look at the numbers. I doubt Hyundai will; they are making a killing on the current add campaign.
  • m6userm6user Posts: 2,898
    So you can't completely blame the car or nobody would be able to achieve the EPA numbers. Just odd.

    You're basing your statement on the premise that all Elantras coming off the line are exactly the same and that there is no possibility of some production error. I agree that in most cases they should be the same but there seems to be a disconnect here.
  • m6userm6user Posts: 2,898
    I here ya but that is what you inferred in your post even if you didn't mean to. Still, when driving even 90% hwy the 10% city could throw it off a lot. And sometimes that 10% could be more like 15% without realizing it. I've never been able to keep track of my actual percentages that well and often just throw out a WAG. I'm just saying that if you're averaging 34+ mpg on a car that is rated at 33 combined, it's not bad even if you do predominately freeway driving. Keep in mind that freeway driving at 75mph with possibly a loaded car and some winds is not what the EPA had in mind when they issued that hwy rating.
  • dc_driverdc_driver Posts: 712
    I agree that there should be an investigation. Popular Mechanics did investigate and guess what? They hit the EPA numbers. So I don't know. Perhaps Edmunds can look into it.

    But I think you can search the internet for just about any car and find people that:
    - Get below the EPA estimates
    - Get above the EPA estimates
    - Are right at the EPA estimates

    I found this to be the case with every car I have ever bought in the last 10+ years. Mazda 3? Lots of people complained about not getting the EPA gas estimates on the Mazda 3 forums I frequent. I could point out a number of threads on the Mazda forums where people were upset with their gas mileage. And then there are folks who chime in and get better than the EPA numbers.. I rarely hit the EPA numbers for my Mazda 3 or Honda Odyssey. But I know why.. I would not say I have a lead foot, but I don't have a light foot either..
  • m6userm6user Posts: 2,898
    Popular Mechanics did investigate and guess what? They hit the EPA numbers.

    I really wouldn't call it an investigation. They tested one car in very favorable conditions and it hit the numbers. CR did the same thing and it didn't quite hit the number while most of the other high mpg cars did and even surpassed them in most cases. I think that is part of the problem. The vast majority seem to be doing well but there seems to be a large number that aren't.

    I also see other forums with complaints about mpg re other cars. However, the sheer number of complaints about the mpg with this car has drawn a lot of attention with consumer's groups and the press. Never saw that with the Mazda3 so I assume the numbers were pretty small on the grand scheme of things.
  • dc_driverdc_driver Posts: 712
    Automobile Magazine did a shootout between the 2011 Elantra and 2012 Ford Focus, here is what they found:
    "Hyundai is also the more earnest in following through on its fuel-efficiency claims. Both Ford and Hyundai are heavily touting their small cars' ability to achieve 40 mpg on the highway, but the Focus only does so when equipped with a dual-clutch automatic transmission and a special fuel economy package. Our test car, equipped with a five-speed manual -- no six-speed is offered -- is rated at a still impressive, but less sensational, 26/36-mpg city/highway. The Elantra, on the other hand, is rated at 29/40 mpg regardless of trim level and with either the six-speed automatic that was in our test car or the standard six-speed manual. Over the course of our three days of mixed city and highway driving (including the round trip to D.C. from Ann Arbor, MI), we observed an indicated 36 mpg in the Elantra, versus 33 mpg in the Focus."

    Read more: rd_focus_comparison/viewall.html#ixzz1tYrDXKeY

    With mixed driving they hit 36mpg on a 2011 with a six speed automatic.
  • crankeeecrankeee Posts: 297
    "Mixed" driving is the key. I would argue that the mix factor is the reason for the variation in MPG results on all cars - not manufacturing reasons. ALL highway miles results in EPA or better while all city miles results in missing the EPA estimate on the low side. It is the type of city driving - both the stop & go frequency and the driver that affects the city MPG to the negative - not the maechanics of the cars.
    Another point is that larger engines are more forgiving than smaller engines when getting the mass moving from a dead stop. Larger engines in older car models often achieved better MPG than smaller engine in same model. Cars used to be engineered for overall driveability - now EPA rating is king.
  • g2iowag2iowa Posts: 123
    Think too many people overestimate the amount of TIME they spend on highway and underestimate the amount of TIME they spend in city. City stop-and go traffic, esp. where you just sit at a stop sign or light, adds a lot of time but no miles and craters your MPG.

    Think too many people underestimate their SPEED on highway, spending more time at higher speeds than they think. You won't get 40 MPG driving 70, 75, or higher MPHs. Max fuel economy is in the 50-65 mph range.

    I have no difficulty seeing people driving a lot of MILES on highway getting 33-36 MPG due to (1) driving at higher speeds or (2) spending a decent minority amount of TIME idling at stops.

    Anyone seriously looking at their specific car's FE needs to look at the computer's estimate of MPH and the elapsed time, both of which should be reset after each fill up.
  • gman4911gman4911 Posts: 43
    >>>Even though the 40 is more likely coming from the EPA and not Hyundai corporate

    Actually, it was the other way around. Hyundai submitted the numbers to the EPA and they verified the numbers: linky
  • I drive a 2012 Elantra 60 miles a day all highway. After 2500 miles I am averaging 32mpg. Complaints to Huyndai USA gets me directions to see dealer, complaints to dealer get responses to write Huyndai (they call that a circular refrence right). Would not bother me if Huyndai would not continue to run ads on TV about 40mpg. Something about truth in advertising? Hate to be paranoid but how many of you getting 40mpg work for Huyndai? Taking mine back to see what I can get for it, oh did I forget to mention the oversensitive steering and just waiting to get pulled over for driving under the influence.
  • gman4911gman4911 Posts: 43
    What does your computer report for the avg MPH?
  • indeedindeed Posts: 2
    edited May 2012
    Getting an average of 8.5L/100km (27mpg) between my break-in period (first 1000 km). I drive conservatively, allowing it to shift before 2,200 rpm regularly, and rather let the gear slow down the car instead of breaking it. Only went on highway twice and recorded 6L/100km (39mpg) going at 110 - 120km/h (70m/h - 75m/h) on Canada's 407 for total of 70km (45 miles)

    The car idling hurts a lot, and it depends on how often breaking/stopping. The dashboard display has it raised 0.1 L/100km every one or two minutes when I was stuck in traffic.

    However, Canada has it registered as 6.9L/100km for city (34mpg) and 4.9L/100km for highway (48mpg), so I am still looking forward for better gas consumption.
  • g2iowag2iowa Posts: 123
    Yes, knowing average MPH is absolutely critical when evaluating reported MPG figures per tank. My most recent 2 fill ups (both with regular non-ethanol) show the dramatic impact of not spending so much time in city stop-and-go traffic:

    - Avg MPH= 35 and achieved 35.45 MPG. Drove 231.4 miles and used 6.528 gals.

    - Avg MPH= 24 and achieved 29.46 MPG. Drove 258.5 miles and used 8.776 gals.

    So a 46% increase in avg MPH or an 11 MPH average increase leads to an increase in FE of 20.3% or 5.99 MPG!

    Computer FE estimate continues to read about 7-9% too high. Computer estimated first tank at 38.4 MPG (got 35.45) and second tank at 32.3 MPG (got 29.46).
  • crankeeecrankeee Posts: 297
    Great analysis! The 6-speed trans is not in highest gear until vehicle speed reachs minimum speed. so when the vehicle speed is higher the trans is in a higher gear and the RPM's are lowest. Result = higher MPG. Not really intuitive but your results and MPH recor explains the results.
    Thanks for the work and the thinking. Explains much of the confusion among drivers results.
  • gman4911gman4911 Posts: 43
    >>>Steering is always wandering and needs small corrections constantly on long trips this actually becomes annoying.

    There is a TSB which might address this issue: TSB 11-SS-001
  • g2iowag2iowa Posts: 123
    May 2012 issue of Roundel (BMWCCA) has an interesting article titled "EPA makes BMW downgrade 3 Series rating". Discusses how BMW's original self test of their 2012 3 Series 328i automatic gave them a 24/36 mpg rating which they passed to EPA. EPA randomly selects about 15% of the self-reported results and they retested the identical 328i. EPA achieved 23/33, figures that were about 4% and 8% lower. So now the EPA's result is the official one. (BMW's self-test result for the manual transmission 328i remains at 23/34 as it wasn't selected for an EPA retest.) Would be interesting to know if the EPA retested any results for the '12 Elantra.

    The real world impact would be interesting to study, for buyers who saw the 2 different stickers. IF BMW is right and the EPA wrong, then buyers who see the lower 23/33 mpgs numbers will be pleased when they achieve better results. IF BMW is wrong and the EPA is right, then buyers who saw the original numbers will be miffed that their FE is lower than anticipated. Which group's relative happiness change would be higher? I suspect the ones who really, really wanted that 36 mpg figure and didn't get it.
  • gman4911gman4911 Posts: 43
    >>>Would be interesting to know if the EPA retested any results for the '12 Elantra.

    You must've missed my earlier post here
  • g2iowag2iowa Posts: 123
    Just filled up again and this time the avg. MPH was 30. So I have 3 good recent data points.

    - Avg MPH= 35 and achieved 35.45 MPG. Drove 231.4 miles and used 6.528 gals.
    - Avg MPH= 30 and achieved 32.68 MPG. Drove 292.0 miles and used 8.934 gals.
    - Avg MPH= 24 and achieved 29.46 MPG. Drove 258.5 miles and used 8.776 gals.

    The result at 30 mph avg. is right in line with EPA combined estimate of 33 mpg. Spending more continuous time in 5th and esp. 6th gears really helps fuel economy. City driving, with all the stop and go issues, takes a serious toll.

    Now if I could just do enough pure highway mileage for one tankful to get my avg MPH to 40 and 45!
  • gman4911gman4911 Posts: 43
    >>>Now if I could just do enough pure highway mileage for one tankful to get my avg MPH to 40 and 45!

    FYI, the EPA HWY test is only a 10 mile drive with an avg speed of 48.3 MPH.

    This past weekend after I got a fill up and reset the gauges, I did a 14 mile drive where I averaged 42 MPH and achieved a whopping 48.1 MPG. I posted some pics here. One of these weekends, I'm going to try for 50 MPG. :D
  • crankeeecrankeee Posts: 297
    Once again, your insight into the link between Average MPH and MPG is much appreciated in maximizing the use of the Hyundai driver info program. We have a 2012 Sonata GLS and notice 33 MPG at 80 and 37.6 at 70. No tests at 45 to 65 yet but Elantra posts on results at those lower speeds indicates once the new 6-speed is in 6th and overdrive the determining factor is lower RPMs.
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