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Hyundai Elantra Real World MPG 2011 MY and earlier

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  • Posting this message out of much and disappointment and frustration....

    In July, I traded my 2009 Mitsbushi Eclipse for a 2012 Hyundai Elantra. The decision to trade-in my eclipse was for the soul fact that the car was not getting the ideal gas milage (~24 mpg out of EPA range of 20-28 mpg) for my long (all highway) commute to work and back. After much research, I decided to purchase the Elantra due to its (claimed) great gas milage, features, and price versus that of the competitors. BIG MISTAKE!

    After owning the vehicle for a little over a month and putting 2000 miles on it, I notice the vehicle was averaging about 26 mpg on each tank. After contacting the dealership about my concerns, I was told to wait till my first oil change to reflect the change in gas milage. The first oil change came and I did notice an improvement in my gas milage between 2-3 miles, put definitely nothing in the CLAIMED 29-39 range. I decided to contact Hyundai about my concerns regarding in which I was told to wait till the car was broken in at about 5000-6000 miles.

    After 6000 miles I was still averaging about 27 mpg. I, again, contacted Hyundai customer service about my concern. Their response was to do have a fuel MPG test and to have the vehicle inspected by a local dealership. The fuel MPG test, released by Hyundai, requires you to have record the miles traveled and amount of fuel used five times while going to the same gas station and using the same pump. Again, I was still consistently getting between 25-27 mpg. I had the dealership, also, inspect the vehicle for any issues and run a diagnostic test for any issues--- none were found. All this information was then faxed over to Hyundai customer service.

    So... I just got off the phone with Hyundai customer serivce and they are saying that the car is in working order and there is nothing they can do to assist me.

    So why am I getting such poor gas milage that isnt even in the working range of the EPA estimates? I have tried every recommended way to enhance mpg and nothing seems to improve it. I was getting decent gas milage (in the EPA range) for my Eclipse so I really dont think it is in my driving style.

    I see that forum that others are having the same problem. I dont see how so many people are driving this vehicle 'wrong' .

    I am so disappointed in my purchase and wish I would have gone with a competitor that lives up to its ratings. Hyundai is doing nothing but false advertising this vehicle. I hope to see a class action lawsuit in the future.

    If you are thinking about buying a 2012 Elantra and want great gas milage... DONT BUY IT !
  • m6userm6user Posts: 2,992
    edited November 2011
    Obviously, thousands have sold and only a few are having problems like you're experiencing.....that we know of anyway. It appears you were getting right on money EPA wise with your previous car so you had no reason to suspect you wouldn't get right around the estimated average on the Elantra. If it was everybody with this problem I would venture a guess relating to tranny programming or motor tuning which may have changed after the EPA testing was completed(unlikely) or maybe there's a problem with a short production run or soemthing. I certainly am not an engineer but this just seems to be strange. Possibly something is happening aerodynamically at higher speeds which greatly affects the Elantras MPG at hwy speeds. But then again that would probably affect all that drive faster and it doesn't appear that is the case because I've read reports from owners that do drive a little fast but are still getting good mpg with the Elantra.

    I can certainly understand your frustration if I knew of others that were getting tremendously better mpg with the same car as mine and I keep getting told there is nothing wrong with it. A lot of people on here will assume you drive like a maniac but your previous experience with your Eclipse indicates that's not the case.

    Would you say that you drive well above say 60 mph on your commutes? I think the EPA testing is done more around that speed than say at 75-80. Just curious.
  • If everyone expects *exactly* 29 city and *exactly* 40 highway they need their head examined. So many factors contribute to the MPG. This topic is becoming very tiring.
  • m6userm6user Posts: 2,992
    So many factors contribute to the MPG

    What a revelation. I'm sure nobody knew that. What are going to inform us of next, that a lead foot leads to poor mpg?

    What's really tiring is you jumping in here every so often and adding nothing to the conversation except pooh-poohing anyone that has what appears to be a legitimate concern. Feel lucky that your car is getting close to what's expected but quit insinuating that people who aren't are crazy or worse yet, stupid. I give everyone the benefit of the doubt that they realize that they aren't going to get the exact numbers. But when something says a range of say 35-45 and they are getting nothing but 35, I would be concerned too. It seems most of these people complaining would be more than happy to be just close to the EPA averages. Not *exactly* as you say.
  • People nowadays just love to whine and cry about any little thing. One guy even mentioned suing Hyundai. LOL! Most of the people whining are getting close to the average...I honestly don't understand what the big deal is. Okay, so on one tank they get 26. Another is 24. Another tank is 27. So what? And people really complain about getting 35 or even 38 highway? Yawn. If these people hate the car so much, then stop crying about it on the internet and go get a new car.

    But like I said, people love to whine....
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,876
    I don't really feel it's appropriate for you to determine what is or is not important to other consumers. This discussion exists for people to share their opinions, positive and negative, frustrations, and concerns. We aren't going to let you continue to call people "whiners" just because they don't have the same expectations or perspectives as you do - this is NOT an Elantra Lovers Only discussion.

    You've expressed your opinion about the MPG issue and how you feel it's of minimal import, and that's about enough - we don't accept belittling other members' concerns in our Forums. It doesn't create a welcoming atmosphere.

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  • dudleyrdudleyr Posts: 3,444
    The Hyundai clearly has issues with mpg. Yes it gets good mpg, but compared to the EPA numbers is does not measure up like most other vehicles.

    Read Consumer Reports tests. Almost all cars get well over the EPA highway in their tests - not the Elantra.
  • g2iowag2iowa Posts: 123
    CR's Elantra GLS test in May '11 issue. They praised it for its "admirable fuel economy" and show its overall MPG at 29 mpg, above Sentra (27), Cruze (26), Jetta (25), and 3i (28) but below Corolla LE (32). No data at that time for Civic, Fiesta, or Focus. CR estimates 20 city/39 highway, using their own methodology, which gives their 29 overall.
  • dudleyrdudleyr Posts: 3,444
    edited November 2011
    Yet the 3i is only rated at 33 highway. That is the point. Elantra is not bad, just does not live up to its EPA numbers. Civic beats EPA highway by 8 mpg on CR's test course while Elantra just matches their EPA number.
  • Thank you for your input and understanding of my frustration.

    During my commute I usually set the cruise between 65-75 mph on the turnpike ride of 40 minutes. I reset my mpg during that time and it seems to plateau at 28 mpg.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,715
    edited November 2011
    It would be worth testing 65 mpg steady speed (cruise), then a 2nd test at 75 mph (with conditions as equal as possible), for as long a distance as you can manage, and compare the results on mpg. I bet you'll find a significant difference. I have on any car I've driven at those speeds.

    Relative to your commute, it's interesting to note that the maximum speed in the EPA highway test is 60 and the average speed on that test is 48.3. So if you can do a test at 60 mph that would be interesting also.
  • roadscholar3roadscholar3 Posts: 23
    edited November 2011
    I own a 2012 Elantra Limited and have already reported ad naseum in this
    Elantra MPG Forum about my disappointment. I was someone who placed a high priority on fuel efficiency, and due to the high percentage of highway driving, I chose Elantra with its advertised 40 MPG highway.

    Purchased Oct. 1
    Miles Driven - 1061
    Two real MPG tests - both showed 29 Avg. MPG (with ECO engaged)
    Usual driving conditions - 70% hwy/ 30% city. (in my case 'city' = small town with very little stop-and-go type traffic). Very little use/need of AC as yet.
    Average highway mph - 65-75 mph.

    Overall the car is a good value for the price and I have no other complaints at this time. I won't be buying another Hyundai in the future, but will instead seek out better/more reliable fuel efficiency and a more trustworthy company.

    Since someone wondered if the location of the car's maker made a difference (U.S. or S. Korea), my car was made in S. Korea.
  • fushigifushigi Posts: 1,235
    Ideally you'd also run your cruise tests in both directions and average the results; doing so should cancel out the effects of head/tailwinds and altitude changes. Driving up hill, even if the slope isn't noticeable to you, can have a negative impact v. level cruising or the same gentle slope down hill.

    My wife's '12 Elantra is too new (still under 500 miles) and has yet to see a highway so her MPG so far is below EPA. That's basically the norm for her anyway since her commute is short and Illinois has ethanol in the gas.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,715
    Yes, good points. The other thing to check is tire pressures. In my town, it was 63 last Saturday. Tomorrow it's supposed to be 18. That's what, 4-5 lbs. of air pressure? I need to get to the air pump tomorrow!
  • After 7 tanks, fuel mileage remains horrible. My daily commute is 65 miles round trip with a total of 5 lights. As I mentioned in a previous post, my other Elantra (2005) is getting better combined milage on the same trip.

    Fuel Purchase Records

    Date Miles Gal. City HW MPG Note

    10/13/2011 288.00 10.250 30% 70% 28.1 ECO off

    10/19/2011 307.00 10.600 20% 80% 29.0 ECO off

    10/25/2011 284.00 9.800 30% 70% 29.0 ECO off

    10/31/2011 247.00 9.150 30% 70% 27.0 ECO on

    11/03/2011 305.00 10.750 20% 80% 28.4 ECO on

    11/09/2011 294.00 10.710 30% 70% 27.5 ECO off

    11/16/2011 297.00 10.705 30% 70% 27.7 ECO off
  • dudleyrdudleyr Posts: 3,444
    How fast are you driving?

    Most large v-6 sedans can get high twenties pretty easily if the speed is reasonable.

    If you are going 85 mph though you will never get good mpg.
  • g2iowag2iowa Posts: 123
    When looking at highway mileage I've found that driving 75 mph in many cars versus 65 mph makes a huge mpg difference. My '04 IS300 5-speed manual gets about 25 mpg at 75 mph but 30 mpg at 65 mph. So decreasing speed by 13% (from 75 to 65) increases mpg by 20% (from 25 to 30). I've had similar experiences in many other cars I've driven, except those with bigger V8s. With smaller engines you usually see a very significant increase in engine RPMs going from 65 mph to 75 mph even in top gear.
  • Not sure if you were asking that question of me, but I do not drive any interstate highways. Mostly rural routes. Speed limit is 45 to 50 and I would say 50-60 would be about my average. I have never driven a car that didn't get combined mileage very near the advertised highway miles. Even if it was my driving style, it doesn't explain why the older model gets better mileage. And my 2005 model Elantra gets a combined mileage very near the rated highway mpg.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,715
    This is going to sound really obvious to almost everyone, but since I know people who have done this it doesn't hurt to ask:

    Is everyone who is way below the EPA rating on their Elantras even though they are driving moderately ABSOLUTELY SURE you are in D (drive) and not in the manumatic mode--and thus maybe not in top gear?

    I don't mean to offend anyone with this question, but I'll bet for many owners of the 2011-12 Elantra, it's the first manumatic they've owned. And it's easy to pop the shifter into manumatic mode, thinking it's in drive (I've done that myself a couple of times on rental cars, until I realized the shifter was not in D) and maybe put it into a lower gear than is intended, e.g. not 6th gear when cruising on the highway.
  • backy. One that begs an honest answer, too.

    2008 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS

  • Yes, mine is in 'D' and not manual. I have tried the "sport" mode, and since I was used to driving a "normal" stick, I can't seem to get the hang of it yet. Regardless, it is in 'D'. Seems like a stupid question, but I understand that it needs to be asked.

    To answer the question about the other "driver tests" that litesong2 suggested, and I'm not so sure that the first test applies in an automatic. I'm not going to shift into neutral while stopped at a red light. It's not normal for an automatic. And besides, I'm not usually sitting at long red lights. For the 2nd test, my car does not abruptly lift on the front springs. I've been pretty light-footed, so I'm sure that I'm not wasting gas at those times.

    If anything my driving habits in the Elantra are the same or better than they were in my Sentra, and it still doesn't make a difference. I'm wondering if the "fuel consumption check" by the dealer will turn up anything, but other than that I'm going to give it some more time. I love my Elantra, and I intend to keep driving it.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,715
    What are temps in your area? I've noticed in the past couple of weeks where I live, as temps have sunk from 5-60 to teens-30s, my FE has dropped off from mid-30s in mixed driving (suburban roads, urban highways) to just under 30 mpg. My trips haven't changed nor have my habits. I think cold weather is heck on FE, as it takes longer for the engine to warm up. One symptom: in warmer weather my engine is warmed up in the first mile or so, so when I pop on the freeway and get to cruising speed the RPMs are low (just under 2000 RPMs @ 65 mph on my Sentra CVT). But with the colder weather, I need to drive several miles before the engine is warm enough for the computer to drop the revs to that range. Higher revs means more gas burned.
  • 50's during the day here, 30's in the morning... getting colder as winter approaches...
  • g2iowag2iowa Posts: 123
    edited November 2011
    I periodically use the manumatic feature to see what gear I'm in. I've noticed that around town the AT shifts quickly up to 4th gear (which I assume is either the 1:1 direct drive or close), getting there by 25 mph. It doesn't like to go into 5th until around 35 mph. I assume 5th is the first overdrive gear, with 6th being an even deeper overdrive.
  • As winter approaches and straight thru til Spring , the suppliers put a cold weather additive into the gasoline (at least this is true for New England) that cuts mileage by 2-3 miles per gallon. This has been confirmed by several reliable mechanics. I've noticed the drop in mileage already for my 04' Volvo XC70 and 11' Hyundai Elantra.

    I will add that I'm not seeing anything CLOSE to the advertised 30-40 mpg with the Elantra, the real world mileage is VERY disappointing. In fact I get nearly as good mileage with my ALL Wheel drive, heavy, 5 Cyl Volvo wagon. It's ridiculous to think that with this little 4 Cyl Hyundai we shouldn't all be doing a lot better, maybe we need a class action to get our gas $$ back!!!
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,715
    Just get the Elantra detailed to like-new condition and sell it. With demand as high as it is, you'll be able to get most of your money back. Then buy something you think will give you the mpg you expect. A lot less time and trouble than lawsuits, which IMO have little chance of succeeding. And who would you sue? The EPA, since it's their regs that Hyundai is following?
  • The class action suit was an attempt at humor Backy (mind if I call you "backass" for short?).

    Of course we're not going to sue Hyundai and "dumping" an almost brand new car after making a substantial down payment on a 3 year lease is hardly going to be a good deal for me.

    I made the mistake once with Hyundai, I won't make it again, you can't tell me that they aren't going to lose future customers based on all these complaints.

    This is a big credibility issue, they sucked in a lot of people with the "reported" ratings. I don't know how they hoodwinked the EPA, but they rigged cars or something.

    You trust a Korean company to not tamper with vehicles in order to get a better rating? I don't doubt it for a minute.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,715
    How could I know your comment re a class action suit was an attempt at humor when there was no indication you meant it as anything but a serious remark? Also there's been several other posts in the mpg discussion about class action suits--and those were clearly serious.

    You can call me backass if I can call you bsbosoz. Or maybe bsboSOB. Fair?

    That's the bad thing about a lease... you'd better be real sure it's a car you want to hold onto for the life of the lease. Maybe you could find someone to sub-lease it from you?

    I love conspiracy theories. Do you have any idea what it would take to keep such a "rigging" a secret? Do you have any idea what the backlash would be should anyone find out about such a "rigging"? And do you suppose Hyundai and other automakers know that... whether or not they are based in Korea? That's why there's no rigging. There's just your car and others that aren't meeting your expectations re fuel economy.

    Did you test the FE on the car before you leased it, i.e. took it for a long drive, or maybe even rented one for a day or two to make sure it met your expectations?

    My wife's Sonata has 17.9 mpg on the average mpg meter right now. That's WAY below the car's EPA rating--even its city rating. And I know she drives on the highway sometimes. This is not unusual, she almost always gets sub-EPA fuel economy. So what should I do? Never buy a Hyundai again, for starters? Maybe even think about a class action suit?

    But wait... when I drive the car, I get above the EPA ratings except under extreme conditions e.g. very cold with very short trips, or lots of idling. So maybe it's my wife who should check into the lawsuit.

    This is not to say your low FE is your fault. But it's an example of why the EPA is clear that "your mileage may vary". A car can get its EPA ratings if it's driven similar to how the EPA tests the car. Anything outside of that can cause "your mileage to vary".

    Anyway, if a car were "rigged" by the manufacturer, NO ONE would be able to achieve or certainly not exceed the EPA ratings, would they? But they do. YMMV.
  • g2iowag2iowa Posts: 123
    As regards litigation, IF, and this is a big IF, there is a serious real world problem with the fuel economy, there could be a class action suit. Wouldn't be the first time for Hyundai. I bought a 2000 Sonata GLS V6 in 2000. A few years later Hyundai settled a class action lawsuit regarding the engine's horsepower rating. Suit claimed Hyundai advertised the car with higher horsepower rating than was accurate. Owners received both money for use at servicing as well as choice of extending either b-to-b or powertrain warranty.
  • pbm58pbm58 Posts: 16
    ridiculous is correct...why did my 2002 Civic get significantly better mileage than this brand new Elantra? It's very frustrating. Would not have purchased a vehicle with average 25-26 mpg's, which is about the best I can do currently with this 2012 Hyundai
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