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Hyundai Elantra Real World MPG 2011 MY and earlier



  • Here's some tests to see if Elantras or drivers are at fault for their low mpg:

    First test: While stopped at a red light idling, are you normally in gear with your foot on the brake? If so, you are wasting gas.
    Second test( a bit tougher): While stopped at a stoplight when the stoplight goes green(hope you were paying attention & put it in gear before the light turned green), push your accelerator as you normally do.
    If the front of the car abruptly rises on its front springs as the car starts forward, you are wasting gas. To get the best mpg from a stop, carefully ease your foot on the gas pedal. Surprisingly, it takes some training, but when carefully done, your car will move forward instantly WITHOUT rising on its front springs. Some people think that other people, who are behind them, will be upset, so they actually over-accelerate when people are behind them. Thus the car rears on its front springs & we get used to driving that way from a stop. However, people are most unset waiting for 3 seconds because the driver at the front of line didn't see the light turn green. :D
  • rudy66rudy66 Posts: 26
    You are not the first to instruct us on how to drive in such a manor as to get good mpg. But I hope that you are the last. Do you really think that all of us who feel that the Elantra does not live up to the advertising don't know how to drive. So silly.
  • I would have a bit more sympathy for the "it might be how you're driving" explanation if it weren't for the fact that I have ONLY seen the complaint about getting significantly worse MPG than advertised on the Elantra and one other vehicle (Chevy Equinox).

    Sure, there are ways to increase your chances of getting better MPGs, either through driving habits or driving routes, but it is clear that a larger number of owners than I normally see are dissatisfied with their MPG achievements in relationship to the published EPA estimated MPG.

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  • One interesting thing to look at is where the Elantra's are made that are experiencing low mileage. Most are made here in the US, but a significant amount are made and imported from South Korea. Could that be a factor?
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,628
    I wonder if that has anything to do with buyer expectations. Both the Equinox and Elantra have the distinction of the highest EPA fuel economy in their respective classes, or in the case of the Elantra very close to the top (e.g. Cruze Eco is a little higher but that is a specific trim). So one of the main reasons people might buy one of those vehicles is fuel economy. Then they find that their observed FE doesn't match the EPA estimates, and they are disappointed.

    It's not just HOW you drive, although that is certainly a factor. It's the CONDITIONS under which you drive. Those vary greatly from one person to another. Which is why the EPA is clear that "your mileage may vary". Not only does it vary from person to person, it varies for the same person because of different weather, different traffic, different gas (ethanol vs. no ethanol), different speeds etc.

    Whenever someone tells me they are getting far worse FE than they expect, I ask them to do a simple test that eliminates most variables and should give them an idea as to whether the vehicle is operating at its capabilities re FE. I have suggested this test dozens of times in this forum over the years. The interesting thing is, no one--EVER--has returned to say they did the test and gave us the results. I would have more sympathy for these folks if they showed they were interested in getting to the bottom of the problem, rather than just complaining about it.
  • m6userm6user Posts: 2,897
    edited November 2011
    Amen. I've seen the exact same thing between here and the Equinox forums. Shouldn't we assume that people know what they're doing until it becomes obvious that they don't rather than to assume they don't know how to drive in the first place? I figure that if they purchased a car for high mpg it makes some sense that they have already been trying to save money on gas by driving easy. When the new Sonata came out I don't remember any significant number of complaints from people getting poor mpg versus what the EPA estimated and the Sonata numbers were pretty high for a midsize sedan at the time. It seems to me there could be something to these complaints. I realize it may involve only a few Elantras but that doesn't mean a number of them couldn't have a legitimate problem.

    Ususally these low mpg complaints aren't this far off from EPA estimates. Especially when you have people that drive in such a way that they didn't have problems meeting the EPA estimates with prior cars. Did they suddenly forget how to drive or how to figure mpg because they bought an Elantra?
  • roadscholar3roadscholar3 Posts: 23
    edited November 2011
    Surely you jest... geesh.
    I think the negative buzz about this issue, regardless of whether it becomes a lawsuit, is going to hurt Hyundai.
    Once you lose a customer's trust its very difficult to get it back.
    It also diminishes any faith I might have had in EPA standards.
  • Well, exactly - it's the fact that SO many people are reporting such a variance in estimated vs. actual MPG. Yes, the EPA includes a YMMV disclaimer, but I think that most consumers have a (reasonable) expectation that they'll be close. I can certainly understand the disappointment if a consumer chose the Elantra over other models because of the better advertised MPG.

    I'm not saying the Elantra is a bad car - if I were in the market for a new vehicle, it's be near the top of my list. But then again, I drive my vehicle an average of a whopping 300 miles per month, so it's not a major consideration.

    I changed the discussion title here, and I'm starting a new MPG discussion for the 2012 model. We got a request for that discussion, and I also think it'd be interesting to see if 2012 owners have better luck.

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  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,628
    Since the 2011 and 2012 MYs are the same design, why break them apart? Might make more sense to do 2010 and Earlier, and 2011+. 2010 is a very different car from the 2011-12 car (sedan at least).
  • I understand your point, but we had a request, and since MPG seems to be a big deal (on the 2011), there's no harm in seeing if it attracts posters. Lately, this one is mostly about the 2011 - will be interesting to see if MPGs improve for 2011 owners as the vehicles age a bit.

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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: 2,897
    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: 2,897
    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....
  • 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: 3,407
    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: 3,407
    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.
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