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Hyundai Sonata Real World MPG



  • I've had my 2011 Sonata for a year now and the mileage is definitely nothing to write home about despite the EPA claims. I just say why try to fool us? If they just drop the EPA across the board to REALISTIC expectations then everyone will be happy with their purchase and those who DO get optimal mileage will be thrilled. It's a win-win for everyone.

    I got so fed up with my lackluster mileage that I've taken to EXCLUSIVELY driving with the cruise control on. I use the gas and break in my car only when absolutely necessary. Otherwise if I'm above 25mph, the cruise control is able to take over. Even being extremely conscious about not having a lead foot and coasting whenever possible, I've found that I consistently get much better mileage by using CC than I ever got using the pedals. Never got higher than 21 MPG on a tank of gas using the pedals and now I can get 24-25MPG with primarily city driving using only my thumbs to drive! :)
  • cpenycpeny Posts: 18
    the many thousands of people who have purchased this vehicle. with the expectations of decent gas mileage. I feel they have a expectations to receiving gas mileage close to what is listed on the windows. if the gas mileage is not going to be close to what is the manufacturer claims then they should accept the ramifications from the people who purchased the vehicle. although, I can only see for myself. I have tried almost everything to get the listed city gas mileage. when manufacturers use gimmicks to get the public to purchase their products. they often find that the public will retaliate by not purchasing their vehicle, or lo ng terms. the purpose of forums such as this 1 is to ask question s and to be calm informed. I saw your comment about I wish that they would not print the epa listings for this vehicle. and I strongly believe if they had not han days sales would have been reduced by as much as 75 percent. be careful of what you ask for.
  • targettuningtargettuning Posts: 1,371
    edited January 2012
    Arrrgh yet again! If anybody is trying to fool anybody blame the EPA they set up the rules, the tests and proceedures and take responsibility for the numbers printed on every manufacturers sticker, not Hyundai they only supply the cars and have no more to say about the outcome than any other manufacturer. If the "numbers" come out looking good (such as they have)Hyundai, as anybody would, (and everybody else DOES) uses those numbers in advertising and why not? Should they say ah hell these numbers are bogus so don't buy our cars??? For those who want stellar city mileage maybe you should be looking at a hybrid, city driving is where they shine the brightest. You know, the right tool for the job. Oh, and I guess San Diego has no traffic?? Right. Finally, read the small print on your says in essence, mileage may VARY. Yeah, it will depending on individual circumstances. It ain't no guarantee folks, not even close. And NO I do not work for Hyundai.
  • dudleyrdudleyr Posts: 3,426
    The epa numbers should be a piece to cake to beat - especially on the highway. They just made the tests harder a couple of years ago and even the old tests were 28% higher than the published numbers so people wouldn't whine.

    Hyundai clearly has issues with meeting the EPA numbers as many are noticing. My Accord on the other hand has averaged nearly 4 mpg over the highway rating for its lifetime (128k miles).

    Hyundai has a lot to offer and Consumer Reports rated the Elantra above the Civic, but despite Elantras higher epa numbers the Civic got 8 mpg more for the CR highway mpg test than the Elantra. The Sonata does not seem to be off by as much, but still seems to have trouble with EPA numbers while other vehicles have fewer problems.

    I don't think Hyundai is cheating on the tests, but they probably are optimizing their cars to do well on the EPA tests, possibly at the expense of real world mpg.

    I rented a 4 cyl Sonota for a week and it got about the same mpg as my Sienna minivan. Disapointing.
    If you still have to the vehicle's monroney label, look below the big bold numbers for the fuel economy in the fine print that says expected range for most drivers. If your car's mpg is in that range than your car is getting the fuel economy it's supposed to get period end of story. Now if it's getting less than that, then you have something to complain about. Please people remember, their are too many factors involved when you consider a vehicle's fuel economy(cargo, occupents, weather, road conditions, etc. etc.)
  • Yes, about the best I can say about the whole "disappointing" fuel economy issue with this car, or many others if you can believe the comments all over the web sites, is this....look at the sticker, test drive the car you may like and its competition, decide then buy. THEN take those economy numbers with a grain of salt. If you are close (and happy) or exceed them (very happy) enjoy your new ride. If they are close and you are not happy consider all the variables listed. If they are far, far off then reconsider the personal conditions that you can control then control them. If you are still far off then maybe you have a problem that requires a dealer look-see. I have seen others post this car or that car (Honda and Toyota come readily to mind) routinely exceed the EPA posted numbers even mini-vans ) and I take these posts with the above mentioned "grain of salt" because while good cars they do not have the patent on super fuel economy while Hyundai is still negotiating the patent rights....
  • magrxmagrx Posts: 3
    edited February 2012
    I have a 2012 GLS w/6 spd manual. Averaging 25 mpg with spirited driving and about 27 conservative. This is in mixed driving, city / highway.
    The MPG gauge is very optimistic showing about 2 mpg more than actual.
    I still trust the pencil and paper method of computing mileage more than any vehicle computer.
    Set the trip odo to 0 when you fill it and do the math at the next fill.
  • I have a 2012 Hyundai Sonata Limited (non-turbo). I had a 2011 Sonata Limited and made the "mistake" of trading it in for a 2012 Kia Optima. Obviously I did not like the Optima, as I am right back to the Sonata.

    Anyway.....I live in Chicago and we definitely have crappy weather, and deal with the "winter blend" of gas more months of the year than the "normal/summer" blend of gas. I have had the car for almost 2 weeks now. It came with a full tank of gas in it, and I finally filled up yesterday. I do about a 50/50 mix between "highway" (although it is not true open road highway driving, as it is Chicago, and it is more stop and go highway driving, but not as bad as stop and go in the city of course) and "city" driving. I calculated my MPG manually when I flled up yesterday, and I got 27MPG - and I never use cruise control.

    When I had my 2011, it was in the summer, so the "non winter blend" gas and I got around an average of about 29MPG with the same driving style, travels, etc. that I have now. The winter blend will account for lower milage due to the additives that are put in the gas.

    But, needless to say, I am thrilled with my Sonata and the gas mileage it delivers (not even using curise control as I said) and I am not a "slow/speed limit" driver either.
  • I am almost up to 123,000 miles on my 2009 GLS 4 cyl. automatic. My lifetime average is is 35.09 mpg. The lifetime covers 121.5k miles. I missed the first fill-up amount and then two other fill-ups at some point.

    I try to maximize my fuel efficiency and have a job that puts me on the road a lot and gives the opportunity to do so. I would say that my driving consists of a good 90-95+% highway/interstate driven at 60 mph with cruise control and easy hills. My worst tank was 30.4 and my best was 39.1.

    Most of my driving consists of a rural highway ride to the interstate (eight miles at 45-55 mph), and then another 50+ miles to a bigger city where the last mile or two will be city traffic. I notice that the longer my highway stretches are, if I'm going 100+ miles out to a destination, then my mpg gets better. Conversely, the more city driving I have to do the worse it gets.

    Speed can play heck with the mpg, too. While I mainly try to do 60 most of the time, there are plenty of times where I have to hoof it up to 75+ for the whole time and my tank mpg will get down to 32-33 or so.

    Graphing the lifetime mpg shows a seasonal variation (thank you cold weather and winter mix). Best mpg is the warmer months with minimal AC use. I usually won't get over 36 mpg on a tank from october to april. I start hitting 36+ in may, but that's usually on the super highway heavy jaunts.

    I have to say I am impressed. I am considering getting a new GLS at the end of the year. I expect to drive it the same way and am curious to see if it will do better. It should, given the six-speed transmission and GDI.
  • We owned a Fit for about a year. The wife mainly drove it. I stuck to my Sonata. However, I did drive it enough for the first fill-up, trying to maximize mpg. I managed to get 43.1! For the year my wife drove it, she usually would get the high 20's. She mainly drove it for work, which is 3 miles round-trip.

    You are correct. There is no comparison. The Fit is a light-weight thing. I think I could have made it a highway MPG monster, but the wife just couldn't stand it and traded it in for a 2011 Sonata Limited. She LOVES the Sonata Limited. I haven't been able to put it through some max mpg paces, though. I just keep piling the miles on my 2009 GLS.
  • I don't think the GLS MPG is THAT bad. I own the 2011 Sonata GLS back from February of 2010. While I sit my butt in an hour and a half of traffic both ways of the commute (Wash. DC Beltway, ugh), I can still manager to get around 25-26mpg. That's what the computer reads, so judging above from someone saying that the computer is off by 2mpg, that's roughly 27-28. Granted, it depends on how you drive. Swapped out the Kumho tires after the front left CRACKED for some Firestone Firehawk Wide Oval AS and have gotten better mileage out of it (also better traction, dry and wet braking and Way less noise). The car has its fair share of problems, but I've never had a car that didn't have issues. Overall, 2 years later and 30k miles I'm still happy with the car.
  • crankeeecrankeee Posts: 297
    edited February 2012
    We have had new sonata for two months and ~2400 miles. City MPG is 22-24 with all in town stop & go. With freeway and limited stop & go it goes up to 24-26+. Well within the EPA city estimate.
    The highway mileage with 2000 of the miles, is actually better than EPA. 65-70 will deliver 36-37.5 depending upon hills, wind load etc. At 70-80, when safe the mileage drops off almost tot he same % as the increase in speed. 33 MPG at 75-80 is the average so far. The car also responds favorably tot he fuel type. We use BP, Shell & costco in town. 87 octane in town and 89 on highway trips since the MPG "appears" to improve ~10% vs. the 3% cost increase. just had oil changed and dealer recommended staing with the 5W20 weight so with no oil consumption sofar we agreed.
    Beautiful high value automobile for the money and a great road car for us.
  • Hey Crankee,

    Yea, I have been pretty fortunate with mileage as well. I did however run in to a huge issue that Hyundai made good on very well. My Check Engine light came on, and I noticed a slight tic from the motor. Like a lifter tic. I brought the vehicle to Hyundai, and they changed the oil, light was off yet once I started the vehicle, the tic remained. I brought it back the nect day and at first, one of the mechanics pointed out that fuel injectors tic. Knowing my vehicle, I explained that this tic was far beyond the injector tic.
    Long story stort, the Oil Sensor which signals the oil pump to send oil was not working properly. Therefore, the motor was not getting sufficient oil. Turned out, I needed a new Shortblock. It was ordered from Korea. I n addition, they replaced the exhaust from the shortblock to just past the converter. It took a bit of time, but would have been extremely expensive. My guess, probably $6000,00 at the least. The oil they used to refill was a 50/50 synthetic blend. Best part of all, the vehicle was purchased as a used vehicle with 8000 miles. Therefore I had a 5 yr 50,000 mi warranty. At the time of the tic issue, the vehicle had 54,000 miles. Hyundai still picked up the entire tab. I was pleasantly surprised and earned more respect that ever. Many auto maker/dealers could have easily shunned me on that one. Hyundai didn't. A month later I took the car from Illinois to Florida and back. Smooth sailing all the way round trip. Going easy on the gas peddle, I still average about 26mpg city and if maintaining 65mph to 70mph, I can get 36 to 38mpg. Closer to 36mpg. This is a 2008 4 cyl with a trunk load of clothes, a PC, personal items, and, Oh yea, 2 cats in the backseat. The worse performance issue with the whole trip was the cats. Happy with Hyundai!!! :shades:
  • I just bought a 2012 Sonata SE after gas prices chased me out of my dearly loved Mercury Grand Marquis. With the Marquis, I always burned premium fuel, not for a mileage boost, but to keep the engine clean. Even though the Sonata supposedly runs well on regular gas, should I burn premium to keep the engine clean? Has anyone noticed an mpg boost with premium fuel? I drive 100 miles a day to and from work. 95% highway in uncongested traffic.
  • nj2pa2ncnj2pa2nc Posts: 813
    suggestion go to the premium gas vs regular gas website. Using premium gas when regular is recommended will not benefit your car.
  • crankeeecrankeee Posts: 297
    We also bought a new 2012 Sonata GLS with the value and MPG being the two most critical factors in the decision. Our old Pontiac was great with 18 in town and 28-30 on the highway and agood car mechanically for 14 years.
    The Sonata seems to get ~8-10% better mileage on the highway using midgrade NOT premium with added cost of #3% or so. The old Pontiac first clued us in to this phenomena. We use regular and bought the last two cars with that requirement in mind. The Sonata appears to get 22-24 in City and 33-37 highway at 80-65 MPH. Runs great on regular and also appears to maximize MPG with midgrade Shell, BP, Exxon and other major brands.
    In the city we use Costco due to price break with some Shell & BP. BTW - all grades of major brands include cleaning solvents like Techron (Chevron).
  • sivicmansivicman Posts: 32
    If you read your owners manual, Hyundai recommends you use Top Tier gasoline.

    The reason for Top Tier is because of the amount of detergents in the gas. The biggest problem is the 15% of ethanol that kills the mpg's and plays havoc on the engine components. Unfortunately I am stuck without any Top Tier gas stations in my area so I have to use fuel injector cleaner every so often.
  • longo2longo2 Posts: 347
    edited March 2012
    "The worse performance issue with the whole trip was the cats."

    At least you didn't do a Mitt Romney and tie them up on the roof in a pet carrier!

    Loved your Hyundai Story about the history of the $6,000.00 engine tic. I wish more people would post positive experiences.

    Your highway 2008 GLS MPG sounds the same or better than those posting with the new model 2012's.
  • johnjjjohnjj Posts: 81
    I had a 2011 Sonata Limited and made the "mistake" of trading it in for a 2012 Kia Optima. Obviously I did not like the Optima, as I am right back to the Sonata.

    What didn't you like about the Optima? I'm considering buying a 2012 turbo.
  • crankeeecrankeee Posts: 297
    longo: Just returned from trip with the following MPG results:
    180 miles at 35 MPG highway and 182 miles at 25.5 city for calculated total of 362 miles and 12.2 gallons for 29.7 MPG. Average speeds were 20-30 in city and 65-75+ on highway. Pretty close to EPA estimates with a little better average. Car has plenty of power and is a very good road car for as light as it is. Biggest factor appears to be the mix of city vs. highway miles on the average tankful. Great car with very reponsive service from the dealer . That and a great car loan that was initially $28 ( 72 months) more than HMFC lease payments for 36 months (15,000 miles per year).
    Refied for 2.69% and 60 months after 3 months. Cars getting like houses!
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