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Hyundai Elantra Real World MPG 2012



  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,174
    Yes, that reflash seemed to be a flash-in-the-pan so to speak. ;)

    I'm starting to really wonder about a lot these compacts and the methods they are using to reach those huge mpg numbers. It seems like the midsizers are doing just as well overall with a lot more room and little extra cost. Makes you wonder where the value is unless you just absolutely want a smaller exterior dimension vehicle which I realize a lot of people do.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,907
    Don't forget the Elantra has a mid-sized interior. :)

    Also I don't think ANY current mid-sized sedan that isn't a hybrid or diesel can touch 40 mpg on the highway. Some compacts including the Elantra (at least in some hands!) can. You also won't see upper 20s to low 30s mpg in mixed driving on ordinary mid-sized sedans... mid-20s is typical for the class. And compacts cost less in general than mid-sizers, e.g. an Elantra GLS will run you about $2k or more less than a Sonata GLS.

    I am one of those people who prefer a car with smaller outside dimensions. But I don't mind a roomy interior. Which is one reason I like the Elantra.
  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,174
    Don't forget the Elantra has a mid-sized interior.

    That's why I specifically said "exterior dimensions". I agree with everything you've said but still believe the value proposition is getting hazier. Wheelbase is wheelbase and a longer wheelbase has a nicer ride in just about any car.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,907
    Nicer ride, probably. More fun ride, probably not.

    Better fuel economy--no.
  • bpizzutibpizzuti Posts: 2,743
    Plus they're bigger on the outside, which isn't always a good thing (personally I refer a tight turning circle and tidy exterior dimensions for maneuverability).
  • crankeeecrankeee Posts: 298
    edited April 2012
    Backy: Our 2012 Sonata GLS was $19,700 with all incentives and the POP package, floor mats, trunk mat + tax.title docs. $20,754 OTD. We did not steal it but good deal and great dealer for service.
    About $2000 over Elantra as you say. We see 24-25 in all city driving and at 65-70 highway 36-37.6 MPG. At 75-80 the MPG drops off to 33-34. As posted by others, the city stop and go is what is affecting the "average" MPG enjoyed by drivers. To get better than mid 20's, as you post, you need a Hybrid running some battery only time or a roller skate with lower mass & weight to move. Sonata is a good tradeoff of city/highway MPG, but it is definately tuned for highway as is the Elantra. 6-speed AT shifts up fast and down slower so highway MPG benefits more at 50 MPH to 65.
    Great cars that deliver good driveability, value for the money and EPA MPG in the most conditions with "most" drivers. Good luck and enjoy new car.
    We are truly blessed in this country to have good cars, good roads and cheap gas (at least for now!).
  • sustain2020sustain2020 Posts: 1
    edited April 2012
    Drive smooth(no rabbit starts or stops) and at or under the speed limit, you know...legally, and your mileage will improve by at least 20%. Or, just trade it in for a Prius C for about the same purchase price but at least 30% better real world mileage. No problems with Toyota hybrid batteries with over a million Prii on the road now. Look it up....Consumer Reports, used Prii prices, etc. Prius C should be the'll thank me when gas hits $5.50 next year and $7 a gallon a few years from now.
  • bpizzutibpizzuti Posts: 2,743
    Have you seen the replacement cost for Prius batteries at the 8 year mark???
  • gozonergozoner Posts: 3
    The website allows people to report and to track their mpgs. Unfortunately, I searched around at for the recent Hyundai claimed 40 mpg cars; the news is not good. I looked at 2011 models because the 2012 models don't have enough people reporting to be statistically significant. The average mpgs reported for the cars are:

    33.3 - Sonata Hybrid
    32.3 - Accent
    32.0 - Veloster
    30.4 - Elantra

    Even worse, barely a single person averages the Hyundai hwy mpg or above.

    You'd think the people going through the effort to track their mileage would generally be people who are driving conservatively. As the numbers show, even these people are not getting good numbers.

    One could argue that "well all cars do worse than the EPA numbers." Not so. Among 40 mpg (or nearly so) cars that average better than the EPA Highway are: Volkswagen Golf TDI, Honda Insight and Honda CR-Z. In addition, cars average at or better than the EPA Combined are: Lexus CT200h, Smart ForTwo, Volkswagen Jetta TDI and Audi A3 TDI.

    Do your own investigation at Hyundai at Fuelly
  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,174
    Quit comparing the results to hybrids and diesels. Compare to similar cars like the Focus, Cruze, Mazda3, etc. Nobody should expect to average the hwy EPA numbers. Who thought that one up? Look at the EPA combined and see if owners are reporting that kind of number.
  • gozonergozoner Posts: 3
    edited April 2012
    I compared near 40 mpg cars irrespective of technology. 40 mpg is 40 mpg. Do your own comparison.
  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,174
    No need to get snotty. I was just suggesting comparing it to it's peers rather than to different techs. Hybrids and diesels are so different than gassers that I thought it would be more meaningful. Do as you wish, I could care less.
  • bpizzutibpizzuti Posts: 2,743
    The Mazda3 is averaging 30.6 to the Elantra's 30.2. That's averaging ALL Mazda3 models, including the 2.5L engine with the rotten FE, yet it's averaging better MPGs than an Elantra lineup of 100% "40 MPG" engines.

    Now, if you look at the details, some people with SkyActiv engines are reporting pretty low MPGs, around 25. But quite a few others are reporting over 35 MPG. Not very many Elantras are reporting over 35 MPG. In fact, I think 6 out of the 92 2011 Elantras (about 6.5%) reported north of 35 MPG, versus 9 of the 45 2012 Mazda3s (20%). If you want to go with 2012, 9 2012 Elantras reported north of 35 MPG, out of 114 ( about 8%).
  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,174
    Yes, the Mazda3 is kind of hazy as it can include one of 3 different engines for 2012 and, like you said, the 2.5L sucks gas. I'm pretty certain from looking at the entries that actually say they have a skyactive that the avg will be a fair amount higher than the avg it's at now.

    Actually for all the buzz about the Elantra and it's mpg, 30.2 isn't all that bad considering all the different kinds of driving and conditions. There's probably a lot more people that do a lot of city driving than do mostly freeway. Just a guess on my part on that one though.
  • bpizzutibpizzuti Posts: 2,743
    I'm still convinced that a lack of low-end-torque is at the root of the problem, and people are probably being a little more generous with the throttle to compensate. I wonder if real-world the Veloster Turbo might actually get better mileage, given how generous it is on low-end torque?
  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,174
    Yes, the engine changed. In 2010 they used a 2.0L and changed to a 1.8L in the 2011 model going forward. HP went up but torque went down. May help to explain why the city MPG isn't resulting in happy campers. Have to press hard to get ooomph off the line.

    Above is what I posted a week ago on this forum. I still think, as you do, there is something to it.

    As far as the Veloster goes, I wouldn't expect any turbo model to get better mpg unless it is extremely babied and what fun would that be. I don't think the people buying the Veloster Turbo are necessarily looking for maximum mpg.
  • gozonergozoner Posts: 3
    The root of the problem is that Hyundai didn't derate their EPA tests. If they had reported 27/30/35 the world would be raving about the stylish, feature-full, relatively inexpensive cars!
  • bpizzutibpizzuti Posts: 2,743
    With a torque peak at 1750 RPM they'll probably baby the engine without even realizing it, all the while praising the gobs of torque. :shades:
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,907
    The Civic and Corolla have less power and torque than the Elantra. So why aren't there tons of complaints about their fuel economy?

    I do think that many drivers do "floor it" (i.e. use more than optimal accelerator pressure) and thus get less than expected fuel economy. I've been doing some experimentation the past few days on my Sentra, which has an instantaneous mpg meter (as does the Elantra). It's rated only 27/34 but with the CVT it's capable of better fuel economy than that... IF you use a light foot. My tests have shown me just how light a touch is needed to get best fuel economy. I'll drive w/o glancing at the mpg meter, then check it. Usually it's not very good. Then I adjust pedal pressure to get mpg as high as possible. What I've found is there isn't much difference in pressure between "not very good" mpg and optimal mpg. The difference in mpg can be huge, though... as in 20s to 30s, or 30s to 40s-50s (meter pegs out at 60).

    I would not be surprised to find the same thing true on the Elantra. I haven't done that kind of experiment with it before, but next time I drive one I will.
  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,174
    The Civic and Corolla have less power and torque than the Elantra. So why aren't there tons of complaints about their fuel economy?

    IMO it's because they both easily beat their respective EPA estimates. People buy these cars for economy not HP. I don't think they are so worried about a few HP as long as the car will get out of it's own way. Fuel economy is pretty much #1 criteria. So when they surpass the EPA they are happy campers and when they don't even get close...they complain.

    Somebody just mentioned it earlier and I can kind of see their point. If Hyundai would have reduced the EPA numbers to say 27/38 instead of 29/40 this might be a moot issue. It's all about the expectations. I know the "40 MPG" thing is great marketing but make sure the car can get it fairly easily by average driving techniques or you have a situation like this.
  • gman4911gman4911 Posts: 43
    edited April 2012
    >>>The root of the problem is that Hyundai didn't derate their EPA tests.
    Why should they? It's the same test applied to all cars. If that's the results of the test, that's the results of the test.

    It's the parameters of the tests that should be questioned. For instance, the EPA tests uses 100% gas not the 10% ethanol blend that the public uses. You'll lose up to 10% FE on just that alone.

    The max acceleration rate for the city/hwy tests are 3.3/3.2 mph. You'll lose a few % FE if you exceed that rate.

    The city test does not simulate rush hour traffic. Traffic light idle times in the test avg 30 sec or less. In the real world, idle times during rush hour can be as much as 150 sec or more. Most people lose a few % FE because rush hour driving is part of their daily drive.

    The tests don't include climbing hills. You'll lose a few % FE if hills are part of your commute.

    The tests don't include weather. You'll lose a few % FE driving into head winds.

    I'm fairly certain everyone can get the EPA numbers IF they drove the car exactly the same way the car was tested.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,907
    Excellent points, especially on acceleration and rush hour traffic. If I use heavier than normal pedal pressure and do a lot of true "city" driving, especially in colder weather, I have a hard time hitting the EPA estimates. But with easy acceleration, light traffic (less idling), and moderate weather I always exceed EPA estimates, in any car--including the Elantra. Despite ethanol-laced fuel.

    20% of 25 is 5 mpg. But 20% of 40 is 8 mpg. The higher the possible fuel economy rating of a car, the higher the expectations but also the bigger drop-off in mpg's in absolute terms due to factors that affect fuel economy.
  • crankeeecrankeee Posts: 298
    The high EPA figure for highway does appear to affect the number of unhappy drivers when they drive mostly in city stop & go. The average is much more impacted and therefore the unhappiness. Older cars were setup for overall driveability not hypermiling and extreme MPG. Tradeoff for MPG maximum on highway has to be offset somewhere and it seems to be stop & go driving from all the negative posts. One good comment was regarding low end torgue. Higher revving DI engines with smaller displacement need more revs to hit the torgue/HP curve maximum, resulting in less efficiency at the lower end of the curve. Driver applies more pedal to compensate with result being poor mileage. Makes sense.
  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,174
    edited April 2012
    Good post and I agree with most of your points. If the EPA test criteria was more widely known it would negate a lot of this consternation with people's new cars. For example, I knew a lot of what you mentioned but I didn't know they used 30 seconds or less for idling at traffic signals, etc. That IS pretty low.

    However, since all cars are tested under the same parameters, why is it only a few have been besieged with complaints of owners? Many of these same people had no problem meeting or beating the EPA numbers with prior cars under similar commuting. Now they buy a new car for even better mpg and they can't come close under identical or very similar driving habit/conditions. I would be wondering about it too. Nobody has been able to answer that question for me. They keep coming back with "put more air in tires" or "drive slower" or something like it. I still like my low torque argument.

    One question. I don't understand the acceleration rates you mentioned. Forgive my stupidity but 3.3/3.2 mph as measured against what. Per second or what?
  • gman4911gman4911 Posts: 43
    edited April 2012
    >>>Now they buy a new car for even better mpg and they can't come close under identical or very similar driving habit/conditions.

    Because real-life driving conditions are much harsher than lab conditions. The length of the EPA city/hwy tests are 11/10.3 miles. The cars are tested on a dynamometer and I assume they've programmed it to simulate level terrain. I imagine most everyone can achieve EPA numbers for that distance on level terrain without too much difficulty. But nobody drives on level terrain 100% of the time.

    >>>One question. I don't understand the acceleration rates you mentioned. Forgive my stupidity but 3.3/3.2 mph as measured against what. Per second or what?

    Yes, that would be per second.

    If you take into account all of the test parameters, very few people can drive like that 100% of the time.

    The test parameters are at EPA Detailed Test Information for anyone who's curious. Click on the 'Detailed Comparison' tab.
  • bpizzutibpizzuti Posts: 2,743
    Bottom line is that i might just wait for the 1.6L Turbo DI drivetrain to hit the Elantra. At least if I'm not going to hit 40 MPG I'll get 200 HP while not hitting 40 MPG, right? And more importantly, I'll get gobs of low-end torque, which will keep me from having to redline the engine as much.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,907
    At least if I'm not going to hit 40 MPG I'll get 200 HP while not hitting 40 MPG, right?

    Well, that is one way to look at it!

    I'd prefer to take my shot at the Big 4-0 with the base engine. But it would be with the GT. Which, interestingly, is NOT rated 40 mpg. More weight? Different gear ratios?
  • bpizzutibpizzuti Posts: 2,743
    Compact hatchbacks always seem to be 1 highway MPG off of sedans, probably have a touch more drag to them. Same applies to the Mazda3 SkyActiv and Ford Focus. I find myself wondering what the difference would be if they took the Elantra sedan as-is and just converted the glass to a hatch, to give it the same aerodynamic characteristics.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,907
    Maybe the same aerodynamics but not nearly the utility of the GT. The old GT has a swoopier profile. But not nearly the cargo capacity of the new GT. I'll take the 1 mpg penalty with the greater cargo room, thank you.
  • fushigifushigi Chicago suburbsPosts: 1,381
    From Hyundai's site, numbers for the 2013 Elantra:

    Sedan max weight 2877 pounds. EPA MPG MT or AT 29/40/33.
    Coupe max weight 2877 pounds. EPA MPG MT 29/40/33 AT 28/39/32.
    GT max weight 2959 pounds. EPA MPG TBD.

    I'm surprised the sedan & coupe would weigh the same. Makes me think the coupe numbers are still preliminary estimates.

    FWIW my wife's '12 Elantra has been getting mid-20s for fuel economy. But her driving patterns are such that it comes as no surprise. Her commute is short enough (less than 3 miles) that the engine doesn't reach full operating temp. She's a bit heavier on the gas off the line than I am. And all gas available has Ethanol.

    We'll get some good highway miles this coming weekend, though, so I'm sure I'll be able to report mid-30s at least. Again E10 gas will hold MPG back some as will our probable 75MPH cruising speed.
    2017 Infiniti QX60 (me), 2012 Hyundai Elantra (wife)
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