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Hyundai Elantra Real World MPG 2012



  • fushigifushigi Chicago suburbsPosts: 1,381
    If you are using the computer you are not getting the real results.

    There is a potential for that, yes. Trip computers can be off by as much as a couple of MPG. But I already countered that argument by stating that the 40 reported by the computer represented suboptimal conditions. There's no reason to think the number reported wouldn't be higher if conditions were better.

    I am glad however you enjoy your car.

    As I stated it is my wife's car, not mine. If it were mine I'd be able to tell you the exact MPG as I track economy (via miles driven/gallons consumed, not the TC) and vehicle expenses on my cars with a spreadsheet. My V6 AWD CUV, for instance, has a lifetime MPG of 21.15 but my last tank got 24.13. EPA is 20 overall/24 highway so in the grand scheme of things I'm exceeding expectations.

    IF you ever owned a german car and understood the quality..

    Nope. Never have and probably never will. Literally everyone I've ever known who has owned a VW loved the car but would never buy another due to reliability issues. And every issue was a few hundred bucks in repairs. That speaks wonders about German quality, at least from one manufacturer. They all - every last one of them - replaced their German cars with Asian cars.

    There are many more people on here have an issue with trying to get 40 mpg..

    In terms of active posters, yes. In terms of numbers of Elantra owners who are dissatisfied, we really don't know. There are perhaps 10 or 20 dissatisfied owners who post here. Maybe more. I haven't counted. But Hyundai is selling around 15K Elantras a month, give or take.

    And many folks are failing to account for the 40MPG being just part of the actual range, which is something like 34-43MPG highway. Anything in that range is considered normal by the DoE.

    ..and then it also could be some cars in the production do and others dont? But again that would point to a lack of engineering perfection.

    Or it would point to the various reasons that have been pointed out time and time again as to why people might not be getting the economy they expected. Or a bad batch of parts from a supplier.

    Automotive engineering perfection has yet to be achieved. By any company.
    2017 Infiniti QX60 (me), 2012 Hyundai Elantra (wife)
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,906
    IF you ever owned a german car and understood the quality and feel of a precisely engineered vehicle you might understand more of what the Elantra lacks?

    What I can't understand is, why did you ever buy an Elantra in the first place? Since you love German engineering and needed 40+ mpg, I would think you would have gone for the Jetta or Golf TDI.

    I do appreciate the Golf and it's on my shopping list for my next car. But I don't like diesels, so I could never hit 40 mpg in the 2.5L Golf. But I know I could do that in the Elantra, because I've done it. For the few miles a year I drive, 35 mpg highway in the Golf is close enough.
  • ronnomadronnomad Posts: 11
    Continuation of my last post #405

    Just took a round trip Mesa, AZ - Tucson, AZ. Most driving on I10 where speed limit is mostly 75MPH (a few construction zones where it drops to 65). The speed limit on most of the other Hwys in the Phoenix area are set at 65MPH. Tucson (for those not familiar) has no city Hwy system (all streets with traffic lights and speed limits of 40-45 MPH). In addition to the Elantra's readouts, I also took my Garmin out of the Jetta for comparisons sake and the fact that the Garmin has a trip computer.

    Some facts: I took the info from the Garmin when we arrived at our initial destination in Tucson and then again when I refueled at home.

    OUT BACK Elantra
    Distance...................... 115.9 126.5 237.9
    Overall AVG MPH........... 53.4 46.0 51.0
    Moving AVG MPH........... 59.5 51.8
    Max Speed.................... 82.3 76.9
    Stopped Time (min)....... 13.5 18.3

    The two Max Speed number were both passing situations and lasted less than 30 seconds. Otherwise, based on the Garmin's satellite readout, I never exceeded the speed limit.

    According to the Elantra's readout, for the entire trip we averaged 33.6MPG.
    Based on the amount of fuel used, the average was 33.46MPG. I did find it interesting that according to the Garmin the distance traveled came to 242.4 miles (4.5 additional miles or just under 2% more). But, if that is correct, it changes the fuel economy to 34.1MPG.

    Another pieces of info. There were only 2 of us in the car (together we weight under 260) and the AC was on. At 75MPH the Tach indicated approximately 2,500RPM. Drove very jack rabbit starts...slowly built up to speed limits and kept in highest gear possible (no abrupt downshifts...except for the passing situations). I did notice that, at the beginning of the trip, once I got on the first 65MPH road (about 6 miles into the trip) that the AVG MPG indicator was creeping up past 34MPG but then dropped once the speed limit went up.

    So, what do I take from all of this? Still not getting the MPG expected (especially when considered against how aggressively I drive the Jetta which, at the same 75MPH speed, would be turning about 3,500RPM and I still would be getting 30+MPG). Even if we could have averaged 35MPG, that is still 13% below the EPA estimate of 40MPG.

    I will say this. I probably would be less focused on the fuel economy if the car was more 'fun' to drive. But, it really does not handle that well; has three obvious (and in certain instances, dangerous) blind spots; automatically downshifts on the gentlest slopes; and the SAT/NAV system is a joke (on this trip it directed me to a route that was 30 miles and 45 minutes longer than my Garmin - not the first time this has happened).
  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,174
    Don't understand why you think you should have averaged 40mpg. Your trip included surface streets, stop lights, idle time and on the freeway portions you were probably at around 70mph or more most of the time. I believe the Elantra EPA combined number is around 33. Your combined mpg for the trip was over that so why would you complain about that? Or am I missing something?
  • g2iowag2iowa Posts: 123
    Great point about the combined mileage result and EPA estimate. Too bad the manufacturers mainly tout the highway mileage figure, so that uninformed consumers wrongly get the impression that their car should be getting 40 MPG overall when it is only a highway estimate. The EPA combined number is really the one most drivers should be shooting for. I'm getting about that, in light of my heavily city-weighted stop/start short-trip driving. Is a bit odd to see people reselling their Elantra so soon (both because the car's engine does need to break in and they are likely selling at a loss) for more expensive cars in order to achieve next to nothing...3-5 more MPG highway. They won't ever recover the additional expense. Is that penny wise pound foolish?
  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,174
    Agree that people should be more informed and realistic. However, I suspect very few have taken a huge loss by trading in an almost new car just because of gas mpg. It sounds like there were other things about the car that they personally didn't like after owning it for awhile that they may have overlooked if they were getting better mpg.
  • dc_driverdc_driver Posts: 712
    What the Consumer Reports tests confirm for me is that most cars (whether it be Ford, Honda, Hyundai, Toyota, Chevy, etc) are not going to get the EPA estimated city numbers. Highway, is seems most cars are close. It just comes down to all these other variables and I suspect more people just fixate way to much on the EPA estimates (which are, at the end of the day, estimates).

    Since moving to Minnesota and doing more city driving (especially shorter trips in very cold weather) I watched the MPG numbers on my Mazda 3 and Honda Odyssey plummet. Was I happy? No. But I understood why. Not exactly ideal driving conditions and I have learned that those shorter trips (lots of stopping and going) in cold weather are a mpg killer. Also letting your car idle for 10 minutes to warm up when it is 20 below is a killer...

    What is odd about the Elantra is you have a high number of people getting at or near the EPA estimates, and what seems like a high number of people not hitting the numbers or coming close. It is very strange.
  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,174
    edited April 2012
    Especially the high number of people that achieved the hwy EPA numbers with prior autos and can't come close to the hwy EPA numbers in the new Elantra even driving more conservatively than they did in their old vehicles. Anyone can understand a big difference if they move to a different part of the country and have vastly different commutes and temp conditions. But when you change nothing but the vehicle and can't get similar results it ends up with a lot of people scratching their heads.
  • dc_driverdc_driver Posts: 712
    Agreed. It is odd. But clearly some people can hit the numbers without changing their driving techniques.. So you can't completely blame the car or nobody would be able to achieve the EPA numbers. Just odd.

    I am driving an Elantra loaner car while my Genesis Coupe is getting 3M Clearshield installed.

    Not a bad car. I really like the exterior styling and the interior is nice. This car has over 5K miles on it and the trip computer says 32.7MPG average (and I am guessing most people who drive the loaner are doing a mix of city/highway like me). It has decent acceleration and the handling is actually better than I expected (I liked it better than the non-SE Sonata model I drove).
  • ronnomadronnomad Posts: 11
    I didn't think I was implying that I should have gotten 40MPG. But, if 90% of the driving was at HWY speeds, I would have expected 35+. As I have previously posted, on a trip from Las Vegas to Phoenix with all HWY driving (in other words, filled tank; got on HWY; got off HWY, filled tank) the best I could achieve was 33.6MPG. The car now has an additional 3K miles since that trip and maybe there is a fractional increase in the MPG but still not what was implied.
  • maxx4memaxx4me Posts: 1,340
    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: 3,174
    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: 3,174
    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: 3,174
    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: 298
    "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: 298
    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: 298
    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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