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Hyundai Elantra Real World MPG 2012



  • gman4911gman4911 Posts: 43
    You do know that the EPA results are NOT from testing the entire tank of gas, don't you? No? Maybe you should read up on the test parameters.
    EPA Detailed Test Information
  • Congratulation! You are gettting almost what the car is rated. The EPA combined rating for the Elantra is 33mpg.
  • g2iowag2iowa Posts: 123
    Keep in mind that the 40 mpg EPA estimate is for highway driving and that the 29 mpg EPA estimate is for city driving. Anyone expecting to get 40 mpg all the time, combined, just doesn't understand the EPA 29/40 FE estimate. But sounds like you are achieving the EPA's combined estimate of 33 mpg, so you should be quite pleased with your FE.
  • dc_driverdc_driver Posts: 712
    LOL. So you are essentially achieving the combined EPA numbers with your car and you still complain?

    There is no pleasing some people. By all means, sell you Elantra and get a Prius.. Clearly you are expecting more out of this car than it is capable delivering. If you are expecting 40mpg from a car in the city you need to be looking into something like a Prius or Volt. I don't even think a VW diesel can achieve 40mpg in the city.
  • g2iowag2iowa Posts: 123
    After reading what others have written, the car press, and my own experience of nearly 4500 miles, I believe the crux of the Elantra FE issue is NOT the highway estimate (the 40 mpg people foolishly obsess over) but the city estimate (the oh-so-hard to achieve 29 mpg).

    I fuelled up today. Avg. MPH a mere 20 (so this was a very, very city-heavy tankful) and I get 27.23 mpg (210.3 miles and 7.724 gals of non-ethanol). I use same station and same pump and same method (stop when auto shut-off kicks in). The computer estimated 29.6 mpg, so it remains 8% off, always too high (which is starting to really tick me off).

    Now I bust my rear to max out city FE and I can't get the 29 city. I come oh-so-frustratingly close, but.... I think most people seriously underestimate BOTH the amount of miles spent in city driving and, more importantly, the amount of time spent in city driving (where stop lights and stop signs kill your time). This is a rather large car (size wise, if not necessarily weight wise) that relies on a small engine with limited low-end torque. The top 2 gears in the AT are overdrive, so city driving is pretty much mostly 1-2-3, 0-25 mph, with little time in direct-drive 4th before you come to yet another stop.

    Posters really should focus on how much time and mileage they are spending in city.
  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,175
    How do you explain the cases where people have the same commute etc and acheived EPA avgs easily with prior vehicles and now cannot come close with the Elantra, many even trying harder than in previous vehicles? All this avg MPH stuff goes out the window when you compare it to previous vehicles experience. I would highly doubt the avg MPH changed unless they significantly changed their route to work or changed shifts/traffic patterns or something like that.

    I realize that tracking mph is interesting but it does not tell the whole story as their are many ways to achieve avgs. A steady 45mph results in a 40mph avg. A combo of 70 mph and 25mph in the right combination would also result in a 40mph avg. However, I imagine driving a steady 45 would result in great MPG while the combo of 70mph and 25mph with stop and gos would result in substantially worse MPG. Just saying that avgs aren't the end all be all of this question.
  • g2iowag2iowa Posts: 123
    edited June 2012
    I don't care what other cars people were driving years ago, myself included. I only care about what my '12 Elantra GLS AT is achieving today in light of today's EPA estimate.

    And we have the car data readily at hand to help us all better understand how we each drive and what we are achieving for FE. So we should be using it. It makes me suspicious when people deliberately withhold that readily available information. Why tell us you drive "90% highway" and then not say what the avg MPH is when all you have to do is hit a button and look at a number? Makes a huge difference if the real avg MPH is 30 mph vs 55 mph for your tankful. And why just say what the computer said (mine reads too high anyway) when you know how many gals of fuel you pumped into the tank for the tankful? Is easy to give both numbers.

    So that means anyone who wants to be taken real seriously should post all the relevant data that is readily available. That includes...

    1. Computer's avg MPH per tankful,
    2. Computer's avg MPG per tankful,
    3. How many actual total miles driven per tankful,
    4. How many actual total gallons of fuel you pumped into the tank for the tankful,
    5. Whether they are using ethanol or not, and
    6. Any other unique factor (e.g., they routinely drive with passenger or set cruise on highway to 80 mph).
  • fowler3fowler3 Posts: 1,919
    edited June 2012
    I think you are correct. I keep burning up gas sitting at traffic lights all the time, very maddening! Keep in mind that the EPA estimate is based on 55mph and 3000 RPM, not over 60mph highway. Good weather and cool temperatures. The Elantra is stuck with tall gearing at low speeds, a real gas burner. The EPA probably did not try out their estimates in real world situations, no traffic lights at their tracks probably. At least no 3-minute traffic lights.

    And Elantra owners do not take into account their bank drive-thru and drive-in stops. Turn off your engine waiting in lines. Before fuel injection that did not save gas, it does now.

    I'm watching this forum closely, thinking about buying either a Veloster or a KIa Rio-5.
  • gman4911gman4911 Posts: 43
    edited June 2012
    The EPA tests the cars on a dynamometer in a lab not on a test track. The avg idle time for the city test is a little over 14 seconds. In real life, my idle time at major intersections is usually around 2.5 minutes. Worse during rush hour.

    I've posted this before and I'll post it again:
    EPA Detailed Test Information will tell you everything you need to know about the various test cycles. The city cycle is not realistic and the only way to achieve the city EPA numbers is to drive the way they test it - avoid driving during rush hour and avoid routes with stop lights.
  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,175
    I don't care what other cars people were driving years ago, myself included. I only care about what my '12 Elantra GLS AT is achieving today in light of today's EPA estimate.

    I understand that's it how you feel. I'm am not talking about comparing the MPG to a prior vehicles MPG. I'm talking about the ability of the previous vehicle to achieve the EPA numbers which is predicated on the type of driving the person does to a large degree. Which is what you are getting at. I'm also not talking about cars years ago. If you want to exaggerate that's fine but please consider: If you had a car, just prior to getting the Elantra, that the EPA said would give a combined avg of 28mpg and you averaged say 29mpg. Now I would say to achieve that, given how the EPA tests, one would be driving fairly conservatively. Now you get the Elantra and the EPA says 33 combined avg. Well, the avg person is going to think since they avg'd better than the EPA combined mpg before and my commute hasn't changed, that I should be able to at least achieve the Elantra's combined avg. Then, as hard as they try, they can only get 28 or 29mpg or worse avg. I would be questioning things also.

    Ethanol, believe it or not, is all you can get in most major cities and surrounding areas and does not affect mpg more than about 4% which would be about 1mpg per gal so it's not a major player.

    I don't disagree that avg mph can play a role. But like I explained..averages can be the combination many different speeds. Your 50mph avg may be accomplished vastly different than someones elses 50mph avg but on paper they look the same.

    Unique driving factors are the same with one car as the other if the commute did not change. The conversation centers around how the Elantra does in regards to the EPA numbers but also how it does to the cars that people replaced. After all, high mpg is major factor that most of that most owners of Elantras considered before purchasing to replace their old vehicles.

    This whole debate seems to center around many people that, try as they might, can't get anywhere close to the EPA numbers when they could before. They complain or look for help and many others(because their particular Elantras are getting the correct MPG) keep posting that it's their fault and they just don't know how to drive. Kind of condescending if you ask me. I agree there are some that are just complainers, you get that with all makes/models, but when somebody seems to genuinely have a problem it seems some people just want to make them out to be crazy or something.
  • g2iowag2iowa Posts: 123
    Don't forget that the EPA significantly revised how it comes up with its estimates, so you really can't compare EPA estimates from even a few years ago to today. The apples to apples comparison is only with the EPA estimates under the current methodolgy. Supposedly, the earlier way was less realistic and more achievable, so no suprise more people achieved those earlier numbers. But we are talking about today's estimates with today's cars.

    And there is absolutely no reason why anyone posting here can't provide all the relevant data that is at their fingertips. Only then can we all have a better picture about how they are driving and what they FE result is like in line with EPA estimate.
  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,175
    Supposedly, the earlier way was less realistic and more achievable, so no suprise more people achieved those earlier numbers.

    I'm not forgetting the EPA changed at all. The EPA changed their methodology for the 2008 model year.....about 5 years ago, not like it just happened. So there are plenty of people that had cars that were replaced by the Elantra that were 2008 or newer.

    You're wrong about the EPA making it more achievable. That is why they changed, the old method was hard to achieve for most people and the EPA was regarded as a joke so they changed their methodology to make it more realistic. Most cars that had the same drivetrain actually had their numbers reduced. Like my 2007 Mazda6. The revised numbers substantially reduced the MPG the EPA said my car could get. Funny thing was I never had a real problem achieving the old numbers. I didn't often surpass them but did achieve them regularly.

    I think most people still measure their MPG by the gals/miles method over a period of time which is what I do. Most people realize if they drive in extreme conditions. Do most people underestimate the amount of time they spend in city driving? Probably, but the percentage amount they may be off would hardly result in the problems with MPG many of these people are having. The trip computers are nice but seem to be hit or miss on accuracy. If they are 5-10% off on MPG, I also believe they could be 5%-10% off on avg MPH. I agree that it would be nice to have every single iota of data to determine a complete picture but most people just aren't that anal about keeping track of all that relevant data.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,909
    Most people realize if they drive in extreme conditions.

    I am beginning to doubt that, based on the posts I've seen in the "fuel economy" discussions. Perhaps many people don't realize how extreme (compared to the EPA test regimen) their driving conditions are because: 1) they are "normal" for them, and 2) they don't know the details of how the EPA does its tests.

    So they drive a car that, let's say for discussion sake, has an EPA rating (based on 2008 figures) of 21/29 with 24 mpg average. They have been able to achieve the 24 mpg number in their everyday driving. (And note this is a fully broken in car.) So they buy a new Elantra and expect they will achieve at LEAST 33 mpg, the EPA average FE number, in their everyday driving. And let's say they were able to achieve at least 29 mpg on the highway with the old car. So they expect to achieve at least 40 mpg with the new Elantra. Unreasonable assumptions? No. But maybe not good assumptions.

    Why not? First, it's a lot easier for a car to achieve 24 mpg average or 29 mpg highway than for a car to achieve 33 mpg average and 40 mpg highway. For the two cars I am talking about here--a 2004 Elantra and a 2013 Elantra--the 2013 Elantra has 10 more hp and the weights are within a few pounds of each other. The 2013 has a 6AT vs. 4AT and is more aerodynamic, so it should be able to achieve better FE than the 2004. But at low speeds, as in city driving, those advantages are minimal at best. They really kick in on the highway, where the engine can rev lower due to the two additional cogs and the aerodynamics help--up to a point! Start driving over about 65 mph, and wind resistance will cut that FE quite a bit (which I saw first-hand on a long trip this weekend in a 2007 Sonata--FE went down considerably over 65 mph).

    The other thing is, the old car and the new Elantra are different cars (duh). Thus what worked fine for getting at least the EPA rating on the old car may not lead to optimal FE in the new Elantra. It has different hp, differnt hp to torque ratio, it's geared differently, etc.

    Please note that I am not saying that people who complain about the FE on their Elantras are stupid or crazy or whatever. But there are factors that can explain, other than "it's a conspiracy by Hyundai" or some-such, why some people can't hit the EPA numbers on their new Elantras when they were able to do it on their old cars. And there's also the possibility of sample defects (e.g. 4,000 complaints--a lot of complaints!--out of the 400,000 or so 2011+ Elantras sold to date is 1%--well within the range that can be explained by sample defects).
  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,175
    At least you're recognising that there is a possiblility of a 1% defect rate unlike many so called experts in here.

    I agree wholeheartedly that most people don't know exactly what their true ratio city/hwy is. But I maintain that most have a pretty good idea. But I'm confused on your example. Why is it easier for the 2004 Elantra to achieve 24 city on the EPA test than it is for the 2013 Elantra to achieve 29? We're not talking wind resistance and the added hp and tranny ratios should still be an advantage even at lower speeds. Since it's a pretty standard test, shouldn't the 2013 Elantra be able to achieve it's rated city mpg just as easy? If not, should it really be rated at 29 city. I'm not so hung up on the EPA numbers per se, but I do use them for comparison as every car goes throught the same exact testing.

    Maybe I'm missing something which has been known to happen from time to time. ;)
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,909
    Why is it easier for the 2004 Elantra to achieve 24 city on the EPA test than it is for the 2013 Elantra to achieve 29?

    I have no idea. That's not what I said in my post, and the EPA city rating of the 2004 Elantra is 21, not 24.

    What I said was, it's harder for a car to achieve 33 mpg overall than 24 mpg overall. That's a 38% increase in fuel economy--for two cars that are about the same weight, the one with 33 mpg average is more powerful, and as I mentioned, the factors that work towards the high mpg don't come into play much in the lower-speed driving. Also, 40 mpg highway is harder to achieve than 29 mpg for two cars about the same size and weight and power (again, the higher mpg car is actually more powerful). Plus I see many folks comparing a well-broken-in car to a brand-new car, or one with only a few thousand miles on it. My experience with two Elantras purchased new is that FE improved over the first few thousand miles and got better up past 15k miles. And now at 70k miles my 2004 is still doing much better on FE than when new (always had recommended maintenance of course).

    The 2013 Elantra should be able to meet its EPA city rating in city driving... of the kind similar to how the EPA runs its city cycle tests. I find when I drive a car--any car--in real-world all-city driving, I have a real hard time meeting the EPA rating. As I said, I don't think a lot of people have any idea how much their "city" driving differs from what the EPA considers "city" driving.
  • gman4911gman4911 Posts: 43
    edited June 2012
    People who are frustrated with not getting the EPA numbers don't understand how the tests are done. It's easy enough to prove to yourself whether or not it's possible for a 2011+ Elantra to meet the EPA numbers and whether or not you have a defective car - drive it the way the EPA did.

    In the city, it means an 11 mile route with no stop lights, stop signs are ok, little to no traffic i.e. no rush hour traffic, gentle acceleration, total idle times of not more than 5.6 minutes, avg speed 21 MPH, top speed 56 MPH, as level terrain as possible, nice weather, no A/C.

    On the highway, it means a 10 mile route with little to no traffic, your avg speed is 48 MPH, your top speed is 60 MPH, as level terrain as possible, nice weather, no A/C.

    That's all the EPA tests do except in a lab with the car on a dynomometer and with 100% gas, not 10% ethanol. They don't drive the car for one tank of gas and calculate the MPGs. The posted EPA numbers are the MPGs attained from driving those two scenarios. If you can't get the EPA numbers under the driving scenarios above, then it's possible you have a defective car.

    Once you've determined it's possible for the car to achieve the numbers, then any differences over the entire tank of gas is due to differences in driving styles, traffic conditions, terrain differences, weather conditions, etc.

    When Popular Mechanics test drove the Elantra and Ford Focus, they did everything they could to mimic the EPA test but in the real world, and exceed the EPA numbers.
  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,175
    I guess the EPA needs to revise the testing methodology again. Prior to 2008 people were complaining so the EPA revised their tests and made it more realistic. Now, it seems with these high MPG cars, the EPA tests are unrealistic again. Are we going to go through this cycle every few years each time cars make any kind of jump in MPG?

    I guess I have to agree with Backy that achieving the EPA numbers in these newer cars is harder and harder. Time for another revision...but just for cars made after 2011 or 2012 I guess or only cars that are supposed to be able to achieve a combined MPG of, say, 33 or better.

    Or maybe a better way of posting the EPA numbers would be to forget the city/hwy/combined and just post the ranges for city and hwy like the fine print does now. Now that would a lot more realistic but I don't know if the car manufacturer lobbies would want that.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,909
    I think the main problem is with the "city" EPA estimates. From what I've seen in many sources, including auto mags, CR tests, and owner posts, it's easier to hit the highway estimates in the real world if one doesn't go over 70 mph or so. CR usually meets or exceeds the EPA numbers for highway driving, for example. But "city" in the real world, for many people, seems to be a lot more severe than "city" in the EPA tests. So I'd focus there if the EPA is to change the test regimen.
  • dodgeman07dodgeman07 Posts: 574
    There's so much mis-information in this post, I'll just link the EPA test criteria here. It includes 18% idling time for the city, 80mph driving factored into highway, and tests with A/C on.

    EPA Test Information
  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,175
    On the highway, it means a 10 mile route with little to no traffic, your avg speed is 48 MPH, your top speed is 60 MPH, as level terrain as possible, nice weather, no A/C.

    Where did you get this information?
  • gman4911gman4911 Posts: 43
    edited June 2012
    What part is mis-information? Everything I listed came from that site. I just did not point out EVERY test.
  • gman4911gman4911 Posts: 43
    edited June 2012
  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,175
    edited June 2012
    What you described in your original post was just the two testing phases that took place prior to 2008. In 2008 the EPA added 3 additional tests. If you click on the additional 3 tabs you will see the additional testing post 2008 which includes 80mph speeds, A/C use etc. The city tests include about 31 minutes "drive time" of which about 6 is spent at idle which I assume to is to simulate traffic lights/stop signs. Since we are talking about the 2011/12 Elantra, it would have been tested using all 5 phases which would include 80mph, A/C use, etc.

    So the information provided in your original post was incomplete, incorrect and misleading.
  • gman4911gman4911 Posts: 43
    edited June 2012
    >>>So the information provided in your original post was incomplete, incorrect and misleading.
    What are you talking about? The information in my post is just for the city & hwy tests which are the big numbers posted on the window sticker and to which everyone compares their results to. That is what everyone is bitching about not being able to achieve.

    Some people are under the impression that the EPA tests involve an entire tank of gas when the reality is that it only involves 10 or 11 miles of driving.

    Assuming the car is not defective, if you drive the car using the same parameters in those two tests, you should be able to achieve those numbers.

    The point of my post was to offer a way for people to prove whether or not their cars were defective and whether or not the car was capable of achieving the EPA numbers.

    The three additional tests is what gives the city and hwy tests the 'range' of what to expect. IOW, for the Elantra's city test, the rating is 29 but the range is 24 thru 34.
  • dodgeman07dodgeman07 Posts: 574
    What? You are mistaken. The City and Hwy numbers factor in the A/C on, High Speed, and Cold Temp testing. That's why those numbers dropped in 2008 for every car on the market.

    You (apparently) believe only the combined number includes those tests. That is incorrect, all the reported numbers factor them in. The current City and Hwy EPA estimates are not derived solely from the City and Hwy portion of the testing.

    Here's an example from the 2007 Elantra's revised number's factoring in the 3 additional tests: EPA Ratings 2007 Elantra
  • g2iowag2iowa Posts: 123
    Check out the August issue of MT. Test 6 40-mpg cars and Elantra comes in 6th. Mazda 3 comes first.

    They publish FE results for each car for each of 4 different drivers. Elantra has the highest standard deviation (3.1). As they put it, "Our differing driving habits had nearly 10 times the influence on the Elantra's mileage than on that of the Focus. Perhaps the Hyundai's more susceptible to enthusiatic outbursts?"

    MT's overall FE result for GLS was 35.4 mpg. The avg. for the 4 specified drivers was 36.2 mpg, but the highest driver achieved 39.1 mpg and the lowest a mere 31.3 mpg.

    Their FE chart shows Elantra achieving 40 mpg highway at speeds at or under about 65 mph. After that, MPG falls under 40 mpg.

    Their overall test results for the 5 gasoline-powered cars:

    Honda Civic HF= 39.4 mpg (5-spd AT)
    Chevy Cruze ECO= 39.3 mpg (6-spd manual)
    Mazda 3= 37.8 mpg (6-spd AT)
    Ford Focus SFE= 36.6 mpg (6-spd dl-cl AT) (lacked cruise control)
    Elantra GLS= 35.4 mpg (6-spd AT)
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,909
    When you say the Mazda3 came in first, do you mean in the overall evaluation? It was 3rd of the gas-powered cars.

    Interesting that they picked the MT on the Cruze but ATs on the others. Not apples to apples. I expect the Cruze AT would have fared worse based on other reviews, including one by C/D recently.

    If I am not mistaken, all of these cars exceeded their EPA averages. The results on the Elantra with different drivers helps explain why many owners are reporting less-than-expected FE, while others are happy with FE.
  • g2iowag2iowa Posts: 123
    edited June 2012
    Yes, the Elantra came in last place for both FE and in the overall comparison test. The Mazda 3 Skyactiv came in third for FE and first overall.

    As regards their Chevy Cruze ECO, per MT, "We wanted to drive the [MT] version precisely because of its no-compromise 28/42 mileage." They point out how even its gas tank is 3 gals smaller, an exclusive for the MT model.

    The other very interesting feature of this test comparison is how they point out the "percentage difference" figure: "how depressed this is compared with these lap's theoretical mpg modeled from our constant-speed mileages--that is, what they'd ideally do were they unimpacted by accelerating, fidgeting with the throttle, hill-climbing, and stopping." They base this off of their 27.3 miles real world driving loop. Elantra's FE fell by 24%, Cruze ECO by 30%, Civic HF by 25%, 3 Skyactiv by 25%, and Focus SFE by 20%. As they put it, "If you don't drive very gingerly, pay attention to this [figure]."

    So for drivers not focused too much on FE or who just have a heavy foot, MT estimates these drivers will lose upwards of 25% FE from the possible max. This is most important for the Elantra as MT's figure show the GLS achieving the lowest FE at every constant MPG.

    Here is their constant MPG chart for the GLS, their "theoretical maximum" for each speed point:

    35 mph= 51 mpg
    40 mph= 52 mpg
    45 mph= 52 mpg
    50 mph= 50 mpg
    55 mph= 47 mpg
    60 mph= 44 mpg
    65 mph= 40 mpg
    70 mph= 37 mpg
    75 mph= 35 mpg

    Note, at highway speeds in their test with this specific GLS, 40 mpg won't be achieved at speeds over 65 mph. So drivers routinely driving 70-80 mph won't get 40 mpg.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,909
    So drivers routinely driving 70-80 mph won't get 40 mpg.

    Was there any car in the test that achieved 40+ mpg at 80 mph? That would be really impressive.

    Since the FE numbers were taken from only 27.3 miles of driving, I have to wonder how they really relate to real-world long distance driving, e.g. cruising on a freeway all day.

    I'm a bit surprised the Elantra's FE didn't max out at 50-55 mph rather than 40-45. That tells me the car is in 6th gear at 40-45.

    It's too bad the test didn't include the Impreza. I know it's not a "40 mpg" car, but it has the highest FE of any AWD vehicle. Would be interesting to see how it fared in these tests with its CVT.
  • g2iowag2iowa Posts: 123
    It is an excellent article, so I'd encourage you to read it and study how they describe their various test methods.

    No, not a single car here could achieve 40 mpg at 80 mph.

    From the line graph, appears only the Cruze ECO could just barely hit 40 mpg at 75 mph. All the other cars were UNDER 40 mpg at 75 mph. Looks like the Civic HF, the 2nd best, was about 39 mpg at 75 mph. The 3 Skyactiv, Focus SFE, and Elantra GLS were all well under 40 mpg at 75 mph. And at 70 mph, only the Cruze ECO and Civic HF are clearly shown above 40 mpg. But at 65 mph, all the cars are at or above 40 mpg (though at this speed all were below 50 mpg).
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