Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

If you experience loading issues with the login/register form, please completely disable ad blocker or use an incognito or in-private window to log in.

Hyundai Elantra Real World MPG 2012



  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,922
    This article echos many of the points that have been put forth in this discussion. Maybe now that they have been stated by a source like Popular Mechanics, they will be given more serious consideration.

    I am glad PM emphasized that even though they achieved very good FE marks in their tests, "your mileage may vary." Aint' that the truth.
  • dan_bdan_b Posts: 8
    Shouldn't you also know that something is wrong when the mpg is 25.6! The sticker for combined driving is 33, so you guys over at Hyundai should explain why their is a 23% discrepancy between your numbers and Motor Trends. I know that my elentra simply can not get over 23 in town even if there is no traffic and I drive as conservatively as possible, if traffic is bad I am lucky to 19 mpg.
  • I totally agree kateoo71. I have a 2012 Elantra Limited. 9400 miles. i drive 85% hwy 15% city and i get 31.5 mpg most of the time. today i got 32.2 i was shocked it went up. My sticker says 29 city 40 hwy. So why is it always 31.5 why not 35 or 36 which it should be since i drive mostly hwy. I also thought about a class action suit. I dont want to hear about how im driving it either. i drive slow and staedy. I'm 52. safty is first not how fast i get there.......I DONT LIKE BEING LIED TO!!!! I wish i had my 2010 VW Jetta TDI back.
  • dodgeman07dodgeman07 Posts: 574
    edited February 2012
    A quote from the PM article: "...City results were equally­ impressive, with each into the mid-30s. Bear in mind that we made no effort to be overly frugal—no drafting, no excessive coasting—and we made a point to keep up with traffic...".

    Mid-30MPG in city driving. That is amazing. The simple physics involved in accelerating a 3000 pound vehicle in stop and go traffic coupled with the idle time at intersections? 34-35mpg in city driving is an achievement worthy of a Nobel Peace prize. ;)
  • g2iowag2iowa Posts: 123
    Today's Wall Street Journal has their review of the Mazda 3i Grand Touring sedan (which the reviewer loved). He got caught up in having fun trying to get good fuel economy (which hd did achieve). This part of the article caught my eye: "While the EPA's numbers are useful only for comparison, the difference between real world and test-cycle fuel economy is a source of unending aggrevation for car buyers.... In his book...philosopher Tim Schroeder argues that fundamentally a function of expectation. I note it here only to bolster my far-fetched fuel-economy-as-pleasure argument." I define happiness as Reality minus expectation (H=R-E). All we can control are our expectations. So the higher the expection....
  • g2iowag2iowa Posts: 123
    Their test results appear to support Hyundai's and EPA's figures. But I do wish there was more information on how PM got the two specific cars they tested. I assume they were provided by the manufacturers. If so, and esp. if the manufacturers knew the purpose of this specific test, did PM get "ringers"? That is one reason why I trust Consumer Reports the most for such tests as they actually go out and buy a car off a dealer's lot. CR can't be "ringered". [Detroit used to be notorious for providing ringers in acceleration tests, esp. in the muscle car era.]
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,922
    From what I saw in the PM article, their "city driving" was not inner-city-lots-of-stops kind of city driving. To me it seemed more like what I would call "suburban" driving. That is more realistic for low-to-mid-30s mpg. Getting that kind of mpg in true "city" driving with lots of stops/idling is difficult if not impossible in an ICE compact car. A hybrid, sure.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,922
    Yep, the cars PM tested had the special Hamster Boost feature, i.e. dual treadmills with genetically-enhanced hamsters on each, good for an additional 3-5 mpg. You must figure in the cost of the hamster food though, plus eventual hamster replacement. PM might not have done that.

  • Agreed 100%. And taking that a step further, the PM test's "city driving" was what many consumers consider "highway driving".
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,922
    Maybe so. I wouldn't consider it "highway" driving. Their loop test was "highway" driving, although they said they didn't exceed 70. It shows what one can do at that speed though. I have to chuckle a bit when folks post that they go 75+ mph and then don't understand why they aren't hitting the EPA highway estimate.
  • Well it's time for another trip to Chicago this week so I'll be at Enterprise Rental Car on Tuesday looking for an Elantra again. My last trip in an Elantra averaged right at 35mpg under less than ideal conditions.

    If I get an Elantra again, I'll report the mileage here.
  • The 4th tank yielded slightly over 25mpg with about 80% city but towards the end I could see some improvement. I reset the mileage gauge 3/4 of the way through the tank and was getting close to 27 by the computer.

    The difference being the tenths were increasing instead of dropping back towards 24 driving the same routes.

    After the 4th fill up at sunoco yesterday, while on the highway, I reset the mileage gauge and actually got readings of 38-40. I was in shock because in the past i was getting 28-30. In fact i was getting readings of close to 33 for the day which included 50/50.

    Today I had to take a a 100 mile round trip. On the highway I was getting 40mpg with cruise at 60, 38 with cruise at 65 and 36 with cruise at 70.

    On the return trip, I reset the the mileage gauge and got 40! It was about 50% highway, 25% country roads, and 25% of stoplights every mile or so.

    I use cruise the entire trip. The averages are all computer based as I did not fill up.

    I'd say I noticed the mileage increase at about 1200 miles. I don't know if the gas had anything to do with it - I would have to switch back to be sure.
  • -sfe-get-40-mpg-real-world-says-popular-mechanics

    Popular Mechanics tested the car and got even better then the 40mpg highway and were closer to 50 mpg. Again it is all on how you drive. I have been getting over 40 on the highway and over 30 in the city with the Elantra without an issue. These tests back it up.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,079
    edited February 2012
    I get that some tests are showing very good gas mileage.

    What you're not taking into account is that there MAY BE a flaw in SOME of the vehicles that is preventing owners, regardless of driving habits, from achieving acceptable MPGs. You can show all of the tests you like, but I can tell you right now that we are seeing pervasive complaints about this vehicle (and one other vehicle) that we are not seeing about other models. Even in models that are touted as having similar MPG ratings, that sell a higher volume of product - we aren't seeing near the number of complaints about MPG, even at the same break-in period.

    So, if you want to believe that Elantra drivers are way, way more aggressive drivers, by a big majority, than, say, Civic drivers, that's your choice, but it pretty much defies logic and statistical probability.

    We also see the same complaint in our consumer vehicle reviews, and there isn't a lot of crossover between those reviewers and forums posters:


    Need help navigating? [email protected] - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

    Share your vehicle reviews

  • kristie_h,

    Any customers that feel there is a defect should visit their dealer to ensure that is not the case. Our quality standards are very high. We stand behind our products. Studies and independent tests show that actual mpg figures are in line with what we advertise. Popular Mechanics is the latest we've seen. The independently-run JD Power APEAL study conducted recently showed that our owners are most satisfied with mpg in the compact segment, above any other competitor. In fact, over 50% of our owners rate fuel economy and driving range as a 9 or 10 on a 10-point scale. That figure is 7% higher than the next highest rated competitor.

    Back in December we released a document on Twitter attempting to help explain any discrepancy.

    I hope this helps explain some of the concerns and factors that affect fuel economy.

    - Rob L, Hyundai Product PR Manager
  • I believe one of the main reasons you are seeing pervasive complaints, is due to the publicity this has gotten from Consumer Watchdog and more people who are fuel concious purchasing the vehicle due to it's 40 MPG rating. I know several 2011-2012 Elantra owners that are happy with the MPG on the vehicle and it is falling within the guidelines posted on the Monroney Sticker. If a person who is purchasing the vehicle based on fuel economy only ( which a majority of people who are purchasing the Elantra are,) then they are more likely to complain about the vehicle then someone who was purchasing it for interior or other features. Just by watching the Highways around the country, how many people are actually driving efficiently, when they are averaging 70MPH. Not many. So expect more complaints when people who purchase the vehicle are not driving properly to achieve the 40 MPG that is and has been proven better on the Elantra.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,079
    I definitely agree with you there - if someone's primary reason for purchase is a particular feature, or if it swayed them away from the competition, they are always going to be more conscious of that aspect of performance. I definitely see a lot of satisfaction with the vehicle, even from those who aren't achieving what they think they should MPG-wise, with most or all other aspects of the vehicle.

    I didn't purchase my vehicle for MPG, and I barely pay attention to what I get. I needed an AWD vehicle, and I can sure tell you I'd notice if that weren't performing to expectations, even if everything else was great. We see a similar complaint from buyers who were swayed to some Ford vehicles by the My Touch/Sync system that isn't working properly. They have no complaints about other aspects, but that feature is making them sour on the whole vehicle.

    If people are achieving WAY below what they expected, and are beyond a break-in period, and are taking steps to maximize fuel efficiency, I would most certainly recommend that they take it to a dealership - repeatedly and persistently if necessary.


    Need help navigating? [email protected] - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

    Share your vehicle reviews

  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,922
    If people are achieving WAY below what they expected, ...

    But... what was expected?

    My advice is and has been, if the FE of a car is significantly lower than the EPA rating on a controlled test (details for which I've posted in these discussions numerous times so will not bore everyone here), under best-case conditions, then it's time to take it into the dealer since a problem with the car is one of the few variables left.
  • How would one explain 28-30 highway and 3 weeks later 38-40?

    All things being equal except for gas (Giant vs Sunoco) and car odometer 600 vs 1400.

    I really hope my mpg issues are over.
  • Thanks for posting Rob. We appreciate hearing from the manufacturer.


    I was hoping to complete another Elantra mileage report this week but alas, Enterprise gave me a 2011 Toyota Camry LE. I didn't experience any unintended acceleration on the trip, so that's a plus. :surprise:
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,922
    I would say all things were NOT equal... even though it might have seemed like it to you. Think about all the variables: was temperature exactly the same? Speed? Stops/use of brake? Wind?

    If the new gas was 100% gas vs. E10, that could explain part of it. As could the additional miles on the engine.

    But at least it looks like there's nothing wrong with your car!
  • eweinereweiner Posts: 36
    edited February 2012
    To address some comments above....I did buy the car on the promise of high MPG. Anyone who says that MPG was not a factor is not being honest.

    Here are some of my observations.

    Yesterday I believe I finally figured out why I am not seeing the MPG ratings I expected on my 2012 Hyundai Elantra. Some of you will probably say that you’ve known this all along while others will imply that I must be stupid for not figuring it out sooner.

    All I can say is that I have not seen a post that clarified things for me in this manner. Also, I am slow sometimes so bear with me.

    I left the office yesterday afternoon at about 3PM. It was sunny and 53. Just as I got on the highway I reset the MPG and drove the 23 mile Inter-county Connector home. My home is just off the ICC, one mile and 2 lights.

    While on the ICC I put the cruise control on and set it for 59. Low and behold, I finally saw that elusive 40ish MPG. It ranged from 38.7 to 40.2 and rose and fell with the ups and downs of the highway ( it’s not a level drive at times ).

    As soon as I got off the ICC, on that final 1 mile to my house, the MPG immediately fell and by the time I parked I was in the 36 range.

    The following morning (very early) I reversed the trip. It was 35 degrees outside. By the time I reached the ICC (again only a mile away) my MPG was 34.6. I set my cruise control to 59 and on this 23 mile drive reached a 35.1 MPG.

    After thinking about these results I have concluded the following:

    1. 40 MPG is possible in fact you’re likely getting it on your highway drives. Unfortunately, it is being obscured by the absolutely horrible city/local MPG

    2. The city/local MPG is likely WAY under the conservative 29 estimate and could be as low as 18 to 20 MPG. That’s right a tiny car like this may only be getting 18 to 20 in the city…how is that possible?

    3. Every organization that is testing the car, as well as many posters here, is focused on the wrong MPG rating. It’s the city/local driving MPG that is causing your overall MPG to look so bad. There is also to much focus on point in time trips instead of everyday commutes

    4. It does not take much city/local driving to completely trash your overall MPG. Just look at the impact from that 1 mile drive from the ICC to my home. Or look at the impact from minor hills on the ICC (a brand new and relatively flat highway)

    5. The colder the weather the worse the MPG seems to be. Why didn’t my MPG recover to 40ish the following morning? Clearly there was more highway MPG to offset the city/local MPG, right? I conclude that the highway and city/local MPGs must be lower when it’s cold. Perhaps significantly

    6. The car appears to have no intelligence when it comes to creating or maintaining MPG. If it did, I believe I would not see such a dramatic fluctuations from hills or from one mile of local driving

    7. The ECO mode should do a better job of offsetting the “Lead” foot syndrome. Does not take much of a press of the pedal to achieve a big reaction in RPM

    Now this is by no means a scientific test but it does help me to rationalize my results. At this point I guess have to accept that my average MPG will not be as high as expected for my driving situation. I do, however, remain hopeful that MPG will improve as we move into the warmer sprint/summer/fall.

    I also hope this information forces the conversation to focus more city/local MPG and why is it so bad for a tiny lightweight car.

    I will always feel that Hyundai, and other companies are using puffery and misinformation to mislead consumers by emphasizing unrealistic MPG ratings that are not consistently achievable by most drivers unless they are at the 100% highway level.
  • I agree 100%.....the best I've gotten so far is 25.5 MPG, thats combined city and highway, it's ridiculous, I did the same exact driving with a 2009 Corolla and got an average of 28 sometimes 30. Plus after driving this car for almost 2 months, I find the ride isn't that great. A lot of road noise, poor handling, weak suspension. There's no comparison to the Corolla. Hyundai does a good job with styling and all the the little extras but it doesn't do what it's supposed to. I bought this car for one reason and that is gas mileage. There's alot of better cars I could have bought and gotten this gas mileage. Maybe we should start a class action action suit.
  • knocker81knocker81 Posts: 40
    edited February 2012
    I don't know what the computer has to do with gas mileage. Whether the computer is correct or not the gas mileage is still the same. The only way to check gas mileage is fill your tank, drive, record your mileage, fill again, then divide miles by gallons. Bottom line the car gets terrible gas mileage.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,079
    We don't permit using the forums to organize legal action, but that aside, what would a suit entail? In order to prevail, the class would have to demonstrate that Hyundai knowingly & deliberately deceived consumers and somehow "rigged" a vehicle sent to the EPA for testing to achieve a higher MPG rating than is reasonably possible to achieve. Hyundai didn't create the EPA MPG numbers - that's what every manufacturer puts on the sticker. Some consumers are getting within range of the EPA estimates, so obviously it's not impossible. I don't think you'd find a lawyer in the land to take such a case, as it's nearly impossible to prove.

    Plus, as a consumer, if the suit were settled in the consumers' favor, you'd be looking at something like $200 three years from now, or a $500 coupon off the purchase of your next Hyundai. That's how these things tend to go.


    Need help navigating? [email protected] - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

    Share your vehicle reviews

  • crankeeecrankeee Posts: 298
    edited February 2012
    totally agree with your comments. We have a 4000 lb 2010 Buick and the 3200 lb 2012 Sonata. City mileage very close on both cars since we have the same terrain with both cars. 20-22 on Buick and 20-24 on Sonata. The variation depends on amount of stop and go not speed.
    The big difference is the highway MPG. Speed also is the biggest factor on the highway but the Buick is 28-29 and the Sonata is 35-38 totally dependent upon speed if no big hills. The 20% difference is totally driven by weight & speed IMO.
    So we agree with your conclusion. The EPA #'s must be some freeway or not stop and go that affects all cars except the hybrids that are also lower weight across the board.
    Changing your driving route to include more freeway (if available to you)will do more to increase mileage. The averages posted are driven by the specific conditions mainly in city driving that affects the actual versus EPA.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,922
    Two key points here:

    4. It does not take much city/local driving to completely trash your overall MPG.
    5. The colder the weather the worse the MPG seems to be.

    And yes, these points have been brought up here before. :)

    I get to experience these first-hand all the time, because I live where it can be 50 one day and below zero a couple of days later. FE does really suffer in cold weather. Also, it's real easy for city driving to ruin FE. It's possible to adjust for it to some extent, but it takes some attention. The keys are to keep your foot off the accelerator as much as possible by anticipating stops and coasting (in gear) as much as possible, e.g. on downgrades. Also shut off the engine if you'll be stopped for more than a couple of minutes, e.g. waiting for someone. Using basic techniques like that I routinely get 25%+ better FE on my wife's Hyundai than she does. (She doesn't use ANY fuel-saving techniques.)

    But if you have to make lots of stops and are stuck in heavy traffic (meaning a low average speed) a lot of the time... your mpg will suck with a non-hybrid. Weight has little to do with it. The mpg of any car when it's stopped is zero.
  • I also totally agree. i have 8700miles on my 2012 and continue to get 20-22mpg in all city driving, so much for the dealer statements that the mileage will get better as the mileage increases. I have owned 2003 and 2004 Elantras and got about the same. The all highway drives with cruise on can get 35-40mpg,but the average will quickly fall with stop and go city driving. I have been using the Eco mode all the time and decided to turn it off to see any changes. I have found that the city mpg has increased a few mpg 2-3 but i attribute this to my wife and her heavy foot. There is a marked difference in accerlation when it is off. I believe that when she drives she does not have to press down on the gas petal as hard thus the better mileage. Again how you drive does make a difference. I could not agree more with you as to the horrible suspension this car has. Here in New York City the pothole capital of the world, my teeth can rattle from the way this car handles any imperfection in the roads. There are times that i wonder if there are any shocks in this car. I have read that Hyundai improved the suspension on the 2012 after there where complaints on the 2011. They could not have done much. For those that drive in other states where the highways and roads are well maintained they may never notice this fault. Take this car to some poor maintained roads and see what i am talking about. This car has some serous cab rock and roll on those kind of roads.
  • AS I understand it Hyundai did not send the Elantra to the EPA for testing. They tested it themselves and sent the results to the EPA.

    There is a recent court case by a women who took Honda to small claims court over exaggerated MPG claims. She won nearly 10K in damages.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,079
    Well, see... that's part of my point. If you look at the class action proposed settlement, it's almost nothing. You're almost always better off pursuing some sort of remedy on your own, whether legal or by working with dealerships/manufacturers.

    I believe the basis of her win was tied to her ability to prove, via documentation, that mileage decreased following the software update provided by Honda (which is what's happening with these vehicles). She may have "won," technically, but she won't get anything yet. The case was immediately appealed. It is widely believed that anything tied to "false advertising" won't be upheld, though the post-software update reduction in MPG probably will.

    Don't get me wrong - I am not disputing anyone's claim that they're not getting expected MPGs, and I don't ride with anyone so I can't say whether it's a vehicle issue or a driving issue. Some people have reported getting close to the EPA numbers, others haven't. I can't tell you why that is.


    Need help navigating? [email protected] - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

    Share your vehicle reviews

Sign In or Register to comment.