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Hyundai Elantra Real World MPG 2011 MY and earlier



  • sarah2175sarah2175 Posts: 76
    Thank you, you just provided some great information and advice! Thanks! :)
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Manson, WAPosts: 7,234
    edited May 2011
    fushigi's advice is sound on needing to wait until you get your '11 Elantra's engine "broken" in to start expecting better ghastly mileage. I am just glad you didn't give up on Hyundai and ya went with another one sort of like the other one. Good job.

    I would've flirted with getting a Kia Forte but I'm a Kia man and not a Hyundai man. They're really two different beasts. Actually I have wanted two Hyundai's before. One a 2003 Tiburon with the 5-speed transmission (glad I held off on that one!) and the other a 1999 Elantra in "red" that really looked orange to me. I had to ask the salesman again if Hyundai really called the orange on that 1999 Hyundai Elantra red. He said that "yes, that is a red Elantra you just test drove." Sure enough, according to the window sticker, it was red!

    Test drove an automatic red 1999 Hyundai Elantra in December of 1998 and really liked it. Mrs. iluvmysephia1 also took the test drive and well, didn't like it. Didn't want a new car at that time. So we drove off in our 1997 Ford Escort, purple with an automatic tranny.

    I took that '97 Escort to Jerry Smith Kia in Anacortes, WA, in May of 1999 and traded it in on a violet mist 1999 Kia Sephia. Only $7,995 with the 5-speed stick. No A/C, no radio but it had a steering wheel. :P

    The rest is, and was, as they say on TV, history. :shades:

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • fushigifushigi Chicago suburbsPosts: 1,398
    Here's a good example why distance-to-empty isn't a good measure of fuel economy. After filling up this morning my car said DTE was 300 miles. I then drove 84 miles, of which about 80% were highway. DTE now says 340 miles. So I drive over 80 miles yet DTE is higher than when I started.

    Obviously the 300 number was based on the city-style driving I was doing before filling up. Once I hit the highway the DTE slowly went up, peaking @ 360 before dropping down to 340 on my last 8 or so non-highway miles on my way home.
    2017 Infiniti QX60 (me), 2012 Hyundai Elantra (wife)
  • miranda200miranda200 Posts: 15
    Thanks for the good tips. I'll check the tire pressure and calculate as you've recommended. And (sigh) be patient for another few thousand miles.
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Manson, WAPosts: 7,234
    are ya talking about your Mitsubishi Outlander? Because what you're describing also seems to occur in our 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS and it's fuel remaining display. It displays more gas left as the trip on the freeway goes along. It did it today AAMOF!

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • fushigifushigi Chicago suburbsPosts: 1,398
    Yep. But as you know, if you scan the forums there are others who talk about how their trip comps are inaccurate and it's due to the same reasoning. Many TCs count engine revs over time and compare that to miles driven over the same period. It knows how much fuel is used in a rev so it's a straightforward calculation to see you're getting x miles/gallon and hence have y miles left before you run out of gas.

    But sitting at a stoplight incurs engine revs - and fuel consumption - with no distance gained so DTE for anything other than sitting in traffic is skewed. That's why one trick hybrids use is to shut off the engine when the car stops.

    If you hit the highway at a reasonable speed your engine revs are fairly low while vehicle speed is comparably fast. You're in the car's zone where it gets optimal fuel economy. Optimal economy is achieved when you're at the lowest speed the engine can comfortably maintain in it's highest gear. That varies by car.

    My commute is 23 non-highway miles each way. It has plenty of stoplights. But it is "suburban" so the distance between lights is much greater than a city block and speed limits are 35-45. I speed a little so I'm usually doing 42-50 and a little above 42 just happens to be where my Outlander's sweet spot starts. It hits 6th gear and cruises at under 1300 RPM for those distances.

    Making this comment relative, :blush: , my wife's '01 Elantra is mostly used for her short 3 mile commute. She gets (relatively) horrible gas mileage. But on her drive the engine rarely reaches full operating temp, she hits several stop lights and some neighborhood driving (25 MPH limit), is often stuck behind school buses, and so on. Also, while not a true lead foot she is a bit heavy on the gas when taking off. She drives it harder than I do, which is odd as I'm more of a speeder (and I grew up within a stone's throw from the Indy 500 track so I'm environmentally conditioned to drive fast ;) ).

    She gets good highway mileage but if she only uses the car for commuting to work she only gets MPG in the 18-23 range.

    Oh, that brings up another fuel economy gotcha. Operating temperature. Folks might not realize it but when an engine is cold, the computer uses a richer fuel/air mix. More fuel is used until the engine is fully warmed up. So regardless of driving style or any other factor, an engine that isn't fully warmed up to normal operating temp will use more fuel.

    Likewise, some cars - I can't speak for all - do a similar same thing with the transmission. My last car wouldn't engage the torque converter lockup until the trans was fully warmed up. That's another efficiency loss that's mostly felt during just the first few miles of driving.
    2017 Infiniti QX60 (me), 2012 Hyundai Elantra (wife)
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Manson, WAPosts: 7,234
    yeah, I've heard that your car struggles to get decent mileage when you're never reaching a comfortable torque on the motor. It runs richer when cold. Makes sense.

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • mcksmommcksmom Posts: 2
    My 2011 Elantra has 4,100 miles on it and my mileage keeps going down, down, down. My daily commute consists of 8 miles of steady stop/go (mostly non-stop) to the highway, where I drive another 16 miles on the highway at 65 mph. When I first bought my car, I got 36-37 mpg, but that's as high as it's ever been. Now I am down to 27 mpg and have taken back to Hyundai twice to ask why. They keep saying, "Just keep driving it. It will get better." WHEN? I'm afraid I've got a lemon.
  • fushigifushigi Chicago suburbsPosts: 1,398
    If it started good and got worse (and other factors haven't changed) then I'd suspect something along the lines of a clogged/dirty fuel or air filter.

    Also, we're just getting off the winter blend gas so if you live in the snow belt your economy should improve a bit.

    If you normally buy cheap gas, try a few tanks from a Top Tier provider ( ) as it may have more detergents than the bargain stuff.
    2017 Infiniti QX60 (me), 2012 Hyundai Elantra (wife)
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    Yikes! I hope nothing is wrong. Perhaps the engine is not breathing well enough? Check the air filter or air box. It is common in my neck of the woods to see mice build nests in them. It's happened to me in the past.
  • hhr06hhr06 Posts: 47

  • tenpin288tenpin288 Posts: 804
    edited June 2011
    Keep in mind that the figures quoted by Hyundai, and all other manufacturers, come from the EPA testing. I looked at their site for the test parameters for the highway mileage test and here is the particulars:

    1. test time -- 765 seconds
    2. test mileage -- 10.26 miles
    3. test avg speed -- 48.3 mph! (with a peak of only 60mph for a brief spurt!)

    So basically, if you go over 60 mph for an extended period of time, or if your avg speed exceeds 48.3 mph, it is likely you will fall short of that 40 mpg. Is that Hyundai's fault? Sorry, no. Blame the EPA and their testing methodologies! :cry:
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,910
    On your trip to Branson, try as hard as you can to treat the accelerator as if it were a raw egg. Anything other than a light touch will break it. Also, the more you touch it, the greater the chance of it breaking. Also try staying at the speed limits. And tell us how you do--in both directions (since you'll be going uphill to Branson, downhill home).

    My 2004 Elantra with 65k miles and the old iron block engine does over 35 mpg highway @ 65 mph without breaking a sweat. I am sure your 2011 can do better.
  • svensmorsvensmor Posts: 7
    2012 elantra mt 480 miles on odo.first tank of fuel averaged 39.83 miles per gallon.These are real calculations not on board computer calculated. The first tank had only about 60 miles hwy.On the highway i was getting between 48 and 49 with hills.Granted these hwy miles were done alternating between 60 and 62 miles an hour as to break the car in and not maintain a constant speed for too long as recommended by the manual for the first 600 miles.
    So far this car has been a commuter and that is where my mpg experience has been garnered thus far.My commute is 34 miles round trip it is 11 miles rural 4 miles suburban and 2 miles city with NO HWY.
    almost every day are 2/3 mile shopping or appointment side trips around town on the way home.At the beginning of my drive every morning i reset my trip cmptr and then check it when i get lowest average mpg was 39.4 and my highest was 44.1.I have been driving thus far according to hyundais breaking in suggestions i.e. vary speeds keep the rpms between 2000 and 4000 and i have not been using the cruise.Once the break in period is complete i will cruise at a lower rpm and use cruise.I am accelerating slowly shifting when prompted and looking ahead to time lights.I hope these real world numbers can put to bed the high mpg non believers and i expect these numbers to improve once the break in period is complete.
  • dudleyrdudleyr Posts: 3,469
    Excellent mpg. A manual transmission is the only way to go for numbers like those - despite what the EPA may say.

    Wish they offer the stick on the higher trims.
  • mikeystoy5mikeystoy5 Posts: 56
    Just made our second tip from Duhram, NC, to Knoxville, Tn.. Gas mileage was great as far as I'm concerned. Averaged 38.79 which was mostly hwy. We have a 2011 Elntra GLS automatic, with 3200 miles on it. Felt real good about it, since we have to go up an down thru some mountains.( I call them hills, real mountains are west of Mississippi )
  • thfrazerthfrazer Posts: 20
    I've got just over a 1000 miles on my 2012 Elantra GLS A/T and I have yet to get anything over about 31mpg. I followed the supposed "break in" procedures. I go easy on the gas pedal during starts, etc. I do drive at a speed about 5-8mph over the limit, but I'm in Florida where it's flat for goodness sake! On one tank I drove around town, drove to work (30 mile one way, mostly highway) and took a road trip to Naples on I-75 and got 30.7mpg. When my 11 year old BMW with an Inline 6 cylinder and tons more horsepower can get 23-25mpg over the same routes with the same driver (me) I have got to wonder what the hell is going on.

    The fact is the break-in procedure as written in the book starts out with the comment that there is nothing special you have to do to break-in your new Hyundai. The sad part is it has gotten progressively worse each time I fill the tank. Another weird thing is that when the Range got to 30 miles-to-go it just went to dashes ---- and that was it! When I filled it up at that point I put in 10.7 gallons and the tank holds about 11.7 so go figure. I was at the dealer for another reason today and overheard another customer complaining about the decreasing gas mileage. While the EPA may be partly to blame for the numbers on the sticker it is Hyundai that is advertising the crap out of their "40mpg" Elantra.

    This is a nice car for the money, but I, and many others, probably bought the Elantra thinking we'd get at least 29mpg combined. It is truly disappointing to find out that is not the case. I should have stayed with Honda and gone with the Civic which every review says gets better than the estimated city/highway mileage. I'll keep an eye on this issue, but for now I'm going to say you should NOT buy this car based on estimated MPG. If my mileage gets to a minimum of 29 combined I will report back and perhaps change my tune.

    Sorry Hyundai! You've let me down and this was your first and possibly only chance to impress me.

  • I have had my Elantra since Feb, and have well over 6000 miles on it and my average MPG is 31.........I am really unhappy with this since I traded in an 04 with 104,000 miles on it and it got 35 miles to the gallon..........we just did 2 highway trips, and I got 30.1 MPG, and this was calculated by filling up before and after the trip. Really unhappy because now not only do I have a car payment........I'm going to have to take out a loan for the gas that I put in this car compaired to the old one. Not happy with this new car at all.......and the window sticker said 35 city and 40 highway...........false advertising if I ever saw it.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,910
    edited July 2011
    Which Elantra did you buy? The window stickers of all Elantras sold in the USA say 29 city and 40 highway.

    Tell us more about your road trips. What was your average speed (trip computer can tell you)? Many stops? Cruise used? What kind of terrain? Temperatures? All these things affect fuel economy.

    I have an '04 Elantra and it will do 35+ mpg on the highway, at reasonable speeds. But not 35 mpg overall. If your '04 did 35 mpg over its lifetime, you must have done a lot of highway driving with it.
  • sarah2175sarah2175 Posts: 76
    Give it some only have 1000 miles on your car. Also, when you are driving on the highway, how fast are you going?
  • thfrazerthfrazer Posts: 20
    Thank you all for your optimism. I hope I am proven wrong about the Elantra's MPG.

    I drive in south Florida where he roads are flat, the temps this time of year vary from 80-100F, and many consider the drivers here crazy :)) I consistently drive 5-10MPH over the speed limit. The speed limit on the highway I use varies from 55-70MPH. My route to work is 30 miles one-way with most of that being on I-75 and the Palmetto Expressway. My drive to work usually occurs outside of normal congested times (i.e. not between 7-9am and 4-6pm). All fuel in Florida contains Ethanol (10%?), but I don't think that is an issue.

    The sticker says 29 city and 40 highway and it also says something in smaller print about the average user getting from ~24-34. So far I have gotten 29 combined, but not much more even when doing a road trip from Fort Lauderdale to Naples across the Everglades and back. I've got a Honda Odyssey that gets about 18mpg city and that is used solely to transport my wife and kids to/from any and all activities and shopping. So if the Hyundai that carries less passengers and weighs probably half as much can only get 24-30mpg then I'd say they've got a problem. And I intend to let others know about it.

    I like the car, but this fuel issue has me disappointed. Not only do I not get the mileage I expected, but the Range gauge goes to dashes ---- when it goes below 30 miles to go! However, the fuel gauge has one bar left at that point so what are you to trust? When I fill the car up when I get dashes I can put about 10.7 gallons in. My manual says the tank holds +/- 11.7. So the fuel gauge is accurate, but the range isn't. Why? Only Hyundai knows and they ain't saying.

    In theory a Civic will cost more than a Elantra. So the money you save on the purchase price will probably pay for a lot of gas at a 3-5 mile per gallon difference. In addition, the Elantra has a 5 year versus a 3 year bumper to bumper warranty for the Civic. That is the only way to feel good about the MPG difference between the two.

    I will keep everyone posted as my car ages.

  • sarah2175sarah2175 Posts: 76
    Again, give it some time. My 2011 Elantra has about 3,300 on it, and I had the same issue as you did. It evens out...don't be so angry about it and have a little patience.

    I also use cruise control whenever I can, and it helps tremendously with the MPG's.

    A few weeks ago I drove 2 1/2 hours to visit my folks house. My average speed on the interstate was 70-75, and the MPG's kept rising on the dashboard computer. After about 30 minutes, it reached 41 MPG. Now during city driving, I have treated the accelerator like an egg, as I said I use cruse control whenever possible, and I only go about 5-10 MPH over the speed limit (like you) and my MPG's for city is anyone between 26-31.

    It's not 29 *every single time* but who cares? It's a fantastic car and I couldn't be more happy with it! (Except for not having a spare tire, that sucked when I got a flat two weeks ago lol)
  • mikeystoy5mikeystoy5 Posts: 56
    Yes, Enthynol will affect gas mileage, I would say bt a few gallons a mile. Also, using the cruise control helps out alot. You have to stop an remember that those advertised MPG's are based on ideal conditions. The fuel tank on all 2011 Elantra's is 12.8 gallons, not 11.7, and why in the world would you wait till it shows dashes on the miles to go. That is an estimate, not true mileage left. It's based on driving habits, weather, traffic an type of fuel. Mine has almost 3200 miles an on a recent trip to Tennessee, we averaged almost 39 mpg., an acording to the idiot gauge on the dash we were getting almost 42.5. Never trust something that is estimating what your getting for mileage.
    You can say what you want, but i think that I'm getting exactly what I paid for, sorry you don't.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,042
    I totally agree with the comment about fuel blended with ethanol. We go out of our way to avoid it - not that we drive miles out of the way, but we know where the non-ethanol stations are, and we fill up when our travels take us close to one.

    It has a definite effect on my MPG.


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  • pbhattpbhatt Posts: 4
    Hi... Dont worry... Once it passes 1800-2000 miles it should start improve... In my case I used to get 29-31 overall for first 1800 Miles (For first 600 miles only 26-27)... But after that It started improving and now I am getting constantly 34-35 mpg.. (I am commuting 30 miles oneway everyday with 70% highway)
  • thfrazerthfrazer Posts: 20
    Thanks again for all your optimism guys and gals. I really like the car, but my issue is the fuel economy. I expect to get less than the EPA average because the EPA testing is not realistic. However, I don't think I'm the only one who is unhappy about what I do get in the Elantra. I'm sure if I drove with cruise control on, no A/C, just the speed limit, etc., etc., I'd get closer to the mileage, but that's not what the EPA does either so that shouldn't be expected.

    I use gas with ethanol in all my other cars and they still get what they used to get when I bought them in 2000 and 2003. Maybe the Elantra is different in that respect. Anyway, it's my car now and I'll be patient and hope for the best.

    With regard to driving until the dashes --- appear. That is what happens when it gets to 30 miles to go on the range meter. So I either have 30 miles to go or the range meter is not very good. If my Elantra holds 12.7 as someone said then at 25mpg I should still have 50 miles to go when I stop and put in 10.7 gallons. No matter how you look at that issue it doesn't reflect too well on Hyundai. You may fault me for driving til the dashes appear, but the first time it did that I got nervous and filled up immediately. Now that I know it is bogus I'll try to get it repaired or drive til the bars on the tank gauge disappear :)) The point is the range meter should be more precise if it really holds 12.7 gallons.

  • mikeystoy5mikeystoy5 Posts: 56
    Are you sure you have an Elantra an not a Accent. The Accent has a 11.7 gallon tank and the Elantra has a 12.8 gallon tank. Maybe you should look at the Hyundai website an see what holds what. Also, it is a proven fact that ethanol will cause you to some mpg. It's not Hyundai's fault on whats put on the maroney(Window Sticker), it's what the EPA says it will get. There was a post in here earlier on how they arrive at that figure. If you drive till the dashes go out, hopefully you'll have your cell phone with you, you'll probably need it. Plz see post #313 on how the EPA determines mileage.
  • hhr06hhr06 Posts: 47
    count me in on any thing you want to do about the gas mileage. i have over 6000 miles and have yet to see 40mpgs, just came back from a trip from biloxi miss, to branson mo and back. veru disappointed with mpg
  • hhr06hhr06 Posts: 47
    feel the same way here with the false gas mileage i have a 2011 loaded limited elantra
  • sarah2175sarah2175 Posts: 76
    How fast were you going? Be honest....
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