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Hyundai Elantra Real World MPG 2011 MY and earlier



  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 13,414
    It seems there is also a campaign to convince people that these anomolies between advertised and real mpg is due to their faulty driving.

    I don't believe that I ever had a car that I couldn't beat at least the EPA highway estiment by at least 2-3 MPG at between 70 and 75 MPH. Cases in point two summers ago we drove our Sebring ragtop out west, EPA rated at 29 MPG I got about 32-33 MPG driving at speeds at 70+ MPH. This last summer we took the Sonata up to Wisconsin EPA rated at 35 MPH highway we got just over 36 combined Highway/rural and in town driving including idling on the Interstate for about an half hour due to an accident. I had a 2000 Elantra wagon EPA est 29 highway that consistently got in the low 30's.

    Most people I know usually beat EPA estiments.

    2008 Sebring Ragtop, 2011 Hyundai Sonata.

  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 13,414
    Yes I agree. Something IS wrong with this picture.

    But we disagree on what is wrong with this picture. I have a hard time believeing that a Sonata beats out an Elantra in MPG. It could be just your car or your driving habits or a combination of the two.

    And if you've been following this thread and others like it on the internet, this issue is being vocalized by more and more new car owners.

    I have been following the thread, the number of those vocalizing their issues are very small compaired to the total number sold. It just may be a case of a very vocal minority.

    2008 Sebring Ragtop, 2011 Hyundai Sonata.

  • Why not? Plenty of precedent for that. And the U.S. is pretty desperate to create new jobs and manufacturing here, so they have incentive to be lenient in order to give new business ventures a foothold in the market. Not saying that IS the case here as I'm not privy to that information, but it falls pretty easily within the realm of possibility. At the very least, I do expect that this issue will grow and get louder as word of mouth gets around, which will not do Hyundai or the EPA any good. People don't like to be duped, and especially with such a costly item as a new car and tighter budgets where fuel economy is a big deal.

    Meanwhile further down the conspiracy trail......

    Time for my aluminum beenie...... My thoughts are not my own....
  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,174
    I think someone just has an agenda. Admittedly he has not even checked the mpg manually and has only had the car a few weeks. Could be a faulty trip computer, could be something wrong with the car, could be someone doesn't even know how to work the trip computer correctly or it could just be bogus entirely. Before I would default to conspiracy theories based on a few people posting when thousands upon thousands have been sold, I would try to eliminate some things before I spouted off to the world.

    I agree about the EPA estimates, I've always beat them and I'm usually about 5 over the limit....maybe 10 on the freeways if with the flow of traffic.
  • When posters complain about milage its uselly becaude they do not know how to compute gas mileage. I ofter see " I have a 14 gallon tank and only got 280 miles. These prople clrearly do not know how to compute gas milage. Then I see people who report one tank gas milage. They do not understand the filling up one tank has a large error in really how full is the gas tankand thus a poor estimate of gas milage. My estimate is at least a 1/2 gallon error if not more.

    Here is how compute gas milage:

    1993 GMC C1500 Suburban 5.7L 223,450 miles 14178.3 gallons 15.76 MPG
    2005 Mazda 6s 5 speed 72456 miles 2911.0 gallons 24.89 MPG
    2005 Hyundai Elantra GT Auto Only owned 1 year drove 10430 miles 352.8 gallons 29.56 mpg
    2009 Mazda CX-9 AWD 29760 miles 1532.5 gallons 18.23 mpg
  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,174
    Just curious but don't research if you don't have at hand, do you know what the EPA avgs are for those vehicles?
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,905
    I know the Elantra off the top of my head as I have the 2004 GT AT (same EPA fuel economy as 2005): 21/29, and 24 combined under the newer method. Which is pessimistic. I can easily get mid-30s on the highway in my Elantra, and mid-20s in the city except in tough conditions (dead of winter, stop-n-go on the freeway etc.). But I usually drive with a light foot, stay pretty close to speed limits etc.
  • fushigifushigi Chicago suburbsPosts: 1,374
    My wife just filled up her '12 Elantra for the first time. Odometer/Gallons = 25MPG. This is the first tank, supplied by Hyundai, so we don't know how full it was to start which means the 25MPG is worst-case. Also, she only does short trips with nothing so far over 10 miles (it took 3 weeks to drain that first tank of gas).

    So while it failed to hit the advertised 29 city, there are extenuating circumstances. Indeed, with her short commute the car often won't even make full operating temp so the fuel mix will be extra rich which also negatively impacts economy.

    I look forward to seeing her MPG after she's put 4K or so miles on it, but I think this is a promising sign.
    2017 Infiniti QX60 (me), 2012 Hyundai Elantra (wife)
  • 1993 GMC C1500 Suburban 5.7L 223,450 miles 14178.3 gallons 15.76 MPG
    EPA Rating (City/combined/highway) Old 13/15/17 new 11/13/16

    2005 Mazda 6s 5 speed 72456 miles 2911.0 gallons 24.89 MPG
    EPA rating Old 19/22/26 New 17/20/24

    2005 Hyundai Elantra GT Auto Only owned 1 year drove 10430 miles 352.8 gallons 29.56 mpg
    EPA Rating Old 24/27/32 New 21/24/29

    2009 Mazda CX-9 AWD 29760 miles 1532.5 gallons 18.23 mpg
    EPA Rating 15/17/21
  • drew11mdrew11m Posts: 85
    edited October 2011
    This debate is interesting. Some of the folks on here are blaming the driver if they arent getting the MPG they "should" be. Hypermiling is not regular driving. There are 10 million reasons the MPG might be different from others, so lets try to hold up on the whole "well clearly the reason you are getting bad gas mileage is because you dont drive it correctly"

    I just turned the odo at 11,432 miles and here are my stats, precisely tracked on actual mpg, not computer (which is ALWAYS at least one mpg over)

    2011 Elantra Limited
    11,432 miles on the odo 1/3/11-Present
    Cost avg per gallon $3.33
    Highest reading 37
    Lowest Reading 27
    Overall calculated MPG 30.2 in all mileage and all conditions over 10 months.
    Slightly better gas mileage using Super , but not enough to warrant cost shift from regular.

    Based on EPA claimed 29/40 (which if you read the sticker says this average is in ideal conditions and doesnt reflect all drivers experiences) I am getting roughly 4mpg less than what you would expect overall with my driving mix.
    I drive about 70hwy/30city, so that is kind of annoying.

    However, I am testing several tanks worth of gas over the next several weeks by doing no more than 65 on the highway every day to see if that makes a big difference. However, no matter how i drive it in city conditions, it does not get better than 27

    Based on my old car MPG of 25 overall,
    I saved approximately $222 in fuel costs in 10 months. (and probably several hundred in maintenance, but that car was 10 years old)

    Overall though, one of the big reasons I chose the Elantra was the bang for the buck (the Limited features are awesome) and the advertised gas mileage.
    So I guess overall I am happy with one of the two reasons for buying it.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,905
    ...which if you read the sticker says this average is in ideal conditions and doesnt reflect all drivers experiences...


    If everyone drove like the EPA test is conducted, they should get the EPA ratings for fuel economy. Of course, that doesn't happen in the real world. EPA fuel economy ratings are estimates, not guarantees.
  • This debate is interesting. Some of the folks on here are blaming the driver if they arent getting the MPG they "should" be. Hypermiling is not regular driving. There are 10 million reasons the MPG might be different from others, so lets try to hold up on the whole "well clearly the reason you are getting bad gas mileage is because you dont drive it correctly"

    I never said the driver was at fault for bad gas milage. The driver is only at fault if they calculate the their gas milage incorrectly or if they think that the EPA estimates are guarantees.
  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,174
    Thanks. Looks like you are beating the EPA estimated average. I'm certainly no hypermiler(in fact they piss me off a lot of the time) but I've always managed to attain or better the EPA numbers.
  • You hit the nail on the head. Most people think that their guaranteed that mileage, they don't bother to read the fine print under it, where it clearly says not everyone will get this mileage.
  • rudy66rudy66 Posts: 26
    Yes but it would be nice to approximate the advertised MPG especially for those who bought the 2012 Elantra primarily for better MPG. I find myself trying to drive in such a way as to achieve great mileage but I decided just to enjoy this nice little car and not worry about it from now on.

    If you drive 300 miles and fill it up to the tune of 10 gallons you average 30 MPG. If you calculate for ten fill ups you still get an avg of 30 MPG.

    Let's say that your neighbor also drives 300 miles and fills his tank with 9.5 gallons of gas. He averages 31.6 MPG. If he calculates this ten times he still gets 31.6 MPG. and if his fill up is 10 gallons a few times, the disparity is even closer.

    Unless there can be a drastic difference between stations and their pumps, doing this over time doesn't tell you much, at least by this measurement.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,905
    Unless there can be a drastic difference between stations and their pumps, doing this over time doesn't tell you much, at least by this measurement.

    There is. I've noticed a 1-2 gallon difference on a fill up (fill at lowest flow, to automatic shutoff) between stations. This is with several different cars, different tank sizes. I frequent two stations near me, and I see this difference between them all the time. I can never seem to get my tank full on one station, thus it's always 1-2 gallons short of full when I fill up there. But no problem filling the tank at the other station.
  • The problem is the pumps are different and even the same pump will vary on how full your tank is. Another problem is that you do not measure the amount of fuel used only the amount of fuel added to your tank. So lets way that everytime you fill up there is a variation of +/- 1/2 gallon. You drive 300 miles because the previous pump overfilled your tank you fill up with 9.5 gallons when you used 10 gallons. Your calculated mileage is 31.57 MPG and you are happy. But this time because the last pump underfilled the tank you fill up with 10.5 gallons. Your calculated mileage is now 28.57 mpg and you are sad. If you only do this once you are thinking the your car either gets good mileage or bad mileage based on one tank.
    But if you drive 3000 miles and fill up you will use either 99.5 gallons or 100.5 gallons because the error is not cumulative. Your calculated mileage is now either 30.15 mpg or 29.85. A much better representation of your true mileage. The numbers are only examples or the variation possible and the +/- 1/2 gallon is only an example. I do not know that actual variation and I don't know an easy was to measure the variation. However by averaginr your calculations aver many tanks the variation becomes a smaller percentage of the fuel used.

    Hope I explained this OK. If not ask questions and I will try to clear up.
  • dudleyrdudleyr Posts: 3,469
    Couple things about mpg.

    The government makes the standards by which the cars are tested. The manufacturers test the cars using the government prescribed methods and report the results. The government verifies a random sampling of the results for compliance.

    If you know what the test procedures are you can design a car that excels on the tests, but might not do so under real life conditions.

    All cars in a model range get the same EPA rating, but you can bet that that lightest one is tested (no options). If you drive a heavier loaded model it will do worse.

    Some are grumbling about car mags testing mpg. Consumer reports has the best mpg tests in the industry by a mile. The test all their cars the same way under the same conditions (weather may vary slightly) and they test a variety of ways.

    Lets look at Consumer Reports numbers vs the EPA for the Elantra and a competitor.

    Elantra EPA 29/40

    CR 20 city 40 highway (Steady 65 mph) 35 mpg on 150 mile test loop (mostly highway - some stops)

    Civic EPA 28/39

    CR 19 city. 47 highway and 39 mpg on test loop.

    So the Elantra can certainly match the epa numbers but only under ideal conditions. The Civic gets 8 mpg over EPA under those same conditions.

    Does the Elantra get good mpg - yes. Should you expect to average 40 mpg on a fast highway trip - probably not.
  • Second tank, same as the first. Between 28 and 29 combined (mostly highway) miles per gallon.

    Before everyone piles on about how its all about how I am drive, remember... I have a 2005 Elantra that is getting averaging 29 mpg on the same route. The 2005 was only rated at 29 hwy total, not 40 like the 2012. I have never had a vehicle that I was not getting near or better than the advertised mpg.
  • drew11m wrote:
    EPA estimates are wildly inflated for the typical driver. I know some hyper miler types have done that but everyday drivers will not.
    litesong2 wrote:
    Why would you think that everyday drivers (who don't care about mpg, don't know how to drive to obtain good mpg & are stuck in stop & go traffic, anyway), can beat professional drivers who are driving a mpg city cycle (but not unending stop & go)? :D

    Hey, people! If you're stuck in stop & go traffic, ya gotta get used to burning fuel while going nowhere..... enless you're in a Nissan Leaf.
  • drew11mdrew11m Posts: 85
    Looking at the sticker while cleaning my Elantra yesteday, this is what i saw.


    then in very fine print.

    24-29 city 35-40 highway 30-33 overall based on driving conditions and driving habits (or something like that)

    So me getting 31 or 32 mpg overall is within the accepted range.

    (I did notice at least 1-2 mpg improvement by keeping it under 65 on the highway over 2 tanks.)
  • pbm58pbm58 Posts: 16
    True, no one REALLY expects to get what's on the sticker. But, seeing as I maintained 37mpg's on my 9 1/2 yr old Honda prior to purchasing an Elantra, I did not expect to get 21 city and 30 highway. It's early yet, but my understanding is cars these days don't actually "improve" with time. And these figures are without windows open, or AC on. I am more than a little flummoxed that 9 1/2 yrs after my last car purchase, I am getting 25% lower fuel economy!
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,905
    My experience with other Elantras is that mpg DOES improve with time.

    30 mpg highway is very low. But what does "highway" mean? Does it mean cruising along at 60-70 mph, no stops? Or something else? If the former, 30 mpg is much lower than it should be.

    Have you tried a highway mpg test in which you make sure the tires are at least at spec, moderate weather, pick a relatively flat section of highway where you can drive w/o stopping for at least 10 miles, then get on the highway, set the cruise at the speed limit, and reset the mpg meter? Then after at least 10 miles (longer if you can, back track the same route, and then check the mpg readout. If the speed is 70 mph or less, you should easily get upper 30s to 40+ on that test. If you still get 30 mpg on that test, I'd take the car back to the dealer as something is wrong with it.
  • I have had my Elantra six months to the day and have 9338 miles and I'm experiencing the same issues. The gas mileage seems to be getting worse with each fill up. I've used premium, medium grade, and low grades gasses. Anything except ARCO gas. I've kept a record of every fill up and the most MPG I've received is 30 and that was on a long trip, one time. The average has been 25 mpg. Great gas mileage was THE main reason I purchased this car and it has disappointed me since DAY 1 (which I took on a 300 mi. road trip and still didn't get 30 mpg). I'm experiencing all the exact same problems as Tom and feel the same way. Would have kept my 2005 minivan which got the same gas mileage but I didn't have a car payment!
  • steven39steven39 Posts: 636
    i have had my 2012 elantra gls base model for a little over 2 month's now.i have about 1500 miles on it so far and the best mpg i get right now is about 23 city and about 35 on the highway with the a/c going all the time.i always thought the the mileage is supposed to get better as the car breaks in not worse.
  • anil41anil41 Posts: 1
    I am in the process of buying 2011 elantra and reading a lot of review of road noise while driving,how is this.
  • pbm58pbm58 Posts: 16
    yeah, my elantra is less than 3 weeks old but I have an appt with the dealer--am getting 21 city/30 hway. Did not expect this at all (esp since my 9 1/2 yr previous car still got about 37 mpg's (so can't balme y driving style I don't think)
  • My 2012 is pretty quiet. Especially at speeds 55MPH and below. On the highway there are times when I hear more wind noise, but overall I'd say the car is rather quiet.
  • Yeah, I'd say you're going to remain disappointed. There isn't much they can or will do for you I don't think. 21 city is terrible and I hope I never see that. My 2012 has almost 4000 miles on it and in everyday use (work, play, errands, etc.) I'm lucky if I get 29mpg. That's usually when there's more "work" highway miles than anything else. Hyundai makes a nice car for the money, but their mileage estimates are way off. I understand the EPA is a factor, but real world MPG is not close at all. Read up on the Civic's MPG and you'll see what I mean. Unless something changes I don't see myself buying another Hyundai.

  • steven39steven39 Posts: 636
    don't know what or if anything the dealer can do except maybe suggest to you to wait till the car breaks in since it's only 3 weeks old and see if the mileage gets better.
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