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Hyundai Elantra Real World MPG 2011 MY and earlier



  • g2iowag2iowa Posts: 123
    Finally looked over the two CR issues (May for Elantra GLS and Sept for Civic LX). There is something odd about their results. Their overall combined rating is 29 for Elantra and 30 for Civic. So essentially they are tied in CR's mind. But their city/hwy results for Elantra are 20/39 vs 19/47 for Civic. IF the 47 hwy number is accurate, not sure how they come up with a 30 overall. Seems odd when results for all the other cars' combined scores are so much more like Elantra than Civic. Cruze= 17/36/26; Focus= 18/43/28 (SE) and 19/39/28 (SEL); Forte= 18/36/26. No other car has such a huge disparity between the hwy and overall number; the differences in the Focus' numbers are interesting, since neither car has the Super Fuel Economy Pkg and both have same engine/trans.

    In the Sept issue they point out how they use E10 ethanol in all their cars' auto tests.
  • I do consistently get advertised MPG from my 2011 Elantra. I keep the tires inflated to about 4 lbs. from the max and I use the premium fuel. I have found that is not enough as I have found that some gas stations premium octane provides less MPG. Certainly the lower octance / ethanol is less. I have found that the cost difference is well with in the benefit of additional MPG. The highway miles I am getting that on is the avenue of the saints (I-380/I-35) and it is fairly flat. I do pack a few suite cases, have two people in the car and drive it like I want to. That includes setting the cruise control and it includes a little bit of in town driving. I have found that for a full tank of gas the on board computer is accurate. If the amount of in town driving is more than 25% then it general falls to 37 MPG or lower in ratio with in town driving. This is an economy car and the whole is, in my opinion, a very good product. I am approaching one year of ownership without the slightest issue and have a 100,000 mi. ten year warranty if I do. :) :) :) :D So I can spend $s elsewhere.
  • I have about 9500 miles on my 2011 limited (Korean.) I consistently average 33.5mpg in a mix of driving. Purely in-town driving returns about 28mpg and several highway trips with the cruise set between 75 and 80 have produced a consistent 41mpg.

    So, from my experience the estimates are very close to correct. Add to that the fact that I've got a car that still gets looks everywhere i go. It also has leather, navigation, moonroof, heated seats, etc., etc. at an incredible price. I might change a few minor things, but in general I have no complaints.
  • steven39steven39 Posts: 636
    i have a 2012 elantra gls base model which i purchased over the summer and i get about the same mpg as you and mine is also built at the ulsan plant in korea.on a recent 400 mile road trip i averaged about 44 mpg on the highway with the a/c going full mpg on that trip was 33 mpg.and i also get compliments and looks on the car everywhere i go.not bad for a car that cost me under $18,000.00....looks,mpg,performance,warranty,pretty good i would say....
  • pbm58pbm58 Posts: 16
    Hm, sounds like some of us have manufacturing errors--am at 1500 miles, now getting 21 city/32 highway (no ac, no passengers). Glad to hear others have had success. am afraid my vehicle experience is stuck at "dissatisfied."
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,906
    Have you tested your car yet under controlled conditions to find out if there could be a problem with the car affecting mpg? Do you know how to do that?
  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,174
    "Right when it looks like Hyundai can do no wrong, we have this: A consumer protection group is asking the United States Environmental Protection Agency to look into claims that the Elantra has exaggerated fuel economy numbers.

    Consumer Watchdog sent the EPA a letter citing a litany of public criticism of the compact Elantra's real-world fuel economy, and asking the EPA to "re-test the 2011 and 2012 Elantra models in its own facility, to seek an explanation for the MPG disappointments of so many Elantra buyers."

    Above from Seems like while most get expected mpg, many are not and the numbers are such that it's generating attention. Haven't seen many other new "40 mpg compacts" getting anywhere near this amount of people complaining about their mpg.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,906
    edited December 2011
    Good. What will be interesting to see is what will happen if the EPA re-test comes up with the same results. How much do you want to bet we'll see posts about an EPA/Hyundai Conspiracy? ;)

    Also... how many other non-hybrid compacts advertise 40 mpg EPA ratings for all trims? None that I know of. IMO that is one reason people are especially perturbed when their new Elantras don't achieve the EPA ratings... that rating is high relative to other cars, and is likely a main reason why the car was purchased: "I want to get 40 mpg on my next car!" So when it doesn't meet expectations, it's a big disappointment.

    BTW... that was kind of an odd response to my post. Aren't you in favor of someone who is experiencing lower mpg than expected to rule out a problem with the car as a cause, using controlled tests?
  • A friend sent me a link to the same article that m6user referred to. The last comment made by Jim Trainor, Hyundai representative, was, "The numbers are the numbers and the tests are the tests," he said. He says the mileage ratings are achievable unless "you drive like a maniac."

    I take issue with that comment because I have found the same lack of claimed mileage results as others in this forum. If you drive with full intent of achieving the numbers claimed, you WILL be killed on the highway.
    My Korean-built 2011 Hyundai Elantra GLS has 8,200 miles on it. Around town, stop and go traffic, I get 20 to 22 mpg. I've done road tests during my frequent travels to the Eastern Shore of Virginia. I've found I can get 43 to 44 mpg with slow acceleration and traveling at 55 to 60 mph. That's about the first hour of my trip. Then the stop and go starts, along with the 4 lane free-for-all beyond that, and I end up with 35 mpg by the time I get home. I used to get that kind of mileage with my 2006 Nissan Sentra.
    I also tested the "ECO" mode. I see the same RPM's at 60 mph with it on or's nothing more than a reminder light, unlike the 2012 Soul my son has which allows you to turn it off and on.
    I use an app on my iphone called "Vehical" to track my mileage. At 8,261 miles, I've averaged 28.78 mpg, which is nothing to write home about.
    I still would have bought the car, but the 40 mpg carrot was definitely not true!
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,906
    He says the mileage ratings are achievable unless "you drive like a maniac."

    People say some pretty stupid things sometimes.

    Driving like a maniac sure won't help get close to those EPA numbers, but there's many other factors that reduce fuel economy that have nothing to do with driving like a maniac.
  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,174
    edited December 2011
    BTW... that was kind of an odd response to my post. Aren't you in favor of someone who is experiencing lower mpg than expected to rule out a problem with the car as a cause, using controlled tests?

    Of course I am. My response wasn't meant to negate your suggestion as I didn't reference it at all. I was just pointing out further information in the discussion.

    If I remember correctly, I think this poster mentioned that he had driven his new Elantra even more conservatively than he did a previous car and couldn't achieve the mpg he had previously with the new Elantra that's rated substantially higher mpg. I have a 2007 Mazda6 2.3l auto which my wife drives about 52 miles round trip daily with a mixture of about 30city/70 hwy. She averages 28 mpg tank in tank out. She drives fast too(proven by a recent speeding ticket I may add). That avg is above what the EPA estimates the avg to be. If I bought an Elantra and I did not even average the city rating on the car I would be PO'd too. Especially if I knew of others that were getting a lot better mpg with their Elantras. You know what the dealers tell these people which just probably makes it worse.

    It seems to be clear that a small percentage of people are having problems getting close to estimates no matter how hard they try. I just think we should keep an open mind and consider there may be a problem with some of the cars and not the owners.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,906
    That is exactly what my suggestion was about: rule out a mechanical problem with the car first. Then look at other factors than can impact FE, e.g. temperature, wind speed, number of stops, speed (top speed and average speed), hills, weight of cargo/passengers, gas pedal pressure (light vs. heavy), tire pressure, miles on the car/break-in, driving habits (e.g. coasting as much as possible), etc. etc.

    My wife would tell you she drives very "conservatively", and from what I've observed that's true in general. Although she occasionally runs up the speed without thinking and has had a couple speeding tickets. And for some reason she can't master using a light touch on the gas. Also, she drives a lot of short trips and likes to keep the engine running while she's waiting for our daughter at school etc. So while she believes she drives conservatively, she gets very poor FE while driving.

    I think someone could make a very good business for himself/herself if they could teach people how to drive for high fuel economy. There's driving classes for safety, for handling emergency conditions... why not for fuel economy?
  • The EPA runs their mpg ratings tests on 100% gasoline without any ethanol blended into it. The ethanol industry admits that their 10% ethanol blend will cause 2% decrease in mpg. The EPA admits that mpg is reduced 3% to 4%. However, many many people determine the mpg has been reduced to a much greater extent. My three cars with mpg line graphs listed at have mpg reductions of 4% to 7%. Seems that the 10% ethanol, which loses ~ 3% btus in the blend compared to 100% gasoline, also must lose the 'sweet spot' of which vehicles were manufactured to run best on 100% gasoline. Go to for listings & maps of gas stations in your area selling ethanol-free gasoline.

    Also, some feather-foot training is due for many complainers who don't know how to drive efficiently. Funny how so many complainers expect they can match or excel the professionals driving the EPA mpg tests.
  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,174
    edited December 2011
    Then look at other factors than can impact FE, e.g. temperature, wind speed, number of stops, speed (top speed and average speed), hills, weight of cargo/passengers, gas pedal pressure (light vs. heavy), tire pressure, miles on the car/break-in, driving habits (e.g. coasting as much as possible), etc. etc.

    Yes, that's true but most of those things will average out over time and affect all drivers and vehicles pretty much equally. I have to assume that these unsatisfied owners are driving in a similar manner to which they drove their previous vehicles. If they bought the Elantra to save fuel they may even be driving more conservatively.....who knows?

    By the way, my wife is the opposite. She does not say she drives conservatively and from what I've observed she is right. Neither of us are in any shape or form hypermilers. I probably drive like I always have as I would guess that to really affect my mpg a whole lot I would really have to baby it and that would take out a lot of the fun of driving for me.
  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,174
    Also, some feather-foot training is due for many complainers who don't know how to drive efficiently

    I guess you are assuming that all the people that are complaining about their FE with the new Elantra are just stupid then. Driving to save gas in not brain surgery and the information is out there and easily attainable. I doubt if you asked any driver how they could save gas that they wouldn't know most of the methods. They just don't practise them. Kind of like leading a horse to water so to speak.

    I have ethanol mix year round here in Chicagoland and I alway meet or beat the EPA numbers. And I don't drive with a feather under my foot. Since 2008 when the EPA revised their numbers it has been pretty easy to meet or surpass their estimates unless you drive really hard in most cars. So when I read a lot of reports of people not even getting close to the EPA numbers even when they seem to be trying very hard, I'm not quick to assign labels to them like "complainers". That is a little condescending IMO.
  • litesong2litesong2 Posts: 44
    edited December 2011
    m6user 'guesses' that I assume ALL people complaining about Elantra FE are stupid, tho m6user even quoted my term, "many complainers'. Obviously, m6user doesn't translate my quote properly, that HE emphasized. Also, his 'stupid' comment, referring to my belief, is assumed & also in error.

    Looking at the extensive & accurate map of ethanol-free gas stations listed at, I see that m6user is correct & I'm sorry no ethanol-free gas stations are in the Chicago area. But for those who do have ethanol-free gas stations, near you, I urge you to extensively test ethanol-free gasoline. Ethanol-free gas is NOT higher octane gas, but is gasoline without ethanol, & which is getting rare & even non-existent in many areas. In my own town, ethanol-free is unavailable, & I must go to the next town to purchase it. & a station with a good price on ethanol-free is in the next town, yet further from me.

    As stated in another post previously, tho the ethanol industry & Federal government admit to only a 2% to 4% loss in mpg from the use of 10% ethanol blend, my 3 cars show a 4% to 7% mpg difference. Many, many other people voice even greater losses from the use of 10% ethanol blends. Tho actual lost btus of energy are about 3% from the use of 10% ethanol blends, seems like many cars may be losing the sweet spot of efficient combustion from their individual cars which were designed to be at their best with 100% gasoline AND AS THE EPA TESTS ALL MANUFACTURERS VEHICLES FOR MPG.

    Along with urging people to use ethanol-free gasoline, make sure your tires are at proper pressures, specially in these times of cooling weather which may lower tire pressures. Studies have indicated millions of people have lost billions of gallons of fuel due to underinflated tires. Without regular monitoring of tire pressures, I've even found my tires underinflated at times. In my northern region of the country, I normally drive with a few extra pounds of tire pressure.
  • First, let me say that I love my new 2012 Elantra. It's sleek design and compact yet roomy interior is cool. Car is very durable and strong as well. I've hit several major potholes and my car still runs like she just came out the showroom - SMOOTH! Very happy.

    However, honestly I am a little disappointed with the MPG I achieve in the city. My Elantra is a great highway car, I get pretty much 40mpg on long distance highway trips when going between 70-80mph on cruise. However, I commute to work in the city daily and the MPG rating is drastically different. I only get about 20-22mpg city driving. My gas seems to burn fairly quickly driving in the city as oppose to long distance highway trips. I can drive from Jersey to New York and back with still a full tank of gas in the car. Yet, when driving to work in the city (much shorter distance) my gas tank depletes rapidly.

    I know the Elantra is rated with a higher Highway mpg than city, but the advertise 29/40 should actually be 20/40. No matter how conservative I drive, with ECO on, slow accelation, no extra weight in the car, etc., I get no more than 21-22 mpg at best!

    I still love my car because it doesn't cost much to fill up, but IMHO, the Elantra is a highway vehicle more so than a city commuter. The best city commuter in my oppinon is the Ford Fusion Hybrid, that baby runs on pure battery if you stay below 47mph (no gas at all). I and most city commuters only do about 25-40 mph city driving. So the Fusion Hybrid wins. I almost bought the Fusion hybrid, but the Elantra's price and style won me over. However, now I believe for city commuter purposes solely, the Fusion Hybrid would've been the better choice. However, still love my Elantra. Just wish I could get that advertise mpg :(
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,906
    You are correct; a gas-electric hybrid like the FFH or Prius or TCH will probably do much better in city driving than a gas-only car. For your type of driving, something like the Prius would likely have been a better choice (and the Prius is closer in size to the Elantra than the FFH).

    I've seen rumors on the 'net of an Elantra hybrid, but I haven't seen anything official on it. Hyundai certainly has the technology for it, since they have the Sonata hybrid. Just need to apply it to a smaller gas engine.
  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,174
    I would think that the type of "city" driving you describe is probably on the extreme end of city driving as tested by the EPA. Doesn't the EPA give a range for both city and hwy? It seems these ranges are quite broad and you may be getting the low end of the city range because of the heavy congested type driving you do. City driving in Des Moines would be substantially different than the city type urban driving in NY or NJ.

    In the average city type driving the EPA may be close although from what I've been reading here and other places the city rating of 29 has been difficult to reach for most drivers while the hwy mpg estimate seems to attainable for most drivers of the Elantra.
  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,174
    I stand corrected. You did not say "all". I still don't agree with labeling when one really doesn't know whether the people getting poorer than expected mpg with the Elantra are driving in a fuel efficient manner or not. Saying they are not is an assumption......probably correct based on averages but an assumption all the same.
  • rudy66rudy66 Posts: 26
    Try turning your Eco off. Car is more fun to drive and you will get a couple of more mpg. This is for city driving
  • dan_bdan_b Posts: 8
    I have a very light traffic in-town commute and average 22mpg if I drive as conservatively as possible, if I drive with the flow of traffic I get about 18mpg. My dealership told me that my car is preforming as it was engineered to and that no car will get epa rating and that I should switch from Costco to Chevron gas. My take is that they know that elantras are not meeting mpg claims.

    I note that a lot of people on this forum are having the same problem with in-town mpg as I am while other people seem to get the advertized mpg. It seems like this may be a production issue that is affecting only some elantras and maybe there will be a recall later?
  • steven39steven39 Posts: 636
    20 mpg in town seems kind of low..when i purchased my 2012 elantra gls base model in august i got on the first tank of gas about 26/city and about 38/highway.Now that i have a few thousand miles on the car the mpg's have improved as the car breaks in further.iam now getting about 29/city and 42/highway which is right about where the msrp sticker says i should be.Maybe as the car breaks in further the mpg will get even better but i am happy where it's at now.
  • pbm58pbm58 Posts: 16
    I too am only getting about 20 or so city--(and well less than 40 highway) discussion with dealer, I have received all sorts of "explanations" (such as "the cold weather" even though it is 50 degrees here) as well as insinuations about my inadequate driving skills. I have yet to make 300 miles on a tank...anyway, today I called the Hyandai consumer line for my region (these are listed in the addendum consumer affairs booklet that comes with the car). Lovely gentlemen did confirm that company IS aware of complaints from Elantra owners. So, if you are dissatisfied, please make a call--they appear to be treating this seriously, and perhaps will at some point acknowledge there is indeed a problem for some owners (inherent in the vehicle, NOT the driver) and maybe, rectify.
  • well im doing about 26 mpg in town and about 36 on highway for around 30 overall. this is at 15K miles. I am irritated enough to get an Accent hatchback

    I wonder if there is any connection to what plant the Elantras are assembled at. Mine is a 2011 Limited assembled at the Alabama plant
  • Thanks for sharing that information. Would you mind posting the phone number you called? It would save time, allowing others to take action right away.
  • fushigifushigi Chicago suburbsPosts: 1,381
    Your economy is only about 10% less than the EPA sticker. That's well within a normal variance and can be due to several factors:
    - Ethanol content in the gas. If your area has "up to 10% Ethanol" in the gas you'll lose some fuel economy.
    - Short v. long trips. When the engine is first started it will run rich until fully warmed up. So for trips of only a few miles fuel econ with always be worse.
    - Weather conditions. AC usage (includes when using front defrost) can drag MPG down. Heavy use of electrical components like the rear defrost & wipers will cause the alternator/generator to work harder to keep the battery charged. That increases engine drag which imposes a slight econ penalty.
    - Vehicle condition, mostly the air filter and tire pressure. At 15K your engine air filter is probably about due for replacement.

    It's pretty easy to have 5 or 6 things that each degrade economy by 0.5-2%. Added together a 6-15% economy drop can easily be attributed to vehicle maintenance, available fuel, & the weather.

    And I'm a little confused by your next statement. If your Hyundai has irritated you so much, why would you reward them with another sale?

    FWIW, from those complaining about Elantra MPG I've yet to see anything that indicates the manufacturing plant as a differentiator. My wife's '12 Elantra is Korean.
    2017 Infiniti QX60 (me), 2012 Hyundai Elantra (wife)
  • g2iowag2iowa Posts: 123
    Would be most helpful to know how many total miles you've driven in your Elantra and the details of the type commute you drive (e.g., how far is it one way).

    Last 4 times I drove my Elantra I drove no more than about 1 mile in any one direction (to grocery store/Post Office). So I started up a cold car, drove it cold for 1 mile or so (no stop lights or stop signs). Shut it off. Then did same going back home. My mileage in such case is about 21-22 mpg, and that doesn't surprise me, esp. as outside temp is about 25-40 deg F and I've only got about 1,000 miles on her.
  • pbm58pbm58 Posts: 16
    While I agree that various factors are related to mileage of 10-15% below EPA, the fact remains that my '02 vehicle got 390 miles on 10.5 gallon fill-up whereas my brand new Elantra is currently getting 290 on anywhere between 10.2--10.6 gallons. Only one variable has changed in the past decade--not the terrain, the temperature, my weight, my driving techniques, the weight that I transport, nor the fuel, location, or gas pump. The only thing that has changed is my vehicle. I would expect my mileage to improve after a decade, not decline.
  • roadscholar3roadscholar3 Posts: 23
    edited January 2012
    I think there may be a bigger story here regarding this gas mileage issue. Here is an article that just came out about a woman who is suing Honda because her Civic Hybrid has been under-performing relative to the promised fuel savings. Much the same issue we've been discussing. She decided to forego the class action suit and go to small claims to recover her losses. And she's instructing others to do the same. It seems like the jig is up on the much touted fuel efficiency of these new models.
    They've apparently been telling us what we want to hear but there's little substance to it. Has our government been aware all along and looked the other way?
    Here's an excerpt and a link to the story -

    Heather Peters says her car never came close to getting the promised 50 miles per gallon, and as its battery deteriorated, it was getting only 30 mpg. She wants Honda to pay for her trouble and the extra money she spent on gas.

    Peters, a former lawyer who long ago gave up her bar card, has devised a unique legal vehicle to drive Honda into court — a small claims suit that could cost the company up to $10,000 in her case and every other individual case filed in the same manner.

    If other claimants follow her lead, she estimates Honda could be forced to pay $2 billion in damages. No high-priced lawyers are involved and the process is streamlined. - - tml

    And a video - - - - - - - t-Over-Gas-Mileage-Glen-Walker-reports

    These companies may have already calculated into their gains the potential losses that might be incurred from this problem, but I wonder if they've also calculated the anger and loss of trust and loyalty?
    In fact the general mood in this country seems to be that people are at the end of their rope with being gamed by the system and having their pockets picked everywhere they turn.
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