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Hyundai Elantra Real World MPG 2011 MY and earlier



  • smith20smith20 Posts: 256
    I've been getting some personal mpg records in the last two months and I have about 19,500 miles on the car right now. So, it might improve even well beyond 5,000 miles. My Elantra's fuel efficiency corresponds incredibly closely with its route . . . for example the trip computer is currently reporting 21.2 mpg so far on the current tank since it has all been a combination of my short distance stop-and-go commute and short trips to stores, as well as the cooler weather.
  • Has anybody heard if Hyundai is going to be bringing over our diesel counterparts from across the pond in Europe? I hear they get even better gas mileage than the Hybrids we have here in the USA. I e-mailed Hyundai, but have yet to hear back from them. Any info would be great. Thanks........
  • I made a couple of mods that perhaps increased my mileage. The first was to remove the duct connecting the air filter box to the resonator in the fender. The engine is a little louder under load but otherwise I can't tell too much difference under normal driving conditions. The second was that I checked my tire pressure and saw it was down to about 27 each side. I pumped the fronts up to 36 and the rears up to 32 (on advice of another forum). After the air filter change, my mileage increased to 27.5 mpg; after pumping up the tires I'm up to almost 29. I had been getting about 25 overall and my drive isn't significantly different (normal commute).

    However, two factors may be helping me: First, it's finally cooling off and I'm not running the AC all the time; second, the odometer is up to about 3500 miles, so maybe the car is breaking in.

    I plan to back out the air filter mod at some point and see if the mileage decreases any; I'm not real fond of the noise the car is making under load. It's louder, but definitely no sexier.
  • gt_fangt_fan Posts: 159
    I bought a 2002 GT 5-speed brand new and now have over 78,000 miles. I've used a spreadsheet to track every fill up and it's lifetime average to this point is 33.21 mpg.

    Very early on I found myself "driving to the meter"- changing my driving style to see how high I could get the little LCD readout. For the first few thousand miles I was hard pressed to break 30 mpg, but since my GT has broken in I usually do better than 34.

    To help increase my mileage, I did the same intake modification as doohickie (see above) and bumped my tire pressure up as well. The biggest thing though, was learning how to time the lights and consistently short-shifting.

    I'm always looking way ahead for what the lights are doing and I'll get off the throttle and coast while the cars in front of me are racing up the light. They'll come to a complete stop and when the light turns green and they take off, I'm just coming up behind them. Usually I don't even have to shift down any lower than third to resume my place in line. I do try to avoid doing this while traffic is heavy or on two lane roads when people are behind me.

    I've never had the car out on a long highway trip. Our family vacations are all in the minivan and the GT is strictly for commuting. My daily drive is mostly interstate and I pretty much stick to the right lane at 60-65mph. In my previous car (an Audi Quattro) I'd always be that %&#@ in the fast lane, tailgating and flashing his lights at the slowpoke who was putting along at a "mere" 80 mph! When traffic was lighter I would often have the Audi cruising along in excess of 110 mph. The Hyundai's little readout has probably saved me a lot of money in speeding tickets as well as gas!
  • doohickiedoohickie Posts: 949
    The biggest thing though, was learning how to time the lights and consistently short-shifting.

    I am working on timing the lights. The short shifting isn't really an option with the AT, though, but I'm learning to let the engine play out instead of gunning it. My mpgs went from about 24 on my daily commute to a little over 26 just by taking it easy. I got a CEL and reset my ECU to clear it, and the following tank got almost 28 mpg in mixed driving, which is what I had been hoping to get all along. Granted, I have to drive easy to get that, but I'm getting used to it.

    (BTW... I went back to stock intake because I just wasn't crazy about the sound without the resonator.)
  • gt_fangt_fan Posts: 159
    Actually, I'm considering going back to the original intake myself. I removed the resonator more to increase horsepower than to increase mileage, but since I rarely rev past 3000 rpm nowadays, I might as well quiet things down a bit...

    Wow, I must be getting old. At least I'm not driving a Buick yet!
  • gary045gary045 Posts: 81
    I bought an 04 5 spd new. I'm very pleased with the quality and features for the money.
    My first trip to NY from WV produced a shocking 37 mpg at speeds of 60, 65, and some 70mph. Was still breaking it in. I expected about 33.

    Then did a trip to Houston at 70+ speeds and my mpg went down to 33-35. Not bad.
    I just wish they would come out with a 6spd tranny to improve high speed crusing. The rpm at 70 is just above 2,700 and I hate to run the eng high than that for 10 hrs. Wear and tear on the engine etc.
    It could stand to run at 2,400 rpm with a 6th gear no problem at 70 and still have plenty of torque for cruising over hills.

    Cruise is a pleasure in this car. No lugging at all on the steepest mountains of WV. I had a chevy trk that was always shifting down and up on the slightest grade. Was very annoying. But not this car.

    If you're getting crummy mpg I think it is a good idea to disconnect the battery for a minute to reset the CPU. Then start driving more conservative as it relearns your driving style. It's nice to get a second chance isn't it? :)
  • gary045gary045 Posts: 81
    Sounds right to me banjoec. The sweet spot is in the 55-65 range for best mpg.
    At 70+ the mpg drops off to 32-35 area with rpm at 2,700+.
    We need a 6th gear for 70+ cruising with great mpg.
  • doohickiedoohickie Posts: 949
    Resetting the ECU at about 8000 miles seems to have helped.... where I was getting 23-25 mpg in mixed driving, I am now suddenly getting 27-28. I fully expect I could make 30s on a long trip.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,910
    You can easily get mid-30s on the automatic Elantra on long trips if you keep the speed reasonable. I have gotten mid-30s on a couple of 200-mile trips on my Elantra GT, and one trip was with five people and luggage. Tires were 35 psi, A/C on part of the way.
  • doohickiedoohickie Posts: 949
    That's been my hope; unfortunately until I reset the ECU I didn't think I would ever see it. It looks possible now.
  • lightfootfllightfootfl Posts: 442
    Not sure I understand what the resetting of the ECU actually does, can you give a recap? Sounds like a smart move if it actually increases mileages, do you have any idea why? Do you know if it would work on a Sonata LX V6 Auto too? :confuse:
  • gary045gary045 Posts: 81
    From what I understand the ecu learns your driving style, like flooring it all the time or taking it easy.
    Or if you get a bad tank of gas it will adjust to that.
    If I was getting crummy mpg, reseting the ecu is the first thing I'd do before doing any tests on the air/fuel mixture or timing.

    Premium fuel also gives me better mpg since the engine has a 10.3:1 compression ratio. I use premium when prices fall some or when I don't drive much. A ratio under 9.5:1 you can stay with regular.
  • gary045gary045 Posts: 81
    There is about 3 reasons why you shouldn't way over inflate your tires.

    Your tire will have a smaller contact patch on the road, which will make driving in the rain alot more dangerous.

    You will wear out your tires early in the center.

    All the road bumps and shocks will be transmitted to the cars bearings and balljoints etc.
    Better to keep the air pressure within a pound or 2 over and let your tires soak up the bumps.

    I take all my road trips in the spring or fall. Mainly because I don't like driving in the heat and won't set foot in TX when it's 100 in July. lol
    Much better letting the cool outside vent air in.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,910
    I've heard different takes on this subject. IMO 35 psi is not "way overinflated." I find at that pressure, handling is a little better and the ride and stopping power don't suffer, and the tires seem to wear evenly and last just as long. The GLS has a pretty soft suspension anyway. The GT (and GLS 5-door) have a firmer suspension, but at 35 the ride doesn't seem too harsh. I wouldn't want it any higher though, not with the frost-damaged streets in my town.

    There are hypermilers who set their tire pressures much higher, e.g. 45-50, but I figure they must drive on really smooth roads.

    I have been in TX (and FL and AZ...) in July. We turned on the A/C. Full. :)
  • doohickiedoohickie Posts: 949
    Ghack... I'm back into the mid-20s. I love the car, just wish it would get better mileage.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,910
    I just became the primary driver of our '04 GT automatic, which was my wife's car before I got her a minivan a few days ago (she was having MVW symptoms--mini-van withdrawal). I took it on a 70-mile drive around local roads and highways on Monday. On the way there, I was in a hurry :blush: and went, well, faster than I should have. And I didn't pay much attention to saving gas. I still got 32.1 mpg for the 35-mile trip, based on the computer (which I have found to be quite accurate). Not too bad, since the EPA rating is 32 highway. On the way home, I took a different route which has more boulevards (45-50 mph) than the other route, and I didn't exceed the posted speeds. I got overall 34.2 mpg, which means I got over 36 mpg for the return trip. Shows what moderate driving can do. Best I've seen on that car so far is about 38 mpg on a 200 mile trip with five people and luggage. When my wife drove it, it was usually around 20-22 mpg because she drives with a lead foot and mostly on very short trips with a lot of stops and idling.
  • doohickiedoohickie Posts: 949
    Shows what moderate driving can do.

    I've been purposely driving "moderately" for a couple months now. It seemed to work at first but has dropped off again. I think they started shipping 10% ethanol gas at about the same time the mileage dropped off; that might be the cause. But even if it is, it seems like too much.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,910
    Depends a LOT on driving pattern too. Short trips and lots of stops/idling kills the mpg.
  • doohickiedoohickie Posts: 949
    My commute is probably 70% freeway (on flat roads with cruise typically set at 62) and 30% surface streets with good traffic flow (maybe a few lights, but NO prolonged idling). In 6 months and 9k miles, I've *never* gotten 30 mpg, including a 300 mile round trip that was 95% freeway.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,910
    That is very odd. Try this: on a relatively level stretch of freeway, with cruise set at 60, reset the mpg meter and then see what it reads. It should be someplace in the mid-30s. (I am assuming the tire pressures are set at least at 30 psi.)

    One thing I do is try to coast (in gear) as much as possible. The Elantra actually coasts very well compared to some other cars. So on even a very slight downgrade, I can coast for quite a ways before the car loses significant speed. Also I do a lot of coasting coming up to stoplights, if there's no one behind me. The trick is, keep your foot off the gas as much as possible.
  • doohickiedoohickie Posts: 949
    GLS. No trip computer. These are calculations based on miles driven and gallons to fill.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,910
    Oh right. That makes it tougher then.
  • doohickiedoohickie Posts: 949
    Overall, my mileage has been slowly coming up to about 26 mpg.

    Friday, though, I drove from Fort Worth, TX, to Cedar Rapids, IA (nearly 900 miles) to pick up my son from college, then we drove the loaded Elantra hatch back to Fort Worth the next day.... almost 1800 miles in 40 hours. Anyway, I joined the 400-miles-on-a-tank club and recorded 35 mpg with the car full of stuff! Overall for the trip I think we averaged about 32-33 mpg, going about 75 mph most of the way in my GLS hatch with AT. Finally I can brag about my mileage.

  • doohickiedoohickie Posts: 949
    I topped it off and ran the final numbers: 32.2 mpg over 1774 miles. And half of that with this in the car:

  • lightfootfllightfootfl Posts: 442
    That mileage seems pretty good overall, but I think you could have squeezed in a laptop computer, or briefcase, maybe?. ;) :)
  • doohickiedoohickie Posts: 949
    They are in there. And this is actually when I was topping it off, so my son had taken out his backpack and viola.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,910
    Good thing the DPS didn't catch you!
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,910
    In some states (maybe not TX) it is illegal to block the rearview mirror.
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