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Hyundai Elantra Real World MPG 2011 MY and earlier



  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,906
    Hybrid car batteries have a long warranty. If the Civic's poor fuel economy is related to the battery failing prematurely, that should be a warranty claim first and foremost. And if Honda doesn't honor the warranty, then I could see a small claims court action on that score.

    OTOH, I work with a guy who's very happy with the FE he gets on his Civic hybrid (previous generation car). He routinely gets 50+ mpg. Another testament to the statement that the EPA makes about its FE estimates: "Your mileage may vary."

    I am getting only 27 mpg in mixed driving on my 2010 Sentra right now. That's the CITY EPA rating, not the mixed rating. I think I'll sue Nissan. Or maybe the EPA.

    Except... it's the middle of winter (temp this morning was 12 F), I make a lot of short trips (with some urban highway), and in warmer weather I easily get over 30 mpg mixed driving and upper 30s on the highway under 70 mph. Which exceeds the EPA ratings.

    I think the general mood in this country is that not enough people take time to read and understand the full story (e.g. on EPA fuel economy estimates), and also not enough people take personal responsibility for their actions and the effects of those actions. It's always someone else's fault when something doesn't work out as they think it should have.

    But... cars, especially hybrids, are complex machines, so they can malfunction and break, which can result in lower-than-expected FE. But these kinds of problems don't mean there's some kind of conspiracy by the manufacturer and/or EPA to design cars that don't meet their EPA estimates when driven similarly to how the EPA tests them.
  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,174
    Totally agree with you that any type of conspiracy theory is silly and the EPA estimates are what they are and apply equally to all manufacturers.

    However, please consider how you would react or feel if you bought a new car that was rated at substantially higher MPG than your present Sentra. You drove the same way and in the same conditions and couldn't achieve any better than the same MPG you currently get. Complaints to the dealer result in "sorry, performing within specs" and responses on line equate to "YMMV" or "you don't know how to drive". Since you're very knowledgeable about achieving good gas mileage I would imagine that it would be very frustrating. Not conspiracy material but very upsetting just the same.

    I personally think that this Elantra MPG issue is probably blown out of proportion relative to the vast numbers of Elantra sold. But from perusing these forums over the years and from what I read in other mediums, this issue seems to have some legs as it applies to a substantial number of Elantra owners.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,906
    However, please consider how you would react or feel if you bought a new car that was rated at substantially higher MPG than your present Sentra. You drove the same way and in the same conditions and couldn't achieve any better than the same MPG you currently get. Complaints to the dealer result in "sorry, performing within specs" and responses on line equate to "YMMV" or "you don't know how to drive". Since you're very knowledgeable about achieving good gas mileage I would imagine that it would be very frustrating. Not conspiracy material but very upsetting just the same.

    I haven't yet purchased or leased a car that has a higher EPA FE rating than the Sentra (almost bought a Prius once but had to cancel the order), but I've driven a lot of them, as rentals and on test drives. Including Elantras, but many others. On some of these, I've achieved significantly lower than the EPA rating. On others, I've met or exceeded the EPA rating. The Elantras I've driven fall into the latter category.

    Each time I consider WHY I got the FE I did. What I've found over the years is this: when my driving is similar to what I do at home, under good conditions (NOT middle of winter), I have no problem meeting or exceeding the EPA numbers on any car I've driven and measured the FE on. But when I drive differently, e.g. very short trips in very hot or cold weather, I don't get the EPA rating for the car. It's a very consistent pattern.

    You may have noticed that when someone complains in these forums about not getting the FE they expect, I encourage them to do a controlled test to see if the car is CAPABLE of meeting or exceeding its EPA rating under controlled, near-ideal conditions. If it isn't, then I advise the owner to check into a problem with the car. No "you don't know how to drive", but an idea on how to get to the bottom of the FE numbers. I've given this advice dozens of times over the years. NEVER--not once--has anyone returned to say they did the controlled test and here's the results. I have to wonder about that.

    There's so many factors that can affect FE--I know you know that. I think it's prudent to investigate all of those areas first, before going down the conspiracy/lawsuit route.

    The other thing that I think is behind complaints on 40-mpg cars like the Elantra... expectations are higher. Also, consider that 10% of 40 is 4. 10% of 22 is 2. I have a feeling there's something psychological at work here. If someone expects to get 40 mpg, for example, and gets only 36, it sounds worse than if they expected 22 mpg and got 20.

    And if there's salespeople who are telling buyers, "Oh yes, you'll get 40 mpg in the Elantra, no doubt about it!"--shame on them! And btw, that IS grounds for a lawsuit IMO--material misrepresentation by an agent of HMA. Proving it in court could be tough though.
  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,174
    edited January 2012
    Agree with all with a "but". The number of complaints on the Elantra forums and in other media in comparison to other new high MPG cars seems to be substantially higher. I don't think that just Elantra buyers have this higher expectation you speak of and I somewhat agree with. Could it say something about the mindset in particular of Hyundai buyers? I don't have a clue and wouldn't want to go there anyway.

    If I had several cars which I consistently attained EPA numbers and then bought a car(drove it the same, same conditions, blah, blah) in which I couldn't get close to EPA numbers I would personally have a problem with that. It is people with stories like this that I think bear some investigation.

    As far as your test goes. I agree it will give you a very brief snapshot of HWY MPG and may well paint a more rosier picture which may explain why people don't report back being human nature and all. However, that is not how the EPA tests are done. My point is if I consistently averaged 28 mpg in my old car that was rated, say 27-29 avg, and then purchased a new car that EPA avg was 33 mpg but I could only achieve the same 28mpg avg, I would be questioning it like a lot of these people. That is well over 10% off and you would think everything else being equal you should be able to achieve at least a few more mpg from the new car.

    Many of these people are stating that even driving almost to the point of hypermiling they can't achieve the numbers. Like you, I have never had a problem getting the EPA numbers and if I were to drive a lot easier I'm sure I could surpass them. So this is puzzling to say the least.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,906
    Many of these people are stating that even driving almost to the point of hypermiling they can't achieve the numbers.

    I haven't seen that kind of comment from "many" people here. If someone does think they are "hypermiling" in any car and not seeing EPA ratings, I'd like to know what they consider "hypermiling" and what their driving conditions are.

    I don't come close to "hypermiling" but just use some basic fuel-saving techniques, e.g. light foot on the gas, anticipate stops, no long warmups, watch the speed on highways, and no long idling. And I had no trouble getting the EPA rating or above on the Elantra. So I know it CAN be done. But clearly not by everyone, under all conditions. And there's always the possibility of some kind of component problem affecting FE on some cars.
  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,174
    had no trouble getting the EPA rating or above on the Elantra

    I think the operative word above is "the". If I drove one and didn't get the EPA would you give it the same credence? As you said, there's always the possibility of some kind of component or even a programming problem in some cars which is really all I've been saying all along.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,906
    If I drove one and didn't get the EPA would you give it the same credence?

    I made a simple statement of fact, from my experience. I know that not everyone gets EPA numbers. Heck, if I went out today (12 F) and rented an Elantra and drove it on short trips around town, I bet I wouldn't come close to its EPA rating. But I know it's possible to do, under a mix of city/highway driving in hot weather (summer, in Austin, TX). I have a feeling some folks believe it's impossible to get EPA numbers with the Elantra. That is not the case. But will everyone always get the EPA numbers? No way.
  • I feel like I have been lied too and swindled. I brought the 2011 Elantra because of the 40 MPG. It gets below 30. The AVG MPG reads between 24 and 27. Never 30 and above. I told the dealership at my first oil change. I wish I could sue them and have them take my car back. I hate the hyundai dealership in San Diego. I hate the Hyundai Elantra. I hate Hyundai. I know I am an ordained minister who preaches no hate. Even prayer can't cure me of this hate. I will tell every active duty military not to buy this car because of false advertising and product not living up to the selling hype and published 40 mpg on the sticker. Does anybody know a good attorney in san diego ca. Hyundai I want my money back.
  • I know it's frustrating and unresponsive dealerships can make matters so much worse. Let's just say Hyundai, like so many other car companies, haven't quite figured out what customer service is all about. It seems to end the moment after they've sold you the car...

    As far as process is concerned, you might try reading the article I posted Jan. 3 (above) about the woman who is suing in small claims over a similar issue with her Honda Civic. She's apparently an attorney and created a web site to explain the process. You don't need an attorney for small claims and the potential of actually getting financial compensation is greater than, say, a class action suit.
    I don't know if that's true or not.

    roadscholar3, "Hyundai Elantra Real World MPG 2011 MY and earlier" #575, 3 Jan 2012 2:32 am#MSG574
  • dan_bdan_b Posts: 8
    I think I'm going to do the same with my Elantra :( What a waste of money....
    I will never buy another hyundai in my life again.
  • For those who are not getting above 30MPG on the Elantra....what does your trip computer indicate is your average miles per hour (MPH)?

    Right or wrong, if its not above 45 you'll never get 40 MPG and if its lower than 30 you wont even get 29 MPG.

    Somehow Hyundai has tuned these engines to achieve in road conditions that are illegal i most states (>55 MPH). High MPG is achievable if you drive above 60 for long periods of time.

    When consumers read 40MPG or even 33 MPG, that should be the typical result for average driving and not require extraordinary driving technique.
  • I drive mainly highway miles where my speeds are between 65 - 75 mph. If I set my mpg calculator as I'm entering onto the highway and take a reading just as I'm getting off, I can usually show averages about or just above 34mpg. However if I include the short distances to get to the highway and then read the average at the end of a full day of driving which rarely if ever includes any stop&go, or bumper to bumper congestion, then I seem to average just at or below 30mpg. Again, most (about 85%) of my daily driving is on highways, and the rest is on noncongested roads. I've NEVER read 40mpg as an average (not even close), but have seen it briefly show up as I'm driving a small stretch of road while watching the mpg on the highway.
    My "average" usually hovers around 30mpg.

    What is your source for the information you are sharing relative to Hyundai's tuning of the engines?
  • The woman who sued in small claims court WON!!! And she has a website that provides info on the process. I think a lot of the current claims by various car companies for 40mpg are bogus, so I expect to see a lot more lawsuits.

    Here's the article about her win (and her website):
  • Not so fast, Honda said today they we're appealing it. Have to wait and see what happens. We took a trip yeasterday from Just north of Durham, NC to Portsmouth, VA.. I have a 2011 Elantra GLS and we we're getting 46.1 mpg. on the way up there on RT. 58. The speed limit is 55 and then sometimes 45, (i set the vruise at 59, their tuff up there on tickets) because ot the small towns you go thru. According to our mpg gauge, we were averaging 46.1 mpg.. We drove aroud there for a while, stopped and visted friends and started back home. I stopped(didn't have to and put put just over 7 gallons in it. According to my calculator, we averaged 40.4 mpg for the trip. I just can't beleive there are that many people who don't get close to the mileage. Around here I get 33-35, in the rural area we live in.
  • g2iowag2iowa Posts: 123
    edited February 2012
    Will be interesting to see if she can prevail upon a Honda's appeal. The judge's justification for the award is rather meager, and even he admits a carefully driven Civic Hybrid can achieve the EPA results! I'm betting on Honda to win this when all is said and done. Excerpt:

    "Peters opted out of the class-action lawsuit so she could try to claim a larger damage award for her 2006 Honda Civic's failure to deliver the 50 mpg that was promised. The proposed class-action settlement would give aggrieved owners $100 to $200 each and a $1,000 credit toward the purchase of a new car. Peters had hoped to inspire a flood of small-claims lawsuits by the other 200,000 people whose Honda Civic hybrids are covered by the proposed settlement. ... The commissioner noted that Honda had argued the way a car is driven might affect its gas mileage. He said that should have been explained in advertising and elsewhere. A
    Honda technical expert testified that the company was required to post a sticker with the Environmental Protection Agency's estimate of the highest mileage the car could get. But [judge] said in his ruling that "this does not seem to be the case." "Honda's own testing should be the guideline for how it advertises its vehicles' mileages, not the generalized work ... done by the EPA," he said. "Can a Honda hybrid driven in careful and tested ways achieve 50 mpg? No doubt. Did it happen with Peters' car? No."
  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 13,451
    Honda is appealing the decision. I have a feeling that they will win that appeal. If not it sets up a bad environment for auto dealers who will face a damned if you do, damned if you don't senerio. If they advertise the EPA figures and the car doesn't get it they lose in court cases brought up by customers. If they say that the car gets the lower mileage they could get taken to court by the government for not following the law that says they have to give EPA figures.

    2008 Sebring Ragtop, 2011 Hyundai Sonata.

  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,906
    Yes, let's see what happens in a "real" court.

    Many years ago as a 25-year-old whippersnapper I took a large insurance company to small claims court regarding a claim that they said was covered under my policy's collision coverage (with a high deductible) vs. comprehensive coverage (with a very low deductible). I thought I had strong grounds based on basic contract law to win. And I did... in small claims court. The insurance company appealed to the "real" court. Where there are real attorneys. I represented myself (which makes me, what is that again?). Guess who won that one?

    Afterwards, the attorney for the insurance company told me he could understand my position. Also, the judge ruled that the insurance company could recover its legal fees from me if they wished. They declined to do that, even though it must have cost them some bucks for the attorney.

    Consequently, I still have my home and auto insurance with that company today. Even though I disagreed with them on the wording of their policy (which btw changed not that long after this case... hmmm....), I appreciated how they handled the matter.
  • -sfe-get-40-mpg-real-world-says-popular-mechanics

    Popular Mechanics tested the Elantra and they achieved close to 50 MPG on Highway and 35 in the City in real world driving conditions. I have been achieving 40 or above on my Elantra and in the low 30's city driving. This article backs it up.
  • What is highway means? what is the speed? When I drive "normal" at 70 MPH I got only 34 MPG, to get 40 MPG, I have to keep it at 55 MPH, and at that speed on the freeway I will be "dead" soon.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,025
    Rather than repeat everything I've said elsewhere, i'll just refer to my post in the 2012 discussion in response to the same article posting - maybe if our other owners who are dissatisfied with their MPG achievements owned the exact vehicle that was tested, their results would be similar to the test results. Or do you believe that about half of our Elantra drivers, unlike the drivers of ANY of the Elantra's competitors, just can't comprehend how to drive fuel-efficiently? It's JUST Elantra drivers, right? (and Equinox drivers too, as it turns out. But no other drivers).


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  • pbm58pbm58 Posts: 16
    Just filled up my 2012 Elantra (with 3700 miles on it). As I do at every fill-up, at the exact same gas station--same pump even (self-serve), I measured the mpg's and got 21.5. Since my former vehicle--over 9 yrs old--routinely got 30+ city, I beg to differ that the driver (s) are at fault. The only thing that differs for me now is the vehicle. I do not carry passengers, and I have yet to turn on the AC (nor would I dare to at this point). By the way, I have never gotten over 34 hway in this car at 62 mph.
  • I am also getting poor mileage from my Elantra... I have a baseline to compare to as well. My wife drives the 2012 Elantra (Limited) and I have a 2012 Cruze ECO. Both are rated EPA avg 33mpg. My wife was complaining that she could not get above 30mpg in her Elantra, while I was averaging 44-47mpg in my Cruze. So I took the Elantra for a few weeks while she drove my Cruze... we reset the onboard calc on each... after a few weeks I managed to get 32mpg out of the Elantra (hypermiling as best I could with ECO mode enabled) and the Cruze was at 40mpg, it would appear that some Elantra's (Not all) are having major issues with efficiency... THIS IS A VERY REAL PROBLEM. I will say that driving the Elantra it feels like the car drags and lulls, while the Cruze feels like it coasts and sails.
  • g2iowag2iowa Posts: 123
    You don't provide much information to help evaluate your situation.

    - How long have you owned each car?
    - How many miles do you have on each car?
    - Are you relying entirely on the onboard computer for your mpg results?
    - Have you also calculated your FE using the actual fuel used for the miles actually driven? (If so,how does that result compare to computer?)
    - What is the average mph according to the computer before your fill ups?
    - Are you using the same fuel for both cars (ethanol or not)?
    - What kind of driving are you doing and what percentage of time & miles are you spending on the kind of driving (city, suburb, highway)?

    Believe the Elantra's combined EPA rating is about 33, so you're nearly achieving it. What is the highway EPA estimate for your Cruze ECO?
  • bhmr59bhmr59 Posts: 1,601
    So, in each car you get a few mpg better than your wife. Could be many things; like length of drive, amount of stop & go, traffic congestion, terrain, temperature when each drive starts and how quickly each driver accelerates. BUT, it shows that MPG will vary depending on how or where a car is driven.
  • I've tried to start threads here, and haven't been able to, I don't know why. Anyway, I've been looking over this thread, and I would like to chime in with a related experience, that is, I own a 2012 Hyundai Accent with just under 7,000 miles. I would like to tell you how things have been going with my MPG.

    Initially, I got the 48 MPG on the highway, and a good 30 MPG in the city. I was understandably ecstatic. But, after I brought my Accent back to the dealer for the free oil change (@ 5,000 miles) I found that my gas mileage dropped precipitously. I don't want to sound paranoid or anything, but it['s weird that right after this my MPG fell. I get about 24 to 26 MPG in the city, and low 30s on the highway. There's not much I can do, it still gets way better mileage than my former car (1989 Chevrolet Caprice), but I feel a bit disappointed, even cheated, by the sudden fall in MPG. That is, I know that the 30 MPG city/40 MPG highway is really the extreme that's possible (and a bit of permitted marketing for Hyundai, per our laws), but I couldn't see myself suing Hyundai over this. In addition, based on my personal driving experience, I'm not seeing that my MPG "gets better" as I drive more miles. I personally find this claim by many people to be suspect. I also have a hard time believing the trip computer that I always have set to display the MPG.

    25 MPG city/low 30s on the highway is still good, even for a 2012 Hyundai Accent, yes? And has anyone else come to not believe their trip computer? I would like to hear your thoughts. Thanks. John V. Karavitis
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,025
    You can go to the Accent folder:

    and right above the discussion list, there's a link that says "add discussion." You are welcome to start one for 2012 Accent MPG if you like.


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  • my 2011 hyundai elantra has exactly the same issues, i am very disappointed!i bought it for the advertised gas mileage which it does not have,what to do?
  • actually i like the car but i am very disappointed that it averages 27 mpg. not 29 city 40 hwy as advertised and i drive 50/50 city highway so i figure i should be about 35mpg, not below advertised city epa rating. i feel cheated. its not that easy to just sell a newer car i will loose alot of money thanks for listening
  • i will join you , i have the same problem, 2011 elantra getting well below EPA ratings and now broken in over 10,000 miles and still no better.
  • i have the same problem with my 2011 elantra , what to do?
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