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Hyundai Santa Fe Real World MPG



  • I guess I'll go first...

    Year: 2002
    Trim: GL
    Engine: 2.4-liter 138-hp Sirius 4-cylinder
    Transmission: 4-speed automatic with Shiftronic
    Major options: Utility Pkg w/ABS, roof rack cross-rails

    Average actual mpg, city: 19
    Average actual mpg, highway: 27.5

    EPA-rated mpg, city: 20
    EPA-rated mpg, highway: 27

    Driving style: enthusiastic, consistently

  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    It's a common sales technique to get you into the showroom to try to sell you something new. There's nothing special about (except the hint often works!).

    Check out the Hyundai Santa Fe: Prices Paid & Buying Experience discussion if you are leaning towards buying.

    Steve, Host
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    I moved your post to the main Santa Fe discussion since we're focusing on mpg in here.

    Here's the link:

    sundae2, "Hyundai Santa Fe" #4410, 18 Feb 2006 12:33 pm

    Please continue over there. Thanks,

    Steve, Host
  • 1200 miles so far and with my wife's heavy foot getting 23 highway so far. Look to get a little better when it broken in further.
  • jcspohrjcspohr Posts: 97
    Did first oil change around 1800 Miles - switched to Full Synthetic.

    Was getting ~19.4 before switching to synthetic and in mostly city driving. And now at ~2500 miles, we're getting 20.4 in "ALL" city driving.

    Best all Highway was ~27.2.

    I'm not complaining and expect that around 5000 miles it will be even better. And that's with my wife's heavy foot.


  • dlm820dlm820 Posts: 30 find out the "true" MPG we should be getting?

    I just bought a 2007 Ltd AWD and have already put in two tanks of gas. The first lasted only a week!!! I didn't drive that much, but I did do a lot of city driving and stop and go. Haven't done any real highway driving yet.

    How long will it take for me to get the MPG that Hyundai says we should be getting? I'm currently only averaging about 14 MPG right now which is a little disturbing.

  • jamitjamit Posts: 5
    I have driven 826km in my 2007 GL Premium 3.3 AWD in Canada. And I experience a similiar performance, at average 13-15MPG. 90% City, 10% highway. Air-cond is turned on no more than 10 mins per week.

    Hopefully, it will get better. Thanks.
  • jcspohrjcspohr Posts: 97
    dlm820 and jamit,

    Have you tried resetting the trip computer? Best done at fillup but you can reset at anytime. You'll need to drive about 10 miles or so before you get a better look at the mpg.

    And, as it the drive train breaks in, you'll start seeing better mpg. I think ours started around the 1000 mile mark.

  • dlm820dlm820 Posts: 30
    Thanks. I did reset the trip computer at my last fillup and have gone about 70 miles since. Still averaging about 13-15 MPG. I was thinking the same thing with the 1000 mile mark and the break in period.

    I'll keep track of it and see what happens.
  • Am I too off to think that the octane levels and probably even the oil type (natural/synthetic) would play important factors when figuring MPG?
  • Hello,
    I'm hoping more people will post their mileage for the 2007 Hyundai Santa Fe. I'm trying to decide whether we should buy this car, and I feel like if I just had more real world information about gas mileage it would help. Now that people have owned their 2007 for a while, can you provide info about your mileage. Also, can you list the model of Santa Fe.
    Thank so much.
  • davesuvdavesuv Posts: 149
    I find my mileage extremely dependent on how far I have to drive and the type of driving. If I do all short stop and go trips (no freeways), less than 3 miles, and never give the car a chance to warm up, I get about 16 mpg (based on the mpg computer, which I've found to be fairly accurate). I can drop this down to 14 mpg if I accelerate hard every time I start out (something I normally don't do, but for the sake of science it was fun). If I do all stop and go trips, but for 9 miles total, giving the engine, transmission, and exhaust system a chance to come up to full temperature, I average 17 to 18 mpg. I find that once the vehicle is fully warmed up (and I reset the computer), I will get between 19 and 21 mpg stop and go driving (based on how far you drive between each stop - it's the "go" part that eats the gas).

    On the freeway, driving at a constant 65-70 with the engine warmed up, I will get about 24 to 26 mpg, depending on terrain and wind direction/velocity. I was able to get it up to 29 mpg once, but that must have been a fluke.

    So you see, real world MPG is somewhat nebulous and can vary greatly depending on how you drive, the roads you drive on, and most importantly, the length of your trips. What they say about bunching up all your errands so you only need to go out once really does make a lot of sense. A cold engine is a gas hog, plus that's when it does 90% of it's polluting since the catalytic converter is not heated up.

    I've owned a 2007 SF Limited AWD with third row seat for two months now and absolutely love it. It's so much fun to drive. I have about 1200 miles on it.
  • NYC numbers: In stop and go I am getting 15/19 on my 07 3.3 AWD Limited. I just took a 400+ mile trip and I got 23 on the highway. Not bad considering I never fell below 65mph on average. The Santa is an awesome SUV for the money. This is my third one. The only major issue was on my 2003. My transfer case started to hum. Taking no chances Hyundai replaced it in 2 days and provided me with a loaner( Sonata ). When you compare all the features it has against the competition, its a no brainer. If fuel economy is high on your list then you should be looking for a four cylinder/hybrid. ( Not offered in 07 Santa's ). Good luck!
  • I wouild like to add that mpg in my 07 Fe Gls is very dependent on highway speed. With the 4sp auto the rpm at 75mph are about 3k, which wont get you close to epa at least not on mine anyway. That is about the only drawback on this vehicle is highway rpm. Needs another gear for gls trim!
  • kg325kg325 Posts: 57
    I have a 2006 2.7 V6 Sante Fe. How can I get more than 13 1/2 - 14 miles per gallon?
    The service manager in Utica told me the break-in mileage is 8000 miles, I find this hard to believe. He also said no one has had a problem with mileage.
    Can I expect any better mileage?
  • kg325kg325 Posts: 57
    Thanks for your reply----
    I am what you might call anal, about maintenance and up keep. So the 10 tips, I am aware of them.
    My Sante Fe has about 2200 mile on it.
    I have noticed that it downshifts at times at 32 miles per hour, when I am coasting to a stop or just following traffic. It seems to downshift too early. It also seems to stay in a gear while upshifting.
    Is this a characteric of this transmission or does it need attention?
  • The Santa Fe calls for 87 Octane regular unleaded.

    That is all we have used in the past several vehicles we have owned.

    Has anyone seen any benefit in using a higher octane gasoline?
  • kg325kg325 Posts: 57
    I haven't experienced any difference yet. I haven't tried it in this vehicle.
    Since it is new, I am following the manufacturers guidelines(87 octane) so if it doesn't perform like it should I can tell the garage.
    My mileage is terrible so far.
  • One thing we do is use Lucas Fuel Treatment at the rate of between 2.5 and 3 oz per 10 gallons of regular unleaded gasoline.

    We have good luck using Shell, Chevron/Texaco, or Phillips 66 Regular Unleaded.

    I buy the 5.25 oz bottle of Lucas and refill it from a large bottle.

    I put about 3 oz in the small bottle and when I am down about 10 gallons of gasoline, add the Lucas then top off with gas so it gets mixed up good.

    We use it in both vehicles.
  • kg325kg325 Posts: 57
    I see what you mean. Lucas is supposed to be good, even their transmission additive.
    But until mine is running within the mileage range as advertised, I wont put any additive in.
    I'm getting 13 1/2 to 14 1/2 mpg.
    What is the normal breakin period for these?? The service manager sugested to me 8000 to 10,000 miles. I have never heard of anything like that before!!!
  • have a 2006 2.7 V6 Sante Fe. How can I get more than 13 1/2 - 14 miles per gallon?

    Is this highway or city driving?
  • Have you checked your tire pressure? That can make a difference too in gas mileage.

    I bought a digital gauge at Wal-Mart and check the tires in the morning before the vehicle is driven. If you drive it and the tire warms up, you get a false high pressure reading when actually the tire is under inflated. Check out the following web site.

    Link To Info title

    Read the page about Inflation Pressure.

    Try different brands of regular unleaded too as that can make a difference. Find one that gives you the best mileage. Different brands have different additives that can make a difference.

    Over the years I have found with more miles your vehicle will improve on gas mileage.

    Using 5W20 oil when you change oil helps some too if your vehicle calls for it.

    I always take my vehicles to the dealer for an oil change and make sure that they use the proper weight oil!
  • kg325kg325 Posts: 57
    Yes, tire pressure is 32
    I changed my oil today and it was dirty for only 1852 miles on it. The dealership was supposed to do the first change at 914 when I requested it.
    I'm wondering now if I have engine adjustments and transmission adjustments to be made.
    I'll keep my documentation a little longer and see what happens
  • bj02176bj02176 Posts: 115
    Just traded my 2006 Fusion for a 2007 Santa Fe 2.7 all whell drive, about 2800 miles at this point, sadly I found that premium does give this lackluster engine a boost. Those with the bigger engine need not worry I think.

    With premium it seemed superb today. I intend to trade this for a 2008 with the bigger engine. My fault for being cheap and not wanting 18 inch tires.

    Overall except for the 2.7 this is a great vehicle, very reliable, nice features, everything works.
  • What kind of MPG's are you getting? Is it close to the EPA estimate on the window sticker?
  • Own 2007 SF with bigger V6 (3.3) and just turned 1500 miles on odometer.

    Mostly in town, SF trip computer says we are getting 23.4 mph. One tank read 24.1 (I reset after every fillup).

    Finally got the SF on the highway for a check of the highway only milage. Drove approx. 120 miles one way between 70-80mph and got only 21.5mpg! Terrible, but I felt that the extreme cold and a lot of wind cut the numbers.

    Anyway, on the return trip, I drove at 70-75 and got a respectable 27.1 mpg. It was also about 25 degrees warmer with no real wind. Maybe I had a tailwind too!

    So, we are still getting 23ish in town. Later this month will be making 450 mile trip each way to visit grandma and then we will see what the real highway mileage is over a longer haul.

    I used to own an Accord V6 with the 240hp engine and when running 70-80 averaged about 27mpg, and this was with a lot less weight.

    Don't know what the story is though with all these bad gas mileage numbers as this makes me nervous.

    As for break in. Cars today are made with much greater tolerances in the engine and don't need as much breakin as cars did back in the 70's. That being said, Hyundai says the breakin is 1200 miles. At that point, the moving components in the engine should be worn in, not worn out. I doubt that the breakin of 8-10K miles is real or has any real merit. I do know though that VW puts or did put a heavier weight specific breakin oil in their cars and did not recommend changing it for like 10K miles initially. If you did, it could damage the internal engine parts. But Hyundai has no such recommendations. Their manual states the first oil change is at 5K. My 2003 Honda was at 7.5K. Doing it before that could mess things up over the life of the engine.

    Mine is scheduled to go in after Christmas for its first oil change.

  • Is your Santa FE AWD or FWD? 27.1 MPG is pretty good for driving 70-75mph. Did you use the car's trip computer or fill up method?
  • kg325kg325 Posts: 57
    My 2006 with the 2.7 is around 14. Not even close to the sticker of 18 on the low end of the scale. I have 2750 miles on it.
    It's funny(and sad) the shop foreman(in Utica, NY) told me the break in period was between 8000 and 10,000. I hope he doesn't think anyone would believe that.
    I'm thinking of contacting Hyundai after a few more fill-ups, if things don't get better
  • Is your Santa FE AWD or FWD? 27.1 MPG is pretty good for driving 70-75mph. Did you use the car's trip computer or fill up method?

    I used the tip computer, but I know it was pretty close when I filled up because of the overall milage. I've heard the tip computers are usually off by about 1mpg so, I figure it was like 26. Rarely though did I hit 75. Usually only when I needed to pass. Other than that, I kept the SF cruise control on 71-72mph.

  • kg325kg325 Posts: 57
    My 2006, 2.7 is FWD----That is good mileage for yours
  • I just got my 3.3 Liter Limited a few days ago and after it sit overnight in the garage, got out my digital tire gauge and found that the tire pressure was between 27 and 28 lbs. We have an air compressor that we bought at Wal-Mart and pumped up the tires to 33 lbs (owners manual said 30 - 32 lbs).

    Checked with the dealer's service department while I was buying the vehicle and discovered that they are using 10-30 Oil.

    Owners manual and oil filler cap says you need 5W20 oil! I will bring my own oil and will be using 5W20 Synthetic Oil.

    The 3.3 Liter engine in the 2007 Santa Fe holds 5.49 us quarts according to my owners manual.

    Proper tire pressure along with the right engine oils help with mileage cold weather starting.

    From what I am seeing with the mileage indicator, looks like I will get over the EPA readings.

    Am a older driver and drive as such!
  • kg325kg325 Posts: 57
    I did the same thing with the tires and oil. I carry a tire gauge all the time. I changed my oil the other day and used the 5w20. They use 5w30--- so they say.
    You want to hear something good--- I got a chance to check under the hood today. I had to remove the engine cover(cowl), first.
    In order to remove the 3 rear spark plugs, the intrake manifold looks like it has to come off first.
    Have a nice day
  • Many new vehicles make it virtually impossible for the home mechanic.

    Wife and I don't keep vehicles all that long as a rule (between 2 - 3 years) and being retired don't actually drive that much.

    As I previously mentioned, I have found that the Lucas Fuel Treatment helps mileage and the way vehicles run and have used it for sometime @ the rate of 2.5 oz - 3 oz per 10 gallons of Regular Unleaded Gasoline. I add it before filling with fuel so it gets mixed up good.

    The owners manual recommends regular unleaded but mentioned that for improved performance you can use higher octane.

    I will be using the 5w20 oil too and will have it changed before heading on a 2500 mile trip early this spring.
  • Thanks so much Dave and all who responded. This is incredibly helpful!
  • kg325kg325 Posts: 57
    Ya, the new vehicles are tough. Even trying to find an honest garage is hard.
    This SF is nothing like my 1970 Roadrunner
  • kcoolkcool Posts: 6
    If you are stating mileage based on the Santa Fe's odometer MPG meter, then you are using a lot more fuel than you think. Based on info from the factory, the flow meters are calibrated at the factory according to Hyundai specs and can not be adjusted. Hyundai's insists that they (MPG Meters) operate within specs + or -, but won't say what the + or - is.

    The odd thing is that ALL the meters read about 15 to 20% higher MPG than actual fuel mileage. Typically, across the board, mileage is around 14 to 15 (actual) around town and about 20 mpg highway at 60 degrees.

    To confirm your mileage, use the conventional method for checking mileage for the next several fill ups (look at the trend and averages and you will be unpleasantly surprised.
  • kg325kg325 Posts: 57
    Yes---that's the way I do it. The actual gallons used for the mileage traveled. And I'm still coming up lower that the sticker
  • I find my Trip Meter readings within one MPG of the readings I get when I figure the readings the old way.

    Have found that some stations pumps are not all that accurate and too that time of day, etc., can have an effect on one's figures.

    + some stations' brands do not give the same mileage as others because of additives.

    Have been doing a lot of short trips around town but just after the first of the year will be going on a 2500 mile trip and will see how the fuel mileage does then.

    Right now I have no complaints with the mileage.

    I am not an aggressive driver and try and coast up to red lights and take it easy taking off as much as possible without blocking or holding back traffic.
  • kg325kg325 Posts: 57
    I do the same as you when I can---I coast up to the red lights, etc, but have noticed my transmission downshifts and I have to accererate. I believe the transmission is downshifting too soon.
  • davesuvdavesuv Posts: 149
    I've done 4 fill-ups so far, trying to fill it to the same level each time. I keep the info in a spreadsheet so I can do an incremental MPG calculation, as well as a running average MPG. My average MPG over the past 1300 miles has been 18.2 MPG. This is almost exactly what I've been averaging on the odometer mpg computer. This is for mostly stop and go city driving.

    So at least for my Santa Fe Limited AWD, I'm getting exactly what's been advertised. My MPG computer also seems to be right on.
  • kg325kg325 Posts: 57
    That's good. I hope it gets better for you
  • We've put 500 miles on our new Santa Fe and consistently get 20 in town, and 23-27 while on the interstate. We are resetting the trip computer regularly to get real time mileage.
  • kg325kg325 Posts: 57
    That's great---
  • Mixed driving on secondary roads and in town about 20% of the time.

    Mileage was 25.1 on regular unleaded.
  • kg325kg325 Posts: 57
    Your timing is good----
    I filled up this morning, also mixed driving, 12.93 mpg. A far cry from the minimum of 18 they advertise.
  • What brands of gasoline have you tried?
  • My GLS 3.3L AWD (top model in Canada) has been getting decent mileage from the get go. I do actual calculations, and got 18 on the first tank, and 22 on the next 2 tanks. So I am now on the 4th tank in 3 weeks. I'm pleased with the mileage, it's much better than what I got with my 03 Avalnche. Most driving has been city. It's cool here, around freezing, so I start the car in the morning and let it warm up for 2 - 3 minutes. I think that is easier on the engine. I'm not revving it out, but do use the shiftronic all the time to control enigne speed in the city. Most trips are 10-16 miles in length, so it does get up to operating temp.
  • kg325kg325 Posts: 57
    That sounds decent. I'm in central NY.
    I have the 2.5 but was told to document the mileage which I have been doing.
    I still don't like the way this transmission acts.
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