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Hyundai Sonata Real World MPG



  • I don't think the GLS MPG is THAT bad. I own the 2011 Sonata GLS back from February of 2010. While I sit my butt in an hour and a half of traffic both ways of the commute (Wash. DC Beltway, ugh), I can still manager to get around 25-26mpg. That's what the computer reads, so judging above from someone saying that the computer is off by 2mpg, that's roughly 27-28. Granted, it depends on how you drive. Swapped out the Kumho tires after the front left CRACKED for some Firestone Firehawk Wide Oval AS and have gotten better mileage out of it (also better traction, dry and wet braking and Way less noise). The car has its fair share of problems, but I've never had a car that didn't have issues. Overall, 2 years later and 30k miles I'm still happy with the car.
  • crankeeecrankeee Posts: 298
    edited February 2012
    We have had new sonata for two months and ~2400 miles. City MPG is 22-24 with all in town stop & go. With freeway and limited stop & go it goes up to 24-26+. Well within the EPA city estimate.
    The highway mileage with 2000 of the miles, is actually better than EPA. 65-70 will deliver 36-37.5 depending upon hills, wind load etc. At 70-80, when safe the mileage drops off almost tot he same % as the increase in speed. 33 MPG at 75-80 is the average so far. The car also responds favorably tot he fuel type. We use BP, Shell & costco in town. 87 octane in town and 89 on highway trips since the MPG "appears" to improve ~10% vs. the 3% cost increase. just had oil changed and dealer recommended staing with the 5W20 weight so with no oil consumption sofar we agreed.
    Beautiful high value automobile for the money and a great road car for us.
  • Hey Crankee,

    Yea, I have been pretty fortunate with mileage as well. I did however run in to a huge issue that Hyundai made good on very well. My Check Engine light came on, and I noticed a slight tic from the motor. Like a lifter tic. I brought the vehicle to Hyundai, and they changed the oil, light was off yet once I started the vehicle, the tic remained. I brought it back the nect day and at first, one of the mechanics pointed out that fuel injectors tic. Knowing my vehicle, I explained that this tic was far beyond the injector tic.
    Long story stort, the Oil Sensor which signals the oil pump to send oil was not working properly. Therefore, the motor was not getting sufficient oil. Turned out, I needed a new Shortblock. It was ordered from Korea. I n addition, they replaced the exhaust from the shortblock to just past the converter. It took a bit of time, but would have been extremely expensive. My guess, probably $6000,00 at the least. The oil they used to refill was a 50/50 synthetic blend. Best part of all, the vehicle was purchased as a used vehicle with 8000 miles. Therefore I had a 5 yr 50,000 mi warranty. At the time of the tic issue, the vehicle had 54,000 miles. Hyundai still picked up the entire tab. I was pleasantly surprised and earned more respect that ever. Many auto maker/dealers could have easily shunned me on that one. Hyundai didn't. A month later I took the car from Illinois to Florida and back. Smooth sailing all the way round trip. Going easy on the gas peddle, I still average about 26mpg city and if maintaining 65mph to 70mph, I can get 36 to 38mpg. Closer to 36mpg. This is a 2008 4 cyl with a trunk load of clothes, a PC, personal items, and, Oh yea, 2 cats in the backseat. The worse performance issue with the whole trip was the cats. Happy with Hyundai!!! :shades:
  • I just bought a 2012 Sonata SE after gas prices chased me out of my dearly loved Mercury Grand Marquis. With the Marquis, I always burned premium fuel, not for a mileage boost, but to keep the engine clean. Even though the Sonata supposedly runs well on regular gas, should I burn premium to keep the engine clean? Has anyone noticed an mpg boost with premium fuel? I drive 100 miles a day to and from work. 95% highway in uncongested traffic.
  • nj2pa2ncnj2pa2nc Posts: 813
    suggestion go to the premium gas vs regular gas website. Using premium gas when regular is recommended will not benefit your car.
  • crankeeecrankeee Posts: 298
    We also bought a new 2012 Sonata GLS with the value and MPG being the two most critical factors in the decision. Our old Pontiac was great with 18 in town and 28-30 on the highway and agood car mechanically for 14 years.
    The Sonata seems to get ~8-10% better mileage on the highway using midgrade NOT premium with added cost of #3% or so. The old Pontiac first clued us in to this phenomena. We use regular and bought the last two cars with that requirement in mind. The Sonata appears to get 22-24 in City and 33-37 highway at 80-65 MPH. Runs great on regular and also appears to maximize MPG with midgrade Shell, BP, Exxon and other major brands.
    In the city we use Costco due to price break with some Shell & BP. BTW - all grades of major brands include cleaning solvents like Techron (Chevron).
  • sivicmansivicman Posts: 32
    If you read your owners manual, Hyundai recommends you use Top Tier gasoline.

    The reason for Top Tier is because of the amount of detergents in the gas. The biggest problem is the 15% of ethanol that kills the mpg's and plays havoc on the engine components. Unfortunately I am stuck without any Top Tier gas stations in my area so I have to use fuel injector cleaner every so often.
  • longo2longo2 Posts: 347
    edited March 2012
    "The worse performance issue with the whole trip was the cats."

    At least you didn't do a Mitt Romney and tie them up on the roof in a pet carrier!

    Loved your Hyundai Story about the history of the $6,000.00 engine tic. I wish more people would post positive experiences.

    Your highway 2008 GLS MPG sounds the same or better than those posting with the new model 2012's.
  • johnjjjohnjj Posts: 81
    I had a 2011 Sonata Limited and made the "mistake" of trading it in for a 2012 Kia Optima. Obviously I did not like the Optima, as I am right back to the Sonata.

    What didn't you like about the Optima? I'm considering buying a 2012 turbo.
  • crankeeecrankeee Posts: 298
    longo: Just returned from trip with the following MPG results:
    180 miles at 35 MPG highway and 182 miles at 25.5 city for calculated total of 362 miles and 12.2 gallons for 29.7 MPG. Average speeds were 20-30 in city and 65-75+ on highway. Pretty close to EPA estimates with a little better average. Car has plenty of power and is a very good road car for as light as it is. Biggest factor appears to be the mix of city vs. highway miles on the average tankful. Great car with very reponsive service from the dealer . That and a great car loan that was initially $28 ( 72 months) more than HMFC lease payments for 36 months (15,000 miles per year).
    Refied for 2.69% and 60 months after 3 months. Cars getting like houses!
  • danbob6danbob6 Posts: 1
    I just bought a 2012 Sonata SE (automatic) last week and am very happy with my purchase. Having gotten rid of a pick-up with 'average' gas mileage (20 MPG), I was looking forward to a tremendous boost in mileage. So I've been pretty surprised to find that my mileage (according to the sensor on the dash) is around 18 MPG. Admittedly, I've only driven about 150 miles, much of it city driving, but still... Am I jumping to conclusions too early?

  • My new car has averaged 35MPG (all of it are highway miles) on the first tank of gas.
  • lawsojclawsojc Posts: 1
    Traded in my beloved 4runner for a 2012 Sonata gls last Friday. On first tank I avg. 29 mpg!! 10 miles more than the runner. When I purchased the car the dealer told me to try the Active Eco feature. I did and could tell a difference in throttle response. Was wondering if anyone else has experimented with it and what difference there was in mileage!! Love the Sonata so far!
  • crankeeecrankeee Posts: 298
    edited March 2012
    Justin: We have had our 2012 GLS for ~3months with 3200 miles logged. I tried the ECO mode in town and found about 1 MPG (25 vs. 24) improvement. However the power seemed much less, to me anyway. I have read that the ECO feature reduces the engine timing/advance that affects the power output. I noticed that it was much easier to "overrev" the engine since it needed more gas pedal in ECO to drive the same route. I MUCH prefer the cars driveability W/O the ECO engaged. If the politicians and oil company execs agree to raise the price of gas to $6, I may change my view. We get 24-25 in city and 35-37 on highway and can use regular 87 octane gas (even with the lower energy/ higher cost ethanol lobbied for by the farmers, oil companies and approved by our politicians again), so no complaints. The Sonata in GLS trim gets the EPA mileage with standard 16" tires so no complaints here. Great car and more than worth the price.
    BTW - Those 4Runners are the premier SUV and at 21-22 highway not bad.
  • wiemerwiemer Posts: 1
    I love this car...but I want the 35mpg! I bought the car 2-29-12 ..presently the mileage is 7620... have had 2 oil changes at the dealership....that says no matter what the you must add the fuel additive that cleans the fuel injectors every 3750 miles or you invalidate the warranty.
    I drive the freeway...very little town driving... and am getting 30.5 mpg. I bought the car for
    the mileage...and the daughter of the owner of the dealership said I would probably get 38 mpg.
    I drive with the ECO on most of the time...don't want to drive 50 miles and discover I did not turn it on. I compute the mileage myself to see if it agrees with the car...the car records a little more
    than an actual calculation. I drive at 70-75 miles per hour...with the cruise control. Of course
    heavy freeway traffic alters this from time to time.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,905
    ... and the daughter of the owner of the dealership said I would probably get 38 mpg.

    Do you believe everything a stranger tells you? Or base important buying decisions on what they tell you?

    You say you are getting 30.5 mpg. You also say you drive at 70-75 mph, and from time to time you have "heavy freeway traffic." Under those conditions, 30.5 mpg seems in the ballpark. I bet there's some non-freeway miles in there. Plus driving at speeds higher than on the EPA highway tests, plus that heavy traffic.

    If you want 35 mpg, you'll need to drive exclusively on the highway at constant speeds (i.e. NOT heavy traffic), and stay under 70 mph. Or... just consider 30.5 mpg to be really good overall FE for a car with that size and power and keep driving the way you do now.
  • nj2pa2ncnj2pa2nc Posts: 813
    Owned numerous hyundais and never added a fuel additive and never had any problems with the warranty. When I travel on highways with a 70 speed limit the MPG are lower than on lower limit highways.
  • tja526tja526 Posts: 12
    I agree! I love it, too...but even though I only travel .5 to the highway and then 12 miles on the highway..and two blocks to work--It varies.
    Seems like I am only getting the 400 to 450 per full tank. This is crazy!!
    I wouldn't buy another one...because of this. I am leasing actually, will trade in earlier because of the mileage. Funny thing-when I was initially upset at first, I called the dealer and no one there had an inkling that the car should do avg 35 mpg-they told me not to believe everything I read and they have never heard of a car getting such gas mileage. Can you believe that??
  • fushigifushigi Chicago suburbsPosts: 1,374
    Under the conditions you describe I would expect you to be getting less than EPA estimates. A significant percentage of your 12 mile drive, probably at least 25%, will typically be when the car has not fully warmed up. When an engine is below full-normal running temps the fuel-air mixture is richer, i.e. more fuel is used. All gas-engined cars do this to help the fuel combust. talks about it WRT carburetors but the need is the same on fuel injected engines as well.

    Also, please check the actual sticker on the car. What is the reported range for highway MPG? The 35 is more of an average; the actual range on the sticker will probably be something like 31-37 or thereabouts. The 35 in big print is a possibility, not what the EPA (or Hyundai FTM) asserts every Sonata will achieve.
    2017 Infiniti QX60 (me), 2012 Hyundai Elantra (wife)
  • larrys1352larrys1352 Posts: 11
    I have the same "bad" gas mileage issues, but when you mention it in this forum someone always has a spin on why it's happening. My 2012 Sonata Limited gets 19 in the city and 33 on the hwy. I am 65 years old, go easy on the pedal and never do jack rabbit starts. The gas mileage on these cars are severely over-rated. In the latest edition of Kiplinger magazine they have a good article on an investigation done by the government concerning Hyundai claims.
    Now my disclosure. I love Hyundai's and have owned them since 2004. It's a fact. the gas mileage numbers are over-rated.
  • crankeeecrankeee Posts: 298
    We have 2012 GLS with PEP, that gor us alloy wheels but also the 205x65 18" tires that are standard. When properly inflated the rolling resistance is at its minimum. We prefer 36# in our cars and watch the pressure periodically. We get 22-24 in town and on the highway max is 37.4 at 65-70 MPH. Speed is biggest factor with 33 MPG at 75-80. We also make it a point to only use top tier gas; Shell, Exxon, BP, Chevron and Costco at times. The GLS is set up for max mileage and we feel we get the EPA #'s or better, depending on conditions.
  • I got this new car just over a month ago. I'm on my third tank of gas and am closing in on 1,000 miles, and with 80% city driving, I'm averaging around 21 mpg. I keep the ECO boost on all the time and I'm pretty upset. I called the dealer last week and the service manager told me that around 8,000 miles the computer will have figured out my driving and it'll start to get better.

    Has anyone ever heard of this? It sounded like a load of bull.

    Otherwise, I like the car, but I expected a blended average well over 25 (since it advertised 25 MPG in the city).

  • bpe383bpe383 Posts: 6
    edited September 2012
    LOL, welcome to the Hyundai lie. They have not gotten better, they just say they have. I had a 2011 that sucked. I purchased it brand new. Never got the 35MPG. I drove 132 miles a day with only six miles of road not interstate, and it only had three traffic lights. Very rural town. By the time I sold it I was lucky to get 28MPG highway. It had been back to the deal more than my 1991 camry with 240,000 miles had in 20 years. My glove box was so full of repair orders i couldn't put anything else in it. In fact I sold the hyundai, and went back to my camry with 240,000 miles. I get 30MPG and haven't had to fix it yet. Buy a toyota. O, and the Hyundai still had 5 issues that needed fixing when I sold it to the dealer. I didn't have time to have them fixed, as Hyundai doesn't give loaner cars. Even after all the crap that broke. What's worse was half the items they had to replace, were staring to go bad again when I sold it, and that wasn't part of the 5 items I mentioned. Same parts going bad again tells me it wasn't a bad luck thing. It was poor quality parts. Really I can't say how much of a piece of crap this car was.
    Problems: Brake switch, steering linkage, A/C compressor, A/C bracket, (they failed again a year later), window trim coming off, outer door panel coming off/loose, steering wheel controls broke. Radio broke, then radio lights stopped working in hot weather, power window wouldn't roll up only in 40* or lower weather, hard pull to left, map lights stop working, and more just can't remember.
  • I now have 2 '06 Sonatas. Both have near 60k miles. I just took a trip with the 4 cylinder and achieved 34 mpg highway driving at 65-70 mph. Fairly flat roads, not much wind. My 6 cyl gets 32 under same conditions.
    I use synthetic oil and overinflate tires a bit which I believe gives me something like 5-10% improvement based on earlier readings.

    Overall mileage is about 10% better with the 4 cyl. if mileage is 50/50 in-town/hwy. For anyone looking for a good used vehicle, I highly recommend an older Sonata. I have had no expense on either car except routine maintenance and second set of tires. The onboard computer is generally accurate but changes every few miles if you are going uphill, downhill, accelerating or coasting but the most common reading is very close to actual mileage when I use actual miles driven divided by gallons to replace.
  • I bought mt 2012 Sonata Limited in November 2011. I was told the same story. I average about 19 in the city and about 32 on the highway I also own a 6 cyl 2007 Santa Fe that does not meet the expected gas mileage. You will hear all sorts of excuses, but the fact is in real world driving the MPG we get does not meet advertisements. Like you I like my Sonata and all it's features but am very disappointed with the MPG.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,905
    What a coincidence, I have a 2007 Sonata 4 cylinder with nearly 60k miles and I get about 34 mpg on the highway at 65-70 also. I can get a little better if it's 65 or less and no AC, but 34 is better than the EPA estimate so not too bad. I use regular oil, maybe put a couple pounds extra in the tires but don't focus on that. I bought the car used in Nov. 2009 and it's been a great car for us so far, still has the original brakes, very reliable. Hope to keep it another 4 years or so.
  • The real truth is that "your mileage may vary". What are your expectations? that it will meet or exceed the window sticker numbers? Many people DO meet these numbers, many exceed them however if you go into the gas mileage game absolutely blinded by the numbers on the sticker chances are you will be disappointed especially if you do nothing special to try to meet them but simply drive as always even if that means 85mph whenever traffic allows, find yourself in city grid-lock frequently and otherwise expect the car itself and the EPA generated "NUMBERS" to magically produce the "expected" stellar economy. Here is the hard most (note: NOT ALL) cases the real world fuel economy does not and cannot reproduce the EPA generated numbers because the tests are performed in a controlled, reproducable environment. These cars, and indeed all cars, perform to the ways and conditions under which they are driven and nothing, not even the almighty window sticker, will alter that. So, too bad that your cars do not meet your personal expectations although I believe your numbers aren't "bad" for the size of the car and conditions under which it is driven. Instead of complaining analyze what could be causing your personal numbers and try different driving styles, routes, or some other change that may actually increase them. One other thing, and every driver should know this because it is common sense, city driving is a series of stops- creep a car length and another stop during which any car is getting between zero (0) mpg and something in the mid to low teens (mpg). The only types of vehicles that do best in the city are hybrids and electric cars e.g. Volt, Leaf . It drives me nuts when owners continually point at the window sticker and complain they are not getting the "advertised" mileage and I wish there were more accurate means to transmit the estimated economy of a vehicle without resorting to the notoriously optimistic almost always leads to finger pointing at the manufacturer for not delivering as "advertised".
  • I respectfully disagree. The Sonata is the only car I've owned that didn't meet, or exceed the window sticker.
    1: 91 camry- 35MPG when new, now 30 MPG 240,000 miles, sticker-29MPG
    2: 88 Corvette-27-28 MPG, sticker-22-24MPG
    3: 04 Corolla 38-40 MPG 235,000 miles - Sticker-35
    4: 82 VW rabbit Diesel-50-52 MPG, Sticker-43 MPG
    5: 02 maxima-28-30 MPG, Sticker-26

    So heck yeah I expect the car to be closer than 23-28MPG on a 35MPG rating. The above is only a few of the cars I've owned. If they all meet or exceeded than why would I expect anything else in future cars? 28MPG with tires at 42PSI, mobile 1 full synthetic, and using hyper-mileage driving, and only 5% of my driving is rural/in-town driving. Nope there is something else wrong with their reports. To many people have complained. With tire PSI at the 32-35 and no hyper-mileage driving I would get 23-25 MPG highway/5% rural in-town. That's just plain misleading. Yes, it's the manufacture's fault, because they are the ones selling me the car under the idea it gets 35MPG. Do they not??? It's all over their commercials. Is it not??? If they know the EPA is over stating then they should do the RIGHT thing, and use those engineers minds and calculate what it should be closer to, and use those numbers. But they don't. They have no problem using those "optimistic EPA" numbers.
  • God forbid that our expectations would be that mileage "meets" the window sticker number.
    Look, I am a Hyundai fan. At one point I owned a 2004 XG350, a 2007 Santa Fe and a 2012 Sonata.
    I have talked to many Sonata owners. One thanked me for verifying their major complaint...MPG.
    Listen, Consumer Reports had an article about complaints about the Elantra MPG claims. The government received so many complaints that they launced an investigation.
    If you drive 60-65 on the highway and don't hit any red lights in the city, I am sure you can hit the numbers. But that is not real life. Try driving 65 on the California freeways and see what happens.
    So the truth is you cannot count on the published figures...especially from Hyundai. Deduct 20% and maybe you'll be happy when you hit 20MPG in the city and 28MPG highway...because that is what you are going to get!
    Your 100% correct. Another thing people should pay attention to is the fine print numbers below the big print number on the window sticker.
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