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Hyundai Sonata Real World MPG



  • Yeah, it has been a good car. I have almost 37,000 miles on it now and have only done regular maintenance and one recall. The biggest issue is creaking noises from the hard plastic in the center console and dashboard. I wish Hyundai was like other manufacturers when it comes to frequency of oil changes...they recommend every 3,000 miles where as most companies seem to be moving to 5,000 or 10,000 mile intervals.
  • crankeeecrankeee Posts: 298
    Actually check your book in the glovebox. 3000 changes are really for hard service. The routine is longer. I personally prefer 3000 miles for all cars but that is an old timer's habit that may not be true anymore. Seems like cheap maintenance. The I-4 engine in the Sonata appears to be well matched to the transmission and the weight of the car - very smooth shifting and the excellent MPG on the highway. We do lots of research before buying, but it feels good when the purchase pans out.
  • I bought this car a year ago Dec. Until the last two months, I was getting 34 -36 mpg in city, and 37 to 40 mpg on highway. Within two months the gas mileage hqas droped to 29 -30 in city and 32 -34 on highway under the best driving conditions. I was told at the dealer that this is "normal", and that all new cars do this. MY car has only 11,000 miles on it, and I consider it to be too new for this to happen. It has been serviced regularly (three times). I would like to know if this has happened to other owners of this car.
  • crankeeecrankeee Posts: 298
    Wow! I would be extremely happy with either the before or after. We get 22-24 in city and 33-37 on highway with 11,000 miles on 2012 GLS and are totally pleased. We bought the Sonata mainly for MPG and overall value for a very reasonable price. MPG is EPA or better on highway and the features are hard to quibble with - bluetooth, beautiful functional interior with good seats, A/C, controls and comfort. Great driveability - similar to other midsize cars we have had in past. Enjoy your MPG, you got a winner!
  • My problem was with the huge reduction in mileage after only 11,000 miles. Was told by service department that this reduction in mpg is normal after the car is "broken in". I also heard that some cars get better with time ,and others get worse. So, I guess I will be happy with it as long as it doesn't get worse than this. I knew someone with a 2011 just like mine ,and his got 37 highway consistently at a year old, and he was a "shot-gun" driver, unlike myself. So, I guess all Sonatas GLS's aren't created alike.
  • jlindhjlindh Posts: 282
    Google "winter gas". That's more likely the the cause of your mileage change. Surprised the service department tried to BS you with the answer you got from them.
  • Thanks you for your suggestion. However, this car did get the excellent mpg all last winter,and didn't change until this Fall when it steadily dropped . However, I will check it out.I agree with you about the BS which I was given at the dealership.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,907
    Finally got to take my wife's 5-month-old Sonata GLS on a trip longer than ~10 miles. Car has 3000 miles on it. Drove a round trip of 180 miles, most of it 4-lane highway with cruise set between 65-67. Only had to pass a couple of times. Some in-town driving in the middle. First day was clear, mid-30s, light wind. When I exited for my destination, the mpg meter read 38.5, nearly all nonstop highway. When I got on the highway for the return trip, the in-town driving had dropped the average mpg to 35.8. But although I drove in snow/rain and a 20 mph headwind on the way back, the overall mpg ended up at 36.5. With a little warmer temperatures, I might do a bit better than that, but I'm happy with the results, even allowing for some error in the trip computer. It's at least 10% better than I got with my 2007 GLS, and that car had 162 hp vs. 198 on the new car.
  • reagan_areagan_a Posts: 3
    I got my 2.4L Auto Sonata GLS last week and managed to use up my first tank of gas yesterday. I got in 330 miles on the odometer at the time and refilled 17.7 gal (roughly 18 mpg for 30% city 70% highway). This is incredibly frustrating. Does anyone have any tips or solutions as to why this might be this low? I am generally conservative with my acceleration and braking, trying to get the most out my car. I live in the Northeast Philadelphia, which is nowhere near as hectic in traffic as our center city. So it doesn't make sense. I will greatly appreciate any input!
  • hunday12hunday12 Posts: 4
    I understand your frustration. I have found that in order to get more accurate readings, I have to reset the trip button for each trip. Even though my mpg gage shows 40 on open highway driving, I don't think it is accurate. It seems to me that if the gage shows 550 upon filling the tank, and the tank holds 18 gallons, it would be more accurate to divide 550 by 18 to get the correct average mileage, which is way below the mileage claimed by the company. I have found this mileage thing to be the most annoying aspect of this car, and I am very disappointed with the car for this reason.
  • dgollydgolly Posts: 6
    No help will be enough. They lie through their teeth. Keep it by hand. The computer is invalid. I get barely over 30 mpg on a straight highway run. Lower 20s local. It drops like a rock going up hills. Me too. The car's fine. The MPG the downfall. The liar who sold me the car went back to selling subprime mortgages. Less sleezy.
  • nymattnymatt Posts: 4
    Do not use the ECO Boost button in local driving - it makes the engine work harder. Only use it when you're on the open highway. I have seen an improvement since I've started using it this way - instead of using it at all times.
  • reagan_areagan_a Posts: 3
    Thanks for the quick reply guys. I will def try the ECO boost button recommendation and keep it off in local. Hunday12, I wish my fuel remaining gauge showed 550 miles after filling up. It showed me 368 after filling up, and I didn't even get that much out of it (only got 330 miles). Dgolly, I tried talking to my dealership and hyundai, but they both told me that its because the car haven't been broken in. I think they're trying to stall me because they're afraid I might ask for an exchange or something (not even sure if thats possible with me already putting in nearly 400 miles so far). My cousin who bought the exact same model gets 23 local and 35 highway. I guess some of us just happen to drawn up the few bad ones of the batch. Its also funny how they're reimbursing almost every other 2012/2013 models for low mpg, except the sonata.
  • I have 2013 Sonata with 5k miles on it.

    I have been using eco boost all the time thinking it would choose mpg-friendly acceleration in city. May be I am wrong. I should try turning it off.

    Overall I am getting 28 mpg but I drive mostly highway (2 miles to get on and off the highway and 15 miles on highway at 65-75mph). I drive well never using accelerator when not needed and turn AC off unless it is super hot.

    When I went on longer trip 60 miles I got 34+ mph.

    Overall the car is meeting my expectations but I expect more.
  • dgollydgolly Posts: 6
    How can you expect more when it's meeting your expectations?
  • fushigifushigi Chicago suburbsPosts: 1,381
    It's rated at 28 overall and you're getting 28 overall. Not sure why you'd expect more.
    2017 Infiniti QX60 (me), 2012 Hyundai Elantra (wife)
  • reagan_areagan_a Posts: 3
    When you drive on the highway, try setting your cruise control on 60-63 mph. You should hit 40+. I noticed that if you go consistently at a lower speed of 50-55 mph, you ll get an even higher mpg. While it was fun watching the mpg number go up, thats just not a realistic speed you could make a habit of driving on a highway. Overall, you certainly beat the heck out of my average mpg of 18-21.
  • cpenycpeny Posts: 18
    It is always the city driving that has the greatest impact, however I should be able to drive the legal speed limit and acquire the printed results. If not the manufacture should make the necessary changes. They are suppose to reflect realistic fuel mileage right?
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,907
    Depends. In some areas, the legal speed limit is 75 or even 80 mph. Those are far beyond the EPA test speeds. So IMO you should not expect to hit the EPA highway estimate at such speeds, given FE drops off a LOT after about 60 mph.
  • dgollydgolly Posts: 6
    They're totally full of crap. I barely get 27 overall. The town performance is stunningly poor. My 1995 Camry wagon did a little better. The car has no power. Climb a hill or put some bags and bikes in the back and mpg plunges. Even when you roll down a hill the transmission resists acceleration. Slip it into neutral. You'll pick up speed. THEN you'll get better mileage. The people claiming to get 40 mpg are lying. Probably the guy who sold me my car, went back to selling subprime mortgages. More prestigious than selling Hyundais.
  • mathersonmatherson Posts: 39
    recently made a round trip from Boston to Toronto with 2 additional passengers, 2 hockey bags and luggage.
    Filled up in Buffalo and home both ways. Averaged over 35 MPG (my calculation, not car's reading which is always higher) both ways driving 75 with cruise control and A/C on most of the trip.

    In general I get around 25-27 around town. (Not city, but not highway) and around 28 in a mix of driving on most tanks.

    I got sick of lack of acceleration with ECO button on, so I turned it off a few months ago. But I do drive relatively easy most of the time.
  • cpenycpeny Posts: 18
    Hate to say I don't believe you, but I really, really don't. Thanks for playing.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,907
    I just did a 192-mile round trip in my wife's 2013 GLS (2.4L), with about 500 lbs of people and luggage. Temps in upper 60s to mid-70s, A/C on for the outbound half, slight tail wind outbound, stiffer (20 mph?) headwind on return. Gently rolling terrain. Almost all freeway on cruise @ 72 mph, didn't have to disengage cruise much (had to a few times to get around some slowpokes.

    Averaged 38.6 mpg by the computer. Even if it's off some, it did well vs. the 35 EPA rating. ECO was on, but not sure it makes much difference when cruising on the highway.

    And for those who can't handle the truth... reminds me of Jack Nicholson in "A Few Good Men". ;)
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Manson, WAPosts: 6,929
    thanks for the report. You are one on Edmunds that I trust to give an honest report and though I'm not interested in buying a Hyundai Sonata I am generally interested in overall HyunKia news of most kinds, so thank you for that.

    I always go by the mpg average meter on the dash of our 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS and feel that that's close enough for figuring up ghastly mileage for the car.

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • dgollydgolly Posts: 6
    1 of 3 things. Some owners lying or keeping poor records. Or some people have Sonata getting 35 while others get 25. Neither is a happy tale for Hyundai. Mine gets very poor mpg.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,907
    Or some people have Sonata getting 35 while others get 25.


    Not sure why that is any "unhappier" for Hyundai than any other automaker, though. As the EPA likes to remind people, "... EPA ratings are a useful tool for comparing the fuel economies of different vehicles but may not accurately predict the average MPG you will get.".
  • mathersonmatherson Posts: 39
    cpeny, i keep maticulous records, and service my car regularly. Just changed the engine air filter before the trip and had windows closed and cruise control on. i hit zero traffic and made minimal stops. it is what it is, numbers do not lie.
    sorry you cannot believe the truth.
  • crankeeecrankeee Posts: 298
    We have a 2012 GLS with just over 15,000 miles. Many posts on mileage by various drivers points to driver and conditions as much as the specific car model. We have few hills and get 22-25 in city. Highway is consistently 33-34 at 75 or more. Dropping speed to 65-70 results in significant increase to 36-38, with no stops or speed changes, two adults and normal luggage load.
    Point is the cars will get the EPA mileage, and better, depending on conditions, driver and mostly ; speed on highway. City mileage too variable to compare.
  • kyrptokyrpto Posts: 216
    Our 2013 Sonata hybrid has gotten between 40 and 42 mpg on the first 3 fill ups.
  • iron2iron2 Posts: 3
    I totally agree. Someone is surely full of crap. Bought the 2013 GLS in Sept 2012. First fill-up for city driving was 24.2. Since then it's been between 20.1 and 22. A friend of mine has a 2013 GLS and is reporting about the same mpg for city driving. Normally I fill-up after about 270-300 miles. Just filled up after driving 113 miles just to see the results. Only 19.7 mpg. Called Hyundai to discuss the matter. Also, the ECO setting has no effect at all. They gave me a case # and told me to take it to my local Hyundai dealer and ask them to do a Fuel Economy Adjustment Rating Test. They didn't know what I was talking about. They told me the only way they could check MPG was to fill it up, drive the car and then fill it up again. Same thing I'm doing. Called Hyundai back to let them know. Said they didn't know what else to do. Going to take it in next week to have the car checked for any possible problems. Manufactures should perform a MPG test themselves. EPA is a joke.
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