Hyundai Steps Up Its MPG Reporting Dare To Other Carmakers

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2011 Hyundai Elantra

2011 Hyundai Elantra

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Although EPA gas-mileage ratings may or may not be achievable in real-world driving conditions, they're a good relative benchmark.

They're also a very public encouragement to carmakers to make more fuel-efficient cars.

Hyundai, whose new 2011 Elantra compact model is rated at 40 mpg highway for all sedan models (the Touring is a carryover from the previous generation), has now stepped up its challenge to other makers.

Two months ago, the company began breaking out sales totals for every car it sold that got 40 mpg or better, starting with November sales figures. And it all but dared other carmakers to do the same, though we're not aware of any that took Hyundai up on its challenge.

2011 Hundai Sonata Hybrid, La Jolla, California, October 2010

2011 Hundai Sonata Hybrid, La Jolla, California, October 2010

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Now, Hyundai is going further, saying it will include in its monthly sales data a sales-weighted average gas mileage. That is, its average mileage will be higher if it sells lots of Elantras and Sonata Hybrids, but lower if it sells high volumes of the less efficient Genesis and Equus large luxury sedans.

For January, the company says, the sales-weighted average for all models it sells was 34.7 mpg. That breaks down into 36.4 mpg for its cars, and 29.8 mpg for minivans and crossovers (it does not sell pickup trucks).

Hyundai is making an aggressive push to raise the fuel efficiency of all its models, including a flat ban on any V-6 engines for the midsize Sonata sedan and the compact Tucson crossover.

"In 2008, Hyundai had committed to achieve a CAFE level of at least 35 mpg by 2015," said Hyundai Motor America CEO John Krafcik. "Now we can confidently project achieving a 35 mpg average several years early."

"With 2025 CAFE targets being discussed in the 47-to-62 mpg range," he continued, "Hyundai's fuel economy may provide some confidence to policy-makers that this industry can achieve remarkable fuel efficiency gains, without compromising vehicle sales, appeal, value, or customer satisfaction."


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Comments (9)
  1. I am a new 2011 Elantra Owner. The claims of 40mpg do not apply if you plan on buying this car for a daily commuter. That is, if you plan on drving less than 60 miles a day round trip to your job than this car is NOT the one to buy. The 40mpg rating is based on starting and stopping your journey on a freeway onramp. It does not and never will get close to 40mpg; only if your reset your trip computer while driving on the freeway.
    It does in fact only average about 28 mpg if you drive this car to and from work every day with over 80% on the freeway. I have over 2000 miles on my new Elantra. The advertising is completly false. There are two top Elantra forums on the internet if you dont believe me that are reporting the same. (just dont believe comments from the Canadians as they will report mileage in imperial MPG which is 10 plus MPG more than US mpg)

  2. They don't have to inflate the figures to make sales, the styling and price do that for them.

  3. I think you could exceed the EPA rating, especially if you ecodrive. My 2005 Scion xA is EPA rated 27/34/30. Before I learned how to drive better and before any aerodynamic mods, I got a *year round* average of 37MPG.
    Now that I have an MPG gauge, and have done some aerodynamic mods, I am averaging year round about 45MPG. In the summer, I average above 50MPG.

  4. "2011 Elantra compact model is rated at 40 mpg highway for all models". Not sure about that statement, the Elantra Touring gets 30 mpg.
    At 40 mpg, Hyundai has done an excellent job. If you look at Toyota's non-hybrids, like Corolla or Yaris, they are about 35 mpg. The Hyundai is 15% better than that. Only the Smart car is better at 41 MPG. Well done Hyundai.

  5. So how many cars with better than 40 MPG did Hyundai sell in January anyway?

  6. @John: As you and I have discussed before, the 2011 Elantra Touring is a carryover model from the previous generation. But I've added a few words to the article to make that clear.

  7. @John Voelcker,
    Thanks for the clarification.
    One more point about the Toyota Corolla. If you get the Corolla with the 2.4 L engine (I suspect most people do), the car gets only 30 MPG on the highway. So to have Hyundai only offer the 40 MPG version of the Elantra sedan is important. You cannot get the "upgraded" engine and destroy the MPG. I wish Toyota would also drop the 2.4 Liter engine. The 1.8 Liter engine is plenty quick enough. 0-60 = 10.1s for 1.8L 0-60 = 9.1s for 2.4L.
    John C. Briggs

  8. I commend Hyundai's effort to show policymakers that higher CAFE standards are achievable. Makes me want to get a Hyundai as my next car.

  9. I totally agree with "New Elantra Owner". To Jessan, do not buy this vehicle thinking you will the great gas mileage they claim. Hyundai keeps saying the Elantra will get 40 mpg, but we have yet to see it. We bought this car specifically for the gas mileage, as a commuter. We haven't even gotten 30 mpg consistently, (which is below the 33 mpg they say in small print the average user will get driving city and hwy). Very disappointed. If Hyundai is going to advertise 40 mpg, it should at least be possible, but I don't think it is. The question I would like answered is "Of the 40 MPG cars Hyundai sold in January, how many of those new owners are actually seeing 40 mpg?" I bet the answer is a whopping ZERO!!!!

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