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Watchdog Doubts Hyundai Elantra's MPG Claim, Seeks EPA Re-Testing

Consumer Watchdog asks EPA to re-test Hyundai Elantra's stated MPG, says stated mileage not achievable in real world driving

None of us expect to get the MPG claimed by the manufacturer on our vehicles, but we all expect to come reasonably close. It seems that’s not the case with the Hyundai Elantra. Hyundai claims that the Elantra achieves 29 MPG in the city and 40 MPG on the highway, for an average of 33 MPG. According to Consumer Watchdog, however, they’re receiving numerous complaints from consumers who are only achieving an average MPG in the mid-20s.

"Gasoline remains well above $3 a gallon and MPG is a key factor for car buyers, who expect to match the window-label MPG if they drive carefully," said Judy Dugan, research director for Consumer Watchdog. "A loss of 6 or 7 miles per gallon, a conservative average for the Elantra based on tests and complaints, adds up to real money for drivers."

The consumer organization has written the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) asking them to look into Hyundai’s high mileage claims. The letter noted:

"For the two most recent model years, Hyundai Motors has actively marketed its base models of the Elantra on their very high 29/40 MPG, and 33 MPG average, leaving a trail of disappointed drivers. An Edmunds online Town Hall discussion on the Elantra attracted scores of drivers who can't, no matter how hard they try, duplicate such numbers. One very public example of this was USA TODAY tech writer Jefferson Graham, whose Sept. 22 article on his new Elantra expressed his disappointment that he averaged only 22 MPG, a gap that no 'break-in' period seems likely to fill.

"Additionally, while Motor Trend named the 2011 Elantra Car of the Year in its class, the magazine's on-road testers achieved only a very disappointing 26.5 MPG average, bad enough to get special note in the review. Consumers Union found similar fault in with the 2012 Elantra, a redesign. While CU's highway mileage was 39, its city mileage, with experienced drivers who know how to drive a low-mileage auto, was only 20 MPG--very far from the listed 29 MPG.”

Consumer Watchdog has asked the EPA to re-test the Elantra, and, if their findings show Hyundai’s claims to be flawed, to fine Hyundai and obtain compensation for Elantra owners. Most other manufacturers’ mileage claims are borne out in the real world, the organization says. Guess it always pays to research the vehicle you want to purchase, rather than relying on the manufacturer’s advertising and brochures.


Keith Griffin    December 4, 2011 - 3:19PM

How is Hyundai liable in any of this? The EPA is the one that does the testing. Is Consumer Watchdog claiming that Hyundai somehow got the EPA to fudge the results? It needs to provide more information about its accusations. Otherwise, the EPA is to blame in this and not Hyundai.

williemedlin (not verified)    December 5, 2011 - 2:04AM

there is something called "Clearance Auto" rates are very low and now I am saving a lot on my car insurance. Dont be fooled by 5 mins can save 500$ can use that for gas