Update: Hyundai has responded to the Consumer Watchdog’s allegations, pointing out that more often than not real-world fuel economy differs from EPA ratings due to things like driving conditions, traffic, driver habit, and weather.
For its part, Hyundai made note that an Elantra tested by Consumer Reports achieved 39 mpg highway (1 mpg shy of its 40 mpg highway rating). Hyundai also said that, “Consumer Reports’ city rating, which is a much more severe driving cycle than the EPA city cycle, shows the Elantra at 20 mpg.” Hyundai continued, “That’s better than Honda Civic at 19 mpg, Focus at 18 mpg, and Cruze at 17 mpg.”
Hyundai was quick to point out that real-world owner data posted on the EPA’s website showed the 2011 Elantra achieving an average of 30.7 mpg, which is reasonably close to the Elantra’s EPA combined rating of 33 mpg.
Hyundai also added that it understands its customer’s sensitivity to not achieving the EPA ratings, and that its important for it and other automakers to make it clear to buyers that EPA ratings are essentially best-case scenario estimations, “For example, a 20 MPG car that falls short of its fuel economy rating by 10 percent is off by only 2 MPG,” it said. “But a 40 MPG car driven in real-world conditions that drive a 10 percent reduction is off by a much more noticeable 4 MPG.”
“It’s important for manufacturers to explain these points to owners,” said Hyundai, “We’re working hard at that at Hyundai, including the application of technologies like ActiveEco calibrations designed specifically to improve real-world fuel economy results.”
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