's Mileage Tests of Hyundai and Kia Vehicles In Line With EPA Results


In the wake of today's news that Hyundai and Kia will reimburse owners for bad mileage estimates, we've compiled the results of our mileage tests from Shootouts and other challenges we've conducted over the past few years that involved the affected cars and SUVs.

In September 2011, we took the previously 40-mpg-rated Hyundai Elantra and pitted it against special "fuel-saving" trims from the competition designed to eke out a few mpgs more to hit that vaunted 40 mpg highway figure. The Elantra's new highway rating is 38 mpg, and its combined rating dropped to 32 mpg from 33.

Our results put the Hyundai in last place.

Hyundai Elantra

All four of those compacts were rated virtually identically by the EPA:

  • 2012 Ford Focus SFE: 28/40/33 mpg city/highway/combined
  • 2011 Ford Fiesta SFE: 29/40/33 city/highway/combined
  • 2011 Hyundai Elantra: 29/40/33 city/highway/combined
  • 2012 Hyundai Accent: 30/40/33 city/highway/combined

The four test models were sedans, and except for the Elantra (a Limited trim), all were similarly equipped. All four had automatic transmissions.



Yet in our recent Compact SUV Shootout in July, the Kia Sportage and Hyundai Tucson returned mileage that was very similar to their competitors. Now, the EPA's newly audited numbers saw very modest adjustments for these models, and some trim levels saw no change in combined mileage.



We tested the Elantra before, in June 2011, against the competitive compact class that it had made a big splash in with its redesign and, of course, that 40 mpg highway rating.

With the highest EPA ratings in the test, the Elantra came in second, behind Honda's Civic.



In March, we conducted a Subcompact Shootout that included the Kia Rio and Hyundai Accent, whose mileage ratings saw more drastic cuts as a result of EPA's investigation. The Rio dropped by 2 mpg combined and up to 4 mpg on the highway. The Accent's EPA numbers dropped by 2 mpg combined and by 3 mpg highway.

In our Shootout, the two underperformed not only their stated mileage but most of the field as well. However, due to the lack of a trip computer, we had to use our own calculations.



The Kia Sorento was included in our Three-Row Crossover Shootout in October 2011, going up against larger and thirstier competition. The Sorento finished in first place with an average of 25.4 mpg versus its combined 22 mpg rating. But it was a close race: The Honda Pilot, rated at 21 mpg combined, returned 25.1 mpg; the 19-mpg-rated Dodge Durango returned 25 mpg.

Hyundai, Kia to Pay 900,000 Owners for Bad MPG Estimates
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Were your cars provided by Hyundai or purchased off lots? Data collected on fuelly from actual owners over long periods of time shows that the Elantra is averaging ~30 mpg overall, considerably lower than the 34 you measured and the ~33 mpg overall of the Cruze (which includes both 1.8 and 1.4t engines), the 31.4 of the Focus or the 35 of the Civic. Given Hyundai's lack of credibility, I wouldn't be surprised if they tested the fuel economy of a large sample of cars and provided press fleets with the cars on the upper edge of the bell curve.


Why like that???hyundai is trying to lie to us???what a sick plan...

i chose hyundai because of fuel economy. if my frens new bout this sure i will be the laugh of the year. i once bout elantra gen3 very terrible car...after that moment i wont buy korean. now still skeptic. but after hearing this i'm feel dissappointed. Hyundai can't be like this. have to lower down markey price..


We purchased a 2013 Kia Forte last year. Love the car and for my height (6'2)it is comfortable. We are now not getting good gas mileage at all. We get the oil changed regularly and filter has been changed. We are averaging 40-50 miles less a tank of gas than we usually get. Tried contacting where we bought the car but just came back with a excuse just to be able to have one. So now even though we love the car our gas mileage drop is a disappointment. Any advice???

Janie Thomas

I have a 2013 elantra and it has never gotten over 32 miles per gallon at any time and that was on interstate most of the time only from 25-28 mpg is al I get I am very disappointed in the car when I called them they said my car wasn't in the group that was to be given anything because of gas mileage I would like to know why but no one can answer that also was told car was made in Alabama and come to fine out was mad in Korean just one lie after another


I purchased my2012 Elantra in 2011and yes I was very disappointed with my car. That was my purpose for buying that car!. Now its been 2 yrs and I only received $12.00 for two yrs of buying gas. I wanted to apply for my next gas mileage and it said I will be paid $12.00 again. So I am waiting to get more money back.

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