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> MD 40 MPG Road Trip How to
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IHeartMyRedCar
post Apr 21 2012, 04:16 PM
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Ladies and Gentleman,

I took my 2012 Hyundai Elantra Limited with the Tech package on a road trip. My first road trip was when the car only had 200 miles on it. I wasn't expecting much because of the low mileage on the car. I averaged 33 mpg on that trip (PA to Vermont 400+ miles).

However I just took a trip from Burlington, VT to Albany, NY this past week. And boy was I impressed. I decided on my way back to Burlington from Albany I would take pictures of mileage alone the way and explain the speeds I was traveling and terrain. My MD had about 2200 miles when this trip was started.

This trip was done without and I repeat without the ECO mode on. I decided to reset my average MPG on the dash when I left Albany because while I was in Albany I was driving around in the city and such so it originally decreased my beginning trip average MPG to 34 MPG.

This picture was taken at the start of the trip. I originally said to myself, "I just reset it, it's not going to stay there." Blah, blah, blah. However I decided to play with traveling at different speeds.
Here is my breakdown:
64 mph or under will get you 40 mpg at least on the highway (flat surface)
65-70 mph will get you about 37-38 mpg
80+ mph will get you about 33 mpg

This breakdown was determined without much use of cruise control and here's why. I will only use cruise control on a flat surface. (Tip 1) I will turn it off when a down hill or uphill is coming, even if it is slight uphill. I use the downhill to my advantage. If you leave the cruise control turned on, it will use less gas however it doesn't let you gain speed. It will try and hold the car back to keep it at that speed. Therefore, you aren't using gravity to your advantage. (Tip 2: Turn the cruise control off on downhills.)

Now let's talk about uphills and cruise control. We all know any kind of incline kills the gas mileage in the MDs. There are plenty of inclines in upstate NY and VT and I still got 40 MPG! Tip 3: Turn the cruise control off about 0.5 miles before any incline on the highway. If you leave the cruise control on during an incline, the car doesn't know how long the incline will last or how steep it is so it will shoot the RPMs way up (3200+) to maintain the cruising speed even if it's a slight incline. This equals a gas mileage killer. So to fix this, the driver knows how steep the incline is and how long it will last therefore the driver can control the RPM's and speed. Every time I encountered an incline, I would increase my speed only about 5 mph prior to the incline. This barely increases the RPMs and you make it up the incline. So what if you loose a couple MPH while going up the incline, you are still maintaining the best MPG possible. It is important to watch your RPMs here because you only want them to slightly increase, you do not want to JUMP UP to 3000+ rpms on an incline.

Now you make think this is common sense or I am full of crap. However I felt I should share my 40 MPG story since most MD owners are saying it is un-achievable.

Below are more random pictures of mileage while I was driving.








Final MPG was 39.1 MPG according to the car. I still have yet to fill up and do the correct calculation because I still have 50 miles at least in the tank.The last 15 miles were full of stop lights every few 100 feet. After every stop light (complete stop), I accelerated slowly. I didn't put the pedal to the floor or anything like that.

Main points from this post:

1) 40 MPG is reachable without the ECO mode
2) Only use cruise control on a true flat surface
3) Turn off cruise control on downhills
4) Turn off cruise control on any inclines.

Thoughts, comments and feedback would be greatly appreciated.

This post has been edited by benman: Apr 21 2012, 05:36 PM
Reason for edit: corrected mpg>mph


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benman
post Apr 21 2012, 05:35 PM
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This is a great writeup. My daily commute is all hills (which, along with bridges, are inescapable in Pittsburgh) and your experiences line up exactly with mine -- cruise control is no good on hills, down or up. I do the same things you noted, getting up some speed for hills. My commute starts with 3/4 mile steep uphill within a 2 mile stretch of all uphill and downhill. If I reset my calculator at the beginning of my commute, I'm at about 18mpg after the first two miles. Hills and stop-and-goes are killers.

Another thing I've noticed is that when I first changed my commute time to be before rush-hour, my fuel economy did not go down. I believe this is because

a) travel in open road is faster (70+ mph) before rush hour (people are maniacs at 5:30-6:00 am)
b) most of the traffic I encounter during rush hour is on a full 2-mile downhill slope.

The EPA tests are for level ground at no speed over 62mph, so achieving 39.1mpg is great for a trip like this.

Someday I'm going to take a day and do some experiments on level ground (seriously, need to go to Ohio for that). Because of how the final EPA rating is determined, my bet is that fuel economy of 47-48 mpg is easily achievable on level highway at around 60 mph.

The 2011 Elantra has Fisher-Price ECO, so I have no experience with that, except that it should be ignored on hills.


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roydjt
post Apr 21 2012, 07:31 PM
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I'm amazed that you could get 39+mpg with the parking brake on.

-Roy


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IHeartMyRedCar
post Apr 21 2012, 08:35 PM
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QUOTE (roydjt @ Apr 21 2012, 08:31 PM) *
I'm amazed that you could get 39+mpg with the parking brake on.

-Roy


haha yeah i always put it on. force of habit

This post has been edited by IHeartMyRedCar: Apr 21 2012, 08:53 PM


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Alex2013GT
post Apr 21 2012, 09:10 PM
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Wow great write up Amanda. Thanks for taking the time to do this. clap3.gif


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dirtydave
post Apr 22 2012, 12:58 AM
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great write-up, I'll be interested in the fill-up mileage, I saw the 40 MPG on my first trip from the dealership to home in Iowa City, but when I filled up it was 32 MPG. I would also give that trip a try WITH eco enabled to see if you get the same/better mileage.


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mbenz
post Apr 22 2012, 10:45 AM
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I just took a trip to east Strasbourg university yesterday. i was getting 30+ mpg. I was speeding and there was some stop and go but i believe that i can get 40+ but great write up smile.gif


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VIG
post Apr 22 2012, 06:41 PM
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This is a great write up. I think it should be stickied so we have a place to point the people that come complaining about their cars not hitting 40 MPG without saying the same things over and over again.


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winc
post Apr 22 2012, 10:11 PM
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That seems like an awful lot of "work" to attain that magic 40 number. Using the same tactics, I could easily eke out 26-ish mpg out of my 2012 Wrangler Unlimited that's EPA rated at 16/20/18 combined. Currently I'm setting the cruise at 75-78 and getting 21.x with ease and 18-20 with spirited driving in town. The current "real world average" on fueleconomy.gov even shows 18.2.

The 2012 Elantra is rated 29/40/33 with the 6-speed automatic, but the current "real world average" is only showing 29.2.

From fueleconomy.gov
QUOTE
Fuel economy is measured under controlled conditions in a laboratory using a standardized test procedure specified by federal law. Manufacturers test their own vehicles—usually pre-production prototypes—and report the results to EPA. EPA reviews the results and confirms about 10-15 percent of them through their own tests at the National Vehicles and Fuel Emissions Laboratory.


Sure, my Jeep isn't a 2012 Elantra, but the ease of achieving mileage ratings on it as well as most other vehicles I've owned makes me think the Elantra was likely not one of the 10-15% of vehicles that the EPA tested but received those figures from Hyundai instead.

I really feel for all of these people that feel deceived, however I think they're directing their blame in the wrong direction. If a dealer is putting big 40 mpg stickers on all of these windshields, leading the customer to expect it, then the dealer is the one doing most of the deceiving... not necessarily Hyundai.


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IHeartMyRedCar
post Apr 23 2012, 08:30 AM
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The problem with elantra buyers is that they don't realize how small the engine is. Any hill in a car with a 1.8L engine will kill the gas mileage. Elantras are meant for highway driving. I find it silly when people think they are going to get 40 MPG in a city driving an Elantra around. Ford is advertising their new Focus's as "Up to 40 MPG." A better use of words yes, however people will still be pissed at Ford for misleading them. I feel bigger engines handle the city driving much better then the elantra.

Winc, you may think that is a lot work but its not. The are no highways on the Western side of VT straight north due to all the hills and mountains. Achieving an average of 39.1 mpg in a 1.8L car going up and down hills is great. It just proves if you go less than 65 on totally flat highways, the elantra can easily achieve 47-48 mpg.

This post has been edited by IHeartMyRedCar: Apr 23 2012, 11:04 AM


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Silentwolf
post Apr 23 2012, 10:12 AM
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Engine size matters along with gearing. Mom's 3800lb Buick Ultra w/SC'd 3.8v6 will get up to 30+mpg on the hwy due to gearing. Elantra seems to be geared similarly, but it lacks the power to do anything but flat land. While the Buick only has to spit out a bit more gas for the oomph to get over that hill, the Elantra has to chug a bit.

And thats def not a lot of work, thats actually good driving, and barely tapping the hypermiling potential. A further step you could do on downhill sections is to pop it into neutral, some take it even farther by turning the car off but not a fan of that. I only turn off at a recently turned red light.


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IHeartMyRedCar
post Apr 23 2012, 11:08 AM
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QUOTE (Silentwolf @ Apr 23 2012, 11:12 AM) *
And thats def not a lot of work, thats actually good driving, and barely tapping the hypermiling potential. A further step you could do on downhill sections is to pop it into neutral, some take it even farther by turning the car off but not a fan of that. I only turn off at a recently turned red light.


Does anyone have experience or true knowledge about switching back and forth between neutral and drive? I was told frequent switching between neutral and drive is hard on the transmission so I don't do it. Is this true?


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