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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Consumer group cries foul on Hyundai's 40-mpg claim
Right when it looks like Hyundai can do no wrong, we have this: A consumer protection group is asking the United States Environmental Protection Agency to look into claims that the Elantra has exaggerated fuel economy numbers. Consumer Watchdog sent the EPA a letter citing a litany of public criticism of the compact Elantra's real-world fuel economy, and asking the EPA to "re-test the 2011 and 2012 Elantra models in its own facility, to seek an explanation for the MPG disappointments of so many Elantra buyers."...
As reference, do see http://www.cruzetalk.com/forum/27-f...uth-about-epa-city-highway-mpg-estimates.html about the EPA tests and the last page of http://www.consumersunion.org/Oct_CR_Fuel_Economy.pdf about CR's tests (and the old EPA tests). From what I've seen, CR's city test is pretty harsh usually most cars are well under the EPA city estimate. However, CR's highway result is usually higher than the EPA highway estimate. That's not the case for the Elantra w/the EPA highway rating being 40 mpg while CR got 39. For more numbers available w/o a CR online subscription, see Most fuel-efficient cars, Best & worst cars review, fuel-efficient vehicles and Consumer Reports - Fuel economy vs. performance (only has overall numbers).
 

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Hyundai's fuel economy numbers were never that impressive for the 2011 Elantra.

Although, Chevy could be on the hook for the Equinox 4 cylinder. Talk about gaming EPA tests.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hyundai's fuel economy numbers were never that impressive for the 2011 Elantra.
Huh? Per Compare Cars Side-by-Side, I see these figures for automatic and manual '11 Elantra: 29 city/40 highway/33 combined.

For the '11 Cruze AT6 1.4L and Cruze Eco AT6, I see 24 city/36 highway/28 combined and 26 city/37 highway/30 combined, respectively.

Seems to beat automatic '11 Cruzes. To a Prius enthusiast and owner, city and combined figures are are downright dismal, but that's another discussion...
 

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I looked on Fuelly when deciding Cruze or Elantra. The Cruze's fuel economy on there was consistently 2-3 mpg higher than the 2011-2012 Elantra's fuel economy.

Cruze Fuelly: Chevrolet Cruze MPG Reports | Fuelly
Elantra Fuelly: Hyundai Elantra MPG Reports | Fuelly

Not impressive is a 2700 lb car with a direct-injected naturally aspirated engine getting 30 mpg. More impressive is a 3000-3200 lb car with a port-injected turbocharged engine getting 32-34 mpg. Sample sizes are similar, and areas are presumably similar. The Cruze is getting 2-4 mpg better in real-world fuel economy despite having the disadvantages of weight and a turbocharger.

So, while the Elantra does have higher EPA numbers, the Cruze is likely to get better fuel economy at the fuel pump. Add how the current Elantra is a buzzy tin can, and I'd be mad too!

I looked hard at a Prius when looking at my Cruze Eco MT. The numbers were the same for both cars. I liked the numbers of the Prius, and think it's a really neat car. I just couldn't stand driving it!
 

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...one VERY BAD aspect of the Fuelly website data is that all Cruzes seem to be lumped-together instead of being properly separated, such as this:

1.4L-ECO-M6
1.4L-ECO-A6

1.4L-CRUZE-M6
1.4L-CRUZE-A6

1.8L-CRUZE-M6
1.8L-CRUZE-A6

...they EACH should have a separate catagory.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
I looked hard at a Prius when looking at my Cruze Eco MT. The numbers were the same for both cars. I liked the numbers of the Prius, and think it's a really neat car. I just couldn't stand driving it!
The Prius is definitely NOT a car to buy if you want power or handling or (at least on the 2nd gen) a very smooth ride. I now hate driving ANY non-hybrid (or non-EV) in any sort of city traffic or stop and go situation. Having the ICE idle away uselessly drives me nuts and the thought of having ALL kinetic energy when braking becoming useless heat and brake dust is annoying.

I find my Prius drives fine w/ a decent "premium" stereo, more than enough power in town but a bit wanting in that dept on the highway. Handling's adequate but there isn't much steering feel.

I don't have the same driving pleasure on the highway that I had as the 02 Nissan Maxima it replaced (PLENTY of power, much smoother ride, something about it was just better on the highway). On the other hand, the Maxima's brakes weren't great and its handling wasn't very good.

My former 04 Nissan 350Z was a bit faster (have drag raced them at a track before) but its NVH was a bit annoying, the stereo was crap, interior was cheap (but somewhat stylish), steering was a bit too heavy and its ride was VERY bouncy and harsh. Handling and brakes were night and day compared to the Maxima. Maxima would be rated awful when comparing the two.
 

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Around me, the roads on my daily commute twist and wind through the hills. High-speed handling is a must. About 80% of my driving is pure highway, so highway power was also a must. I go through 5 stop signs/lights in the first 2 miles, then everything else is clear highway for the next 20 miles.

Not downing on the Prius, just pointing out that it wasn't the car for me for the reasons stated above. Heck, I recommended one to my aunt looking to get a new car since her commute is mostly stop-and-go, with a stoplight every 2-3 miles.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Around me, the roads on my daily commute twist and wind through the hills. High-speed handling is a must. About 80% of my driving is pure highway, so highway power was also a must. I go through 5 stop signs/lights in the first 2 miles, then everything else is clear highway for the next 20 miles.

Not downing on the Prius, just pointing out that it wasn't the car for me for the reasons stated above. Heck, I recommended one to my aunt looking to get a new car since her commute is mostly stop-and-go, with a stoplight every 2-3 miles.
Highway power isn't necessarily a "must", IMHO. I've driven my Prius w/a whopping 110 hp between San Jose and the Seattle area (>860 miles, each way). I've also driven it between San Jose and LA (>330 miles, each way) numerous times and San Jose and Vegas (>500 miles, each way) a few times. Highway speed limits for most of those drives are 70 mph (or even higher?) and everyone speeds.

I've had no trouble keeping up or going up hills.

That said, on the highway, there are certain things I wouldn't even attempt in my Prius (insufficient acceleration) that would be no problem in my 287 hp 350Z. (Had both cars until recently.)

If one looks in the Dec '11 issue of CR, one will see Prius reliability is well above average and thus WAY better than the much worse than average Cruze... Just saying...
 

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...agreed.

...without (intentionally) wanting to hurt anybody's feelings here, but our Cruzes are not as good as all the GM advertising have portrayed them to be.

...and, as always, YOMV.
 

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I'll take the lumps for derailing the thread.

With that, let's get back to bashing Hyundai! And GM's inflated ratings on the 4 cylinder Equinox. Nice SUV, but crappy gas mileage for either engine. 24 mpg highway for the V6, and owners getting 22? C'mon! The old pushrod 3400 V6 Venture routinely got 29-31 mpg highway. And that was a much larger vehicle with a larger if less powerful engine.
 

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... However, CR's highway result is usually higher than the EPA highway estimate. That's not the case for the Elantra w/the EPA highway rating being 40 mpg while CR got 39.
Right...time and again that happens. For example, Chevy Malibu rated at 33, but CR gets 37.

However, with the Cruze CR barely gets the 36 hwy rating (doesn't exceed it), and now the Hyundai is not hitting it. Makes me think that the new technology that MFG's are using to get that last leap to 40 MPG don't really work in real word or real world test. The Mazda 3 (older model) is really under-rated if CR's tests are right. Its rated at 33, but if I recall, CR got somerwhere around 39/40. I am curious to see if the new Mazda 3 (rated at 40), gets better than the old with the CR test.
 

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"...gaming the [EPA] system..." may not be illegal, but isn't very ethical either.
 

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Older Hyundais used to beat EPA mileage figures silly. My old 1999 Elantra used to consistently whip EPA averages. What happened?
 

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...remember, EPA recently "changed" the way they rated their city/avg/hwy milage numbers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Older Hyundais used to beat EPA mileage figures silly. My old 1999 Elantra used to consistently whip EPA averages. What happened?
...remember, EPA recently "changed" the way they rated their city/avg/hwy milage numbers.
Yep, the latest change that would've affected what goes on the Monroney sticker began with model year 08.

Fuel Economy used to give an easy means of seeing the original Monroney sticker values vs. what they are via adjustment. Now, they've slightly buried them and you have to go to 2008 Fuel Economy Tests.
 

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Plus everyone has to deal with increase in Smug in the area haha heeeeeyyyyyyyy!
I'm smug enough about beating EPA highway in my car. No help needed there!

Prius and Cruze Eco are two ways of getting a fuel-efficient car. Neither one will satisfy everybody. That's why there are choices. We can all get what we want, and be happy. As I said, I think the Prius is a slick car. It just wasn't the car for me based on a number of items, driving dynamics included. Lots of folks are thrilled with theirs, including about every single Prius owner I know. They love getting the fuel economy they're getting, and the utility the vehicle offers. They're also dead-nuts reliable, something that can't precisely be said about our Cruzes. Now if I ever need a family hauler, a Prius V is tops on the list for the fuel economy, reliability, and utility it offers. For a family truckster, if it goes/turns/stops, that's good enough for me.
 

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K, I think all of the people bitching about not meeting EPA estimates and whatnot are way out of line and you need to take it for what its worth. The EPA is a cycle, and some cars are made to better on it than others, but I don't think it is 100% intentional. A lot of the problem with the EPA test cycle and cars now is that your highway fuel economy numbers are 100% dependent on your transmission gearing rather than the EPA test.

Hate to break it to all of you, but the Automatic 2011 Chevy Cruze is aggressively geared off the line to where our fuel economy sweet spot is a lot lower than most other cars. Any car will get the best fuel mileage in top gear when the engine is spinning under 2000 RPMs and do okay really up until 2500 RPMs after which it will start dropping like an anvil. You will NEVER meet the EPA on the automatic Cruze (or a comparative Hyundai Elantra which most likely has a similar final drive ratio) at 70 mph+. Why do you think the manual Eco's are so easily eclipsing their EPA estimates??? Their engine is barely spinning at 60 mph, where as automatics are topping 2200 RPMs.

Let me give you an example - Buick Regal CXL Turbo. It's rated at a paltry 28 MPG highway from the EPA. Looking through Inside Lines articles on it and they bested at 34.9 MPG on a tank of gas, a whooping 7 MPG over the EPA cycle.

Big List of Fuel Economy: April 2011
2011 Chevrolet Cruze: Hot Weather MPG Part 2

The second article even compares a trip in the Buick vs. the Cruze, no doubt at higher than optimal speeds for the Cruze.

Explanation? The Buick Regal doesn't even hit top gear in the EPA cycle. So is this a scam? No. You just can't regard these tests as a be-all end all for fuel economy.

Personally, I found the sweet spot for the 2011 1.4L 6AT Cruze to be between 35-50 mph, where my DIC shows MPG figures between 45-50 MPG (yes, that high) and the engine is spinning between 1400-2000 RPMs. No doubt the case is similar with the Elantra and other small displacement compacts. You just have to accept the fact that you will not exceed the EPA estimates going 65+ mph with these engines.

And it is not about "gaming" the EPA test. It is about optimizing acceleration for the given engine, which is why the automatic Cruze is noticebly faster from 0-60 mph than the Cruze Eco despite the weight difference.
 
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