TTAC’s inbox was inundated this morning with reports of Hyundai’s revised mileage claims, which remove a number of its vehicles from the 40 MPG club.
According to Hyundai
Procedural errors at the automakers’ joint testing operations in Korea led to incorrect fuel economy ratings for select vehicle lines.
Maybe it’s time for a new way to measure fuel economy standards?
Over-inflated MPG numbers aren’t the exclusive domain of the United States either. Fuel economy numbers in Canada are widely inflated to the point where the advertised numbers bear zero relation to real world figures, thanks to a combination or arcane test methods and shady “imperial-to-metric conversion practices”.
The irony of the Hyundai case is that independent tests have corroborated the Elantra’s mileage claims. Popular Mechanics
re-created the standard testing procedure, did their own version of the test and their Elantra (presumably a press car) delivered 34.1/47.6 MPG city/highway. Our own Jack Baruth rented an Elantra that had seen better days, and found the mileage consistent with expectations – even though it was slightly below the advertised 40 MPG rating.
There’s nothing scientific about the resulting 35.5-ish MPG rating, but based on the way I drove it, the mileage and abuse the poor little car has suffered, and the entirely adequate performance from the engine and transmission, I’m giving “Consumer Watchdog” a thumbs down. Had I purchased this Elantra, I wouldn’t feel cheated in any way. They promised 40MPG under ideal conditions, and I’m getting 35-36MPG in conditions which were far from the test lab.
The gripes surrounding fuel economy testing, whether it’s the test procedure, the self-reporting by the OEMs or their failure to match up to real world conditions, are enough to prompt calls for a change in the way things are done. Tell us how you’d change things below.