By on March 18, 2014

2014 Hyundai Sonata

Hyundai announced a correction in the upcoming 2015 Sonata’s fuel economy upon findings showing the economy figures to be lower than originally stated.

Reuters reports the sedan claimed a 6 percent-climb to 12.6 kilometers per liter, a figure based on tests at the automaker’s research center. However, government tests returned a 2 percent-climb of 12.1 kilometers per liter than the outgoing model.

Analysts, including Korea Institute for Industrial Economics & Trade senior researcher Cho Chul, said the impact of the error and subsequent correction would be short-lived, having been announced prior to the new Sonata going on sale later this month in its home market:

This may have a short-term impact on its reputation. But for the longer term, it is better for Hyundai to take quick action before controversy erupts.

Both Hyundai and Kia are rebuilding their reputations regarding fuel economy after overstate figures in their respective lineups led to recalls and customer lawsuits, paying $395 million total in settlements in the United States in 2012 for over 1 million vehicles with erroneous mileage.

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14 Comments on “Hyundai Sonata Fuel Economy Rating Found Lower Than Stated, Corrected...”


  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Seems like a non-issue, basically. This hiccup applies only to the Korea Domestic Market, which doesn’t even use the US EPA test protocol.

    But if this is supposed to be a ‘gotcha’ piece, you win.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    “6 percent-climb to 12.6 kilometers per liter”

    >.< Imperial please.

  • avatar
    raresleeper

    This is becoming commonplace. Manufacturers are expected to comply with ever-increasing standards from Sir Obama, yet they get a slap on the wrist for their exagerations.

    Last I heard there was this lady out of California trying to sue the pants off Honda (IIRC) for under-estimated MPG of the Civic she financed.

    Let’s sum it up once and for all: if you are going to buy a vehicle, and you want to know how much MPG it will get… knock about 2-3 mpg off the average MPG that the manufacturer is citing.

    I love it, too, how they say “EPA rated”. Make’s not a damned bit of difference.

    • 0 avatar
      mike978

      This was concerning the Korean market – nothing to do with President Obama. But don`t let facts get in the way of your snark.

    • 0 avatar
      stuntmonkey

      That’s not the issue. The “your mileage may vary caveat” doesn’t apply because they are comparing internal tests vs the government tests. Since the test cycle is a (more or less) controlled experiment, the results should group tightly together, provided the variables are accounted for.

    • 0 avatar
      George B

      There are at least two non-political issues here. First, manufacturers are playing games with engine and transmission control software to get a better score on the test. Sometimes it feels like the automatic transmission is fighting with the driver. Second, hybrid cars have a tradeoff between fuel economy and battery service life. Honda changed that tradeoff after the sale in the case of the Civic, greatly altering the hybrid vs. non-hybrid cost calculations.

      I’m currently trying to calculate if the 2014 Honda Accord Hybrid pays for itself for my typical driving. Frustratingly difficult to get real-world data to make that calculation. Hybrid results at https://www.fuelly.com/‎ are all over the map and none of the cars have aged batteries. Also not clear how much fuel economy degrades at actual 75-80mph highway driving.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        There are at least two non-political issues here. First, manufacturers are playing games with engine and transmission control software to get a better score on the test. Sometimes it feels like the automatic transmission is fighting with the driver. Second, hybrid cars have a tradeoff between fuel economy and battery service life.

        @George B, +1. Certain engine transmission combos only exist for CAFE and that has been true since the 80s, what most members of the GOP forget is that St. Ronnie Reagan was President back then and GM still sold full size cars with 140 hp 307 Olds V8s. Do think GM wanted to stop selling 350 4brls in Caprice Classics and Olds 98s? Heck no! CAFE is the reason.

        Now they can be more sophisticated with gaming the system. 9 speed transmission that only engages top gear at ludicrous speed? CAFE. 3 cyl ecobost? CAFE.

        Don’t blame the current president for continuing down a road started in the late 70s.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    Our 2012 Sonata Limited (naturally-aspirated) regularly crests 40 MPG in calm driving scenarios. But Hyundai/Kia does need to get its act together as far as reporting fuel-economy ratings goes. Didn’t they also have some kind of debacle in South America?

  • avatar
    red60r

    To really know if your car is performing up, or down, to the EPA numbers on the sticker, you would have to replicate the exact cycles used in their tests (which are designed to test emissions, not consumption). I’m still waiting for the industry to come out with real-world tests, like driving 1000 miles on the Interstate network at actual traffic speeds, or slogging through a big-city rush hour with the A/C on. I don’t drive gently, but still beat the posted numbers with the last several imports I owned (not Korean, but Japanese and Swedish).


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