June 12, 2007
Buyers who choose the 2007 Hyundai Azera may get more than they bargained for -- in a good way, of course. Why? Based on our observations so far, our long-term sedan doesn't just match the EPA's combined fuel economy ratings -- it beats them.
Revised EPA ratings give the Azera an estimated 17 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway, with a combined rating of 20 mpg.
With 13,155 miles on the odometer, our Azera has a combined lifetime average of just over 21 mpg.
This impressive figure no doubt owes much gratitude to the fact that the Azera has logged plenty of highway miles thus far, with a couple of trips to sun-baked Arizona and a mad Christmastime dash to the snowy peaks of Colorado.
Big round of applause for the EPA, for finally giving us ratings with real-world usefulness. Read our story Explained: 2008 EPA Fuel Economy Ratings to get the scoop on the new ratings system.
Warren Clarke, Automotive Content Editor @ 13,155 miles
June 11, 2007
I have a friend here at Edmunds who recently drove the Toyota Highlander Hybrid and became obsessed with getting the best fuel economy possible.
"So," I said to her, "You've discovered how good it feels to save gas?"
She thought about that for a long time.
"No... Not really," she said...
"Then why do you do it?"
"I like winning."
"You mean, it's just a video game to you?"
Okay. Well, however you get there it's still a good thing. And I know what she means about playing video games. I've developed my own video game and I played it this morning in the 2007 Hyundai Azera. If I'm driving a long term car that has an average miles per gallon calculator, I zero it out at the beginning of my morning commute. My goal: to try to get to work -- 31 miles away -- on one gallon of gas. Since I took a long trip in the Azera last Christmas, and averaged 26 mpg, I knew I had my work cut out for me.
Here's my strategy. First, I leave a little early so I can take advantage of cooler temperatures and less traffic. Then, I watch the lights on my way to the freeway so I never have to stop. On the freeway I use cruise control (which is easy to use in the Azera since they are big fat buttons under your right thumb) to vary my speed. If I see brake lights in the distance I hit the cancel button on cruise control and coast until traffic picks up again. And, by the way, I keep pace with the traffic ahead and try not to annoy other drivers.
At first, the reading on the average miles per gallon gauge bounces around a lot. But as you get more miles figured into the average it begins to smooth out. Still, when you hit a red light even later in the drive, you can still see a few tenths of a mile drop off the average. One thing about this game is it makes you really aware of what factors affect fuel economy.
As you can see, I didn't quite reach my goal of making it to work on one gallon of gas. I averaged 30.1 mpg. But I stretched it over 30 mpg which is a benchmark for me. Not bad for a big powerful car like the Azera.
Philip Reed, Edmunds Consumer Advice Editor
April 21, 2007
We had Friday off this week apparently in observance of Earth Day (that's not a joke), although it's hard not to think it's really because of another holiday that happens on 4/20 (that is). Either way, I decided to pay my parents a visit in Phoenix to say hello and to check that they haven't turned my bedroom into an indoor driving range or something. I had a few choices for my 300-mile journey. I immediately nixed our brand-spanking new Jeep Wrangler Unlimited since I was planning on driving their via roads, not on the "dodging Saguaros" off-road desert trek route. After several a few minutes of pondering and intense discussion with Keymaster Mike Schmidt, I chose the Azera over the Audi Q7. It was Earth Day after all and I figured Mother Nature would appreciate the 8 to 10 additional mpgs. I also hadn't driven the Hyundai yet.
March 20, 2007
The little-known "marsupial hybrid" can net tremendous gains in fuel economy. In the Azera, this was achieved by keeping the engine in a minimally consumptive mode and by slashing aerodynamic drag, rolling resistance and heat losses for a large portion of a 404.1 mile trip.
January 17, 2007
After an impressive first leg from L.A. to Phoenix two days ago, the Azera completed the return trip as smoothly as the first. I didn't go light on it, yet when I made it home I realized there was still nearly a quarter tank of gas left after the 408-mile trip. According to the computer, the Azera could have gone another 80 miles or so. That's some serious range. I did note, however, that when the tank does get nearly dry the "miles to empty" reading goes to a couple dashes instead of counting down to 0 miles. Lame.