2007 Hyundai Azera: What's it Capable of?
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