2015 Hyundai Sonata: Real World Numbers
July 2, 2015
Preparing to leave on a road trip, I filled up our 2015 Hyundai Sonata and was shocked to find that it only got 16 mpg for that tank. The previous tank was much better at 22 mpg, but still well below the EPA-promised 29 mpg combined. Looking at our fuel economy updates, I see other editors have flagged this discrepancy.
But, hey, what better side benefit for a road trip than to check the fuel economy? So I filled up before I left, once on the road, and again when I returned from the 609-mile excursion.
Here's what I learned about EPA estimates versus real-world MPG in our Sonata.
I drove 230 miles through traffic on the first day without babying the 185-horsepower, 2.4-liter engine and setting cruise control at about 72 mph. The next day, I climbed into the mountains, which probably reduced fuel economy somewhat. On the final day, I drove home, descending from the mountains to sea level.
On the first tank of gas I got 28.3 mpg over 335 miles. On the second tank I got 29.8 mpg over 274 miles of driving. Those are pretty good numbers, right in line with the combined MPG estimate, but well shy of the 37-mpg highway estimate. I would have expected better given the amount of highway miles on our road trip. I checked the Sonata's competitors on fueleconomy.gov, and while they all offer similar ratings, I still wondered what they actually deliver.
I doubt many owners would complain about the mileage. Instead they would rejoice that, with an 18.5-gallon gas tank, the Sonata can cruise all day.
Philip Reed, Senior Consumer Advice Editor @ 9,030 miles