Sonata Sales for 2nd Quarter of 2010 Just Increased +1...

Discussion in 'Hyundai' started by MaxxMPG, May 11, 2010.

  1. MaxxMPG

    MaxxMPG Hasta Lavista AAA-Vee Von't Be Bach

    Alternate title - "A funny thing happened on the way to the chiropractor"

    Having seen so many of the new vehicles recently at the New York International Auto Show, I never miss the chance to point out some of the newest to my wife when we are out driving somewhere. I pointed out the new Sonata and noted it was the only full size car available with a 35mpg highway rating, and it costs 2/3 as much as other full size sedans. Since my wife has a back injury, her first question was whether the seats would be ok for her. I had told her when I first sat in a Sonata in late March that they'd likely suit her well, and she said, "maybe I should drive one and see how it feels".

    I knew that my local Hyundai dealer had two 6MT Sonatas on the lot, one silver and one black plum, as of late March. So that night, I check stock again and I see the silver one sold, and they still had the black plum. The next day, we head over to the chiropractor, then do a little geocaching, and then decide to stop off at the dealer. We drive into the lot and what is in front of the dealer's front doors but a black plum Sonata. I trot over and look inside - salesperson behind the wheel - and I see it's a stick. I point and tell my wife, "this is the one". The only 6MT on the lot, and it was parked right in front of the door, engine idling. They were going to move it into the showroom. Because the Sonata is selling so fast, they keep selling whatever they have on the floor, and this stick version was probably the least likely to sell.

    So the salesman hears me say, "this is the one", and he asks me if we're interested. I said yes, we'd like to drive it. It'd be my wife's car, so she was the one behind the wheel. He took a copy of her license and we were off. The dash cluster was set on iFCD. I couldn't see much detail from the passenger seat, but I noticed as we drove along the expressway service road that a light touch on the throttle kept the iFCD pegged at 50mpg (the upper limit of the graph) in both 5th and 6th gears. This car has a lot of promise as a highway cruiser.

    The seats seem perfect for her. And she also remarked that the seatbelts are more comfortable, the ride seemed very composed with less harshness than her other car, and the steering seemed lighter and more precise. I would chalk those last two up to the Sonata's lighter weight and stiffer chassis. We have been looking for an inexpensive car for a couple of years now - one that we can run up a zillion miles without having to wear out our daily drivers - cars we love but cannot replace because they ended production. So my idea was to get something comfortable, safe, fuel efficient, and reliable enough that we can use it as an interstate runabout. The list has changed over the years, and it all seemed to come to a single conclusion in the Sonata 6MT.

    The EPA rating for the Sonata with a stick is 24 city and 35 highway. What sold me on it was seeing that iFCD pegged during gentle driving. My wife now wants a ScanGage so she will be able to see numbers over 50. Driving a car with an automatic, she hasn't been giving me the numbers from the gas receipts because she said the numbers never change. And she's right, for the most part. With a computer-controlled automatic, and driving the same car over the same routes using the same techniques results in fairly consistent mpg's. The only way to break through the everyday-mpg numbers is to throw the book at it. Now that she has a 6MT, she knows that she can make that car sing - or squawk or screech - depending on how she drives it. And she knows the basics and is a good student, too. This is gonna be a fun car.

    When the car left the showroom, the aFCD read 17.9mpg. That would include hours of idling and short bursts around the lot, and maybe a couple of test drives. My wife took great pride in boosting that 17.9 average to 19.1 after driving only 2.4 miles on suburban sidestreets. I included the 19.1mpg number in the photo gallery because it's the last time we will ever see it. The next tank will be 50% higher if not more.

    Interesting note: I read in the manual (I already downloaded the pdf so I can learn about all the features) that the aFCD resets itself whenever 1.6 gallons (6 liters) or more are added to the tank. So the aFCD on the new Sonata is a tank average and not a lifetime FE indicator.

    The car has less than 100 miles as I write this, so it hasn't been broken in or set up yet. The oil cap and owners manual both recommend 5w20 motor oil, and I am snooping around Hyundai sites to see if 0w20 is acceptable. The tires likely need more air (placard is 33, sidewall is 44), and then it will really start to shine. For now, I am leaving it "dealer original" to see what the first couple of tanks read when set up completely stock. The wife is taking it home to NEPA and will be running it around the highways up there, seeing how well it handles the mountains. I can't wait to see what's in store as the engine loosens up.

    If the Sonata delivers the highway fuel economy I think it will, it might just be the steal of the century. Our 6MT Sonata GLS has only two options - floor mats and iPod cable - and had a sticker total of a tick over $20k. Here are some of the standard features:
    - 6 speaker AM/FM/XM/CD radio, with bluetooth and USB and iPod connections.
    - Steering wheel controls for radio, bluetooth and cruise control.
    - Power windows, power locks (with remote keyless entry) and power heated mirrors.
    - Air conditioning with air filtration.
    - Four wheel disc brakes with ABS with EBD & brake assist, traction control, and stability control.
    - Six airbags, active front head restraints and seatbelt pretensioners.
    - Tilt and telescoping steering wheel.
    - Advanced trip computer (with iFCD and aFCD) and Eco indicator light.
    - Split folding rear seats. Trunk has valet switch to secure luggage compartment contents.

    For the price, the content level is impressive. And it's a truly modern full size car, with over 120 cubic feet of passenger and luggage space in a light weight (about 3150 pounds) aerodynamic body shell, and an EPA of 24/35. Hyundai just broke another all time sales record for this past April, so it seems that many buyers agree.

    Karen takes delivery of her new mpg machine


    An inviting modern interior places all controls in easy reach. Ride is quiet and well isolated.


    More pictures to follow below.
    Last edited: May 11, 2010
  2. MaxxMPG

    MaxxMPG Hasta Lavista AAA-Vee Von't Be Bach

    Some photos...

    Sticker - Amazing content, with a sticker price typically found on compact cars...


    Hyundai "Fluidic Sculpture" surfacing captures the setting sun


    A rare sight in a full size sedan. And the shifter feels comfortable, with good precision for a front driver. To shift to reverse, you pull the ring under the shift knob upward and then the lever moves to the left and forward.


    Front seat has ample room and a nice two-tone color that minimizes glare while lighter "camel" accents keep the interior bright.


    Rear seat has room for three adults, and split folding seatbacks. The fold down armrest has a pair of cupholders.


    Lots of storage! Top left and bottom left show the two-level center armrest storage. Top right shows two large cup holders. There are also water-bottle holders in each lower door panel. Lower right - the glove box is a nice size. And it is easily removed to change the cabin air filter.

    Last edited: May 11, 2010
  3. MaxxMPG

    MaxxMPG Hasta Lavista AAA-Vee Von't Be Bach

    Some of the standard features on the Sonata GLS

    2.4L GDI engine with 198hp


    Power windows, power door locks with remote keyless entry, power mirrors.


    The power mirrors are heated - a blessing to those who live in the frozen north.


    USB and 3.5mm auxiliary inputs for the audio system support a wide range of digital audio devices.


    Standard XM radio. The roof mounted antenna is shaped to minimize drag. In this photo, you can see how Hyundai mixes up "Black Plum" paint with a blend of red and blue flakes within the black paint.


    Over 16 cubic feet of trunk space. The floor is level and there are no sharp edges exposed.


    The trunk lid has a plastic handle to pull the trunk lid closed. Also note the valet switch on the latch that disables the trunk release on the dash for those times when the valet key will be used to secure the luggage compartment contents.

  4. Right Lane Cruiser

    Right Lane Cruiser Penguin of Notagascar

    Wow!! That's quite an addition, Chris!! :woot:

    So... when will we see some testing numbers from you? ;)

    Who does the Accent belong to?
  5. Ophbalance

    Ophbalance Administrator Staff Member

    I was wondering the same thing Sean ;). I think it's funny here in the south that while attending a mother's/father's day thing we had a Sorento, 2 Sedona's, and the other 'S' named cuteute sitting in the parking spots. If Hyundai doesn't get a swollen head in the next few years with price increases (thinking they're the next honda), they can only get better.
  6. MaxxMPG

    MaxxMPG Hasta Lavista AAA-Vee Von't Be Bach

    I will be able to get some test numbers when the newness wears off a bit and I can get the keys again. :) Since it will be her daily driver, she will be driving for the next two weeks to refine her techniques. I am more interested in seeing what she can accomplish with it than what I can, because her driving is almost all highway, and the car was chosen for its highway FE potential.

    I drove it a mile or two around local streets here, and the engine has plenty of power - easy to upshift well before the upshift indicator lights on the dash. The car is brand new so the clutch is still sorta grippy - challenging to get a really smooth launch. Every MT car I ever drove was well worn and driving with a factory fresh clutch required a gentler foot.

    The Accent belongs to the landlady. It's an SE version with ABS and 4AT. So far it has about 1500 miles (yes, less than 2k miles on it) in two years. It's the classic seasoned-citizen-owned "driven once a week" car.
  7. MaxxMPG

    MaxxMPG Hasta Lavista AAA-Vee Von't Be Bach

    Trip computer screens available are shown below. Scrolling and resetting are controlled by two buttons on the steering wheel.

    Trip "A" and Trip "B"


    Elapsed time


    Average MPH


    Distance to Empty. The tank is 18.5 gallons.


    Average fuel economy display - reads 0 to 99.9mpg.


    Instant fuel economy display - a bar graph showing 0 to 50. The goal is to keep it pegged at 50. :)

  8. Right Lane Cruiser

    Right Lane Cruiser Penguin of Notagascar

    Nice! I see the odometer still doesn't read tenths... That's the reason I've never reset one of my trip odometers (since I bought the car). That way I can always see what that tenth of a mile is.

    The Insight is the same way but I've no way of knowing what the tenths are there because I didn't buy it new. :eek:
  9. MaxxMPG

    MaxxMPG Hasta Lavista AAA-Vee Von't Be Bach

    FE update. Karen left for NEPA this morning, leaving from Long Island. She called me from the Cross Island Parkway to tell me the XM radio popped on (I activated it last night and refreshed the radio before she left). And she said the aFCD is at 31.4 and traffic was heavy but moving. Typical after-the-rush morning drive in the NYC suburbs. I was on the phone with her for five minutes. She loves the voice activated Bluetooth wireless in the Sonata - sound quality is excellent. In those five minutes, she was updating the numbers on the aFCD. 31.6. Then a minute later, 32.2. She was obviously up to speed and in top gear at that point, as the average was increasing so fast she couldn't keep up. When we ended the call as she was crossing the Throgs Neck bridge, the aFCD was at 33.0 even. I suggested that as she reaches the flatter terrain of mid NJ, she should switch to iFCD and see if she can keep it pegged at 50+ at speeds of 55 and below. Then slowly increase speed (it's 65 PSL in that area) to see if it will hold onto 50+mpg at 60 or even 65mph. I suspect it will keep the meter pegged at 55 but will start to drop at speeds increase.
    I told her to take mental notes during the trip and then fill me in later. It's a brand new engine - still tight - and the tires are likely at placard pressure, if that. But it will give us a baseline of what the Sonata MT can achieve by anyone who buys one off the lot and then drives like they have a squad car on their tail.
  10. MaxxMPG

    MaxxMPG Hasta Lavista AAA-Vee Von't Be Bach

    Next FE update. Karen called from I-80 in New Jersey. We had some fun with the iFCD. I checked the weather for the area and the winds were calm and temp is 57F. On level ground on I-80, we got some numbers. Trip distance to this point was 60 miles. Tach numbers are guesstimates - the needle is "just above, on, or just below" the "2", but not quite 1750 or 2250rpm.

    55mph - tach 1900rpm - iFCD stays pegged at 50+mpg
    60mph - tach 2000rpm - iFCD stays pegged at 50+mpg
    65mph - tach 2100rpm - iFCD stays pegged at 50+mpg but requires delicate throttle action.

    The aFCD between Fairfield and Morristown NJ increased from 35.5 to 37.1 - still increasing. I laughed and told her she was already beating the hell out of the EPA, on an average FE display that included some slow & spotty traffic through the city. She said she's still "getting used to the car" and that it can do much better once she nails down the details.

    She noted that it moves a bit more in crosswinds compared to the Maxx. You feel the car move laterally due to traffic side draft (euphemism for speeding trucks) or when driving past a clearing between clumps of trees in the median. She also said the car really glides. Compared to the Maxx, the car wants to keep rolling when you back off the accelerator. That will take some adjustment for her because she will be able to glide much farther when approaching turns or intersections.

    She is driving at roughly 60mph (PSL is 65) and might be able to get back down to 55mph if traffic eases a bit. The next challenge will be the 1800 foot climb in PA, near the Camelback ski resort. I want to see if the Sonata climbs well without knocking too much off the trip average FE. Stay tuned for the next report.
  11. PaleMelanesian

    PaleMelanesian Beat the System Staff Member

    Hot Dawg! That's some great stuff! My car will only hold 45 mpg at those speeds, and it's old, small, noisy, outdated, underpowered, etc. ;)

    Edit: My civic is rated the same 35 mpg highway (adjusted) as this car.
    Last edited: May 11, 2010
  12. MaxxMPG

    MaxxMPG Hasta Lavista AAA-Vee Von't Be Bach

    We won't know until the first couple of tanks of Hyundai calibrated the FCDs for accuracy or optimism. If they're accurate, the car is on target to exceed my expectations.

    I want to see if it climbs hills without drinking too heavily, and I want to take it on a long trip in a couple of weeks to see if adding people and cargo adversely affects the baseline mpg numbers. The 2.4L GDI seems so overpowered (Karen didn't believe it was a 4 cylinder - she was insisting it was a V6), and the CVVT and high compression mean the engine shouldn't need to work too hard to keep up.
  13. MaxxMPG

    MaxxMPG Hasta Lavista AAA-Vee Von't Be Bach

    Next update:

    - I asked if there was anything she didn't like so far. She said so far nothing to gripe about. One thing she mentioned is that the front cup holder is positioned where a large soda will get in the way of shifts to 2/4/6 and also the button on the e-brake handle. The workaround is to put large soda cups in cup holder just behind, and use the front for soda cans or for smaller cups.

    - She said the fuel cut is there but not too aggressive. By that she means that the car will maintain speed in fuel cut going down long grades, but will lose speed on shallower grades. She said she'd like to be able to glide a bit more on those shallow grades without having to shift out of gear. I said that will happen if we use synthetic oil to reduce engine friction, and air up the tires.

    - On I-80 in Pennsylvania, she was at 38.0mpg per aFCD at the start of the climb up the mountain. At the top (1800-1900 feet straight up over about five miles), the aFCD was down to 36.8 and was on the way back up as the road leveled off again. What impressed her most - the car climbed the mountain in 6th gear with no sign of strain. In her Daytona (2.5L 150hp turbo with 5MT), she had to shift from 5 to 4 to climb the hill. In 5th, she'd have to bury the pedal and that car would still amble up the hill with the turbo whistling like a tea kettle. The Sonata's 2.4L engine has so much power to spare that it climbs the same mountain in top gear, at 60mph and 2000 on the tach, without strain (engine temp steady, light throttle, roughly 25+mpg seen on the iFCD during the climb).

    She said it's the first MT car she's driven that was able to climb the mountain in top gear without any drama or downshifting. And considering that it's a 6 speed with an economy overdrive, that is even more astounding.

    At about 130 miles travelled, the fuel gage is still well over 3/4, and I would bet that our "full tank" the dealer gave us wasn't really "full" either.

    Judging from her eager reporting and reviewing notes here, I would say we have a very satisfied new vehicle owner.
  14. Ophbalance

    Ophbalance Administrator Staff Member

    And with a 20k price tag??? Yeesh... how I wish my wife could drive a stick ;).
  15. Right Lane Cruiser

    Right Lane Cruiser Penguin of Notagascar

    Wow. That leaves my Elantra in the dust... though it shares the affinity for gliding. :)
  16. MaxxMPG

    MaxxMPG Hasta Lavista AAA-Vee Von't Be Bach

    Sean, she just called me from her dad's house - showing off the Bluetooth with voice recognition. I read your post above and noted your Elantra has an average FE of 50.2 over the last six months and that those numbers should be her goal. :)

    It's too soon to tell exactly what she can get from the new Sonata, but we agreed that it's best to start out with everything factory and explore the capabilities and limitations and then make incremental changes to find out what works and what doesn't work so well. What I am liking so far is that she has demonstrated that anyone can hypermile in a 2011 Sonata MT as long as they can drive a stick and employ the simplest hypermiling principles. Once she gets used to the car and we start to tweak it a bit, I think there will be no stopping it. To get to the next level, she wants to get a ScanGage. I am a blessed man. My wife wants a ScanGage and wants to learn how to use it. :D
  17. MaxxMPG

    MaxxMPG Hasta Lavista AAA-Vee Von't Be Bach

    One other thing I thought of: A Chicago to NY on one tank would require an average of 48mpg. A brand new Sonata with less than 100 miles on the clock, and stock tire pressure, and a driver who hasn't yet fully refined the skill set for wringing out the true capabilities, is already around 38mpg average. And that's with some traffic and a mile of around town to get to the highway. And no FAS and no pulse and glide. If the aFCD is accurate, this car would be able to do a Chicago to NY run on a single tank without breaking a sweat.
  18. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Chris:

    ___She is doing fantastic!

    ___I should have asked as it is one of our primary concerns with a new non-hybrid vehicle... Does the aFCD increment up during a FAS or does it lock in and stick. You wife can try this near home by resetting the aFCD, driving about a mile and then FAS and watch the aFCD. Sometimes they will not increment up during the FAS until the engine is brought back online and you will see the aFCD update with a jump but it will give me an idea. Some will not register at all but it would be nice to know up front.

    ___Dan B. asked again when I want to take the car. For a local drive, we could possibly take one out as early as next week, a drive to Detroit to take it back to their Press fleet can come at any time and a Chicago to NY drive can be scheduled for Mid June or thereabouts.

    ___And of course we will be shooting for a wee bit higher than 50 mpg for that Chicago to NY drive :D

    ___Now check the news in a few minutes for what the 11 Sonata achieved today. Your wife will be extremely pleased ;)

    ___Thanks in advance

    Last edited: May 13, 2010
  19. MaxxMPG

    MaxxMPG Hasta Lavista AAA-Vee Von't Be Bach

    Karen and I were on the phone for a while after she arrived up there earlier today. During the chat, we talked about FAS as a way to keep stop and go traffic from causing the tank average to "tank". When I drove the car last night, she was with me, and I didn't want to try to FAS and bump start because that brand new clutch was tough to modulate for a smooth engagement - especially with my size 14 feet. :) She has cut the engine on the Chevy only after the car is lined up where she wants it to go, and when she will be coasting to a stop. The GM EPS is so stiff during engine-off that she is concerned about needing upper body strength to steer if the EPS gets too stiff when the ICE is cut. Also, in the mountains, the daytime sees other cars on the roads, and nighttime brings out the deer, bears, foxes, skunks, and other suicidal mammals. Nevertheless, I let her know the request and I will see if she can find a suitable safe location to perform the test, and if she feels confident doing so, I will report the results.

    I am proud of her accomplishment so far, and her willingness to work to improve the techniques to bring the new Sonata up well over EPA and possibly into the 40s. She is already saying she may want to press up the tires to improve the glides. We created a monster. :D

    For the 2011 Sonata, spec'd to have an 18.5 gallon tank, a kilotank needs only a 54mpg average. Although that would take some advanced techniques, it certainly sounds possible to me, even though we've only owned the car for a little over 24 hours so far.
  20. Nevyn

    Nevyn Well-Known Member

    DO WANT! This may replace our/my Elantra. Nice, another Geocacher as well! :D

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