The 2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Transcontinental Challenge

Discussion in 'Hyundai' started by xcel, Dec 24, 2010.

  1. xcel

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

    Hi All:

    Still exploring the 2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid’s capabilities and trust me, the spec’ed 62 mph “EV Cruise” mode is a specification for somebody else because it has a lot more headroom than I would have first thought.

    2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid – Details

    88-mph EV Cruise in action.​

    While I do not know where the ceiling is for this mode, it is already far beyond my level of comfort. If you live or drive the Interstate in the mountains, expect to see the ICE-Off for a good long while ;)

  2. msirach

    msirach Well-Known Member

    Wayne called after he did an odometer check against highway mile markers. He did two twenty mile tests and had the exact results both times. 19.5 miles on the odometer is actually 20 miles. This is shorting the true mileage 1.7%.

    Here are the corrected numbers:

    • Route from San Diego to Georgia 2308 miles @ 60.6mpg

    • First tank of fuel 1241.9 miles @ 61.58mpg

    • Second tank of fuel 1065.1 miles @ 59.8mpg with 2.5 gallons remaining
  3. paulbates

    paulbates Well-Known Member

    :woot:I have been wondering about this with my car. ScanGuage is much closer than the on board computer in terms of MPG. But I am taking sometime tomorrow align the Scanguage to GPS.
  4. xcel

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

    Hi All:

    Mike posted the initial Odometer study and here are the details…

    While I have calculated the minimum distance covered via Google and Mapquest a hundred times if not more while developing the route detail to be at an absolute minimum of 2,299 miles not including the 2 mile detour (I missed the US 8x exit while on I-20 in LA), the ~ 10-mile detour to visit the HMMA plant in Montgomery, AL and the additional 6-miles from the Brunswick/Jekyll Island Bridge split to the Jekyll Island Entry gate, the total miles should have been closer to 2,318 miles vs. the OEM odometer’s 2,250.8 miles as displayed on New Year’s Day while parked at the entry gate to Jekyll Island, GA proper.

    Here is the study… I reset the Trip B at the 75.0 mile marker on I-77 in West Virginia to find out.

    2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid – Odometer Study

    19.4 miles displayed at the 20-mile out point.

    29.1 miles displayed at the 30-mile out point.

    38.9 miles displayed at the 40-mile out point.

    48.4 miles displayed at the 50-mile out point.​

    With the limited photo editing SW I have on the road right now, I could not resolve but one of the four mile markers from the pics I snapped, cropped, resized and in some cases rotated a degree or less. If anyone wants the RAW jpg’s to attempt to bring out the mile marker 95, 115 and 125 from the above, PM me.

    In any case, will go with 48.5 OEM displayed from the actual 50.0 miles per the actual mile markers as I crossed the 125 marker. This leaves the total miles from San Diego, CA to Jekyll Island, GA of 2,250.8 miles 3.0928% low.

    Actual miles traveled during the Transcontinental Challenge = 2,320.4 miles which is much more in line with our actual…

    Final distance for the crossing comes in at 2,339.5 miles while parked at the Exxon Station near Brunswick, GA.

    Total Gallons consumed from initial top off to final top off: 20.169 gallons in Mineral Wells, TX and 17.920 gallons just outside Brunswick, GA = 38.089 gallons.

    Final actual FE: 2,339.5 miles/38.089 gallons = 61.42 mpg


    aFCD offset study

    The first 1,221.2 miles traveled was actually 1,258.97 miles after the offset and matches Google/Mapquest as well. Using the first fill’s 20.169 gallons, the Sonata provided 62.42 mpg vs. the 61.8 mpg displayed. Very close indeed!

    The second 1,048.1 miles traveled was actually 1,080.5 miles after the offset and matches Google/Mapquest as well. Using the second fills 17.920 gallons, the Sonata provided 60.29 mpg vs. the 60.7 mpg displayed. Yet another very close result.

    In addition to the odometer study, for those that will incorporate a ScanGauge(s) into their Sonata Hybrids in the future, there is a + 26.4% fuel consumption offset to bring the Scan Gauge in line with the actual.

    Last edited: Jan 5, 2011
  5. xcel

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

    Hi All:

    And I am having a little fun watching the Eco landscape being built in the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid’s Total ECO Score display screen too :)

    During the Challenge, I had to blast through this screen any number of times (hundreds actually) as it provided no real feedback or use during the Transcontinental Challenge. Now however, it is a pretty screen to watch while practically on auto pilot during the odometer study…

    While this screen appears to reset itself every 675 to 900 miles (I have no idea when it actually does), it begins at 0 with the grass covered hills. A little while later, the wind turbine and fence appear. Not sure which appears first however? A little while after that, the shrubs underneath the wind turbine appear.

    A little while later, the entire ground cover turns into red and white flowers intermixed in with the grass. I will try and get a pic of that as it appears sometime later this evening. Sorry about the pic quality but it was taken on the fly :rolleyes:

    2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid – Total ECO Score Display

    Fence, wind turbine and shrubs just behind the wind turbine displayed so far.​

  6. 300kmileprius

    300kmileprius Well-Known Member

    Back to the future in EV mode!!! Awesome.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 2, 2011
  7. xcel

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

    Hi Kacey:

    Mike sounded not only sincere but really does love his Sonata Limited! The Quebec Hyundai dealership experience was just one of the many highlights he mentioned too!

    Herm, not sure about the steady state 55 mph cruise FE as I am driving some really tough sections of mountains though North Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia over the past 12-hours. Even when I hit the flats, it is only in the mid to upper 30’s which takes the Sonata Hybrid down about 20% from what it would achieve in the 70’s. The 65 mph steady state drive in GA/SC yesterday revealed a 54 mpg result which is hugely impressive in a car this size.

    Darrell, the DI 1.6L from the Korean Elantra with the Sonata Hybrid’s Hybrid drive train would be out of this world efficient on the highway, wouldn’t it :D

    JJ, I am holding in the 48 to 49 mpg range as temps fall to freezing (snow is on the ground in most areas) and I believe most of the mountain climbs are behind me now… This level of FE at these speeds and in these conditions bests all hybrids on the highway other than the 10/11 Prius (but its real close) and the HCH-II. Remember that the Sonata Hybrid is far more comfortable given the much larger size by comparison to the compact HCH-II and barely mid-size Prius-III. All performance metrics are by far in the Sonata Hybrid's favor in this comparison too!

    I have sat in the Optima Hybrid (see the pics from the LA Auto Show Coverage write-up) and while a little less expensive, I think the interior of the Sonata Hybrid is far more futuristic and more importantly, future proof. This is just me however.

    UVO is definitely a plus for the KIA Optima lineup but it is not quite ready for prime time the last time I checked about a month ago.

    Milwaukee is in my backyard and I am there all the time! Come out tpo the next Milwaukee Hybrid Group Meet and meet the gang as we do not just cover Hybrid’s but everything fuel efficient related too! During the last meet, I gave a presentation on the LA Auto Show highlights with the 2011 Hyundai Elantra being the most significant launch of the show… Again, in my opinion due to actual fuel saving potential for the entire US and Canada due to its sales numbers by comparison to a few tens of thousands of ultra expensive for what you receive, VOLT and LEAF.

    Matthew, the Prius is probably ever so slightly more efficient on the highway but just barely and given the huge frontal profile and size of the Sonata Hybrid, the Korean engineers have indeed pulled the proverbial rabbit out of the hat. Around town, the HSH would be bested but on the open Super Slab where I like to play the most, it has made a big believer out of me. The more I drive the HSH, the more I wish my 05 Accord EX-L w/ NAVI would silently go away and the Sonata Hybrid would take its place in my drive for good ;)

    Paul, it sounds like you know the Scan Gauge has calibrations for both distance and fuel consumption to bring the output into dead on territory :)

    Good Luck

  8. xcel

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

    Hi All:

    Another few hours of pic and blog posting and I still have quite a few more hundreds of miles to go before reaching Ann Arbor, MI so I had better hit the road and hit it hard.

    I can almost feel the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid’s keys being pulled out of my hands by Dan Bedore, Hyundai’s Midwest PR rep, and it will be a sad moment for me indeed :ccry:

  9. Harold

    Harold Well-Known Member

    Thanks Wayne, that was a good trip! Job well done all around. H
  10. jjinwi

    jjinwi Member


    Thanks for all the great info... It is by far the most informative on the web and Hyundai should be paying you a retainer fee.... or at least a commission for ever sale :D:D:D

    It is because of your reports that I have decided to get the Sonata Hybrid... my other choices were a Prius (great car but "less than zero" personality/fun to drive factor :-(... the 2011 Optima (gasser) and the Civic Hybrid (a little more personality but a little too small)!!!

    In your last post you said "I have sat in the Optima Hybrid (see the pics from the LA Auto Show Coverage write-up) and while a little less expensive, I think the interior of the Sonata Hybrid is far more futuristic and more importantly, future proof. This is just me however. "

    What do you mean by "future proof"?

    FYI, if you need a place to eat in Ann arbor:

    Zingerman's Delicatessen · 422 Detroit St. · Ann Arbor, MI 48104 Best deli (outside of NY) :)

    Brown Jug Restaurant 1204 South University Avenue Ann Arbor, MI 48104 (A classic campus eatery)

    Enjoy your time in Ann Arbor... it's a great place....

    Also, where do I find info about your meetings in Milwaukee???

    Last edited: Jan 3, 2011
  11. deleond2

    deleond2 Well-Known Member

    I have been looking at the Prius, Fusion, Sonata Hybrids as possible future cars. Thank You very much for documenting your quest and providing us which tons of great information. With its awesome Highhway cruising ability and (in my opinion) better styling than the Prius, The Sonata is now at the top of list of what I want to purchase come Fall 2011.
  12. msirach

    msirach Well-Known Member

    Here is the link to The Milwaukee Hybrid Group
  13. jjinwi

    jjinwi Member

  14. drmperalta

    drmperalta New Member

    Hi Wayne,

    What is your tire pressure setting on all four? The odometer discrepancy may have something to do with it.

  15. msirach

    msirach Well-Known Member

    I'm not sure on the Sonata. I have gone to considerably more than the sidewall with out any noticeable effect on the accuracy of the odometer.
  16. drmperalta

    drmperalta New Member

    I remember the data that is used to detect under-inflation or flat tire on some toyota's is by comparing rotational speeds on the tires. The one with faster rotation is read as under inflated or flat.

    On the opposite end with increased pressure, I suspect there is appreciable degree of tire belt elasticity (all matters do) that would allow some stretch (with increase in effective radius).

    In that case, the actual MPG could have been higher than what is calculated!!!:Banane27:
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2011
  17. ALS

    ALS Super Moderator Staff Member


    How bad was the mpg hit going up that little hill north bound on I-77 when you crossed from North Carolina into Virginia :(

  18. PaleMelanesian

    PaleMelanesian Beat the System Staff Member

    This is / was awesome! Great work, Wayne!

    Welcome to Longview, I guess. :/ Sorry you got to see my town that way. They have been cracking down on drunk driving recently, which I can only see as a good thing.
  19. dr61

    dr61 Well-Known Member


    Excellent job on your drive! If they offer a 'Touring' version (true station wagon), I would be very interested in the Sonata line. And I hope a plug-in hybrid version is in the works.
  20. msirach

    msirach Well-Known Member

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