The 2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Transcontinental Challenge

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

  1. msirach

    msirach Well-Known Member

    I'm sure you're right. I was taking notes "on the fly." I just wrote down mineral.
  2. xcel

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

    Hi All:

    Remember yesterdays Hyundai trivia question of the day?

    Q: Approximately how many Hyundai dealerships are there in the US?

    A: About 800

  3. xcel

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

    Hi All:

    Someone wanted to see a rose bouquet in the Sonata Hybrid?

    11 Sonata Hybrid - First complete tank screens.

    Flashing pips are all about range anxiety and the Sonata Hybrid's occurred some 1,193 miles out with the final distance of 1221.2 miles on tank #1. I wonder how that works out for its competitors?

    2011 NAIAS – North American Car of the Year Tally

    YearMakeModelChargesFillsTime to charge and fill

    2011NissanLEAF18NATo many hours to count :(
    2011ChevroletVolt14The charge is not a problem imho but 4 trips to the gas station :confused:
    2011HyundaiSonata HybridNA1One visit…

    Last edited: Dec 29, 2010
  4. xcel

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

    Hi Mike:

    Sorry about the Wells - Springs thing, that was my fault.

  5. jjinwi

    jjinwi Member

    WOW! ~60mpg!!!

    Wayne, you are THE hypermiler!

    But I was wondering what you think the mileage would be for us mere mortals :)

    Maybe cruising @70mph. (What is your average speed on a flat highway??)

    I'm thinking about buying either the Sonata or Optima hybrid. I really wanted to like the Prius (I took 5 different test drives).... and it is a nice car.... but it felt like I was driving a refrigerator...rather soulless.... not much fun to drive... :-(

    I was also wondering what your thoughts were about the "personality" of the drive. Is it "fun to drive" the Sonata? Compared to the Prius???

    Thanks, Good Luck and keep on hypermiling!!!!

  6. jjinwi

    jjinwi Member


    One more quick question...

    Are you driving an actual production car OR a test/pre-production car???


  7. MaxxMPG

    MaxxMPG Hasta Lavista AAA-Vee Von't Be Bach

    Speaking of Hyundai dealers...
    In Nassau/Suffolk counties on Long Island, just east of New York City, there are:
    (5) Hyundai dealerships
    (9) Nissan dealerships
    (10) Toyota dealerships
    (10) Chevrolet dealerships
    (11) Honda dealerships
    (13) Ford dealerships
    (14) Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep dealerships

    Hyundai is catching up fast. Even ten years ago, Hyundai dealers were somewhat sparse and there was a Chevy or Ford dealer every six miles along a major road. Judging from the number of new Hyundai vehicles I see in the area, I'd say the local dealers don't have to spend much time wiping dust off their inventory.
  8. xcel

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

    Hi All:

    The 2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid receives its second top off.

    Right front down and left rear tail up - To the best of my ability given the Shell station in Mineral Wells topography.

    20.169 gallons - 18.269 gallons from the station and 1.9 from the spare fuel container.

    Topped off for segment number 2.​

    Actually it was 2.101 gallons in the California Vapor sealed container but the darn thing leaked all over the car and ground when I tried to get the last 2 quarts into the Sonata Hybrid :ccry:

    I hate those containers as I caused more pollution from that one single fill then the Sonata Hybrid PZEV emits over its lifetime :mad:

    1,221.2 miles on 20.169 gallons = 60.55 mpgUS actual – aFCD at 61.8 mpgUS.

    Temperatures from 32 to 62 degrees, head, tail and side winds from 0 to 15 mph plus over 4-hours of fog and an hour of rain this morning.

    Last edited: Dec 29, 2010
  9. Right Lane Cruiser

    Right Lane Cruiser Penguin of Notagascar

    Looks like the HSH has the same 2.5g over stated capacity that I found in my Elantra.
  10. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney Super Moderator Staff Member

    Of course, those are the figures until Nissan and Chevrolet let Wayne do the same trip. ;)
  11. ALS

    ALS Super Moderator Staff Member


    That's why I went to an Eagle Type II Safety Can with a flexible spout, $68.00 and well worth every penny.

    I had those plastic gas containers and they were a disaster when used to fill a car.

    I ended up giving them away because I felt bad asking for money, they were so cheap.

  12. xcel

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

    Hi Matthew:

    The reason for losing the Laptop charge is all the photo crop, rotate and resize editing I am doing on a laptop ill-equipped for that purpose :(

    For the first segment run, I did not want to use the Inverter/Step up Rectifier as it has a .4 Amp draw just plugged in which is powered by of course the Sonata Hybrid’s fuel. After I touched 60 mpg for the first time, I started to enjoy XM – The Blend and now that the first tank is complete, I might use that Rat-Shak device while on the move so the laptop is always fully charged when I pull off the side of the road for a break, pic or sightseeing excursion.

    Mike, Chris and Paul, you three are lifesavers! Mike and Chris for handling my calls at all hours and Paul with his weather reports :)

    Jud, kudos for the Elevation profiles. I have them on my lap top and in my head almost continuously over the last 1,200 miles! Thank you!

    Sean, I am so glad the Sonata Hybrid has the over cap just like the regular 11 Sonata’s and all-new 11 Elantra. Can you imagine the 11 Elantra with a stick on this drive ;)

    INATM, the Volt is simply too heavy for this drive. I pleaded with GM reps enough about the CS mode FE during their 1776 and Detroit to LA drive last month with nothing to show for it so it would not be in the running, let alone the same league for what the 2011 Sonata Hybrid achieved over the past three days.

    Even though the LEAF would be good for close to 200 miles under a regiment of our own design, out on the highway, maybe 120 to 130 max. That would hurt for a drive like this so that one is best left at home as a local commuter.

    Karen, great to see your interest in the Sonata Hybrid. I will post a few more pics in a few minutes.

    JJ, because of this drive’s goals, I cannot give you the std. steady state speed results today but after I reach GA, I will be driving back and will have a table of various speeds and the actual adjusted FE received. I am running between the limits in anything but a steady state cruise while DWL and guiding the Sonata Hybrid to the best road surface conditions on a second by second basis. Remind me in a few days to do that for you but in the mean time, the Sonata Hybrids ability to glide at will thanks to N dropping out the ICE is a tremendous addition to the Hypermiling tool kit in this car. In addition, its standard and built in method to build SoC and go EV without the driver doing anything is unique to the industry. The VW/Audi/Porsche glide system is a similar design but does not implement this fuel saving process. Those Hyundai engineers were thinking about the rest of the world when they designed the Sonata Hybrid but I am not sure how well it will work with a high LOD driving public behind the wheel? I will try and make note of this action on the drive back from GA as well?

    Prius vs. Sonata Hybrid? Tough question and you nailed it. The Prius lacks soul but it offers everyone excellent FE. While the Sonata does not have a BMW 5-Series “personality”, it feels “luxuriously big” by comparison to the Prius or anything else I have driven at this price point. I love my mom’s 2010 Prius and hope one day to buy it from her but I love Sonata’s of all types as well.

    Adding, the Hyundai Sonata Smart Start/Entry beats the third gen Prius hands down. The Prius’ HSD drive train is more sorted out however. Anything with a slush box AT attached is going to cause commentary and especially when its attached to a hybrid system. While you can hear the various subsystems doing their thing in the Sonata Hybrid with no radio on or when walking outside the car with it booted up, most do not drive without their radio or some form of infotainment running so it really is a moot point with HEVs, BEVs, FCVs and even diesels nowadays. Sure you can hear all of this “stuff” when you listen for it but who listens for it again and again? Most simply do not.

    The Sonata Hybrid is definitely a highway driver so take that interpretation for what it is worth. If I were an inner city dweller or Rush Hour road warrior, the Prius makes more sense but for the open road, boy the entire Sonata lineup including the Hybrid just feels more “me” when comparing the two. Neither are the BMW 335d when it comes to performance or a MB S400 when it comes to luxury but you are spending one half to one-third of the $’s too :)

    Production or Prototype? I think it is a final prototype as it does incorporate the latest production flashes but it includes some side panels that are not textured which was on the prototype(s) I drove earlier this year. I will snap a pic of the door panels I am speaking about. I like their smooth metal look but I do not believe they are final production pieces.

    If you want a decent snap of anything within or outside the Sonata Hybrid in particular, let me know. That goes for everyone else as well!

    The weather outside was frightful…

    Last night before heading out, I was speaking to Chris and we agreed it would be best if I get as far as possible before the big winds from the south (side winds :() arrived. Which is why I drove through the night . Unfortunately, I had about 4-hours of fog that limited my vision to no more than 2 to 4 lane markers ahead which of course limited speed on US 180 to no more than 30 mph tops. It was not even Hypermiling friendly as I had only instruments to LOD follow vs. seeing the next two, three or even more rises ahead for the real time DWL micro changes. And when temps are between 32 and 38 degrees F, cars glide like their brakes are engaged. The Sonata while possibly one of the best gliders out there was taking the hit for hours in that cold soup just as any other vehicle would.

    As soon as I broke out of the fog, temps started to rise into the upper 40’s and I had a rear quartering tail wind at about 5 mph. That went on for about two hours before I ran into the rain storm that was finishing up about an hour from Breckenridge, TX. Another long slog and I kept wondering if I was ever going to catch a break? And then the side winds picked up strong! I was cruising along a small range of hills and you could see the storm front coming in fast! It enveloped the car in fog and was blowing from side to side in and amongst the valley of that small hilly area. Spooky looking actually as it looked like a sand storm coming in but it was fog/clouds.

    In any case, it did give me an opportunity to fine tune my inner city techniques. I believe we have a good repertoire for those that will be purchasing the Sonata Hybrid in the future but it includes a very intense technique methods using both the SG-II’s LOD and RPM gauges, the SoC bar and the aFCD to bring SoC up fast while still progressing forward in and amongst traffic and impediments. I can see maybe 10 on forum going to those lengths but few others. It is a lot of work with a focus on everything.

    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 29, 2010
  13. xcel

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

    Hi Joesgot4:

    When I finally get to MS, remind me again and maybe we can go for a ride!

    Al, I have hardly even recognized your contribution to this drive other than the original quote (which was a really cool addition by the way ;)), thanks for your assistance. And while I am not sure what the Hyundai execs are going to do, Let me tell you, when I drove right on by Breckinridge, TX this morning, a sense of relief was experienced. I have been working this car for everything I can in order to make it to that town on a single tank and being able to drive right on by for another 35 or so miles was icing on the cake. While I am sure the Hyundai pr, Marketing and financial execs are pleased to see their beauty performing so well in somewhat adverse conditions, I think I am a bit more pleased of the results then they are :D

    I really wanted to run her to fuel starve this morning just as Mike and I were talking about this very item this morning. Between each of the TX towns along US 180 is 15 to 30-miles of nothing. While filling and getting back on my way would not have been a problem, if I were to use maybe .5 gallons to get from the starve point to the next station, how do I account for it during the Transcontinental challenge after the fact? Driving a mile or two would not be a big deal but 30 might be a problem.

    And yes, those plastic containers do indeed "suck" but they work in a pinch ;)

  14. xcel

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

    Hi All:

    If I missed anyone, remind me again as I am old :p

  15. xcel

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

    Hi All:

    Not a great shot but a decent one of the Sonata Hybrid's rear LED taillights.


  16. xcel

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

    Hi Karen:

    More of Texas… They have mountains too!


    White Sand Missile Range from the other side.​

    For army type fans, you should have seen Fort Bliss’ armory along side of the road. I saw hundreds of armored vehicles of all types parked on tarmacs stored and ready for action.

  17. billy

    billy Well-Known Member

    In answer to Waynes previous question or quiz? Regarding the White Sands area of NM?

    The sand is white because it is 95% gypsum! (5% calcium sulfate) Gypsum in a common compound, but rarely seen on the earth's surface. Due to ancient upheavel of the terrain in this area, a Gypsum desert was formed and wind over the years has blown it into vast dunes & moguls. I've been to the visitors center there at White Sands Monument.
  18. MaxxMPG

    MaxxMPG Hasta Lavista AAA-Vee Von't Be Bach

    See? I told you it'd be fine. Knowing that it was 1200 miles to Breckenridge, and seeing you at 600 miles at just under 3/4 and then 800 miles at about 1/3 tank, knowing that you already made it over the worst of the mountains, it was a sure bet as long as you didn't catch up to any strong headwinds or winter precip. The second tank is still a challenge, though, because of the southerly winds, and more interaction with traffic in the more densely populated southeast. Not sure what's worse - desolate mountains with 6% grades, or suburban shoppers stabbing their brakes while shopping for a parking space as they approach the mall.

    My confidence in an eventual successful completion of the challenge doesn't take away from the hard work needed to drive any hybrid vehicle beyond 150% of its EPA rating.

    Any CleanMPG regular will know that hybrid drivetrains achieve their excellent fuel economy by automatically performing many of the techniques we use every day. Because so many of our basic and intermediate tools are already baked in, you have to get creative to push a hybrid car that far beyond the EPA figure. Wayne's blog here is describing only some of the additional fine tuning needed to push beyond the proverbial 9/10ths and wring every last mile out of a tank.
  19. xcel

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

    Hi Chris:

    Remember when I first requested this drive? It was supposed to occur in September/October with temps in the 60's to 80's, not 30's to 60's ;)

    Chris and some of the mods already know this but when speaking to the Hyundai reps before receiving permission to take the Sonata Hybrid on a little "Drive" back to Ann Arbor, I mentioned we will lose as much as 5 mpg's due to temps alone... Ok, since many miles were placed on her in 60 degree temps, maybe 2 to 3 mpg's instead. All of which had me worried to no end while not knowing the actual tank cap.

    And you are right about the range thing... Since I will be driving through Montgomery, AL, I should now have enough fuel to stop at the Hyundai plant for a pic of the Sonata Hybrid in front of the plant signage.

    Last edited: Jan 5, 2011
  20. xcel

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

    Well, traffic in the Dallas/Ft Worth area should be approaching a minimum so I had better be off. I will probably stay near Andrew's haunt in Longview tonight/tomorrow morning.


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