2006 Sonata gas mileage

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Matt Whiting wrote:


Sorry I can't help with the Sonata, but I drive a 2004 Chevrolet (Malibu) Classic, which is almost the same size and has almost the same EPA estimates (24/34). The reason I check out this newsgroup is that I have my eye on getting an '06 Sonata with the four-cylinder at some point, though I'm not sure the finances will work out for now.
Anyway, don't feel bad. I just posted on the Malibu newsgroup that the one big disappointment I've had with the Classic is fuel economy. It's not what I hoped for or expected, and nowhere near the 24/34 EPA sticker.
I average 23-24 mpg on mixed highway/city driving, sane legal speeds, no burning rubber, windows all the way up, no heavy loads, and with a clean air filter, newly changed Mobil 1 full-synthetic oil, and new Kelly snow tires set to 32 psi. Also it's been a fairly mild winter around here. (Northeastern PA)
It's been a bitter disappointment when on the whole I've been quite satisifed with the car. (That's one reason I'm attracted to the '06 Sonata. In some ways it looks like a newer, safer, more advanced, very slightly larger version of the Malibu....for just a few bucks more.)
My theory is that larger cars (3050+ lbs) with a four-cylinder will not get the EPA sticker mileage under anything but IDEAL conditions. Most of the time they won't even be close. Smaller cars, such as my old Saturn SL2, can come much closer to sticker fuel economy figures in real-world driving conditions.
There's a point past which you cannot defy the laws of physics. A close look at EPA sticker figures from the '06 model year shows some strange sticker readings.
For one thing, the Sonata with automatic transmission is rated slightly higher than the Chevy Cobalt, a much smaller car. Does anyone believe a Chevy Impala, at 3,553 lbs., with a V-6 really gets 31 mpg, even on the highway at the speed limit, consistently? For that matter, can it be true that a few models get better highway mpg with the auto tranny than with the stick?
Bottom line is that EPA sticker figures must be viewed with extreme skepticism.....
Regards, Eric M
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Eric wrote:

It is possible. I rented a large Buick a few years ago (I can't remember the model name now, but it was, I believe, the largest model) for a trip from Corning, NY to Boston. I drove 70-75 both directions and that car got 31 MPG for the trip! I was amazed. My minivans never got above 27 on a trip and typically got 25 at those speeds.
However, that car may have been terrible in local driving, I don't know. My minivans got 22 or so in local driving, they just never got much more than that even on a trip.

Absolutely!
Matt
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Your Chevrolot Classic has that relatively new Ecotech 2.2 L4 in it. I have one in an Olds Alero ('03).
Relatively smooth engine, and pretty good power for a four. A VERY low maintenance engine. But mileage has been unimpressive with this engine, and that seems to be no matter what car it is mated to.
I agree you may like the 4-cylinder Sonata better.
Tom Wenndt

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wrote:

I think we're barking up the wrong tree. I don't think the engine is the problem.
Having studied the various competitors, I notice the Sonata is heavier, wider, and has higher ground clearance than comparable cars.
There's no free lunch. Weight alone is costly. All other things being equal, a 3200 pound car's (Sonata V6) gas mileage will be at least 1-2 MPG worse than a 2900 pound car (Camry V6).
--
Bob

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I read an interesting article detailing the current EPA fuel economy calculation. It is performed in a lab, by the manufacturer on a dyno. It does not factor in use of accessories, wind resistance, and traffic lights. There are preset times for the lab/driver to change speeds, stop, etc. I seem to remember there are some regulations on which fuel can be used but that may only be in the proposed new standards. At any rate, I am sure the manufactuer is using the cleanest, best fuel allowed. I bet they make sure ambient temp is in the most favorable range as well.
I am approaching 9,000 miles on my 2006 Sonata V6 with an average of 21 mpg in mixed driving. On a highway trip it once briefly passed 30mpg but I notice that it quickly drops to around 27 mpg at higher speeds. By the way I think the EPA test top speed is 40 or 45 mph!
I stopped manually calculating mpg after several fillups when I noticed the Sonata's computer was only tenths of a mpg different from mine. One fill-up it exactly matched my calculation.
GeoUSA, moderator www.HyundaiExchange.com forum
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