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Updated on November 14, 2012

The 2011 Hyundai Elantra

The 2011 Hyundai Elantra caught one auto blogger's attention so much that he wound up buying one. He loved it at first, but the car has never lived up to its MPG rating.
The 2011 Hyundai Elantra caught one auto blogger's attention so much that he wound up buying one. He loved it at first, but the car has never lived up to its MPG rating.

Story highlights

* One Hyundai owners is pissed off at the company after it lied about its MPG ratings on some of their vehicles.

* Blogger says Hyundai should reimburse more him more than they are offering.

* Says a Toyota Prius is in his future

Hyundai lied to me; I will never buy another one again

Thinking about buying a new Hyundai because the company claims its cars are among the leaders in fuel economy?

Don't do it.

The South Korean car company recently confessed that their mileage numbers on their car sticker prices have been misleading. In other words, they don't add up.

The car company said it's no fault of theirs, that the misleading numbers came from the geeks who figure those things out for the government.

As my grandfather used to say, "Stop the bullshit!"

Hyundai knew about those misleading gas mileage numbers and falsely advertised about it for the past few years. The suckers, of course, were the public or those who purchased Hyundai vehicles.

I was one of those suckers and purchased a 2011 Hyundai Elantra in January of 2011.

I commute to work three days a week from South Jersey to Staten Island and needed an automobile that was going to get good gas mileage for the 160-mile round trip up and down the Garden State Parkway.

My 2002 Toyota Corolla was getting old and I was on the hunt for a new car.

Hyundai's slogan for its Elantra that year was: 40 MPG without the hybrid.

After some crucial research, which included the Toyota Prius, I decided to go with the Elantra Limited. My thinking was it was certainly a better looking car than the Prius, cost a bit less and was more luxurious with its leather interior. Plus, I figured if it got 40 miles to the gallon on the highway -- which is the majority of what I do to get to work -- I figured it would be a good buy.

A few months after my purchase, I knew Hyundai wasn't telling the truth about the Elantra's mileage. I was averaging 24 MPG in the city and about 33-35 MPG on the highway.


Some Hyundai blogs said there was a 5,000 mile break-in period for the car and that the mileage would get better.

Truth is, it never has and I have almost 50,000 miles on my car.

Now, Hyundai comes out and says they are going to reimburse its buyers of some of its cars, including the Elantra, for the misleading MPGs.

Ok, that's great. But when you consider I'm getting only $191 back with all those miles on the car I can't help but think I would have saved about $1,000 in gas had I purchased the Prius.

Hyundai says it intends to continue reimburse its car owners for as long as they own the cars and that is a good thing, but it won't be good enough for me.

Truth is, Hyundai's figures of reimbursement (1 to 2 MPG depending on the vehicle) is bogus. It should be more like 7 to 8 MPG since I'm only getting 24 MPG in the city and 34 MPG on the highway when Hyundai advertised 29 in the city and 40 on the highway.

That's a big lie and one I will never forget. And as a result, when it comes time to buying a car again in two years, I'm heading straight for the Toyota dealer.

"I'll take the Prius C, please," I'll tell the salesperson. "At 53 miles to the gallon, I'll use almost half the gas I did with my Elantra."

See ya, Hyundai. Who's the sucker now?

Elantras in high demand

FEBRUARY 2, 2011



Word from Hyundai is the new 2011 redesigned Elantra is so popular that U.S. car dealerships can't keep up with demand for the cars that are made at the company's Montgomery, Ala., plant.

That is prompting officials from Hyundai to consider importing some Elantras that are made in South Korea to compensate for the shortfall here.

This Alabama's facility's annual production capacity stands at 330,000 total units. Recently, Hyundai spokesman Frank Ahrens told Automotive News that "If Elantra does what we think, hope it will do, it will mean we'll have to export them from Korea. We're pretty bullish on it, given the reviews it's received so far and the price."

Just where the Elantras are selling is a mystery to me as I have only seen a handful of them on the road while driving to work on Staten Island, N.Y., from my home in South Jersey and then back -- some 80 miles.

Guess, those Elantras are selling like hotcakes in the Midwest and out on the left coast.

Civic, Corolla or Elantra? That is the question

January 25, 2011



Before purchasing my Hyundai Elantra Limited last Saturday, I test drove the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla.

SInce I commute 80 miles each way to work, high gas mileage was one of the most important factors in making my decision.

While all three of these vehicles get similar miles to the gallon -- although the Elantra gets a bit more -- I chose the Elantra based on its eye-catching looks.

The Civic lines are good, while the Corolla's is very outdated.

Now, there's no disputing Honda's and Toyota's reliability the past 10 years, but the feeling here was that Hyundai has made such great strides and that the South Korean car company is better than the two Japanese stalwarts.

Also weighing into my decision was that I previously owned a 1987 Hyundai Excel and 1992 Hyundai Elantra. I racked up over 100,000 miles on each of those cars and my thought process was if I got 100K-plus miles on both of those cars when Hyundais weren't all that good, that I should get 200,000 miles now since Hyundai has risen through the car ranks.

In the end, it was a no-brainer: The Elantra won out.

Lester Glenn keeps cars rolling in and out of gigantic showroom

JANUARY 24, 2011


It's no wonder Lester Glenn Hyundai in Manahawkin, N.J., boasts the world's largest indoor showroom.

As it turns out, the Hyundai staff at the year-old spacious showroom needs every inch of that real estate to keep new cars rolling in -- and then out again -- to meet customer demand.

The surge in the traffic at Lester Glenn Hyundai dealership has been due to Hyundai's great new lineup of sensational-looking cars.

That's right, folks. This is no longer your father's Hyundai with those boring lines and outdated interiors.

The South Korean car company's new sophisticated fluid design has made hot sellers out of the Tucson, an SUV, Sonata and most recently the Elantra.

This writer had the pleasure of trading in a Toyota Corolla for a new Elantra the other day, and the early returns have been spectacular.

And I'm not even referring to the 36 miles per gallon I have achieved so far on the Garden State Parkway.

Simply put, the Elantra is a looker. Most every place I go people have stopped me and asked, "what kind of car is that?" They just marvel at the car's incredible lines, which somewhat resembles the new Sonata, although I think the Elantra is more sporty.

When I tell them it's a Hyundai Elantra, they can't believe it and usually take a second look.

Toss in the fact that my car-buying experience at Lester Glenn Hyundai was haggle-free and the staff was very genuine, my overall satisfaction of the car is even greater.

It all started right before the holidays when I went to visit the Lester Glenn Manahawkin showroom to take an initial look at the new Elantra.

That's when I met sales representative Ralph Grande, a Bronx, N.Y., native, who has been in the automotive sales industry in different capacities for the past 30 years. The Elantra (a white limited with beige leather interior without the navigation system) that I wanted wasn't in stock, but Grande said he would call me when one came.

Now, normally I would have expected a car salesman to call me a 100 times a week, pushing this Elantra or that one on me, but not Grande, who I consider a true professional.

I wasn't bothered by Grande until the car that I had specifically wanted had arrived at the showroom about a month later.

That's when Grande called me and said the car was ready to be test-driven by me.

As expected, I enjoyed the test-drive and liked the Elantra even more than I thought.

It was just a matter of working out a price on the car that I and the dealership was comfortable with.

After 20 minutes of crunching numbers -- that included the trade-in of my 2002 Corolla -- we agreed on a price.

Also involved in cementing the deal was Lester Glenn Hyundai sales manager Dave Buckridge, who listened and understood where I was coming from and was instrumental in making the deal happen.

After that, I met with sales consultant Mike Tomaine in his office, where I signed a few documents and he went over a bunch of optional coverages on the car. Unlike other sales consultants in other dealerships I had experienced in my lifetime, Mr. Tomaine was a true gentleman and only asked about additional coverages to buy only once.

As a result, I won't hesitate to recommend Lester Glenn Hyundai in Manahawkin to my family and friends and whoever asks.

As a matter of fact, my father Domenick was so impressed with the way I was treated at Lester Glenn and the fine selection of new Hyundais that he's thinking about trading in his Cadillac.

His only real tough decision will be having to choose between a Sonata and an Elantra. Or maybe even the Tucson.

Any car comments?

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