Sunday, February 19, 2012



After 4,400 kms in my 2012 Elantra Touring, I have not changed my mind from my initial assessment that I wrote last Nov. 5.  Great car! But migawd the ride is hard. And it's silly to think you're going to get anything close to the mileage claims of the ads.
Yet this car keeps piling up the accolades. The Elantra just won car of the year at the Canadian International Auto Show in Toronto and is second in sales in the country to the Honda Civic, long the champ in sales.
Steve Kelleher, the president of Hyundai Auto Canada Corp., says the plants worldwide are running at capacity as the Canadian company has overtaken Honda in becoming the fifth-largest seller of vehicles in the country. He says the company is concentrating on not letting success go to its head when it comes to quality control. What a good policy. Yet as I wrote before, I think what has gone to its head is too much contentment in the sales staff. I wasn't impressed at my treatment.
I wanted a downtown car because my 2005 Toyoto Sienna is a great highway car and has the capacity of a tractor trailer but it's not the easiest for the short city trips where you are always trying to park in cramped spaces.
On Oct. 3, I sang the praises of the best downtown car I have ever owned, my 1992 BMW 325, as it was towed to the scrap heap but not out of my memory after 250,000 kms.  And it's pleasant to report that my Elantra is also great on those trips of 5 kms or so. The BMW ride wasn't exactly soft but the Elantra's is terrible, almost as bad as Toronto's roads where spine-crunching potholes are too often the norm.
My mileage is even more disappointing. I know how to drive to save gas, and only when I'm in a hurry do I give in to jackrabbit driving. Yet the ads tout 6.4 litres per 100 km. with only one Hyundai model being said to be harder on consumption. So I'm paying the price for the zippier motor and if I had chosen the sedan the robbery at the pump wouldn't have been quite as onerous. But I am finding that even in careful driving on short trips, where my average speed is around 29 according to the dash, my consumption is over 11 litres per 100 km. My big Sienna gets better mileage.
I realize that the experts says that the fuel claims based on EPA tests are 20 % lower than the reality of ordinary driving. So I am willing to live with mileage of 8 or  9 or 10 litres per 100 km., but I really didn't expect that even routine city driving would be higher.
I am waiting for the ideal long trip where I am going to drive quite carefully and see just how much higher my consumption is over the touted figures of the ads. If it continues to be too high, I will shout from the rooftops.

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