Sonata Hybrid Drives 2269.3 Miles Across U.S.A. On Less Than 2 Tanks of Fuel

hyundai sonata hybrid photo

Photo: Hyundai
Hypermiler Wayne Gerdes Does It Again!
The ultimate test for a fuel efficient vehicle is a long drive with an expert hypermiler at the wheel. In the past few years, it's been done with a variety of cars, including the Honda Insight, Toyota Prius, Ford Fusion hybrid, Toyota iQ, etc. Sadly, it's not the best way to compare these cars because the driving conditions are different each time, but it still gives a good idea of what's possible with extra-careful driving. The latest long-distance hypermiling stunt was done by Wayne Gerdes (who coined "hypermiling") with the new Hyundai Sonata hybrid. Read on for more details.
2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid map

The Sonata Hybrid's Trip
Wayne drove the Hyundai from San Diego to Jekyll Island, Georgia. A 2269.3 miles trip that only used 38 gallons of gasoline, for an average of 59.58 miles per gallon (MPG). Not bad for a car that is rated at 37 MPG combined by the EPA!

The first tank of fuel was enough for 1221.2 miles, and the second one for 1048.1 miles with 2.5 gallons remaining.

This is impressive considering that the driving conditions were real-world and not ideal (mountains, winer weather, sometimes traffic, etc). This isn't like other hypermiling records that are achieved at much lower speeds while looping around on a track. Wayne could no doubt beat 59.58 MPG in such conditions...

The video below shows the results after the first fuel tank:

Of the drive, Wayne said: "As a fan of fuel-efficient vehicles, I enjoy the challenge of putting new technology to the test," says Gerdes. "This demonstration shows how the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid can deliver extremely impressive fuel economy and range for drivers who value fuel savings. This is the first time I've driven a car that 'does it right!' Driving on the interstate at the posted speed limit (or 65 mph, whichever is slower), the Sonata Hybrid will exceed or equal its competition while offering a much larger, roomier, and comfortable car."

But remember that he's a pro, and that some hypermiling techniques are a bit too extreme (and sometimes even unsafe, though I don't think he went that far) for the average person. If you buy a Sonata hybrid, dont expect to be getting 60 MPG just with normal driving.

Here's some pics that he took of the Sonata hybrid's instrument cluster:

2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid instruments photo

See also: Hyundai Unveils the 2011 Sonata Hybrid (Lithium-Polymer Batteries, 37/39 MPG) and New 2011 Hyundai Elantra Rated 40 MPG on Highway

Via Hyundai, ABG
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