Hyundai Takes the Lead in Fuel Efficiency

Hyundai is the most fuel-efficient automaker in America. That’s according to the Environmental Protection Agency’s latest annual fuel economy report (pdf). In lab tests to determine combined city-highway fuel economy of cars and trucks, Hyundai’s fleet achieved 30.1 miles per gallon. The Korean company is the only automaker to top 30 mpg.

“Our thoughtful application cost-effective, fuel-efficient technologies has helped us achieve our goal of leading the industry in fuel economy ahead of schedule,” said John Krafcik, president and CEO, Hyundai Motor America. Last year, Hyundai’s leadership promised to achieve the government-mandated 2016 CAFE standard of 35.5 miles per gallon by 2015.

The latest EPA numbers indicate that the Hyundai is moving faster than anticipated. Last year, Krafcik told HybridCars.com, “We’re taking fuel efficiency higher and faster than any other carmaker. We’re going to pass Toyota and Honda by 2015.” The company is now promising to extend its lead by launching direct injection and turbocharging technologies, as well as introducing its first hybrid in the US—the 2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid. “In this age, fuel efficiency is the new zero-to-60 time. It’s more socially relevant,” Krafcik said.

The runner-up carmakers in the EPA’s 2009 list of top five fuel-efficient carmakers are Honda (29.7 mpg), Volkswagen (29.6 mpg), Toyota (29.4 mpg), and Kia (28.0 mpg.)

Efficiency = Sales

Hyundai’s move to a more efficient lower-priced fleet of vehicles is resonating with consumers. While auto sales were relatively flat in November 2009, Hyundai’s sales surged by 46 percent. The automaker sold 28,045 vehicles, led by a 93 percent jump in sales of its compact Hyundai Accent and a 52 percent increase for Sonata sedans. High quality, low prices, and strong warranties helped Hyundai make its gains.


  • John Salazar

    Nooooooooooooooooooooo!!! why????!!!! I’m really truly happy for Hyundai, but at the same time I’m really sad for Honda. Any car company that bring’s their fleet fuel economy is always good for our earth, but come on Honda where’s the great fuel economy you have been giveing us. Honda has always had the best fleet fuel economy for some time now. What happened? Hmmmm I’m pretty concerened about Honda. Their quality has been slipping and I dont think the Insight is as big of a hit as they thought it would be. What I don’t understand is why they don’t spend more time on makeing a full size sedan that gets mileage in the lower 40′s and is also a hatch back, come on Honda give me a real car with good mileage and great cargo room. Toyota has done a great job with the Prius, but the price is just not there. I’m not going to spend $27,000.00 for a car. Plus I’m just a Huge Honda fan lol. I hate Toyota lol (no offense Prius lovers lol). They’re saving gas and all, but at the same time there just huge hypocrites (can anyone say Tundra Lmao). I can only dream of the day that Honda will bring me an awesome car that gets great fuel economy. I mean I want style with cargo room, the Toyota Prius is just fugly lol.

  • John Salazar

    Nooooooooooooooooooooo!!! why????!!!! I’m really truly happy for Hyundai, but at the same time I’m really sad for Honda. Any car company that bring’s their fleet fuel economy is always good for our earth, but come on Honda where’s the great fuel economy you have been giveing us. Honda has always had the best fleet fuel economy for some time now. What happened? Hmmmm I’m pretty concerened about Honda. Their quality has been slipping and I dont think the Insight is as big of a hit as they thought it would be. What I don’t understand is why they don’t spend more time on makeing a full size sedan that gets mileage in the lower 40′s and is also a hatch back, come on Honda give me a real car with good mileage and great cargo room. Toyota has done a great job with the Prius, but the price is just not there. I’m not going to spend $27,000.00 for a car. Plus I’m just a Huge Honda fan lol. I hate Toyota lol (no offense Prius lovers lol). They’re saving gas and all, but at the same time there just huge hypocrites (can anyone say Tundra Lmao). I can only dream of the day that Honda will bring me an awesome car that gets great fuel economy. I mean I want style with cargo room, the Toyota Prius is just fugly lol.

  • Nelson Lu

    The figure is misleading since Hyundai doesn’t have a pickup truck in its lineup.

  • Anonymous

    some may say the best pickup truck lineup is no pickup truck… heehaw!

    kidding aside, hyundai does have suv which is really a truck with a full roof.

  • AL

    In the UK, the most fuel efficient manufacturer/seller of cars is Toyota. And there is no proliferation of pick-up trucks and SUVs in the UK, majority of the cars compact hatchbacks (Toyota Corolla/Auris).

  • AL

    In UK, the most fuel efficient manufacturer of cars is Toyota. And there is no proliferation of pick-up trucks and SUVs in the UK, majority of the cars compact hatchbacks (Toyota Corolla/Auris).

  • Old Man Crowder

    Hey John aka “Honda’s the best”… True, Toyota has a couple of gas hogs, but don’t forget about your Honda Ridgeline or the Pilot (or even the S2000).

    I think there’s a bit of a trade-off for Hyundai. Great that they’re number 1 in fleet fuel efficiency, but where do they rank in market share? It’s hard to gain market share if you don’t provide a vehicle for all segments. Not that I’m advocating for a Hyundai pick-up or monster SUV.

    Stick with whatever’s working!

  • hcg

    Hyundai’s market share in the U.S. may be lagging behind Toyota or Honda, but it’s gaining ground. They just posted a 46% jump for Nov ’09 compared to last year. Hyundai Motor Company (includes Kia) is not that far from Nissan Motors and has actually beaten Nissan (including Infinity) in monthly sales in a month or two this year.

    Also, for the first half of 2009 Hyundai Motor Company is the 4th largest company in terms of global sales — behind only Toyota, GM and Volkswagen…and ahead of Ford, Honda, Nissan.

  • Norma

    The C.A.F.E. figures for MY 2009 are ‘estimates’ ONLY based on ‘sales projection’ of auto makers. The figure is NOT final, yet.

  • KerriHT

    I’m all for fuel economy, but at what cost?

    Hyundai should indeed be commended for following through in its push to develop fuel-efficient vehicles. But EPA’s report only tells part of the story.

    Behind the public face of Hyundai USA is a South Korean company mired in scandal, corruption, embezzlement and a robust economic relationship with North Korea.

    Its Chairman and three other high profile executives alone have been found guilty of everything from bribing government officials to funneling over $100 million to Kim Jong Il. This, combined with South Korea’s steadfast refusal to allow American cars to be sold in their market should makes us think twice before we buying a Hyundai.

  • Jon

    Not one American company in the top five… no wonder they’re all failing and bankrupt….

    Go Hyundai!

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