New car Mileage


I just purchased a new 07 Tucson SE FWD. I have put almost 600 miles on this vehicle so far. It’s been a month today. My problem is the mileage. It states on the computer that I am getting 14 MPG city driving, and 17 mpg highway. Could this be a computer malfunction? Is this typical in new vehicles? I am not a speedy driver at all, carry no heavy loads, drive very sensibly. I am concerned in a big way that something may be wrong. Has anyone else experienced this? Any advice? Other than that, the transmission gets a bit louder in reverse, and the radio makes a hissing noise for about 15 seconds when the car first starts, then goes away. Should i take it in to be looked at? Someone said that new cars need to work out the kinks the first few thousand miles, I don’t really buy that. I am not knowledgable about automotive issues so any feedback would be greatly appreciated.


I don’t have any experience with new fangled computers in cars. I check gas mileage by recording the amount of fuel and the odometer reading at each fill up. This is real. Does your computer tell you that you’re getting 85 mpg when you’re coasting down hill? My method won’t give you silly numbers like that.

I don’t believe it takes thousands of miles to “work out the kinks” in a new car. It takes persistence on the owner’s part to pressure the dealer to make it right.

Otherwise, why aren’t you pleased with the 14 and 17 numbers? How do they compare with the EPA rating? I believe the EPA changed their test method this year in order to predict lower numbers.

You didn’t say what a Tucson is. Sounds like an SUV. FWD means “front wheel drive” to me. Maybe it’s 4 WD (you didn’t say). If 4 WD, you’ll use more fuel than if it’s 2 WD.

Take it back to the dealer and complain about the noise in reverse and the radio. A new car (SUV?) will never get any better. If they give you the story “they all do that”, ask to drive an identical vehicle…or maybe 2 or 3. If “they all do that” you’ll hear the same noises in all of them. If not, you’re being lied to.


I agree with previous post. Disregard your computer, and measure the mileage by filling up at the same station, same pump and stopping at the first click. Do this for several tanks and take the average. I recently had a NEW V6 Ford Explorer issued by my company, for use on a projet in Washington state. The vehicle did no beter than 17.8 mpg highway and 17.0 city. New vehicles, especially SUVs are quite thirsty when new. It takes about 3000 miles or more to stabilize.


First, before you do anything else, check the air pressure in your tires. Make sure that is correct. Next, you need to verify that the computer mileage reading is correct. To do that you need to calculate the average fuel mileage from 2 or 3 tanks of gasoline by writing down the mileage when you fill up, and how many gallons, etc. If you find the mileage is really in the mid to high teens, then you need to look at other factors. What sort of “city” driving are you doing? What do you call “highway” mileage? I see the EPA estimates for this vehicle are all over 20 for highway, and mostly over 20 for city, so I would expect somewhat better mileage than your computer is telling you.

I have had a car get slightly better mileage after about 1000 miles, and one that inexplicably went up after 95,000 miles, but in general most cars get their rated mileage right off the lot.

#5 Research says your '07 Hyundai Tucson FWD SE (V6) should be getting 20 city/26 Hwy.
Those factory estimates. NOT real world.

You’ll have to wait for a few K miles and an oil/filter change, after which, you will use a few tankfuls of fuel.
Calculate by going to the same pump (if possible), writing down the mileage and amount of fuel put in, run it down to about 1/4 tank and refill.

**Note: Never 'top off" the tank when refilling, always stop when the pump stops.

Note the mileage (or use the odometer) and subtract the previous mileage from now and divide it by the amount of gallons used to get a rough figure. Do this at least three times in succession. (This figure will show a combined city/hwy mileage)

The fuel mileage will never be identical from one (fill up) to the next as NO-one drives consistently, no matter how loud they claim they do.
I think you’ll find that the mileage will climb as you put on more mileage.

First and foremost though, is follow your owners manual to the letter concerning services and regular maintenance.

One thing all of us on this board agree on is preventive maintenance is key.

One last thing (on this post) is get yourself a Haynes repair manual for your year/make/model of vehicle and read it as you go over your entire vehicle.
You’ve already started doing what should be done: listening to the vehicle.

The hissing radio? Beats me. Set slightly off the frequency by the factory?

The repair manual is about $20 and is money well spent. Available at most automotive stores.


OK, tale a deep breath and let it out slowly. It’s OK.

It is understandable to get a little excited when the second largest investment you own does not do everything you expect. However I am not at all sure it is not doing what it should.

First those in dash meters are very inaccurate and the are most inaccurate before you have a lot of miles on the car. Make sure you read that owner’s manual from cover to cover and read that part about that meter.

Second, as suggested, carefully measure at least two or three tank-fulls (number of miles from last fill up divided by number of gallons to fill it back up.) There can be some rather large variations in the measuring so do at lease two or three and more if the differences from one to the next are large.

You may be able to adjust the meter (see manual) or it may do some adjusting on its own. Also remember that new cars often get better mileage after the first 5,000 - 10,000 miles and remember that the EPA numbers for most cars have been low. The 2008 models will be tested in a way that should produce more realistic results. Finally remember that your driving habits can make a very big difference. Drive like a little old lady (not from Pasadena) and you mileage will go up.


You have not gone through the break-in period yet. After 2000 miles your SUV will get better mileage. It will improve steadily until it is fully loosened up. You have to check gas mileage at each fillup and don’t even look at the computer as anything but a toy. It may be accurate, but you want to be sure of it. Your new running gear is all still tight and is putting extra strain on the engine. Once things wear a little, you will see your final gas mileage. You aren’t just breaking in an engine, you’re doing it to the whole car. Wheel bearings, driveshaft and transmission just to name a few parts. Your Tuscon should get an overall 18 MPG after breakin. Consumer Reports says the Tuscon has unimpressive gas mileage. In your case, it would have saved you hundreds of dollars a year to do at least token research. We live in an age of information and there are quite a few ways to find out important things before buying any product.