Hypermiler Wayne Gerdes: After 2,269 miles and 59 mpg, Hyundai Sonata Hybrid “kicks ass”

sonata toughclimboutofelpaso 630 450x273 Hypermiler Wayne Gerdes: After 2,269 miles and 59 mpg, Hyundai Sonata Hybrid kicks ass

Last fall, hypermiler Wayne Gerdes proposed to Hyundai that he drive a 2011 Sonata Hybrid across the country to help the automaker get the vehicle from the media launch location in California to Ann Arbor, MI, saying he thought he could do it with fewer than two tanks of gas. Of course, he proposed it on October, when the temperatures were still pretty warm and before he knew what the Sonata Hybrids’s fuel tank capacity is. Back then, he told AutoblogGreen today, he thought, the car was “worth 65 [miles per gallon] in the summer. In the winter, with the mountains, that’s a crapshoot.”

Gerdes recently finished the drive, which totaled 2,269.3 miles and squeezed out 59.58 mpg. Along the way, Gerdes learned that the car can hold at least 20.6 gallons, because that’s how much he managed to put in at the first fill up. The Hybrid’s official stated capacity is 17.2 gallons (the standard Sonata holds 18.5 gallons), but official numbers are not something that concerns Gerdes too much. The EPA rates the Sonata Hybrid at 40 mpg on the highway, and he would need much more than that to make the drive without filling up three times.

In the end, Gerdes learned that, “This thing, on the highway, will eat up anything. In fact, it came damn near the Prius, but it’s a heavier car. And I’m a big Prius fan.” The Sonata Hybrid is not a great city car, Gerdes said, but he did have plenty more praise for the vehicle that took him coast to coast (he first drove to Georgia before coming north to Michigan), and you can find that after the jump.