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We're crawling, absolutely crawling on a stretch of highway just North of San Diego. This might be expected in Southern California during rush-hour, or any other time of day here for that matter, but the road is free of traffic. What we're trying to do is win Hyundai's Fuel Economy Challenge – an event organized as a part of the launch of the all-new 2011 Sonata.

This might not be an accurate representation of daily driving, but Hyundai is eager to show-off just how fuel efficient the new Sonata is. We manage to eek out a 46.8 mpg rating and as impressive as it sounds, that's only enough for a 3rd place finish, with the winning team managing 52.8 mpg. We also just miss out on a private dinner with Hyundai Motor America CEO John Krafcik who promised just such a prize to anyone who could beat his 47.8 mpg score.

Under real world driving conditions you should expect closer to 22/35 mpg (24/35 with the six-speed manual). Those numbers are class-leading, topping even the Accord and Camry. They are also just one of many reasons why Hyundai’s new Sonata is a game changer, for the Korean automaker and for the conventionally conventional mid-size sedan segment.

More: 2011 Hyundai Sonata: First Drive on AutoGuide.com
 
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