My wife's 2008 5 speed manual Accent normally got 32-33mpg from her tough stop & go work commute. I was sure it could get better. Asked her if I could swap cars with her for some daytime mountain drives. Driving near Mt. Rainier to 5500foot Chinook Pass from sea level, Accent mpg was superlative, at 42mpg. The next day, I drove over 3000 foot & 4000 foot mountain passes, getting 41 mpg. Finally, the 3rd day, going over a 1400 foot mountain pass, Accent nailed a wonderful 45mpg. All 3 tanks of gas were with 10% ethanol blends & I bet I could have beat those high numbers, if I had used 100% ethanol-free gasoline.
Very NICE! I think these cars are very underrated as far as bang for the buck goes. I've had mine since new and still have the original brake pads at 141,000. The only maintenance I've done besides oil changes has been one timing belt, one set of plugs, and one wheel bearing. It's about time for a new timing belt again now and maybe a fuel filter. Dealer said the brake pads are still over 30%.
My wife's Rio is hard to eke good mileage out of. Mostly, I think, because the auto trans in it is a terrible one.
If she is already careful on the gas pedal, have her pump up the tires an extra 3-5psi, accelerate even more slowly, trim her top speed by a couple mph & drive very smoothly. She needs to think correctly for the approach to & ascent of hills. It is tough for auto trannies to get good mpg on hills. I really have to work my auto tranny to keep from losing a bunch of mpg on hills.