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2002 Subaru Outback H6 L.L.Bean
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298 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I have an 02 L.L. Bean, which of course has the H6, and I am wondering if getting 300 miles to a tank, or 20mpg, is acceptable for these cars. I live in a pretty suburban area, and while it isn't city driving, there is stoping and going as well. I was hoping for more along the lines of 24mpg. I have been using mostly regular to get these numbers, and now I am in the process of seeing if premium helps. I used fuel system cleaner and ran a cleaner through the engine, and the alignment was checked. The crossbars are on and my tire pressure is at the door recommended pressure. I am thinking maybe I was just spoiled in my little ol Loyale with the 1.8 EA-82 H4, I could get 30MPG all day.
 

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2005 3.0R VDC Limited Wagon
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172 Posts
i have an h6, but the next gen one. i get 17-18 in all city (stop/go), short trips (about 10-15 minutes between work and home). that's 95% of my driving. i get about 24 on the highway (AC on, cruise on, 70-ish), up to maybe 26-27 if i keep it at 60-65, w/ cruise on.

i've never noticed any mpg difference between premium and regular, but the car does seem to idle smoother. these things are just anecdotal, however.
 

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03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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17,814 Posts
suburban driving almpst all the time, our 03 H6 OBW gets 20 - sometimes 19 mpg consistently.

on a road trip, get 25 consistently, only once got 26.

on premium fuel

all back- of- envelope, single tank computations.


In suburban driving, I doubt you'll touch 22 0r 23 mpg. And getting 28 on the highway would probably need a tailwind and 5 under the speed limit.
 

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03 Outback H6 base
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252 Posts
'03 OBW H-6 running on reg since new. I was told the mileage didn't improve with premium and I haven't used any.

I get 19 normal driving, w/o ac 1/2 of the time, around town; 20 22 freeway.

I get better mileage on the freeway without using cruise; w/o26 w/24 (no ac)

I think it's from anticipating the hills & valleys and not absolutely holding a constant speed & staying below 70. Light on / light off ; throttle....

.
 

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OBW '03 H6 VDC Euro
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86 Posts
Well, I live in city with a heavy traffic, so my H6 delivers somewhat from 14 MPG (stop-n-go in heavy congestion) to 23-24 MPG (on a free highway). Yeah, I know - first number is horrible, but with useless mass transit system you have no choice :(
 

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2002 Subaru Outback H6 L.L.Bean
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298 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
If I knew how bad it was going to do I might have got a 4 cylinder. But the 6 is a much better engine so it's worth it I guess. I mean the car isn't terrible I was looking last night and most cars similar still get the same mileage new now. I have extra money and the car is a beauty so I'll live. I do miss going 200 miles on a $20 though.
 

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OBW '03 H6 VDC Euro
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86 Posts
I don't think that 2.5 would get you significant economy on fuel... Yes, it has lower fuel consumption, but H6... is H6 :) You know :) You'll get it once and you'll never forget it ;)
 

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2011 Tacoma TRD Sport Double Cab Long Box
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2,893 Posts
My average since November is in my signature (21.8). My daily drive is about 6 miles of ~40-45 MPH roads with basically no stops. Doing just that back and forth, I'll see about 21 MPG. If I add in a little more distance without stops (55 MPH highway for a few 20ish mile trips, for example), I can see 23+ out of an "around town" tank. Keep in mind that there's very little true "city" driving around here...and what little bit there is I can pretty much avoid.

Worst I've seen is about 19 in the winter. I get 25-26 consistently pure highway, which I think I could push to 28 or so if I slowed down a little (last trip was 26 MPG was in central Maine where the speed limits are 75).

20 seems about right for suburban driving. Keep in mind you're driving a 212 HP vehicle that weighs over 3700 lbs. It's not going to get amazing mileage.
 

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2004 "USDM Lancaster6" -OBW Pearl White LL Bean Edition H6.
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374 Posts
I have an 04 and have consistently seen around 20-21 mpg, or around 300-325 miles on reg fuel. In town it's about 19-21 mpg depending on how much stop and go traffic I have to fight through. If I'm on the parkway, with no disruptions going a steady 65-70 mph I'll see around 25ish. The most I've ever seen was 400 miles on a tank, and that was 95% highway driving, speeds between 55-65 mph. There was probably about 1.5 gallons left in the tank.
 

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2011 Tacoma TRD Sport Double Cab Long Box
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2,893 Posts
I have an 04 and have consistently seen around 20-21 mpg, or around 300-325 miles on reg fuel. In town it's about 19-21 mpg depending on how much stop and go traffic I have to fight through. If I'm on the parkway, with no disruptions going a steady 65-70 mph I'll see around 25ish. The most I've ever seen was 400 miles on a tank, and that was 95% highway driving, speeds between 55-65 mph. There was probably about 1.5 gallons left in the tank.
<hijack> How are you liking your H6? Big improvement over the '02? Thanks for those skid plates, BTW--they're both on. </hijack>
 

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In the past three months I have driven my '01 LLBean almost daily. 90% highway/ 10% city, premium fuel. Usually 65 mph on the highway, AC inop. Three recent fill-ups:

298 miles/ 11.4 gallons = 26.1 mpg.

288 miles/10.7 gallons = 26.9 mpg.

307 miles/12.2 gallons = 25.2 mpg.

Average: 26.1 mpg.
 

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2004 "USDM Lancaster6" -OBW Pearl White LL Bean Edition H6.
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374 Posts
jp1203 said:
<hijack> How are you liking your H6? Big improvement over the '02? Thanks for those skid plates, BTW--they're both on. </hijack>
Responding to the hijaking :p You're welcome! Glad they're on and doing their job! And I love the H6, its a huge improvement over the 02's H4. The extra features and more power is just what I was looking for. The fuel economy leaves a bit to be desired compared to the H4 when puttering around town, but I'm not complaining. (Trying hard to get back OT and not ramble on about how sweet the Bean is...:12:)
 

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2001 VDC/SC One of a Kind
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14,755 Posts
Here's the trick:

Super Unleaded, highest octane you can get. Mine gets lower mpg if I run regular. It drops to 20. And don't use fuel from those Murphy stations. Get it from a mainline station that gets a lot of traffic. This way you know the tanks turn over frequently.

Put your tires at 4-5 psi lower than the max pressure on the tire. ON THE TIRE. This will allow for air expansion as the tire heats up. Besides, the tire manufacturer knows what the tire is rated at, they made it.

Don't gun it. Unless you really want to, or you need to get around the nut driving slow in the left lane.

Sea Foam. 2 oz per tank fill keeps it clean, or a full bottle twice a year.

Keep a clean air filter in the box.

Avoid cruise control on hilly drives. Use your foot and plan the throttle for the hill to keep the transmission from downshifting.

I get 23/27. A tank of gas will get me from Austin to Padre Island and I will have some left for beach cruising.
 

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2011 Tacoma TRD Sport Double Cab Long Box
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2,893 Posts
Responding to the hijaking :p You're welcome! Glad they're on and doing their job! And I love the H6, its a huge improvement over the 02's H4. The extra features and more power is just what I was looking for. The fuel economy leaves a bit to be desired compared to the H4 when puttering around town, but I'm not complaining. (Trying hard to get back OT and not ramble on about how sweet the Bean is...:12:)
Good to hear! I'm very spoiled by how loaded my Bean is. Not sure how I'd do without wiper deicers, heated seats and mirrors, sunroofs, etc. now :D! All my mods just make it even better.

Back on topic...

In my experience with the older H4 vs H6, the mileage improvement isn't THAT big with the H4. I figure I'd only save a few hundred bucks a year in gas with an H4...for that, I'll definitely keep the extra power.
 

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2011 Tacoma TRD Sport Double Cab Long Box
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2,893 Posts
Here's the trick:

Super Unleaded, highest octane you can get. Mine gets lower mpg if I run regular. It drops to 20. And don't use fuel from those Murphy stations. Get it from a mainline station that gets a lot of traffic. This way you know the tanks turn over frequently.

Put your tires at 4-5 psi lower than the max pressure on the tire. ON THE TIRE. This will allow for air expansion as the tire heats up. Besides, the tire manufacturer knows what the tire is rated at, they made it.

Don't gun it. Unless you really want to, or you need to get around the nut driving slow in the left lane.

Sea Foam. 2 oz per tank fill keeps it clean, or a full bottle twice a year.

Keep a clean air filter in the box.

Avoid cruise control on hilly drives. Use your foot and plan the throttle for the hill to keep the transmission from downshifting.

I get 23/27. A tank of gas will get me from Austin to Padre Island and I will have some left for beach cruising.
One other thing I do that I think improves mileage pretty significantly is shift down for prolonged steep hill climbs (of which there are quite a few around here). The amount of throttle I use in 2nd vs 3rd on some hills is much much less. Sure, I'm spinning 3500 RPM or so in 2nd, but I'm barely tapping the gas. In 3rd I would need my foot halfway to the floor to maintain speed. Same applies to using 3rd instead of Drive for some less steep hills.

Probably not worth bothering with for short climbs, but if you're going to be going up in elevation for a while, it certainly is. Less throttle needed and less needless shifting back and forth that the transmission will do if you let it decide.
 

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I has car.
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The difference in EPA fuel mileage ratings between the h6 and h4 is insignificant. . .about 1mpg hwy and 2mpg city. My personal experience with both has suggested that's pretty accurate.
 

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2003 Outback Sedan VDC
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28 Posts
I get 21 all-city, 24 avg, 27-28 on the highway. I drive pretty conservatively and always buy premium ethanol-free fuel when I can find it (the extra expense of ethanol-free doesn't usually justify the slight bump in mileage but I think it's better for the engine overall). I also get crazy in the winter and plug in a block heater for an hour before driving when it's below freezing (no garage :().

 

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I get 21 all-city, 24 avg, 27-28 on the highway. I drive pretty conservatively and always buy premium ethanol-free fuel when I can find it (the extra expense of ethanol-free doesn't usually justify the slight bump in mileage but I think it's better for the engine overall). I also get crazy in the winter and plug in a block heater for an hour before driving when it's below freezing (no garage :().


I'm conducting an experiment using pure gas in my '01. It is supposed to get about 6% better mileage versus 10% ethanol, which will be difficult to see. I've started to get a bit of vapor lock on hot days, where I crank the engine for about three seconds, release the key, then try again and with the throttle cracked open it starts right up.

I don't use ethanol gas in my yard tools or boat at all! I drive across town to buy pure gas for these. Ethanol-free gas stations in the U.S. and Canada has a list of stations across the United States that offer REC-90 non-ethanol gasoline.
 
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