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Well even though after a 6 hr drive and a sore foot and ankle i can tell you that I averaged 29.4 MPG in our 2013 Subaru Outback 2.5i going through the foothills of the Appalacians in Kentucky. I think this is really good considering climbing hills. Issue is that I tried the same route which is virtually the same up and down using primarily cruise control and it was 24.4 MPG. Is the CVT that bad at recovering an "optimal" hill climb and down hill coasting method? Sure I can anticipate the hills because I am seeing what is coming, but the difference is a little extreme. My foot and ankle would feel much better if I could havve used cruise and ended up with the same result.

Im not unhappy, just passing on my observations. Im sure on flat ground the CVT would do fine at optimizing the best MPG on cruise
 

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Well even though after a 6 hr drive and a sore foot and ankle i can tell you that I averaged 29.4 MPG in our 2013 Subaru Outback 2.5i going through the foothills of the Appalacians in Kentucky. I think this is really good considering climbing hills. Issue is that I tried the same route which is virtually the same up and down using primarily cruise control and it was 24.4 MPG. Is the CVT that bad at recovering an "optimal" hill climb and down hill coasting method? Sure I can anticipate the hills because I am seeing what is coming, but the difference is a little extreme. My foot and ankle would feel much better if I could havve used cruise and ended up with the same result.

Im not unhappy, just passing on my observations. Im sure on flat ground the CVT would do fine at optimizing the best MPG on cruise
No the cruise control short of being 100% flat with no traffic to impede your speed etc will never be as efficient as a very aware and throttle soft driver. Even after hours of near stop and go traffic going to turkey day and getting home I found I could peg a tank average of 29-30mpg even with extended periods of time sitting in stopped traffic. There is a little tiny sweet spot where once your moving - you can let off the throttle all the way then give it just a tiny bit and the car will hum along at 25-30mph on the flat for miles with 30+mpg.

The issue with cruise control is that it accelerates fairly hard to retain or regain the set speed and in hills or traffic this just wipes out your mileage. Compared to you driving where you might gain added speed on a down hill and gradually loose speed on the up hill with smaller amounts of throttle being used vs the cruise control might poor on the power on the hills and keep your speed checked at 65 or whatever it was and not taking more advantage of the down hill run for the next up hill run etc.
 

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As for the mountains my best all time average for the tank even with the bikes and roof box on the lid - was 31mpg. That was an hour of 50-60mph back up the mountain each morning to Yosemite from Groveland where we were staying. Then for the most part coasting in 3rd and 4th all the way back down every evening. When we were at the park we parked and took the bikes! I highly recommend taking bicycles to Yosemite we almost didn't do it and on a last minute whim I tossed them on the car. VERY glad we did!!!!

That tank by the way ran from South Lake Tahoe over Kingsbury Grade into NV - south on 395 then over the Tioga Pass into Yosemite then three days up and down to the Valley from Groveland. For a hand calculated 31mpg for the tank. Major reason for that was the lower speeds!!! We ran 60-65mph on 395 South - and lots of down hill where I simply used down shifting to keep speed in check etc. As a result we got a combined 31mpg for the tank. On the way home we bombed across the Central Valley at 70+ arrived home and ended up with a tank average for that part of the trip 25mpg speed vs bikes on the lid kills mileage!!!!


We didn't see the higher end mileage till we had 15,000 miles on the car by the way.

Our 4x6 900lb tent trailer in probably similar hills as to what you drove 101 Northern California 55-60mph speeds we run about 25mpg tank average. All with the older not as efficient 2.5 with CVT.
 

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As I understand it, accelerating doesn't kill gas mileage. Your car is almost as efficient at brisk acceleration as it is with light acceleration. This is based on Prius reading I did when I first got it and thought I should be doing really well by going light on the pedal. Turns out, it's better to accelerate briskly (but not overly) and then coast.

It's touch the brakes that steals the mpg first. 2nd is driving too fast (wind resistance increases with velocity^2).

I bet that the cruise control band of control isn't allowing as much coasting as your foot does.
 

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I just did a 1225 mile road trip from Salt Lake City to Las Vegas---mostly all Interstate. Averaged 26.7 mpg at 4800 ft (average elevation) and 75-85mph most of the trip. We have a few stretches of 75mph and 80mph on I15.

Around town driving, I get 24mpg. I dont think I will get 30mpg on the wide open roads in Utah based on the higher speed limits we have and elevation gains.
 

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I just did a 1225 mile road trip from Salt Lake City to Las Vegas---mostly all Interstate. Averaged 26.7 mpg at 4800 ft (average elevation) and 75-85mph most of the trip. We have a few stretches of 75mph and 80mph on I15.

Around town driving, I get 24mpg. I dont think I will get 30mpg on the wide open roads in Utah based on the higher speed limits we have and elevation gains.
Nope thats pretty much what I get when I'm doing the hammer down I5 north drive at 75ish. Anything above about 68-70mph seems to drop the mileage down into the 26-27mpg range. Heck even a head wind at 70mph will knock your mileage down into the 23-25mpg range.
 

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I just did a 1253 mile trip from SC to FL over Thanksgiving that included about 960 miles interstate with cruise set at 75-78 most of the time. The rest of the miles were around town. Manually calculating I came up with 27.8 mpg in my '12 2.5i Premium. I've made the same trip at least two times prior to this and was only able to get about 25.5-26 mpg. It seems my mileage has steadily increased since purchasing the car in Feb '12, which is what I had been told would happen after putting some miles on the car (currently about 13k on odometer).
 

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Heh. I just made the trek from Northwest Montana down to Cody, WY, for Thanksgiving. From about an hour out of Missoula all the **** way to the Wyoming border I was blasted by 60mph winds -switched around between head on and cross-winds. I went about 80mph on I-90 and I averaged 24.21 according to my fill-up math. Worst I've ever gotten since new. But hey, it's a big vehicle so any kind of wind is going to screw your mileage at those speeds.

However, on the calm way back, I averaged 33mpg on my journey between Cody and Billings. This isn't interstate though, this is rural hwy which is 65mph in WY and 70mph in MT. Between Billings and Missoula I got 29mpg on the interstate --though I wasn't going 80mph. I was in far less of a hurry going back haha.
 

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rule of thumb.... Avoid using cruise control if you want to save gas!
Unless it super flat straight hwy with no traffic like someone mentioned earlier!
 

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26.7 mpg(3.6R) over 35xx miles from Chicago to Yellowstone and back. Trip was in the summer. mostly Hwy(80+ mph) but also lots of parking lot idle and buffalo jams inside yellowstone.
 

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I'll second the terrible intuition of the cruise. Yes all cruise is sup optimal but the 2013 2.5 took steps backwards in a significant way.

A mild hill and I'm dropping down a gear or two and climbing @ 3-4K rpms for a solid 30 seconds, destroying fuel economy.

It happens way too often, and is one of my biggest gripes w/ the car.
 

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I've noticed times when manual shift more than cruise makes the difference. If there's a headwind or speed cruise will give me more high RPM moments getting up to speed.
 

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Cruise control should have a save position, that senses hills, and backs off speed. To save gas you need to back off on hills, and speed up down. When I made a test drive once, I took it easy as described, and try to keep it in highest gear without downshifting the automatic in my 99. I'm still getting used to the outbacks transmission. It's not like my other vehicles.
 

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I only use cruise on flat and downhill. Any upgrade on cruise results in "downshift" and high, mpg killing, rpm.
My right foot is a better engine rpm and mpg control on uphill segments.
 

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Just completed a 7 day, 2020 mile road trip starting in Sandy, Utah, hit the south rim of the Grand Canyon, a couple days in Phoenix, drove to Puerto Penasco Mexico. Reset trip B on the way back from Mexico and both A and B odomometer were identical: 25.5mpg. The return trip we did in 15 1/2 hours---all highway, no tourist stops or city driving--863 miles from Puerto Penasco to Sandy, UT. About 1200 miles on the way down with stops at the Grand Canyon and venturing around the Phoenix metro area. Average speed was 75mph (75 and 80 speed limits in UT/AV) on the main highways with lots of mountains (US89 through UT/AZ--Kanab/Flagstaff). Based on my last 2 road trips, I see no way of me ever getting 30mpg on the highway. The best I saw was driving at sea level in Mexico for about the first 70 miles on the return trip, averaging about 50-60mph and I was getting 29.5 mpg.

I would say its almost impossible that I would get 30mpg in my Outback unless I was driving 55mph at sea level and no hills. Regardless, Im just fine with the 25.5 mpg on this roadtrip. The car was solid the entire trip and blazed through the mountains just fine.
 

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Don't use CC to make speed adjustments. Avoid tailgating and passing. CC isn't a tool for people trying to "make good time." Settle in a tick or two below the speed limit. You'll find there are less corrections to make with regards to speed which will net better numbers. Don't use the brake to turn it off. There's a perfectly good button the steering wheel. Shut it down when you're climbing hills and leave it off when you can coast.

The rule is to keep revs down. This is tricky when it comes to getting up to speed on hills. You can burn just as much fuel on a 5 second charge at 4k rpm than you would on a 10 second charge at 2k rpm. Try to make it up with a good bit of coasting on the way down the other side.
 

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I make the same drive on a regular-basis, Galveston, Texas to Tilden, Texas and being so flat the cruise seems to be better than I am at keeping the mileage up. 60-65 seems to work best as the milage nosedives HARD over 70!!

Vince
 

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I dont believe you can get 30mpg driving between 75 or 80 mph--thats the speed limit 60% of the drive and at least 50% in the high desert mountains with elevation ranging from 4500-7200 feet. Im a 5-7 mph over the speed limit---keep up with the flow of traffic type of driver. Regardless, 25.5 mpg is just fine for me. If it would have been 24 or 27mpg, I could have cared less either way.
 

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Just remember, the primary purpose of cruise control is to maintain the chosen speed under a variety of conditions. I can say this one does that pretty well. I can't say I was disappointed with it's performance during a road trip I took (part of it through the Southern Appalachians and Foothills of NC.
 

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I get pretty much get the same mileage as 2013OB.
I have only used cruise control on my drives through KS and TX ... with kids yelling in the back seat: Are we there yet? LOL
 
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