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What is your Average MPG?

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Discussion Starter #1
There is already a Gen 4 MPG thread here: http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums/104-gen-4-2010-present/19848-4th-gen-outback-gas-mileage.html but I would like to restrict this conversation to 2013 2.5L's with the CVT - one of the biggest selling points was the purported "24/30" combined 26mpg, but that is just not what our family is getting - so I just wanted to see - is anyone else getting this on a consistent basis?

No need to brag about hypermiling skills or CVT/engine RPM management skills here - nor should achieving the claimed MPG require it. You shouldn't have to hypermile to get the manufacturer's estimated MPG. Of course I know you shouldn't be WOT (which we don't), w/e, and that mileage will vary, but I would expect at least to manage 24mpg average with the OB. Instead we are getting about to 20/24 - pretty significant if you ask me. Don't need tips on lightfooting or hypermiling, I get 28+ in the Evo when I try - not amazing but not exactly bad either - I'd expect an OB with a claimed 24/30 to do close on the highway.


Post your average (fuelly) in the poll, your average city/highway and type of commute in the thread, and specs of your car and miles.


We have a 2013 OB Limited, averaging about 20/24 city/highway. And our "city" is not like jammed in traffic city traveling. About half of what we're counting as city mileage is on a 55mph local section of a major interstate that is NEVER jammed. the rest of that commute varies between 30-50mph speeds, and not too many lights and never any backed up traffic.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
how are some of you guys AVERAGING 27? Most of your mileage must be long highway commutes
 

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2012 OUTBACK 2.5 LIMITED SILVER ICE Metallic, moon and nav free
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70/30 city/hwy. Lifetime 26.2 on the 2012. Plenty of posts from me about how to use the CVT. Check my previous posts. You have to drive it differently compared to auto transmissions.

I little now better after a long road trip.

http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums/510515-post22.html
 

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Discussion Starter #4
70/30 city/hwy. Lifetime 26.2 on the 2012. Plenty of posts from me about how to use the CVT. Check my previous posts. You have to drive it differently compared to auto transmissions.
2012 is rated 22/29, and I thought it had a completely different engine & cvt - regardless, good for you - that's what the 2013's "should" be getting. I realize there are variances in driving style and that it will play a big role, and that CVT will determine where the engine RPM sits, but as long as you're light on the pedal you should be able to reach the manufacturer's suggested MPG, don't you think?

If you're at 70/30 w/ 26.2, I'm gonna guess you'd be right around 25/29 city/hwy, your city driving bumped up by your CVT driving style. What about highway?

If we've got the cruise control set on an open road, not touching the gas, why are we getting 24mpg? Not even 27, 28? What are you guys cruising on the highway at? We're doing about 70mph..
 

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Discussion Starter #5
About what you said about getting to speed and then letting off - could you elaborate on how that's different from driving automatic? i.e., in whatever car, you accelerate at whichever pace, and let off the gas once you reach, say 45mph?
 

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I won't vote yet because I'm only 1/4 through my second tank. The first tank was 25.5 and I'm at 26.4 on this one. I'm probably 80/20 highway/city but about half of my afternoon commute home is stop-and-go. I saw the average mpg slowly continue to climb on the first tank and this one is exhibiting the same; I was at 26.7 when I got to work this morning. I'll vote when I have enough miles to warrant the vote.
 

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2013 Outback 2.5i Premium PZEV CVT
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Mfr's MPG is more "real-world" than it used to be, but it is still better than actual. All it's useful for is comparing different cars. It's "consistently inflated," I guess.

Anyway, I just got a hair over 29mpg on my last tank which included a trip to Palm Desert (lots of highway miles). I'm averaging about 26mpg over the first 1200 miles. The biggest drop in highway mileage seems to come when you go over 70mph. I wasn't in a hurry much, this last tank.

I'm just thrilled because my last heap averaged 19mpg. This is nearly 40% better mileage.

-James
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Mfr's MPG is more "real-world" than it used to be, but it is still better than actual. All it's useful for is comparing different cars. It's "consistently inflated," I guess.

Anyway, I just got a hair over 29mpg on my last tank which included a trip to Palm Desert (lots of highway miles). I'm averaging about 26mpg over the first 1200 miles. The biggest drop in highway mileage seems to come when you go over 70mph. I wasn't in a hurry much, this last tank.

I'm just thrilled because my last heap averaged 19mpg. This is nearly 40% better mileage.

-James
I agree - it's much improved, what is the difference between a normal manufacturer's estimate, vs. say hyundai, which was sued for its inflated numbers? Many people hit 40mpg highway, but most could not. I'm sure it's a similar scenario here (though for a "nonperf" forum I would skew our mpg estimates as among the higher) - I checked the Fuelly for all the 2013 Outbacks - to me, idk it seems low.
 

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23 with all city in Austin (heavy traffic), and 31 all highway. 26.5 average 50/50 city/highway over 3500 miles.
 

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22 average with 70% hwy, 30% city. Highway average 70mph, mostly with a 15-20 mi commute. Best mileage on a 500 mile 100% highway / state rd trip was 25 mpg with temp between 10-20 deg F and average speed around 55 mph.

The real problem is that the 2013's are not even close to EPA estimates, at least when it is cold. For example, under similar winter conditions we have a Honda which matches its EPA combined estimate. Our '13 Outback 2.5 is 6mpg under the EPA combined estimate. Now that the temperature is 30-40 the Honda is 2mpg over EPA, hopefully the Subaru will increase too.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
23 with all city in Austin (heavy traffic), and 31 all highway. 26.5 average 50/50 city/highway over 3500 miles.
what speed are you traveling on the highway? what oil are you using?

22 average with 70% hwy, 30% city. Highway average 70mph, mostly with a 15-20 mi commute. Best mileage on a 500 mile 100% highway / state rd trip was 25 mpg with temp between 10-20 deg F and average speed around 55 mph.

The real problem is that the 2013's are not even close to EPA estimates, at least when it is cold. For example, under similar winter conditions we have a Honda which matches its EPA combined estimate. Our '13 Outback 2.5 is 6mpg under the EPA combined estimate. Now that the temperature is 30-40 the Honda is 2mpg over EPA, hopefully the Subaru will increase too.
what area are you located?

i get the variance in the city mileage, based on what the "city" experience is. what I don't get is the highway variance.
 

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About what you said about getting to speed and then letting off - could you elaborate on how that's different from driving automatic? i.e., in whatever car, you accelerate at whichever pace, and let off the gas once you reach, say 45mph?
The RPM's one uses to accelerate to a speed are not the same as RPM's needed to maintain a speed with the CVT. The CVT does not downshift if you don't let off the gas. IOW getting to 45mph might take 3500+rpm's but maintaining 45 might take only 1700rpm's. If you hold the acceleator steady with the CVT when you reach 45 it continues at 3500rpm's and does not drop back to a lower gear like a standard AT. Thus using more gas. If you let up on the gas at 45 and let the CVT "downshift" it will cruise at lower rpm's while maintaining your 45mph speed using less gas.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
The RPM's one uses to accelerate to a speed are not the same as RPM's needed to maintain a speed with the CVT. The CVT does not downshift if you don't let off the gas. IOW getting to 45mph might take 3500+rpm's but maintaining 45 might take only 1700rpm's. If you hold the acceleator steady with the CVT when you reach 45 it continues at 3500rpm's and does not drop back to a lower gear like a standard AT. Thus using more gas. If you let up on the gas at 45 and let the CVT "downshift" it will cruise at lower rpm's while maintaining your 45mph speed using less gas.
don't most people do this anyway??
 

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I didn't see a poll option for "I really don't care about MPG" :D
 

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I didn't see a poll option for "I really don't care about MPG" :D
:lol: even if you don't care, you should expect to get what they claim!


totally OT, I noticed you're looking into 3M clear bra for the future.. I was at a pretty reputable shop from where I am going in to get 3M clear bra and the guy there completely sold me on XPEL Ultimate - he said he'd been watching that stuff for the last few years, and it had kinda just been so-so for the longest time, but their current/latest batch actually beats out 3M.. It took a lot of convincing for me because I'd never heard of XPEL and I really had wanted a "3M Clear Bra" but apparently this stuff is thinner, more invisible, both are equal in rock chip protection, both are UV neutral or whatever, and XPEL is a little better in terms of bugs. He was basically like yeah either way same price and both are really really good, but at this point XPEL is a little beter overall. Kicker for me was that XPEL has a 10 year parts and labor warranty (!) compared to 3M's 5 year parts and labor warranty. just thought i'd share.
 

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I've only put 8 tanks in my 2013... I got it December 26th... so it has never seen any warm weather, and has only seen any real highway driving on 2 out of the 8 tanks. My normal commute is 20 miles and takes between 40 and 90 minutes due to horrendous city traffic. Average commute time for that 20 mile ride is probably around 50 minutes. I.e. barely faster than I can bicycle it!

That said my overall average is 23.3mpg on fuelly.

My tanks are: 22.3, 23.0, 23.4, 22.0, 23.0, 21.7, 24.9, 25.8.

The last 2 higher MPG tanks included 200 miles each of real "highway" driving where I wasn't stuck in bumper to bumper traffic. Both times the computer reported 29mpg for the actual highway trip.

The two low outliers are 1) The tank the dealer filled, which included them idling the car a long time. 2) The week of commuting after "winter storm Nemo" which made for horrific traffic that week. My 200 miles of commuting the week after Nemo took about 12 hours the traffic & snow conditions were so bad.

My current tank of gas is averaging 25.2mpg after 200 miles of city commuting with the weather being a bit better (30s and 40s as opposed to teens and 20s)

I am not really worried at all about being able to average 24mpg in decent city driving. If I get stuck in one place for 40 minutes due to absolutely kill yourself horrific traffic in winter weather I don't really have a problem with the car not getting 24mpg. No car is going to hit EPA in those situations other than a hybrid that can shut it's gas engine off.

The fact that the Outback goes 400+ miles on the highway on one tank of gas means IMO that not many people are going to get near 30mpg for a tank unless they drive VERY long distances and take really long trips or live in extremely rural areas with minimal traffic. It is really rare that I drive 400 miles one way on a highway trip. I live near Boston, I would basically have to drive all the way to Washington, DC or Buffalo, NY without hitting really bad traffic to actually drive "highway" for a whole tank of gas.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
i really wanna call bs on some of these guys reporting AVERAGING above 28mpg... maybe they're going by what the dash tells them instead of calculating actual mileage
 

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don't most people do this anyway??
I don't know the percentages but people new to the CVT tend to drive it like a standard AT they are used to.
 

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I don't know the percentages but people new to the CVT tend to drive it like a standard AT they are used to.
Everyone knows to lift when they are accelerating to a given speed and get there though, at least on an open road. If they don't the car will keep accelerating beyond the intended speed.

I think the big thing with driving behavior that affects city MPG is just not being able to maintain the correct speed for traffic. I will often see people accelerate hard to dash away from me just to have to slam on the brakes for the traffic that is 200 yards up the road. Meanwhile I softly accelerate and then coast up to traffic as it starts to move. Repeat that across a drive and the aggressive driver will turn in much lower economy than the calm one. I see it constantly on the highway. Traffic might be flowing at 30mph. Some drivers will accelerate to 45mph briskly, slam on the brakes to avoid rear ending the car in front of them, and then slam on gas again as soon as the car in front of them moves, repeating the cycle. Meanwhile if you watch big trucks and anyone trying to save gas they will just drive 30mph and if they are lucky not have to repeatedly stop and go.

As soon as you get into this kind of traffic you are no longer "highway" driving IMO. Stop and Go might as well be considered city driving.
 

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i really wanna call bs on some of these guys reporting AVERAGING above 28mpg... maybe they're going by what the dash tells them instead of calculating actual mileage
This is a really strange post. You want to collect more data, and then complain when the data doesn't fit your expectations. And you can collect this sort of data from fuelly anyways while ignoring any dash MPG over-estimation. I'd trust aggregate fuelly data (and statistical spread of said data) over any random poll on a forum anyways. Even if the sample is still somewhat small (~100 2.5L cars).

Now, if we want to talk about that data, let's do that...

Attached are the two graphs showing the fuel average distributions of the 2012 and 2013, with the H6 engine removed.

The 2012 has a fairly tight grouping around 25mpg. The median and mode are both 25mpg, and that happens to line up well with the EPA estimates, beating it by 1mpg. We've also got over a year of data, which helps even out seasonal variations.

The 2013 is a little more curious. The median is right about 24mpg, but we see the mode is 26mpg. We also see 7% of the cars are getting 28mpg or better as an average (ignoring that 33mpg outlier). ~35% are getting the EPA combined average or better. Yes, that is low, as it should be fairly close to 50%. What might be causing that?

Winter mileage can drop around 10% on all cars. This will vary from car to car, but let's assume 10% is correct. So say, the 26mpg average is based on summer fuel blends and spring-autumn temperatures. If we reduce that by 10% to represent winter temperatures, we get 23.4 mpg. More than 50% of the 2013s are getting 24mpg or better (~2/3rds to be exact). Interesting. So in fact, a 10% drop in fuel efficiency due to winter blends and temperatures can fully account for the drop we are seeing, even in our small sample size. The first cars didn't start showing up until the tail end of July. Many cars in the fuelly database don't even record fuel use until well into winter.

Are the 2013s getting what they should currently? Nope. Can that deviation be explained by a known phenomenon? Yes.
 

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