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Outback fuel mileage regression for 2013

25255 Views 118 Replies 65 Participants Last post by  bullhead
I was a buyer that waited until the 2013's were available because of the new engine and CVT, and the promised increased fuel mileage of the new 2.5.

I've been disappointed, to say the least, with mileage in the 24's for a mix of about 75% highway driving. We took one 1200 mile trip of all highway mileage, and it delivered just over 27 mpg cruising at 70 on flat roads.

Prior to buying, my principle experience had been driving 2011 and 2012 Outbacks which were loaner cars at my local Porsche dealer. And, in exactly the same conditions, their computers showed 27-28 mpg where mine shows 24 now.

So, my assertion is that the changes Subaru made to the 2013s actually reduced fuel economy rather than improved it. Looking at data seems to support that.

Two reactions to likely arguments.

1. The mileage of 2013s is all low mileage vehicles, and mileage will improve after break-in. I'd love to see any study that shows that mileage improves after break-in in more than a negligible way. I've tracked mileage in every car I've owned, and have only noticed an extremely small, if any, improvement. And my Outback has shown absolutely zero improvement after 3500 miles.

2. The EPA rates the 2013s higher, and their testing must have better results than prior years. Although the EPA actually tests very few cars, and generally takes and reports data from the manufacturer. And given scant resources at the EPA, they generally only test major model changes, so it is unlikely that the 2013 Outback would have been tested.

My mileage is not terrible, but is disappointing. It's not a deal breaker for me, but I do think it important that potential buyers know that the 2013s don't deliver better fuel mileage.
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Dude 3500 miles?

Christ my last two subarus didn't hit their max mileage till I had nearly 20,000 miles on them.

Not to mention till you do the same trip many times you haven't any idea what type of mileage you should see.

I do a 700 mile round trip every year when its windy ie head wind with 70mph speeds we get 23-26mpg. When it isn't windy and we leave the roof rack junk at home we get 27-28mpg - if I drop the speed to 60-65mph we get 29-30mpg.

Your 70mph speed not even counting road conditions - temps - wind etc returning 27mpg seems to be in the right range for not knowing the traffic - road - wind and load conditions.

By the way my 2001 subaru 2.5 with 5spd MT - was 23-25mpg on that same trip pending wind - and load etc at 70mph. If we dropped it to 60-65mph the all time record tank was 28mpg. We put 180,000 miles on that car and did the same trips more times than I can count. I could predict what mileage we would get before the first gallon of fuel was burned. That car also did not start returning its best mileage till it had nearly 20,000 miles on it.

Same goes for my Gen4 OB 20,000 miles the mileage is very different than what it got at 3500
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Who uses fuelly? I don't

My Turkey Day trip SF to LA was a big surprise. 300 miles of nearly 100% stop and go traffic 9hrs worth. I found a way to creep along at 30-40mph resulting in a calculated 30mpg tank average for the trip to LA and on the way back the last 100 miles we actually saw the 70mph speed limit that tank was 29.5 mpg - higher speeds for a slightly larger portion of the trip.

You haven't had your car long enough to even know what type of mileage its going to return for given conditions so sit back enjoy the ride and stop your crying.
Put more miles on your car!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

My car never event posted 27mpg on my flat zero wind 70mph trips before it was over 15,000 miles.

I average 28 consistently, 50/50 city highway. Last weekend, Tahoe and back from Bay Area with a Yakima 16S roofbox loaded with ski equipment, averaged 31. Have 7500 miles. I have manually checked computer and computer reads .1 mpg low.
That drive has been fairly slow in the last few weekends due to the snow ;-)

I was getting into the 30's last year the few trips I made - primarily due to the slow speeds due to traffic. But nothing wrong with that!

Once you do 70mph and up with the box and gear on the lid the mileage drops.
It does and the guy above who claims 36mpg both ways had some serious tail wind both directions if he was doing 70mph and saw an actual calculated 36mpg at fill up. Extreme rare examples of this sort never helps people who simply want to sort out the average use mileage they should be seeing. Which case with the OB regardless of the engine 30mpg is going to be a rare case and anything between 21mpg and 29mpg is going to be common place pending conditions - speeds etc.

Mine gets 16mpg at 70mph towing the boat with a head wind.
My 2004 Toyota Sienna gets 30 MPG HWY. I use Nitrogen in the tires, and Mobil One in the engine since new. When my new OB arrives, it will have BOTH before I leave the Dealership. Antbody here doing the same? Whats YOUR MPG ???
Hey Dave look up the % of nitrogen found in the air you breath. Save your self a few bucks and stay off the fleecing the customer list.
Most paces by me do the nitrogen for free so I've never really cared.
All places even my compressor in the garage put a high percentage of free nitrogen in my tires. LOL
26 mpg and a happy wife are both really good things!!!

As the original poster of this thread, I've given up on my obsession with gas mileage, and just keep the computer to miles to empty. Besides, I now have my roof system all sorted out, and my mileage results are less relevant because I generally now have bikes on the roof, paddleboards on the roof, or a Hobie Cat in tow, or some combination of that. And, with our original objective of the Subie was mostly as a toy hauler, we are finding that it does that better than anything else. It is a treat to put toys on top of an Outback rather than a traditional SUV that's maybe a foot higher!
No doubt! Though I still like the Legacy height for the roof rack stuff. Spent 11yrs 180,000 miles hauling gear on the roof of the legacy. Far easier than the OB - but the OB is far far easier than our Sequoia. ;-)
You guys are getting it backwards. Ethanol is actually one of the things used to increase the octane rating of the base fuel. The higher the octane rating the more stable the fuel is ie harder it is to burn. Why do cars need higher octane fuel? Engines which create more unstable conditions in the combustion chamber need more stable fuel to avoid pre ignition.

Strait ethanol has a octane rating of 100 by the way. This has nothing to do with stored energy per volume of fuel which impacts your mileage the more stored energy fuel contains the less volume of fuel you burn. Octane is simply a rating used to measure how stable the fuel is.
^ this has more to do with what the states are mandating regarding the fuel mix to address emissions standards etc. Smoke and mirrors of course and all politics.

The Ethanol thing is nothing but a Political scam run on the US consumers nothing else.
Funny no one is concerned about drinking MTBE?
MTBE was phased out years ago. You need to catch up
My 2013 Outback 2.5 with CVT has been getting great gas mileage for the first 15K miles, averaging 28.5 mpg combined driving, 30-31 on the highway keeping below 65mph. This last time I filled up, I was down to 26 mpg for the exact same driving. I just filled up yesterday, doing the same driving and I'm at 20 mpg avg for the first 50 miles based on the onboard calculator. Usually this is accurate to about 5% on previous calculations based on fillups and mileage per tank. Sounds like I have a problem, but will get through this tank and see where I am. Other than this I've been very happy with my first Subaru :29:
Its called winter blend fuel and colder temps yes it does reduce mileage. Your numbers seem about right for winter blend and temps changes however 50 miles on a full tank isn't a good cross section for judging mileage run the tank out and then do the math miles drive vs gallons burned ie put back into the car.
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