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Outback fuel mileage regression for 2013

25250 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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Agree with other posts... At 2K, mileage is improving already on mine from 25.5 or so to 27 or so on the computer in the city...

Interesting (to me at least) that the computer average seems to vary depending on whether I put in a full or partial tank... If I fill up less than 1/3rd of a tank, the computer MPG is 1MPG LESS than hand-calculation actually. If I fill up a full tank, the computer is 1MPG MORE than hand-calculation. But, I've had one full tank where the computer was also a tad less than hand-calculation so I'm curious why.
Head south for the winter...

I was averaging 28-29 every week in the summer and early fall, now my last tank only got a little better than 26 mpg. Same kind of driving. I wouldn't think winter gas would make that big of a difference, but I think it does.
In Hotlanta, the summer fruit punch we get for gas gets a special "anti-ozone" blend that actually reduces MPG by 2+ or so. So our winter blend actually gets much better mileage. That accounted for part of my recent jump as it was instant first fill up after the change-over... I had a tank of 31+ MPG going until a road trip with heavy load and air conditioning going...

For folks who have mileage decreases lately, check your tire pressure. Cold temps reduce the psi in your tires and mileage will decrease significantly. Add a couple of pounds of air if you haven't since first freeze in your area. Also folks who leave cars outside will have lower mileage as the CVT seems to like to "warm up". I'm sure folks will argue to infinity otherwise, but it's really a trait of this car based on my father in law's 2010 experiences. OB's are like a faithful dog... they'd rather sleep in the house with you.
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