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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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This is true about the computer. I only use it for reference and always figure my mileage will be about 1.5mpg less than what it is displaying when I fill up.
Premium around here is 30 to 40 cents more expensive, not $2. California, go figure.
Anyway, the best reason to buy Premium around here is it often isn't mixed with corn squeezings (ethanol, scourge of the planet) and in fact you get BETTER gas mileage with it because pure gas has more btu's compared to gas with ethanol.
so some of you are full of it.
All gas has (ethanol) in it. And your mpg. drops also,
Wrong again, keep trying though.

Outside the reformulated gas in south eastern wisconsin most pumps in this state offer premium that is not blending with corn squeezings. It says right on the pump and it is most definitely reflected in increased MPG.
Maybe in Indiana you can't get pure gas, I wouldn't know.
Negative...I can buy premium (91 Octane) fuel at three different stations here, that does not have ethanol. Wisconsin has not mandated that premium be mixed yet, although some companies are doing it.

Trust me, my previous car required premium gas, and I found the best mileage (18 highway) was with 91 octane, non ethanol fuel.

In fact, another Touareg owner ran his on 87 octane for half of a 3000 mile trip, and on premium for the return. At the end, with the decreased mileage from the 87 octane, his numbers came out to .02 difference between the cost of the two. Now, I understand that engine was designed for premium fuel, thus why it was required, but if I could find 87 octane without ethanol, I would be all over it.
Driving up to baraboo Saturday to pick up an outboard! I won't have the subie though. Look for a ugly-arse green F150.
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.
I don't use Premium for it's octane rating around here, I use it because it is ethanol free. That isn't backwards, it's fact.
If I use mid-grade or standard it has 10% ethanol.
I detect no difference in the way the engine runs when using Premium, but it does get better gas mileage because the fact is, it has more btu's than gas mixed with ethanol. That is fact.
It also helps that I have huge issues with the Big-Ethanol and would rather give my money to Big-Oil. That's just me....
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