i emphatically agree with everyhting you said on the K&Ns, not least the economic factor, but i clean mine a WHOLE lot more often than every 50K; they seem to crud up enough that i can tell a difference in a lot less, like abt 1/3 of that for me. 'course, i live in the land of the daily dust storm.
2 anecdotal items on why i'm such an advocate of K&Ns:
1. i installed one in air cleaner housing of fiancee's otherwise-stock 93 Nissan pickup. didn't tell her. she is an artist type and emphatically NOT a car person. when she gets back to albuquerque, she calls me and asks "what did you DO to my truck? i didn';t have to shift down to 4th for the hills like i usually do."
2. when installing a set of individual K&N filters onto my Kawasaki, i held one up to my mouth and breathed through it, both inhaling and exhaling. there was NO, as in zero, resistance noticeable to the flow. try same trick with paper filter material. which do you think is easier for your engine to breathe through??
anything that makes it easier for your engine to breathe is the only "very little downside" mod that you can make...helps both performance AND gas mileage. only downside i'm aware of is that they are more hassle to clean than replacing paper element would be (takes em abt 4 hrs to dry after you do so plan on having car idle for 1/2 day), and the very slightly increased induction noise even with otherwise-intact stock airbox.
---------------------------------------- Originally posted by kpgclark Well I did all of that and I still get 13.5 locally...My manual states to use ONLY high octane also.
...just to add another data point to this discussion...Picked up my 2005 3.0 R LL Bean yesterday. Today I drove it about 100 miles exclusively on 2 lane roads, lots of stops, moderate to steep hills, etc. Certainly not city driving, but not expressway either. At the end of the day, the trip computer displayed average mpg at 22.8. I'm not sure how accurate the calculation is, but the previous ones I've had tended to be pretty good measures of actual mpg. I'd be REALLY disappointed if it got less than 14 mpg, even during the break in period.
Regarding the octane rating...I was delighted to know that the dealer filled up the tank for me. Not to look a gift horse in the mouth, BUT was surprised to discover (when I asked) that they used 87 octane gas! The sales rep assured me it was fine, but skeptical me checked the manual when I got home. Sure enough, here's what is says:
"2.5 Turbo and 3.0 liter models...are designed to operate using premium unleaded gasoline with an octane rating of 91 AKI or higher. If premium unleaded gas is not available, regular unleaded gas with an octane rating of 87 AKI or higher may be temporarily used. For optimum engine performance...it is required (for 2.5 turbos) and recommended for 3.0 liter models that you use premium grade gas." Hmmmmm, didn't expect that.
Anyway, I seem to be getting 22.8 mpg on a 3.0 R with less than 200 miles on the odometer using 87 octane.
I have the 3.0R VDC and the best fuel economy I've had from it was the initial tank, it was the same with my previous 2003 Mazda6, never got as good economy again as with the first tank full. With 12500km / 7700 miles on it now the average for the life of the car is 19.6 MPG (US) / 12L/100km.(always on Permium unleaded).. not great but OK I think considering I like to accelerate hard quite often I'd be very interested to know how the real world fuel economy compares between the XT and 3.0R..
I recently purchased the LL Bean 2005 Subaru Outback, and was also very unimpressed with the mileage near the beginning of the car's life. When I first purchased the car, it was also getting around 14 mpg. However, after I continued driving it, the mileage went up to a far greater amount. At around 4,000 miles, it was getting 16 mpg. By 5,000, it was getting 17 or 18 mpg. And now, at around 6,500 miles, its getting 21 or 22 mpg.
Perhaps you should give the car another 1,000 miles before you get uber-mad at it? Also, the fact that you are driving only very short distances with the car could lend to the issue. Try taking it for a nice long highway drive. See if the mileage is better then.