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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 06 outback wgn XT and I am only getting about 13 miles to the gallon. Can you give me some suggestions where to start. I don't have a lead foot and live in the city. I bought the car from a dealer in Dec 2012. I have been driving cautiously to get an accurate mpg number and I keep coming up with only about 12.3 to 13.5 ?
Please help !

Thx
 

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Somebody Else's XT
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14,433 Posts
That seems a little low... but it depends on how "in the city" you are.

There is such a thing as "in the city enough to only get 13mpg in a healthy XT" so your car might actually be fine.

Does the check engine light work? Look for it at startup.

Is it on after startup? Flashing cruise light?

Can you describe the trips you're taking now?

What size tires? Pressure check?

Any sense that the brakes are dragging?

Are you putting premium gas in? XTs can limp on regular gas, but they run poorly and the MPG gets even worse than usual. Stick to 91 octane or higher unless it's an emergency.

Do you have a remote starter? Do you let the car sit a while and warm up? Idle warm-ups use LOTS of gas and sink your average. Better just to drive gently until the temp needle is up.

You can try a new air filter, think about spark plugs. There are other things but without any other indicator it's just guessing.

If your car doesn't show any obvious fault, I suggest taking it on a longer trip just to establish a measurement for consumption in highway situations.

XTs burn more gas than any other version of the outback- just the way they are built.

Congrats & have fun!
 

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2013 Outback Limited 2.5i, Crystal Black Silica, Special Appearance Package (moonroof, NAV, keyless entry, saddle leather seats)
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No, this is pretty much par for the course. I live in Chicago and drive almost exclusively in city traffic, and I routinely get 13-15mpgs, especially in the winter. If you want better, need a hybrid or a super small engine (old car had 118HP and got ~20mpg in city). That said, when I've taken it on road trips, I can easily get 24-26 with cruise control and 27-31mpg w/o.
 

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Somebody Else's XT
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I had a gig in NYC (120 miles away) today.

I reset my trip counter as I pulled out of my garage. The onboard computer showed my average mpg at 12.8 when I got to the interstate. 90 miles of interstate later, average had climbed to 20.7. I don't suspect any problems in my car, so if all you drive is stop and go I'd say you're seeing the real deal.
 

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2017 Outback 3.6 Touring, which replaced '05 Outback XT
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841 Posts
Yes that mileage sounds about right for an XT, in the city, with winter gas, especially if short trips make for an engine that isn't quite up to full temperature. On the bright side, mileage on spring and summer gas will improve and highway milage is fairly decent for a car with serious go power.
 
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