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Outie I4 w CVT vs V6 Auto comparison MPG/towing

I am considering an 08 4WD SE or an 08 XLS 4wd. I am not a huge fan of the CVT that is in the Dodge Caliber I drove, but I understand they have fewer moving parts to break and are fairly reliable. Main complaint is the calibers CVT really kept the rpms high and was noisey under hard acceleration.

wife prefers the 4 cylinder because of better mpg, though I showed her the V6 is only 1 mpg off the I4 around city and 3 mpg off on highway.

I have a 500 lb boat that gets pulled off the beach a few times per year, and I haul a pallet of pellets (#2000) about 20 or so miles 3 or 4 times per year. I know that either egine can handle the boat and the pellets would strain the I4.

So my question is two fold. What are others opinions of the CVT?
Can it handle the larger towing requirements?

What is the real world difference in mpg between an I4 CVT and V6 5Auto?

I am feeling the I4 may be the better choice to save some gas pennies if I am only towing a heavy load 4 x yearly...

Comments

  • jonoxjonox Posts: 84
    I've been driving a 2010 2.4 ES AWD since July 2010 and the CVT is very smooth and quiet in operation.

    The following comments are based on the 2010 Warranty and Maintenance Manual along with the Owners Manual.

    The 2.4L runs on regular gas and needs less frequent inspections and adjustments for valve clearances which are recommended every 30,000miles for the 3.0L V6 versus every 60,000 miles for the 2.4L. Timing belt replacement on the V6 is recommended at 105,000miles but apparently is not an issue on the 2.4 L which has a silent chain drive for the camshafts. Premium gas is recommended for the V6.

    Your towing requirements may be limiting with the 2.4L which for both FWD and AWD has a max 1500lb trailer weight with brake and 1250lb without brake. The V6 can pull 2000lb FWD with brake or 3500lb AWD with brake. Without the brake it can handle 1400lb for both FWD or AWD.
  • joet333joet333 Posts: 5
    What kind of gas mileage are you getting with your ES?
  • fushigifushigi Posts: 1,240
    Of course, while Premium is recommended for the V6 it is not required. Running regular will simply produce 6-8 fewer HP. You could run regular most of the time and only use premium when towing or otherwise hauling significant cargo.

    I have a '10 Outlander GT and have averaged 21.1MPG over 15K miles. For '10, the 3L V6 was revised to bump HP from 220 to 230. Highest tank average was around 25; lowest around 18. I use a mix of midgrade & premium. I live in the Chicago suburbs so I get winter weather & winter blend crappy gas part of the year.
  • joet333joet333 Posts: 5
    Last time I was driving in Chicago, I was pretty hard on the pedal. Is your 21 MPG fairly heavy or do you have some light pedal higway use mixed in?
  • jonoxjonox Posts: 84
    Overall consumption for 2.4L ES since last July averages: 22.84 MPG (US).

    Best between fills - last September: 27.8 MPG

    Worst between fills - this February and March : 17.58 MPG

    Location is Southern Ontario.

    Winter use is low mileage local using AWD on snow covered roads.

    Summer use is higher mileage with good portion using FWD on highway.

    No towing.
  • fushigifushigi Posts: 1,240
    The honest answer is "yes". There are times when I stomp it - that is why I opted for the V6 - but the majority of the time I use moderation. Also, I'm in the suburbs so I think I get better economy than someone who does real pure city driving would. I do notice that heavy stop-n-go city style traffic will cause the DTE reading to drop faster than my suburban driving typically does.

    I've also driven it on the highway for interstate travel numerous times. On trips I average closer to 24, which is spot on the EPA estimate though I'm usually running 70-80MPH and not 55. The absolute best economy for my car is at around 42-50 MPH.
  • comem47comem47 Posts: 393
    I have a 2007 4WD LS V6 model and premium gas was not even recommended back then. Note that the auto is a 6 sp and (not 5). I used to haul a 2000 lb snowmobile trailer loaded in winter quite easily. Best hwy mpg I've seen on trips has been 28 with 25-26 being usual hwy. Around town is usually in lower 20's dipping to 18 at times. I cannot say I've driven the Outlander's CVT but other cars CVTs I've driven sound like a cement mixer in heat!!! I think the power and MPG mix are very good for a 4WD vehicle (V6 or no) and still happy with my choice knowing I can tow up to 3500 lbs in the future. Of course the V6 and 4WD adds cost, but I plan to be with this vehicle 10 years and don't drive far enough weekly to be concerned about the mpg difference. YMMV
  • joet333joet333 Posts: 5
    I am under the impression that Mitsu shares this CVT w Chrysler. like the article mentions, it takes a lil bit getting used to CVT since the computer picks the correct rpm to make the most out of what the accelerator pedal is telling it what to do and keeps that same rpm till you hit cruising speed.

    I know the CVT has fewer moving parts to break than a transmission with separate gears and so far cvt has been proven itself on road cars. My concern is whether it will hold up to larger displacement engines and heavier vehicles & towing.

    The one thing that surprises me is that with the ability of the CVT to pick the correct rpm for power and mileage there is not as much difference in MPG between the I4 & V6. I figure the CVT runs down the highway at a higher rpm and would be 4-5 mpg better but one would think there is more than just 1-2 mpg diff in real world average driving.

    For a 1-2 mpg difference, I am leaning to the V6. ;)
  • comem47comem47 Posts: 393
    Well to be fair you should drive both and make your judgement. As I said I have not driven the Mitsu CVT, but it wasn't in the running anyway because I desired the greater towing ability of the V6 6 speed with 4WD. Whatever floats one's boat. ;)
  • fushigifushigi Posts: 1,240
    Yep, part of my V6-over-I4 decision was definitely made considering hauling capability. The V6 is certainly good for MOAR POWR when wanted but is frugal enough that MPGs are fine if you don't leadfoot it. The added ability to tow more + comfortably haul more on the inside sealed the deal.

    I've made home improvement store trips & come home with over 900 pounds of cargo in the cargo area (+ another 200+ pounds of me behind the wheel). While I didn't do any harsh takeoffs, power with a full load was still good and I could have easily driven it as if I was the only thing weighing down the cabin.

    If cost is your primary concern and you don't truly require the towing capability, get the I4. It'll be a little cheaper on gas & overall cheaper on maintenance over the vehicle's lifespan. Otherwise, if you can afford a few extra bucks now and then or if you absolutely have to tow, with the V6 you'll get power that's never lacking.

    If you're undecided, drive both and pick the one you think offers the more pleasant experience. You may find the I4 to be just fine & go that route. Or you may find the added grunt of the V6 to be addictive. :)
  • toomanyfumestoomanyfumes S.E. Wisconsin Posts: 895
    I've had similar MPG on my '07 V6 AWD, around 19-20 in city\suburban driving and 24-26 on the highway. If I bought another Oulander, I'd definitely get the V6 again. It's a nice smooth powertrain with plenty of power.
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