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2012+ Subaru Impreza Real World Fuel Economy



  • typesixtypesix Posts: 314
    Consumer Reports tested a 2012 Impreza hatchback in the June 2012 issue and got 19mpg city, 33 mpg highway and overall average of 26mpg. How fast do you drive on highway? The EPA numbers are generally what can be expected if one follows the speed limit. Air conditioning will decrease mpg about 10%. Driver habits have the most effect on mpg.
  • Im usually driving around the 65 to 70 mpg on the parkway and around town im always at the speed limit due to the amount of police in the area. I also tested without the ac and it made a little improvement but no where near the epa estimates. Im glad its not just me with the poor millage and that its been tested by people who know what they are doing.

    I got a freephone number to see what the buy out is on my lease and also if i can trade in my lease with someone else so they can take it over because im getting less mpg than my previous car and the reason i got this was for more mpg.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    26mpg is good in that context. The Elantra only got 27mpg despite the 40mpg highway they tout.
  • dcm61dcm61 Posts: 1,457
    Pay attention to the MPG gauge below the speedometer. You will then get a feel for how you need to drive the car to get the best MPG and you will also see that even a slight incline or press of the accelerator "kills" the MPG.

    Before I bought my Sport Limited, I didn't realize there were so many hills in my area.

    I've taken two 700+ mile round trips from Philly area to Boston area.

    1st trip (2 people) - started with 1100 miles; PA/NJ turnpike, GW bridge, various NY parkways to Merritt Parkway to I-84. Drive up MPG = 36+ until the GW bridge, then continued to drop and ended at ~32 MPG (hills on the NY/CT parkways kill MPG). Return trip average = ~33 MPG. IIRC, A/C was on the entire trip.

    2nd trip (1 person) - started with 5100 miles; mix of back roads, highway, back roads to I-84. Drive up MPG = 36+. Moonroof flipped up for 1/2 trip, A/C on other 1/2 trip. Return trip average = ~35 MPG. Heavier traffic, higher speed, A/C on more, back seats and cargo area full.

    Normal commute = congested highway = ~30-32 MPG.

    For comparison, my 2003 Outback 2.5L 4EAT averaged 28-30 MPG on highway trips and 22-24 on my commute.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,391
    There's no doubt the numbers are starkly improved over previous generations. In city driving, the start/stop behavior makes a big difference, especially with the AWD car for some reason. I notice that when I drive my Escort vs. my Forester, the relative impact on fuel economy in the Escort is lower when I'm a little quicker off the line (about 5-6%) versus my Forester, which is 10% or more. I really have to shift into "chill mode" when I'm driving the Forester if I want to eek out reasonable fuel economy. With a manual transmission, though, that isn't too hard to do. :)

    I'm sorry that the original poster's fuel economy is so much lower than expected. I think he said a Focus was replaced by the Impreza... ? If so, it is entirely unrealistic to expect the Impreza to perform better on fuel economy in city driving. Heck, if it did better in the highway in identical conditions, I'd be quite surprised. You gave up some FE for the AWD. If you don't want or need the AWD, as in that was not a major consideration when deciding on the car, you did indeed lease the wrong car for your needs. The good news, though, is that you leased it.
  • When I first bought my 2012 Impreza, I strictly road the freeways, with very limited city driving (my wife drove her car to do most of the city stuff). Back then, my freeway commute to work and back was about 40 miles each way and I averaged 38 mpg for about two months. I did notice that whenever I did do any city driving (short trips to the grocery, mall, etc.), especially through residential streets with lots of stop signs, my mpg would drop down to 33, 34, or 35 mpg instantly -- with just about 15 to 20 minutes of driving! To my relief, my mpg would then go back up once I commuted to work a couple of days in a row.

    Also, as I drove on the freeway, I left the mpg function/monitor on and played an mpg game by adjusting my accelaration to get the maximum fuel efficiency. My goal was to reach an average 40 mpg. However, to do this I had to develop thick skin; fellow freeway commuters showed great impatience by purposely tailgaiting so that I could speed up or they would look over at me in disgust as they passed by). The highest mpg I ever got was 39.6 and I stayed at the 39 mpg mark for about two weeks.

    But then it happened. My wife starting complaining about how she did most of the driving errands and wanted me to help. I agreed and started doing most of the city driving from then on. For the last two months, my driving is about 65 to 70 percent freeway driving and about 30 to 35 percent city driving. As a result, my mpg has dropped down remarkably: it now ranges consistently between 27 and 29 mpg. I never realized how bad city driving was on a car's mpg and now loathe driving through residential streets. And I believe that what keeps my mpg numbers this high is how I continue to play the mpg game on the freeway (I try to adjust my accelaration to raise my mpg numbers on the monitor; but of course, I try not to go lower than 5 or 7 miles below the speed limit.)

    Though I am disappointed, I could only imagine what my mpg numbers would be if I had purchased a car with lower EPA estimates. If my average mpg was to go below 26 and my city driving increased, I would seriously consider selling or trading in the Impreza to purchase a Prius. Or to purchase a mini-cooper, which cost less than a Prius, but looks way hipper and cooler, and gets better gas mileage than the Impreza (but then again, the mini-cooper presents the space issue, especially if one has children).

    But, that, in a nutshell, has been my 4 to 5 month mpg experience with the 2012 Impreza.
  • tyguytyguy ColoradoPosts: 804
    Interesting to see the variation. My 16-mile round trip work commute results in 33 mpg average (no highway) with 6,000 miles on the odo. Typically that commute has 10 stops for lights or stop signs, and speeds vary from 30 mph to 50 mph, with little traffic. Highway runs at 75 mph have consistently returned 37 mpg, and about 45 mpg at 60 mph. The fuel mileage has been stellar, especially cruising at 55 to 65 mph flat terrain. The worst mileage to date has been 28 mpg during all city/suburban driving with traffic lights and congestion (nothing like NY or LA, though). No complaints here. The car is perfectly capable of beating EPA, so the question that needs answering is what's different about your situation?
  • jd_24jd_24 Posts: 92
    My results have been similar to Westcoaster's.

    I drive more or less speed limit (55, 60, and 65) or stay with the flow of traffic, not slower than the flow, but I'm seldom the guy in the left lane going faster than the flow. I use a really light foot. Typically I've been getting around 36mpg with my sport premium. I have a 70 mile round trip commute. With construction I have a few miles of stop-n-go to deal with as well.

    Yesterday with about 150 miles on the tank and the MPG display over 39mpg (which equals about 36.5mpg) I ran some very short trip errands. Car was already warm from my 30+ mile commute home. Highest speed was 35mph. Stop signs or lights every 400 yards. 3 trips and only 15 miles later the display average was at ~37mpg.

    If the engine is cold when doing the same short trips, the mpg drops much faster.

    I have just over 7000 miles on the odometer. My average MPG did creep up from 32ish at first to the now 36ish during the first 5 to 6000 miles.
  • oxmeadoxmead Posts: 65
    edited August 2012
    I'm on my first tank and the average mpg says 32 with mixed driving and the air is running. I'm at 263 miles and the gauge is one notch below half. I am taking it very easy until I get to 1000 miles.
  • Let me throw out this off-topic comment:

    Regarding oxmead's comment, "I am taking it very easy until I get to 1000 miles", I just want to say that it's my unproven theory that taking it overly easy on an engine during the break-in period can cause issues. The manual states not to exceed 4k RPM, but it's my opinion that during break-in, you should work the car up to 4k RPM moderately aggressively (75% throttle) after the engine has warmed up. Not doing this can prevent the piston rings from seating correctly, and could result in a car that consumes oil.

    Don't overly baby your car during break-in!
  • oxmeadoxmead Posts: 65
    Thanks, I did do that a couple time while playing with the paddle shifters.
  • I have the same problem with mpg. From Va Beach to Emerald Isle NC which is all flat, I got 31 mpg and I used cruise the whole way. I have never gotten over 32 and usually average about 30 mpg on highway driving. City driving does not come even close to the 27 that Subaru said I would get. 21-22 but I have gotten as low as 19. The dealer said nothing was wrong and Subaru said to log where I got gas and track it but they did not say what to do with the info after I got it. They could care less. This is my second Subaru and I am really disappointed in the Impreza Sport with the cvt. With this kind of gas mileage I could have gotten a bigger vehicle with the same mileage. What was really bad was I followed my sister to New York and she drove a Toyota Avalon and she got 30.5 mpg while I got 31. Twice the car with a lot more luxuries and almost the same gas mileage.
  • How fast were you driving on your VA to NC road trip? Have you checked your tire pressure? Have you experimented with different brands of gas? How loaded with people/luggage was your car? Was the A/C running the whole time?
  • The highway went from 55 to 65 to 70 and back to 55. Probably 50% was at 55. I used cruise and stayed at the speed limit or below it. I added air to my tires prior to leaving. Shell seemed to get me a mile more gallon but there does not seem to be much other difference between the rest of the gas brands. AC was running on the lowest setting because of humidity. Two people in the car with two pieces of luggage - not really loaded down. I get the same gas mileage whether it is one person or one person and two dogs (75 lb and a 15 lb) or two persons. On the way back I did not use cruise and got 31.3 mpg.
  • mblutombluto Posts: 6
    With approx. 1,000 miles on my 2012 Impreza Sport Limited 2.0 CVT, I'm driving 75% highway and getting about 29 - 30 mpg.

    I check tire pressure, use different gas stations, am carrying no extra weight and get passed by little old grannies. I drove faster in my 2009 Nissan Versa S and average 33 mpg, with highs in the 37 range.

    I blame a crappy CVT tranny that actually slows the car during downhill decents and switches constantly between gears, again on downhills. I have read other complaints about this same transmission issue. This is not a 'CVT is different' issue, I've driven other CVTs and never felt the car slow when you step off the gas because of engine breaking.

    No, I haven't had the car to the dealer yet, but I am putting a sign in the back window warning people off the Impreza. I should have bought a larger SUV for the $ spent upfront, and now on gas. Yes, very disappointed.

    Do check the tranny issue before considering the Impreza CVT.
  • Mpg on car readout said 33.2 mpg and my math calculated 31.2 mpg. So, a difference of about 6% this time around. Wish Sub wouldn't make their readout so optimistic because its just a plain old LIE. However, that mileage was lots of freeway driving at speeds of mostly 65-85 mph to and from work. Some stop light in town driving also thrown in there. On a highway going under 60 mpg I can easily get a real 40 mpg(43 mpg indicated).
  • @Mbluto, So, why don't you use the paddle shifters downhill if you don't like the higher revs? I use paddles all the time in cases like that. 30 mpg isn't bad at all depending on how fast you're driving. It IS an AWD, so what do you want? Don't expect mpg in the stratosphere and don't compare the car to some 2 wheel drive something or other when your talking mpg. They aren't comparable. A larger SUV? lol. Even a small SUV like a CRV is going to cost $28k. My 5 door Sub Sport cost $21k. My wife's new Honda CRV get's 21 mpg by the way in the city.
  • mblutombluto Posts: 6
    Freddy man, you need to read... carefully.

    I can't drive the thing any more carefully.

    " So, why don't you use the paddle shifters downhill if you don't like the higher revs?"
    Um, if I wanted a manual I would have bought one. Paddle shifters are useless around turns.

    "It IS an AWD, so what do you want?"
    How about mileage as advertised. Those mpg calculations are for 'normal' driving. With my easy hwy driving I expected AT LEAST the advertised mileage. And Freddy, check the estimated mileage on the Versa... then come back and you can excuse that uninformed comment.

    Careful driving can't overcome a poorly designed transmission . For those who are don't experience this in their Impreza CVT, imagine your driving 58 mph on the highway and you reach a long downhill - when stepping off the gas a little the car downshifts and the engine is actually breaking the car. I've never ever experienced this in any other car... and my parents have the Outback cvt.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    getting about 29 - 30 mpg

    I just checked fuelly for the SX4 and you're doing a lot better:

    They tend to get mid 20s.

    CVT didn't bother me on a test drive, but it wasn't a hilly area.

    Is it adaptive, i.e. notice any changes over time?
  • mblutombluto Posts: 6
    I mentioned my experience with the Versa S to establish that my route and driving style have resulted in great mileage in the past. The Versa is rated at 26 cty - 32 hwy, and never in the year that I owned it did it go under 32. I got 36 - 37 a few times and often 35 mpg.

    Now I'm driving a car rated at 28 - 36 and I'm getting under 30, and I'm driving it even more carefully than the Versa.

    "Is it adaptive, i.e. notice any changes over time? "
    Not sure. I have noticed the tranny shifting back and forth more on some hills - though I know I'm more attuned to the shifts now than I was during the first few weeks. I don't know if the tranny is adapting, or I'm just more sensitive to it. Perhaps both.
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