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2012+ Subaru Impreza Real World Fuel Economy

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  • oxmeadoxmead Posts: 65
    My '12 sport limited averages 28-30 mixed, and I have gotten up to 37 on highway trips. It has gone down in colder weather. I have a highway trip coming up and will report. I never reset the trip 2 , so when I put it on it gives me the average on all 6500 miles and readout says 33 , in reality probably 31. I think that's pretty good for an awd car.
  • A am also a disappointed 2012 Impreza driver. I'm only at the 2,500 mile mark and the owners manual says not to expect to get the advertised mpg until after the first 3,000, so I have been trying to be patient. However, today I talked with the service manager and he said the mileage should improve at around 18,000 miles! That seems ridiculous and if true should be in the advertising otherwise there is a huge truth-in-advertising issue here, given how the car is represented both in ads and in its owner's manual. I know how to drive for FE and I do. My travel has been a mix of about town (top speeds of 40 mph) and three five hour road trips using cruise control set at 75 (the speed limit). This is I-70 through Kansas, not as flat as the stereotype, but not mountainous by any means. I did expect a period of breaking in, but not average in-town mpg of 19 or average hwy mpg of 22. I knew the mpg compromise for AWD vs, say, my husband's Prius, but I don't think its unreasonable to expect the car to come somewhere close to the advertised mpg well before it hits 18,000 miles. I am also well aware that HWY mpg are based on 55 mph and I drive the speed limit, so I didn't expect the hwy mileage to be quite as good. But I drive the heck out of my 20-year-old Porsche (in and out of town) and it is still averaging 33 mpg per tank of gas. I bought the Impreza Sport for the added space and combined AWD and comparatively good fuel economy. I do not drive it like its my Porsche, its purpose is different. I choose it over a couple of other possibilities because I keep my vehicles a long time (sometimes forever) and Subaru bills itself as the car people keep. Not this time, if the mileage doesn't reach the promised levels pretty soon. I otherwise like the car and really hope it improves. The problem is that I do not put many miles on my vehicles per year so, given average miles added per year on my previous vehicles, it will take four or five years to get to the 18,000 mile mark and I'm not willing to wait that long. Subaru just needs to fix this, or be honest in its advertising. I could be a long-time loyal Subie owner, but that's not looking likely right about now. If I trade off the Impreza, it won't be on another Subaru.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,269
    My brother is in the same boat with being disappointed about a recently-purchased car's fuel economy. He drives mostly highway miles, and it gets nowhere near the advertised mileage.

    I keep telling him the same thing I'm going to write here:

    You'll not make up the investment by trading to a different car in fuel cost alone. The only rational reason to switch cars is because you want a different car. At that point, the more fuel efficient one might save you money, but you aren't going to come out ahead vs. keeping a car you already own.

    There is a reason for the phrase, "your mileage may vary." Hopefully the point is moot and fuel economy will improve for you.
  • I know, but there comes a point of diminishing returns. I will be very excited if the mileage gets better in the next few months, but if it does not, getting rid of the the ongoing feeling of having been mislead and lied to (betrayal) by a company that touts itself as customer-focused will make the difference. I really want this car to work out. My best friend had a little Subie hatchback in the late '70s through the mid '80s that went camping, boating, loaded down to the max and it had more than 300,000 miles on it (across all sorts of terrain) by the time she sold it to a friend--(Little Red is probably STILL trekking on somewhere out there). I bought into the myth because those very positive (and fun!) experiences, which makes the disappointment more keen. I will continue to have patience. But not for 18,000 more miles.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    edited February 2013
    When it's this cold.

    My averages are way down (Sienna, Miata). It's also short drives in my case, but my averages are down 5-7mpg due to the frigid temps and engines that never fully warm up, it seems.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,269
    edited February 2013
    getting rid of the the ongoing feeling of having been mislead and lied to (betrayal) by a company that touts itself as customer-focused will make the difference.

    I understand completely. I've been there before, too. :cry:
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,269
    Same here, AJ. Our Forester averages about 26 during the warmer six months, and a dismal 20 during the colder six. Just be glad you don't have your commuting schedule and my sub-arctic climate! :P
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    FWIW during the Hyundai controversy it was reported that only 3 companies got better mpg in Consumer Reports real world tests than what they claim in EPA lab tests - VW, Mazda, and (surprise) Subaru.

    Diesels work, SkyActiv works, and AWD doesn't seem to be as big of a penalty as the EPA thinks.

    Honestly I think the bigger problem is people focus on the highway figures. Elantra's average 27 mpg on fuelly.com but that's nowhere near the 40 highway number. BTW the Impreza is about even with the Elantra.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,269
    True; very true. My lifetime average on the Forester (even with the winter mileage) over 50,000 miles is 23.6. EPA claims 22 combined. On top of that, I frequently haul heavy loads or trailers when I do take "highway" trips with it, so my mileage isn't necessarily stellar on those times, either. :P
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    It takes a mile or two of driving for that blue light to go off ( indicating a cold engine), during that warm up fuel efficiency sucks.
  • Just beginning to do some research on Impreza mileage and came across your review. My wife has a 2012 Imprezza Sport with the 5 speed. She traded in her old 2001 Forester. We expected a great improvement in mileage but are getting 2-4 MPG less than the old Forester and with less power to boot. Car is getting 22-24 combined mileage.

    I have a Mazda 3 that was listed at 38 MPG and I've had as high as 39 and a low of 31 and most tanks average 35-36 with similar driving as my wife. We both keep log books for each fill so these are real numbers, not an electronic average by the car's info panel.

    It seems some owners say they get good mileage. I really wonder if they are accurate? We've had the car back to the dealer and are getting the same run around and excuses.

    Thanks for your review, we share your frustration.
  • dcm61dcm61 Posts: 1,432
    We both keep log books for each fill so these are real numbers, not an electronic average by the car's info panel.

    Before you believe your hand calculated numbers, check the odometer ... it is off by up to 10% (shows less than actual miles traveled). Thus, the info panel is closer than people realize.
  • My 2012 Impreza CVT hatchback gets between 22 and 25 MPG with just over 10,000 miles on the car to date. This is the first car I've owned that the actual gas mileage for my standard country and highway driving is less than the city MPG rating. If this was the advertised rating it would not have even made it to my final list.

    It seems kind of coincidental that it wasn't on my list, primarily due to the MPG rating on the 2011, until the 2012 numbers were released. I've contact Subaru and my local dealer and so far have gotten canned answers. I'm curious, does anyone know if the testing standards have changed or given the automakers more room in reporting these numbers?
  • clifmclifm Posts: 4
    edited February 2013
    After 8500 mi and about a year of driving my Impreza manual hatchback, watching the mileage, calculating the mileage, and making notes, I have a few tips...
    I just made a back-roads round trip from Chattanooga TN to Asheville NC and averaged right on 42 mpg for the trip (The display said 46 but real-world numbers corrected it down to 42), so I think I have figured out what works!

    1. Tire inflation has been the largest single variable. The tires have a capacity of 51 psi but the dealership had only inflated to 32. Needless to say my first few tanks of gas didn't go far. Also the higher pressure tires seem to need topping off every month or so. I can drive around on a tank of gas with the tires at 35 and then inflate them to 45 for the next tank, and get 10% to 15% better mileage for the same type of trips.
    2. Hills don't seem to make a difference, but out of habit I always slip out of gear going down. Staying in gear going downhill reduces mileage somewhat.
    3. 45-55 mph seems ideal. Speeds over about 60 mph rapidly decrease efficiency.
    4. Cold weather rapidly decreases efficiency, especially with short trips.
    5. Oddly, running the AC in summer doesn't seem to be nearly as detrimental as driving in the cold winter air. That one surprised me.
    6. Having the mileage display turned on actually results in getting better mileage; I probably am subconsciously adjusting my habits somewhat.
    7. It doesn't seem like ethanol vs no-ethanol gas makes a difference. I have not tried anything other than 87octane, although I do notice some spark knock from time to time. In the coming months I may experiment with a mid-grade gasoline.

    After taking these things into account I can usually average right on 30 mpg in mixed driving, 32-34 on 75 mph interstate driving in warm weather, and upwards of 40 mpg on long leisurely backroads trips. For cold weather (below 35F for us southerners!), everything takes a 5-10% hit.
  • jd_24jd_24 Posts: 92
    For the most part I'll agree with your post. I typically get 31 to 37mpg.

    I'd lower the tire pressure a bit. The higher pressures will make for a harser ride and possibly less traction even on dry roads. Keep in mind the tires are fairly different from the base model to the sport limited. I do try to keep mine about 35psi on a Sport Premium, which is more than the recomended (31psi ??)

    I'd add a number 8 and 9 to your list.

    8. Length of drive/commute. 20+ miles helps. As you point out the cold weather makes a big difference. Any commute less than maybe 10 miles doesn't get to bring the average back up from the first 4 or 5 miles of a cold engine, and drive train. Even my old 2001 OB was the same way. The first 4 or 5 miles on a cold day 20F or colder, I bet it barely averages 20mpg.

    9. Winter gas blends. Its not always more ethanol. In many cases its more butane that is added during the winter. 10% ethanol is required in many places year round. While ethanol is probably a factor, I think other additves in the winter blend have a bigger factor.
  • 45 psi (cold tire pressure) will trip a tire pressure light when the asphalt gets 100+. I really didn't notice any handling difference between 42 psi and 32 psi.

    Mileage wise, simply keep the rpms below 2000, top speed below 65 mph, and take the foot off the gas well in advance of a stop. The car will maximize with those conditions.

    John
  • I have a 2012 Impreza Hatchback that I love....EXCEPT for the MPG. I've had my car checked at the dealership for this and they brush it off on "winter mix" of fuel. I also drive only 1-2 miles to work and they say that also may be part of the issue.
    Here is my MPG at present: 12.6!!!! This is a new tank of gas with about 40 miles on it. I also have reset both trips A and B, because the dealer said that I should do that as well.
    I rarely have highway driving. Mostly all short spurts in city.
    I've had my car since August, and did not have this kind of MPG then. It's been this winter.
    I've also experienced a couple really hard starts that showed no computer codes when serviced.
    I wish someone would come up with a solution.
    Certainly is wrong of SUBARU to put the kind of MPG on the window sticker and commercials that they advertise when it is so NOT TRUE!
  • This "BRUSH OFF" is THE TRUTH!!! Do some research, you'll find it to be the case. Your 1-2 mile drive is a mpg KILLER as well. Your engine doesn't even have time to warm up to its normal operating temperature, so not only does this drive the mpgs down, then add in the winter mix gas and no highway driving + short spurt drives and yes, you should be getting 12mpgs! Here's a solution for your mpg problem, if it's only 1-2 miles to work, why not walk, or walk 2 or 3 times a week, it'll extend your time between fill ups so MPGs would no longer matter?
  • jd_24jd_24 Posts: 92
    Ouch! The 1 to 2 mile commute is the problem for sure. Over a year ago I read in the Toyota Prius Forum the somebody there had a similar issue. The Prius returned something like 22 mpg for their 4 mile commute. The commute was too short for the engine to warm-up and for the batteries to charge.

    Subaru posts numbers on the sticker based on EPA tests. These tests are a standard that all manufacturer's are supposed to use. So unless Subaru faked the tests, they aren't lying about the MPG. Should the EPA have a wider range of tests? Certainly. Maybe 4 tests like "short trip", "city", "highway", "highspeed". That way they would fit a wider range of driving styles.
  • oxmeadoxmead Posts: 65
    I just returned from a 2200 mile road trip, and the Impreza IS capable of the epa numbers and more. The 950 mile return trip got a 41.4 average readout ( 39 actual) Trick is you have to keep it at 60 or under! The temp was mid 30's and no high winds. Conditions were mostly flat but rain and light snow.

    PS, I also did some awd driving in 8 inghes of snow in a Target parking lot and had a blast!
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