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Acura TL Real World MPG



  • I've gotten 22mpg combined on my '06 manual TL ever since I bought it in Chicago traffic. That's MID, not calculated.
  • We drive 2006 TL Manual Tran. We live in the Chicago burbs. 75% hwy 25% city.
    Midgrade gas, 100k
    On OEM tires we were getting 27-29mpg, usually closer to 29 than 27. For the 1st 50k mi.
    With Conti Extreme Contact tires we dropped to 25-27mpg, and even worse when the Conti's were brand new.

    I've found that the sweet spot for good MPG is between 70-75mph. Taking it to 75-80mph can lose 1-2 mpg quickly ( maybe 3 over extended time?) You may think you're getting there quicker, but if you can make the trip w/ 1 less stop for gas, that prob. will save you 15 min, give or take :)

    Keep the shifts close to 3,000 rpm
  • If you want to get the maximum mileage or maximum performance then yes you need to use premium. But, all Acura cars will run on any gas. Using a lower octane rating will cause the engine computer to retard the timing to eliminate predetonation (or what a lot of people call pinging). As it retards the timing the power is reduced and as the power is reduced it take more gas to do the same work thus overall mileage is reduced. In my 2007 TL I get about 3 MPG less on regular versus premium. So, it actually costs a little less per mile when using premium versus regular.

    In addition to reduced mileage the reduced power due to the retarded timing can make a notable difference in performance. When I first tried regular on a highway trip I could tell it took a little longer to get up to highway speeds. But, once when I had to quickly accelerate from 65 MPH to avoid someone there wasn't much extra power available, in fact, I had to floor it to get even a moderate amount of acceleration from 65 MPH. When using premium the car will rapidly accelerate from 65 MPH even when the gas is not pressed all the way to the floor.
  • Believe it or not, your wife's "conservative driving" is what is tanking your mileage, that and the auto trans. I am an aggressive driver and accelerate quite hard at ALL times to 5-10 mph above the limit. Since I bought my 08 TLS 6M in 2007, I have yet to get less than 20 mpg CITY....yes, stop and go with hard acceleration. I usually average 21-22. Until 2009 I lived 23 miles from my work and had to drive about 16 miles on the freeway. Usually at 75-80. I was pulling in an average of 24-25.

    Here is the secret. Any acceleration at all yields poor mileage, it doesn't matter if you are ginger on the throttle or accelerate like I do. Your instantaneous mileage will be maybe 10-15 mpg. In your wife's case, lets say we have to drive 4 blocks to the next light. I will be doing the speed limit, or 10 above in about 200-300 feet. Your wife's conservative driving will cause her to spend maybe 3 or 4 times that distance accelerating, albeit slowly. As soon as I get to cruising speed I am getting 35-40 mpg, while she is still getting 15. This easily makes up for my more aggressive acceleration.

    Also when I mean "aggressive" acceleration I am talking about moderate throttle and shifting below 4000 rpm. I usually shift 1-2-3-6 in this type of driving. I also drive a 1998 Ford Ranger with an EPA "19 City/ 21 Combined/ 24 Highway". I drive it the same way and get 21 combined.

    There have been numerous tests to back up this theory, I am just amazed they don't disseminate it. Maybe because they don't want to give people the idea of aggressive driving. BMW did such a study once and concluded that "brisk acceleration" was the most economical. Try it, it works. At least it does with a manual, since I don't drive auto trans cars I can't vouch for them. :shades:
  • sg5sg5 Posts: 4
    Thanks chirocat for your detailed explanation. It does makes sense to me. I am definitely going to try it.
  • chirocatchirocat Posts: 73
    Please post your results, I am sure hopping it's not just me LOL.
  • mcb345mcb345 Posts: 15
    I have an interesting little comparison here... I previously had a 2009 TSX manual that was rated at 20mpg/28mpg with a combined of 23 mpg. I live in Chicago and have the same commute of a mile or two in the city and 10-12 miles of stop and go highway driving. I averaged about 26mpg with the TSX.

    I recently got a new 2012 TL, I currently have just under 400 miles on it. EPA rates the car at 20mpg / 29mpg, combined 23 (so 1mph better on highway and the rest are the same as the TSX). I don't quite understand how a car with 80 more hp, another 300lbs and two more cylinders yields better gas mileage (comon that 6 speed auto isn't THAT great??!!) but that's what the EPA says! After a week with the new car,driving pretty much the same style / acceleration rates as my old car, I'm averaging at best 22mpg during my normal commute. Strictly city driving is definitely MUCH worse than my TSX even though they're rated at the same 20mpg.

    My question... Are the EPA estimates THAT far off on my previous TSX (extremely underrated) or is the TL just not broken in quite yet? In my opinion there is noway that the larger, more powerful TL is going to achieve numbers like the TSX, even with the new 6 speed auto.

    Since I achieved roughly 3 mpg above EPA combined in the TSX on my normal 13 mile commute shouldn't I also expect the same with the TL and not slightly BELOW the estimates? I cant vouch for the fuel that the dealer put in (still on my first tank) but I would assume it isn't going to make that much of a difference?? Anyone have any input??
  • samiam_68samiam_68 Posts: 775
    Car manufacturers in the last couple of years have learned to trick the new EPA tests very well to come up with inflated EPA numbers. New cars are tuned to give their best economy under specific EPA test conditions.
  • prprt33prprt33 Posts: 9
    I've noticed that the EPA estimates are low compared to my real world driving MPG results. They say my 2005 Acura TL gets 18 City and 26 Highway, when the real results are 26MPG blended and 29MPG highway. I use 91 octane and stay very current on all preventative maintenance. I have 154,000 miles on it and she is still running like a champ. I agree with you guys, hard to beat MPG, power and looks still 7 years after I bought it new.
  • mcb345mcb345 Posts: 15
    This must be the case SAMIAM_68, where Acura managed tune the car for maximum possible MPG for the EPA test to get inflated #'s. Obviously I'd expect my 2009 TSX with a 200hp inline 4 manual transmission to get better mileage than a 280hp V-6 even if the EPA estimates were pretty much the exact same. Very disappointing that I'd see such a drastic difference between the two cars though, shame on the EPA! '

    Does anyone know of any non-government companies that test fuel economy for various car manufacturers that release this info to the public?
  • mcb345mcb345 Posts: 15
    prprt33... Your 2005 TL real world mileage and my 2009 TSX real world mileage solidify the fact that the EPA's #'s underrated older cars while new 2012 cars are overrated in terms of fuel economy.
  • rowdyreptilerowdyreptile Posts: 2
    edited April 2012
    I'm in the very same boat. I went from a 2004 TSX 6MT (21/29mpg under old ratings) to a 2012 TL (20/29mpg new). I too was surprised that a car 400 lbs heavier could get very nearly the same mpg.

    As I read the ratings, the 04 TSX would have been 19/27 under the new ratings. According to all that, the TL is rated better than the old TSX. Still, hard to believe, but I'd hoped that eight years of efficiency improvements had actually made that difference.

    My driving is primarily city and I was consistently at 22-23 mpg in the TSX. I just filled up my TL for the first time and got about 18.5mpg. Disappointing, and I hope it'll improve as it breaks in.
  • mcb345mcb345 Posts: 15
    I have put on a quick 2400 miles over the last month due to a few 600 miles trips. I THINK the fuel economy is improving. The wind does play a big factor in this car I have found. Going against the wind averaging 70mph I got about 26.5 mpg but going with the wind over 300 miles at just about the same speed I got 32 mpg which I was very very happy with. It seems to be averaging 29 on the highway now, I'm hoping that means the city numbers have improved as well.
  • chirocatchirocat Posts: 73
    The car will definitely get better as it gets past 5000 miles. The automatic will cost you in city driving but the overdrive coupled with the higher torque of the v-6 makes the Tl get better mpg on the highway. Since the most important measures of fuel economy on the highway are wind resistance, tire friction and rpm/engine load, the TL has the potential to equal or better the smaller engine. In acceleration though, the automatic and the greater mass conspire against the TL. Also, if you are driving gingerly with respect to acceleration, it will hurt the TL, as the transmission will shift sooner and put more load on the engine. Again, all acceleration kills mileage, so might as well minimize the time doing it while maximizing cruise time.
  • Thanks.. good info, chirocat. I may give that a try.. I've been watching the MPG readout and trying to go easy on the gas, though maybe that's the wrong idea. On this current tank, I'm around 16mpg reported (after only 25 miles of purely city driving). On a stretch including mostly interstate driving, it reported around 25mpg, though my average is more like 18mpg.

    Also, my tires may be slightly under-inflated. I filled them up to 33 PSI when slightly warm, but then on a cold morning they're reporting as 30 PSI. I was a little disappointed that it came from the dealer under-inflated. (I've only had it a month now.. just started my 3rd tank of gas).
  • nappa18nappa18 Posts: 2
    we picked up our new acura TL about 2 weeks ago and have noticed the dashboard display showing that mileage is 13.2 mpg. we've driven only about 150 miles (all local suburban driving) but this still seems alarmingly inefficient. is there a problem. the car is advertised at 20 mpg city and even brand new we expected something close to that.

    thanks for any input.
  • samiam_68samiam_68 Posts: 775
    Wait until your 3rd tank to start calculating MPG correctly. Make sure to reset the meter after every fill-up and also do a manual method - Miles driven / Gallons to fill.
  • nappa18nappa18 Posts: 2
    thanks samiam. will do.
  • billy3554billy3554 Posts: 147
    FWIW. Recently took a trip to Rhode Island, about 850 miles RT. Averaged 31.5 mpg on mostly highway driving at 65+. Amazing to me, the on-board mpg guide was quite accurate as it stated the average mpg to be 31.3. With a mix of rural (no highway) and city driving, with an admitted bit of lightness to the pedal, I seem to average about 26 mpg.
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