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Mazda5 Owners MPG-Real World Numbers



  • ts_m5ts_m5 Posts: 4
    I just filled up my 2010 Sport Auto for the first time and for 297.5 miles (of which 215 were highway), and I got a dismal 22.5 mpg. My 2003 Saturn ION 3 (75k miles) which I traded for the 5 was still getting 27+ on the same roads, same driving style. I usually set the cruise around 72-73 mph on the highway.

    The ION was similar 4cyl 2.2L vs 4cyl 2.3L, both automatic but the 5 is about 800lbs heavier. (In fact the length, width, turning radius are almost identical which is why this was the perfect replacement for the ION, but I'm getting off topic). Using 87 octane.

    So based on some of the other posts, I'll try to keep it under 70 on the highway and see if that helps. I also can't vouch for the dealer 'topping' it off, but it was very close to full.
  • arumagearumage Posts: 922
    I also have a FWD 2005 Ford Freestyle. I average 19-21 city and 23-26 highway. Mileage greatly varies in our Freestyle due to the number of hills on the journey and the speed. My interest for the Mazda5 is mostly due to size. The Freestyle is a pretty large vehicle (18" longer than the Mazda5 but only 5" longer wheelbase). The Mazda5 is infinitely more maneuverable and far more enjoyable to drive, especially at 0-30, where the Freestyle feels much more labored. I love the Freestyle, but I can definitely see where the current Mazda5 could be very compelling, even with the somewhat unimpressive mileage numbers.
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,997
    I think you're getting the good MPG because you have the manual tranny. Most people have the auto. With a manual, you can really control the shift points to max out MPG as well as the fact that a manual gets better MPG. The newer auto trannies though are supposed to get the same MPG as manuals, so we'll see.
  • dean1966dean1966 Posts: 17
    You may be right about the manual tranny having an advantage.

    I have more new data too as I just got back from another long trip. We went from milwaukee to yellowstone and then on to arco ID to see craters of the moon nat'l monument, nearly 3700 miles total, and to avoid using ethenol gas in yellowstone, I wound up trying premium.

    Suprisingly, the premium gas produced higher mpg. Previous best was 34 mpg in an unusual drive of 60 mph with no air, no wind and level terrain.

    New best of 35.04 mpg was in moderately hilly, 68 mph with air on, only difference being the premium fuel.

    In mountainous yellowstone with a speed limit of 45 mph I also saw 34 mpg with 87 octane and a new record of 39 mpg with premium. ( the 5 gets really good milage in the mountains for some reason).

    I think that the motor must allow more timing advance with higher octane to produce these results. To my mind this probally means that there would be no advantage for low load city type driving.

    I did save a tiny bit on my total trip fuel costs as the mpg improvement was slightly higher than the % increase of the premium fuel, with the added advantage, at least for out west driving is extended range. 16 gallons at 35 mpg is 560 miles.
  • ts_m5ts_m5 Posts: 4
    Wow, you're really getting good mileage. My second tank, keeping it under 70, air, another highway trip, was just over 28, so much better than my first tank of 22.5. A third tank for 25.5 was based on some hills in the Shenandoah Valley (which btw the car felt very underpowered, and I would hardly consider myself to be well under heavy load even though it amazes me how much 1 toddler requires!). The last tank, on the way home, was 28.5. I have always been using 87 octane. Maybe I'll fill up with 92/93 before the next highway trip.
  • larry8061larry8061 Posts: 37
    My last tank of a lot of freeway driving was 30.7.............

  • stillageekstillageek Posts: 101
    I drive very little. I have 17,400 miles after 26 months. Over the last 26 months I have averaged 26.9 MPG. Mostly around town driving. Longest trip ever 80 miles. Most trips under 15 miles. Very happy with the Mazda5.
  • sweendogysweendogy Posts: 1,052
    given the mpgs, the space, the style would you get this car again given all factors-- my wife looking at used 08-09-10 m5
  • ts_m5ts_m5 Posts: 4
    edited July 2010
    Yes I would recommend it to anyone who needs a sub-minivan that seats 6. I think it is ideal for us young families with 2 kids that don't want a minivan or SUV. It really is in its own class for seating, size, and sliding doors.
  • sweendogysweendogy Posts: 1,052
    thank you.. i have 1 young kid.. was thinking this or the mazda 3 hatch as well
  • I have the 2010 Mazda 5 sport (manual transmission) and my last tank got me 15.66 mpg in the city.

    My average, with basically 100% city driving, has been about 18 mpg.

    On a road trip last summer to Michigan, our top mpg was 33.6 on the highway.

    I was expecting better - and this most recent reading really floored me. Surely I can't be *that* much of a lead foot! Very strange...

  • It adds more meaning to zoom zoom as now you can watch the zoom zoom of the fuel needle hehe. Well I am sure the next Mazda will have a 6 speed to save gas oh ya they are not lol.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 16,887

    Well, as for the most recent reading... where do you live? Here in NJ, we get reformulated gas in the winters and mileage drops quite a bit.

    As to your driving... how do you drive? I've always gotten superior mileage with a stick vs automatic. I've read the best way to get good mileage in a manual trans car is "foot to the floor and short shift." So you can pin the go pedal, but just shift 2500rpms or so and you should do OK.

    '13 Stang GT; '86 Benz 300E; '98 Volvo S70; '12 Leaf; '08 Town&Country

  • I'm in chilly Minnesota.

    I don't generally wait to shift at higher rpms, so that shouldn't be much of an issue.

    I don't know much about the gas we get here, though I do generally opt for the mid-range octane choice. Maybe I should try the higher octane gas to see if that makes even a bit of difference.

    I was just surprised to see that my mileage was so much lower than seemingly everyone else's that I came across on the forum. Two or three mpg's wouldn't be cause for alarm, but six or eight less sure seems odd.

  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 16,887
    the trick isn't just the low rpms, but also the foot to the floor and upshifting. It means you are in the lower gears for as short of a time as possible while not revving too far, either. In other words, getting to 5th gear as fast as possible and staying there as long as possible.

    '13 Stang GT; '86 Benz 300E; '98 Volvo S70; '12 Leaf; '08 Town&Country

  • That is a very valid point. re the formulation of the gas. keep in mind that you get about 10% less gas mileage when there is ethanol mixed with it at about a 5% ratio. and they tend to add extra to winter gas (because it absorbs water). Remember gallon for gallon, pure ethanol contains one-third less energy than gasoline. The other side affect is that ethanol is very corrosive which is why they can not use pipelines because of it. The Mazda 5 is not designed to be used with ethanol so I would avoid it anyway. The ethanol industry say you can us up to 10%, on any car, but to me that is like saying you can eat a small amount of mercury and not die lol
  • The thoughts about shifting are interesting.

    I checked the manual and it says the proscribed speed to upshift from 2>3 for "cruising" from would be at 18 mph, and from 3>4 29 mph.

    I've pretty much always shifted my manuals over the years from 2>3 at about 27 or 28 mph, and from 3>4 at 38 or above (with adjustments for hilly conditions, etc.).

    Assuming their recommendations take into consideration fuel economy and general engine health, it looks like I might benefit from lowering my shifting points quite a bit.

    It also has a grid with general upshift recommendations for "acceleration", which I presume would be not for cruising but accelerating to top speed - which specify 24 mph for 2>3, and 34 mph for 3>4.

    Either way, I come out well above those numbers with my usual practices.

    I've always felt funny cruising along for any length of time with the tachometer stuck down on the lower end of the register, feeling like it might be putting undue strain on something in the engine or transmission. (Worst case scenario, sitting in the passenger seat while someone else rolls around a corner in third gear...!)

    Is there an optimal range to observe for rpm's?

  • An associate in the emissions testing field once told me that low rpm / larger throttle openings / early shifting will produce better fuel economy, so I've been following that for a while (and of course, no more "larger throttle opening" than required). These modern, electronically-controlled engines are amazingly tractable (IMHO, having owned 4-cyl cars since the 70's) so much of the old-days "lugging/knocking/danger" advice rarely is needed. As well, w/r/t your concern for strain on the drivetrain, at low rpms the engine is well off its torque or hp peak ratings, so no worries there either.

    My Sport5MT is usually in 5th at 40mph, no issues, and I tend to use the tallest gear that works in the given situation. Which is, actually, how many modern automatics are programmed for best fuel economy (to the point where enthusiastic drivers will gripe, for vehicles where "kickdown" to a lower gear doesn't occur quickly/seamlessly).

    Just a data point.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 16,887
    I concur with ljmattox's post.

    As to your question... if I'm dealing with low-speed city driving, I only look to keep it at 1500 rpms or above. So if I'm driving so slow that 4th gear puts me at, let's say, 1800, but 5th would be 1300, then I use 4th. If you do need to put your foot down while cruising at such low rpms, then you simply downshift.

    Let us know how you make out.

    '13 Stang GT; '86 Benz 300E; '98 Volvo S70; '12 Leaf; '08 Town&Country

  • Good to know - thanks for all the info. I have a full tank as of today, so I'll report back when I next check the mileage.

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