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Scion MPG-Real World Numbers



  • dwynnedwynne Posts: 4,018
    I assume when you typed grape you meant gripe?

    She is complaining about averaging 30mpg? EPA MPG on the xB is 30/34 mpg with an auto and the CR test reported 23/37mpg with an average of 30mpg. Sounds like she is getting the average number. As was mentioned, driving a bit slower on the freeway/Interstate can net an easy increase in fuel mileage - but who wants to go slow :D

  • "... I do not tend to stop for fuel until I'm down almost to the warning light, which is usually the last leg of my 3rd day of commuting... by topping off the tank, I have extra fuel for unforeseen traffic issues..."

    You would be better prepared for unforeseen traffic issues if you refueled at 1/2 or at least 1/4 tank.

    "I don't go by the pop-off switch on the pump..."

    By topping off, you risk getting gas into the vent for vapor recovery system, which taps into the filler neck just below the gas cap. This could foul the emissions system and cause an error code. For this reason, many owners manuals recommend against topping off.

    My manual xB gets routinely gets 33 mpg in daily driving, I fill up with 8 gallons long before the light comes on, and am satisfied with the resulting 250+ miles between gas stops.
  • You are correct. Do not top off your fuel tank. Liquid gasoline in the vapor recovery system = big trouble.
  • An xB called a grape is dark blue.
  • dwynnedwynne Posts: 4,018
    Or his wife could have a gripe about her xB :D

    I call mine "Chief" or "Big Chief" which is short for "Big Chief Thundercloud". A running joke between my daughter and I that started when she looked at the xB for herself (she ended up with a new Civic).

  • The xA should EASILY get over 40mpg highway. I owned a 86 Escort 4sp, no options, always 45mpg highway. (Not that the Escort even approached the xA's polish.) However, I kept it at the host wisely noted here, exceeding 70mph or so really cuts the mileage. I think the xA was designed for optimum efficiency at 60mph. (Isn't Japan's highway speed limit even less than that?) Cruising faster than that doesn't strain the engine, but it does increase revs big-time.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,422
    I've queried quite a few xA owners and nobody gets over 40 mpg... I mean folks who carefully record their mileage over time. Once on a fluke I got 39 mpg meandering all day in 5th gear at 45 mph on country roads with no stops.

    I suppose you could get into the "hypermiler" mentality and achieve this but for normal use on normal road conditions, I don't think 40 mpg is xA's normal territory. It's rare for a car to exceed its upper EPA estimates anyway.

    But yeah, you COULD squeeze 40 mpg but it's not easy IMO.

    So far the people I'm in touch with report identical average mileage to mine---that's 33-35 mpg over a year's time or so.


  • dwynnedwynne Posts: 4,018
    I don't know that you could predict what mileage an xA would return based on an 86 Escort :D . Using that logic the EPA could skip all those tests and just predict what a car would return without testing it. If they did, THEY might be more accurate than they are now, however.

    The 60mph thing is not that it was "designed" to for the most part, but just simple math and science. The faster you drive the more power is required to maintain the speed due to wind resistance. But it is not a linear formula - see formula here. As is noted in the text, it requires 8x the power to drive 2x the speed. So going 50mph rather than 60mph would save more than simple math would indicate, and going 70mph rather than 60mph would use more than simple math would indicate. I also costs to get up to that speed - more than it does to just maintain it. The you factor in terrain - you get to coast down but have to power up hills. Most of us set the cruise at a speed thinking we get the best mileage that way - that is not true. We do get better than if we slowed down and speed back up due to inattention to our speed, but not as good a mileage as hypermilers due when they allow the car to slow down when they go up a hill, then speed back up once they crest it (more of a constant throttle driving than constant speed). Of course, you don't want to be in traffic with someone driving like this, no matter how much they are saving.

    The amount of power needed and fuel burned varies a lot depending (I would think) mostly on the drag coefficient of the car and the efficiency of the powertrain. My RX-8 would seem to have a nice, low drag coefficient but has a horribly inefficient powertrain. So driving a constant 60mph on a flat road my instantaneous MPG (as shown by an SGII) is around 20mpg. Drive 70mph and, of course, it drops further. Drive on a normal road with the cruise set and it may drop to 10mpg going up a modest hill then jump up to 30-40mpg on the way down.

    There is a most efficient engine RPM that factors into this as well - this would be the "designed to" run you mention. In airplanes they have a best cruising speed - the speed at which the engine(s) uses the least fuel. If due to design choices in the engine and transmission your car is most efficient at some speed, then driving faster than that speed would make an even more dramatic drop in mileage occur becuase you are not only having to overcome more wind resistance on use more power, you are now operating your powertrain at an RPM at which it is not most efficient.

    While out riding one of my motorcycles I got stuck behind a LEO for many, many miles (limited access parkway and he was going to the end, same as me). So I had to ride 40-45mph constant the entire time. When I filled up I was amazed by the MPGs I got for that tank. I was bored to tears driving a constant, slow speed but that clearly returns MUCH better MPGs than my normal riding style :D

    Recently there was a news story (during the $3 a gallon gas days) about weight and MPGs. Seems if we all went on a diet we could save at the pump. So if I weigh 300 lbs and drive around with my car laden with stuff and you weigh 150 lbs and only carry what you need then if we drove the same car in the same style you would always best me in MPGs.

    So a lot goes into it, but in my case it is mostly driving style. Like on the bike, I just don't like driving in a hypermile kind of way. In my xB this means I get better mileage than I do in the RX-8, but would not be likely to get as good as others may post. I understand and accept that - and I have to pay the price for it at the pump :cry:

  • 12 vehicles and 29 years of driving and not 1 vehicle has had problems with the fuel in the vapor return line due to topping off the tank. Frankly, I have not experienced the issue.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,422
    well it's dangerous if nothing else. All you'd need is one bad experience. I suppose "rounding up" to the nearest zero might be okay but I see people compulsively trying to squeeze every drop into their tanks and it makes me nervous.


  • I just bought an '06 xA abouta month ago and after three tank fills, I'm only averaging 25-26 mpg. How can this be right? I'm not hard on the gas and drive about 70% of the time on the hwy. Where do the 31 city/ 37 hwy come from? Can I go back to my dealership with this problem? False advertising? Somebody help me figure this out- The gas mileage was really the main reason why I bought this tiny car.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,422
    Hmmm....that's pretty weird. Do you use your defroster a lot while driving (that turns on the AC you know)....the mileage should get better as you obviously can't have more than 1000 miles on the car...I do remember my first tank was only 29 mpg or so, now I regularly average 33-35.

    I'd say that if it doesn't improve by 2,500--3,000 miles you have a problem of some kind.

    How's tire pressure? Try between 32-35 psi.

    What's your rpm reading at 60 mph?


  • Either something is wrong with the car, or your driving habits are not the best for economy.
    I have a manual 2006 xB and have kept a spreadsheet of each fillup since new. At 10,000 miles last Fall the overall average was 35 mpg. There were two tanks of 42 mpg holding steady 60 on Interstate trips, and two tanks of 37 mpg holding 55 on curvy hilly rural back road trips.
    In winter now the mileage has dropped to 30 mpg, with frigid cold starts in the AM, then short hops where the engine does not reach normal temperature on the ScanGuage, and engine temp dropping to 75F between between hops.
    I upshift at 2000 rpm, accelerate gently, cruise at 45 mph in 5th as much as possible, and don't go over 65 mph if possible.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,422
    I drive my xA really fast and really hard all the time and I never get worse than 30 mpg no matter how bad I am.


  • I just bought the car and it had 12 k on it already. It's an automatic if that makes any difference and it's been in the teens here the past couple weeks. Maybe that is playing itno it. I do a lot of short trips too so your idea about the engine reaching efficient temp. makes sense. I checked the tires and they were down at 22 PSI so I filled them up to 39. Is that too much? Thanks for the input!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,422
    39 is too much....35 would be a good experiment. If your tires were down to 22 psi that will certainly hurt fuel mileage, and so will low engine temperatures. I bet the inflated tires will boost your mileage 10% at least. You might consider synthetic oil for another 1-3% boost in mileage.


  • I bought an automatic 2006 Scion Xa last fall; it has around 3500 miles on it. It's "supposed" to get 31/38 mpg. In fact, it averages 27, with a range of 24.x when it's cold out or I have passengers w/ luggage, to 29-30 mpg if I take a long trip (ONCE I got 30.1 mpg; twice I got 29.x.)

    My friend bought the same model/year and gets 27-28 mpg. We're both in the SF Bay Area, and self-employed, which means we are almost never in stop-and-go commute traffic.

    I wouldn't have even take the Scion for a test drive if I'd known the mileage claims were bogus. I'd rented / borrowed other cars in its class which gave me 30-32 combined city/fwy mileage. I'm very disappointed -- no, more than disappointed: I'm ANGRY!

    Here's a link to a newspaper article that mentions (near the end) the way Toyota fudges its mileage claims:
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,422
    You probably have the automatic, right?

    Well the mileage should get better by about 10,000 miles. Also you could test your tire inflation, and after your first oil change at 5K you could go to synthetic oil. If you can get up to 32 average mpg, that's about as good as it gets with an automatic xA.


  • I brought mine back to the dealership and told them straight up (after they did their "tests") that what they sold me was a car under false pretenses. A sub compact getting 23.5 is a joke. They ummm and ahhed a bit and gave me the same old "You should try this . . " but I already had done all they said. The pre owned manager took my car back for what I bought it for, this 6 weeks after buying it. Kind of surprised me. In turn, he gave me a Yaris S sedan for invoice. Even if it gets the same mileage, which it shouldn't, it's defiently "more" car for only $9 more a month. This is Toyota's last chance for me. I only like honest companies no matter what they're selling.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,422
    23.5? That IS shockingly bad mileage.


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