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Chevrolet Suburban and GMC Tahoe MPG - Real World Numbers

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Comments

  • duval1duval1 Posts: 28
    Have approx. 5000 miles on 07 Tahoe LTZ and am getting 18.5 mostly highway at 70 mph. I'm happy!
  • Good mileage...how do you measure...or calculate your mileage numbers?
  • duval1duval1 Posts: 28
    I read the average MPG figure from the onboard computer just before I fill up and I then reset it.
  • sls002sls002 Posts: 2,788
    Filling all the way to the gas cap is not a good idea. The fuel tank is vented and the spill over will end up in the charcoal filter.

    For those of you who have noticed, the average MPG that the DIC computes will miss the fuel/vapors that go through the charcoal filter.

    The best way to get accurate MPG results is to fill at the same pump or with the vehicle level. However, averaging a few tankfulls will average out differences in how full the tank is.
  • dardson1dardson1 Posts: 696
    06 Tahoe 2wd 5.3 standard axle z71 and getting mostly mid to high 15's around town (miles divided by fuel purchased every tank). I drive conservatively and avoid all the stuff that kills gas milage.
  • ahightowerahightower TXPosts: 512
    2005 Yukon XL, 3.42 gears

    We get about 15 around town, 19 on the highway. I can do slightly better if I'm really trying, but usually I just stay with the flow of traffic.

    I've found keeping the tires properly inflated, even going up a couple PSI from the recommended 32, makes a big difference. The DIC said we got 20.0 mpg on a recent vacation trip of almost exactly 1,000 miles. But doing it by hand, my DIC is usually about 0.5-1.0 mpg overly optimistic.
  • dardson1dardson1 Posts: 696
    I'm actually a little more aggressive about milage than I suggested in my post. I keep my tires close to 40 lbs. I doubt it makes that much difference over 35 lbs. (that's the number on my door sticker) but I suspect most people drive around with 2 or 3 low tires which does make a big difference. I don't use drive-up windows unless there is no one in it. I stick to the speed limit and use cruise around town when it's a mile to the next light. I drive like there's a police car behind me. I don't use the AC unless it's hot and never when a trip is too short for it to have an effect.
    For fun (and information) I drove one tank like a teenager just see what would happen. It was fun but milage dropped into the 13's which actually ain't that bad for a 5000 lb.+ vehicle. What I love about these trucks (I've owned 3) is that you can grandpa them around and get minivan milage.
    For the record, last 2 tanks with no AC I got 16+. I'm old enough to remember when 16+ was considered a respectable hwy number. Love my Tahoe, and my trip computer is consistently 0.5 over optimistic.
  • catamcatam Posts: 331
    Got back from a road trip to So. Cal. last week.
    Total miles travelled 1555, total fuel used 96 gals, works out to 16.2 MPG for entire trip.
    This is in my 03 Burb, 1500 4x4, 5.3 L with 3.73 gears. (I have LT tires that I keep inflated at 50 PSI).
    I set my cruise at 79mph for nearly the whole trip, and didn't need AC most of the time. I was loaded with my wife, 4 kids, and a weeks worth of vacation gear.
    Not too bad IMHO, I used to do the same trip in a Chev Venture minivan that averaged 26MPG. Unfortunately the Venture wouldn't tow my 6000 lb. boat to the lake in the summer. So we made a change.
  • bk777bk777 Posts: 32
    Does any Tahoe owner out there actually get the 17-21 MPG mileage rating on their vehicle?
  • Hi arrie,

    Trying to join this discussion..just bought a 03 Suburban and would like to maximize mileage with minimal investment. Can't figure out how to post for all to see...or maybe this is how.

    Anyway, starting to check Cold Air Intake systems $200-$300, that goofy Vortex thing, etc. and power chips. Heard of anything else inside of $500 that makes a significant difference?
  • 73shark73shark Posts: 325
    None of the things you mentioned are going to make a "significant" difference in mpg or performance. Chevy does offer performance cat-back exhaust systems and air intake systems.
  • ahightowerahightower TXPosts: 512
    Edmunds had a very good article recently about which tips and tricks actually made a difference in mpg. In summary, inflate your tires and accelerate gently. Also, use cruise control, which I figured went without saying... who wouldn't use cruise control when they can? And don't carry about 300 lbs of crap in the trunk.

    They didn't discuss aftermarket air filters or intakes in that article. I've never had a CAI, but I did upgrade to K&N filters on my last two cars, and noticed more responsive throttle, and about 1 mpg improvement.

    I have a 2005 Yukon XL, and haven't changed the stock air filter yet (going to wait until that indicator tells me to). But I do notice at least 2 mpg difference when I overinflate the tires just a bit (35 psi versus recommended 32), and accelerate gently, keeping the rpm's below 2000 (I have 3.73 gears). In mixed driving, we get about 15 when not trying, and about 18 when really trying. Usually falls somewhere in the middle.

    On the highway, the sweet spot seems to be 65 mph or below. There's a trip we take often where for the first 100 miles the speed limit is 65. Thereafter the speed limit is 70. Starting out, cruise control set right at the limit, I'll see 21 mpg on the trip computer. When the speed limit goes up, I set cruise on 73, then it'll gradually drop to 19.

    Not bad considering it's EPA rated 14/18. (By the way, my trip computer is consistently about 1 mpg optimistic compared to manual calculations done when filling up.)
  • I saw an article last week that indicated new EPA standard will start for the 2008 model year. They will eliminate some of the ridicules test that are currently used. The current test for city driving is done with modest acceleration and most done at 55 MPH. Yes 55 for city. Highway numbers are done at 65 MPH with almost no acceleration. The new test will include 75 MPH driving with some up to 80 MPH and real world hard acceleration. They are predicted to be up to 30% lower than the current numbers. This won’t help to increase our numbers but at least we won’t fell like we have been duped. That will better match my numbers with my 07 Subdivision.
  • bk777bk777 Posts: 32
    That change was forced on the EPA and the auto manufacturers...they got dragged into it by the back of their shirt collars. We would be better off if the EPA got out of the mileage estimate business. They just are not able to deliver realistic and trustworthy information.

    Product performance(non-performance)claims should be handled by the court system.

    Why does it take federal legislative action to correct a product performance claim problem? Why has U.S. EPA not changed it's methods of estimating fuel ecomnomy for 21 years? Why did it take a mandate in the U.S. Energy Policy Act of 2005 to effect change a 2008 model year correction in fuel economy estimates?

    Section 774 of EPACT 2005 instructs the EPA to create new fuel economy measurements that more accurately reflect today’s speed limits, city driving conditions and the use of air conditioning and other fuel depleting features.

    Was it reasonable to use 45 miles per hour as the representative highway speed for testing for 21 years?

    Are city driving conditions in Los Angeles representative of most city driving conditions in our country?

    Do we not use A/C to survive the heat and humidity in places like the south half of the U.S.?

    From te U.S. Senate Committe on Energy and Natural Resources...

    Chairman's statement:

    “The EPA hasn’t updated fuel economy estimates since 1985. We instructed the EPA to update their fuel economy estimates after hearing from frustrated and disappointed consumers who weren’t getting the mileage from their vehicles that advertisements had led them to expect.

    “I consider this provision in the energy bill one of the most potent consumer protections in the bill. It will literally influence how American consumers spend tens of thousands of dollars. Buying a vehicle is one of the most expensive choices a family will make. With gasoline hovering at $2.50 a gallon, fuel economy estimates play a huge role in that choice. I am pleased that the EPA is moving swiftly to implement this provision in the energy bill.”

    The people working at the EPA are well-educated, well-trained and well-paid. I've worked with them. When it takes this much time and effort to correct an obvious problem it's time for change.

    Let your congressman know that you do not trust the EPA...and that they are not getting the job done. Let him or her know that you believe that government is the problem and that you demand change.

    Ronald Reagan had it right...he said it first...GOVERNMENT IS THE PROBLEM.
  • If you truly want "accurate" estimates, you'll need to be able to test drive every potential vehicle purchase for a full tank yourself. Even if the EPA had specific test runs for every state in the union meant to best replicate how people in that state operate their vehicles, it wouldn't be good enough to be used for courts- everyone drives differently, even if they live in the same area and drive the same roads every day.

    Example- while most people whine about the sticker numbers, I've nearly always been in the ballpark of the numbers on the window for every car I've ever owned. If I try I can also usually beat those numbers. In fact, I recently decided to stop driving my 07 Av conservatively, and went to 5-10 over the speed limits wherever traffic conditions will allow, stopped watching the speedometer too closely, made more sudden accelerations during takeoffs at the few lights I have on my route, pass slower drivers with my foot in it occasionally, all during 30-65 degree temps (morning / evening range). And guess what, in three tanks driven this way, it still got 17.7 mpg as the worst, and 18.8 as the best. Not 20 as on the sticker, but more than close enough that it's easy to see that I'm the biggest differentiating factor.
  • bk777bk777 Posts: 32
    It's not about YOU. But you are right on one point. YOU are the biggest differentiating factor.

    And you are on the wrong board...this is the Suburban/Tahoe board.
  • I hate to break it to you, but I'm most certainly on the right board. And I AM speaking about Tahoes and Suburbans in this case (as well as all other vehicles I've had the pleasure of operating). Sorry if it bothers you to hear something that doesn't jive with your own personal take on life though.
  • bk777bk777 Posts: 32
    I hate to butt in on someone else's argument, but in defense of rspencer, GM has spent many 100's of millions of dollars trying to convince American SUV buyers that they will get 17 mpg city and 21 mpg highway with the 2007 Tahoe. The AFM "4 cylinder mode" being part of it. The best I get in my LTZ on the highway is 17.8. My local driving gets me no better than 13.1. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think rspencer is simply arguing that 13.1/17.8 is not 17/21. Frankly, I agree. I didn't buy the new Tahoe for the gas mileage, but it would be nice if I could at least average what the government and manufacturer claims I will get in all city driving. It's pretty bad when my $48k 2007 Tahoe with whiz-bang AFM technology doesn't get any better mileage than my 12 year old F150 beater.
  • I noticed that you said your tire pressure is set at 50psi? I had mine set there when I first bought my Tahoe Z71. I have 2 Dunlops on the rear and 2 Remington on the front. They are 30570R16. Pretty decent tires. I have lowered my tire psi to 35 psi. I haven't noticed any real change in the mpg. Is there a reason why you keep yours at 50psi? :confuse:
  • Wondering if anyone out there has had this recall applied (ECM reprogamming) and noticed better gas mileage with their 2007 Tahoe/Suburban with flex fuel engines ? The recall is dated 12/12/06 and GM is calling an "enhancement" (that's engineer-speak for "bug-fix") for FFV (flex fuel vehicles). Just had it applied to our Suburban and the AFM system seems to have been de-sensitized but I haven't been able to do a MPG check yet. Wondering if this is a fix for all the MPG complaints out there.

    Regards,
    - Gregg
    Boston, Mass
  • catamcatam Posts: 331
    The quick answer is I don't know.
    FYI, I drop my pressures to 35 PSI in the winter for improved traction in the snow. I know my mileage has dropped (last 2 tanks, 14.6 and 12.4 MPG). But this also coincides with majority of city driving and cold winter temps. I would guess that my mileage has dropped somewhat from the lower pressures, but like I said I don't know.

    The reasons I keep it at 50 during the summer are: hopefully improved mileage, and ride quality when loaded.

    One other point, your tires 305/ 70r16, will likely provide somewhat lower mileage for several reasons.
    1) increased rolling resistance with wider tires.
    2) unless you recalibrated your speedometer, you are actually traveling faster than your speedo states.
  • ahightowerahightower TXPosts: 512
    What's the maximum psi listed on the tire sidewall? 50 seems quite high to me. Isn't the recommended psi about 32? Even if 50 is not exceeding the tires' capacity, it may lead to "capping", where the center of the tread wears more quickly than it should. I used to overinflate the tires on my wife's Geo Metro (I know, not a good comparison), to 44 because that's what the tire said. I should have read the sticker in the doorjamb instead, which recommended somewhere mid-30's as I recall. Discount Tire said they were capping and recommended lowering my pressure. Just throwin' it out there.

    I'm at least interested in what type of mileage difference you are seeing at 50 vs 35. I have a 2005 Yukon XL, with the 17" wheels, and I definitely feel a difference in ride quality at 36 psi vs 30, i.e., stiffer ride except when heavily loaded. Not a major discomfort, and worth the extra couple mpg, but I'm not sure I would want to go any higher and stiffer even if I could.
  • eliaselias Posts: 1,941
    imho 50 PSI cold pressure is unwise & unsafe.
    i believe that handling (skidpad, for example) and emergency-stopping-distance will suffer substantially with such an excessive cold pressure.
    additionally you are punishing the vehicle's suspension by pumping the tires beyond what the factory advises - the ride will suffer and the suspension components will wear out more quickly. (tie-rods, center-link, bushings, shocks, springs, for example). imho if you want better MPG, instead of buying a $50k SUV, buy a $30K SUV and a $20k hyper-mpg car, and concentrate the miles onto the car. i realize this is not an option for everyone, but it works for some folks. ttfn!
  • catamcatam Posts: 331
    A little explanation.
    My Sub is equipped with LT (Light Truck) tires not P (Passenger car) tires.
    Most LT tires are capable of being inflated to 80PSI.
    This is a very beneficial feature when tires are heavily loaded, (Ie. towing, loaded truck bed, etc.)
    When I tow my boat I inflate my tires to 65 PSI in front, and 70 PSI in the rear. This makes a big difference to vehicle stability when towing especially at freeway speeds.
    (I have towed my boat once at 50 PSI and there is a noticeable difference.)

    As far as the "capping issue" I am aware of the potential for that problem, but I don't expect to see it as the Suburban weighs ~6500# empty. I do frequently examine my tires for signs of abnormal wear or other problems. (Anyone who tows regularly knows the importance of good tires.)

    Like I said in previous post, I know my mileage is currently down with the lower pressures, but how much is from the tires alone is very difficult to say. (Other factors are mostly city driving and cold temps right now.)

    As far as ride quality, I was pleased with the ride at 50 PSI, I notice a slightly smoother ride at 35 PSI, but not enough to change permanently. My wife drives this as her daily driver, and never comments about a change in ride regardless of where I put the pressures.
  • kipkkipk Posts: 1,576
    Considering getting a travel trailer in the 3500-4500 pound range.

    Just kind of looking around at what type SUVs are available to perform this task.

    A nephew has a 2004 Tahoe that is absolutely loaded with options, including 5.3L engine. He says his wife gets 15-17 daily driving and he has averaged as high as 28 on the road. But usually only averages 24 or so when maintaining 70 mph or so. Says he re sets the accumulated mileage numbers from the computer before starting the trip. He is in his low 30s of age and tends to drive a tad over the posted speed limits.

    Does this sound reasonable or is he stretching the truth a bit? :confuse:

    Thanks,

    Kip
  • ahightowerahightower TXPosts: 512
    I'd say his wife's numbers are more realistic. There are literally dozens of posts in the forums about real world mpg and towing. Read up.

    I will summarize what I've read over the past few months by saying that even the most optimistic don't claim much more than 20-21 on a good day. Most are right in line with the EPA estimates of 15 city, 19 highway. That's not great, but it's not so bad. Read up in the minivan forums and you'll see most of them don't do a whole lot better.

    And if you need a tow vehicle, almost anyone would recommend a "real SUV" (truck frame) over a minivan or crossover. They may be rated for 4-5000 lbs, but that's the MAX rating which typically excludes the weight of all the passengers, cargo, even fuel. And have you seen a minivan or crossover pulling a heavy load and sagging in the rear? That's gotta really strain the motor, and can't be safe. Better to get a fullsize SUV rated at 7-9,000 lbs and be well within your limits, not approaching the maximum.
  • hsensihsensi Posts: 5
    I have been driving my 07 Suburban since March (3,700 miles). I am averaging about 15 mpg, my best ever is 17 mpg. I live in the country so most of my driving is highway. I am a bit disappointed to not get 19 mpg even on a long 8 hour road trip. My current MPG on the computer says 16.2. I am a conservative driver.. slow accelerations and I try to keep my highway speed at 70 mph. My tires are at 35/36 psi.

    Naturally when I purchased this vehicle gas was a little over $2/ gallon. I am a little bummed b/c this is a lease and I will be stuck for 3 years. I love this truck though, it is amazing so I guess that is the payoff.
  • talltreetalltree Posts: 2
    I just purchased an 01 suburban and have checked the mileage on the first two tanks. 80% highway miles, 5.3L engine, 3.73 axle, tire pressure at 31 psi: 16 mpg.
    I use regualar gas in all my vehicles with no exception on the suburban, I may be driving over the 65 mph mark more often then I think, I'll pay attention and see if the mileage picks up staying closer to 65 mph.
    My question is this; Has anyone tried switching to one grade of gas or the other to see if mileage changed? And what do most drivers here use? Reg or Super?

    Thanks,
    Tall
  • rockman59rockman59 Posts: 250
    Talltree said: And what do most drivers here use? Reg or Super?
    ___________________________________________________________
    Regular. No reason to use anything else.
  • kipkkipk Posts: 1,576
    Thanks ahightower!

    I agree a about the full frame. I also believe Rear wheel drives are better for towing.

    And yes, better to have reserve power than to be pushing the limit.

    I recon the nephew is misreading, has a faulty trip computer, or maybe stretching the truth a bit! ;)

    Kip
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