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Chevrolet Suburban and GMC Tahoe MPG - Real World Numbers



  • zachinmizachinmi Posts: 228
    I just bought a 2007 Suburban LT2 about two weeks ago. It is a K1500 and therefore has the 5.3L flex fuel engine with a 4-speed auto. I have filled it up three times now and have seen tank mileage of 17.7, 17.0 and 17.0 (all calculated manually, not relying on the trip computer). Second and third tanks had a greater portion of freeway driving, mostly at 70-75mph, plus commuting on country roads and highways. While I would like to see higher mpg, this is definitely consistent with my expectations and the EPA ratings (either new or old system). This is my fourth new car and the three prior cars I usually got mpg between the city and highway EPA ratings, typically closer to the highway rating.

    I have watched the V4/V8 indicator and mine spends a fair bit of time in V4 mode, even at higher speeds. When? Well, here in Michigan the roads are gently sloping over slightly rolling hills, and even a slight downhill can put me in V4 mode. Of course, even a slight uphill puts me in V8 mode with instantaneous mpg of 16 or less. I think the AFM feature is useful.

    While I would gladly accept higher mpg, I think my experience is quite reasonable given the size and power of the vehicle. There are many smaller SUVs that get the same or less mpg. I'm going to switch to synthetic oil at the first change and see if that makes any difference.
  • My 07 4x4 tahoe has nearly 15k miles, and your reported mileage is nearly exactly what I get. I live outside seattle, and my best mileage when I traveled on the freeway to and from work- (30 miles each way)the tahoe got 18-20 at best.
    Now that I live in the suburbs and commute locally in town for most of my ride, I get 13-14 MAX. I dont mind, its a trade off for the great ride I get with the Tahoe. I just think the auto makers should be FORCED to report real world mileage, its far off of what was on the sticker and advertised by the salesman. :P
  • nedzelnedzel Posts: 787
    "I just think the auto makers should be FORCED to report real world mileage, its far off of what was on the sticker and advertised by the salesman."

    Whose real world mileage? Yours? Mine? My mileage goes down 1-2 mpg in the winter, due to the cold weather (idling while getting the snow off the car) and my snow tires. Should that be reported to someone buying a truck in Boca?

    The only thing that makes sense is doing a repeatable test in laboratory conditions, which is exactly what they do now. Otherwise there are too many variables to make comparisons meaningful.

    And for 2008 EPA has revised the testing procedures. The new mileage rates are significantly lower and should be closer to what most people achieve.

    That said, your mileage WILL vary. It depends upon how you drive (fast starts, high speeds, etc.) and where you drive (open road versus stop-and-go). There's no way anyone can predict the mileage that any particular consumer will get.
  • kipkkipk Posts: 1,576
    "... I just think the auto makers should be FORCED to report real world mileage, its far off of what was on the sticker and advertised by the salesman"

    I agree with Nedzel. Real world mileage will be different for different people driving the same vehicle. My wife's driving habits net her near 3 mpg less than I get with the same vehicle.

    FWIW the MPG numbers on the window sticker are EPA generated. Dealers are pretty much "FORCED" to display those numbers. The sticker also states your mileage can vary a bunch.

    As Nedzel said; "The only thing that makes sense is doing a repeatable test in laboratory conditions, which is exactly what they do now. Otherwise there are too many variables to make comparisons meaningful."

    That data is for the consumer to use for comparison.

    Mfg and dealers can, and do, lie or stretch the truth about other things.

    Example: General Motors advertises their 5 year/100K mile drivetrain warranty as the "Best warranty in the business, better than Ford, better than Toyota"!

    They used to say simply "Best warranty in the business."
    They have added the Toyota and Ford thingy recently. Notice they don't mention Dodge! But they are still saying "BEST".

    Hyundai has a 10/100K and Dodge now has "Lifetime" drivetrain warranty. I don't personally see how GM's 5/100k is better. They can legally do this by having a transferable clause, or covering some obscure switch that the others don't.

    However, by LAW, they are required to stick with the EPA stickers for Mileage. Last year Toyota proudly advertised the Corolla at 40 mpg. Advertisers are apparently not required to mention "HIGHWAY". Now they are saying, "Everybody knows a Corolla gets 37 miles per gallon."

    Real world is that a Yukon will get better or worse mileage than advertised. Driver, terrain, traffic, and weather all make a difference. :)

  • kipk is right. real world is that you will be better or worse than advertised. Depends on your driving habits.

    Last night I filled up my wife's Tahoe (5.3 V8/V4) on the west side of Houston, and drove to the northeast side on the beltway. I held my speed to 55mph on cruise. When I exited the beltway 30 miles later, my average mpg was 24.4.

  • zachinmizachinmi Posts: 228
    I have a few more tanks now, mileage is:
    trip miles / MPG
    193 17.7
    383 17.0
    374 16.8
    164 16.5
    416 16.3
    377 17.8
    291 19.9

    All these are calculated from odometer and gas receipts, not based on the trip computer. The last two tanks are from a long road trip with a mix of freeway and highway. The 16.3mpg tank was after topping off with 10 gallons of E85, making for about 30% ethanol in the tank. I did not notice any difference in driveability or power with E85 in the tank, but it does appear my mileage took a hit, especially since I had a lot of highway driving that should have been higher mpg on that tank. (I am aware that E85 has less energy and will reduce mpg.) Locally E85 is only 30 cents/gallon cheaper than regular gasoline, and it makes no sense to buy E85 at this price.

    During the E85 tank I changed the oil and filter, using Pennzoil Platinum 5W-30 full synthetic. I see mileage varying with temperatures (colder is much worse) and driving style. AFM seems to be coming on more frequently now; not sure if that is break-in, some computer setting after X number of miles, or an indication that the synthetic oil has reduced friction by some meaningful amount.

    I think my mileage is right on target given the EPA ratings (old or new system). I am trying to optimize driving for AFM to function. There seem to be sweet spots on cruise at 58mph, 68mph, and 72mph, all where AFM is frequently on when on level grades or very slight downhills. On the last roadtrip I had a 30 mile stretch of freeway with over 23mpg showing on the trip computer. However, it may be that I was going slightly downhill for the entire 30 miles or had a tailwind; both seem to make a difference in gas mileage. Not surprisingly, best mileage in commuting is with a very light foot on the gas. However, if not a very light foot, there doesn't seem to be much if any mileage difference between a moderately and extremely heavy foot (shifts >5000rpm; make sure the engine is fully warm!) when accelerating.
  • ramjet2ramjet2 Posts: 6
    I've kept real good track of my fuel mileage over the years, a bit obsessively perhaps, and put it all into Excel each year. Here are the results:

    2002 - 17.0 mpg.
    2003 - 16.6
    2004 - 17.2
    2005 - 16.0
    2006 - 16.8
    2007 - 15.7

    Some years had a lot more highway miles, obviously. Note, I went by the Suburban's odometer without adjustment to actual, and as I recall now it's about 2% long, suggesting that actual mileage based on real distance covered was 2% lower than the above figures.
    I'm not unhappy with our truck's mileage based on it's excellent driving characteristics, utility and reliability. That said, like most people I'd like to send less $$$ to the ragheads in the mideast who use the money to blow us up. So I'm looking forward to buying the new hybrid when they make it available in a Suburban model, and hopefully they'll fix those god-awful middle tumbling seats and uneven cargo floor so that a big Suburban can once again fit a simply 4x8 sheet of plywood in the back like my '02 can do.

    'er y' go
  • My 1996 Tahoe was having terrible problems starting and running correctly. The initial diagnosis was the crankshaft position switch was malfunctioning. After almost $2000 dollars of replacing the sensor, engine tune-up, fuel filter and fuel pump I was still having the same problems, but not all the time. I had a local mechanic due the work and he said take it to Chevy and have them diagnose the problem, which they determined was still the crankshaft position switch was malfunctioning. Since my mechanic had done the original work I took the Tahoe back to him with the Chevy diagnosis problem. He crawled under the truck with it running and saw the sensor moving around while it was running. He took the sensor out and discovered that one of the mounting bolts screws into a brass fitting inside the plastic timing chain cover. The brass fitting was loose and just needed a screw driver inserted into it to spread it to increase the tension on the plastic cover. My mechanic put it back together and it resolved all my problems, meaning most of the $2000 dollars I had spent trying to fix a problem that ended up being caused by maybe a 25 cent brass fitting in a plastic cover. Live and Learn. By the way my 1996 Tahoe has almost 154000 miles on it with the original engine and transmission.
  • What kind of fuel mileage should I be getting in my 07 Tahoe (46000 miles)? I have only had it less than a month and it has already been in the shop for a week getting two new injectors and fuel pump, along with some other electrical issues fixed. This is the third time that some injectors have been replaced in this vehicle. I have gone 100 miles since the repairs (half highway/half city) and I am barely getting 11 mpg. Just wondering if anyone is experiencing this issue.
  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    Have a 2007 Sub, and it's been a while since I've checked, but I believe it's in the 20ish range on highway driving. The vehicle is used mainly for highway trips, when used around town occasionally I know I don't even look/check.

    It get's better than our older Ford Explorer 6 cyl on the highway 19ish.
  • I recently purchased a 2002 Tahoe 4X4 w/trailer package (76000 miles) and have been shocked by the lousy fuel mileage I'm getting. I average in town and highway around 10 to 12 mpg. It desperately needed plugs (burned down to the porcelain) which I changed, otherwise it runs great. I don't know the rear end gearing other than to say it is stock. While it has the trailer package, it was never used tow tow anything (no hitch!).
    What should I be looking at next that might improve the fuel mileage?? I jealous of those getting such good mileage! With gas forecast to be 4.00 plus by spring, I need to get it straightened out ASAP!!!
  • 99avalon99avalon Posts: 4
    Hey folks,

    Here's a knowledgeable, skeptical guy (me) who purchased a 2005 Chevrolet Suburban LS 1500 2wd with 118K miles for my family last year. I hoped I might crack 20 mpg on the highway if I drove nice.

    After one year of driving the Suburban up and down I-15 here in Utah, plus back and forth from AZ and California, I am floored at the mileage we can get if we try - easily 20-27 mpg. No lie. Not isolated incidents either. I have checked both on the computer (dash) and verified with manual calculations at the pump. Here is one situation we repeat often: fill up at Maverick in Springville, drive 65 miles north to Centerville, visit family, return, and fill up again = 27+ mpg every time. It's that simple. The formula? Drive nice, set the cruise at 60 mph, stay in the right lane (so as not to bug people). If I drive patiently, even with the A/C on, our suburban easily cracks 20 mpg. When my wife burns through most of a tank just driving back and forth to and from the school for the kids, which is stop and go 8 blocks through town, she'll average 17-18 mpg. I once drove hard for a whole tank just to see how bad I could do, and got 15.5 mpg. That included full-throttle starts and lots of passing, etc.

    It's original. Don't ask what's been changed because everything is factory. I take it back, I did put a brand new set of Michelin LTX MS2 tires on it when we bought it, size 245/75 R16. Besides that, I run mid-grade or premium fuel. I change the oil twice a year, and air filter once a year. Just flushed the transmission. Haven't changed plugs or done a tune-up. It's the 5.3 vortec with 3.42 gearing in back, 9 seatbelts, running boards, etc.

    True story. We love our suburban.

    Note: just drove to Imperial Beach CA with my family, and returned. Driving LOADED DOWN with the A/C going at 85 mph, we averaged about 19 mpg.
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