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Honda Fit Real World MPG

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  • Thought I would kick in a follow-up on gas mileage since I am just turning 13,000 miles on my 2009 base model with automatic transmissioin. I've averaged just over 34 mpg. My driving is largely suburban. That is, not a lot of waiting at lights but usually short trips of about five miles. (I'll add that this ACTUAL mileage is about 11% to 12% below what the on-board computer usually tells me.) Also, mileage is 31 to 33 in the cold--that is 20s--and 34 to 36 in summer driving around hilly Asheville, NC.
  • I am recently back from my drive to NYC from Los Angeles and Back to Los Angeles in my 2009 Base FIT. Total mileage including driving around NYC, down to Washington DC and back to NYC, and then taking the Southern route back to Los Angeles with city stops along the way was approximately 8000 miles.

    The FIT performed better than any other car I have ever owned and rented, (including Mercedes), was a pleasure to drive, easy to park and maneuver, and I had no mechanical or tire problems at all. The aerodynamics allows it to cut the wind better than most cars and there is no sway unless strong side winds.

    Details:

    In October 2010, I drove to NYC in 3.5 days, approx. 2800 miles, for an Avg. MPG of 39.6. This included a few sleeps in the car with AC or Heat on for a few hours along the way. Also driving with AC on until Missouri because it was so hot then. I was alone on the drive, but the rest of the car was packed heavy with little room to spare.

    While in NYC, I drove into and around the city a lot, parking in the city, traffic, etc. Drove it down to Washington DC, around DC, suburbs, parking a lot, etc. Drove it in NYC after the Blizzard and the major snow a couple of weeks later—no problem—it held the road better than most vehicles with the Original Dunlaps on and no chains. Driving in blinding rain—no problems at all. :D

    On the way home in January 2011, I drove it South to avoid the ice and snow on the way back to LA. Stops and touring in Savannah, GA, Hilton Head Island, SC, Atlanta, GA, Birmingham, AL, Houston, TX, Austin, TX, Tucson, AZ and Scottsdale, AZ. Some sleeps in the car with heat on along the way. I was alone again, but the FIT was packed heavy with little room left. Could only see out of the top portion of the rear window.

    Grand Total AVG MPG for the entire trip from departure from LA to Arrival back in LA 4 months later: 37.0 MPG Exact. :shades:

    Loving my FIT, now with over 25,000 miles on it in 1.5 years of ownership. It’s the best of the best IMHO. :blush:

    Thanks.
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,997
    Is yours a manual? What sort of highway speeds did you maintain?
  • Its a 2009 Automatic Base FIT.

    This model does not have cruise control so you get those ebbs and flows between 65 and 75 most of the trip would be my best estimate.

    Thanks.
  • I do about 85% of my driving in the city and get around 26-28mpg. However when I go on a weekend trip and drive a constant speed on the highway I always get between 38-40mpg. So yes I agree you are getting great mileage for the amount of city driving you are doing and the people getting 30+ miles are doing less city driving or all highway. Unless you want a hybrid you can't do much better than this car!
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    All the onboard computers I have had on different makes of cars have been 10-12% "high." I think the manufacturers could actually make them more honest, but the "spec" for acceptable variation allows a plus or minus for equipment variation. Since in real life counting injector pulses is so accurate, they just "aim" their counter on the high side, secure it won't slip out of "spec" (vary by more than the permitted amount from actual) while always showing an optimistic number. In other words, they game the spec.

    But once we know what they are up to, the onboard mileage computer is very reliable, as long as we make that 10% mental adjustment.
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    I completely agree most people severely underestimate how much city mileage they do - now that I am doing urban driving instead of freeway commute, my mileage is hammered, from mid-30's to low 20's. And my trips are generally 5 miles and California is not frozen. And I seldom run the aircon.

    It's not hard these days to build smaller cars with 35+ freeway mpg. It's much harder to build anything with real world mileage in the city greater than 25 mpg. Witness the Consumer Report actual city mpg on their sample Fits - as low as 21 with the auto on pure city only cycle, 24 with the stick. CR attaches their own metering device to the fuel line so their numbers aren't estimates based on tank fills or read off the onboard computer the way some auto mags do it.
  • That sounds about right. After getting 37 to 40 MPG on my mainly highway cross-country trip, I am now back in the city driving mode getting 26 to 28 mpg :(
  • Everyone's self-calculated mpg results would be best posted at www.fueleconomy.gov
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,997
    Another miscalculation people often make is that if drive 50% city and 50% highway and get 20mpg in the city and 40mpg on the highway, they think their average mpg is 30, but it's not.

    Say you drive 100 miles: 50 miles of pure city driving at 20mpg uses 2.5 gallons of gas, and 50 miles of pure highway at 40 mpg uses 1.25 gallons of gas. So that means you used 3.75 gallons of gas to drive the 100 miles which equals 26.7mpg, not 30mpg.

    So the poorer city mpg pull down the average more than the higher highway mpg. It would be better if we calculated gallons per 100 miles (GP100M) driven, instead of miles per gallon (MPG).

    In the above example, we'd get 5.0 GP100M for city and 2.5 GP100M for highway and then the halfway point between 5.0GP100M city & 2.5 GP100M for highway would be 3.75 GP100M exactly.

    This is the way gas mileage is calculated in Europe (liters per 100km), but like the metric system, it will never catch on here.
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    bobw3, that's definitely a trick of math I never caught before either. I just know that a small percentage of city driving can brutally drive down "long trip" style mileage. Right now I am focusing on cars that have good city mileage, since that is my driving pattern now.

    For example, the new 2012 Ford Focus has highway mileage surpassing many small cars (talking about the regular, not the special, edition). BUT city mileage is significantly lower, which will bring down the overall average more, for a primarily city driver.

    Conversely, the Fiat500 is lambasted for not breaking 40 highway mpg, but I am highly impressed by the 30 mpg city, I can't think of another non-diesel, non-hybrid to match it.

    Of course the Fiat500 would be even more torture than our 2 door Rabbit for the kids in the back. While the Fit would be minivan luxurious (they are small kids after all).

    EPA city mileage for the Fit is 27 manual, 28 auto. Consumer Reports tested mileage is 24 manual, 21 auto, which confirms my experience with other autos that sticks come closer to EPA city ratings than automatics, but neither one makes their EPA ratings, especially when you get to the higher rated vehicles.
  • lrp28lrp28 Posts: 2
    I'm not sure why the latest cars don't get better mileage. I have a '93 Saturn, which weighs about the same as a Fit. By the looks of things, it's at least as big on the inside as a Fit. (Which I might be interested in as my next car.) I've never gotten less than 28mph (in 12 years of ownership). At least, not unless I'm pulling a small trailer. More typically, I get 32 to 34mpg and I drive pretty fast on the highway. (65 to 75mph, sometimes a bit more, this, after all, is eastern Massachusetts). On slower, long trips at 60-65mph I'll get maybe 35mpg or so, maybe a touch better. This is with several different sets of tires, and on occasion I've checked the odometer against mileage markers. It's quite close.

    I recommend you all get time machines and go back to purchase '93 SL1's. And maybe some extra parts. They're getting harder to find.
  • My friend, she loves her Saturn and does not want to give it up. She has had a few Saturns including the convertible sport model. I personally love the look of that one--has some of the Corvette lines.

    Shame GM shut Saturn down, but GM is notorious for making bad decisions. :mad:
  • xcentrickxcentrick Posts: 16
    I now have 105K miles on my '07 FIT Sport. No mechanical problems at all at this point. Still very tight, no excessive or premature tire wear issues either. My average MPG has been 33, So. Cal. freeway driving ~80MPH max.

    I was told of and have just purchased and installed a set of sparkplugs that a friend of mine claim really improved his MPG. The name of the plug is Pulstar. I will post results after a few months of running with them. Obviously, normally, anytime new plugs go in, some improvement should be noticed. So we'll record the results and report back to you.

    BTW, make sure you change your auto trans fluid regularly and use the Honda type fluid. Glue a magnet on the end of your drain plug. You'll be amazed what you capture.
  • I have tried Chevron Supreme Unleaded and compared it to Chevron Regular Unleaded over several thousands of miles, and could NOT detect any statistical difference in my Miles Per Gallon (MPG). All MPG were calculated from the actual odometer miles divided by the total fuel consumed, to the third decimal place (that's the receipt read-out). I did not have a car equipped with a highly questionable "MPG computer", like the Fit. I was using a MY 2000 Subaru Forester with a 5 speed tranny.

    I am very suspicious of people who claim their cars "have more power" and "get better mileage" with Premium fuel. The rationale behind Premium Auto Fuel is a slower-burning fuel with less tendency to pre-ignite (ping). At the minimal price over regular (presently around $0.20 / gallon), you can't expect anything that is going to be very performance-enhancing.

    I would tend to believe there is more of a mileage difference - and performance difference, too - if you compared ethanol-free gasoline with the "gasohol" crap that we in California are forced to put in our engines. All Calif. gas has 10% ethanol in it at present. Some states allow the 91/92 (Premium) gasoline to be alcohol-free to eliminate the ethanol-induced problems in small engines (Lawn mowers, snow blowers, etc.) and other engines that cannot tolerate ethanol mixtures. A whole thread could be on this subject, alone!

    If you have a high-compression engine, like the old 1970 BMW 2002 I used to have, then a higher octane fuel is required to allow the engine to have a ping-free acceleration or "pulling power". Oh yeah, you might be able to retard the distributor so you can burn regular, but in that case you are giving up engine performance to get rid of the "pinging" or pre-ignition.

    Just my two cents.
  • pendesigns88pendesigns88 Posts: 1
    edited May 2011
    I agree, I had a '99 Saturn and wanted a 4 door so I bought a 2010 Honda Fit sport model, standard. My Saturn averaged around 31 or 32 mpg, while my fit is averaging 33.8, and it actually weighs less then my Saturn did. I don't understand how in 11 years they haven't made hardly any improvements. I should have kept my $4,000 car instead of paying the $16,000 for the new one.
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,997
    So you're complaining because your Fit is meeting the EPA estimated MPG? Maybe you should have read the EPA sticker before purchasing. Are you sure your Saturn AVERAGED 31-32MPG, or was that just on long road trips?
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    The Saturn was sort of a turtle in terms of acceleration with the base engine. The Fit accelerates well, better than almost all other tiny cars except the MINI.

    I am also not sure that the Fit is that much lighter than the Saturn, since in the decades since the Saturn cars have generally gotten heavier.

    The Fit is certainly more useful.
  • lrp28lrp28 Posts: 2
    I get 31 or 32 very regularly with a '93 SL1. Sometimes in the dead of winter I will get less, and I definitely get less pulling the trailer. (A very light trailer.) I probably get more than 32 at least half the time, but then these days I have a 30 mile commute.

    So I'm willing to believe that other guy.

    I think I'm up to 233k, or is it 236k miles?
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,997
    Corolla, Civic, Saturn SL, Fit all average in the low 30s MPG. The Fit will hold twice as much cargo as the others.
  • murphiousmurphious Posts: 1
    I keep seeing the specs and am surprised my Fit Sport 5MT gets regular city (Summertime) MPG of 37. On the highway, 40-41. Winter MPG hurts a bit, down to 32-34 city and 37-38 highway. Bit I am thrilled with any MPG figures over 30, compared with the old Mazda Navajo I traded in for the Honda. It was a guzzler V6 of 16-17mpg city and 20 highway (if wind aided...). Love this car, but will probably trade in towards a new Veloster this July.
  • drgirlfrienddrgirlfriend Posts: 2
    edited June 2011
    I've had my brand-new 2011 AT Fit Sport for a few weeks now (almost 1000 miles on the dot). I've done a mix of small-town driving (lots of stoplights) and highway driving (Philly to D.C.) and my mpg has stayed in the 24 - 25 range. It's really bugging me, fuel economy is a big reason why I chose this car. I don't think I'm doing anything to make it underperform so significantly (not lead-footed, not blasting the a/c, etc.). I'm taking it in to get checked out on Monday (it was also dead in the driveway and needed a jump for no reason, no lights on, etc.) but do you think it's a lemon? Is there any potential relationship between the battery/charging system and fuel economy?
  • fitfightfitfight Posts: 2
    Much city suburban driving still 20 mph. Got 25 once with a half day hwy trip. Very disappointing. All pressures checked.
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,997
    If your alternator or battery is bad, then that can hurt your MPG because more energy is being wasted trying to keep your battery charged.
  • Your FIT is most likely not a lemon based on what you have reported. I own a BASE 2009 FIT with almost 30K miles it. What you report in mileage sounds within range. I have driven my FIT from LA to Portland and LA to NYC and back to LA and city driving all over the USA.

    If I fill my tank (I only use 91 or 92 octane--you don't have to, synthetic oil changes, and 35 PSI tire pressure) and drive city mainly in LA, over 300 miles in the city I will consistently get approx. 26 to 28 in the city. If I fill my tank like I did memorial day weekend and drive from LA to Las Vegas and back, over 500+ miles I got 41-42 MPG.

    When you city drive you are constantly pulling the mass of the FIT from a dead stop to motion and that sucks up fuel. As a comparison, my Mercedes SUV in the city got 14 to 16 MPG (heavier vehicle). When you have momentum like on the highway and the aerodynamics of the FIT, you are putting gas money in your pocket. Its pure physics.

    Now, your car is new too. When mine was new, I was getting 1-2 MPG worse MPG. After 15K+ it settled in to slightly better mileage.

    Its a great car.

    Do this: Fill the tank, pump tires to 35 psi, reset trip meter to 0 miles, get on the highway for a trip at 50 MPH or more and see what it is before you exit. Go at least 10 miles if you can. It should be neat 40 MPG.

    Forget about city driving--it kills all of us in the wallet. And when I need to use the AC in the city--FIT only gets 23-25 mpg, because its more drag on the engine.

    Have fun.
  • Somewhat of a follow-up. Took the Fit to get checked out. The dealer said there are no problems with the car that they could find, battery checked out fine and the road test was fine. The most they could tell me was to get Exxon gasoline instead of Sunoco, but...seriously? I reset the trip odometer when I last filled up, so I'll calculate the mpg myself next time I fill up in case the reading is off, but right now 40 miles into this tank it's averaging 21.8 mpg, which still seems extremely low to me. :-(
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,194
    A reporter wants to talk with people who expected to get better gas mileage in their relatively new vehicle. Please email pr@edmunds.com by Tuesday, July 19, 2011 with your daytime contact information and a few words about your experience. Thank you.

    Moderator
    Need help navigating? stever@edmunds.com - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

  • iutodd32iutodd32 Posts: 3
    Honda's don't achieve their best fuel mileage until they have broken in a bit.

    If all you do is city driving then it wouldn't be surprising that your average is under 30 mpgs. 24-25 is a bit low for this car but stop and go driving is the least efficient driving situation possible (other than long uphills). But with some highway thrown in that does seem a bit low...How fast is your highway driving? Do you accelerate and decelerate a lot or do you keep a constant speed? Try to keep it below 3000 rpms whenever possible to achieve the best miles per gallon. Any car that has to decelerate and accelerate constantly is going to have bad fuel economy.

    Also - if you have the Fit automatic you can use the paddles (in "S" mode) and at every stoplight shift from first into second and start from second gear - this will save a bit of gas - just remember to hold the gear a little longer (and remember to keep shifting!).

    If you are really worried then definitely fill the tank, reset the fuel gauge and drive on the interstate at 65-70 mph for a while - you should be getting between 35 and 40 mpgs. If you do that and still return 24-25 mpgs (also check it by hand) then something probably isn't right.
  • iutodd32iutodd32 Posts: 3
    Fit's have a 10.5 gallon tank - I put 10.302 gallons in which gave me 40.5 miles per gallon!

    All interstate driving - I drive 5 miles an hour over the speed limit - so between 70 and 75 depending on the state. I did not hypermile or do anything out of the ordinary to achieve this. The Fit is just that efficient.

    2009 Fit Sport 5AT with 56000 miles on it.
  • Mine is three years old handles like a small tank, rides like I'm sitting on a bag of rocks. I won't buy another. But it would be at least tolerable if the mileage was decent. I just filled up and did the math: slightly under 21 MPG primarily in city/town driving.

    Not enough; not nearly enough. Certainly not enough to assuage my battered kidneys.

    I cannot understand why a car this small should get should lousy mileage. My 2006 Camry 4 gets 15 more MPG.
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