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Subaru Legacy/Outback: MPG-Real World Numbers



  • timadamstimadams Posts: 294
    If you're getting 27 MPG with 40/60 city/highway, you're doing about like I am. I get better than 30 MPG all highway, but when I add in suburban/country driving, it drops considerably.

    My MPG is much better this summer than last winter, which may be due to some combination of a) better efficiency in warmer temps; b) summer gasoline and c) more miles on the car. We'll see how it does this winter. Disappointment is too strong a word as of now, but last winter I was getting only 23-25 MPG with the same 30/70 country/highway driving. We'll see if it is better this winter with more miles on the car.

    I really believe the winter gasoline was horrible last winter, as everyone I talked to complained about poor fuel mileage, as in substantially worse than during previous winters.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,507
    Winter blends are killers on economy, as are the cold temperatures themselves. This is especially true for Subaru vehicles due to the extra differentials. Fuel economy on our Forester drops from about 27 combined during the summer to around 20 in the winter. Even during open highway driving, we won't break 25-26.
  • timadamstimadams Posts: 294
    I suppose that makes sense about the two differentials and extra friction in an AWD system being more pronounced in cold temps. I know my MPG always went down in winter, but not to the extent as last year (in my Subaru and other vehicles). The MPG drop was significantly greater than usual last winter.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,507
    If the winter was not harsher, then it is highly likely that there was a new blend being used. In what part of the country do you live? If winter temps are significantly cold (less than +20F on a regular basis), you can improve winter economy by switching out the stock gear oil with a synthetic 75w-90. Replacing the power steering fluid with a synthetic can also help.
  • My 2010 Subaru Outback (4 Cyl AWD CVT) has been averaging 29.2 MPG for the last 9 weeks / 3,500 miles. This has been in 50 - 70 degree Spring weather with 80% - 85% highway driving through three northern NJ counties and one trip to midtown Manhattan.
    I don't rely on the built-in computer for this data. I run out each tankful of the cheapest "no name" Regular gas and zero the trip odometer each time. I'm writing this entry after getting 31.16 MPG - 561 miles on 18 gallons of Delta Regular.
    By the way, after these 561 miles the MPG mid-dashboard computer said I had averaged "33.0" miles per gallon for this tank of gas. Having tracked dozens of tankfuls, the Outback's MPG computer makes sense only if you subtract 6% from its number. ("33.0" x .94 = 31, the actual mileage I was getting.) For the Outback owners out there, after filling the tank the Range computer displayed 620 miles which computes to 33.5 mpg. (Maybe one of you wants to attempt that?)
    I drove as conservatively as possible to get my 31 mpg. I also run on Mobil 1 Synthetic oil and had the emissions software update that came out last year. Though some bloggers said the update hurt fuel efficiency, it has had no effect on mine.
    I've had some great cars in my life - at least a dozen - and this one is my favorite. I test-drove all the small SUVs and wagons - from Cayenne to TSX - and I made the right choice buying the Outback. At 35,000 miles it's been a pleasure to own and drive.
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