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Nissan Versa Real World MPG



  • The EPA numbers on new car windows are more like..'Make a Wish'. Finally, after threats of congressional investigations, in 2008, the EPA are having to revise testing methods that have been the joke of the industry for 30 years or more. Unfortunatly the joke has been on us new car buyers!

    They have been getting away with posting the results of a dynamometer test in a closed building, no vehicle air conditioning on, no hard acceleration, 75 degrees F, and a brief top test speed of barely 60 mph. and then, for legal reasons, adding the fine print..."your mileage will vary"

    New car buyers gaze longingly at these unworldly numbers and nervously hope their mileage doesn't vary. It wouldn't, of course, if you just gently ran it in the garage on a dynamometer.

    In Canada, to make the numbers look even more impressive to the new car buyer, they print the 'Buyers Hope List' in "Imperial Units". (20% more MPG's than U.S. gallons)
    EPA numbers on my VERSA SL still show 36 mpg in town, and 46 mpg highway on the window sticker!

    When was the last time you were able to fill up with "Imperial Gallons"? We have had the Metric System for nearly 35 years, but boy, do those inflated U.K. gallons and miles numbers look great on the window sticker, compared to the Metric readings (for which we still don't even have a word for (liters per hundred kilometers)... 'Kilamidge?'... 'LiphKers'? much less a practical application without converting back to MPG's. Sorry, LiphKer Lovers, the rest of North America is still measured in miles, not Kilamidges.

    In 2008 the EPA numbers are grudgingly backed off a little, due to new EPA testing regulations in effect for all cars. In the U.S., for the Versa, it's now 26 and 33...still too high, by the way, but a small concession to the angry Hybrid Owner mobs with burning torches at the EPA doors.

    Consumer Reports are the only ones doing any honest testing. They secretly BUY all the cars they test, to avoid any Manufacturer's "Hanky Panky" or Car/Auto/GearHead Magazine affiliations with the Manufacturers, at the first stage of testing. Then Consumer Reports drives them like the rest of us do every day on the way to work, cold starts, Mad Max conditions in rush hour "stop and go" driving, with the a/c on from time to time.

    Under those Real-World Conditions, THE VERSA GETS 20 MPG!
  • dudleyrdudleyr Posts: 3,407
    The old numbers are not as optomistic as one might think. Yes they may test at low speeds, but they subract 22% from the number they measure to make up for things like higher speeds etc. (multiply the EPA highway number by 1.28 to get the measured number) So the numbers have been dumbed down already before these new 2008 numbers.

    Some cars easily achieve their EPA numbers and beyond. Others (like the Versa) don't.
  • Okay, gonna try to tie up what I can …

    Tony: umm… not sure what to say to that other than this: according to the manual, 3 gallons should always be left in the tank, so I try to catch my Versa when it reads ¾ because that is where I get a 10 gallon fill up. The small fill ups usually have more to do with if I’m about to enter Louisville or want to make it to a certain destination before filling up or if the prices are about to jump here (when they jump where I live they jump 10-20 cents and stay for a few days before coming back down). Oh, and my name is Kimber if you don’t mind. I have a bit of an issue about that.

    Longo: Since I’m staying in town now and just going to and from work, I’m going to try to get to ¾ every time I fill. So far I have only put BP gas into my Versa and after I get 6 to 8 fills in a row I’m going to try only filling at the ¼ mark (which is where I get 2.5 to 3 gallons) and see what happens. After that I’ll see what happens with other brands of gas (avoiding Marathon like the plague, but Shell and Speedway are fairly large where I live).
    Curiosity is a big part of it, as is a slightly OCD tendency… My usual driving consists of driving through town to the highway (approx 12 miles) then a highway sprint (another 10 miles) then a short hop off the highway to the P&P office (2 miles, absolute tops). Part of my highway jaunt is open area between what Kentucky deems hills and it can get fairly windy, but from the west (so no tail wind there since I’m driving N-S).

    dtownfb: I fill my tank till the pump stops every time and verify that the marker reaches F before driving away from the pump. Does that answer your question? I’m going to do some stints filling from the ¾ mark and then jump to the ¼ mark to see if maybe there’s an internal problem making the mileage crappy on those longer stints… it’s a long shot, but worth investigating. It’ll take at least four months till there’s any preliminary data, but I’m holding off on doing the ¼ because of the time it’ll take to do…

    And I’ve had to move my cardomain site about, so the mileage tracker has moved to page 3->Mileage Tracker
    Um... I think I'm going to try to keep a more detailed "events" diary for the mileage tracker so that we can see more than just the numbers. If you're not interested, you can disregard, but if you are interested, well, I'm interested so it'll be up there. I just need to run down this tank of gas first. I think I've got two or three days of fuel left (unless I take a trip to Lex or Lou).
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,915
    <<<dtownfb: I fill my tank till the pump stops every time and verify that the marker reaches F before driving away from the pump. Does that answer your question? I&#146;m going to do some stints filling from the ¾ mark and then jump to the ¼ mark to see if maybe there&#146;s an internal problem making the mileage crappy on those longer stints… it&#146;s a long shot, but worth investigating. It&#146;ll take at least four months till there&#146;s any preliminary data, but I&#146;m holding off on doing the ¼ because of the time it&#146;ll take to do…>>>

    That is exactly what I was asking about. I just thought it was odd that your great mileage was followed by poor MPG fill-ups. It's nice to see real data like this. I keep a similar mileage log in my glove compartment. great way of tracking the affects of maintenance as well.
  • It's interesting to me to see this debate. I had heard a whiff of it from the internet, but bought the Versa anyway. A good friend has had it for 3 months, and has averaged between 30-35 mpg. So, I knew it was do-able. She's a big enviornmentalist and wishes she could get an even more efficient car, but she tracks it well. Mine on 3 tanks (2 ones pumped by me) has averaged almost 40 (3.85 for the three -- I didn't average each tank yet, but just overall, as I average gas costs biweekly), a little better than my 95 Honda Civic did, so I am happy. I have driven pretty similarly the past 2 weeks, and it's beating my old car. I would love to have it be trouncing it, but I couldn't afford a new Civic (like them) and the Versa was a great, fun buy.

    I do mostly city/suburban driving with short highway stints, and I drive a lot for work. Most of the day is start and go. I do, however, have a long-held habit of trying not to accellerate much/driving very slow and steady. I hope the numbers continue to hold up.
  • longo32longo32 Posts: 81
    So you are saying that,

    "I do mostly city/suburban driving with short highway stints, and I drive a lot for work. Most of the day is start and go." and you are averaging "almost 40 mpg" !!?

    Pardon me if I reach for a Barf Bag.
  • jaxs1jaxs1 Posts: 2,697
    Hmm. A statistical outlier? Claim of about 40 mpg in the city when many others struggle to attain 30+ on the highway.
    Maybe that Versa got a hybrid motor installed by mistake.
    Either than or the gas pumps had Canadian gallons.
  • PFFlyer@EdmundsPFFlyer@Edmunds Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 5,810
    Right now I'm getting inthe range if 28.5 to 30 in mixed drivng. Only have about 1200 miles on the car, it's winter fuel, so I figure to see a bit of an improvement ahead.

    I don't ever expect to get close to 40. That's a third more than I'm getting now. Maybe I can figure a way to drive downhill to everything :P My '96 Sentra with 235,000 miles on it is getting 35 around town here, and still hits 40 on long highway runs. But it's 300# lighter than the Versa and has a 1.6 vs the 1.8 engine. I wouldn't expect the Versa to match that mileage


    Moderator - Hatchbacks & Hybrid Vehicles

  • russvagtrussvagt Posts: 5
    I will have to say if Nissan had posted the real MPG (like most people are reporting a ghastly 20MPG) I and nobody in their right mind would have put the Versa on their list of prospects to even look at. Heck I own a 1996 4x4 S10 Blazer 4.3L that avg's 18.5 mpg. I Know people with Suburbans getting 18 mpg. The point is and mostly every body that has posted here has made the same point, that a car in this class should get better gas mileage then it does, and the one and only one time I did better then avg was 99% highway at 60mph 232 miles 27.9 mpg.

    GOTO look up th 07 Versa ??

    We have 4075 miles on the car and just two days ago the SES light came on , I had my local autozone check the code for me (because they do it for free and in about 2 minutes) both banks of the O2 sensors are bad. So the Versa goes into the shop for warranty.

    We have been tracking the gas mileage for the last 2k and we avg 20.1 mpg . Mostly city driving and now in the cold we are getting 18.5 , 17.5, 17.7 mpg , in the fall we were getting 22.8, 23.16, 20.99 mpg.

    I have been in contact the salesperson that sold us the car and his best advice was to take a road trip.

    If I could I would return it for a full refund.
  • flightnurseflightnurse at 35K feetPosts: 1,524
    Russ, either the O2 sensors were causing the problems or its how you are driving the car.I was one of the first to have a versa on this forum and I have 9300 miles on my versa. I average combined 28mpg. On the freeway around here in Phoenix, I drive between 70-80mph.

    I have played with the car in changing my driving habits, I got as low as 23, but that was nailing the throttle from a standing start and lefting the RPMs rev to about 5K. But in normal driving, there really isn't no reason to do that, the CVT really makes the most of the torque the engine makes if the RPM are around 3K.

    I suggest you start at the being thread on the Versa MPG and just go through what people have posted. You will see that 28 is about average for this board, and its a good sampling of people..

  • jacksan1jacksan1 Posts: 504
    Bad O2 sensors can kiil your mileage. So in your case, it remains to be seen whether or not your mileage improves after they are replaced. I have a feeling that those MPGs in teens were indeed caused by the O2 sensors.

    Be that as it may, while O2 sensors going bad after only 4,000 miles may explain a poor MPG average, it does not exactly make a good case for the car's reliability.
  • longo32longo32 Posts: 81
    "the salesperson that sold us the car and his best advice was to take a road trip."

    WOW russvagt, I hope you told HIM about sex and travel.

    If the O2 Sensors in your Versa are both bad, driving like a Nascar Racer will not suddenly make it all better.
    A couple of other symptoms might be evident as well if the O2's are shot, you might notice some black smoke from the tailpipe, and/or a 'rotten egg' smell to the exhaust.

    If the O2's are gone in any vehicle tho, bad MPG is always the result, as the engine is running too rich a mixture.

    My Versa sucks gas like a gravel truck too, so, if it's just bad OEM O2 sensors, you might be on the way to solving the Bad MPG mystery...please, don't forget to keep the rest of us Versa Gas Guzzler owners up to date on the outcome.
  • jacksan1jacksan1 Posts: 504
    A couple of other symptoms might be evident as well if the O2's are shot, you might notice some black smoke from the tailpipe, and/or a 'rotten egg' smell to the exhaust.

    Actually, bad O2 sensors can act like early phases of cancer. They may not cause any physical symptoms, but the car's appetite changes. I had an experience with O2 sensors going bad once. Nothing like smoke or smell. The gas mileage just dropped like a cliff (it helps to know what you are usually getting), and sure enough, it was those sensors.
  • russvagtrussvagt Posts: 5
    I will keep ya posted,,,,, just for giggles what is everyone getting for MPG on their CVT Versa ?

    We are in southern MN and a couple weeks in FEB temps were in the -10 to -20 , we keep our Versa in our garage (it's not a heated garage) and several times the car would not start, it just cranked and cranked and cranked.....tried a few seconds later and it started right up. HMMMM....

    Like I posted before "if I could I would return it."

    This is my wife's car and to have her stranded or the possibility of it leaving her stranded make me nervous.
  • pixel1pixel1 Posts: 14
    Just purchased an 07 SL with CVT and ABS. We live in a rather mountainous area of southern Oregon, and 80% of driving is city/county. Only filled up twice so far; first tank avg 28.3mpg, second got 27.9. Not quite what we expected, but feel it's pretty good considering the type of driving. Should find out soon what we'll get on a highway trip.
  • longo32longo32 Posts: 81
    pixel1, No one warned us about a little CVT quirk the Versa, and probably the rest of the makes that run the same powertrain, has. When the engine idles down at a stop, the CVT loses its grip, so to speak.
    If you are stopped going up a hill (or in your case, a Mt.) the car will roll backwards. So a little fancy footwork on the brake is needed to keep your Versa out of the grill of the guy behind you.
  • flightnurseflightnurse at 35K feetPosts: 1,524
    Interesting when I'm at a stop, I have to keep my foot on the brake as the car wants to inch forward....
  • lemonhaterlemonhater Posts: 110
    Not sure if this is just a CVT thing..My old trecel certainly would roll back if stopped on a step enough hill, The CVT on the versa isn't quite as gripy as an automatic transmission, and I wouldn't be surprised if it were a tad more prone to roll back, but any car can do it under the right conditiins.
  • inharmswayinharmsway Posts: 153
    Perhaps the cvt gets better city mpg than the auto because the cvt does not try to move the car forward at idle speed. Try driving a stick shift in San Francisco, you need 3 feet.
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