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Nissan Versa Real World MPG

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  • jacksan1jacksan1 Posts: 504
    One benefit of course for the extra weight of today's compacts is that they have better crash safety than the older cars. The Versa leads its class in IIHS scores. Maybe that is an acceptable trade-off for the relatively low fuel economy. But I'd really like to have both, if that is possible.

    Yes, I agree that crash safety is something that the newer cars tend to be better in, and that is where the weight is going. An example in case: the 'kei'-class cars in Japan used to be all 360 cc. Then the regulations were changed, and a displacement of up to 660 cc for the same class was permitted, as were larger dimensions for the body. And the reason for this was precisely that - crash safety. Did the 'kei' cars get a better mileage when they were smaller? Yes. But are today's 'kei' cars safer? Definitely. I guess most Japanese drives are able to live with this trade-off.

    The true test of technology now may be, given the same crash safety level, whether near-future cars can get a better mileage than today's cars. That may be a more valid form of comparision in a few years' time than to compare today's cars with cars of yesteryear.
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,997
    I reset the mpg meter at the Hertz lot. When I pulled up to my hotel in Boulder, about 40 miles away, it read 43.2 mpg. Last year I rented a Sentra in KC, and on a similar kind of highway jog it got over 40 mpg also.

    Basing MPG from a 40mile drive and the car's trip computer doesn't tell you much. Try driving a few hundred miles and manually calculate the MPG and tell us what you get, and then do that a few times to get a real average.

    So next time you rent a Sentra, fill it up. Drive it around for a week or however long you have it, record the gallons you put in and manually calculate your average based on the miles you drove that week. It's easy especially since you'll fill it up anyway before you turn it in.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,769
    I was specifically checking the mpg of the Sentra on the highway. Also, I have no idea how "full" the tank was leaving the Hertz lot (a tank that reads "full" can be 1-2 gallons short I've found), so I have more confidence in the mpg calculation from the computer than if I had calculated mpg manually.
  • dudleyrdudleyr Posts: 3,447
    Even if the car computer was off by 1 or 2 mpg backy's point is still valid.
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 5,958
    I'm always suprised how many people incorrectly calculate their mileage. Manual calculation of your mileage is right on the money, as long as you perform the calculation correctly.

    I recently burst someone's bubble who thought they were getting 32mpg on a vehicle that had EPA estimated highway mileage of 25mpg. I told them that that seemed WAY too high, but they insisted they checked their mileage everytime they filled up. So I asked them to explain exactly what they did...

    Turns out that the first time they filled up the car, it took 10 gallons to fill up and they assumed that's how much the tank held. Then they looked at how many miles they had driven since they last filled up and divided by 10 :confuse:

    Their tank actually held a bit more than 13 gallons. Their true mileage was right in that 25mpg range!

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  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,997
    Okay, then I'll give you that after 40min of driving on the highway, the Sentra's trip computer reads 40mpg. That's different than saying that a Sentra averages 40mpg on the highway. My big Freestyle can give me in the low-30s MPG in those same circumstances, but I'm not going to say that I average that in the longterm for highway driving.

    That being said, there's no reason that a Versa should be expected to get any better highway MPG than a Sentra on these purely 100% highway drives at 65mph. Once any vehicle is cruising on the highway, aerodynamics plays more of a role in mpg over anything else.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,769
    I think I was very clear that my 43.2 mpg observed was under specific conditions. I never claimed the Sentra averages 40 mpg on the highway. I was asking why the Versa, under similar conditions, could not get better than 43.2 mpg and asked if anyone had achieved that kind of number, since I haven't seen numbers like that posted here.

    I don't know the drag numbers for the '06 Sentra and Versa but just from the looks of them I wouldn't expect the Sentra to have a significant advantage there.
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,997
    I was asking why the Versa, under similar conditions, could not get better than 43.2 mpg and asked if anyone had achieved that kind of number, since I haven't seen numbers like that posted here.

    I guess we'll have to wait and see if anyone can achieve 43.2mpg in the Versa on a 40 mile drive from Denver to Boulder going the exact same speed as you ;)
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,769
    Or a similar highway drive someplace else. There's lots of parts of the country with similar terrain.

    Actually, I'd like to see a report of that kind of mpg at a similar speed (average 65 mph) under ANY conditions--except all downhill. ;)
  • jujubeejujubee Posts: 2
    HI, i realize that these postings are mostly about MPG, but i have some other concerns, i'm wondering what others think? i bought my 2007 Versa Sl w/ cvt auto about 5 weeks ago. my MPG is not so good, i seem to be getting close to 20 miles to the gallon city driving in So Cal. the engine is displaying a bad lurch when i shift from reverse to drive, or when i slow down then accelerate while driving. also, is anyone else experiencing a weird, abrupt hesitation when the brakes are applied and the car slows to around 10 mph? a/c is awful, fan has almost no power even @ highest setting. all this in addition other small glitches. i am so disappointed, i waited and researched for 2 years, i feel like i have flushed my $ down the toilet. KICKING myself for not buying a Mazda3 just to save a couple thousand. This is my first new car in 14 years, and now i want to get rid of it. Any suggestions? I paid $16,000 & still owe $13,000. How long do i have to keep it before trading it in so i dont totally mess myself up monetarily?
  • lemonhaterlemonhater Posts: 110
    Are you sure you’re read the manual or that things are working as they are supposed to? The car does have a rubber band effect, i.e. you press the gas go nowhere then go flying. The CVT manages to be booth smoother than an automatic and more jerky depending on how you drive it.

    I have yet to see it lurch when shifting from reverse to drive.

    The A/C on the other hand is a bit over powered. If you are crawling in traffic, it could be weak. However if you are driving it gets rather cold. If anything the car needs more settings on the fans speed. I go between too cold and too hot real fast.

    As for weird abrupt hesitation, No, never had it, but remember this thing is no Mazda. It is not built for speed.

    As for your gas mileage, my experice is the versa does not like sitting around in traffic. Which is what it sounds like you are doing a lot of. The engine is much too big to sit around and just sip gas. Versa is no gas guzzler, but it is no miser either.
  • bikedorianbikedorian Posts: 48
    lemonhater has summed it up so I won't go further on those points.
    It sounds like you wanted a Mazda 3 (I love the 3) and bought the Versa on price alone. The Versa is not a less expensive Mazda 3. It's a very different vehicle with noticeably less power.
    MPG has a lot to do with the driver. I've never gotten less than 27mpg but I don't have to routinely sit in bumper to bumper.
    A very common driving habit is to give it too much gas in city conditions only to use the brakes moments later to overcome the acceleration. That kills mpg. I did it for years. It was a tough habit to break.
    I LOVE my Versa.

    David
  • I have 1600 miles on my new Versa SL with CVT. I love everything about the car except the mileage. It has been between 24-25mpg and never better than 25.3 regardless of type of driving, distance travelled, or other variables.
    I took it to the dealer and they checked all the "alpha" ratings (whatever that means) and everything was within specs. I have contacted customer service as they advertise the cars "up to 33mpg" and I want to know how to get 33mpg? I have checked tire pressure (as advised by one forum writer) and it is fine. Any ideas on who might listen to this complaint and might have the power to do anything about it? Nissan seems to say that the Feds make up the gas mileage ratings, not the car companies.
    Please advise.
    Thanks.
    Frustrated in California
  • bikedorianbikedorian Posts: 48
    Lots of us are getting better than 33 on the highway, even with the A/C on. If it isn't the way/where you drive, I have no explanation.

    David
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 5,958
    I did an interesting experiment, by accident this week. I had to take my kid to a basketball practice for a regional team she made. Round trip was about 195 miles, virtually all on interstate, and I had to make the trip on Tuesday and Thursday.
    First day, there was a 4 mile stretch of highway under construction where traffic was backed up to a crawl and got me behind schedule, so we ran the rest of the trip between 75-80mph to just get there on time.
    on Thursday, no traffic backup in the construction zone, and we made the run between 65-70 mph.
    I had filled up before and after the first run, and did the same on the second one.
    Mileage for Tuesday, 32.7, mileage for Thursday, 35.1. Only difference, driving style.

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  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,769
    It's well known that fuel efficiency on most cars drops off a LOT over 60 mph or so. The "sweet spot" varies by car, but I've found it's right around the speed which results in lowest RPMs in top gear. The 6 speed on the Versa should help there, but from what I understand 6th is not especially tall--true?
  • pulgopulgo Posts: 400
    The six speed revs higher in 6th than the CVT. Thats why the CVT gets better MPG at the same highway speed.
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 5,958
    That's something I've felt right from the start with the 6 speed... that top gear just feels like it could be a bit higher than it is. I'm sure there's a design reason why it's geared the way it is.

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  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,769
    Maybe because Americans are too lazy to downshift a manual when cruise is on, if the engine has trouble up a steep hill?
  • jacksan1jacksan1 Posts: 504
    Maybe because Americans are too lazy to downshift a manual when cruise is on, if the engine has trouble up a steep hill?

    That's an interesting theory - and you may be onto something there.

    When you can have six gears in a car of this kind, you'd imagine that the auto maker would have five gears in a relatively close ratio for acceleration, and put the sixth on a very high gear ratio for cruising. However, a smaller-engine car like the Versa would not have enough torque to overcome such gearing under a severe load, thus requiring a downshift, which some drivers may take as an annoying inconvenience. By intentionally lowering the top gear, you'd have an RPM penalty, but that higher RPM would either put the engine in a torque sweet spot or produce enough of horsepower to make up for the lack of torque, thus reducing the need to downshift. I may be totally wrong on this, but your theory is plausible on this ground.

    With 6- and 7-speed ATs, the top gear is always super-overdrive. But then again, these are automatics after all.
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 5,958
    Maybe because Americans are too lazy to downshift a manual when cruise is on, if the engine has trouble up a steep hill?

    Well the way cruise works in a manual sort of shoots down that theory :P

    I really prefer the way cruise functions in a manual vs. the way it works in an automatic. The automatic will downshift to maintain speed, and will do so on not overly steep grades where cruise in a manual will just motor on.

    We rented a larger vehicle for vacation last year, and naturally it had an automatic. It drove me nuts on the highway as it was downshifting everytime we hit any upgrade. The speed would vary quite a bit.

    In the manual, if I set the cruise when I'm at 65, we stay at 65. I stay at 65 on slight upgrades where cruise on an automatic would downshift. When I get to a grade (and it has to be fairly steep) where I need to downshift, the cruise kicks off and I take control again. Lazy never enters the equation, because if I decide to downshift on my own, it kicks off the cruise anyway.

    In all the driving I do within 75 miles of my home, I have three grades where I know the cruise will kick off. And from experience, I know just about where on those grades it will happen, so I simply take over just before that point and downshift when needed.

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  • jaxs1jaxs1 Posts: 2,697
    Unless you drove a manual and automatic version of the same car with same engine on the same route, you don't positively know whether the automatic would downshift on a grade that was mild enough for the manual to be able to maintain 65 in top gear.
    Also, in cases where that would be true, that's because the manual has a lower top gear which lets it climb hills more easily while revving higher and using more gas. That is why many cars with manuals get lower highway MPG than automatics nowadays.
    So what if the automatic downshifts to maintain speed on a hill? At least you don't have to keep resetting the cruise control.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,769
    The automatic downshifting may have been annoying to you but took no effort on your part. With a stick, the cruise shuts off, so you need to manually downshift to get up the steep hill, then re-engage the cruise control (hopefully it remembered its setting).

    Personally that's not a big deal and I think the gains in FE for a taller 6th gear would be worth some minor inconvenience, but I can't help but think that Nissan (and other car makers) make top gear such that it can handle most hills instead of making it super tall for maximum FE on the highway.
  • azaiazai Posts: 4
    I now have 4500 miles on my versa hatchback 6-speed, and average 33-34 mpg with probably 80% highway driving. This week however I slowed it down on the freeway (went 66 rather than 75-80) and I am stunned that I got 37 mpg. Blew my mind. The highest I had gotten yet was 35. I will try to keep it under 70mph to see if I can keep my mileage higher.

    Just to validate myself here, I calculate this by driving about 30 miles past the gas light coming on, filling up my tank, and dividing how much I put in the tank (usually 11+ gallons) by the total miles driven on that tank.
  • beey0nkabeey0nka Posts: 1
    Hello Azai,

    I read your posting and was amazed at the mileage you are getting. I recently purchased a Versa Hatchback. Although, I love the car I have been very disappointed w/ the mileage. I am barely getting 260-290 on a full tank. I do drive more on the streets right now and was wondering how much you average driving in the city.

    Thanks.
  • danzigdandanzigdan Posts: 50
    I'm interested in this car and it seems that most are getting good mileage now. I've still seen reports on other forums of low gas mileage (low 20's). To all who own a Versa; KEEP THOSE MPG REPORTS COMING!
  • s550iwishs550iwish Posts: 28
    Is the 2008 Versa reliable??? Or a hunk a garbage?? :)
  • jaxs1jaxs1 Posts: 2,697
    Trollish question. No one can answer that for a 2008 and even the 2007s haven't been out long enough to have a meaningful history.
    Almost all 1 year old and newer cars are "reliable" unless you have bad luck and get one of the lemons. Even that depends on what your opinion on what reliable means.
    Someone will post saying they have a 2007 that has been perfect and someone else may post a laundry list of problems and both will mean next to nothing statistically.
  • flightnurseflightnurse 35K feetPosts: 1,673
    I have had my Versa for over a year and my mileage keeps getting better. My last tank I averaged 33.9 mpg, this was 90% highway, driving 70mph with the AC on. I live in Phoenix, AZ so my AC is on ALL the time, from the time I start the car till I get to where I'm going. When I first got my Versa I was average 26 MPG... So it has Significally improved.

    I think one of the problem with people and the CVT is the way they drive them. Once you get use to driving the car with the CVT, then your mileage well improve. There is no reason to have the engine rev higher then 3000 RPM from a start, you well move briskly through traffic with no problems. But if you drive with your foot planted in the throttle and rev the engine to 4,5 or 6000 RPM then your milege well suffer...

    Tony
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Posts: 5,713
    I wanna know something about Indian School Road up there in Phoenix. I'm down southeast in Willcox, AZ. My son took a Greyhound from Seattle to Phoenix and started walking out in that nasty heat. I picked him up on Indian School Road right around the 3700-3800 block or so. This was 3 weeks ago or so.

    My question is: Are there more cars on Indian School Road or people walking on the side of the road? Yikes. That place is crawling with pedestrians, every corner is jammed with people hanging out and/or walking really laid back and slow. It's too hot to do anything very fast.

    In October I'm headin' up to Morristown to see legendary rock band Foghat. Can't wait...have you been to Morristown? Supposedly it's just 30 miles NW of downtown Phoenix on Hwy 60.

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

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