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Nissan Versa Real World MPG

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  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 5,964
    It's been about a year now since we've been forced to use ethanol-laced fuel here in central PA. The first 18 months, using non-ethanol gas, I was getting 33-34 in mixed driving and 35-36 on the highway. (Still feels like I need 7th gear sometimes)

    For the last year, I've never cracked 32 on the highway and my mixed driving is 29-30mpg. That's The Inconvenient Truth About Ethanol :mad:

    But I still love my Versa!

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  • 09 Versa CVT, on the third tank now, around 30 mpg with mixed city/highway driving. Not great... okay I guess... my other car is a Jetta TDI, ~43 mpg, and much better ride. Hope that it will improve a bit as the car breaks in.
  • Hi,

    I just bought a 2009 Versa Hatchback 1.8 S. When I take my foot off the gas on the highway, the car feels like it is slowing down, not coasting like a "normal" car. Does this happen to everyone else ? I have the 4 speed auto trans, not the CVT.

    Thanks
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 5,964
    I don't know of any vehicle that doesn't feel like it slows down on the highway when you take your foot off the gas. At highway speeds that's pretty much normal behavior since the engine is working to overcome air resistance. As soon as you lift off your foot, the air IS going to slow you down.

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  • I have a Dodge Caliber with a similar Nissan CVT tranny to the Versa. I agree, the CVT can get good MPG, but only if true feather footing is used. Compared to other Caliber drivers who drive their CVTs 'normally' (which isn't normal, since Americans are always in a hurry), I can get 10+% better MPG. Compared to lead-footers, I get 20+% better MPG. A classic example......when starting from a stop, carefully note if your car rises a bit on its front shocks......that is an indication that you can get better MPG, just from easing more carefully into your first acceleration from zero MPH. When you begin your forward motion, allow the front end of the car only to move straight forward......not up on its shock.
  • I test drove a Toyota Yaris, and it seemed to keep rolling at the same speed, after I let up on the gas, on the hiway. Felt kind of strange, almost like the engine sucked in more gas to keep up the speed.
    On my Versa, I notice that the rpms will drop about 4k when you let off the gas, in the first 3 gears of the autotrans, but when you are in 4th gear (overdrive) it won't drop at all. So now you've got the engine drag slowing you down as well as the wind pushing you back, if you try to coast in 4th. It's acting like a manual trans in 4th gear, and like an autotrans in gears 1 thru 3.
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    My last two tanks of gas with the Cube and CVT got over 32 mpg each tank...by feather footing. This included my "weekend" surface street driving as well as some commuting (I usually get much better mileage on my commute than on city street weekend driving). So I am impressed by what the CVT can deliver if you "baby" it. BTW I don't baby it ALL the time, like pulling away from the toll plaza or getting on the freeway....
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    I've never had a conventional automatic (like the 4 speed in the Yaris) not shift all the way up to 4th speed, even on city streets (at least after warm up, some cars sense if the motor is cold and holds it in 3rd or doesn't lock up the torque converter until you are on the freeway).

    In other words, there is NEVER a 4,000 rpm drop in engine speed - that would only happen, imho, if you were locking it in 2nd on the street or in 3rd on the freeway. Please note that with the Yaris, at least on the one I test drove, it is easy - and common - to drive on the freeway in 3rd because the way to opt out of "overdrive 4th" is to position the control lever to the left or right (I forget which) and NOT to push a button on the side of the handle (the more normal way).

    All this having been said, on my Cobalt automatic the car just seemed to coast on the freeway without much engine drag. But on my wife's Odyssey, it actually feels like it is dropping a gear to provide engine breaking. One system is designed to maximize gas mileage while letting you coast, the other system is designed to maximize engine breaking to reduce brake wear, or help you slow down coming down a hill.
  • ********************************************************************************- ****************
    Quote:
    On my Versa, I notice that the rpms will drop about 4k when you let off the gas, in the first 3 gears of the autotrans, but when you are in 4th gear (overdrive) it won't drop at all. So now you've got the engine drag slowing you down as well as the wind pushing you back, if you try to coast in 4th. It's acting like a manual trans in 4th gear, and like an autotrans in gears 1 thru 3.
    ********************************************************************************- ****************

    What you notice is the torque converter, which does not lock in the first 3 gears (and therefore rpm's drop when you take the foot off the pedal), then locks (I believe the 3rd gear and) 4th gear (no drop in rpm's when you release the pedal). This is normal and by design.

    Sounds like the Yaris tranny doesn't employ torque lock. If I understand things right, locking the torque converter is good, as it prevents slippage, and therefore improves fuel economy.

    That said, I am not an expert, so I could be totally off.
  • Oh God, I must be working too much. I should have said the tach drops 400 rpm not 4,000 rpm, when I let off the gas in 1, 2, or 3. Sorry !!
  • I have some mpg numbers now. First tank : 30.0 mpg on 10 % ethanol blend, and 80% hiway. Second tank, still on 10% ethanol, but inflated tired to 40 psi (were 35 psi before) : 32.1 mpg ( 80% hiway). Third tank using Shell pure gas no ethanol and 40 psi in tires : 35.0 mpg (80% hiway). 4th tank. Shell pure gas and 40 psi. (60% hiway) 31.0 mpg.

    I have the old-fashioned 4 speed auto trans.

    btw, this includes use of the a/c.
  • twogrimtwogrim Posts: 1
    When I bought my 07 Versa my brother (a devout Honda fan) bought a 07 Fit bragging all the time about how superior his car was to mine. I disagreed and kept saying I did not see the 4k difference in price. Well now that I have had my Versa for three years and put over 40k miles on it I can say without a doubt that this is one of the best little cars I have ever owned. The ride is great, the mileage has averaged over 32 (except when brand new) in mixed driving and I have had only one issue (with the TPMS, fixed under warranty). My brother with the fit has had it in the shop five times for various things from the radio to the brakes, he has just under 38k miles on his and is now looking to trade it in on guess what, a Versa!

    We went to Disney together last month him and his family in the Fit and me and my family in the Versa, a 600mile trip (each way) loaded down with our luggage and stuff. Two adults, two kids in each car. I averaged 35.4 mpg he averaged 35.9 mpg. I had no isses with luggage while he had no room for a cooler and his kids had to share a suitcase (a very small one at that). On the return trip my brother wanted to swap cars to see if they could see any difference so we did, that was all it took. Upon getting home they decided to sell the Fit and get a Versa. I will update you all with the details when he sell his Fit and gets the Versa.
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    I owned both and generally agree with your assessment about the Fit vs. Versa. I think the luggage space on both are quite good - the 2008 Fit (first generation) I had was much more spacious than the Yaris hatchback I owned. Maybe the Versa was a little larger, but we never did a road trip like you described. I DO think the Versa has a much better cargo cover - rigid - vs. the flimsy "window shade" style cargo cover that I had to pay extra for on the Fit. The Fit's cargo cover also left a big gap behind the rear seat that you could easily see through.

    Where the Versa really shined was in road noise - it was nice and quiet. The 2008 Fit was much noisier.

    Where the Fit shined was in handling - it was a little sports car.

    I got much higher gas mileage on my Fit with 5 speed than on my Versa with 6 speed, both manual transmission - about a 5 mpg difference. (I now have a Cube with CVT and it actually gets slightly better gas mileage than the Versa with stick, so it may have been a sample variation).

    I have test driven the new generation Fit in 5 speed only and it has a lot of wind noise, a fair amount of road surface noise, and the engine is still geared low - 3,750 rpm or so at 80 mph. So the noise hasn't gotten any better. The handling has gotten worse, except on the Sport Model (I drove both Base and Sport) which handles well but rides terribly (not insufferably terribly, but harsher than the former generation base model which still out handles it, imho and brief opinion). Where the Fit excels is in the fold flat seats and enormous station wagon hauling capacity.

    I think both are great small cars, but my conclusion is that the Fit is over rated and the Versa is underrated. If you ignore the cost factor, the Versa is slightly superior, if you take into account the cost factor, the Versa is a significantly better buy with one big caveat - when I went to trade in the Versa and Fit after 6 months, the Fit traded in for more than I paid for it (ignoring sales tax and license fees) but the Versa trade in was the more normal Japanese car trade in range.

    And yes I'd by either again in an instant, but I've gotten pickier about safety and would like to see stability control on both and also better roof crush tests. The mediocre roof crush tests on the Fit coupled with the lack of stability control (which reduces roll-over risk) makes it much less desirable to me, from a safety standpoint.
  • Got my 09 Versa 4 sp auto (not CVT) in August. Have filled up about 7 times since then. Lowest mpg was 30.0, on the first tank Highest was 35.3 mpg :) ( I've hit 35 mpg 3 times so far). This is with 75 % hiway driving.

    Using Shell gas which has no ethanol at my station. I think the lack of ethanol increases mpg's. Also bumped my tire pressure up to 40 psi, from 35 psi.
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 5,964
    You're spot on about ethanol. My '07 got 33 in my normal everyday driving and 35 on the highway until ethanol was introduced in our area. That knocked a solid 10% off the mileage :sick:

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  • pixel1pixel1 Posts: 14
    '07 Versa with CVT, just turned 40,000 miles on the clock -- overall mileage is 31.5, figure about 60% highway, 40% in town driving. Have to agree with previous posters about effects of ethanol, as Oregon has 10% added, and my mileage did drop some. Still loving this car, trouble-free so far.
  • Switched back to ethanol just for kicks. Sure enuf, my mileage is down to 29.x mpg on my usual commute. I was getting 32.x on the same commute, but using Shell without ethanol. Guess I'll go back to Shell even tho it costs more. :shades:
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 5,964
    That's the kicker... non-ethanol gas doesn't cost more, at least not anywhere where I've been able to find the choices available. it's not as if ethanol was introduced and prices at the pumped dropped or rose. But even if the price had dropped, my basic argument against ethanol still stands... if a 10% ethanol blend is reducing my mileage by 10%, it's not saving anything with regard to gas/oil consumption.

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  • Just made a long trip for Thanksgiving. 330 miles each way. On the way up, on Wawa ethanol, got 32.9 mpg. On the way back, with Cumberland Farms ethanol, got 32.5 mpg. 95% hiway, 60 to 70 mph.

    BTW, the Shell station near me, with NON Ethanol gas, used to be only about 10 cents more per gallon than Wawa, but for the last two weeks, it has been 20 cents more per gallon. (Wawa dropped its price)
  • Hello Folks,

    I just purchased a beautiful 2008 Nissan Versa. 1.8L with 6 spd manual. This car was purchased with MPG's in mind. I just took a new job which requires a 60 mile commute daily through a big city interstate system. So far I have been using the cruise control when I can, which is most of the time, and not going any faster than 60 MPH. In this thread I have learned to look for pure gas, and inflate the tires to 40 PSI. Are there any other suggestions to get the best MPG possible? Is 60 MPH the best MPG speed? Would 55 MPH make that much difference? I noticed the RPM revs a lot higher than other cars I'm accustomed to. At 60MPH it almost revs to 3K, but it is a small engine. That may be normal. Just looking for any suggestions the masses may have.

    Thanks...
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 5,964
    We have about 68K miles on our 2007 6-speed, and love it. The only thing I wish I could change/add would be to have it geared higher in 6th gear to lower the RPM's just a tad. My daughters both agree with me that it feels like it could use 7th gear.

    But that's just our picky wish list :)

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  • Has anyone purchased an after market MPG indicator? I've done some reading from a guy who suggests using a dwell meter connected to a injector positive lead. Will give you duty cycle (percent of the time the injector is hot) I think. Just wondering because I sure would like some sort of indication of how I'm doing economically speaking....

    Thanks....
  • I have a ScanGauge II which does a lot of different things (except injector hot time percentage). I haven't connected it to my Versa though... I like looking at the mpg in my TDI. ;)
  • I did a little googling and it appears the Versa has an OBD II port so that should plug in nicely. Wonder if they make a smaller less complex unit cheaper. It does a lot of functions but it costs a pretty penny too..

    Thannks...
  • I found that sight last night while googling around. They make a small version that only does a few options for 89 bucks. I also found some DIY projects that use the arduino, some even pre-built for you...

    Thanks...
  • I have ran two tanks of gas through my new 2008 Versa and I must say I'm very pleased with it. The first tank the dealer put in, so I don't know what it was but I got 314.7 miles out of 11.25 gallons which calculates to 27.96 MPG. He said it was a full tank but I have my doubts. :mad: I wasn't completely happy with that tank. I just ran through my second tank with these numbers. 395.3 miles out of 11.595 gallons which calculates to a much more impressive 34.09 MPG. This is probably 90% highway driving never over 60 MPH. :)
  • campermancamperman Posts: 53
    I bought a 2009 Versa in February. I have put 2,300 miles on it and I average 36 mpg. I am just at the end of the breakin period and hoping it will get a bit better. I have driven 80% highway so far with several long trips. This car is performing better than my expectations and so far I am quite pleased with it.
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    Stick shift, CVT, or 4 speed automatic?
  • do u let your car idle for long periods of time while sitting inside? do u drive only 2 miles and hit 10 lights?
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