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Nissan Versa Real World MPG

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  • tab00tab00 Posts: 18
    for those interested this is a good link to show how the EPA rating is tested. (Someone else may have posted this before) It is a good read everyone should have a look.

    http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/how_tested.shtml
    http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/fe_test_schedules.shtml

    according to these stites (and it's on the internet so it must all be true) :) here is how the the different milages are calculated.

    "City: Represents urban driving, in which a vehicle is started with the engine cold and driven in stop-and-go rush hour traffic. The driving cycle for the test includes idling, and the vehicle averages about 20 mph."

    "Highway: Represents a mixture of rural and Interstate highway driving with a warmed-up engine, typical of longer trips in free-flowing traffic. Average test speed is about 48 mph and includes no intermediate stops or idling."

    but wait there is more ...

    "In the 1980s, an EPA study found that drivers were typically achieving lower fuel economy than predicted by EPA laboratory tests. As a result, EPA required the laboratory-derived city and highway MPG estimates posted on the labels of new vehicles to be adjusted downward by 10 percent for city estimates and by 22 percent for highway estimates to better reflect the MPG real-world drivers can expect."

    WHAT! so by this am I to infer that Nissan, even under controlled conditions, achieved not 30/34 but something more like 33/43. Ya right, in who's dreams? In fact the 10%/22% difference is about the difference I am getting now. It's almost like in the test someone forgot that step ;)

    Keep in mind this is not in any way a new car. As I posted earlier, Nissan had a point of reference, the Tiida. Yes it has a smaller engine (1.5ltr) and presumably is more efficient, but it has been sold for a couple of years and has had time to collect "real world" data. It should have been easy to compare the results to the 1.8ltr and see if the numbers hold up.

    For those on this thread that keep expressing how great the interior is, I don't disagree it has a fabulous interior for the price point, but that is not the point of this discussion. What is more the interior is not sooo great as to off set the value in the cost of operation/ownersip.
    some one else on this board made a point about the differnce in the monthly cost between 30mpg and ~24mpg. I figure that based on my driving this car will cast me between $25 and $30 a month more as comparied to the "City" rate posted by Nissan. (I'll spare you the detailed calculations). Is that a lot of money, um.. yes! That would cover ny Netflix bill, I am a gamer, it would pay for a new game every month. The point is it adds up. Also I for one don't think that the price of gas will stay at $3.00 a gallon long. I bet we hit $4.00 a gallon in the next year or two.

    Basically I look at it like this. I bought this car principally because it was reported as being a generally fuel efficient vehicle. I chose it over other vehicles because of its comfort and slightly better peformance. Knowing what I know today I would have kept shopping.

    Hey skoobahead1, I would be curious what you wrote to Nissan, care to post? I thin I am about to do the same.
  • benduprebendupre Posts: 121
    I second that emotion.

    I'm coming down from a V6 Sable and I wasn't even sure I'd be comfortable in a "rollerskate". But that's what I decided to shop for based on 1)Fuel Economy, 2)Comfort, and 3)Cargo. I feel like for the ACTUAL economy I'm getting, I could have been shopping for a bigger car and scored even better on 2 and 3.

    I'd been telling myself for at least three years that when the sable goes, I'm going to get a rollerskate that's great on gas. It's just me in the car 99% of the time so if I could be comforatable and if I had room to haul my grass clippings to the city disposal site every week, I'd be happy. I was torn between a rollerskate and a small pickup, but I needed a backseat for the once every three months I have to take one of the kids to the doctor, and only mid-large size pickups come with back seat, and don't get 30-36MPG.

    Comparing stickers between models I didn't mind 1-3 MPG difference as long as City was over 30. My daily commute is 3mi county highway, 9mi interstate and less than 1/8 mile from the off-ramp to my parking spot. One stop light in front of the office. 70-75 on the interstate, never enough traffic to slow down. I figured I could at least get the city figure on my almost all highway daily commute.

    Being as MPG was number 1 on my list, I'm extra dissappointed. I love absolutely everything else about the car, but as I said the 1-3 mph penalty for the extra room was worth it. The REAL penalty of 5-10 MPG is not. Knowing what I know now about the mileage, I would have went with an even smaller car. Then I'd more satisfied because at least no one can "lie" to you about how much space there is in a vehicle.

    Ben
  • Tab00,

    It went something like this:

    I am writing to let you know about my disappointment in my 2007 Nissan Versa purchase. I have used 3 full tanks of gas and am only averaging 24.5 MPG. This is a far cry from what you put on the sticker (30/36) and is totally unacceptable. The majority of my driving has been city driving with the AC on. I am not an aggressive driver in any way shape or form.
    It appears I am not alone with my disappointment of what was posted on your sticker and what actual mileage the car gets. If you searh the Versa forums on the internet(Edmunds car space and Nissan/Infinity owners club-NICO) you will find many others with similar mileage complaints and feelings of being misled by your company. I expect you will receive many letters similar to mine.
    I understand the posted EPA of 30/36 is a perfect scenario and I would not hold Nissan to those numbers. The problem I have is that the Versa doesn't even come close to those figures, yet you advertise it to do so.
    I purchased this vehicle because I needed a car with excellent fuel economy. What I ended up with was a compact car with the fuel economy of a midsize sedan.
    Please forward this information to Nissans Technical department as perhaps there is something that can be done.
    In addition, please do not tell me that "your mileage may vary" or "your car needs time to break in".

    Thanks for looking into this matter



    Hey BENDUPRE,

    Your thoughts on this purchase mirror mine...DITTO
    "No one can lie to you about how much space there is in a vehicle"--LOL...perfect
  • benduprebendupre Posts: 121
    Either there is some truth to this "break-in" rumor, or I'm just learning how to drive all over again. But my last fill yielded 29.162 MPG. I'm a lot more pleased with this number. The optimist sees one favorable data point and reads a trend :D
  • Glad to hear it Bendupre! :)
    How many miles on this fill up and what type of driving?
    Lets hope Versa's need break in :shades:
  • flightnurseflightnurse at 35K feetPosts: 1,523
    Funny how people have to pick at things..

    My first real tank I got 26, the last couple were 27, and now 29. Its getting better My last car was a 2000 Ford Contour I was getting 24. The Versa is far better then the Contour and if the mileage keeps getting better, I'll be happier..

    Tony :shades:
  • jacksan1jacksan1 Posts: 504
    Just for your reference, the 1.5 L CVT Tiida in Japan is rated by the notoriously unrealistic official system at approx. 43MPG. I have scoured the 'net to see what the real people are saying about their Tiidas' mileage in Japan, and most people are reporting something in the neighborhood of 28~29MPG, with a few reporting as high as 38MPG and as low as 16MPG. By the way, 29MPG in Japan, especially in urban settings, is a pretty good number.
  • Here's a link to what Popular Mechanics got for mileage numbers on the new subcompacts. An interesting read for sure

    http://www.popularmechanics.com/automotive/new_cars_trucks/3008141.html
  • jacksan1jacksan1 Posts: 504
    Whoa, the article is a tough indictment against the Versa's mileage.
  • There does seem to be something magical about that 30 mpg figure!

    I have a newer 6sp SL with about 500 miles on it that I bought instead of replacing my Camry with a similar car. So far I've noticed several downsides compared with the larger car: 1) more engine/road noise, especially on the freeway; 2) no quite as much front seat leg room; 3) and a much less efficient stereo (given that the rear speakers no longer have a trunk behind them); longer overall cabin for hauling long (2x4x8) items. I'm still enjoying the refined interior and fun to drive quality, but I believe that I will expect more than 30 mpg city to feel good about the purchase down the road.

    So far, only (at least) 28.5 miles on the first tank with about 20/80 city/interstate (75 mph) driving. I'm working on my second tank and will post updates.

    MAKozee
  • Shouldn't we be comparing the mileage of the Versa to the Matrix (1.8L) and the Focus (2.0 L); cars with very comparable interior space.

    For instance, the Matrix is heavier and slower and only 1-2 inches longer and wider than the Versa. The Versa has more rear leg room and only falls short a few cubic feet in storage space.

    Matrix owners on Carpspace report more than 30 mpg on average (EPA estimated 30/36 with the 5spd). The lowest reported number was 27 but fewer overall complaints. I'd say this is good indication that most owners are hitting the low end of the EPA estimates.

    MAKozee
  • jacksan1jacksan1 Posts: 504
    >>There does seem to be something magical about that 30 mpg figure!

    I was thinking about the psychology of 30MPG earlier. If converted to km/L, 30MPG translates into about 12.7km per liter. 29MPG is about 12.3km per liter. Coming from Japan, I can tell you that no one there would give a rat's a** about the difference between 12.7 and 12.3km per liter. But in the U.S., 30MPG is a sacred and inviolable territory, and failing that is a deadly sin of economy cars. Rather interesting how our minds work....
  • benduprebendupre Posts: 121
    You're right. The Matrix and Focus are more comparable in size/weight/engine displacement to the Versa.

    But more importantly, I think, is the disparity of Versa to it's published numbers when comapred to other vehicles.

    Ben
  • jacksan1jacksan1 Posts: 504
    I really think that Nissan made a mistake by not bringing to North America the 1.5L version Versa. I know, as others have said, that Nissan was likely concerned about the performance due to its extra weight. But when I drove a 1.5L (CVT) Tiida in Japan, I saw that it had a remarkable low-end torque which made me completely forget that it had such a small engine, despite the fact that there were four adults riding. My cousin, who owns a Subaru Forester, drove it also, and he said he was astounded by this 1.5L's flexibility and smoothness. I think 1.5 would have been fine in the U.S., and gotten a better mileage also.
  • kc7kc7 Posts: 96
    From my observation, more people are getting close to 30 combined than 24. I think that 24 is a " unique " case.

    Also I think one should not be too obsessed with psychological numbers like 30. I mean I know why many prices of stuff in shops around the world is labelled $29.9 instead of $30, precisely for the same reason, people thought it's cheaper, even though the difference is so slight.

    I understand the disappointment of people who read Nissan's earlier claims. But just that deep inside, I just felt that it could be unrealistic to expect a car of Versa's size and extra weight, plus bigger engine, to be able to come within 2 mpg of Fit / Yaris's 1500 cc engine mpg figures plus their smaller, lighter body.

    Anyway, 29-31 mpg combined for a car of Versa's size, comfort and power, while not very impressive, is I think no cause for alarm. Unless you are getting below 25 several times.

    For the guy who thinks $23+ a month extra is expensive, buddy, come on, you can afford a $15k+ new car, are you SURE $23 a month hurts ? It just sounds like a guy who can afford a new super computer, yet feels pain at having to pay a bit more electric bills for that computer.

    Anyway, I remember someone say " The grass is always greener in somebody else's pastures ". Who knows, at the sametime Versa owners are fretting abt the mpg figures, some Fit / Yaris owners are fretting about wanting more space and comfort / power like the Versa ?

    For those who wrote to Nissan, I suggest at the sametime you try to lobby them to sell the 1500 cc Versa. In Japan its clear that that engine, the HR15DE is 25% more fuel efficient ! Thats about the difference between the 1.8 Versa and 1.5 Fit / Yaris !

    So if you want a Versa with mpg close to Fit, then the 1.5 Versa is it, just that the fun and power of the current 1.8 Versa will be reduced. Like I said, you can't have it all. You want big sedan size cabin, more power, fuel sipping of a small Fit, at the same price. Not easy I think. Its like demanding a first class seat for almost economy class price.

    If I am Nissan, I WILL also sell the 1500 cc Versa. Let the consumer make his/her pick !
  • kc7kc7 Posts: 96
    My sentiments exactly ! Before the Versa is born in USA, I have already reported here several times that I have also test driven the 1500 cc Versa, and that I am also astounded at that engine's brutal strength at low rpms. More than enough to get the job done.

    In fact, I think if a Versa 1.5 is born in the USA, Honda and Toyota will know fear for the first time. A 1.5 Versa will cost a bit less than the 1.8, have mpg so close to Fit/Yaris that they feel uncomfortable, and will have enormous appeal !

    Maybe Nissan USA is worried that US consumers may think a Versa 1.5 is underpowered. But I think they should forget about that fear, as a test drive could easily convince people that the 1.5 Versa is sufficiently powered.

    Bring in the 1.5 Versa ! Big sedan cabin space plus 35+ mpg combined !
  • jacksan1jacksan1 Posts: 504
    My cousin had bought a Forester about three months before driving a 1.5L Tiida. He confided to me after the drive that he momentarily thought that he should probably have considered a Tiida. That is quite a statement. He wasn't wondering about the Tiida after he bought a Fit or Vitz (Yaris). He was comparing the Tiida with his brand-new Forester and said to himself "Maybe I would have been better off with the Tiida." And this Tiida had a 1.5L engine. Nissan should have talked to my cousin before sending only 1.8L to North America.
  • flightnurseflightnurse at 35K feetPosts: 1,523
    Problem is the engines in Japan do not meet EPA regulations, so once Nissan made the 1.5l comply with the EPA, the car might not have been as peppy..

    Tony :shades:
  • benduprebendupre Posts: 121
    Isn't detuning for smog about the same as detuning for mileage? Exhaust train would be the same in US as Japan/China wouldn't it?

    The 1.8 was definitely fitted because NISSAN guesed the American market would want power. Probably also why the programming is the way it is. I'm sure the engineers could squeeze out a couple more MPG with tweaks in the programming, but it would surely lose some power at the same time.

    I've been wondering if the engine "learning" is the reason my mileage is creeping up. Could be my foot learning as well.

    Ben
  • kc7kc7 Posts: 96
    Are you sure ? Because as far as I know the Japanese government also regulates emissions etc. very strictly.

    Heres some info :
    http://press.nissan-global.com/EN/CORPORATE/RELEASE/newtech.html

    Or you can type hr15de in google and read many articles abt this engine.

    From my memory, the engine of the 1.5 Versa has the same horsepower as the 1.5 of the Fit and Yaris, BUT the HR15DE has bigger torque. Thus this engine has greater pulling power and better fuel economy vs the Fit and Yaris's engine (assuming they are pulling the SAME body weight).

    Just that in the Tiida, which is heavier than Fit, the 1.5 Versa can be said to be as fuel efficient as the Fit. Otherwise, the HR15DE will win.

    Trust me, once you test drive the 1.5 version, you will not feel the Versa 1.5 lacks pep. You may even feel Nissan has sold you an overpowered Versa 1.8 which, not surprisingly, burns more gas.

    I really hope enough consumers will lobby Nissan North America to bring in the 1.5 version. Many people will smile once they tasted this car. I have been there, done that.
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