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Nissan Altima Hybrid Real World MPG



  • Oh ok that is interesting. I think that I have been inadvertently doing that (the feather light touch to keep the real time mpg in the high range when going up a slight incline). Sometimes I end up slowing down to like 20 mph LOL. Thanks for the links and the advice! I will try to hone my gas pedal skills!
  • I reserved a full size car at Hertz at LAX on Tuesday morning. They tried to "upgrade" me to a Hummer. I had a lot of driving planned, so I politely declined, and managed to get an Altima Hybrid instead. I did a quick fill to accurately measure mileage. Between last Tuesday and this afternoon when I filled up before turning it in, I put on 508 miles. I filled it with 14.23 gallons, for mileage of 35.7 mpg. This included a lot of city driving (including in West LA and West Hollywood congestion) and freeway trips to Orange County and across LA County. I'm pretty impressed - it may not be Prius level mileage, but the NAH was a perfectly pleasant, full size car with plenty of power that doesn't scream "look at me, I'm green!". I wouldn't mind owning one - except that I can't. I live in Utah, and Nissan doesn't see fit to offer it to us. I suppose I could get a Camry Hybrid, but I just can't see myself driving a Camry. Ah well, some day.

    As an aside, Hertz essentially ran the car with no oil. The oil light came on while I was driving. I checked the level (per the manual, 10 minutes after shutdown) and there was nothing on the dipstick. I added a quart (again per the manual), and the light went out, but the "Service Engine Soon" light was on the whole time I had the car. I notified the woman who checked me in, hopefully they service it. It's too nice a car to be abused.
  • i just bought an 09 nissan altima hybrid. the dealer was stuck with this vehicle for over 90 days. he bought it from a dealer in NJ. i live in PA. this vehicle was stripped. the only 2 options were floormats & the "aluminum kick panels". the dealer kept throwing money at me until i couldn't resist buying it. now, i wish i didn't. i am basically an options/gadgets freak. there are none on this vehicle. the options would have been its only saving grace. the biggest joke is the mileage claim which is actually true, but c'mon, 35 city & 33 hghy! I talked to a dealer recently who said he doesnt bother carrying them because their claim to fame is the city mpg. his dealership is located in the mountains. he said the car would probably get worse overall gas mileage than the standard gas version. he pointed out the fact that there is only 1 mpg difference (33) between the hybrid and the gas engine (32). it might be fun when you are really bored one day to try to eke out a few extra mpg's from your hybrid, but if you have to diligently concentrate on critical driving habits just to hit normal hybrid numbers, that is definitely not worth my time or effort or the money for this grossly overpriced vehicle. they claim the hybrid technology is based on the toyota prius. i appears to be, the only problem, is it doesn't produce. i admit the engine combo runs great. it is very fast and smooth, no complaints. but , as far as gas mileage is concerned, it stinks. like i said before, the only reason i bought it is because the dealer discounted it by 1500, nissan usa rebated 3500, the dealer bought out the last 3 mos. of my lease, and i am told i am entitled to a 2350 tax rebate. sooooo. when you add all those perks up, it makes the car worth it. however, my advice, stay away from it. , buy a toyota prius if you are interested in REAL GAS SAVINGS and you don't have to put it in neutral going downhill to achieve it, either!!!!!!
  • oh, BTW, just a followup. the second day my wife was driving the altima hybrid, the check tire pressure light came on. she stopped in at the dealer, who fixed that problem, but then told her that the "service engine soon" light was on. she said it wasn't on before you took it into the garage. anyway, she asked him to put the computer on the machine, check it, and if nothing is wrong, reset it. he said he couldn't do it because he isn't "authorized" to fix it. he said there are only 2 techs authorized to fix the altima hybrid and neither was available. he said she would have to bring it back the following morning at 7:30 a.m. she asked me to take it there. i got there at 11:30. they told me , sorry, too late, we only have 1 tech authorized to work on your hybrid and he is doing a big job. "bring it back at 7:30 a.m. tomorrow morning and we will fix it (notice a pattern here). i told him, i don't want to bring it back at that time, he said sorry. so , i asked for the # of a dealership about 15 miles away. they didn't know the #, but they offered me the phone book. i called that dealership, they told me to bring it right down and they would fix it. i did and they did. this whole scenario piqued my curiosity, especially the part about the "authorized techs". i went on the nissanusa website and there is a big ole "disclaimer" about the hybrids. turns out, that nissanusa only authorizes sale of this vehicle in 9 states, mostly northeast, and pennsylvania isn't one of them. furthermore, if you should happen to need service in one of the 41 states that are not authorized, you may experience "days" delay while you wait for parts/and/or service. I , of course, was not not told about this at the dealership where i purchased the car, in pennsylvania, and i am flipping mad. obviously, i would never have bought the car had i known about this little detail. i email nissanusa several times about these issues. nissanusa totally ignored my questions. they acknowledged my email and stated that they were sorry about my experience with the dealership (remember my dealership not having the techs available to reset the computer). however, on the very very important questions like , why is nissan usa allowing ANY DEALERSHIP TO SELL ITS HYBRIDS WHEN IT CLEARLY STATES ON ITS WEBSITE THAT ONLY 9 STATES ARE SANCTIONED TO SELL THEM? they absolutely, totally, categorically ignored my repeated emails. i mentioned the word lawyer and i finally got some talking head to call me . i ask him repeatedly, phrasing the questions in as many ways as possible about the 9 state regulation. all he would say is, "are you currently experiencing any service issues with your vehicle?" i said no. he said, "then, i can't answer your question." so, then i said, "so, you are refusing to clarify the obviously blatant discrepancy on your website". he said, "you are putting words in my mouth". i finally gave up. i talked to the dealership today and the salesman said he had no idea that the website sanctioned sales in only 9 states and he couldn't possibly explain why he is allowed to sell them, acknowledging that his dealership has been selling them since they were introduced, however, he did point out that all the hybrids that they received for sale were "traded" from dealerships in states like new jersey, which is one of the sanctioned states. so, this is another fraud being perpetrated by nissan on the unsuspecting public. my advice to you is if you are thinking of buying a hybrid, until nissan improves their gas mileage, until nissan approves sales of the vehicle in all 50 states, until nissan guarantees that you will not experience delays in getting parts or service in all 50 states, DO NOT BUY A NISSAN HYBRID. do yourself a big favor, buy a prius. if you can't afford a new one, buy a used one. they are extremely reliable and average 49 mpg. when nissan gets serious about getting in the game and playing hardball, then maybe buy a nissan hybrid. until then, buy a 2.5 gas engine, load the car up with options, and take adantage of the 1750 rebate and the end of year markdowns. you will be very happy you did.
  • We average 32 mpg combined with our NAH with no issues in the SF Bay Area. We do this without hypermiling or any hybrid driving secrets. I drive 70 mph on the freeway and my tires are not overinflated. In fact, they probably are underinflated since I never checked the air pressure. My city gas mileage is lower than my freeway gas mpg. Who would have thought that but the EPA doesn't conduct their tests in SF where there is a stop sign every block and rarely any light is sync'd. The average speed in SF is under 20. Our old corolla averaged 21 mpg in SF city traffic. I suspect an Altima 2.5 would be right in that range as well.

    Funny, the gas engine almost always turns itself going downhill. Is that what you mean by putting it in neutral to save gas? I guess ours does it automatically for us.

    Too bad you got a lemon. Why not sell it and feel better about yourself?
  • langjielangjie Posts: 247
    well the engine only shuts itself off up to 42 mph, I've gone down hills that I've gone over that. I think in general, anyone who drives many miles on the highway, the NAH is probably not for them, but anyone who doesn't have a nice and easy commute, they will be saving fuel with the NAH
  • We bought a NAH in 2008 so we have owned it about 18months (bought it in SF bay area).
    To respond to silverado1, Im disappointed you've had issues but in the 18 months we've driven this car we've had zero issues at all. In fact Ive been surprised how reliable its been relative to our toyota and honda. Additonally I get about 34-35 pretty consistently going to/from work. We love it and frankly we looked at a prius and camry hybrid when we bought and I personally didnt want a prius(camry looked to much like my parents car) because everyone had one, we wanted a sedan not hatchback and i didnt want to look like a granola eater. (Plus the altima is much zippier than all the other hybrid models we tested.)

    When we bought the car we did a lot research and I clearly understood that this car was only sold in 9 states and it would be a risk if we moved out of state-which i did not believe would happen to us. Well 8 months later i took a job in MN and now we have the car here. I realize that we could have delays in getting it fixed if something goes wrong but i knew that going into the deal.
    Overall sorry for you're experience but we really enjoy the car and its great to have a set of wheels that no one else around here!
    And to meanboy2005's comment, just sell the car and maybe you'll feel better.

    As an additional comment, we just bought a Tahoe hybrid so my wife+kids have a safer 4X4 for winter driving in MN.. We like it too. 20-21 mpg for driving essentially a big tank!
  • langie, read post #145, and you'll find the op stated the only way for a NAH to save gas is to put it in neutral when going down hills. Reltated that to my statement of going downhill.

    And I agree with your statement about highway mileage. I would add that the NAH will likely outpower the 2.5 quite easily on the highway and use the same amount of gas. The NAH is quieter than the 2.5 on the highway because the electric motor assists it on the highway.
  • New 2009 NAH bought in Nov. 2009 (under $19k with Nissan rebate, dealer discount and tax rebate). Bought it just as it was getting cold. Definitely not in the same league as the 2001 Honda Civic I was driving. MPG definitely drops in big-time in cold weather. In below-freezing weather the NAH takes about 20 minutes to get warm enough for the hybrid EV system to activate. Also, the car's mileage computer gives inaccurate average MPG readings -- about 10% (or 2 MPG) higher than reality.

    Actual mileage records (300 - 450 miles per fill-up):
    About 50% urban/surburban and 50% highway, trip computer ave. speed 25-35 mph

    12/15/09 Car computer: 29.1 MPG // Actual: 26.8 MPG // Conditions: 15 - 40 degrees F and some snow
    12/23/09 Car computer: 27.9 MPG // Actual: 25.7 MPG // Conditions: 5 - 35F and some snow
    1/10/10 Car computer: 29.4 MPG // Actual: 26.8 MPG // Conditions: 10 - 45F and some snow
    1/21/10 Car computer: 31.7 MPG // Actual: 30.0 MPG // Conditions: 10 - 40F and mostly dry, more highway miles
    1/31/10 Car computer: 29.4 MPG // Actual: 27.4 MPG // Conditions: 5 - 30F and mostly dry.

    Hybrid system works fine -- up to 40 mph *if* the car is warmed up. I'll post more records as the weather warms up. My guess is that the Altima 2.5 would be a bit worse than this because of the winter penalty, but not a whole lot worse.
  • newhampster - welcome to the forum and the NAH.

    Read my post #134 for some more details on how to improve your mpg.

    My worst tanks in Rochester, NY (where we are at 12degs today) are in the 32-34mpg range, but I get up in the 44-47mpg range in the summer.

    Granted, I'm a major hypermiler. But, it can be done.
  • First note- Im not a hypermiler and we moved from CA with our '08 NAH to Minnesota. I drive to 35 miles to work everyday which is about 40% street/60% highway. We've had a very cold winter down to -10 and Ill get about 30 mpg at the lowest (check at fill up not what computer shows which generally is 2-3 higher than actual.)
    Also on warming up, it takes about 5 mins of driving on the freeway to have the light turn off. In the summer Ill get my standard 36-38+mpg on the same commute. Overall very happy with the NAH and after 2 years and 15k miles, we've had zero problems which is good cuz MN is not a state where nissan dealers know much about this car.
    My wife also drives a '09 Tahoe hybrid which also drops down in mileage during the winter. No biggie
  • Radiator blocks and engine block heaters help with the warm-up period...
  • To improve mpg w/ the NAH, I sometimes shift into neutral downhills to coast further . But, when I shift back into 'D' to continue on, I have to wonder if I'm doing damage of any kind to the CVT. Is this a legit concern?
  • I often shift into neutral while in EV mode at the top of a hill.
    This allows you to coast up to speeds above 41mph in EV mode.
    I shift back into gear from neutral regularly in EV mode and gas mode.

    The only thing I would avoid is a shift from a highspeed (above 50mph) EV coast back into gear, as this seems to rev the engine a lot.

    But, on the highway, I pulse and glide in and out of neutral without problems.

    The CVT seems perfectly designed for this move. Worst case, I get it covered under the new 100K warranty!

  • saxe10595saxe10595 Posts: 34
    I get 32-33 on highway -90% highway and 10% city. Over all Car computer tells 31.5 over 12 k miles. In city I get between 30-32 with stop and go traffic. On a single tank 550-610 miles. In winter 29-31 over all. Best ever was 34 during a long trip.
  • This board has gone quiet. I just bought a 2011 NAH - loaded. I'm abut to take delivery and feeling nervous reading these posts. Any updates? Are you enjoying your NAHs? Are you averaging low 30s for MPG?
  • The dealer says it's time to change the engine air filter (not the cabin air filter) in my NAH. I know this is something I can do myself but the pictures in the manuals leave a lot to be desired. I looked online for videos, but found none that showed me how to find the air filter cover on my NAH. Can anyone navigate this for me, or post a photo? Thanks.
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