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Acura TSX Real World MPG Numbers



  • flicmodflicmod Posts: 21
    I'd like to think I inspired this post by saying about gas mileage on the "Problems and Solutions" board ;) , but whatever the reason, this is a good subject.

    Like I said in that post, I got 497 miles on one tank when I drove to Virginia and back. I usually get on average, using premium gas, around 420-430 when the weather is warm. In the winter this year, I was only getting about 300-320, which was disappointing to me, but given the freezing cold we had here in PA this season, I guess it's alright.

    I had assumed that this mileage was about 30-32 MPG, but I had just computed the MPG now and its not really even close to it. I believe the HWY mileage posted on the window was like 32 MPG. The tank is 17.1 gallons, and even on that almost 500 mile tank of gas, the MPG was only 29.24. My average was only 25.15 MPG. That's not even close to what the EPA says. Reading that article and how they figured the MPG, it's pretty disappointing that my car gets so little compared to what it SHOULD get.
  • Karen@EdmundsKaren@Edmunds Posts: 5,027
    I've been adding MPG topics to all of the clubs for a couple of weeks now. Your post reminded me that there wasn't one for the TSX yet. :shades:

    Karen-Edmunds Community Manager

  • flicmodflicmod Posts: 21
    Haha, alright. Well, I'm glad I could help you out somewhat. It's a good topic though. That article really sheds a lot of light on the issue. My office mate and I were just discussing the article and how the government regulates all that stuff with the auto manufacturers. Interesting stuff.
  • delmar1delmar1 Posts: 744
    I am going to cheat and post a message that I placed in the 'problems and solutions' forum:

    Here is an interesting article regarding the use of Premium Gasoline. is USA Today which quotes a senior Chevron Exec to saying:

    "I personally use regular even though my owner's manual says you'll get better performance with premium," says Lewis Gibbs, consulting engineer and 45-year veteran at Chevron oil company. He's chairman of Technical Committee 7 on Fuels, part of the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Fuels & Lubricants Council. Gibbs knows gas.

    Basic response so far is that MPG improvement is seen with premium.

    Somewhat interested to know more as I only had my TSX for one week so far. So I'll keep an eye on the messages on this site.

    Sorry if I offend anyone by double posting the above message.
  • rko2rko2 Posts: 40
    I like the new topic, so I'm interested to see what other people post.

    Take into account, these are MPG from Minnesota, so the winter certainly makes a difference. My TSX is a '04, 6MT. I only use premium (92 plus) gas.

    In the winter with a ski rack on, I got about 23 or 24 MPG at about 50% city and 50% hwy. All highway at 65 mph with loaded car and skis on the top, I got just over 29 MPG on one trip. Pretty good.

    In the winter without a rack, I got about 25 MPG at 50/50.

    In the spring/summer with a bike rack, I get about 26-27 MPG 50/50. On a long all hwy trip, I got just over 28 MPG. But then again, that was with a rack on the top (no bikes).

    In the spring/summer without a bike rack, I get about 27-28 MPG 50/50. On a long trip I got about 31 MPG once. I think the wind may have been at my back though.

    I am usually pretty good about not hammering the gas most of the time, which makes a big difference. If I drive hard a lot, I can lose 2 MPG in 50/50 driving easy. Sometimes more. I have also noticed that if you don't accelerate hard when the engine is cold, you get better gas mileage....but that could be in my head. Overall, I am pretty impressed with the performance/gas mileage mix. I am a very happy owner.

    Just one comment about the guy quoting miles for a full tank of fuel. I don't know if this still applies to newer cars, but I have always been told to keep your gas tank at least 1/4 full. It helps to extend the life of your fuel pump by keeping it from overheating. Plus, you won't ever be the guy on the side of the road walking to the nearest gas station :) Anyone else have a comment about this?
  • lmacmillmacmil Posts: 1,756
    "Basic response so far is that MPG improvement is seen with premium."

    Pretty simple to see if this makes sense. If premium costs 10% more and it doesn't increase your mileage by 10%, then your wasting your money (unless you can tell the performance difference.)
  • delmar1delmar1 Posts: 744

    So if the break-even is a 10% cost improvement with there a 2.5 to 3 MPG improvement that is consistently achieved??? Especially with same driving conditions and style.
  • flicmodflicmod Posts: 21
    Just one comment about the guy quoting miles for a full tank of fuel. I don't know if this still applies to newer cars, but I have always been told to keep your gas tank at least 1/4 full. It helps to extend the life of your fuel pump by keeping it from overheating. Plus, you won't ever be the guy on the side of the road walking to the nearest gas station Anyone else have a comment about this?

    My dad's a mechanic, works on Honda's. He's up on all the new technology and stuff in the newer cars. I was talking to him once about letting the tank run completely dry to see how many miles you can really get out of a full tank. He said that wasn't a bright idea because, especially on newer cars, the fuel injection system relies on the fuel to keep the injectors cool. If there's no fuel through the lines, but your foots on the pedal to go, the injectors could burn out and maybe even start a fire (unusual though). I asked him if that's the case with running the tank close to empty each time, because honestly, that's what I do. He said, as long as there's fuel in the lines everything should be fine.
    I got REALLY good with estimating how much gas I have in my tank from my old Civic. The gauge was a little whacky and no one was ever sure how much gas was in it. After driving that thing for 4 years, I got great at knowing it. With the TSX, it took about 2 months to get used to the tank. I know that when the fuel light comes on, that I have about 50-70 miles left (roughly 2 gallons). I never once ran out of fuel in either car. Thanks for the concern about me running out of gas though. I appreciate it. ;)
  • rko2rko2 Posts: 40
    I would even question that premium always costs 10% more than regular. In Minnesota, premium is usually 10 to 16 cents more per gallon. At current prices, that equals about 5-8% more for premium. Now you are talking only 1.5-2 MPG improvement to break even with premium. Plus, the performance benefits (most important factor in my opinion).

    My biggest question is why some people are so hung up on a savings of roughly $2 a tank using regular, when there are downsides for doing this. You spent over $25,000 on a car that you bought because it is all around great, but I presume also because it is quick and fun to drive. You also probably spend over $800 a year to insure it (most likely much more).

    So you have invested a lot of money in this great car, and some people are trying to save a few extra dollars a month to live with poorer performance. Plus, I would hate for something to go wrong with the engine under warranty and the dealer give me a hard time covering it because I was using regular fuel. Not saying that it would happen, but there are crazier stories out there. It just doesn't macke sense to me. Does anyone have another explanation? I may just be missing something here.
  • rko2rko2 Posts: 40
    Thanks for the info on running the tank empty. Like I said, I didn't know if there was a risk by running the tank low. I guess it is just fine. I appreciate the post.
  • delmar1delmar1 Posts: 744
    I was more interested in throwing out maybe a urban legend out for discussion...and perhaps dispell an ingrained thought perpetuated by the oil marketeers (make sure to READ the USAToday article which I linked to)

    Where I was at is that over a course of a year...the $2 a tank savings would be generate $125-$150+ over 12 months.

    $150 savings could go towards other toys.

    And if the performance issue is reducing the measurable horsepower from 200 to 190...not sure if the performance would be noticable.

    I still question whether MPG truly improve by 2 by switching grades. Maybe I am wrong.

    Where I am personally. I use premium and don't anticipate to go down to a lower grade. Here in Southern California...premium is $0.20 to $0.25 more. Of course...I use a gas rebate card. 5% cash back with Discover. 3% with my Chase Visa.

    So once again...the question to consider is the urban legend truth?
  • manavimanavi Posts: 150
    I'm getting about 26.5 MPG in my 2005 TSX. I'm only on the highway about 20% of the time.

    Regarding the premium gas versus regular gas:

    We have one TSX driver who already experimented with using regular gas and stated his mileage was reduced from 420 miles on a tank to 320 miles on a tank. That equates to roughly a 30% increase in mileage by using premium gas in the TSX.

    It seems like one would actually spend more money by using regular gas in the TSX. Does anyone have any data showing that using regular gas in the TSX will save you money?
  • 204meca204meca Posts: 366
    We seriously considered an 04 TSX, but ended up with an A4 for the more comfortable seating. Glad we did when looking at the mileage figures posted here.

    We use 89 octain in 04 A4 1.8T that calls for 91. Consistently beat EPAs handily (27-29 around town; 33-35 highway).

    On the other hand, I have a 92 Civic Si that specifies 87 octane, but use I 89 because with 169,000 it knocks w lower octane.

    I cannot detect performance difference in either car as describe above.

    However we loaned our A4 & it came back with a full tank & ran poorly until we topped if off with 91 octane. I suspect that it was filled with a low grade low octane gas.
  • jrynnjrynn Posts: 162
    15947 miles / 549.946 gallons (almost exclusively 93 octane) = 28.997 mpg.

    Best tank: 34.442
    Worst tank: 21.205

  • ronabironabi Posts: 39
    With almost 5000 miles on my 05 TSX with auto, my overall average is 27.7 in mixed driving. My lowest was my second fill-up at 24.5 in 90% around town driving. Highest was my last fill-up at 37.8 in nearly 100% highway driving at an average speed of 70 mph. The second highest was 34.8 a week earlier in around 95%+ highway driving with highway speed averaging 70 mph.

    Mileage has been increasing as time passes and the miles add up. I was ecstatic at the 34.8 figure and certainly never expected the 37.8 result. I'm curious if that will ever happen again. Fill-ups after mostly highway mileage have always been 30 or better, usually between 32 & 34 in recent weeks.

    These calculations assume that the pump cuts off at the same point on all fill-ups, which is probably not so, but averaging over several tanks should correct for that. I am more than happy to buy premium fuel (mostly Exxon 91 octane plus a couple of tanks of 93 octane) when it results in mileage like this!
  • mreedmreed Posts: 7
    That's awesome that you are saving some cash at the pump. You'll need it to make up for the 50% increase in expected repairs, and $2700 increase in depreciation vs. a TSX.


    (Figures quoted from Edmund's TCO for both cars)
  • stillageekstillageek Posts: 101
    I just finished a 550 mile round trip with 90% highway at speeds between 70-85 MPH the entire way. I averaged 32 MPG on the first leg and 33.2 on the return trip. Not bad at all. I am very pleased at the handling and ride of the TSX on the highway. The low amount of wind and road noise (compared to my last car Toyota Matrix XRS 6 speed) was also nice. Of course when I compare my mileage to my wifes car, 2004 Toyota Prius (which has averaged over 52 MPG since we got it) it doesn't seem so great. I have a 2005 Auto TSX and use only 93 Octane. What's with the 50% increase in expected repairs you are referring to? With a 4 year/50K warranty I will never need a repair while I drive it.
  • flicmodflicmod Posts: 21
    I think you mistaked his post. The 50% repair rating is comparing the A4 to the TSX. I believe he was referring to the poster that said he was getting better gas mileage with his A4 (since he decided to purchase that instead of a TSX). With 50% more repairs done to the A4 than the TSX, that extra gas money goes to the repairs. I believe he was harrassing our Audi fan ;)
  • 204meca204meca Posts: 366
    flicmod, I agree that I was the one "harassed - no offense taken! I realize that earlier A4s have a checkered repair record, especially compared to the stellar record Acura/Honda. I really liked the TSX and am a long time Honda fine owning about half a dozen Civic variants the past 20 years My current daily driver is an 92 Civic Si with 170,000 miles! But my wife was simply stuck on the A4 - her fussy back found the seats unbeatable. I was dubious due to its repair reputation, but am still loving it after 20,000 trouble free miles.

    Regarding A4 problems; most of the problems are atributable to the window regulators and the bum coil packs in the 02-03 models. Word is that Audi has those corrected in the 04 model and that they have extended warranty on those parts. Maybe I can make up some of the projected repair costs by the totally free maintenance that Audi provides for the 1st 4 yrs / 50, 000 miles. :)
  • viknjviknj Posts: 1
    We have a 2004 TSX, and had 1,500mi on it, when we did a cross-country road trip from CA to NJ. On that particular trip we averaged 33.5mpg. The best figure ever achieved in the TSX was 35mpg, with the A/C's compressor on & off. Temp avg. 78F. Tire Pressure 37psi., and 92 octane. (Premium octanes across the country range from 90-93) Since then, we have seen averages in mixed driving around 25-27mpg, in NJ's free flowing routes. Winter driving averages poorly at 22-24mpg. I read that this is attributable not only to the freezing temps, lower tire psi's, but an additive that gas stations use specifically for winter - I dont know how much of the latter is true. The TSX is now 1 year old and has 22,500 mi on it, and running decently. I diligently do my own oil changes every 3,000 mi, and dont wait for the recommended mileage/times - hey, at 9 bucks an oil change, its a relatively small price to pay. I have a 1991 Integra LS-S that has 142,500 and runs better now, and with more zing than it ever did. Somehow, I feel the Integra has more soul & passion. The TSX's character is the more refined, quieter, and safer (Volvo-esque) version that I give my wife to drive. Regardless, both are great cars.
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