2009 Subaru Forester mileage reports

arnabcarnabc Member Posts: 27
edited September 2014 in Subaru
seems like it would be a good idea to have a separate thread to track everyone's mileage records. the big 2009 forester thread is too large to keep track of.

anyway: after some initial high readings with a lot of highway driving--a series of 80-100 mile drives averaging 27-29 mpg--i've been getting more sobering results of late: more in the 24-26 mpg range for pretty much the same drives. not sure why--i'm not driving any different that i can see. some of the high drives were with 4 people in the car and ac on for part of the journey, so are some of the low drives. i can't really explain it; perhaps wind is a factor.

are other people seeing readings all over the map? i'm not yet at 1000 miles since purchase. currently at about 760.


  • albe1albe1 Member Posts: 1
    Have a XT with 500 miles on it, on a 400 mile trip avg 25.7 MPG.
  • arnabcarnabc Member Posts: 27
    i should have added: i have the 2.5x premium
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    We have not taken in out on a long highway trip yet, but so far this first tank is yielding 24.0 mpg around town.
  • kurtamaxxxguykurtamaxxxguy Member Posts: 1,798
    Doing 18 to 20 mpg around town, with relatively light foot. Includes cold start-ups.

    Best mpg to date was 26, going south from Portland to Medford on I-5. Trip back was only 23 mpg (headwind?).

    XT has roughly 2700 miles on it. No synthetics planned until after 2nd oil change (per dealer recomendation).
  • djmacedonasdjmacedonas Member Posts: 12
    Currently getting ~24.3 to 24.6 MPG in the middle of my second tank. Mostly suburban driving. Going on the Highway briefly yesterday around 65mph didn't seem to improve mileage considerably.

    Does anyone know: Would the aero crossbars make much difference in MPG on the Highway? Can they easily be removed?


    PS I'm pretty happy with the MPG right now, definitely not complaining.
  • kurtamaxxxguykurtamaxxxguy Member Posts: 1,798
    aero crossbars are easilly removeable.
    I think you need an allen wrench which Subaru supplies.
    My XT is not wearing them as they will add wind noise.
  • firstsubfirstsub Member Posts: 11
    early milage 23-24average 29-30 highway. now at 3300 miles.. 23.5-24MPG average with 26-27 highway
  • deerlake7deerlake7 Member Posts: 176
    Through 1900 miles we've averaged 24.3 mpg on ours.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    I only wish the cross bars on my Sienna were as easy to remove. I'll have to find instructions on-line for that.
  • rshollandrsholland Member Posts: 19,788
    Not only remove—but access as well. Trying to load or unload anything from the roof rack of a minivan or SUV is a real pain in the butt.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    I open the sliding doors and have a platform to stand on, so it's not that bad, really.

    I can also stand on the rear bumper.

    Still, MUCH easier on the Forester, without a doubt.
  • arnabcarnabc Member Posts: 27
    110 mile round trip today.

    the first 40 miles were a combination of county roads (speed limit 55) with a stretch of lights at one point, and freeway (speed limit 75-55). on this leg, with no a/c and 4 people in the car, we averaged 31.8!

    after that we had the a/c on for about 20 miles of city driving, and then 50 miles back home on the freeway with rush hour traffic for small stretches (this is minnesota, so it's not like l.a friday evening gridlock). a/c on the whole way back. didn't measure this part separately but the total trip was at 26 mpg. almost no wind out today.
  • nhdonnynhdonny Member Posts: 1
    2.5 X Premium has 380 miles and the average is up to 21. I reset it before my first fill up because the day I got it with 18 miles it showed an average of 12.5.

    I'm assuming and hoping that some break in is required. I drive 15 highway miles to work and diddle around town. Lead foot to keep up with commuter traffic.

    I love the vehicle.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    31.8mpg? Sweet!

    Is that a record? Anyone beat that?

    We're only on our 2nd fuel tank so we can't match that.
  • paisanpaisan Member Posts: 21,181
    350 miles is very green. Subies break in after 8,000 miles.

  • arnabcarnabc Member Posts: 27
    and it was for a 40 mile stretch. the last 100 mile roundtrip (on sunday) was lower--26.7 mpg. at higher speeds on the freeway, with significant wind on the way out, and a/c on on the way back.

    my wife is already sick of my obsession with the mpg readout.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    my wife is already sick of my obsession with the mpg readout

    LOL! :D

    Mine, too. You have to casually observe it, and don't dare tell her to slow down to improve the average! ;)
  • arnabcarnabc Member Posts: 27
    and the most recent 100 mile trip was lower still: about 25mpg. almost all on the freeway between 65-80 mph, with 4 people and the ac on low all the way. a decent amount of wind.

    my sense is that the best mileage performance is when i don't go much above 60. 50-60 mph for extended drives seems to be optimal. probably not news for anyone.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Worst tank so far was 21 mpg, all around town.

    I got it out on the highway and measured an all-highway trip, though, and got 34.5 mpg, even with 4 people in the car and the A/C on.

    So there's my range. We mostly drive it around town so it's averaging about 24mpg overall.
  • rshollandrsholland Member Posts: 19,788
    So far I've never gotten under 21 mpg in the WRX. I'm usually in the 23-24 range.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    You have more power working against you...

    but you have less weight, better aerodynamics, and a manual transmission working in your favor.

    What's your best ever?
  • rshollandrsholland Member Posts: 19,788
    Around 27 or so, maybe a little more. Never hit 30.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    I bet yours is geared a bit shorter on the highway, too. That would explain the lower peak mpg.
  • rshollandrsholland Member Posts: 19,788
    I don't think so. The car doesn't like 5th gear below 50 mph unless the road is flat, so my guess is the gearing is rather tall, not short.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Looked it up, interestingly the turbo is geared taller among the Foresters, probably because it power to spare. The manual has unique ratios that are shorter, but the taller final drive from the turbo:

    Manual base: 1st:3.454, 2- 2.062, 3- 1.448, 4- 1.088, 5- .780, rev 3.333. final 4.111

    Auto base: 1st 2.785, 2nd 1.545, 3rd 1.0, 4th 0.694 reverse 2.272; final 4.444

    Auto turbo: 1st 2.785, 2nd 1.545. 3rd 1.0, 4th 0.694, reverse 2.272. Final 4.111

    For the WRX:

    5speed manual; 1st 3.166, 2nd 1.882, 3rd 1.296, 4th 0.972, 5th 0.738, final 3.900

    So let's see, 3.9 final drive is 31% taller, but the 0.738 ratio for 5th is 6.3% shorter than the 0.694 on the Forester.

    Tire size is also a factor, but I bet yours actually revs lower on the highway than mine does.
  • kurtamaxxxguykurtamaxxxguy Member Posts: 1,798
    So for those XT'ers who wanna go real fast 'round town, they could possibly have their auto trans final drive ratios retrofitted by their expert Subaru mechanic (depending on whether it's one gearset in the trans, or both gearsets in the two differentials) from 4.111 to 4.444.

    That would cut the XT's max top end and probably make MPG worse.
    Most likely the computers controlling VDT, VTC etc. would have to be reflashed.

    Any bets some Tuner shop out there tries this? :confuse:
  • pgb0517pgb0517 Georgetown, TXMember Posts: 84
    Our LL Bean has 2200 miles on the odometer. We have one of the two trip meters showing over 1600 miles at 23.7 MPG. That includes one 8-hour-round-trip road trip, and the rest is typical urban driving mix of long and short hops, both street level and urban freeway. We're satisfied with that. Once you get a lot of miles on the trip meter, the numbers change much more slowly.
  • sgloonsgloon Member Posts: 323
    I just found this line, so, I'm reposting my first mpg here from the 2009 Forester forum so others can find it:

    OK, I'm back from my trip so I have some mileage reports for my MT (none of this is actually on a hiway), all within 1st 800 miles, to & from mountains up to about 9k feet (I live at 5k):

    192 miles = 33.4 mpg (empty, mixed driving)
    176 miles = 27.3 mpg (loaded inside & roof racks, some town driving, mainly open road - 60,65,70 & 75mph...mixing it up for the new engine)
    158 miles = 30.3 mpg (empty - mostly open roads avg ~70mph, I'm trying to fluctuate the speed as noted. Got 36.3mpg one way, )
    200 miles = 31.8 mpg (loaded inside & roof racks full, about 80 miles of dirt roads going 45mph max, about 15 miles of one lane dirt 4WD road, rest is paved curvy mtn canyon road - a bunch of stops included)
  • rengawrengaw Member Posts: 22
    That is some impressive mpg's, sgloon. I know you have the manual tranny, but what model (tire size) do you have?

    Also, are the mpg's you listed hand figured?

  • sgloonsgloon Member Posts: 323

    I have the 2.5x premium, ie the 17" tires.

    I did check the numbers on the dash by hand calculating to make sure the gauge was not off. It appears to be pretty much dead on.

    I don't know if it makes a difference, but I live at about a mile above sea level, and went up to a max of 10k feet on that trip.
  • buckhuntrbuckhuntr Member Posts: 11
    My Forester X Premium has about 450 miles on it now, and is averaging 20.7 overall, with a roughly 50/50 split of hwy miles and stop 'n' go city crawling. I reset trip meter B when I filled up at about 250 miles, and with 190 in this tank, is averaging 23.1, again with 50/50 split.

    Tomorrow night I'm resetting Trip meter A at fillup to see how the vacation drive goes (anticipate almost 3k miles before we get home again). :shades:
  • sgloonsgloon Member Posts: 323
    Have a great trip! Sounds great!

    Heading cross-country?
  • buckhuntrbuckhuntr Member Posts: 11
    Yeah, we're going by way of Nawlins so's I can spend a few hours Friday afternoon listening to some jazz and eat some crawfish etouffe, and artist kid can get some inspiration from the cemetaries there. Should be about 22-24 hours drive time with three drivers to swap out, plus down time on Bourbon Street and pit stops. Probably a nap or two as well, assuming we can find a truck stop or rest area to pull into. Some Interstate, but some smaller surface roads too, there being no easy route to get from Tulsa to Florida.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaMember Posts: 15,863
    Agreed on all counts. ;)
    2018 Subaru Crosstrek, 2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2013 Subaru Forester, 1969 Chevrolet C20, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250
  • buckhuntrbuckhuntr Member Posts: 11
    Back from vacation with 3,404 miles driven, and the trip meter shows the Subie averaged 24.0 mpg over that distance. Not bad, but could have been better, as much of the driving was done at freeway speeds of 65-75 mph (high end if wife was driving). On a tank by tank basis, the best tank was at 27.3 mpg, cruising at 55-60 mph over surface roads while crossing Florida to show wife and her son the Atlantic Ocean. Some sob in Madeira Beach put a scratch on it the first full day in Florida, which put me in a blue funk for a day, until the giant tortoise live sex show in Busch Gardens diverted my attention from the scratch (pictorial proof is on my Flickr page)...

    Anyway, I love driving the Subie, and my wife is even considering getting her own.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Yeah, swapping the gears would definitely make the XT quicker, but the 2004 XT had short gears and while it was quick, we heard a lot of whining about gas mileage and a 1st gear that was too short to even get across an intersection.
  • shogrenshogren Member Posts: 15
    First 556 miles 50% freeway without cruise, 50% city average total is 23.17.
  • tentoes49tentoes49 Member Posts: 4
    Just returned from a trip across Iowa and back. Was doing between 70-80 MPH with my 09, 2.5 premium, with auto trans. AC was on for half the trip. I averaged 28.5mpg. Only 10% city driving. On this trip it was just my wife and I , our dog, and some gear for my son. I now have 2800 miles after picking it up end of July.
    My wife averages 25.2 MPG in town going to and from work, all city driving.
    It does much better on the highway if you don't use the cruise control. On the bigger hills it down-shifts when in cruise mode. I just peg it with my right foot at about 80, and let the hills slow me down, usually to about 70. I'll have to try a state highway at 60MPH. I am sure it will do better.
    I love this car and cannot wait for it to snow. This is my first Subaru.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    We're getting about the same average.

    A little less city, a bit more highway.
  • arnabcarnabc Member Posts: 27
    i've posted a number of glowing mileage reports for driving that has included a lot of highway segments. when we do a lot of highway miles on a tank we average 26 mpg for city/highway combined--which is better than advertised. but of late, we've been doing more city driving, and the mileage is much lower than expected. our last tank was probably spent on a 60:40 city:highway split and we averaged 22. since last fill we've been only in the city, and are currently averaging 15-16 mpg. a little disappointing. i'd thought at this point (we're approaching 3000 miles) the engine would be run in and running more efficiently, but it seems like our city average is actually going down.
  • pharmd718pharmd718 Member Posts: 78
    I live in Brooklyn NY and for the past 2 weeks have only driven in the city. I currently have 1300 miles on the car and my average is 18mpg in the city. I don't have a heavy foot.

    I have an X-limited.

    I am a bit disappointed but hope the mpg will improve as more miles are added on the car. :(
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Tire pressures OK?

    My wife's TPMS went off and she was down to 28 psi in all four tires. I aired them up to 35psi.

    As the temps drop, you lose air pressure, not to mention it tends to leak slowly regardless.
  • tinycadontinycadon Member Posts: 287
    Juice, my dealer told me to keep mine at 30psi, are you finding the ride harsh at 35psi?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    I'll ask my wife! :D

    We drove home only about 2 miles, and I took the convertible out last night, so I haven't driven it enough to notice.
  • arnabcarnabc Member Posts: 27
    i'll check the tire pressures. the tank is running at 15.9 mpg so far--all in-town driving. that's a far cry from what the city mpg is supposed to be. we do a longer drive today on the freeways, so i'll see if the highway mpg has also dropped.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Drove up to Germantown and back. I got 31.x going up, she got 30 coming back. She did drive a bit faster than me.

    Still getting around 25 around town, which is where she does most her driving.
  • tinycadontinycadon Member Posts: 287
    Hey Juice, how was the ride with the 35psi in the tires? Did it seem harsh or did it still ride smooth?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    To be honest I did not notice...which is good, I guess.

    We drove up to the big box store and got a bunch of stuff, stocking up. The cargo area was full - I even had a new propane tank (full).

    No complaints here.
  • sgloonsgloon Member Posts: 323

    My tires were at 35psi and the ride was fine. I just got an oil change at the dealer I bought it from and they upped the air to 38psi. I suppose as the temperature is starting to drop here, so the pressure will go down as the temps drop.

    The good news is I noticed no difference in the ride, and I was just coming back from a 2k mile trip. I did get great gas mileage with my 2.5x manual on the trip... but the best was I got over 450 miles on one tank and had more then 3 gallons left in it when I filled up again. :shades: This was driving from Arizona through New Mexico into Colorado...all on less than a tank full. I seem to be getting better mileage lately. I have about 5k on the odometer currently. I'll report more mpg details later, after I have time to finish unpacking and catching up.
  • tinycadontinycadon Member Posts: 287
    Thanks for the input, I like the fact that you can get better mpgs with the higher psi, I was just worried that it would turn the car into a pogo stick!
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