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2009 Subaru Forester mileage reports

arnabcarnabc 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 Posts: 1
    Have a XT with 500 miles on it, on a 400 mile trip avg 25.7 MPG.
  • arnabcarnabc Posts: 27
    i should have added: i have the 2.5x premium
  • ateixeiraateixeira 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 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).
  • 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 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 Posts: 11
    early milage 23-24average 29-30 highway. now at 3300 miles.. 23.5-24MPG average with 26-27 highway
  • deerlake7deerlake7 Posts: 172
    Through 1900 miles we've averaged 24.3 mpg on ours.
  • ateixeiraateixeira 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 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 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 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 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 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 Posts: 21,181
    350 miles is very green. Subies break in after 8,000 miles.

  • arnabcarnabc 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 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 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 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 Posts: 19,788
    So far I've never gotten under 21 mpg in the WRX. I'm usually in the 23-24 range.

  • ateixeiraateixeira 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 Posts: 19,788
    Around 27 or so, maybe a little more. Never hit 30.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I bet yours is geared a bit shorter on the highway, too. That would explain the lower peak mpg.
  • rshollandrsholland 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 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 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 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 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 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 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.
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