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2012+ Subaru Impreza Real World Fuel Economy

KCRamKCRam Mt. Arlington NJPosts: 3,516
Share your fuel economy notes here on the 2012-generation Impreza.

kcram - Pickups/Wagons/Vans+Minivans Host


  • 2012 Impreza 5-door Limited CVT

    4,000 miles to date

    Typical around-town average in suburbia has averaged 28 mpg calculated, with the computer +/- within 1 mpg of calculated. Highway runs have been 38 to 40 mpg at 70 mph, rising to as high as mid 40s at 60 mph.
    Tesla Model 3, 2015 Subaru Outback
  • ctuswatleaderctuswatleader Posts: 9
    edited June 2012
    I have a 5-door base model.

    Driving location: 95% city, 5% highway
    Temperature: mid 80s to 100s
    roughly 1500 total miles on the car
    MPG for this fill up: 22.5
    MPG for the lifetime of the car (includes a 500 mile road trip): ~30
  • dfong87dfong87 Posts: 171
    with a combined 65-70% suburbia driving, i am getting about 28 mpg overall as reported on Fuelly. the computer reports about 1.5 mpg higher

    nevertheless, the hand calculated fuelly numbers are underestimates since i see a consisten ~3% underestimation of miles traveled by the odometer when compared with Google maps and other vehicles. so in reality, the car readout is close to reality.

    the worst part of my driving is my 4mile drive to and from a train station where the car barely warms up. very roughly speaking, those trips only yield about 24mpg.

    i have calculated just ~41 mpg on an all highway trip with a solo driver and minimal AC usage and keeping the speeds to 65mph or below.
  • My Impreza Sport is getting around 24 around town and 30-33 on the highway. Most of it using the AC. Highway driving anywhere between 60 and 75 mph. In the mountains it got 36 mpg.
  • dfong87dfong87 Posts: 171
    sounds like your numbers are consistent with mine. i don't do too many all highway trips. only one pure highway trip, and the one where i had to combine a fair bit of city in, the numbers were in the 33 range overall (but i had seen 36-37 before i started added on city miles midtrip)

    AC is one most of the time these days for me too. that takes off 1-2 mpg roughly (although i haven't done a super accurate comparison for that)
  • Car has 7000 miles on it now. Last weekend on a 300 mile trip at just under 60 mph on the highway I got 39.5 mpg average. Car read as high as 44 mpg at times. the 39.5 is actual hand calculated mileage and not the car's readout mpg. A/C on for about 25% of the time, otherwise windows down the other 75%. In town(Minneapolis) I get around 30.5 mpg and that is a combo of freeway at up to 80 mph and stop and go rush hour freeway traffic.
  • clifmclifm Posts: 4
    How inaccurate can the trip computer be before it is considered a defect? When I bought my car (2012 hatchback, manual), the dealer was showing me what kind of mileage I would get in various test drive situations. But now that I have filled the tank several times, I am getting a consistent real world 5 mpg less than what is shown. So instead of 30 in mixed driving (not bad) it is really 25 (unacceptable for a small car). I am a very timid driver, and would have hoped for a somewhat better mileage than the 23 year old Nissan hardbody that this car is replacing. Any suggestions?
  • onemodogonemodog Posts: 26
    I am just about to hit 10K on my Sport Premium (I am at 9998 and will hit 10K tomorrow as well as fill up the tank. Here is what I have for data based on 9678 Miles (last fill-up)

    Miles = 9678
    Gallons of gas = 369.679
    Avg MPG = 26.179
    $ on gas = $1498.75
    Avg $ per gallon = $4.05
    Avg $ per mile = .1548

    I will have had my car for exactly 6 mos on 7/21.
    My only disappointment is that I wish I got slightly better gas mileage but I am pretty happy.

    My commute changed in April when it was made much shorter BUT is now made in traffic. I do not think it has changed the gas mileage much though to be honest. I have consistently been at the 26/mpg range since tank 1. I have not gone on too many long highway drives and when I did, I did hit 31mpg on that tank so I know my Subie is definitely capable.

    It has been a fun car to drive and I am pleased with my purchase. This is my first Subie but will not be the last for my family.
    Its been a fun car to drive.
  • 2toroll2toroll Posts: 3
    Bought the 5 door loaded and now have about 900 miles on it. Per the readout in the car, I am getting 19.2 MPG over the past 2 tanks of gas. Anyone else getting bad MPG? Is this just a break-in thing? I drive mostly city, but on the highway I don't think I have gotten more that around 25 mpg. Very disappointing.
  • clifmclifm Posts: 4
    Couple thoughts here ---

    Don't know what climate you are in, but I find my AC makes a significant difference.

    More importantly, my on-board computer has been wildly inaccurate. In my case it is telling me I am getting about 5 mpg better than I actually calculate. (Although I'm still taking the car's word on the distance traveled and just inputting the actual gallons used).

    My real world numbers are about 29 in mixed driving, using AC about half the time.

    Yours isn't a WRX? That maybe get about 19 mpg...
  • My gas mileage has been terrible. It has been going downhill instead of better. I have been getting 22 mpg around town and I just got back from a 440 mile trip on interstate and I got 31 mpg. I complained to Subaru and they said to take it to the dealer. The dealer checked it over and said there was nothing wrong and they could not do anything about it. Very disappointed in the car. I have the 2012 Impreza Sport. I bought it get better gas mileage than by 2004 Mustang and with that I got 19 around town and 28 on the highway. Thinking about getting rid of the Impreza since I am so frustrated with it and no one will do anything about it.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Something must be wrong. Is yours a CVT? I would try inserting the FWD fuse for one tank just to see what affect that has.

    No noises from the drivetrain, implying extra drag?
  • It is CVT. There is no noise but when you are slowing up to come to a stop sign, the transmission sometimes grabs and almost stops you. I asked the dealer about it and they said that was just normal for the CVT. It also will jump every once in a while at a stop light. I thought it was stalling out the first couple of times they did it. The dealer said it was just the computer adjusting the idle. What is the FWD fuse?
  • sgoldste01sgoldste01 Posts: 26
    edited August 2012
    First, make sure you have all of the latest firmware updates. I've heard there's a firmware update for 2012 Imprezas with the CVT that smooths out the engine braking symptom.

    As for your substandard fuel economy, there are many possibilities:
    • Is your driving mostly city?
    • When on the highway, what speed do you drive?
    • Do you drive many short trips (less than 10 miles)?
    • Do you accelerate briskly or slowly?
    • When cruising on the highway, do you use cruise control?
    • How many miles are on your car?
  • jd_24jd_24 Posts: 92
    "sgoldste01" had good things to try. Also things to consider.
    - Are you using A/C? (1 to 3 mpg drop.)
    - How much stuff in the car (additional passengers?)
    - Tire pressure? I believe suggested is rght about 30psi. Try just a bit higher like 32 or 33. I believe the last I checked mine it was around 33 or 34.
    - Check your odometer. This probably won't make a big difference but many have found it off by about 3%. Example: odometer reads 30 miles, but you really only went 29. Its off in the right direction for the warranty! :)

    The longest highway trip I've taken with my Impreza Sport returned some of my worst mpg at 32mpg. I had 4 passengers and luggage, plus we used A/C. Otherwise I'm happy and getting 34 to 36 mpg hand calculated. My commute is mostly highway, but has some stop-n-go traffic and construction nighmares this summer.
  • wvwwvw Posts: 19
    I have an Impreza hatchback and have around 1500 miles so far. I've been a little disappointed in the highway MPG (33-4 , generally with AC on- which I thought I'd heard actually helped in highway driving?), but it's been better than predicted in local driving. My '95 Legacy wagon outperformed the predicted MPG on the highway and I was hoping for the same with this, but it still has good gas mileage overall for an AWD car.
  • 2toroll2toroll Posts: 3
    I just refilled the gas and reset the trip odometer/MPG monitor. Have driven maybe 5 miles since and it's saying I am now down to about 11 MPG. Before the reset I had dropped to about 18.5 MPG, mostly city and short trips and with AC on (I live in the south). I am going to take a long trip in a couple weeks, mostly on highway, and will be curious to see what kind of MPG I get. Then I will be back to the dealer to talk to them about this. If MPG doesn't improve, I am going to have a serious chat with Subaru. I sold my 97 Civic that got 38 MPG on the highway and decent city MPG too and bought this car, which I wouldn't have done if the MPG was disclosed with numbers like I am getting. Other than the MPG, I like the car.
  • jd_24jd_24 Posts: 92
    AC on will not help your highway gas mileage. AC may not hurt as much as having the windows wide open. Just running the vent and windows up is the best if the temperature allows it.
  • jd_24jd_24 Posts: 92
    I hope you get better MPG with the highway trip. Many new cars today don't get good mileage with short trips (under 5miles). In the Prius forums one person was in the 25?? MPG range with their Prius just because of short trips. The engine never warms up and in the Prius case the battery doesn't have enough time to charge. Just because the blue light goes off doesn't mean everything is up to ideal perforamnce temperature.
  • i made a mistake of buying a 2012 subaru impreza and after many emails and calls nothing is being done.

    My car has around 3600 on the clock and i drive mainly in the city, i get an average of 20 to 21 mpg if im lucky and i drive 10 miles to work and 10 miles back.

    I also do some highway trips and decided to let my wife borrow the car for a week to commute to work about 1 hour driving on the parkway to and 1 hour back.

    The most we got out of the car is 27mpg which is 8 mpg lower than the estimate mpg for highway driving. The sad thing is my 2002 for focus which was old tired and had 115,000 on the clock was getting better mpg than my new car.

    I honestly wish i had kept it now. Anyone have any suggestions or tricks or anyone having similar problems please feel free to post.
  • typesixtypesix Posts: 321
    Consumer Reports tested a 2012 Impreza hatchback in the June 2012 issue and got 19mpg city, 33 mpg highway and overall average of 26mpg. How fast do you drive on highway? The EPA numbers are generally what can be expected if one follows the speed limit. Air conditioning will decrease mpg about 10%. Driver habits have the most effect on mpg.
  • Im usually driving around the 65 to 70 mpg on the parkway and around town im always at the speed limit due to the amount of police in the area. I also tested without the ac and it made a little improvement but no where near the epa estimates. Im glad its not just me with the poor millage and that its been tested by people who know what they are doing.

    I got a freephone number to see what the buy out is on my lease and also if i can trade in my lease with someone else so they can take it over because im getting less mpg than my previous car and the reason i got this was for more mpg.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    26mpg is good in that context. The Elantra only got 27mpg despite the 40mpg highway they tout.
  • dcm61dcm61 Posts: 1,563
    Pay attention to the MPG gauge below the speedometer. You will then get a feel for how you need to drive the car to get the best MPG and you will also see that even a slight incline or press of the accelerator "kills" the MPG.

    Before I bought my Sport Limited, I didn't realize there were so many hills in my area.

    I've taken two 700+ mile round trips from Philly area to Boston area.

    1st trip (2 people) - started with 1100 miles; PA/NJ turnpike, GW bridge, various NY parkways to Merritt Parkway to I-84. Drive up MPG = 36+ until the GW bridge, then continued to drop and ended at ~32 MPG (hills on the NY/CT parkways kill MPG). Return trip average = ~33 MPG. IIRC, A/C was on the entire trip.

    2nd trip (1 person) - started with 5100 miles; mix of back roads, highway, back roads to I-84. Drive up MPG = 36+. Moonroof flipped up for 1/2 trip, A/C on other 1/2 trip. Return trip average = ~35 MPG. Heavier traffic, higher speed, A/C on more, back seats and cargo area full.

    Normal commute = congested highway = ~30-32 MPG.

    For comparison, my 2003 Outback 2.5L 4EAT averaged 28-30 MPG on highway trips and 22-24 on my commute.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 12,759
    There's no doubt the numbers are starkly improved over previous generations. In city driving, the start/stop behavior makes a big difference, especially with the AWD car for some reason. I notice that when I drive my Escort vs. my Forester, the relative impact on fuel economy in the Escort is lower when I'm a little quicker off the line (about 5-6%) versus my Forester, which is 10% or more. I really have to shift into "chill mode" when I'm driving the Forester if I want to eek out reasonable fuel economy. With a manual transmission, though, that isn't too hard to do. :)

    I'm sorry that the original poster's fuel economy is so much lower than expected. I think he said a Focus was replaced by the Impreza... ? If so, it is entirely unrealistic to expect the Impreza to perform better on fuel economy in city driving. Heck, if it did better in the highway in identical conditions, I'd be quite surprised. You gave up some FE for the AWD. If you don't want or need the AWD, as in that was not a major consideration when deciding on the car, you did indeed lease the wrong car for your needs. The good news, though, is that you leased it.
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • When I first bought my 2012 Impreza, I strictly road the freeways, with very limited city driving (my wife drove her car to do most of the city stuff). Back then, my freeway commute to work and back was about 40 miles each way and I averaged 38 mpg for about two months. I did notice that whenever I did do any city driving (short trips to the grocery, mall, etc.), especially through residential streets with lots of stop signs, my mpg would drop down to 33, 34, or 35 mpg instantly -- with just about 15 to 20 minutes of driving! To my relief, my mpg would then go back up once I commuted to work a couple of days in a row.

    Also, as I drove on the freeway, I left the mpg function/monitor on and played an mpg game by adjusting my accelaration to get the maximum fuel efficiency. My goal was to reach an average 40 mpg. However, to do this I had to develop thick skin; fellow freeway commuters showed great impatience by purposely tailgaiting so that I could speed up or they would look over at me in disgust as they passed by). The highest mpg I ever got was 39.6 and I stayed at the 39 mpg mark for about two weeks.

    But then it happened. My wife starting complaining about how she did most of the driving errands and wanted me to help. I agreed and started doing most of the city driving from then on. For the last two months, my driving is about 65 to 70 percent freeway driving and about 30 to 35 percent city driving. As a result, my mpg has dropped down remarkably: it now ranges consistently between 27 and 29 mpg. I never realized how bad city driving was on a car's mpg and now loathe driving through residential streets. And I believe that what keeps my mpg numbers this high is how I continue to play the mpg game on the freeway (I try to adjust my accelaration to raise my mpg numbers on the monitor; but of course, I try not to go lower than 5 or 7 miles below the speed limit.)

    Though I am disappointed, I could only imagine what my mpg numbers would be if I had purchased a car with lower EPA estimates. If my average mpg was to go below 26 and my city driving increased, I would seriously consider selling or trading in the Impreza to purchase a Prius. Or to purchase a mini-cooper, which cost less than a Prius, but looks way hipper and cooler, and gets better gas mileage than the Impreza (but then again, the mini-cooper presents the space issue, especially if one has children).

    But, that, in a nutshell, has been my 4 to 5 month mpg experience with the 2012 Impreza.
  • Interesting to see the variation. My 16-mile round trip work commute results in 33 mpg average (no highway) with 6,000 miles on the odo. Typically that commute has 10 stops for lights or stop signs, and speeds vary from 30 mph to 50 mph, with little traffic. Highway runs at 75 mph have consistently returned 37 mpg, and about 45 mpg at 60 mph. The fuel mileage has been stellar, especially cruising at 55 to 65 mph flat terrain. The worst mileage to date has been 28 mpg during all city/suburban driving with traffic lights and congestion (nothing like NY or LA, though). No complaints here. The car is perfectly capable of beating EPA, so the question that needs answering is what's different about your situation?
    Tesla Model 3, 2015 Subaru Outback
  • jd_24jd_24 Posts: 92
    My results have been similar to Westcoaster's.

    I drive more or less speed limit (55, 60, and 65) or stay with the flow of traffic, not slower than the flow, but I'm seldom the guy in the left lane going faster than the flow. I use a really light foot. Typically I've been getting around 36mpg with my sport premium. I have a 70 mile round trip commute. With construction I have a few miles of stop-n-go to deal with as well.

    Yesterday with about 150 miles on the tank and the MPG display over 39mpg (which equals about 36.5mpg) I ran some very short trip errands. Car was already warm from my 30+ mile commute home. Highest speed was 35mph. Stop signs or lights every 400 yards. 3 trips and only 15 miles later the display average was at ~37mpg.

    If the engine is cold when doing the same short trips, the mpg drops much faster.

    I have just over 7000 miles on the odometer. My average MPG did creep up from 32ish at first to the now 36ish during the first 5 to 6000 miles.
  • oxmeadoxmead Posts: 79
    edited August 2012
    I'm on my first tank and the average mpg says 32 with mixed driving and the air is running. I'm at 263 miles and the gauge is one notch below half. I am taking it very easy until I get to 1000 miles.
  • Let me throw out this off-topic comment:

    Regarding oxmead's comment, "I am taking it very easy until I get to 1000 miles", I just want to say that it's my unproven theory that taking it overly easy on an engine during the break-in period can cause issues. The manual states not to exceed 4k RPM, but it's my opinion that during break-in, you should work the car up to 4k RPM moderately aggressively (75% throttle) after the engine has warmed up. Not doing this can prevent the piston rings from seating correctly, and could result in a car that consumes oil.

    Don't overly baby your car during break-in!
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