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2012+ Subaru Impreza Real World Fuel Economy



  • oxmeadoxmead Posts: 79
    Thanks, I did do that a couple time while playing with the paddle shifters.
  • I have the same problem with mpg. From Va Beach to Emerald Isle NC which is all flat, I got 31 mpg and I used cruise the whole way. I have never gotten over 32 and usually average about 30 mpg on highway driving. City driving does not come even close to the 27 that Subaru said I would get. 21-22 but I have gotten as low as 19. The dealer said nothing was wrong and Subaru said to log where I got gas and track it but they did not say what to do with the info after I got it. They could care less. This is my second Subaru and I am really disappointed in the Impreza Sport with the cvt. With this kind of gas mileage I could have gotten a bigger vehicle with the same mileage. What was really bad was I followed my sister to New York and she drove a Toyota Avalon and she got 30.5 mpg while I got 31. Twice the car with a lot more luxuries and almost the same gas mileage.
  • How fast were you driving on your VA to NC road trip? Have you checked your tire pressure? Have you experimented with different brands of gas? How loaded with people/luggage was your car? Was the A/C running the whole time?
  • The highway went from 55 to 65 to 70 and back to 55. Probably 50% was at 55. I used cruise and stayed at the speed limit or below it. I added air to my tires prior to leaving. Shell seemed to get me a mile more gallon but there does not seem to be much other difference between the rest of the gas brands. AC was running on the lowest setting because of humidity. Two people in the car with two pieces of luggage - not really loaded down. I get the same gas mileage whether it is one person or one person and two dogs (75 lb and a 15 lb) or two persons. On the way back I did not use cruise and got 31.3 mpg.
  • mblutombluto Posts: 6
    With approx. 1,000 miles on my 2012 Impreza Sport Limited 2.0 CVT, I'm driving 75% highway and getting about 29 - 30 mpg.

    I check tire pressure, use different gas stations, am carrying no extra weight and get passed by little old grannies. I drove faster in my 2009 Nissan Versa S and average 33 mpg, with highs in the 37 range.

    I blame a crappy CVT tranny that actually slows the car during downhill decents and switches constantly between gears, again on downhills. I have read other complaints about this same transmission issue. This is not a 'CVT is different' issue, I've driven other CVTs and never felt the car slow when you step off the gas because of engine breaking.

    No, I haven't had the car to the dealer yet, but I am putting a sign in the back window warning people off the Impreza. I should have bought a larger SUV for the $ spent upfront, and now on gas. Yes, very disappointed.

    Do check the tranny issue before considering the Impreza CVT.
  • Mpg on car readout said 33.2 mpg and my math calculated 31.2 mpg. So, a difference of about 6% this time around. Wish Sub wouldn't make their readout so optimistic because its just a plain old LIE. However, that mileage was lots of freeway driving at speeds of mostly 65-85 mph to and from work. Some stop light in town driving also thrown in there. On a highway going under 60 mpg I can easily get a real 40 mpg(43 mpg indicated).
  • @Mbluto, So, why don't you use the paddle shifters downhill if you don't like the higher revs? I use paddles all the time in cases like that. 30 mpg isn't bad at all depending on how fast you're driving. It IS an AWD, so what do you want? Don't expect mpg in the stratosphere and don't compare the car to some 2 wheel drive something or other when your talking mpg. They aren't comparable. A larger SUV? lol. Even a small SUV like a CRV is going to cost $28k. My 5 door Sub Sport cost $21k. My wife's new Honda CRV get's 21 mpg by the way in the city.
  • mblutombluto Posts: 6
    Freddy man, you need to read... carefully.

    I can't drive the thing any more carefully.

    " So, why don't you use the paddle shifters downhill if you don't like the higher revs?"
    Um, if I wanted a manual I would have bought one. Paddle shifters are useless around turns.

    "It IS an AWD, so what do you want?"
    How about mileage as advertised. Those mpg calculations are for 'normal' driving. With my easy hwy driving I expected AT LEAST the advertised mileage. And Freddy, check the estimated mileage on the Versa... then come back and you can excuse that uninformed comment.

    Careful driving can't overcome a poorly designed transmission . For those who are don't experience this in their Impreza CVT, imagine your driving 58 mph on the highway and you reach a long downhill - when stepping off the gas a little the car downshifts and the engine is actually breaking the car. I've never ever experienced this in any other car... and my parents have the Outback cvt.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    getting about 29 - 30 mpg

    I just checked fuelly for the SX4 and you're doing a lot better:

    They tend to get mid 20s.

    CVT didn't bother me on a test drive, but it wasn't a hilly area.

    Is it adaptive, i.e. notice any changes over time?
  • mblutombluto Posts: 6
    I mentioned my experience with the Versa S to establish that my route and driving style have resulted in great mileage in the past. The Versa is rated at 26 cty - 32 hwy, and never in the year that I owned it did it go under 32. I got 36 - 37 a few times and often 35 mpg.

    Now I'm driving a car rated at 28 - 36 and I'm getting under 30, and I'm driving it even more carefully than the Versa.

    "Is it adaptive, i.e. notice any changes over time? "
    Not sure. I have noticed the tranny shifting back and forth more on some hills - though I know I'm more attuned to the shifts now than I was during the first few weeks. I don't know if the tranny is adapting, or I'm just more sensitive to it. Perhaps both.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Nissan may have understated the EPA mpg.

    The Impreza is AWD and has a bigger engine, I wouldn't expect it to match the Versa's numbers.

    The Impreza is much quieter, are you sure you're not inadvertently driving at higher speeds on the highway?

    Our Forester will do 33 if you go slow, and that plunges to mid 20s if you go real fast.

    Try this - drive on a flat road at constant speeds. Zero the odometer each time, and try 55, 60, 65 mph etc. I bet it does best at lower speeds.
  • I get crappy gas mileage also. After 5,000 miles, I am still getting 21-24 in the city and 30 -31 on the highway. I noticed the ads in the paper have changed from up to 43 mpg on highway to 36 mpg on the highway. When I asked about the transmission slowing me down when I took it in for service. They said there was nothing wrong with the car. was no help either. I followed my sister in her Toyota Avalon and she got almost the same mpg I did and it is twice the car.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I don't think they ever claimed sure it wasn't 34mpg for a manual model?
  • mblutombluto Posts: 6
    The Versa is actually quite big for a compact HB, and tall - poor aerodynamics - which is why it doesn't get better mileage.

    "The Impreza is much quieter, are you sure you're not inadvertently driving at higher speeds on the highway? "

    I wouldn't say that the Impreza is much quieter, but regardless this isn't a speed issue. I wish this was the case. I'm driving slower, no doubt about it. I am familiar with hyper-mileage techniques and the impact of speed on economy.

    It's the transmission. I filled up today and will use the paddle shifters - now I don't want to make this a habit, but I bet the mileage jumps up if I stay in a higher gear on the downhill.

    Google this tranny problem - I'm not the only one.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 12,759
    You should contact Subaru and make your concerns known to them. I strongly suspect that the transmission's behavior is a result of TCM mapping, so if they know that there are issues with the performance (more importantly, customers are unhappy with it!), they are more likely to issue a re-map that will change its behavior.

    If you're in a hilly area and have to offer throttle input to hold speed on a downhill slope, you will surely get poor mileage. What's more, with an automatic transmission (CVT included), you should never have to do that.
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Speculating here, mind you, but I wonder if they keep RPMs up for emissions purposes?

    Are those PZEV? Other models have been known to hold on to revs even when you let off the throttle.

    I agree with the suggestion about writing a letter, BTW.

    When the Outback came out in 2010, it didn't have folding mirrors. Enough people complained that it was fixed before the next model year.
  • ronsteveronsteve LooavulPosts: 616
    I had a 2012 Impreza with the CVT as a rental this past weekend, and was quite impressed with the fuel economy. I don't have a hard estimate, because it wasn't completely full when I picked it up... actually down 2 little blocks from the F on the gage.

    I had Hertz make a note, so I wasn't going to fill it up all the way when I put gas in it. Imagine my surprise after 205 miles, mostly 65mph interstate and 55mph upstate NY back roads, but bits of city here and there, it only took 6 gallons before the auto-shutoff on the pump! That's 34 mpg if I had burned all that gas, which I didn't! I'd have to guess the car was getting at least 40mpg for what I drove it.

    Yes it's on the short list for when my wife gets a new car early in '13.
    2015 Acura RDX AWD / 2013 VW Jetta 2.5SE
  • dcm61dcm61 Posts: 1,563
    edited October 2012
    What is the build date on your Impreza?

    IIRC, build dates up to Jan 2012 had different CVT mapping (even more pronounced engine braking than later builds) and there is a flash available for those cars.

    If your build date is later, you should have the updated mapping ... unless they came out with another update.

    My March 2012 build does have annoying engine braking at highway speeds but that same annoyance is nice going down hilly local roads.

    BTW, I get ~30 mpg on my congested local/highway commute with my 2012 Sport Limited CVT. Got ~22/23 mpg with my 2003 Outback 2.5L 4EAT.

    7000 miles now and I don't think I've gotten less than 28 mpg and I've gotten 36+ mpg on trips to New England (Boston area).
  • There have been two Technical Service Bulletins that relate to the engine braking and the CVT's tendency to upshift during acceleration before you'd like it to. You can ask your Subaru dealer to look these up, and to see if they apply to your car.

    Here's the basic info:

    Service Bulletin # 11-113-12: TCM Reprogramming Files for Improved Drivability

    Bulletin Description: This is to announce that TCM reprogramming files are now available to address a concern where, on light acceleration from a stop, the customer feels a sensation that the vehicle’s rate of acceleration is trailing off, requiring more throttle input to maintain a constant level of acceleration. Note: TCM reprogramming files were sent to all SDS users in the January 2012 SSMIII Update Version

    Service Bulletin # 11-115-12: ECM Reprogramming Files to Improve Drivability

    Bulletin Description: This is to announce that ECM reprogramming files are now available to optimize engine drivability while cruising and during engine braking. Note: ECM reprogramming files were sent to all SDS users in the January 2012 SSMIII Update Version
  • mblutombluto Posts: 6
    I will certainly communicate concerns to Subaru, and appreciate that you further narrowed the cause of my issue.

    I have been testing the car by using the paddles (on the hwy). The computer is showing much higher averages so far... day three. This suggests it is the shifting behavior of the transmission.
  • jd_24jd_24 Posts: 92
    How long distance wise are your drives? The tranny does take some time to warm up and deliver better performance and MPG.

    This morning for example the temp was around 38F. The RPMs stayed higher than normal (2700??) for about 5 miles into my commute, then dropped to about 2000 or slightly higher. The average MPG display always drops durring this time. Today it dropped by over 1mpg since there are less than 100 miles on the tank. After the 5 the MPG levels out and then starts climbing back up. By the time I'm in the office (30+ miles) I've gained back the 1 mpg I lost and gained a little. Average display was at 37.5 if I recall.

    Overall I'm pleased with the mpg. 32mpg is the lowest and the highest is around 37mpg hand calculated. Display is 1 to 2mpg optimistic most times. My old 2001 outback got 27 to 28 with the same commute. Speed ranges from 50 to 70mph with spots of stop-n-go with traffic and construction.

    Very happy with the CVT.
  • tjs928tjs928 Posts: 3
    Bought my Subaru Outback Limited strictly for gas mileage. Drove 25,000 miles in 10 months, 95% highway with cruise control. Never got more than 28.8 mpgs. Contacted Subaru corporate office, they had me take the car in. Air filter was changed, big change in gas mileage! Traded it in today...and low and behold there was another gentleman there trading in his as well. Both the Dodge Avenger and Dart get better gas mileage, with a MUCH quieter more comfortable ride. For a bonus....I lost $3,000 due to negative equity...luckily Dodge has a $3,500 rebate on the 2012 Avengers if you can find one. I'm sticking to American made from here on out.
  • tjs928tjs928 Posts: 3
    I just traded mine in for a 2012 Avenger. Full size car, that gets BETTER gas mileage than my Subaru was. I only had the car for 10 months, and was disgusted. 95% highway driving and never got more than 28 mpgs. I drove 25,000 miles in 10 months so that is unacceptable. I lowered my car payment by $100 a month, got a brand new car with MORE options including a MUCH quieter roomier ride, touch screen nav w/Sirius and it's made in America. Great one you won't be disappointed. Also looked at the new Dart. But with the $3,000 negative equity in my Subie had to go with Avenger since there is a $3,500 rebate from Dodge. Can't wait to pick it up tomorrow....never will buy another Subaru!!
  • tjs928tjs928 Posts: 3
    You are 100% right...after 10 months I just traded mine in on a Dodge Avenger. 10 times the car, so nice and quiet and tons of bells and whistles and saved me $100 on payment even with the $3,000 in negative equity from the Subaru! The car SUX!!!
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 12,759
    edited October 2012
    So you get a FWD car with similar fuel economy and massive depreciation. Where is the win? Is it just that you went into this one with eyes open and aren't yet disappointed?
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • tinycadontinycadon Posts: 287
    So let me get this straight, you basically spent $3,000 to get another car that gets a few MPGs more than the Subaru. I'd say that's VERY RATIONAL logic! How long do you think it will take to make back that 3 Grand in gas savings???
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    If the payment is $100 less, I can only imagine they stretched the loan term from 3 years to 5.

    And you just lost 3mpg real world. has Impreza owners averaging 28.0 mpg, while Avenger owners average 25.3 mpg.
  • tinycadontinycadon Posts: 287
    Juice, he had the Outback Limited, not Impreza, not sure why he was on the Impreza thread B'n and Moaning???
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    25.3 mpg for the 2012 Legacy/Outback. Lateral move so you give up AWD for nothing.

    And the Avenger is smaller, and not a wagon.
  • dfraudfrau Posts: 1
    I live in upstate New York and one of the dealers in my area has a radio ad claiming the new Impreza gets up to 43 mpg highway- I yell "you're lying!" every time I hear it.
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