Toyota Avalon Real World MPG Numbers

kkovakkkovak Member Posts: 16
edited March 2014 in Toyota
Just a question about mileage and expectations.


My 2003 has about 12,500 miles and I bought it in August 2003. For the life of the car I have averaged 20.7 mpg. I average about 175 miles per week. My drive to work is only about 1.5 miles each way. This past October we drove from eastern PA to Ann Arbor, Michigan. The best tank I got on that trip was 29.7 mpg.


I don't think I have a lead foot. My feeling is that I should be getting better mileage than this. Are my expectations unrealistic?





  • abfischabfisch Member Posts: 591


    That is what most of us get. I am not sure of your expectatins but this marries very well with real world mileage for this vehicle and comes very close to the EPA 21 city/29 highway.


  • hamcarmanhamcarman Member Posts: 6
    I have 7,300 miles on my 2003 xls. The best I have ever gotten is 18.5 mpg in my city driving and I get about 26 to 28 on the road. I would be very happy if my mpg was as good as yours. I took the car to two dealers to have them check it and they both said the everything was set to factory specs and that it should get a little better when I put more miles on the car. I am not sure I buy that argument anymore since it has not changed since I bouhgt it. Did your mpg improve as you put more miles on your car??
  • finfin atlantaMember Posts: 594
    Your Avalon is doing fine. My '03 gets 27 mpg on the interstate, average, loaded, running 70 plus mph. The '99 XL I traded could hit 30 mpg but not the '03. Town mileage in your case is difficult because the work trip is so short. Nothing gets warmed up. It isn't really possible to get a meaningful average in 1.5 miles (IMO). Take care of the car, you have a good one!
  • sanandtonsanandton Member Posts: 342
    My 2000 XLS is averaging 27mpg 80/20 interstate/city driving. It was bought with 47k miles on it already.

       I have bought several new cars over the last 12 years. It seems that my Foreign cars (Toyota, Honda, Infiniti, Nissans) gas mileage improved a few MPG around 14k miles. My GM's Fords, Buicks really never did. The day I drove them off the lot I got the same mileage as I did 1 year later. Others have posted that the Foreign makers (Japanese) build such a tight spec engine that it takes about this long for the intial friction from a new engine to "loosen up". While I can't support this scientifically, I have seen it in action a few times.
  • patrickdpatrickd Member Posts: 1
    We have 3,300 miles on our 2004 xls. The gas mileage has been poor: averaging 17.6, mostly around town (5 mile commute, lots of lights). To me, the alternator sounded too noisy/whinny, like a vacuum cleaner. I took it in and complained about both. The dealer tested the alternator and replaced it, and said they couldn't find anything with the gas mileage. We got 18.8 on the next tank. Maybe that difference was the alternator, maybe not.


    I'm still disappointed with the mileage: we do better with our 93 camry v6, and of course we got better still with an 86 tercel wagon.


    I expected to average 21 with mostly around town driving. Did I get a gas-mileage lemon?
  • Karen_SKaren_S Member Posts: 5,092
    This topic is for Avalon owners to report their actual MPG.

    "Real World" Fuel Economy vs. EPA Estimates
  • mikes.mikes. Member Posts: 337
    With a 70/30 split, 70% being highway, using mostly 87octane gas and doing sustained speeds of upto 80mph I'm getting 28.3 mpg. I have just over 6K miles on my 05 Avalon LTD.

  • kkovakkkovak Member Posts: 16
    In message #594 I asked for feedback on mileage. At that time with about 12,500 miles on the care I averaged 20.7 mpg and the best I got was 29 on a long distance trip. Now at 17,500 miles the lifetime mileage is up to 21.2 with the last 5000 miles giving about 22.6 mpg. This past weekend was a round trip from Eastern PA to Cincinnati, OH, totaling ~1000 miles and we did 30.5 mpg for the whole trip. Almost all interstate running about 70-75 mpg with a fair load in the car.
    From everything I have read, I guess I am quite satisfied.

  • bobw7bobw7 Member Posts: 2
  • bobw7bobw7 Member Posts: 2
    With 700 miles, the two fill up MPG calculation is 17.5. The blue screen MPG gauge has never gone below nor over 17+ MPG. There has been no sustained highway driving. I am concerned because my experience with my 87 Maxima was that the on board computer MPG reading varied from mid teens to the 70s and the actual was 17 to 18 MPG all around and 22MPG highway. Any suggestions? I have not yet contacted the dealer.
  • benkaybenkay Member Posts: 8
    I am happy to report that during my recent trip, I was able clock 34 MPG on the blue screen. This was done by driving somewhere between 55 and 65 MPH on mostly flat paved road with about 75F ambient temperature. AC was kept off and cruise control was set at all time. Driving at 80 MPH seems to get about 27 - 29 MPG. Does anybody know what the optimum speed is as far as MPG goes?
  • bwiabwia Greater BostonMember Posts: 2,888
    Does anybody know what the optimum speed is as far as MPG goes?

    A mechanical engineer once told me that you get your best gas mileage at 45 mph.
  • benkaybenkay Member Posts: 8
    A mechanical engineer once told me that you get your best gas mileage at 45 mph.

    Is that for 2005 Avalon specifically or any vehicles in general?
  • jimw2jimw2 Member Posts: 2
    With all the features the Avalon has, I'm sure there must be a way to reset the MPG on the screen display. My local Toyota service department says that capability is not available. Anyone know how to reset it on the 2005 Avalon Limited?
  • basikbasik Member Posts: 1
    I own a 2000 Avalon XL with 43k.
    The problem is Gas Consumption. According certificate, it must to use 21 miles p/g in city and 29 - in HW. I'm using car 70% in HW and 30% in city. But I've got real gas consumption 20 miles p/g.
    In the my local service station told me that "It's OK, don't worry." I was amazing: Toyota promised me one thing, I've got another one...
    Please, help me to make decision.
  • toyotakentoyotaken Member Posts: 897
    First, the EPA estimates on the window stickers are just that, estimates. If you look at the bottom under the larger numbers, you'll see an average range for the gas milage for this particular vehicle. It will also depend on your driving habits and conditions. Even if you do mostly highway driving, if you only stay on the road for 5-15minutes at a time, you'll have much lower milage than those who run for hours at a time. You'll have to give us some idea of your other driving habits/conditions to give us an idea if there is a problem or not.

  • jimw2jimw2 Member Posts: 2
    I am sorry to answer my own question, but after further reading of the owner's manual, I now see that the mileage is supposed to reset after each refill of the gas tank. As I have yet to do that, I'll wait to see if the manual was correct.
  • deaniedeanie Member Posts: 172
    If you want to see impressive mpg #'s, fill up your gas tank at a station near a flat highway (or on the hwy better yet), and then drive at 60-65mph on the highway w/the AC off (or on if you have to) for 20+ miles and you'll see low 30's (high 20's w/AC on). Unfortunately, Toyota wasn't smart enough to realize that most people would really like to know what their instantaneous fuel economy is at any given moment. You'd think that would be the fuel economy readout they'd give us, and not the entire tank average that anyone in any car can calculate on their own.
  • drb05drb05 Member Posts: 24
    I just bought touring and drove around 75 miles. Blue screen says 21 mpg on highway drive constant speed. Gas was fully topped at dealer when i took the car.

    Please let me know if the numbers are messed up or my car is.


  • gordo7gordo7 Member Posts: 1
    I've had my black touring edition since February and have consistently seen mid 20s with about 50/50, but on the long highway trips, it easily reaches 30 to 31.

    Great car!

  • coachbergicoachbergi Member Posts: 4
    Averaged 27.2 miles per gallon on a mix of 87 and 89 octane. Average about 85 across Montana and pass some up to 100. Car is rock steady and most at home on smooth highways. It is not a sports car on Glacier's winding mountain roads though. I averaged 30 mpg. from western Minnesota to Chicago doing 75 mph (570 miles). Was sorry to get home. Car is a xl model
  • drb05drb05 Member Posts: 24
    Good to know all those numbers. I have been putting 350 miles on touring. Had 87 octane in the first fill from dealer and then mid grade. I got 300 miles/15 gallon which is approx 20 mpg. Numbers on the blue screen also constantly reminded me that.

    When I added midgrade, i began to see climb in the number to reach 25 mpg on highway.

    Wondering, should I be using mid-grade or premium hereafter to get to good miles?
    Should I go to the dealer for checkup?

  • evancdsevancds Member Posts: 7
    Using regular gas will not reduce your fuel economy, it will however reduce your engine's HP output. As you break in your engine, fuel economy will improve.
  • leveilleleveille Member Posts: 1
    With the rising price of gasoline, I am thinking about switching from premium to a lower grade of gas. How will this affect my 2000 Avalon? I would like to keep this car for at least another five years.
  • drb05drb05 Member Posts: 24
    Hi all,
    I have been repeatedly posting here.....getting bit worried.
    Contradictory to what all others post-i am not seeing those numbers.

    What others see:- Right from day1 after purchase-mid 20s in stop and go driving with AC on.(on blue screen)
    What I am seeing:-16-18 mpg with stop and go/ac on. (on blue screen)

    with full tank, if I go in highway-i may occasionally see mid 20s.

    I tried mid grade. still the same. have put 600 miles on it. Real mpg-approx18-20 mpg (calculated tank to indicator light on)

    called the dealer/serice-said needed atleast 5000 to get break in for engine. But i remember reading 1000 somewhere.

    REALLY worried. Should i contact somebody in TOyota? any links/contact info please? (my honda pilot 04, gave better mileage than this)


  • bbraddockbbraddock Member Posts: 46
  • bbraddockbbraddock Member Posts: 46
    Don't hit the panic button just yet. I have run EVERY grade of gas under all circumstances through the Avalon. The higher the octane, better mileage. Haven't put the pencil to the math yet as I'm still compiling data. Lot depends on your takeoff from a dead stop. "Jack Rabbit" vs. easy and steady. Makes a big difference. I gotten 32.1 on the highway going 77 mph, sun roof back with AC and cruise on. Mixed driving seems to be 20 with 87, 23 with mid, 25 or 26 with premium.
  • drb05drb05 Member Posts: 24
    Oh! atlast! i got a response. been worried. Probably my driving needs some change too. But I never had jack rabbit start. basically a calm driver. Anyway, your numbers are of great consolation to me. Other surfers numbers are are something which I can only dream of.

    Anyway, i will cross my fingers and look for improvement.

  • bbraddockbbraddock Member Posts: 46
    I had an weird occurance the other day. I was driving in shift mode and forgot I wasn there after a long light. Took off got the rpm's up to about 6500, let off the gas and the car almost went on it's nose. Immediately the mileage indicator on the blue screen went to 11 mpg from 21. I drove it that way for a few miles, stopped and filled it up. It self corrected and now seems ok. You should try to fill up, drive and fill up again and figure it out long hand to compare with the blue screen. My guess is you're getting good mileage, but the blue screen may be faulty. This would be the simple way to check it for sure. I have done this several times and it has been very close. Good luck!
  • drb05drb05 Member Posts: 24
    This blue screen is getting on my nerves!. I got so conscientious about it, that I am trying to see if I get better mpg. I have to really work hard to get the decimal numbers to raise while it doesn't take that much effort to bring down the numbers.
    2 things drastically reduces the numbers:
    1. Long idling
    2. constant stop and go with jackrabbit start. (a slow start gets better results but also you got to be tolerant with other drivers who give you a dirty look).

    All my trips within city doesn't last for more than 20 min, hence it is hard to get the numbers up.

    However my tank to tank and blue screen are correct. Both is giving me the right numbers. So there is no fault with blue screen.

    probably should have gone for hybrid.
  • johndjrjohndjr Member Posts: 80
    Don't worry. I have a 05 Limited. Had it since 4 April. To date I have (at last fill up) 3177 miles on it. I've gotten from 22.58mpg to a high of 28.6mpg.
    The first tank, that the dealer provided, I got the lowest-22.6 mpg. The next lowest was a tank of hi test-22.7 mpg. My driving is almost all the same from tank to tank. I have had two short trips, one 400 round trip and another 300. Neither had much interstate in them.
    This is a fill up to where I see fuel in the filler neck and the milage since last fill up. The blue screen mpg has run a little different, most 1 to 2 mpg highr than what the odometer vs the fill up gives.
    I have tested every car I've ever had with the reg vs hitest thing. I have NEVER gotten better milage with hight test except back in the mechanical ignition days. I usually run 3 tanks of hi test to compare it. It has always been just slightly lower mpg. This was true in my last car (99 Volvo) that had almost the same words in the handbook as reg was ok but hitest was better for performance.
    So, I'm like you. Don't get these high mpgs that people say, but then, I'm not driving on interstates all the time either.
  • captain2captain2 Member Posts: 3,971
    Also 28 mpg or so, 70% highway, premium gas because I really like the power. Car does seem to have a 'sweet' spot right about 60 mph where it will get into the mid 30's but, down here in Houston, you get run over at 60! 70-75 high twenties - can, however, understand those reports of less than 20, around town and city. Think that this car's fuel efficiency relative to its size and power probably its best feature.
  • captain2captain2 Member Posts: 3,971
    check your odometer - mine reads 3-4% low!
  • johndjrjohndjr Member Posts: 80
    Haven't been to one of the highway test areas to check my speed or milage. The nearest one I know of is about 75 miles from here.
    I intend to do so as soon as I have a reason to go in that direction.
    There is one area of interstate thats only about 40 miles that has an open area with the milage post readily visable. That will probably be my first check.
    But it must be off. When I drive at a steady 70 mph, most people pass me up very quickly!!! :surprise:
  • captain2captain2 Member Posts: 3,971
    will typically run the car to 10 miles or so range on blue screen - car will generally take about 16.5 galllons filling it up the neck (only way to equalize fill-ups). Miles driven almost always about 440 on one of the trip odometers which is actually about 455 miles after the odometer correction. 455/16.5 then the 27/28 mpg indicated on the bluie screen is generally right.
    The speedometer, however, tests to be right on the nuts which would seem to contradict the odo being off (shouldn't they both be off the 3-4%). Tested over hundred mile increments using hwy mileage markers and a stopwatch on a few different occasions - got into this habit years ago with new cars - when speedos etc. were generally notoriously optimistic and I used to get speeding tickets!
  • drb05drb05 Member Posts: 24
    Well I had the weird occurance the other day.When I started the car, blue screen mpg was 0. THen after driving, it slowly climbed upto 16 mpg and stayed there for city driving with AC on.

    Anyway, as per others suggestion, I will still wait and see if it improves after several miles.
  • johndjrjohndjr Member Posts: 80
    Yesterday I had my chance to check out the speedometer and odometer.
    Like yours, the speedometer was right on the money. With the speed control set as close as I could get it on 60 mph, over a 10 mile run of the milage markers, it took a grand totla of 6 minutes and 2 seconds. That is accuracy enough for me.
    But also, like yours, the odometer was off. In 30 miles of the Interstate milage markers, the odometer had a readout of 28.8 miles. That is 4 % low.the way I figure it.
    Guess that is the way they made it!!! :surprise: :surprise:
  • amoxomaamoxoma Member Posts: 11
    About an hour of daily commuting, probably 42 miles highway, 8 local stop and go,
    Interstate and local are hilly.
    On the highway I cruise control at 70 when possible, AC LO full blast.
    A little bit of other random driving for errands, weekends etc. And there's even a few seriously bad traffic jams in there.


    My overall MPG (calculated) is 26.35 - measured using the odometer and actual gallons
    pumped. But I do agree that the odometer reads low - so this could very well be higher, perhaps as high as 27.5, but surely 27.

    After filling up with 4 different grades, I can't spot any difference in MPG at all.

    The computer and my hand calculations probably average out to be the same, but on any given fillup, one may be +- 2.5 MPG than the other. I've seen it go both ways, and it seems to alternate(!) The fact that I top it off may be confusing it.

    The best I've ever seen is getting right on the highway after a fillup, hit 32.3 on the blue screen for awhile. I think low 30's on a long highway trip would definitely be achievable.

    The blue screen is kind of addictive, I find myself trying to coast down hills or up to stop lights to drag it out. It's amazing how a long coast can sometimes add a few tenths of a mile to what after all is an overall *average*.

    Example: On my home commute, I hit the top of a hill, and then have a long slow downhill run on the interstate before I get off at this little crap exit where I usually need to break real hard and do the 25 MPH thing. But now, every night at the crest of the hill, I take the foot off the gas and cruise all the way down without gas. I can generally pick up 2-4 tenths depending on how many miles since fillup. It's kind of fun. I'm getting to know the areas of my commute where I'll get an uptick or a downtick.
  • oz4oz4 Member Posts: 9
    Hows this for good mpg. link title ;)
  • rotor1rotor1 Member Posts: 1
    What mpg should expect?I have 65,000 miles
  • finfin atlantaMember Posts: 594
    My '99 XL was near flawless at 92k miles when traded for an '03 XL. Delivered about 19-21 mpg in rural or suburban driving (some city, not much) and 30 mpg on the interstate. Great car. Never had the "sludge" problem either. Hope this helps.
  • will16will16 Member Posts: 21
    My 06 shifts into 5th gear at 45mph, so I would think 46 mph is the best
  • will16will16 Member Posts: 21
    When the blue screen says 0 miles left, how far has anyone gone?
  • brown3brown3 Member Posts: 26
    Just passed 1000 miles on my '06 XLS. Each tank has improved, with just under 24 MPG on the first dealer provided tank, and 25.7 on my last fill up, all on 87 octane regular gas. Driving is mostly what I'd call "hill country suburban" with lots of uphill & downhill travel at up to a posted 65 mph. (My '93 Explorer averages about 16.5 mpg over the same route.) Once I have more data, I'll see if gas brand has any effect . . . the "Top Tier" fuels are required to be 8%-10% ethanol, and my prior experience has shown a noticeable MPG penalty when using gasohol blends. (These days, it may be a challenge to find out what brands, if any, don't have ethanol added.)
  • lmacmillmacmil Member Posts: 1,758
    "...the "Top Tier" fuels are required to be 8%-10% ethanol"

    Reading the Top Tier site, it's not clear to me that Top Tier gas contains ethanol. The way I read it, ethanol is added to the fuel for the tests.
  • doberman3doberman3 Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2000 Avalon, which now has about 160k miles on it.

    I travel highways all the time. Between 48-50 MPH seems to get me 34 mpg. 65mph gets me about the EPA rated 29 mpg.
  • reddog13reddog13 Member Posts: 5
    I have an 03 Avalon with 25,900 miles. Just recently the Avg MPG on the blue screen started resetting to zero right after I put the transmission into Drive. I know it resets each time I fill the gas tank, but this is driving me nuts. It doesn't do it all the time, but it is becoming more prevalent (about 50% of the time now). I took it into the local Toyota dealer on Monday. They had it all day and said they couldn't duplicate it or find an error code. My 3 year warranty expired yesterday, but I have it on record that there is a problem. Has anyone else had a problem like this? If so, is it an electronic problem, computer problem, or just a loose connection?
  • monamilarmonamilar Member Posts: 4
    I have 1500 miles on my avalon and am getting less than 21 mpg with a lot of freeway driving. What gives? I expected to get closer to 29-31 on the road as I do with my Acura TL (2000) but can't even get the minimum city mpg. Anyone know what gives? Tried 89 and 91 octane without any changes in mpg. Use climate control all the time but so what? Dealer says if there is no engine light check, the computer is fine and there's nothing they can do. BS! Help?
  • monamilarmonamilar Member Posts: 4
    I have a new limited and am getting 19 and 20 mpg using 89 and 91 octane. Can't even get the minimum city mpg with mostly freeway driving. Any ideas?
  • zekeman1zekeman1 Member Posts: 422
    How fast are you driving? I have 7600 on my LTD and get 31 mpg consistently @ 70mph w/cruise control on interstates. In-city I've been getting 23-25 mpg at varied speeds - something sounds goofy.
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