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Mazda3 Real World MPG



  • whobodymwhobodym Posts: 180
    Not just MPG, though -- I want to know what the transmission gearing is in 6th gear. How many rpm register on the tach at exactly 60 mph? Make sure to mention whether manual or automatic.

    For that matter, what are revs/mile for the 5AT 2.5L?

    My 6MT 2.5L goes 2400 rpm at 60, 2400 revs/mile, in 6th. And could easily pull a much higher gear ratio on level ground at high speed, are you listening Mazda?
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    My 6MT 2.5L goes 2400 rpm at 60, 2400 revs/mile

    RPM means revolutions per minute as the spin rate of the crank shaft. Not per mile.
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 10,278
    RPM means revolutions per minute as the spin rate of the crank shaft. Not per mile.

    True, but at 60 mph the car is travelling at the rate of one mile per minute- so at 60 mph the engines revolutions per minute and its revolutions per mile are the same.

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport / 2014 M235i / 1999 Wrangler / 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2016 i3 REX/2009 Cooper Clubman Son's: 2009 328i

  • whobodymwhobodym Posts: 180
    right, I was saying both rev/mile and rpm, meaning two different things that happen to have equal values when you're going exactly 60 mi/hr
  • smoothsailinsmoothsailin Posts: 73
    edited February 2012
    Filled up my 2005 3i (2.0L w/5-speed manual) yesterday.

    Average for the last tank:

    37.91 mpg = 473.2 mi/12.483 gal

    Average based on all fill-ups since purchase (3/1/05):

    38.58 mpg = 91,751.6 mi/2,378.479 gal

    I'm curious how much one of Mazda's Skyactive or diesel engines could improve on these results.

    Also wish Mazda would equip the 3 where @ 60 mph the engine would only turn around 1,900-2,000 rpm. Of course I realize the car would be gutless on hills, but I feel the engine should pull it along just fine on level ground...and I'd have no problem with having to downshift when more acceleration may be necessary. With the stock gearing I rarely use 4th gear except when accelerating from a stop.

    If my parents' larger & considerably heavier 2007 Camry (2.4L I-4 engine w/5-speed auto) can get by just fine turning ~ 1,800 rpm at 60 mph, then my smaller & lighter 3i s/b able to handle similar gearing.
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    Average based on all fill-ups since purchase (3/1/05): 38.58 mpg
    Excellent overall mileage, especially for a car that is now 7 years old!
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,906
    Also wish Mazda would equip the 3 where 60 mph the engine would only turn around 1,900-2,000 rpm.

    That's called the Skyactiv. :)
  • smarty666smarty666 Posts: 1,503
    Can anyone with the SkyActive technology give me any idea what kind of mpg your getting so far? Is it anywhere near the hight 30's, nearly 40mpg the EPA says it gets? I'm just curious as I'm considering this car later this year and the high mpg of the SkyActive is attractive since I'm looking for something that is sporty but gives good mpg!
  • smoothsailinsmoothsailin Posts: 73
    edited February 2012

    Except for the addition of Mazda's Skyactive 6-speed manual (which if based on the regular 6-speed only lowers engine speed at 60 mph by ~100 rpm vs. the 5-speed manual used in earlier models including my 3i) I was not aware that the Skyactive package may include final drive gearing that's any taller than what the non-Skyactive 2.5 L engines mated to the 6-speed manual have.

    I checked Mazda USA's website but failed to find any final drive information about the cars in the specifications section. I did however note that although the standard 2.0 L and the Skyactive 2.0 L engines share the same overall displacement, the Skyactive engine has a smaller bore, longer stroke and higher compression ratio.

    I've yet to read any comments from someone who may have purchased a Mazda 3 with the Skyactive package.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,906
    I just know that when I drove the Skyactiv 6MT the revs were just a bit over 2000 @ 65 mph, so they were likely 2000 or less @ 60. I haven't driven the 2.5L 6MT so I can't compare the two on RPM @ 60, but this may explain it: /

    So the 2.5L 6MT seems to be at 2000 RPM at only 50 mph. Note that 6th is 0.72 on that car, but only 0.60 on the Skyactiv MT.
  • smoothsailinsmoothsailin Posts: 73
    edited February 2012
    If the Skyactive w/6 speed manual only turns around 2k rpm in 6th at 65 mph, then the final drive ratio is considerably higher than what the other cars get. Although I'm still very satisfied w/my 3i after nearly 7 years, I just may have to swing by my Mazda deale for a test drive of a 3 with the Skyactive package myself! Actually, I wonder if the Skyactive's new 6-speed manual could prove to be a basic bolt-in swap for my 3i, for I'd REALLY like to see what mpg improvement could result from significantly taller gearing.

    I just read where the recent purchaser (Tuesday) of a Skyactive-powered 5 door posted on the Mazda3 forum that after ~ 130 miles the computer in the car was reporting 31.1 mpg (and rising) based on a mix of city & hwy driving.

    Of course it's way too early to draw conclusions from this, but just for comparision the lowest tank average (of 216 tanks) I have calculated for my 3i since purchase was 32.55 mpg after the 1st fillup based on 303.0 miles & 9.308 gal. Of course, I had no way of knowing for sure if the dealership fully topped off the tank in my car before delivery. Including the miles driven during my initial test drive, my car was only showing ~ 25.5 miles on the odometer when I took delivery.
  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,174
    Just from the jist of your comments I would assume you drive very conservatively with an eye toward MPG enhancement. The report you read from a Skyactiv owner may be from someone that drives a whole lot different than you. So, like you said, it is way too little data to draw any kind of a conclusion from. From what I've been reading it seems that these new smaller 40mpg cars have to babied pretty good to get the estimated MPG numbers. I assume wind might affect these cars a fair amount more than a heavier car but that is just a guess.
  • smoothsailinsmoothsailin Posts: 73
    edited February 2012
    You're right in assuming that (most of the time) I tend to drive conservatively. Another factor in my favor is that have a fairly long (~ 27 mile one-way) commute to work. I also plan my driving to avoid short trips as much as possible since I've come to realize how much they can negatively affect mpg-particularly in cold weather.

    I also failed to mention that for first few tanks of gas after purchasing my car I didn't drive as conservatively as normally do now since I was using the lower gears more and varying engine rpm often during the break-in period.

    One of the best investments I've made was the purchase of a Scangauge II several years ago. Observing the various measurements this device is capable of displaying taught me a lot about how to drive more efficiently. It still amazes me just how much difference a slight and nearly imperceptable lifting of pressure on the throttle at steady-state cruising speeds can make in the instantaneous mpg calculation.

    In case you'd be interested in seeing the results I've had w/my 3i, all of my car's mpg calculations per tank since purchase may be viewed at

    See results for 2005 Mazda 3...2.0L...manual transmission for Chesterfield VA.
  • jdigjdig Posts: 5
    edited February 2012
    We've had our 3 for just over a month now. It's the i with Skyactiv motor (GT model with 6 speed auto trans). We are getting about 32 mpg in mostly city driving (based on the computer). Based on manually calculating by miles between fillups - I am calculating about 30 mpg. Not sure which is more accurate but I think it's safe to say I must be getting in that ballpark. I am very pleased with those numbers. It's not getting Prius mileage - but it's so much quicker and responsive than Prius (or Insight for that matter). So while it doesn't get the absolute hghest mileage - I think it's a very good compromise of comfort/features/mileage for the price paid. I don't really see anything in this price range with features that come close - leather, NAV and Bose system for under $23K - all while getting about 30+ mpg in the city. Also - having a CVT in my other car - I really like that Mazda stayed with the regular automatic tranny. Many others (like the Impreza) have gone to the CVT in order to improve mileage - somehow Mazda figured out how to work around that ...
  • "Can anyone with the SkyActive technology give me any idea what kind of mpg your getting so far? Is it anywhere near the hight 30's, nearly 40mpg the EPA says it gets?"

    Accounting for just the highway portion of my commute with a Skyactiv Mazda3i Touring hatchback, I regularly hit 38+ MPG, and that's with two sizable grades along the route. Of course, that's using the trip computer and my pump calculation is normally ~2 MPG below the trip computer's calculated average.

    My first few tankfuls have been averaging 31-34 MPG in mixed driving (mostly highway), but with the last fill up I calculated 36.5 MPG.
  • smoothsailinsmoothsailin Posts: 73
    edited February 2012
    Thanks for posting your early impressions and fuel economy results idig and woochifer!


    Compared to the results I've seen posted by most owners of "conventional" Mazda 3i automatics, as expected your results for mostly city conditions seems somewhat superior. I'm also curious what rpm your automatic's tachometer may register at 60 mph in top gear?


    Does your car have the manual or automatic and if it has the manual, what rpm is registered on the tachometer at 60 mph in top gear?

    I'm also curious where each of you live and what the weather conditions & average morning & afternoon temperatures may be in your areas since cold temperatures tend to cause mpg results to take a hit-particularly when the average trip distance may be less than 10 miles.

    Based on my experience your mileage can be expected to improve over the first few thousand miles.

    Thanks again!
  • jdigjdig Posts: 5
    I'll take a look tomorrow at the RPM on my commute to work and let you know what it reads at 60 mph. Needless to say with the news of gas prices going up again - I am pretty happy with those numbers. My last couple of cars have had high power V6 engines (TL and Maxima). While you can't beat the smoothness and power of a good V6 - the mileage has been around 21 mpg in mostly city drivingin both cars. 10+ more miles per gallon is significant!
  • woochiferwoochifer Posts: 32
    edited February 2012
    "Does your car have the manual or automatic and if it has the manual, what rpm is registered on the tachometer at 60 mph in top gear?"

    It has the AT, and at 60 MPH the engine is spinning at about 1,600-1,700 RPM. Unlike the AT that comes with the MZR engines, the engine rev speed matches the road speed very closely with the Skyactiv AT. The weather conditions have been mild where I live, so it's typically in the mid-40s in the morning, and 60s during the day.
  • At 65mph I'm doing just below 2k in 6th gear. I bought the iGT model with an automatic back in December. I've put 3k miles on it so far. I did a lot of highway driving right off the bat and averaged around 37-38mpg doing 75mph. My commute in town is almost all slow city driving with a lot of cold starts, especially in the morning. My first two full city tanks both got me around 24mpg. My most recent tank I got 26mpg, but I threw in some highway driving where I could. My commute is short, so my car barely has time to fully warm up each way, which added to the cold outside temperatures (Ohio) is probably why my mpg are on the lower end. My car fuel avg. says 31mpg over the course of the entire 3k miles.

    A few things I've noticed about the car:
    1) On cold starts, the engine sounds loud when you first start it. I've read this is it increasing the fuel/air mix to try and heat up the engine quicker.
    2) When it's anything below freezing out, the engine does take a decent amount of time to heat up. My previous car, a 1998 Nissan Maxima warmed up much faster. I'm guessing this has something to do with less friction in the engine causing less heat but getting me more mpg.

    Overall I love the car. I drove a manual before this, but I don't miss it so far. The transmission is incredibly smooth and seems to always pick the correct gear. The Bose stereo is also very impressive for only having 265 watts. The ride is sporty enough without being uncomfortable and the overall feel of the car is that it's solidly built.

    The one warning I will say is that the dealerships seem to just be getting the oil filters in. I changed the oil at 3k and the dealer initially gave me the wrong filter, assuming all of the 2.0 engines had the same filter. NOT the case, so just make sure before you pull the old filter that you have the correct one.
  • jdigjdig Posts: 5
    Ok - probably close to the last poster but this is what I saw today:

    50 mph - 1500 rpm
    60 mph - 1750 rpm
    65 mph - 2000 rpm

    I agree with woochifer comments regarding cold starts. Once it warms up - it's much quieter and smoother. I don't really see any change in the MPG if I push it hard or am gentle on the gas. I really like that. On some prior cars it felt like if you accelerated quickly you could almost see the gauge move. Also - I don't notice any less power when the A/C is on - seems to accelerate just fine with it on or off ...
  • chessterchesster Posts: 15
    edited February 2012
    I purchased my Skyactive Mazda3 GT (automatic transmission) on 11/12/2011. I live in central NJ but I work in Maryland so I’m on the NJ Turnpike and I95 twice a week. Mileage is roughly 60% highway 40% city. When on the highway I set the cruse to 70 and leave it at that. The data below shows my experience so far; I fill up at the same station and at the same pump every week.

    Date   AVG. MPG
    11/12 37.8
    11/20 39.7
    11/27 38.4
    12/04 37.8
    12/11 37.6
    12/18 38.8
    12/26 38.2
    01/02 38.2
    01/08 37.3
    01/16 37.7
    01/22 33.9
    01/29 38.6
    02/05 38.0

    On that 01/22 date I think I just messed up - I was distracted at the pump that day.

    As of today 2/8/2012 the odometer reads 4783 and the avg. MPG on the dash reads 38.6

  • smoothsailinsmoothsailin Posts: 73
    edited February 2012
    Thanks for sharing your early impressions and mpg results woochifer, fisher13 & idig. I find your comments very enlightening and am hopeful someone who's purchased a SkyActive package with the 6-speed manual will also chime in eventually.

    My 3i's 2.0 L engine is also louder immediately following a cold start, however I wouldn't say it's unusually loud in comparison to other 4-cylinder engines. I have always felt that immediately after a cold start the engine's idle speed seemed to be unnecessarily high though, so if your SkyActive engines rev similarly high this might explain your "engine louder when cold" observations. Once warm my 3i's engine is very quiet at low rpm, but can turn somewhat "boomy" as engine rpm rises. I generally keep rpm under 3k since it's unnecessary to rev the engine higher unless stronger than normal acceleration may be called for for merging in traffic while entering the freeway, passing slower vehicles on two-lane highways, etc.

    Although I generally prefer driving a manual transmission vehicle-and still feel my 3's manual is a joy to use, based on your observations the new automatic engineered for the SkyActive package sounds like it could be a gem. By comparison, I haven't been favorably impressed by posts I've read from owners of Mazda 3 vehicles equipped with the conventional 4 or 5-speed automatics.

    I'm still curious how the gearing of the SkyActive's 6-speed manual compares to that of the 5-speed in my car since my main complaint about my 3i's running gear is that the overall gearing in 5th is unnecessarily low and allows the engine to spin way faster than necessary at cruising speeds. I see ~ 2.5k rpm at 60 mph and over 3k rpm past 70 mph in my 3i. If the overall gearing was 20-25% higher I wouldn't be surprised if I could consistently produce 40 mpg averages per tank of fuel. A few years ago while I was on vacation in June and was making a lengthy drive to the coast I took my time and managed to score a 53 mpg average over 200 miles while driving in nearly ideal conditions (i.e. on mostly flat roads in light traffic and with v/little wind). By limiting cruising speeds to between 53-55 mph and being very careful to maintain light, steady pressure on the throttle I was favorably impressed by the results my car was capable of producing. Of course, in the real world it's simply not possible to get away with limiting yourself to such cruising speeds on the highway w/o risking "road rage"!
  • smoothsailinsmoothsailin Posts: 73
    edited February 2012
    Your results are impressive Chesster, although based on the increased EPA mileage ratings for the SkyActive package, frankly I thought they might be higher. Your results with your SkyActive automatic almost mirror what I generally get with my '05 3i w/5-speed manual. Of course the 40% city miles probably have been working against your highway driving results. Also, I've feel the cruise control in my car tends to be overly sensitive and have found I'm able to improve my car's mpg when driving on the highway by not engaging the cruise-especially when the terrain may not be relatively flat. Of course Mazda may have improved the cruise control since my car was built.

    During one of the only long mostly interstate road trips I've taken in my car (from Chesterfield VA to Spartanburg SC) in February almost six years, I generally maintained 5 mph over posted limits (generally 65-70 mph) w/the cruise engaged ~ 90 % of the time and calculated ~ 39.39 mpg during the 379.3 mile drive using 9.629 gal. Note: these results were with two persons and a trunk full of luggage in the car. Of course I would expect your car should produce even higher results under similar conditions.
  • I have more detailed data that I will post in table format later.
  • chessterchesster Posts: 15
    edited February 2012
    Can't get the table to load properly.
  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,174
    Your results are impressive Chesster, although based on the increased EPA mileage ratings for the SkyActive package, frankly I thought they might be higher

    38mpg avg for 40% city/60% hwy is excellent so why would you expect higher? That is an average...not just hwy miles and it's well above the EPA estimated average.
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    As of today 2/8/2012 the odometer reads 4783 and the avg. MPG on the dash reads 38.6

    Curious that the 38.6 overall average seems higher than the average of your list of weekly averages. According to the list, the average appears around 37 mpg (which is great). Have you kept track of the gallons of gasoline consumed?
  • Yes, that was part of the data I wanted to show in table format but I just can't get it to display properly on this forum.
  • This table is what I intended to post in my original message; this is probably the best I can get it to look:

    Odmr = mileage reading on the odometer
    Miles = mileage traveled that week
    Gallons = final amount of gas topped off by the attendant
    First MPG = calculation using Gallons as the input
    Pump = amount of gas when the pump stopped by itself
    Second MPG = calculation using Pump as the input

    Dates    Odmr    Miles    Gallons    MPG     Pump      MPG
    11/20     434     424.0    11.221    37.8    1st fill-up; not accurate
    11/27     806     372.1    9.378     39.7    
    12/04    1208    402.1    10.460    38.4    10.413    38.6
    12/11    1587    378.2    10.013    37.8    9.977    37.9
    12/18    1958    371.3    9.871     37.6    9.675    38.4
    12/26    2346    388.3    10.013    38.8    9.907    39.2
    01/02    2702    355.7    9.312     38.2    9.153    38.9
    01/08    3071    368.9    9.882     37.3    9.649    38.2
    01/16    3467    396.2    10.517    37.7    10.517    37.7
    01/22    3834    366.3    10.806    33.9    I did something wrong here
    01/29    4227    393.0    10.186    38.6    10.073    39.0
    02/05    4607    380.2    10.003    38.0    9.925    38.3
  • whobodymwhobodym Posts: 180
    being a compulsive gas purchase recorder in a self-serve state, and owning 2 Mazdas (2006 MZ5 and 2010 MZ3 2.5) I can add that both my cars have a very significant difference between the fill amount, stopping at first pump auto-shutoff, compared to the last drib that can be nursed in, especially if you run the pump very slowly. And especially if you're parked slightly nose-down and left-side-down on a slope. It is on the order of 2 extra gallons -- I have sometimes driven more than 100 miles with the gas gauge still reading absolutely "F". I know I know, this risks gasoline expansion and leakage, harming air quality if not actually risking conflagration. I can't help it. Anyway, this leads me to conclude MPG calculations of most if not all cars and their gas purchasers, may well be varying randomly due to this factor, and require long-term averaging to get accurate MPG numbers.
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