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Mazda3 Real World MPG



  • Has your trip computer's average been above your pump calculation? My trend is that my trip computer's average is lower than my pump calculation (better for me).
  • chickraechickrae Posts: 44
    I still can't get passed the fact that they still are advertising 40mpg, most posts I have read on here from people that have purchased the Elantra, are not getting even close to that. If I gave up a car that was getting 34 or 35 because I wanted to get the Elantra that proclaims the 40mpg and I only get approx 36, I would be upset.

    I think your experiment is good, but personally I don't want to have to think that much when I am driving, as how I am going to achieve the 40mpg.

    With the mazda 3 I just drive and know I am getting 38 or 39 highway.

    I do hope that you can continue to get the higher mileage because the Elantra is a nice looking car and has some great positives. The warranty is a very big positive.
  • chickraechickrae Posts: 44
    edited April 2012
    I was almost convinced to buy and Elantra by a friend who had bought a 2011 last June. Back then she claims it was getting the 40mpg, but now she says it's actually gotten worse. I am not sure if she was figuring it wrong or what. I would of bought the Elantra a few weeks ago, had I not got on here and started reading the negatives. Then my daughter-en-law said she had just bought the Mazda 3 skyactiv and maybe I should test drive it in my area before going to the Hyundai dealership. That's what I did and bought it that day. I thought, why look further when this has everything I want.

    Sounds like you had a few months with the Elantra to see it is not what Hyundai claims it to be. I did test drive one last year and it didn't feel precise when I turned corners or changed lanes. It was a short test drive, but I do remember that about it. The elantra lacking a spare tire was a big negative to me. I don't care if they give roadside service. I don't want to have to wait to get a tire changed. I can't remember if the Elantra had any audio buttons on the steering wheel.

    I like how the Mazda has everything within reach, the audio buttons on the wheel and the air condioning/heater knobs etc very close. ( I had to reach far for everything in the mustang)

    What color Mazda did you get? Did you get the touring or the grand touring. I went with the Graphite mica, touring (since that's the one that already had the satellite antenna) and I was having a hard time deciding between that color or the dolphin gray.

    I am very happy with the mileage on the mazda. I am only on my second tank of gas, but I have taken two short road trips and its been fun driving it.
  • Sounds like you saw the same driving dynamics from the Elantra as I did. The Elantra doesn't have steering wheel audio buttons on the GLS PZEV model.

    I ended up getting a standard iTouring 3 hatchback in Sky Mica Blue. None of the extras of the iGrand Touring model interested me except the headlights, and it wasn't worth the extra cost of the whole bundle just to get better headlights.

    Another thing about the Elantra's MPG is that it would drop like a rock if the weather was a bit colder or if it was raining/road was wet. Turning on the AC also did that. With either of those conditions my mpg would drop from 32.5 to 30. So far I've seen negligible difference with those conditions in thee 3 Skyactiv.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,906
    edited April 2012
    I still can't get passed the fact that they still are advertising 40mpg...

    What is there to get past? It's very simple. Hyundai is advertising 40 mpg because that's what the Elantra achieved on the EPA tests. Every manufacturer does this.

    What should they do, say something like "Although the Elantra achieved 40 mpg on the EPA highway test cycle, we just want y'all to know that some folks have reported that they cannot achieve the EPA rating, thus we will not advertise the EPA ratings for the Elantra any more."

    They don't need to say anything like that because the EPA is very clear on that score, with a disclaimer that "YOUR MILEAGE MAY VARY."
  • chickraechickrae Posts: 44
    edited April 2012
    It would be different if they advertised it and it even came somewhat close to 40 but it doesn't. 38 or 39 would be one thing but what I have been reading on here it isn't even close.
    My friend that got hers last year says it's between 33-35 normally.

    Oh and yes....I would like them to say that. It would be more honest. Good idea. :)

    This is the mazda it was advertised that the mazda 3 with skyactiv can acheive the 39-40 mpg and my car has done 39 so I am happy with that.
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    edited April 2012
    In case you have not already seen this article on the Edmunds site ...
    EPA and Real world fuel economy. The Hyundai Elantra is cited a few times in the article.
  • woochiferwoochifer Posts: 32
    Well, the pump calculation came out to 39.3 MPG, while the trip computer displayed 40.8 MPG. A smaller variance than normal, but the calculated MPG matched the EPA-rated 39 MPG for the Mazda3 Skyactiv hatchback.

    Has your trip computer's average been above your pump calculation? My trend is that my trip computer's average is lower than my pump calculation (better for me).

    My trip computer readings are usually 2-3 MPG greater than the pump calculation. Only once did the pump calculation come in above the trip computer reading, and I think that was due to a short fill at the gas pump.

    In general, I think the trip computer is more accurate if the routes consist of mostly flat terrain. My daily commute includes hills, and I suspect that the trip computer exaggerates the efficiency on the downhill side.
  • woochiferwoochifer Posts: 32
    edited April 2012
    I think your experiment is good, but personally I don't want to have to think that much when I am driving, as how I am going to achieve the 40mpg.

    This was just a tankful where I consciously tried to maximize the fuel economy. I wasn't hypermiling by cruising below the speed limit or drafting behind big rig trucks. I just drove with at more of a steady pace and throttle position, and limited the short trips. With just the highway portion, I think that capping the speed and limiting the acceleration/decelerations gave me about a 2-3 MPG gain compared to my normal driving.

    My typical fuel economy is about 35 MPG with 75% highway driving. It's really that 25% consisting of short trips and stop-and-go driving that kills the fuel economy.

    P.S. I am driving a Mazda3.
  • woochiferwoochifer Posts: 32
    What is there to get past? It's very simple. Hyundai is advertising 40 mpg because that's what the Elantra achieved on the EPA tests. Every manufacturer does this.

    A lot of the outcry about the Hyundai Elantra is with how badly the Elantra misses the EPA rating in a lot of real world calculations. The Consumer Watchdog alert basically calls for the EPA to conduct its own fuel economy test and revise the MPG rating if necessary (in much the same way that they did when the EPA downgraded the BMW 328i highway efficiency from 36 to 33 MPG). With the Elantra, my understanding is that the EPA fuel economy rating comes from tests conducted by Hyundai (only about 25% of car models are actually tested by the EPA). That's why you see forum posts out there accusing Hyundai of gaming the test.

    I believe that the Mazda3 Skyactiv fuel economy rating came from a test conducted by the EPA (Mazda executives were reportedly waiting anxiously for the EPA results not long before the Skyactiv Mazda3 went on sale). That might be why the Skyactiv fuel economy more closely matches the EPA rating.

    40 MPG is a very powerful marketing tool, and the claims at that plateau really need to be scrutinized, since it has given Hyundai a clear advantage over its competitors. If that advantage is undeserved, then it needs to be pulled ASAP like it was with the BMW 3-series.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,906
    I've seen that. Have you seen the articles by Popular Mechanics, Automobile Magazine, Consumer Reports et. al. that report the Elantra CAN hit or exceed 40 mpg?

    Didn't think so.

    Back to the Mazda3. It's a superior car to the Elantra in most respects anyway.
  • chickraechickrae Posts: 44
    Oh sorry. Somehow I thought you were driving an mistake.
  • dudleyrdudleyr Posts: 3,469
    Actually Consumer Reports only got 39 mpg out of the Elantra on their highway test and they usually beat the EPA number.

    For comparison the 39 EPA Civic got 47 mpg on the CR highway test.

    CR drives 65 mph on level ground for their number - pretty close to ideal (even slower would be better). So 39 is pretty close to max for an Elantra, any city at all (or faster speeds) brings that number down quickly.
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    edited April 2012
    articles by Popular Mechanics, Automobile Magazine, Consumer Reports et. al. that report the Elantra CAN hit or exceed 40 mpg?

    Thanks for the list. Popular Mechanics reports that driving at 70 mpg the Hyundai Elantra achieves 39 mpg which almost matches the EPA highway number of 40 mpg; more impressively they say it exceeds this EPA number significantly if driving at 55 mph (47 mpg). Simillarly, Consumer Reports found the highway number close (39 mpg) but it seems the city number is seriously deficient (20 mpg and not the 29 from the EPA). My sense is Hyundai is moving in the right direction and made the latest Elantra one of the more fuel efficient vehicles on the road.

    In a related vein the Mazda3 SkyActiv is achieving its numbers and was rated recently by TrueCar as offering the best economic proposition.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,906
    Simillarly, Consumer Reports found the highway number close (39 mpg) but it seems the city number is seriously deficient (20 mpg and not the 29 from the EPA).

    I guess you must think the Mazda3i is "seriously deficient" also, since it averaged 22 mpg in CR's city test but EPA rating is 28 mpg. No high mpg car seems to get anywhere close to its EPA city rating on CR's city test. The Civic for example scored worse than the Elantra and Mazda3i on that test.
  • boodrowboodrow Posts: 15
    I recently purchased new Mazda 3 I Touring with the Skyactive 2.0 engine and 6 speed manual in Portland OR. Returned to Fairbanks, AK from Spokane, WA for a total of 2285 miles. Speeds were generally 65-70 mostly around 70. Temperatures ranged from 30 to 75 but mostly in the low fifties. The trip computer showed 42.2 for the trip but calculated brim to brim fill up came to 40.555mpg. This is the best I have ever done in a gasoline car and I am pleased that I easily beat the EPA numbers.

  • chickraechickrae Posts: 44
    That's amazing! I wonder if the manual gets a little better gas mileage than the automatic. I have an automatic and on my trip of 275 miles I got 38. The elevations varied and many hilss, so maybe that was a factor also. I do love this mazda 3 though. Never owned a mazda but glad I do now.
  • whobodymwhobodym Posts: 180
    I know everyone says mountains cut your mileage, but my experience from a half-dozen trips across the USA Seattle-East Coast differs. I mean, if you are comparing constant speeds; you drive uphill at the same speed you coast down the other side, and you are on interstates using little braking on the downgrades. In this type of driving, I've never seen any degradation of MPG compared to long flat slogs across the plains, and I don't know any physics reason why it should. The uphill run with open throttle has less air-pumping loss (compared to making that same amount of horsepower with more-closed throttle), and downhill coasting in a modern fuel-injected car burns zero fuel. You do have to consider the effect of prevailing winds -- you're probably going to do better eastbound than westbound.
  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,174
    I think it would depend on the type of road and what kind of mountains you're talking about and especially if you're doing a roundtrip. Strictly expressway driving at constant speeds would certainly be better for mpg than going up a two lane mountain road. Kind of like city driving is different from major metros to midsize cities.
  • nick779nick779 Posts: 3
    edited May 2012
    alright guys let explain my situation, im 22 years old, as of now im going back to school in july for 2 years for information technology, currently i drive a '11 mazdaspeed 3 and i get about 20-21mpg 50% highway. i love the car, but school comes first and ill have the rest of my life to buy the car i really want.

    now im looking at a sedan with the 2.0 skyactiv and a manual transmission, and i have no idea what i could talk them down to, but if i get it under msrp ($18,700+dest) id be happy, now during school, my car payments are coming out of whats left of my college fund, for the speed 3 its $319 a month, and i have 5 years left. if everything works out the way i want it to with the 3, it would be around $422 a month for the 3 sedan, but for only a 3 year loan, which equates in the end to $2400 more out of the college account(anything left after school is for moving out or whatever else which will be about $2k). in my situation during school and working part time, i would drain an additional $1800 a year out of my personal savings just for day to day expenses and gas.

    with school included, i would be driving about 60-70% highway and between 16,900 and 18,200 miles a year
    ive figured out that depending on the price of gas and the actual mileage i get ill save around $800-$900 in gas each year with the skyactiv, provided i get at least 29mpg (i only run 93 octane in the speed 3)

    would this be a good "investment" per say for my future? what kind of mpg could i expect if i made the switch? because i see a ton of variance in our data.
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 10,277
    I'd keep the MS3 and concentrate on refining my driving habits. I have a 2007 MS3 and I've put 23,500 miles on it over the past 12 months. During that period I've had exactly 3 tanks average below 25 mpg- and most tanks averaged 27-29 mpg. Finally, here's a recent excerpt from a column I write for a local newspaper:

    DON'T PANIC!- With talk of $5.00/gallon gasoline making headlines I thought I should revisit and update an issue I discussed about one year ago. I'm already starting to hear "screamer" ads on television and radio telling people to "TRADE IN YOUR OLD GAS GUZZLER FOR A NEW XYZ MOTORS SEDAN- WITH 40 MPG ECONOMY!!!" And I'm sure you've heard people say, "Gas prices are eating me alive, I just have to buy a new car."
    The fact of the matter is, high fuel prices are no excuse for making a poor automotive purchasing decision. The last time gas prices spiked I remember people were buying those terribly mediocre Smart cars for list price- or even higher. These "shrewd" buyers were then stuck on a waiting list- and by the time their Smart car arrived gas prices had settled down and they were stuck with a tiny car that really wasn't suited for anything more than urban commuting. That is why I always say that you have to do the math.
    Here's an example: I recently found a very nice 2010 Mini Cooper for sale. It had less than 10,000 miles on the odometer and had every option I wanted. The Mini gets 39 mpg while my 2007 Mazda averaged about 23 mpg. After doing a little research I determined that I could probably get the Mini by trading in my Mazda and paying $10,000. Great deal, right? An almost-new car that gets 15 more mpg for "only" $10,000. As it turns out, running the numbers showed that it wasn't a great deal. Let's assume gas is $5.00 per gallon and that I drive 20,000 miles per year. The Mazda's annual fuel cost will be $4,348 while the Mini would use $2,564 worth of gas- an annual savings of $1,784. Fantastic! The only problem is the fact that I have to pay $10,000 in order to "save" that money. Dividing the purchase cost by the annual fuel savings shows that I would have to drive the Mini for 5.6 years before I actually started saving money. And if I drove 15,000 miles per year I would have to drive the Mini for almost 7.5 years just to break even! Also note that I'm not taking into account the cost of interest on a car loan, increased insurance costs, or higher property taxes due to the Mini being a newer vehicle. As it turns out, I started utilizing some smart driving habits and discovered that I was able to increase the Mazda's average fuel economy to 27 mpg- which at $5.00 per gallon saves me $644 outright. Now, I'm certainly not saying that you shouldn't consider a vehicle's fuel efficiency when buying a new or used car, but I AM saying that trading a car solely to save money on fuel costs almost never makes financial sense.

    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

  • nick779nick779 Posts: 3
    i agree with everything you said, but for the past month ive been focusing on shifting around 2500 with gentle acceleration, and much more use of 6th gear even when only doing 50mph and staying out of boost. and i still get 20-21 mpg, as it stands i owe 19k on the speed, the blue book on it is around $21.5k, so i could theoretically have a $2500 down payment on a 3 sedan, and over a 2 year period save $1600+ in gas (depending on the observed mileage with the 3 sedan)and also i wouldnt have to buy a set of 18 inch tires or brakes which will wear out in these next 2 years, and i would come out of school with a higher monthly payment, but only a year left to pay it on instead of 3 with a $100 lower payment. now i doubt my work commute would be as far as my school commute, but the 3 sedan would keep saving me money in the long run i think.

    wouldnt that make financial sense?
    payments on speed 3 will be $7656 during school, payments on sedan would be around $10,137, so roughly $2500 more, gas savings would be $1600+, so at the most i would have $900 extra coming from the savings account total.
    after school, i would owe $319 for 36 months on the speed, and ~$422 for 12 months on the sedan.
  • chickraechickrae Posts: 44
    I would say I go over 3 mountain passes (Wasatch Mountains in Utah) and true I do somewhat coast on the way down, so maybe I am not losing that much going uphill. I was traveling south to north and not really going west or east.
    I will see how the mileage goes on my trip to Vegas this weekend.
  • whobodymwhobodym Posts: 180
    I disagree about mountain roads, unless you mean the kind where there is so much braking you are converting a lot of your gasoline straight to waste heat (the brake friction). My MZ3sGT 2.5L 6MT's best tank ever was Butte MT - Wisdom MT - Lost Trail Pass - Hamilton MT - Lolo Pass - Lewiston ID - Othello WA, a total of 560 miles, driven about as fast as comfortable (which I admit is quite a bit slower than the 75mph I would have been doing on I-90). The tank mileage was 36mpg.
  • dudleyrdudleyr Posts: 3,469
    Get the 3 skyactiv and save the money. If you keep the car for a long time the savings keep adding up, and yes you will have a newer car that will last longer.

    You can also get the 3 for well below list price.
  • richos76richos76 Posts: 1
    I've had my 3i Touring skyactiv for a couple months now and we've just hit 5000 miles.
    I've recorded the gallons of gas and mileage reading from each fill up and I'm finding that the computer is reporting around 10% high on fuel efficiency which is quite disappointing.
    Over the whole 5000 miles I have an average of 32-33 mpg from my calculations and the computer suggests 35-36 mpg.
    I'm realistic about advertised mileage verses real world; I know I drive a bit too fast on the interstate to get anywhere near optimum (and you'll never actually get the maximum they advertise without risking a serious collision from behind anyway as you drive slower and slower to try to get that 43mpg and a truck plows into you) but I would like a little more accuracy from the computer.
    All in all I love the car and I am reasonably happy with any mileage above 30 (though I'd like to try to get it above 35 consistently) but I'm a little cynical about finding their computer reading such a high error in their favor.
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 10,277
    Don't take offense, but you should be able to get at least 23 mpg without really trying all that hard. Also, you are making a lot of assumptions, such as the value of your current car. If you can't get more for it than the payoff then $2500 "savings" evaporates. As for tires, a decent set of UHP all-seasons shouldn't run over $650 mounted and balanced- and they should last 30,000-35,000 miles. Brakes? I went over 60,000 miles on my front pads/rotors and at 102,000 miles the original rear pads/rotors are still good.
    As for the new car "lasting longer", you are talking about two cars barely a year apart in age- I seriously doubt that you'll keep either car to the age that significant repairs would be an issue.
    It sounds like you want something different to drive, and that's fine; as for me, the only thing that makes FWD tolerable is 287 bhp under my right foot, so I cannot imagine taking a significant power cut unless it meant I'd be driving an entertaining RWD car like a Miata or FR-S. Come to think of it, if you are intent on flipping the MS3, why not find a 2-3 year old Mazda Certified Miata? Save money and drive a much more enjoyable car at the same time.

    I strongly suggest that you float your idea over on the Real-World Trade-In Values topic on the Smart Shoppers board. Several people over there have extremely accurate pricing data and they will be able to tell you if your plan is actually practical.

    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

  • chickraechickrae Posts: 44
    I have never gotten below 37-38 with highway/city average. I don't even look at the computer. I just figure it on my own. I only have 1,300 miles on my touring skyactiv but I feel like it is living up to what was advertised. I think 39-40 is what is said it should get. I never heard of the 43mpg.
  • mtaylor301mtaylor301 Posts: 2
    Hey guys, this is my first post on this forum, but I've been following along for a few months to get an idea on what to expect with my new Mazda before I bought it. I just bought the 2012 Mazda 3 i Touring Skyactiv Hatchback with the Manual Transmission in Sky Blue about two weeks ago.

    I had my first fill up yesterday after having driven 328.5 miles on the first tank which averages to 22.6 mpg assuming the gas was topped off at 14.5 gallons. I'm know my mileage will get progressively better since I'm actually learning to drive stick on this car and my shifts probably aren't the most fuel efficient. Your probably wondering why I bothered getting manual not knowing how to drive one; my main reason is because I've been wanting to learn since I started driving 6 years ago(Mazda's new skyactiv transmission seemed liked a good opportunity for me to learn on) and I've been riding dirt bikes for a few years so shifting gears isn't entirely foreign to me. I know the car is still breaking in as well with under 500 miles on it so I'm sure over time that might help with the fuel economy. To be fair though my miles I've driven have been about 90% city/10% highway driving so I'll be aiming for at least the 27mpg that this cars EPA shows it should be getting in the city.

    With more practice driving stick and possibly a little less spirited driving I can hopefully achieve that goal of 27+ mpg in the near future.
  • dudleyrdudleyr Posts: 3,469
    You are probably used to shifting at pretty high rpm's on a dirt bike. Shifting at fairly low rpm's will help with mpg. You'll get used to the torque curve and figure it out.
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