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Nissan Altima Real World MPG



  • geptogepto Posts: 2
    I may as well add my two cents worth. Last week I took a trip north into Canada with a friend of mine and alot of luggage. We drove my 2011 Altima that has 9,000 miles on it. We did some off road driving in the Canadian Provincial parks, got lost for an hour TWICE in Thunder Bay, Ontario and took no special precautions to increase mileage. After over a thousand miles of driving, the computer said we averages 35.7 mpg. In the past the computer has proven to optomistic by about .8 miles per gallon compared to doing the math and calculating it manually. We got about 35 honest mpg and I'm very satisfied. Next years car should get well into the high 30's with an luck at all.

    Good mileage to all of you,
  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,181
    Obviously, if all you say is true there is something wrong with your car. If you spent as much time talking to the dealer(try to refrain from calling them morons) about it as you spend boring everyone on this forum maybe it would be fixed by now!
  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    edited June 2012
    I suspect any bridges the poster had with his dealer were burned long ago...

    Especially if he continuously informed them of his "superior" intelligence...
  • nimailninimailni Posts: 1
    @chevyonlyfon: Can you please start using regular sentences?

    Your posts are unreadable.
  • sergiynysergiyny Posts: 1
    edited July 2012
    Just got my new 2012 Nissan Altima, and now i've been driving it for 2 days in the city and the highest mpg i was getting is 19!!! The more i kept driving, the lower mpg got, to 15!!! i'm really disappointed with the car, i tried driving like old grandma but nothing changed.
  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,181
    Just rented a 2012 Altima for a 10 day from Chicago to Texas and return. 2200 miles total and about 95% interstate/5% city so for all practical purposes it was a hwy trip. Trip computer came out at 32.8 mpg with an average of 63 mph. I calculated 32.3 from 5 fill ups and drove the speed limits which varied from some 55 to mostly 65 to 75mph. Overall pretty impressed with the car and liked the CVT once moving at a good clip but from a stop not so much.
  • Summary of what I learned from a Nissan "expert driver":
    Making short trips is bad for your gas mileage.

    Apparently a catalytic converter needs to be hot to do its job properly, and your car would produce drastically more air pollution if you drove around normally until it warmed up. To meet pollution standards, when you first start your Altima (and presumably most modern gas engines?) the car invests a surprising amount of energy idling fast to quickly heat the catalytic converter. So for the first couple of minutes you are in the car it is in a gas-expensive but pollution-reducing mode, and if you only drive for two minutes every time then you will get abysmal gas mileage. If you generally take five or ten minute trips, your mileage will still be noticeably worse than if you drove the same distance in one trip, because you burn extra gasoline each time you start driving.

    I want to point out that polite persistence can be very helpful in situations like this. I spent a lot of time talking to my dealer, and got to meet "the expert from Nissan" who explained that my car is perfectly capable of getting 35+ mpg driving on an empty freeway etc. He insisted that he couldn't tell me why I would consistently get half of that without being there to watch my driving habits, and waited for me to accept that I must be doing something strange and walk away.
    I spent an extra 20 minutes patiently restating that I needed to figure out what the problem was because it was costing me a lot of money, so would he please list the things that I might be doing wrong. He reluctantly tried thinking of a few, and was impatient when I told him that each one didn't happen to apply in my case. In frustration he eventually said "the only person I've ever heard of getting such low mpg is my wife, but she only takes the car for short trips of a mile or two."

    How to take advantage of this information is a whole separate problem, since I live in L.A. and am therefore legally forbidden to walk anywhere that a car could take me.
  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,181
    Since you have spent so much time working with the dealer to resolve your problem one would think the dealer would have insisted that the "expert" from Nissan drive your car to see if a so called expert could get a decent mpg number. It wouldn't have taken more longer than your conversation did. I did notice on the rental Altima I recently drove that city driving really drove the MPG down.

    One thing I can't understand in all this is that all I hear from Nissan is that the CVT is supposed to be so much better for MPG than conventional transmissions. But when you compare the other top midsize cars to the Altima(ie Sonata, Camry, Accord, etc) they are comparable in HP, weight and MPG. You would think if the CVT was that big of factor the Altima would kill the rest but that's not the case.

    I understand the new 2013 Altima has jumped in MPG but the older model Altimas have had the CVT for years and have never been ahead or even equal to some of the other midsizers with conventional transmissions. Just wondering why if the CVT is all that wonderful.
  • New car. MPG so far as follows:

    24.4 (mostly town/some highway)

    20.0 (all city, heavy stop/go, 3 mile or less trips, two weeks)

    40.0 (yes, 40 - all highway, cruise set at posted limits of 65, 75)

    35.0 (75/25 highway/city, 560 mile trip)

    That's right. These were calculated using fillups. And I mean filled to the TOP. All are with the climate control set on auto, usually A/C running.

    Car has 1900 miles to date and the mpg avg on the screen is 27.2.

    Engine RPM's at speed are very, very low - 1400 to 1750 depending on speed, holding cruise. Around town, with a light foot, you can keep it well under 2000 all the time.

    The car responds well to careful driving, paying attention to RPM's.

    Of course if you floor it, all bets are off, and the 3.5 certainly delivers with acceleration (I've read that it does the quarter mile in 14.3 and I have no reason to doubt it) that's impressive for a car at this price point.

    So, to date, I couldn't be happier with the MPG. We'll see how winter affects it with heavy snow and city driving.

    Also, the seats and stereo are outstanding. This is quite the car even for sticker price.
  • Do U use Regualr unleaded or premium unleaded?
  • Yes, the expert did drive my car before our conversation. He got great mileage: presumably this is part of why he was impatient with me, since in his mind he had already spent an hour proving that there was nothing to complain about.

    Of course, an expert driver paying attention only to his mileage, filling up the tank literally next to the onramp and and then the offramp so that he drove 99% on a freeway, was always going to get great mileage. He proudly showed me his receipts, proving he got 35mpg in my car. But I have effectively tried the same experiment, driving a couple of hours each way almost entirely on freeways . I got 32 mpg. (My OBC said I had been getting 35 mpg if you trust that more than my own fill-drive-refill-divide calculation.) Yes, my car can do it; no, I'm not an inherently gas-wasteful driver.

    So why *have* I been getting between 14 mpg and 19 mpg on almost every tank of gas since I got the car (new)? The one surprising answer I have been given is that really short trips give really terrible mpg. So a (very) short commute does save me money on gas, but not quite as much as I would have thought.

    It had never occurred to me that my car would burn significantly more gas in the first mile or two, revving fast in a fuel-inefficient effort to warm the catalytic converter quickly. It may not even be true. But I figured it was worth sharing the idea here.
  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,181
    If the kind of driving you do most of the time is very, very short trips of less than 3-4 miles or running a bunch of errands where you start and stop the engine several times in a relatively short trip, then you are going to get the worst possible mileage. And that would be with any car but the newer cars it may even be worse than the old ones. The EPA city mpg test is not nearly as severe as I described above so you should expect significantly less MPG thant even the EPA city rating for your vehilce. Remember they try to simulate a lot of differnent kinds of city driving to come up with their city rating. Even the city rating will have a range associated with it and it sounds like your type of trips may be on the lower end or even lower than than the lower end of their city MPG range.

    Comparing a car that is ten years old or older may not be a great comparison as these new cars are tuned a lot differently to get that high MPG in normal situations. If your situation is well off of normal than you may even get worse MPG with your newer car than with an older one if that makes any sense to you.
  • So far straight premium.

    Just had another almost 600 mile trip - came in at 32 mpg, mixed driving, over steep mountain passes.
  • Few questions:

    I have my altima for 2 weeks now and the guage shows me 28.4 mpg (may be bcs all of my driving has been in city and yesterday was stuck in traffic for 45 min due to acc) how to reset those numbers? I've yet to take a long trip on freeway and than see how the mpg numbers behave

    One of my relative adivsed me to use premium every 4 - 5 fill ups that will extend engine life. Is that true? Can I do that? Has anyone any exp of how it affects engine?
  • It is very sad that my 2011 2.5 Nissan Altima Coupe can't get better than 27 MPG on the highway. I do like quiet and comfort of my Coupe. I traded my 09 Civic hybrid in on this and I got 45 to 50 MPG all the time. The stated 32 MPG on the EPA window sticker was the deciding factor. Nissan grossly over estimated ergo... it was a lie. I don't know anybody that gets my 27 MPG let alone the 32 MPG Nissan advertised. I could have got the 3.5 or better yet a Mustang 5.0. I won't be buying a nissan again.
  • I have a 3.5 liter Nissan Maxima. Bigger engine than your 2.5 and the maxima is heavier than the Altima but I easily get better highway mileage than what you are getting. You should be getting much better MPG. It should be easy to get the EPA's numbers or better. Most people I know get much better MPG than what you're experiencing and most get better than the EPA.
  • My 2.5 S Altima has run 13500 miles but is giving a mileage of 8-9 MPG in New york city.
    I am frustrated by its performance and the consumer Affairs of Nissan is of no help.
    Any suggestions?
  • There is nothing you can do. i own an 07 2.5 with only 40k on it and my gas mileage is horrible ( 15 mpg average ) i tried everything! to no avail. spread the word and sell it. do not listen to anybody who says its because you don't know how to drive. it is the car!!!!!!!!!!! :(
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    My 2.5 S Altima has run 13500 miles but is giving a mileage of 8-9 MPG in New york city.
    I am frustrated by its performance and the consumer Affairs of Nissan is of no help.
    Any suggestions?

    Short trips = lower mileage. Having driven in NYC myself, I'm not surprised that its so low. You obviously make very short trips or you'd have more than 13k miles on a 2 year old car.
  • mlmcgaheemlmcgahee Posts: 102
    When is the last time you reset your mpg display. to get an accurate mpg you need to reset it right after every fill-up otherwise it will display the average mpg since the last time it was reset. How many months/miles have you driven since your last reset?


    Page 2-18 of the owners manual
    Average speed mode
    The average speed mode can be selected to
    display the average miles per gallon and miles per
    hour since the last reset.

    Mike :shades:
  • rick2456rick2456 Posts: 320
    Remember, when you are stopped at a light (or by traffic), you are getting zero miles per gallon. That will drastically affect your average MPG.
  • haulthault Columbus OhioPosts: 128
    2013 Altima 2.5 SV. When I drive at least 50% highway not exceeding 70mph I get 30-32 mpg. If I do a lot of suburban driving it drops to 26-28mpg. For the size car it's OK. I traded a 2005 Malibu Maxx that got 24-28 mpg in similar driving. I think poor fuel economy is mainly do to the great weight these modern cars have compared to the past. All the safety equipment that is saving lives and reducing injuries is a fair trade off to me. Everytime we stop at a traffic light it takes a lot of fuel to get these beasts moving.
  • uga91uga91 Metro AtlantaPosts: 1,065
    I've had my 2013 Altima for 4 weeks (tomorrow) and I've been getting about 26 mpg in mixed city driving. I'm expecting that number to go up as the car breaks in. I have about 850 miles on it now.
  • jake1950jake1950 Posts: 1
    I just drove 500 miles through combination of mountains, curves, and some straight flat roads. Central Oregon to Sacramento area. I set the trip computer at the start and the average mpg was more than 41! I was not driving in a manner to save on fuel. I still had more than 1/4 tank upon arrival. On the trip back I drove as fast as was safe. 70-75 whenever possible. Having reset the trip computer I got 38.5. The reason I purchased the 2013 is that I drove a rented 2011 last year for 8200 miles around the USA. I was astounded to get 39-40 through much of the trip. I drive little in stop and go city traffic. A hybrid is better suited for that.
  • mtpetemtpete Posts: 9
    10,000 miles so far.

    Screen average is 25 point something.

    Several long highway trips consistently give 34 mpg.

    Not much to complain about for the power!
  • uga91uga91 Metro AtlantaPosts: 1,065
    I just completed a 900 mile round trip between Atlanta and Louisville and I averaged about 38.6 MPG for the trip averaging about 70 MPH along the way.
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