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Nissan Altima Real World MPG



  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    There are some new cars coming out within the next year or so that can reach 230 - 300 miles per gallon.

    From what I've read, they do no use radical engine technology.

    The Aptera hybrid gets it's fuel advantage primarily from it's hyper streamlined body design.

    The new Volkswagon coming out in 2010 also has a bullet-shape and a regular gas engine with a slightly more efficient fuel injector. It gets its 230 MPG from the shape of the body too.

    Less air to push around.

    So are there any kits out there to modify the Altima? I think tossing out the back seat and a lot of junk in the trunk and a streamlined hood can get that kind of mileage on an Altima.

    And you really believe this? Do you really think anyone can improve the efficiency factor of an internal combustion engine by a factor of 8-10?

    PT Barnum was right...
  • jresjres Posts: 69
    My apologies for getting back to you so late, I was reporting actual gas usage, yes I realize the the gauge on the dash is not accurate. My best tank was a shade over 33, my worst was a shade over 25 mpg. I've been using to record my mileage and maintenance records on the new car and really enjoying it.
  • sincraftsincraft Posts: 24
    WOW and these people vote!
    No wonder Al Gore is making millions on his giant scam.

    Get ready to be restricted by stupidity and 'carbon credits' as the brainwashed masses allow our country to be governed by international bodies.

    Control carbon output, you control their economy. Control an economy, you control their country. Very simple - yet the lies and scams continue.......and here we are - paying $4 per gallon for fuel.
  • nosmokingnosmoking Posts: 1
    I now have almost 20,000 miles on my Altima and I have been somewhat dissappointed with the gas milage, but I need to clarify that statement. I drive quite conservatively and I routinely get 10-15% better gas milage than the EPA estimate. For example, I had a 94 Sentra 5 sp that was rated 38 mpg highway but I almost never got less than 42 mpg and many times got 44-46 mpg. We also have a big 2001 Mercury with V-8 rated 25 mpg highway and we can routinely get 28-29. Also, when I say I drive conservatively, by that I mean on the highway I usually get into the right lane, set the cruise on 65 (if the speed limit is 65) and try to stay out of everyone's way.

    I bought the Altima to replace the Sentra (235,000 miles and still going strong when I gave it to my son tof use as a commuter car). I have not routinely checked non-highway milage but on the highway I can usually get low to mid-30's; on a recent trip from north GA to Frederick, MD I averaged 35 mpg (based on 1,051 miles) in mostly highway drivingl and yes I checked it the proper way, i.e. # miles divided by # of gallons. As one posting observed, air pressure can make a significant difference, the tires on my 07 Altima are rated as 44 psi maximum, yet Nissan recommends 32 psi if I'm not mistaken. In my opinion that is far too low and is designed mostly to give a softer smoother ride. I usually run tire pressure at about 90% of maximum on all my vehicles. Not only does it improve gas milage but the tires seem to wear longer (but you do have to rotate regularly). On my old Sentra (which came with much better Michelein tires), the original tires lasted well over 100,000 miles before needing replacing, again I kept them inflated to 90% of max.

    I think one reason for lower gas milage on the Altima is the CVT transmission. I have noted when going down some hills -- usually at nonhighway speeds -- the transmission will go to a lower setting (downshift), and the engine speed will increase from around 1,200 rpm to almost 3,000 rpms. This does not happen with a normal AT with gears and certainly is not fuel efficient. But most car manufacturers are going the CVT transmission route these days. I'm sure they are cheaper than 5 and 6 speed AT's still found on many cars but I'm not convinced they are more fuel efficient. I would be interested in learning if anyone else has observed this when driving their Altima.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    But most car manufacturers are going the CVT transmission route these days.

    No, they really aren't (not to sound snippy ;) ). Nissan is very unique in this regard.

    The only place you'll see a large number of CVTs is in Hybrid vehicles (Civic Hybrid, Camry Hybrid, etc) because a CVT is in fact more fuel-efficient than a geared transmission, since they can find the perfect RPM for what the driver wants, while a geared transmission is always trying to put you where your right foot tells the car you want to be. I do believe the Dodge Caliber offers a CVT, but it is an anomaly.

    Otherwise, Ford, GM, Toyota, Honda, Mazda are all using 4, 5, and 6-speed automatics, depending on model.
  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    "I routinely get 10-15% better gas milage than the EPA estimate"

    Isn't that about 10% better than the EPA estimate? I thought the 2.5 Altima was rated at 32 HWY. Also, remember the EPA recently revised its method for determining mileage estimates, too.

    Also, I think you will see more and more CVT's in the future...less moving parts from a manufacturing point of view, and the infinitely variable number of gear ratios will give the best mileage overall. The big question to be answered is long-term reliability.

    I can't say why you aren't doing better MPG wise, but for the average driver, if they drive a CVT in a conservative manner (staying at or under 2000 rpm), they will get better mileage.
  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    Nissan web-site shows 31 MPG automatic, 32 MPG manual EPA stats.

    So, if you are getting 35 MPG, you are within your expected parameters, aren't you?

    Rated 31 MPG, you get 35 MPG-12.9% over.
    Rated 38 MPG, you get 42 MPG-10.5%...44 MPG-15.7%
    Rated 25 MPG, you get 28 MPG-12%...29 MPG-16%

    Or, am I missing something here?
  • ken75ken75 Posts: 52
    With 2300 miles on our Altima 2.5 SL, we are getting 31 - 32.9 mpg (hwy) on the computer and backed up by pen and pencil computation. Coming from a 2002 Ford F-150 I find this to be most pleasing and I really enjoy the CVT, especially in down hill situations where speed increases are not seen. There is a retardation or braking when going downhill and I have learned to appreciate this and use it accordingly. I have not really seen an increase in rpm associated with this.
  • lorenwlorenw Posts: 2
    Purchased this car a couple months ago with 30K miles on it, now at 34.5K. My commute is 37 miles, 30 of it freeway w/ light traffic. I have read on these forums how others have gotten better mileage and have been implementing these measures over the past few inflated to max rating; buying 100% gasoline (no ethanol); slower acceleration from stops; keeping HWY speed at or near the speed limit (65mph).

    Last fill-up was 33.3mpg, the one prior was 32.9mpg (calculated by miles driven divided by gallons used, NOT trip computer which is proving about 1 mpg optimistic). These numbers are eroded due to my wife's driving habits--she drives this car a couple times a week on her 17-mile commute and the computer always reads a couple mpg's lower after those trips. Probably at 34-35mpg just on MY commute.

    Prior to using those gas-saving tips, car was getting 29-30 mpg.

    Recently tried a science experiment and drove my entire commute no faster than 55mph. Trip computer loved it--37.3mpg. Car also seems to love warm weather (which we have gotten precious little of in Wisconsin this spring)--mpg's seem noticeably higher at temps above 70 degrees.
  • jd10013jd10013 Posts: 779
    I think one reason for lower gas millage on the Altima is the CVT transmission. I have noted when going down some hills -- usually at non highway speeds -- the transmission will go to a lower setting (downshift), and the engine speed will increase from around 1,200 rpm to almost 3,000 rpms

    High RPM's don't necessarily mean more fuel used. PRM's are just how fast your engine is turning. in the case of the cvt braking, your RPM's aren't shooting up because the engine is getting more gas, its actually getting much less. The PRM's are going up because the cvt has switched to a higher gear, and the wheels are now turning the transmission. This provides resistance on the wheels, and slows the car.

    its the same was as if you take a MT and put it in 5th while going 30mph. the rpm's will nose dive below 1000, but you'll have to stand on the gas to get it to move thereby using much more fuel than if it were at 2500 rpm in 3rd gear.
  • jd10013jd10013 Posts: 779
    No, they really aren't (not to sound snippy ). Nissan is very unique in this regard.

    Only in the US. both toyota and honda use them quite extensively outside the US. where nissan is unique is in designing one that will work well with a larger, more powerful engine.
  • sbb4thsbb4th Posts: 6
    Ok I'm was maybe babying it a little because it's new but I just burned my first tank. About 80% city/suburban 20% highway. Highway speeds 70-75. Averaged 26.312 MPG. Not bad really. I'm hoping it'll get even better as it gets broken in. This is in Virginia running 87 octane with 10% corn syrup (known as ethanol).
    A couple of observations. The MPG computer showed 28.6 which was off by over 2 miles. Another thing was my low gas warning came on and showed I had about 60 miles left to drive. When I filled it up it took 16.6 gallons. Assuming I have the 20 gallon tank as advertised when it gives the warning you still have about 4 gallons left.
  • ken75ken75 Posts: 52
    This is a continueing story of our Altima 2.5 SL with 2900 miles on it. My wife an I took a trip to northern Wisconsin with my sister,and rather big brother in law with luggage for all of us in the trunk plus cooler and other assorted garbage. We encountered many small burgs where slow down and acceleration was necessary. At no time did I run past 70 mph and at the end of the trip we had logged 512 miles and I still had a registered 1 /4 tank. The highest mileage monitored on the computer was 33.9 mpg and overall after fill up and a check with paper and pencil was 31.2 mpg. The car ran flawlessly, as it should, and is still a joy to drive. My wifes only complaint is the passenger side seat which seems to be uncomfortable to her. Love the car.
  • cadgirlcadgirl Posts: 1
    I have found that I am averaging about 25 miles per gallon with this car. I am probably about 60% highway, 40% city (well, small town) driving. I am getting around 380 miles before I fill up, and it's usually between 15 and 16 gallons per fill up.

    Over the holiday weekend, I did a LOT of in town driving and noticed a significant decrease in fuel efficiency. I also notice a significant decrease if I don't drive efficiently (slow take offs, coasting to a stop, etc).

    My biggest problem with the efficient driving is that I'm coming off driving a Jeep all the time, and this baby takes off with the slightest touch of the gas, as compared to really having to force the Jeep to move. If I'm not careful, I've hit 80 before I know it :)

    Also, my trip computer seems to be just about right on with what I'm calculating ~shrug~.

    We are taking it on it's first long road trip in a few weeks (about 500 miles), so I'm looking forward to checking the mileage on a long, all highway trip.

    I love the car, though, and while it may not be as good as some 4 cylinder cars around, I love the power behind it, and it's WAY better than my Jeep. :P
  • jd10013jd10013 Posts: 779

    I love the car, though, and while it may not be as good as some 4 cylinder cars around, I love the power behind it, and it's WAY better than my Jeep

    I'm pretty sure it has the highest rated MPG of all midsize non hybrid cars. If you wanted a more fuel efficient I4, you'd have to go with a smaller car.
  • lorenwlorenw Posts: 2
    33.9mpg on last fill-up. 80% highway miles, no speeding, 91 octane gas. The 87 and 89 octane fuel in my area is all now 10% ethanol--I won't buy it because I think I get about 10% worse mpg's with it. I believe I am saving about a gallon-and-a-half on every tankful (about $6.00 worth) for a cost of only $1.50-$2.00 more for the top-grade SAVINGS of at least $4.00 per fill-up.

    If I could buy 100% gasoline that was also the cheaper 87 octane stuff, I would. Can't get away from the ethanol in the lower octanes at least locally.
  • ken75ken75 Posts: 52
    I am experiencing similar MPG numbers with our 2.5 SL but I only use 87 octane and 10% ethanol. That little bit of ethanol results in a 3.4 % loss of power and effeciency so I have a tough time with the vehicles operating with optional E85. I have to believe it will really trash economy and power.

    For the immediate future the purchase of 100% gasoline will be pretty scarce or until the government subsidy for corn crops is dropped. Not only do the oil companies have our politicians wrapped up but outfits like Cargil, Peavey and ADM have a pretty tight, controlling hold on the purse strings of congress.

    Enjoy the car and smile when the guy in the F-350 pulls into the next stall and drops $150.00 on diesel.
  • petrozeropetrozero Posts: 4
    Looking forward to posting results here and at the fuel saver forum site. Thanks for everyone who've taken time to post your results. It has sold me on this car! Best mpg short of a hybrid...
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    You're right. I tend to get geo-centric around the boards since a vast majority of posters are from the US.

    Sorry! :)
  • sbb4thsbb4th Posts: 6
    OK I just filled up my fourth tank. On my first three I really babied it. Slow starts and acceleration etc. My first three fillups ran 26.3, 26.3 and 25.8. This was with about 80% city/suburban - 20% highway.
    I was satisfied but not particularly thrilled. Then I said the hell with it and started driving the way I've always had with a medium heavy foot to accelerate and then letting off when I hit my speed. The results were 522.2 miles with only 12 miles highway and my mpg went up to 28.3. Now I'm very happy!
    If you watch your mpg gauge you'll see that after you let off or maintain your throttle the mpgs go up to the 60 mpg mark. The only time you really burn gas is to accelerate and the sooner you hit your speed the better.
    BTW, 522 miles on a tank is great and I still had 1-1/2 gallons left though the computer said I was empty. By my calculations I could have gone about 570 miles on the tank for virtually all city/suburban driving.
  • catamcatam Posts: 331
    I drive a 97 Altima 2.4L 5spd manual.
    A year ago I was averaging 32 mpg ( my car is rated at 29 hwy)
    I started reading about hypermilers, and did a few thing differently, inflated my tires to max sidewall rating (44 PSI), coasting more often especially when red light were approaching, etc. My mileage went to 35. I was pretty happy.
    I kept reading. I finally decided to drive a little slower, I was driving 75-80 mph in my commute. I lowered that to 55-65. My mileage for my last 2 tanks are 42.1, and 43.0 MPG.
    Its possible to get great mileage out of these cars if you change your driving behaviour a little.
  • texmigueltexmiguel Posts: 4
    08 Altima 2.5 w/CVT
    These past six months my mileage has improved slightly, after a front wheel alignment and breaking in the motor.
    On the open highway in Texas I drive 400 miles between towns often. I donot fillup till I arrive at my destination. At first I got 33 mpg more or less depending if I use the AC. Now I get an avg of 38 per the car's trip computer if I donot use the AC. This driving 65-75 with very little traffic or towns in between. I am very happy w/mileage, but I do not track use intown as of yet.
  • ndiboyndiboy Posts: 36
    I bought this I4 2002 Altima with 73,000 miles in January 08 used.I have been averaging 18.8-22.3 in the cith and 26-31 on the highway.When i use pen and paper there are some discrepancies as reported by other contributors.
    I have also noticed that sometimes i need to reset the mpg meter to get something near reality e.g after a highway trip reading of say 29mpg by the time you enter a city you expect it to go down but sometimes it either stays there or takes time to come down and Nissan says it updates every 30 secs.
    When I am in such situations, I reset it and it comes down to b/w 21-23.
    Has anyone observed similar things?
    Chuma, Nigeria.
  • Any body have any newer MPG numbers?
  • neo_neo_ Posts: 14
    2.5 S. Roughly 18K miles. 27.5 MPG over ~2 yrs in Milwaukee. For those who don't know, it goes below 0 in winter, so impacts my MPG significantly. I use the lowest octane gas. I am a very careful driver. Use lots of cruise and don't accelerate too hard, though I find it really tempting to just floor it :P
  • godeacsgodeacs Posts: 481
    Very similar to neo. 2008 2.5S, owned for 19 months, 22+K miles - getting 27-30 mpg consistently but here in Texas I don't have cold temps.... ;)
  • jkandlerjkandler Posts: 5
    So, what do you think about these numbers verses those on the window sticker? I have a 2007 2.5 S and get the same mileage as you, tank-tank fill-up.
  • rdeschenerdeschene Posts: 331
    I rented a 2008 (might have been a 2007) Altima two weeks ago, and now a 2009 recently and drove almost identical routes: about 1200km round trip from Brockville, ON to either Secaucus, NJ or Princeton, NJ. As close to 100% highway driving as you get, with several long hills as one crosses the Pocono mountains.

    The 2007/08 reved at about 2400rpm at 70mph (110 km/h), had enough horsepower to get up these grades without downshifting and got around 32mpg for the trip. The 2009 reved at just over 2000rpm at 70mph and got 35mpg and produced noticeably less engine noise and still did not downshift on the grades. I assumed if they increased their OD or final drive gear ratio on the 2007/08 it could improve mileage without harming highway performance, and sure enough it did.

    They also improved the speedometer light colour and contrast so that it can be more easily read with either sunglasses or sun glare, which was certainly needed. Especially for the inside set of numbers (mph on Canadian vehicles).
  • wjtinatlwjtinatl Posts: 50
    Just returned from a 1500 mile trip from Atlanta to Baton Rouge and back in a Hertz rental with 7500 miles on it. Averaging 64 mph over the whole trip, about 85% highway. On highway average speed was right at 80 mph, using cruise. According to the computer and my calculations, averaged just over 30 mpg using A/C about 70% of the time. Loaded with about 300 lbs. of cargo in addition to my 260 lb. self. Was very impressed with the mileage as well as the highway speed acceleration with the CVT. Not rally a big fan of CVT's but it is obviously an efficient transmission. By the way I make this trip frequently and have made it in an '07 Accord (4cyl auto) and Camry LE (4cyl auto), both averaged about 28 mpg on this trip. The Altima provides superior performance and economy to both.
  • char5321char5321 Posts: 3
    I have been to the dealership 4 or 5 times. I am losing
    mpg on the highway . I am only getting 21 to26. The dealerships keep say there getting no codes. The engine
    sound good but the mpg keep droping.I heard adding
    pure acetone will increase mpg , but I am not sure what it
    will due to the engine or sensors.
  • franny67franny67 Posts: 1
    My 06 2.5SL gets 29mpg city & hwy :D
  • tzzooomatzzoooma Posts: 5
    Just made it to 1k miles after a month and numbers have stabilized.

    2009 Altima Sedan 2.5S
    MPG - 32.6
    MPH - 37.4

    What are your numbers?
  • I have a 05 2.5s altima and i get about 32mpg thats a mix between city and highway but , mostly its city miles..I use the highest octain gas and add marval mystery oil to each tank of gas.Some times i get higher mileage 34 or so highwway but it never goes under 27mpg in the city.I reset my miles every time i fill up and this last tank i got 448 miles and put 14g in the tank and had 6g left in the tank before i filled up.its was near empty when i filled up.And i always use shell gas nothing else..
  • boodrowboodrow Posts: 15
    I recently purchased an 09 Altima 2.5s in Post Falls, ID and then drove it home to Fairbanks, AK. Hiway mpg is running 31-32 and suburban commuting about 26. This is calculated brim full to brim full mileage, not the computer. The computer tends to be optimistic by 10%. Not bad but it needs a good diesel engine which would get around 45 and I would change to in a heartbeat. I did look at the Jetta TDI's but concluded I would save enough on the car to buy a lot gas.
  • I also have an 06 2.5 and get 24-27 fillup-fillup driving all highway. Not anywhere near what the sticker said. Now Nissan quotes 25-27 Highway. That is about $8000.00 more for gas over the life of the car.
  • 2009 2.5s, 6M, 7900 miles. Computer shows 32.2, which is right on target with my calculations. Very satified with the mileage and the range of this car. I'm not hypermiling or anything, though I drive the interstate a lot, I spend most of the drive between 75-80 mph.
  • I have over 68K miles on my '07 Altima, and I can happily say that I CONSISTENLY get 33 - 34 miles per gallon on the Hwy, driving @ 65 - 70 mph. :D
  • I have 1600 miles on the odo and according to the trip computer:

    Avg MPG - 29.6
    Avg MPH - 29.5

    About 40% of that is hwy, 60% city. My work is just 5 miles from my home. I commute between home and work 4 times each weekday. I think, such frequent short commutes kill my mpg.

    I accelerate slowly and coast whenever I can. I use 87 octane gas.
  • I went thru the lemon law only to find out that according to the EPA and nissan.
    Unless you are driving 55 to 60 with your windows shut and your air off you
    will not get the mpg on the highway.I did get the 31 mpg at first but as soon as the
    senscers worn in I was lucky to get 26 .I think it is easier to find a Needle in a hay stack then to to get good mpg to of an altima.
  • Wow, I cannot believe you did that. I've been driving mostly Toyotas (Avalon, Camry, Corolla), Nissans (Altima, Maxima), and 1 Honda (Accord). I've never got the EPA. I usually got 4-5 miles less than the EPA.

    I have some doubts with those people who claim that they can get better MPG than the EPA. :confuse:
  • I am considering purchasing an 09 or 2010 Altima (2.5S, CVT), and I've enjoyed the test drives I've been on so far, but I wanted a little longer test drive, so yesterday I rented one.

    2010, 2.5S, had 600 miles on it when I rented it. After completely filling it up, I spent a few hours yesterday driving it around - 221 miles total. Approx 80 miles of that was highway, the rest was a mix of city/suburban.

    When I filled it up this morning, the trip computer said 31.2 MPG, which worked out to be about 10% optimistic, as I put in 7.9 gallons, which equals 27.97 MPG. I filled it up "to the brim" both times, but this morning's fill was on a slight incline away from the filler neck, so I probably put more gas because of that fact.

    Today's 100 miles worth of driving was a combination of backroads and some stop-n-go boulevard type stuff. The trip computer read 32.8 when we reached our destination, but after the boulevard stuff, some "let's see what she'll do!", and the trip home, it reads 31.8. If the optimistic nature of the trip computer is consistent, then its still getting approx 28 mpg.

    Granted, these are short trips, but I thought I would share my experience anyway. Oh, I really like the car...may buy one!
  • ^^^^^ Tire pressures were as stated on the door sticker (~32psi). Max sidewall press is 44psi for all you hyper-milers :)
  • godeacsgodeacs Posts: 481
    33K miles and consistently get 28-30 mph with a mix of city/driving. I'm very pleased - EPA estimates are "spot on". Suppose a lot depends on your driving habits...... :)
  • Well, I filled up my rental Altima today just before returning it. 139.4 miles driven/4.282 gal = 32.4MPG. Again, yesterday's "fill it on an incline" probably helped today's situation, but that's still decent mileage!

    I also reset the computer just as I started my highway commute to work today. Drove about 32 miles at about 65mph, and the computer read 36.4 MPG at the end of my journey here in NC.

    YMMV :P
  • Hi, My 2005 Nissan Altima is giving only 16-17 mpg in city and maximum of 24mpg in highway.
    Mileage - 39000
    Gas - Regular gas.
    By reading the above posts i feel that there is some problem in my car engine. Please help me/give me some tips on increasing my mileage.
  • gooddeal2gooddeal2 Posts: 750
    24MPG is not bad. You might be able to get a couple more miles. I think I only got about 25-26 w/ the '05. I used to get about 28-29 w/ the '07. I just got the '10 and I haven't done a long trip yet.

    However, I don't drive like a grandma. I just go w/ the fastest traffic.

    It mights help by replacing the air filter if you haven't done that for the last 5 years..
  • Thanks for the response. I will change the air filter and see if that makes any difference in mpg.
  • atlanta7atlanta7 Posts: 1
    Hello all, I would really appreciate some help! I bought a 2000 4cyl altima with 155k and I am only getting an average of 210 miles per tank from a 15.7 gallon tank!! After I bought the car I noticed it did not have an air filter but after putting in a top of the line K&N filter, new spark plugs and using a liquid "tune up in a bottle" solution I am still getting this terrible gas mileage.
    I must make mention of the fact that before the purchase the "check engine" light was on but I was told this had been addressed and the car did pass emissions. The day after purchase, 6 weeks ago, the light was back on and has stayed on. Could an emissions issue be causing this problem?

    I am not lead footed and the tires are properly inflated - what could the problem be?

    Thanks in advance for any advice...

  • Only getting 19.5 MPG on the first two tanks of gas. The first tank I got stuck in a traffic jam for an hour but the second tank seems to be giving me the same or similar results. The MPG gauge is reading 22.3 MPG. Am I driving the car wrong? I use it in the city, but I do drive on the Houston Beltway at 70-75 MPH for 20-24 miles daily during the week.

    I am reading some of the mileage results that people have on this forum and I am stunned at how well their vehicles perform. Would I be better off using the sport transmission on the CVT or just the regular CVT? I had hoped to get at least 25 MPG out of this new car.
  • char5321char5321 Posts: 3
    If you just got the car that not bad it will get better after 7500 miles. But they have
    very sensitive sensors and they effect the mpg. I started the lemon law process to
    find out that the epa / gov. is in on the scam .They told me that if I was not going 55mph with my window up and my air off I had no chance in getting what it's was rated at.
    Go to this site and watch the video on driving . It will help you curve your driving and
    you will get better mpg. Mine does great in the city . but below the rating on the highway. Some of the problem is the hills and mountains . But most of it is the corrupt
    manufactures and to many government payoffs
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