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Mazda5 Owners MPG-Real World Numbers



  • I have the 2010 Mazda 5 sport (manual transmission) and my last tank got me 15.66 mpg in the city.

    My average, with basically 100% city driving, has been about 18 mpg.

    On a road trip last summer to Michigan, our top mpg was 33.6 on the highway.

    I was expecting better - and this most recent reading really floored me. Surely I can't be *that* much of a lead foot! Very strange...

  • It adds more meaning to zoom zoom as now you can watch the zoom zoom of the fuel needle hehe. Well I am sure the next Mazda will have a 6 speed to save gas oh ya they are not lol.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 22,662

    Well, as for the most recent reading... where do you live? Here in NJ, we get reformulated gas in the winters and mileage drops quite a bit.

    As to your driving... how do you drive? I've always gotten superior mileage with a stick vs automatic. I've read the best way to get good mileage in a manual trans car is "foot to the floor and short shift." So you can pin the go pedal, but just shift 2500rpms or so and you should do OK.

    '17 F150 Crew 2.7; '67 Coronet R/T; '14 Town&Country Limited; '09 LR2 HSE. 44-car history and counting!

  • I'm in chilly Minnesota.

    I don't generally wait to shift at higher rpms, so that shouldn't be much of an issue.

    I don't know much about the gas we get here, though I do generally opt for the mid-range octane choice. Maybe I should try the higher octane gas to see if that makes even a bit of difference.

    I was just surprised to see that my mileage was so much lower than seemingly everyone else's that I came across on the forum. Two or three mpg's wouldn't be cause for alarm, but six or eight less sure seems odd.

  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 22,662
    the trick isn't just the low rpms, but also the foot to the floor and upshifting. It means you are in the lower gears for as short of a time as possible while not revving too far, either. In other words, getting to 5th gear as fast as possible and staying there as long as possible.

    '17 F150 Crew 2.7; '67 Coronet R/T; '14 Town&Country Limited; '09 LR2 HSE. 44-car history and counting!

  • That is a very valid point. re the formulation of the gas. keep in mind that you get about 10% less gas mileage when there is ethanol mixed with it at about a 5% ratio. and they tend to add extra to winter gas (because it absorbs water). Remember gallon for gallon, pure ethanol contains one-third less energy than gasoline. The other side affect is that ethanol is very corrosive which is why they can not use pipelines because of it. The Mazda 5 is not designed to be used with ethanol so I would avoid it anyway. The ethanol industry say you can us up to 10%, on any car, but to me that is like saying you can eat a small amount of mercury and not die lol
  • The thoughts about shifting are interesting.

    I checked the manual and it says the proscribed speed to upshift from 2>3 for "cruising" from would be at 18 mph, and from 3>4 29 mph.

    I've pretty much always shifted my manuals over the years from 2>3 at about 27 or 28 mph, and from 3>4 at 38 or above (with adjustments for hilly conditions, etc.).

    Assuming their recommendations take into consideration fuel economy and general engine health, it looks like I might benefit from lowering my shifting points quite a bit.

    It also has a grid with general upshift recommendations for "acceleration", which I presume would be not for cruising but accelerating to top speed - which specify 24 mph for 2>3, and 34 mph for 3>4.

    Either way, I come out well above those numbers with my usual practices.

    I've always felt funny cruising along for any length of time with the tachometer stuck down on the lower end of the register, feeling like it might be putting undue strain on something in the engine or transmission. (Worst case scenario, sitting in the passenger seat while someone else rolls around a corner in third gear...!)

    Is there an optimal range to observe for rpm's?

  • An associate in the emissions testing field once told me that low rpm / larger throttle openings / early shifting will produce better fuel economy, so I've been following that for a while (and of course, no more "larger throttle opening" than required). These modern, electronically-controlled engines are amazingly tractable (IMHO, having owned 4-cyl cars since the 70's) so much of the old-days "lugging/knocking/danger" advice rarely is needed. As well, w/r/t your concern for strain on the drivetrain, at low rpms the engine is well off its torque or hp peak ratings, so no worries there either.

    My Sport5MT is usually in 5th at 40mph, no issues, and I tend to use the tallest gear that works in the given situation. Which is, actually, how many modern automatics are programmed for best fuel economy (to the point where enthusiastic drivers will gripe, for vehicles where "kickdown" to a lower gear doesn't occur quickly/seamlessly).

    Just a data point.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 22,662
    I concur with ljmattox's post.

    As to your question... if I'm dealing with low-speed city driving, I only look to keep it at 1500 rpms or above. So if I'm driving so slow that 4th gear puts me at, let's say, 1800, but 5th would be 1300, then I use 4th. If you do need to put your foot down while cruising at such low rpms, then you simply downshift.

    Let us know how you make out.

    '17 F150 Crew 2.7; '67 Coronet R/T; '14 Town&Country Limited; '09 LR2 HSE. 44-car history and counting!

  • Good to know - thanks for all the info. I have a full tank as of today, so I'll report back when I next check the mileage.

  • Since you get very good hwy mpg, I'm guessing theres nothing wrong with your car, and your poor city milage is due to your driving style.

    I get around 27mpg in city driving without trying too hard, but there are a couple of tips for manual shift 5's.

    1) Avoid going over 3k rpm. At 3k, the variable valve timing shifts into the power mode, making much more power but also eating gas.
    2) Use engine braking to slow for stops. When the motors over around 2k rpm and you're off the throttle, the fuel injectors shut off completely.
    3) Short shift at around 2k rpm using fairly light throttle. The car makes good torque and can pretty easily keep up with traffic.
    4) always use the highest gear you can without the motor straining, incuding speeding back up after slowing down. The 5 will accerate from 35 mph in top gear just fine, and this helps economy considerably.

    I do all 4 of these techniques without even thinking about them now, and passengers normally don't even notice I'm doing anything out of the ordinary.
  • Thanks. I've been trying to do all those things this last week (since I last filled up), so we'll see!

    So far it doesn't *look* good, judging from the needle on the fuel tank gauge, but I'll have a better idea in a few days. I think I could work on the engine braking a bit, as that takes a bit of practice in the city...

  • Well, I spent the last week employing all of the above techniques to save on gas in city driving - keeping the rpm's low by upshifting at strategic points, engine braking, etc.

    The verdict is in, and my city mpg for this last tank was a whopping 16.6 mpg, and using premium gasoline at that!

    It's a far cry from your 27 mpg in the city!

    Oh well, I'll keep at it. Maybe it'll improve with practice, or there's something else I'm missing... (?!)


  • You are making sure you do not use gas with any ethanol in it, when trying to get the most mileage from a tank. I hate the say the obvious. The Mazda engine is not designed to use ethanol but can tolerate up to 15%. If you are using gas with it in there you can lose up to 1/3 gas mileage depending on the strength. All of Mazda's and government figures use non ethanol gas for testing.
  • mohahamohaha Posts: 5
    That is low, but not too far off from my experience. I drive a 2008 Mazda 5 w/AT, and do a lot of what has been called "village" driving -- lots of stops and starts, and short trips where the engine may not get fully warmed up. With strictly that type of driving, I average 19-20 mpg. Mix in a bit of interstate driving on the weekends, and I may bump that up to the 22-25 range. Best ever was 33 -- but that was one long interstate trip w/ virtually no stops or slowdowns, and the cruise control set at 60 mph. (Which is not my usual speed.)
  • I had forgotten about the ethanol angle when I went to fill up last week (!).

    I'll give that a try this next time...

  • I'm not sure why your results are'nt better. I'm also stuck using ethenol gas this time of year, but despite the very cold weather we're in I just tanked up with 15.2 gal at 390 miles for 25.6mpg.
    The worst I ever saw BTW was a hair under 20mpg during a two week cold snap with all short little commutes.

    I play another little game that might help. I try to see how far I can get before the temp needle starts to move. The theory is that if your burning fuel slowly it takes more miles for the motor to warm up. This time of year cold starting at around 20 degrees, I can make it over 3 miles before the needle budges.

  • hurschelhhurschelh Posts: 3
    edited March 2011
    Bought a 2010 Mazda5 yesterday w/12,400 miles, and filled the tank, refilled it today at 197 miles and got 32.7MPG, call me a happy camper after the MDX at 19.3 MPG on premium.
  • jonat1xjonat1x Posts: 34
    And how do you like the car generally by comparison with the MDX?
  • That's hard to say, I really liked the MDX, lots of luxury, but the 5 sure makes a lot more sense for our situation, especially with the gas prices headed north. I really like the 5 also, plenty of comfort and amenities to make me happy and the MPG makes the wallet a lot happier too. I haven't been able to drive the 5 yet due to hip replacement, it is easy to get in and out of too. I hope to get to wring it out in a couple of weeks.
  • 321zoom321zoom Posts: 4
    '09 GT w/ 16k miles on it in around 30-45 degree temps all very small 10-15 miles/day trips. Tank is JUST about 1/2 way with only 170miles. 15.9 gal fuel tank capacity will make an estimated low 20's mileage... quite disapointed! I'm coming from driving a Prius getting 49 so I'm spoiled but also versed in hypermiling techniques - used here. Keeping RPM sub 2k, short shifts, coasting, even shoving it into neutral a few times (though that's too much trouble), etc. I can see if tires are an issue but the car is "new." (D versus M doesn't seem to do much difference with RPM if you don't have a lead foot - all are 2k and under).

    Hwy driving got 29 and I was doing average 75 (zero stops) so I know it'll go 30+ with legal-speeds.

    Looking for better numbers! :confuse:
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 22,662
    well, of course, estimating based on the fuel gauge is not very accurate. You'll have to calculate when you fill up.

    I can tell you, however, that using neutral is a detriment to mileage. When you are in gear and lift off the gas, the injectors actually shut off, thereby giving you "infinity" fuel mileage. When you shift to neutral, you've disengaged the drivetrain, so now the car HAS to feed fuel to the engine to keep it idling, so you can't hit "infinity" doing it that way.

    '17 F150 Crew 2.7; '67 Coronet R/T; '14 Town&Country Limited; '09 LR2 HSE. 44-car history and counting!

  • ljmattox1ljmattox1 Posts: 10
    +1 on the gas gauge readings, my experience mirrors others who report 2.5 gals in the tank after "E" and the "going empty" light; so a 1/2 tank readout isn't of 15.9 gals, but perhaps 13.5 or so. That would change your math, but of course still pretty imprecise.

    +1 on the "just lift" versus "shift to neutral" as well, for what's happening with the fuel system, very noticable on my ScanGauge II. Lift-off results in infinity readings (fuel shut off), neutral idling returned varied results, but never infinity.

    HTH. As you note, however, Prius-like, it isn't but decent for what it is. I see 26-28 mpg on 70% highway commuting; lowest ever was 23mpg following an Audi/Corvette "parade" in the fast lane for the good part of a tankful; "Oh, we're here already, made good time!". Yes, we did! I've had a tank at 32-33 a couple of times, all interstate and 60'ish, just to see how I could stretch it. 2010 Sport 5MT.
  • 321zoom321zoom Posts: 4
    Thanks for the "neutral" info - good to know. Only did it a few times to see what it's like - don't like it (glad it doesn't work). I was estimating before a fill-up (as it'll be a while with all the short trips/day). I'll get real world numbers once re-tanked.

    In the meanwhile I was researching modifications to an ICE that could be had to squeeze more. Seems like intake/exhaust is the answer but would hate the apparent ensuing noise from the exhaust (even with resonators). Gas reaching the $4 range soon enough, payback will be faster and faster with any initial investment...

    Thanks again - will report back in a week or so after a fresh tank.
  • We've used 5 tanks since trading for a '10 Mazda5 automatic, average 28.4 mpg. happy with that waiting to try a road trip.
  • davemplsdavempls Posts: 11
    Still amazed by all these reports of great mileage with the 5. I finally managed to achieve 20.3 mpg (city) with ethanol-free gas and very close attention to rpm's/shifting, but 25, let alone 28, seems impossible to comprehend!

  • laiyanglaiyang Posts: 1
    Just completed a trip to Myrtle Beach - for 420 miles round trip, we got 32 mpg. Most are highways. Speed around 68 mile/hour
  • 321zoom321zoom Posts: 4
    Update on the fill-up: 24.4mpg

    Got to the yellow warning light before I filled up and ended up with 322 miles (13.19 gallons)

    This is 1/2 of our Prius so of course I'm not all that jazzed (though I'm sure if I compared to an Explorer or Highlander, I'd feel different). Again, I practiced much of the hyper-miling techniques and this was all-city very short trip driving. This current tank my wife drove (she doesn't know the word hyper-miling) and am driving with traffic (faster acceleration to speed limit) to see "real world" numbers to compare to. I will guess that I'll be in the low 20s this time.

    Other than mileage, so far this car/minivan/whatever is awesome!
  • 321zoom321zoom Posts: 4

    Guessing you're doing all city driving. Some hints:

    A biggie to watch is acceleration. The more you ease the car to the wanted speed the better.

    When you see a red light (or break lights) WAY up ahead, foot off pedal & coast. Treat your break as your enemy because you're wasting momentum that could be used for "free" distance without gas.

    See if at least these 2 easy things makes a difference for you.
  • Just turned 98,000 miles. 70% LA freeway and 30% street - averaging 24MPG. Highs of 27, lows of 22. Not bad, considering the sticker is 21/26.
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