Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Subaru Legacy/Outback: MPG-Real World Numbers



  • nornetnornet Posts: 24
    Just removed the winter tires and have averaged just under 21 mpg since November. This is with an aggressive winter tread and winter blend gas. Not very impressive but you can't be obsessed by mpg.
  • morin2morin2 Posts: 399
    You may be driving your new Miata in a bit more spirited way than I have so far driven my Outback. I had to smile when I saw your post because I had narrowed my choice to the outback and miata (my wife has a Forester and my son has my old 94 Legacy). More (any!) twisty roads on my commute and I might have gone Miata. Had I bought a Miata, I would have kept my truck for its utility. I chose to trade in the truck rather than allow it to sit mostly unused in my barn with the poor quality E10 gasoline in its tank. Nothing good happens to vehicles that sit unused. I'm very happy with the new Outback.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    The Miata is my 2nd car, I also have a minivan for family duties.

    I love it, but it makes a terribly unpractical "only car". I could never do it if I didn't have the van.
  • Hello,

    I have a 1996 Outback wagon with the 2.2l engine, 5-speed transmission, and quickly approaching 200,000 miles. The last 21,000 miles I have averaged 28.2 MPG.

    We also have a 1995 Impreza wagon with the 1.8l engine, auto trans, awd and about 185,000 miles. I don't drive it very often so the records aren't as detailed due to my wife and daughter sharing the care. Teenagers never fill the tank, lol. However, when I do drive it on long trips it averages 1-2 MPG less then the bigger Outback.
  • staypuftstaypuft Posts: 6
    So far my 09 Legacy SE PZEV 5-spd gets 24 mpg mixed city-freeway to work and 30 mpg on the last 500 mile trip (no mountains) at an average speed of 80.

    Very pleased considering my lead foot.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    The 2010 model with the CVT can break 30mpg highway, so kudos for continuous improvement.
  • lgandadlgandad Posts: 1
    Hello,do not know if you still own this vehicle,just bought the same one used.My mileage is identical.VERY disappointed.Gave up a car that got 35 mpg hwy.that was very poor in snow and rain.Figured the outback would give up a little less mpg,but never imagined it to be 18 city maybe 22 hwy.Have changed pcv,o2 sens.,mass air flow,complete tune up,No difference.I love the way this car drives,and its reliability but my old Suburban gets 20 mpg hwy.So I"m on the fence about getting rid of the Subaru.Thats the reason for replying to this thread,has any one come up with a solution to this problem?
  • kidalikidali Posts: 17
    If you're talking to me about my 97 Outback Wagon, yes, I still have it a year and a half after purchasing it. Funny, I was just trying to figure this out again, recently.
    I always watch my mileage, and last week gave me one of my worst ever, so I was wondering if something has got worse. (O2 sensor?)

    Last week I got 13.5km/100l (if you're in the states, it's less than 17.5 miles to the gallon) but that particular week was nearly ALL city stop-and-go driving.

    When I do week's with 80% highway, I nearly always hover around 10l/100k - a lot better (23.5).

    The specs for the car new were 21mpg city (I'm getting 17) and 26 hwy (23.5). I realize with age mileage will worsen. Since you've changed all those items with no change in results, maybe you've save my pocket book some trouble.

    I still like how it runs, but am having some torque issues. Some days I can press on the gas and have almost NO response, and others, it responds but feels gruff and sluggish. Only on Some days does it feel like I would say 'nimble' or 'more like it should'. Also, I've noticed when the AC runs, I hear a 'switching' noise in my dash - somewhere to the left, when the condenser turns on, and each time it does that, the car's torque responds differently (so in a 20 minute trip, I feel like I'm driving 2 cars every 4 minutes - a slow one, and a normal one). I suspect there's a central computer issue. I don't know if they can just replace a mainboard or something.

    As for the mileage, I'm content to deal with it. Even if I did all that work and met the companies claimed specs, I'd only save about 8 litres or 8 dollars a week. It'd take me over a year, I figure, to pay off the labour and parts of having those items replaced.
  • kidalikidali Posts: 17
    Here's a year and a half's worth of almost obsessive observations:

    My average week is somewhere around 11l/100k. (about 21.3 mpg).
    I've been vigilant about putting in a good fram air filter.
    I recently decided to try a synthetic oil to help both my gas mileage, and engine knock that I've been getting. It's helped with neither. (Castrol edge).
    On weeks that I put in higher grade gas (91 octane), I get better mileage than weeks where I put in a lower grade (87), but then the trade off is the higher gas price, so there are no savings.

    The car seems to like travelling best and runs smoothest at about 95k/hr (about 59 miles an hour). Deviate from this, and it affects mileage.
  • kidalikidali Posts: 17
    Regarding my last comment:

    If I usually drive between 105 and 120 (65 - 74mph), I still usually average somewhere between 19 and 21mpg if I'm doing 70 to 80 % highway driving.
  • jccinohjccinoh Posts: 9
    Have had my 2009 Outback 2.5 now for about 18months. Mileage (90% city/10% highway) is currently standing at 25.2mpg.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    I lost track of this discussion a couple of years ago. :blush:

    Sorry to see you're still having mpg issues, Kidali. I'm way behind updating my spreadsheet on my '97 but I'll try to do that soon. Last April I was getting 23.10 lifetime. Got a bit over 78,000 miles on it now.

    I've had about 5 tanks that have held over 13 gallons, but this week I set a (dubious) record, thanks to some poor planning. The Outback held 13.797 gallons. Hard to believe the tank really holds 15.9 gallons - I was sweating it a bit.

    Steve, visiting host
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    Updated my spreadsheet.

    Worst tank so far this year was 19.28. Best was 33.03 on a road trip. Lifetime average is up to 23.31.

    I'm only driving ~6,000 miles a year.
  • kidalikidali Posts: 17
    I have no idea how you managed 33mpg. That's insane.

    Your lifetime average is a little under mine (had the car about 19 months now).
    I'd still say mine is around 21. Though lately I've been having terrible mileage, even with 94 octane gas I'm around 20. Maybe it's the air conditioner running in this heat.

    Still trying to figure out my throttle response issue right now. Maybe I'll start a new forum. As stated in earlier posts, check engine has been on for months. My guy decoded it as an 'engine knock' sensor. Reset it. It went out. But a week later came back on. That was in the winter. I'm just living with it. Some days though, it goes out, and the car feels like a rocket. It will come back on after 10 miles or so, and once it does, I almost have to floor the gas for the a/t to drop a gear or kick in at all.

    Anyone else have this problem? My untrained analysis is there's a faulty computer on the car. Anyone?

    PS> Anyone have an issue with spider cracking in the paint on the hoods of these 97's? Mine looks horrible, and worse after waxing. No real way to resolve it, just curious if others also experience this with the 97 outbacks.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    That was on a California road trip, loafing along in mild May weather. Tanks were 21, 27, 30, 33 and 30. Then 24 a few weeks later back home. On a road trip in July '09 the best tank was 28 - probably got hammered by the AC.

    Most of my driving is around town or 50 miles RT up to the ski hill in the winter, and those are the 21ish tanks. Worse tank ever was 13.16 one January.

    Mine's red btw, and the paint looks pretty good. Dings and chips, but no spidering.
  • kidalikidali Posts: 17
    For the last year or so, I've been hovering between 10.5 and 11 litres per 100km (or between 21.4 and 22.4 US MPG).

    Since December though, I keep getting between 13 or 14 litres / 100k
    (16.8 - 18 US MPG) !!! Horrible. 50/50 Highway/City, which means my CITY mileage has got to be atrocious.

    Tires are inflated. Used injector cleaner. Rarely used my heated seats. (Obviously no AC this time of year in Canada). Use full synthetic oil. Often try the 91 Octane gas, and sometimes, stupidly, even the 94 Octane! No, I'm not made of gold. Just trying to make a perfectly fine car last longer.

    Any suggestions? Can my mechanic (not a Subaru specific guy) diagnose if it's a PCV issue without taking the car apart?

  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 11,149
    If the PCV valve is old, that's an easy and cheap replacement. The part might cost $5 and the time perhaps as many minutes. It is absolutely the easiest DIY maintenance one can perform.

    Another possibility is that the oxygen sensors are giving poor feedback so the car is not trimming the fuel/air ratio as efficiently. I noticed my fuel economy taper off somewhat once I was north of 150,000 miles on my '96 Outback. It used to give me between 22 and 28 mpg (or better!) except during periods of extreme cold (< -25F). In its later life (I had it to 220,000 miles, and it still ran great), the low dropped to about 17 with the tops at about 25. During periods of extreme cold, it would drop as low as 13-14 mpg.

    I wish I could say I replaced the oxygen sensors and it made a marked improvement, but I planned to replace them in spring of 2007... yet fate had other plans. :cry:
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • pilot1226pilot1226 Posts: 165
    edited May 2011
    I've had the new `11 Outback 2.5i CVT for a month now, here are my numbers:

    Highway is about 36 MPG @ 55 MPH Cruise Control according to the dash computer. (To clarify, this is what's displayed after getting fuel and pulling right back out onto the highway. It actually goes higher - above 40 MPG - but because I typically only drive on a stretch of 5 miles of highway to/from work, it starts to go down when I idle at a light pretty rapidly)

    Combined over the last 1k miles in the last month between about a 50/50 split of highway & city driving shows me between 26 and 28 MPG, depending on traffic. Not bad at all. Better than my 4AT 09 Legacy 2.5i.

    I use Trip A for my current tank of gas, and Trip B for the time since last maintenance.

    I was a big proponent of diesel-based Subarus coming over here and probably would have been one of the first to get them, since the MPG is significantly higher. We'll see what time brings.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    That's very good given the size and accounting for it being AWD. I bet you beat or match a tiny Suzuki SX4.
  • kidalikidali Posts: 17
    Thanks, xwesx

    I'll see if I can do the PCV valve myself, and ask my mechanic if he has a test for the O2 sensors before determining if they are the issue.
  • pilot1226pilot1226 Posts: 165
    Well, I read somewhere that 55 MPH is usually close to the optimal MPG. Every 5 MPH over 55 MPH you travel I think you lose 10% fuel economy. Something along those lines, I think it was on some US Government website. Maybe Department of Transportation / Highway Safety.

    Anyway, again, the 36 MPG is skewed because it doesn't take into account idling and things like that. For example, the day after when I turned the car on, I gave it about a minute to idle before I put it in gear, and the MPG decreased to around 32MPG. Granted, this also increases once I get the car back out onto highway.

    I'll have to pen-and-paper some MPG next time I fill it up, since I use the same gas station on my way home from work and we'll see if it corraborates what my trip meter says.

    Who needs a hybrid, just use your damn cruise control and try driving close to the speed limit!
  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 8,862
    Who needs a hybrid, just use your damn cruise control and try driving close to the speed limit!

    On the highway yes. But in daily city driving, I'd take a hybrid any day. That's where they shine.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 11,149
    If your trip computer is anything like the trip computers on the Forester and Impreza, you'll likely find that it is between 1 and 1.5 mpg on the optimistic side.
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    That is typical, but I had a Tribeca for a week, and oddly enough it read 0.6mpg LOW! Strange.
  • occkingoccking Posts: 346
    I have mad my 11 outback since Oct 1. For first 10,000 miles, I did not reset one trip odometer and it read 28.2 mpg. I am now over 9000 miles since then, and, again, it reads 28.2 mpg. I always fill the tank myself, and always "top it off", so I know my actual mpg per tank are very accurate. Probably cutting it too close, on three occasions I put in 18.5 gals, one time 18.9 and the tank is supposedly only 18.5 gals.

    At any rate, when I have a chance I will add up all the gas I have purchased for this vehicle since new (I keep good records) and I believe it will come out to just about 27 mpg, actual. Yes, everyone's statements about mileage indicated on trip comuters being optimistic is correct. I have had many vehicles past 20 years or so, and every one of them is "optomistic, and this includes a 2005 outback, 2006 Tribeca, 2009 Forester, as well as my current vehicle. I would say the actual mpg usually 1 to 1.5 mpg less than computer indicates.

    That being said, I have averaged, per trip computer around 31 to 32 mpg on a few occasions, but the best actual mpg I have ever attained (on mostly highway driving) has been 30. If, near the end of a long trip I must fill up, then continue home for another 30 - 40 miles, I have seen the computer go as high as 34 mpg. I think that's because the previous many miles were all highway, as well as the portion of the trip back home.

    However, if I start up following morning & it still says 34 mpg, after just a few miles, it will drop very quickly.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    The tank may be that size. If you topped it off, portions of the rest could be in the fuel filler neck itself.
  • timadamstimadams Posts: 294
    **If your trip computer is anything like the trip computers on the Forester and Impreza, you'll likely find that it is between 1 and 1.5 mpg on the optimistic side. **

    That's right on the button for my trip computer. My 2011 Legacy 2.5 has been in the 25-26 MPG range lately (30/70 city/highway - calculated as miles driven/gallons to fill up), and always about 1 to 1.5 mpg lower than what the trip computer says for that tank. I have been getting better mileage since the weather warmed up, but not as good as I expected based on EPA MPG figures. And I've been babying it, trying to get the MPG number up. I'd say the MPG is my biggest disappointment with the car.
  • easypareasypar ColoradoPosts: 192
    I really don't look at the MPG readout on the dash, but my '10 Legacy gets consistently over 30 MPG (34.4 more than once) when all freeway. When I mix in city driving it drops, but not as low as yours. I might not actually ever get as high as 30% stop and go drving on a tank so that might be part of it.

    Recently took 2 long road trips, Colorado to Cincinnnati and Colorado/Austin TX. The first was with 2 adults, suitcases, one set of golf clubs etc, 2 tanks were above 34. The second was one adult, tools, golf clubs etc and the worst tank was 32 and a fraction. That's at 75 MPH with the cruise control.

    Turned over 31,000 miles on the Austin trip.
  • kombikombi Posts: 3
    Is that with the Manual or the CVT?
  • almattialmatti Posts: 164
    timadams, I disagree with your assessment of disappointing MPGs with the 2011 Legacy 2.5i. We have a 2010 2.5i CVT automatic, Premium, and although I haven't seen 33-34 mpg as some have posted even at higher speeds like 75 mph, I ususally consitently see on the car's computer 27.6 -27.8. The car now has 19,000 on the Clock, we bought it as a CPO in Feb 2011 with 7,400 miles it. And noticed that she settled in at that mpg level with 40% suburban/City and 60% Highway (with some traffic- NYC Metro area ) since we bought it. My 25 year son drives the car 95% of the time, and I know He's not practicing any "mileing techniques" [coasting, keep at 55MPH,no hard takeoffs] so compared to the 08.5 Mazda 3 s that we traded in, which would get overall average in similar driving conditions of 22-23mpg, The Subbie is Larger, it has AWD, a much better City riding car, than the Mazda, albeit, the Mazda does have sports car class type handling that the Subbie can't match, but we Love the Subbie much more than the Mazda - much more car for the money IMO...and overall very content with the mpgs. It's too bad that when we bought it that they didn't have a Limited on hand.
Sign In or Register to comment.