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Subaru Forester MPG-Real World Numbers

135

Comments

  • Quite a bit of the drive was at 65-75, and at 80 or higher going around Atlanta (gotta go that fast to keep from getting run over on I-285 and I-75). Then again, a lot was also at stop and go city speeds around the Tampa Bay area. Neither of which equate to top mileage. On the current tank, I'm getting 20.4 through 200 miles of Tulsa driving, which is better than the car the Foz replaced, and much better than the F150 Supercrew in the driveway. I can live with it. :shades:
  • phil53phil53 Posts: 54
    OK - well, I'm in the KC area, so I'm assuming not a great deal of difference in driving conditions. We're going down to drive an '09 Limited today. 20 does bother me, though. I'm currently getting 40 - 42 average with my wife's TDI. So that will be a big difference, if that's average around the city. I was hoping for 25 or better. I've talked to a couple of people who indicated 25 - 28 was their average. But I didn't get into their driving style too much. My Avalanche gets 14 -15 in town and 17 - 18 on the highway. So I was looking for a big improvement over that, too. Thanks.
  • p0926p0926 Posts: 4,423
    You're going to be hard pressed to find any small SUV/crossover that gets close to 25 mpg in the city. Heck most don't even get that on the hwy. The Forester is one of the more fuel effecient models in its class but if fuel economy is a top priority, I'd be looking at hybrids or small sedans.

    -Frank
  • hamullerhamuller Posts: 11
    I love my Forester and have had it for over eight years now. When it was new I regularly got 28-30 MPG on a 200 mile highway trip to my mountain cabin. Over the years the mpg has declined steadily. I now get about 25-26mpg on the same trip. I maintain my car with a tuneup every 25K and an oil change every 3K religiously. I just had the timing belt changed. Is there any reason beyond old age for the car's mpg to be dropping? It now has 105K on it.
  • jim314jim314 Posts: 491
    Theoretical possibilities:

    Tires: You changed to tires with a higher rolling resistance, or don't inflate them to as high as pressure as before. But you may want tires that can handle rough roads and will have to compromise on rolling resistance. Are you still using the OE tire size?

    Oil: You are using an oil with a higher viscosity than needed. With modern oils, changing oil at 3 kmi is an unnecessarily short interval, unless you are frequently in very dusty conditions. Use synthetic of the right viscosity (check the manual) and change at 7.5 kmi at the shortest.

    Fuel: Ethanol in gasoline up to 10% could cause a 3% lower mpg which is 0.8 mpg less starting at 28 mpg.
  • hamullerhamuller Posts: 11
    Thanks for the possibilities. I have put on a heftier Goodrich tire but it is the same size as the original tires which gave a smoother ride as I remember. I wil try dropping the pressure by a few pounds and see if that helps.

    I don't drive in dusty conditions usually so I think I will extend my oil changes a little and try the synthetic oils next time.

    I never thought about ethanol but most of the gas I use does have 10% ethanol. That probably has something to do with it.

    I also change the air filter every 10K as recommended.

    Thanks again for the suggestions. Hank
  • p0926p0926 Posts: 4,423
    I have put on a heftier Goodrich tire but it is the same size as the original tires which gave a smoother ride as I remember

    Even tires that are the same size can reduce your mpg. Especially if they're are more performance oriented.

    I wil try dropping the pressure by a few pounds and see if that helps

    That will make your mpg worse! Increasing the air pressure in your tires will improve your mpg. However, if you increase it too much, you'll compromise the vehicle's handling. On my aftermarket tires, I keep the pressure about halfway between what the manufacturer recommends for the OE tires and the max psi listed on the sidewall.

    -Frank
  • hamullerhamuller Posts: 11
    Thanks I will try your suggestion. Hank
  • phil53phil53 Posts: 54
    Well, you may be right. I guess I'm just trying to make sure I get the vehicle that best meets my needs overall and, unfortunately, that just doesn't exist right now. We have looked at a couple of mid-size sedans that get pretty good fuel mileage (30+ mpg highway), but my wife wanted 4WD or AWD for the snow. Plus, I figured if I went with a small SUV, I could park my Avalanche about 90% of the time - or more.
    The thing is, I get 17 - 18 mpg highway with the Avalanche no matter how loaded down it is. And I figure, if I added dual exhaust, a cold air intake and an E-Con programmer, I could probably improve that by a couple mpg and improve performance.
    So, from what I'm reading here, I'll pay quite a fuel mileage penalty stepping down from the Beetle TDI and won't gain that much by parking the Avalanche. I was just hoping I could routinely return 25 mpg+.
    Thanks for the input.
  • Part of the reason my '09X is averaging 20.4 in town is that I drive it 10-13 miles each way through Tulsa to get to work (miles are more if I'm carpooling with my wife). City of Tulsa can't seem to do a very good job of synchronizing the traffic lights, and this morning I had to stop for 8 lights in a 10-block stretch. That is hell on mpgs for all but the top hybrids. Also, when my wife drives the Foz, she can decrease the mpgs due to her driving habits! LOL
    As I've said before, this still beats the city mileage I get out of the F150, or what I got out of the cursed Dodge Intrepid :lemon: (whose untimely demise led directly to my purchasing the Forester :shades: a month ago).
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Short drives like that won't ever yield good mileage, because the engine is still warming up for the first 2-3 miles, and not operating at its peak efficiency.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 13,152
    The mpg I listed at 17 was not for a Subaru, it was for a minivan (if that gives you some hope!).

    My city driving is not heavy here in Fairbanks, Alaska, but last summer in my '07 Outback (manual tranny), I averaged 26-27 around town.

    This last winter in my 08 Outback (auto), I got right at 20 through the coldest months of the year (-10 to -45 F); my old '96 Outback would drop to as low as 15-16 during that period, and my minivan even hit 13.5 on one tank last winter. I think your driving conditions would be harsh, indeed, if you averaged less than 20.

    Good luck.
    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
    So we took a long drive last night, and measured our MPG for the trip in each direction.

    My wife drove up, and got 30.0mpg. She hit 33 mpg for a short while, but the full trip was 30.

    Then I drove back, the same route but with less traffic, so my speeds were higher. I got 27.0mpg.

    She won, but I was impressed with the highway fuel efficiency. :shades:
  • phil53phil53 Posts: 54
    Well, that makes more sense. I'd get about 13-14 with my Avalanche in that scenario. Of course, the Beetle would get about 38. (I'm still struggling with that one.) Thanks for the update. I'm still leaning toward the Forester, but haven't ruled out a couple of the sedans or wagons.
  • 204meca204meca Posts: 370
    We just completed a 780 mile trip around WA Olympic Peninsula in our XS 5 speed with 45K on it. The load was two passengers & camping gear, overall about 500 lbs & AC was used about 25% of the time. The trip was unusual in that it was an interesting mixture of 2 lane roads, some dirt roads, and no rush - so I drove with a pretty light foot. About 10% was gravel, much of it quite hilly, 60% 2 lane highway, and about 10% over 60 mph. I would say the average speed was about 45 under pretty ideal driving conditions (relatively low traffic, dry weather 65-80 degrees). With the 1st tank I got 487 miles with a half gallon to spare. Over all mileage was 31.7 mpg.

    Overall I drive pretty conservatively without holding up traffic & have been averaging about 23 -26 on daily driving (70% urban 30% freeway). High way averages about 28-30 with best has been just over 32 mpg.

    Overall I am very satisfied. It sounds like the mpg are better on the 09s & I hope to get one about 2010. At that point I will probably get an AT & would hope SOA implant a good CVT in the Forster. I have had a civic & A4 with CVT & love em!
  • tinycadontinycadon Posts: 287
    Just got 26.1mpg on my 400mi trip today, doing 65-70mph w/o cruise control, not bad, better than I expected!
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    31.2mpg on an all highway trip this past weekend.

    We're past 1000 miles so now it's officially broken in.
  • I bought a new 2009 Forester 2.5X, auto, non-turbo, Premium last week. I drove about 150 miles round trip today on 2-lane rural and interstate with hills. I have less than 300 miles total. Including 20 miles around town besides the 150 miles I averaged ~25 MPG after filling up.

    The MPG read-out is indicating about 26.4 MPG at 70MPH with the A/C on. At 55 MPH on level roads it reads as high as 32 MPG. Average around town it seems to be ~22 MPG so far.

    I am impressed with the performance considering only 170HP compared to my previous Ford Ranger 4WD with the 4.0L V6. On this same trip it would average about 20 MPG in the summer with the A/C on. Around town the best would be 15 MPG and in the winter as low as 11-12 MPG
  • "... I was just hoping I could routinely return 25 mpg+. "

    My 2008 NA automatic routinely betters that in the summer:
    http://aatherton06.home.insightbb.com/Forester/For_MPG.htm
    And it has big mirrors, roof rack, bubble deflector, and tires set to the door sticker pressure. Such mileage requires economical driving habits.
  • Unfortunately, that is my down-fall. I routinely run about 5 over and sometimes 10. Around here, that means 65-75 on the freeways. And no dawdling anywhere during rush hour (if you get out early enough). A lot of traffic lights on the last 5 or so miles of my commute.
    By the way, that is a very complete chart you're keeping. I keep ODO, trip, fuel used, mpg and brand of fuel, but that's about it. And I haven't been very religious about it lately.
  • That is valuable information, since that is the vehicle I'm looking at (the 2.5X, 4AT, Limited). And I just took a similar trip this past weekend. 4 hours each direction (a tad over 150 miles). First 1/2 hour was interstate at 75 mph. The remainder was 2 and 4 lane US highways through rolling hills.
    I put the Corsa cat-back exhaust, AEM cold air intake and Hypertech Max Energy E-Con programmer on the Avalanche and actually lost 1 mpg for this particular trip. I'm still trying to figure that one out. I had anticipated about a 2 mpg gain.
    My commute sounds like a previous post. 2 or 3 miles of slow suburban driving, then 25 miles of freeway at 65 - 75 (mostly 75) followed by 5 miles of suburban traffic with numerous stop lights (40 - 45 when you're moving). It usually takes me about 40 minutes.
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 4,098
    "I am impressed with the performance considering only 170HP compared to my previous Ford Ranger 4WD with the 4.0L V6. On this same trip it would average about 20 MPG in the summer with the A/C on. Around town the best would be 15 MPG and in the winter as low as 11-12 MPG "

    Did you mean 3.0L? That was the V6 in the Escape.
  • I've had my non-turbo Premium package 09 Forester for 10 days. I spent a week of city driving and got 21 mpg average which equaled my old Ford Explorer highway numbers.
    Today I went 170 miles on freeway and got 31 mpg. I am very pleasantly surprised.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Manual or auto?

    CR got 2mpg better with a manual. We're happy with our auto so I can only imagine the mileage you could get with a 5MT.
  • The 21 mpg City and 31mpg Highway was with an auto transmission.

    Another question about chains or cables. If you really needed them, would you put them on the front or back (or would all tires need to have them)?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I would do all 4. The fronts steer and do most of the braking, but with AWD you want all 4 tires with the same circumference.

    Even with FWD you would not want the rear end slipping and getting in front of you.
  • I had a 97 Legacy which had a pretty neat feature. I was wondering if Subaru still has it. There was a single fuse under the hood near the firewall. If you removed the fuse, the car would operate in front wheel drive mode only. Now, gas was cheaper "back in the day", so I wasn't very diligent in monitoring my mileage, but I seem to remember a 3-4 mpg increase when it was in FWD mode. In Colorado, where I live, you really only need AWD for a few months out of the year. Does anyone have any information on if that is still available in Subaru's?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    It is, but...it's not really meant to be used full time. It's intended for times when you get flat tires, and for short-term use.

    I really don't recommend it.

    Think of it this way - you save $5 a month on gas (whoopee), but lose the functionality of a $1750 option.
  • jim314jim314 Posts: 491
    If you did that, you would have be sure to rotate the tires on a regular short schedule, otherwise the tread on the front tires would wear more than the rear and the outside diameter of the front wheels at the tread would get progressively smaller compared to the rear. This would present no problem in FWD mode, but if you reinserted the fuse and returned to AWD mode this would cause wear in the center differential or other AWD components.

    Why would you want to go to FWD with a flat tire?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Subaru recommends that if you get a flat, to put the donut on the rear axle and insert the FWD fuse. This is with auto-AWD only.
  • "... (FWD) it's not really meant to be used full time. It's intended for times when you get flat tires, and for short-term use. "
    Inserting the fuse in the AWD slot permanently energizes the solenoid that uncouples the power to the rear wheels. The rear drive train still turns, being dragged by the rear wheels. The solenoid is not designed for a continuous duty and will soon burn up.
  • "Subaru recommends that if you get a flat, to put the donut on the rear axle and insert the FWD fuse. This is with auto-AWD only. "

    On page 9-3 the 2008 Owners Manual says the spare only goes on the rear:
    "The temporary spare tire must be used only on a rear wheel. If a front wheel tire gets punctured, replace the wheel with a rear wheel and install the temporary spare tire in place of the removed rear wheel."

    As for disabling the AWD, the manual says that only applies to the 4EAT. On page 9-3 the manual says:
    "All AWD AT non-turbo models without Vehicle Dynamics Control system: Before driving your vehicle with the temporary spare tire, put a spare fuse inside the FWD connector in the main fuse box located in the engine compartment and confirm that the Front Wheel Drive warning light "AWD" in the combination meter comes on. The all wheel drive capability of the vehicle has now deactivated. After re-installing the conventional tire, remove the spare fuse from the FWD connector in order to reactivate all wheel drive."

    So, the steps called for by the Owners Manual are:

    FLAT ON FRONT
    1. Remove a rear tire.
    2. Install the temporary spare in its place.
    3. Remove the flat front tire.
    4. Install the rear tire in its place.
    5. Remove the storage tray and its contents from the spare tire well.
    6. Put the flat tire in the well.
    -- And for the 4EAT automatic transmission:
    7. In the fusebox, install the spare fuse in the FWD slot to disable AWD.
    8. A sticker on the temporary spare warns not to exceed 50 mph.
    9. Don't drive too far in FWD or damage to drive train may occur.
    10. After the flat tire is fixed, put all 3 tires back in their original places.
    11. Remove the fuse to restore AWD.

    FLAT ON REAR
    1. Remove flat tire.
    2. Install the temporary spare in its place.
    3. Remove the storage tray and its contents from the spare tire well.
    4. Put the flat tire in the well.
    -- And for the 4EAT automatic transmission:
    5. In the fusebox, install the spare fuse in the FWD slot to disable AWD.
    6. A sticker on the temporary spare warns not to exceed 50 mph.
    7. Don't drive too far in FWD or damage to drive train may occur.
    8. After the flat tire is fixed, put the 2 tires back in their original places.
    9. Remove the fuse to restore AWD.

    You can avoid all this trouble if you just replace the compact spare with a full size spare. Take out the storage tray and the compact spare, and put in a full size spare with the storage bucket to support the floor panel. I did, and it only cost about $200. Got an almost new steel wheel and Geolandar off eBay, and ordered the bucket from the dealer.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    On page 9-3 the 2008 Owners Manual says the spare only goes on the rear

    That's what I said.

    The donut, i.e. the temp spare, goes on the rear axle.

    The manual agrees with me.
  • johnvjohnv Posts: 40
    2008 Forester XS. From the Bay Area to Eureka and back. Heading up was 26 and back 27.3 mpg. 6400 total miles on the car.

    The best I've seen was 29.2 -- that was probably coasting down from the Sierras.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Good numbers. You must have had more downhill driving on your way back.
  • milzomilzo Posts: 8
    Just picked up my 09 2.5x limited 2 days ago. Drove it from cleveland to toledo, for christmas, which is about 100 miles. My trip is 90% highway. On the way there we averaged 21mpg @ 75mph and 3000rpm with a strong head wind. On the way back we average 23.4 mpg @ 72mph and 2700rpm with no wind. The car now has 240 miles. I am diassapointed with these numbers. I've heard that the mileage isn't that great when they are brand new and it gets better after break in. Is that true? Also my car doesn't coast as much as I am used to. It seems when you let off the gas that it immediately starts to slow down. I assume that's due to the 4AT and high rpm's at cruising speed. What's the story, will it get better??? :confuse: .
  • jim314jim314 Posts: 491
    Winter mpg is significantly lower than summer. Also, if you are going to match the high mpg reported by some people you will have to slow down to 65-70 mph and drive for efficiency. This means leaving a large enough gap between your vehicle and the one ahead so that most of the time when they brake all you have to do is let off on the gas. Drive smooth and as slow as you can stand without impeding traffic behind you. SUV aerodynamics penalize driving over 70 mph.
  • Just completed a 400mi trip in my XT and got 25.4mpg. I kept the car between 65-70 with a couple of traffic snarls and a couple of times flooring it to get around some slower traffic. I did up my tire pressure to 35psi before my trip so that might have added to the mpgs, but I do have to say that is pretty weak mpgs for the regular 4 banger, when I 1st bought my XT back in May I went on a 400mi trip right off the bat and got 23.8 and 24.7 on the way back. Check out your tire pressure and up it to 35psi if it's lower.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    My '98 improved steadily until around 15k miles, when it peaked.

    Our '09 is also improving, though that trend stopped once the bitter cold arrived. We're still mid-high 20s, though.
  • occkingoccking Posts: 346
    Picked up 09 Forester yesterday (non turbo) Trip today out to New York State (from Providence, RI) trip computer said 23.4,drove 350 miles 16.3 gallons put in = 21.5 actual mpg. Hoping gas mileage was a little better because when I fill up I go to the brim, squeezing every last ounce. Dealer provided full tank at purchase, but I sure it wasn't quite full. Estimating that they were maybe one gallon short, that means actual mpg was probably around 23.

    I know the vehicle new and a little disappointed, but hoping for better mpg when broken in. I filled up back at the Mass border and have driven another 160 miles and trip computer says 28.8, so I am guessing actual mpg per consumption perhaps in the 27 range.

    I find trip computers in every car I have owned past several years always optomistic. Plus on the six mile long hill down west of Westfield, MA will always inflate the mpg on a trip. Let everyone know next time I fill up.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 13,152
    Trying to remember.... are you coming out of a Tribeca? Or maybe that was 'baron. I know you had a old Outback at some point.....

    Anyway, congrats. Squeezing every last drop may result in consistency later on, but I suspect you are probably right on that first tank and put in more fuel than was originally there. I keep a log of fill ups on my vehicles and have it set up such that it keeps a great running average, monthly average, and cost of fuel per mile, etc.
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • occkingoccking Posts: 346
    You are right! Had 05 Outback from Dec 04 until Aug 06, put 52k miles on. Got good deal on Demo Tribeca with 10k & had that vehicle until March 08, turned that in with 65k miles & got Nissan Altima Hybrid. Had that car exactly one year turned it in this week with 34k for the Forester.

    I have kept accurate mileage records on every vehicle I have owned for at least the last 30 years. I don't know why I do it. Get to the gas station record date, mileage, gas put in, temperature, mpg per computer, and actual mpg. Sop when I post mpg on any board, it is accurate!
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Congrats.

    Mileage will improve, since the engine is still very green.

    I didn't hit peak MPG in my 1998 Forester until 15k miles, and I tracked mileage the same way you do, using an Excel chart.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 13,152
    Wow! Those are impressive miles to rack up in the times you listed. Do you install beds in the backs of them? :D
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • occkingoccking Posts: 346
    For the past20 or so years average between 33 and 35,000 miles. Leave near Providence, RI & work for a Canadian Company up in Montreal. Go there maybe once a month, that's a round trip of almost 750 miles. Quite often out in the Syracuse area that's almost the same distance round trip. Thank god for two things... Cell phones and satellite radio. On the subject of cell phones, my last vehicle (Nissan Altima) was first one with build in blue tooth. It worked great through the radio speakers (as far as operation and receiving calls) but was very poor in that people could usually not understand what I was saying. Too much background noise. I believe it was because the microphone was up near the rear view mirror close to the windshield. I am very pleased that the Forester has the mike mounded right on the steering wheel column, and now people can finally hear me ok.

    In NY State in particular, if you are caught talking on a hand-held phone, I believe the fine is $200. I haven't been caught yet but with the bluetooth in new car, I should be ok.
  • aathertonaatherton Posts: 617
    "... drove 350 miles 16.3 gallons put in = 21.5 actual mpg.... Hoping gas mileage was a little better because when I fill up I go to the brim, squeezing every last ounce..."

    My fuel filler door has a sticker that says do not overfill after the pump clicks off, and some people say that overfilling can put liquid into the vapor recovery system (charcoal cannister) and cause an error code. But other people overfill in the belief that the more gas they can put into the tank, the better mileage they will get.
  • occkingoccking Posts: 346
    "other people overfill in the belief that the more gas they can put into the tank, the better mileage they will get"

    Well, there are some pretty dumb people out there! How can you get better mpg by filling the tank to the brim? We agree that me improve the range a bit, but doesn't have a damn thing to do with mpg.

    I am always very careful when I fill the tank not to let if overflow. Right or wrong, I have been doing this for years & never had a problems with the vapor recovery system. I am very careful not to overfill, so I don't think I am causing any harm. Just hard to change old ways.

    I am well into my second tank now, gone around 230 miles and trip computer says 26.7 I believe. 80 miles ago when I came back from long highway trip computer read 29.1, I believe but during the last 80 miles has dropped to where it is now.

    Keeping my fingers crossed once this vehicle is broken in I will average around 24 or so "around town, etc." but when I go on long trip hoping for 27 - 28. Time will tell...
  • jrock56jrock56 Posts: 5
    I am considering purchasing an XT over the nonturbo, but am a little concerned about MPG.

    I do think it could be coaxed a bit for higher mpgs. I used to have a Mini Cooper S, which was supercharged, EPA was 28hwy, and i consistently got 32 mpg AVERAGE with a 6 speed.

    What are you guys seeing?
  • tinycadontinycadon Posts: 287
    Best I got on 400mi hwy trip was 26mpg (hand calculated at fill up) doing 65-70; 24mpg doing 70-75; mixed-city biased driving has been in the 16-18mpg range.
  • jrock56jrock56 Posts: 5
    Do you fill it up with premium?

    I got great gas mileage on regular before with the MiniS.

    I guess its just a personal preference.
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