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Nissan Versa Real World MPG



  • tab00tab00 Posts: 18
    for those interested this is a good link to show how the EPA rating is tested. (Someone else may have posted this before) It is a good read everyone should have a look.

    according to these stites (and it's on the internet so it must all be true) :) here is how the the different milages are calculated.

    "City: Represents urban driving, in which a vehicle is started with the engine cold and driven in stop-and-go rush hour traffic. The driving cycle for the test includes idling, and the vehicle averages about 20 mph."

    "Highway: Represents a mixture of rural and Interstate highway driving with a warmed-up engine, typical of longer trips in free-flowing traffic. Average test speed is about 48 mph and includes no intermediate stops or idling."

    but wait there is more ...

    "In the 1980s, an EPA study found that drivers were typically achieving lower fuel economy than predicted by EPA laboratory tests. As a result, EPA required the laboratory-derived city and highway MPG estimates posted on the labels of new vehicles to be adjusted downward by 10 percent for city estimates and by 22 percent for highway estimates to better reflect the MPG real-world drivers can expect."

    WHAT! so by this am I to infer that Nissan, even under controlled conditions, achieved not 30/34 but something more like 33/43. Ya right, in who's dreams? In fact the 10%/22% difference is about the difference I am getting now. It's almost like in the test someone forgot that step ;)

    Keep in mind this is not in any way a new car. As I posted earlier, Nissan had a point of reference, the Tiida. Yes it has a smaller engine (1.5ltr) and presumably is more efficient, but it has been sold for a couple of years and has had time to collect "real world" data. It should have been easy to compare the results to the 1.8ltr and see if the numbers hold up.

    For those on this thread that keep expressing how great the interior is, I don't disagree it has a fabulous interior for the price point, but that is not the point of this discussion. What is more the interior is not sooo great as to off set the value in the cost of operation/ownersip.
    some one else on this board made a point about the differnce in the monthly cost between 30mpg and ~24mpg. I figure that based on my driving this car will cast me between $25 and $30 a month more as comparied to the "City" rate posted by Nissan. (I'll spare you the detailed calculations). Is that a lot of money, um.. yes! That would cover ny Netflix bill, I am a gamer, it would pay for a new game every month. The point is it adds up. Also I for one don't think that the price of gas will stay at $3.00 a gallon long. I bet we hit $4.00 a gallon in the next year or two.

    Basically I look at it like this. I bought this car principally because it was reported as being a generally fuel efficient vehicle. I chose it over other vehicles because of its comfort and slightly better peformance. Knowing what I know today I would have kept shopping.

    Hey skoobahead1, I would be curious what you wrote to Nissan, care to post? I thin I am about to do the same.
  • benduprebendupre Posts: 121
    I second that emotion.

    I'm coming down from a V6 Sable and I wasn't even sure I'd be comfortable in a "rollerskate". But that's what I decided to shop for based on 1)Fuel Economy, 2)Comfort, and 3)Cargo. I feel like for the ACTUAL economy I'm getting, I could have been shopping for a bigger car and scored even better on 2 and 3.

    I'd been telling myself for at least three years that when the sable goes, I'm going to get a rollerskate that's great on gas. It's just me in the car 99% of the time so if I could be comforatable and if I had room to haul my grass clippings to the city disposal site every week, I'd be happy. I was torn between a rollerskate and a small pickup, but I needed a backseat for the once every three months I have to take one of the kids to the doctor, and only mid-large size pickups come with back seat, and don't get 30-36MPG.

    Comparing stickers between models I didn't mind 1-3 MPG difference as long as City was over 30. My daily commute is 3mi county highway, 9mi interstate and less than 1/8 mile from the off-ramp to my parking spot. One stop light in front of the office. 70-75 on the interstate, never enough traffic to slow down. I figured I could at least get the city figure on my almost all highway daily commute.

    Being as MPG was number 1 on my list, I'm extra dissappointed. I love absolutely everything else about the car, but as I said the 1-3 mph penalty for the extra room was worth it. The REAL penalty of 5-10 MPG is not. Knowing what I know now about the mileage, I would have went with an even smaller car. Then I'd more satisfied because at least no one can "lie" to you about how much space there is in a vehicle.

  • Tab00,

    It went something like this:

    I am writing to let you know about my disappointment in my 2007 Nissan Versa purchase. I have used 3 full tanks of gas and am only averaging 24.5 MPG. This is a far cry from what you put on the sticker (30/36) and is totally unacceptable. The majority of my driving has been city driving with the AC on. I am not an aggressive driver in any way shape or form.
    It appears I am not alone with my disappointment of what was posted on your sticker and what actual mileage the car gets. If you searh the Versa forums on the internet(Edmunds car space and Nissan/Infinity owners club-NICO) you will find many others with similar mileage complaints and feelings of being misled by your company. I expect you will receive many letters similar to mine.
    I understand the posted EPA of 30/36 is a perfect scenario and I would not hold Nissan to those numbers. The problem I have is that the Versa doesn't even come close to those figures, yet you advertise it to do so.
    I purchased this vehicle because I needed a car with excellent fuel economy. What I ended up with was a compact car with the fuel economy of a midsize sedan.
    Please forward this information to Nissans Technical department as perhaps there is something that can be done.
    In addition, please do not tell me that "your mileage may vary" or "your car needs time to break in".

    Thanks for looking into this matter


    Your thoughts on this purchase mirror mine...DITTO
    "No one can lie to you about how much space there is in a vehicle"--LOL...perfect
  • benduprebendupre Posts: 121
    Either there is some truth to this "break-in" rumor, or I'm just learning how to drive all over again. But my last fill yielded 29.162 MPG. I'm a lot more pleased with this number. The optimist sees one favorable data point and reads a trend :D
  • Glad to hear it Bendupre! :)
    How many miles on this fill up and what type of driving?
    Lets hope Versa's need break in :shades:
  • flightnurseflightnurse 35K feetPosts: 2,065
    Funny how people have to pick at things..

    My first real tank I got 26, the last couple were 27, and now 29. Its getting better My last car was a 2000 Ford Contour I was getting 24. The Versa is far better then the Contour and if the mileage keeps getting better, I'll be happier..

    Tony :shades:
  • jacksan1jacksan1 Posts: 504
    Just for your reference, the 1.5 L CVT Tiida in Japan is rated by the notoriously unrealistic official system at approx. 43MPG. I have scoured the 'net to see what the real people are saying about their Tiidas' mileage in Japan, and most people are reporting something in the neighborhood of 28~29MPG, with a few reporting as high as 38MPG and as low as 16MPG. By the way, 29MPG in Japan, especially in urban settings, is a pretty good number.
  • Here's a link to what Popular Mechanics got for mileage numbers on the new subcompacts. An interesting read for sure
  • jacksan1jacksan1 Posts: 504
    Whoa, the article is a tough indictment against the Versa's mileage.
  • There does seem to be something magical about that 30 mpg figure!

    I have a newer 6sp SL with about 500 miles on it that I bought instead of replacing my Camry with a similar car. So far I've noticed several downsides compared with the larger car: 1) more engine/road noise, especially on the freeway; 2) no quite as much front seat leg room; 3) and a much less efficient stereo (given that the rear speakers no longer have a trunk behind them); longer overall cabin for hauling long (2x4x8) items. I'm still enjoying the refined interior and fun to drive quality, but I believe that I will expect more than 30 mpg city to feel good about the purchase down the road.

    So far, only (at least) 28.5 miles on the first tank with about 20/80 city/interstate (75 mph) driving. I'm working on my second tank and will post updates.

  • Shouldn't we be comparing the mileage of the Versa to the Matrix (1.8L) and the Focus (2.0 L); cars with very comparable interior space.

    For instance, the Matrix is heavier and slower and only 1-2 inches longer and wider than the Versa. The Versa has more rear leg room and only falls short a few cubic feet in storage space.

    Matrix owners on Carpspace report more than 30 mpg on average (EPA estimated 30/36 with the 5spd). The lowest reported number was 27 but fewer overall complaints. I'd say this is good indication that most owners are hitting the low end of the EPA estimates.

  • jacksan1jacksan1 Posts: 504
    >>There does seem to be something magical about that 30 mpg figure!

    I was thinking about the psychology of 30MPG earlier. If converted to km/L, 30MPG translates into about 12.7km per liter. 29MPG is about 12.3km per liter. Coming from Japan, I can tell you that no one there would give a rat's a** about the difference between 12.7 and 12.3km per liter. But in the U.S., 30MPG is a sacred and inviolable territory, and failing that is a deadly sin of economy cars. Rather interesting how our minds work....
  • benduprebendupre Posts: 121
    You're right. The Matrix and Focus are more comparable in size/weight/engine displacement to the Versa.

    But more importantly, I think, is the disparity of Versa to it's published numbers when comapred to other vehicles.

  • jacksan1jacksan1 Posts: 504
    I really think that Nissan made a mistake by not bringing to North America the 1.5L version Versa. I know, as others have said, that Nissan was likely concerned about the performance due to its extra weight. But when I drove a 1.5L (CVT) Tiida in Japan, I saw that it had a remarkable low-end torque which made me completely forget that it had such a small engine, despite the fact that there were four adults riding. My cousin, who owns a Subaru Forester, drove it also, and he said he was astounded by this 1.5L's flexibility and smoothness. I think 1.5 would have been fine in the U.S., and gotten a better mileage also.
  • kc7kc7 Posts: 96
    From my observation, more people are getting close to 30 combined than 24. I think that 24 is a " unique " case.

    Also I think one should not be too obsessed with psychological numbers like 30. I mean I know why many prices of stuff in shops around the world is labelled $29.9 instead of $30, precisely for the same reason, people thought it's cheaper, even though the difference is so slight.

    I understand the disappointment of people who read Nissan's earlier claims. But just that deep inside, I just felt that it could be unrealistic to expect a car of Versa's size and extra weight, plus bigger engine, to be able to come within 2 mpg of Fit / Yaris's 1500 cc engine mpg figures plus their smaller, lighter body.

    Anyway, 29-31 mpg combined for a car of Versa's size, comfort and power, while not very impressive, is I think no cause for alarm. Unless you are getting below 25 several times.

    For the guy who thinks $23+ a month extra is expensive, buddy, come on, you can afford a $15k+ new car, are you SURE $23 a month hurts ? It just sounds like a guy who can afford a new super computer, yet feels pain at having to pay a bit more electric bills for that computer.

    Anyway, I remember someone say " The grass is always greener in somebody else's pastures ". Who knows, at the sametime Versa owners are fretting abt the mpg figures, some Fit / Yaris owners are fretting about wanting more space and comfort / power like the Versa ?

    For those who wrote to Nissan, I suggest at the sametime you try to lobby them to sell the 1500 cc Versa. In Japan its clear that that engine, the HR15DE is 25% more fuel efficient ! Thats about the difference between the 1.8 Versa and 1.5 Fit / Yaris !

    So if you want a Versa with mpg close to Fit, then the 1.5 Versa is it, just that the fun and power of the current 1.8 Versa will be reduced. Like I said, you can't have it all. You want big sedan size cabin, more power, fuel sipping of a small Fit, at the same price. Not easy I think. Its like demanding a first class seat for almost economy class price.

    If I am Nissan, I WILL also sell the 1500 cc Versa. Let the consumer make his/her pick !
  • kc7kc7 Posts: 96
    My sentiments exactly ! Before the Versa is born in USA, I have already reported here several times that I have also test driven the 1500 cc Versa, and that I am also astounded at that engine's brutal strength at low rpms. More than enough to get the job done.

    In fact, I think if a Versa 1.5 is born in the USA, Honda and Toyota will know fear for the first time. A 1.5 Versa will cost a bit less than the 1.8, have mpg so close to Fit/Yaris that they feel uncomfortable, and will have enormous appeal !

    Maybe Nissan USA is worried that US consumers may think a Versa 1.5 is underpowered. But I think they should forget about that fear, as a test drive could easily convince people that the 1.5 Versa is sufficiently powered.

    Bring in the 1.5 Versa ! Big sedan cabin space plus 35+ mpg combined !
  • jacksan1jacksan1 Posts: 504
    My cousin had bought a Forester about three months before driving a 1.5L Tiida. He confided to me after the drive that he momentarily thought that he should probably have considered a Tiida. That is quite a statement. He wasn't wondering about the Tiida after he bought a Fit or Vitz (Yaris). He was comparing the Tiida with his brand-new Forester and said to himself "Maybe I would have been better off with the Tiida." And this Tiida had a 1.5L engine. Nissan should have talked to my cousin before sending only 1.8L to North America.
  • flightnurseflightnurse 35K feetPosts: 2,065
    Problem is the engines in Japan do not meet EPA regulations, so once Nissan made the 1.5l comply with the EPA, the car might not have been as peppy..

    Tony :shades:
  • benduprebendupre Posts: 121
    Isn't detuning for smog about the same as detuning for mileage? Exhaust train would be the same in US as Japan/China wouldn't it?

    The 1.8 was definitely fitted because NISSAN guesed the American market would want power. Probably also why the programming is the way it is. I'm sure the engineers could squeeze out a couple more MPG with tweaks in the programming, but it would surely lose some power at the same time.

    I've been wondering if the engine "learning" is the reason my mileage is creeping up. Could be my foot learning as well.

  • kc7kc7 Posts: 96
    Are you sure ? Because as far as I know the Japanese government also regulates emissions etc. very strictly.

    Heres some info :

    Or you can type hr15de in google and read many articles abt this engine.

    From my memory, the engine of the 1.5 Versa has the same horsepower as the 1.5 of the Fit and Yaris, BUT the HR15DE has bigger torque. Thus this engine has greater pulling power and better fuel economy vs the Fit and Yaris's engine (assuming they are pulling the SAME body weight).

    Just that in the Tiida, which is heavier than Fit, the 1.5 Versa can be said to be as fuel efficient as the Fit. Otherwise, the HR15DE will win.

    Trust me, once you test drive the 1.5 version, you will not feel the Versa 1.5 lacks pep. You may even feel Nissan has sold you an overpowered Versa 1.8 which, not surprisingly, burns more gas.

    I really hope enough consumers will lobby Nissan North America to bring in the 1.5 version. Many people will smile once they tasted this car. I have been there, done that.
  • kc7kc7 Posts: 96
    Heres a bit of info to back my statements earlier :

    Versa HR15DE max. power 108.5 PS / 6000 rpm (in other sites its stated as 109 PS). Vs Fit's 109 PS / 5800 rpm (on par)

    Here's where the difference happens, the torque.
    HR15DE has a torque of 109 lbft @ 4400 rpm, the Fit's torque is 105 lbft @ 4800 rpm.

    Though the difference is only 4 lbft, but I read somewhere that in car engines, such differences in torque adds up to a difference obvious to the driver and performance.

    The more I remember abt the Versa 1.5, the more I think Nissan is making a BIG mistake if they later stubbornly refuses to sell the 1.5 version.
  • kc7kc7 Posts: 96
    With all respects, the Versa is no mini. In fact, I feel that the Versa's interior space feels MORE roomy than the Accord ! Even the Camry.

    Could Versa owners verify my statement. I swear that the Versa " expands " once the owner gets inside the car, like toy soldiers moving once the kids have fallen asleep !
  • jacksan1jacksan1 Posts: 504
    >>Problem is the engines in Japan do not meet EPA regulations, so once Nissan made the 1.5l comply with the EPA, the car might not have been as peppy..

    This is possible, but I doubt that. Japan's emission regulation standards are neck and neck with those of EPA's when it comes to being strict. Of course, there are different requirements between the two systems, so the re-programming may cause a slight change in the engine characteristics. But a big drop in performance is not likely.

    Tiida (Versa)'s 1.5L engine (HR15DE) is already SULEV-rated, so that means it does not have too much left to do to make it cleaner. And boy, does it perform well!
  • flightnurseflightnurse 35K feetPosts: 2,065
    Yes the Interior space of the Versa is large for a Sub Compact, head and knee space is large, but shoulder space is small. I have a co worker who is 6'5 and he sits in the back seat behind me (6') with no complaints and getting in and out isn't a issue for him...

    Tony :shades:
  • leahcolleahcol Posts: 4
    I am just re-checking in with my figures. I last posted #97. I now have over 1200 miles on my Versa (6 spd MT). As I posted before, I got 34.27 on my 2nd tank. On my 3rd tank I got 34.56 and on my last tank (filled yesterday) I got 35.54. I always fill up same place and go 1 click to top off. I'm not lying and don't believe you all are either. What could be the difference. I don't stress to drive carefully, but I do live in northern AZ And in the morning and evening I don't always need the A/C on. I drive 120 miles a day and would be really mad if I was getting what you all are for MPG. But I am really happy with my MPG. The only thing that worries me is that my TPMS light is on and the dealership is fixing a glitch in the system tomorrow. I hope this won't somehow Wreck my good MPG!!! :surprise: Leahcol
  • benduprebendupre Posts: 121
    120 Miles/day must be highway. How fast do you drive?

    "one click to top off" what does that mean? You stop when the pump stops, or you actually top off the tank (fill the pipe)?

  • leahcolleahcol Posts: 4
    It is a 2 lane country highway. Through one town with no lights, then one town with 2 lights. I drive 65- 70 mph. I change about 2000 ft in altitude between work and home. I am able to leave it in sixth almost the whole way. I top off the tank.
  • oregoneoregone Posts: 11
    297 miles
    9.005 gallons
    33 mpg

    This includes a trip over the cascade mountains, 50 miles of which was on a one-lane gravel logging road.

    My TPM indicator is also broken, and will take it in tomorrow. Hope they wash the car for me...
  • benduprebendupre Posts: 121
    Wow you're brave. I'm scared to drive my new car on gravel, and we have a lot of gravel roads here in Iowa.

  • tab00tab00 Posts: 18
    You more than any one I really want to know more about how you drive. I ust went through another tank, 24.1. and I babied it about all I could. I can't understand what I am doing wrong to get a 10mpg difference. I am trying to think of everything that could effect my MPG.

    I am shifting at 24-2700rpm, religiously. For the last tank I started driving a different route to work that lets me maintain a speed of about 55. I did not hit 65 ever on that tank. There are some stop lights, 9 all total as I recall, but the first 4 are regulated to turn green in order. All of that is within about 2 miles.

    Oh, and to KC7 if $25 a month is not that big a deal to you then I will forward my address and you can just send me a check, I am sure it is not that big a deal, right? My point has always been that the milage, in my experience, has always been so grossly out of estimate that in hind sight I would not have purchased the car. I don't think anyone questions that the interior is the top winner of its class and maybe even of most lower end sedans.

    I agree that the 1.5 should be intorduced here. I would probably have looked seriously at it, however if the MPG rating was reported as 48 and I got 32 I'd be just as pissed as I am now!

    One thing I looked up and found interesting is that the Sentra has a 1.8ltr engine that is touted as having about 2-3 more horses. The car weighs less. but it has a 28 city rating. So how is it that the Versa with more weight and less power than the Sentra can out perform it in milage. I cant imagine that the CoD is that much of a difference, if anything Versa should have less.

    If someone bought a Versa principally because because of it's space and/or power then you must be deluded. This class of car has two distinct advantages, price and efficiency. It fails on at least one (in my experience). I really hope to see it get better.

    I think I am going to start hounding Nissan to fix the issue. If some people are getting 30+ then why can't I? Is it defective? I would prefer the answer be yes and get corrected then to be no, and "you just stuck with a below average milage for the class car"

    Thants all I've got. At the moment my opinion to people considering purchasing this car is do not buy it because you think you will get good milage.
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