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Subaru B9 Tribeca - Real World MPG Numbers

patpat Posts: 10,421
edited August 2014 in Subaru
What sort of mileage are you seeing in your B9 Tribeca? Let's talk about it here.


  • occkingoccking Posts: 346
    If anyone interested... Have had my Tribeca 10 days, and have put on almost 1500 miles, mostly highway including a trip from Prov RI area to Montreal, one to NY City & one to VT. Combined gas mileage per trip computer 22.8, actual mileage based on actual fuel consumption 21.9 I purchase a demo so it already had 10,000 miles so I assume it has been well broken in.

    It seems as though for "around town" stuff I will get between 17.5 and 18.

    Only complaint so far is the Nav system, very inaccurate (at times) in giving mileage to a particular destination. Also, the time shown to get to a destination is far, far off. I know it can vary depending on what particular route you may take. As example, from Prov, RI area to where we went in Jamaica, NY I have drive several times and approx 190 miles. So, why does the computer tell me less than 180? My car is now like a "crow" it must go over highways not in the air. Also, why would it tell me over 4 hours for the trip when it should only take around 3 hours 15 minutes driving time (not including traffic)

    Anyone else out there have similar problems??
  • b9bingob9bingo Posts: 46
    on the nav. trip "A" which has been running since 0 miles, I'm getting 15.0 mpg avg. And on trip "B" which gets reset every time I fill up I'm getting 17.0 mpg avg. mixed city/highway. If I do just highway I get 20.9 mpg avg. I have just over 9000 miles on the B9, and its a fully loaded limited 7 passenger. I will admit I have a heavy foot, some would say really heavy foot, but the avg. gas miles I'm getting just plain sucks. I always use Super 93/94 octane gas. When I bought the truck I was expecting to get 19 mpg avg. city/highway. Oh well! I love this truck and would do it all over again if I had to, But Subaru lied to me about the mpg..........

    Your a Sucker I'm a Sucker we're all Suckers Too!!!!!!!
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Well actually, the car manufacturer has to report the EPA findings (to the best of my knowledge, this is not optional), and those findings are derived from pristine testing conditions - conditions that the average driver would never get to.

    That's why we're having a real-world mpg reporting discussion, for the benefit of those who drive in the, um, real world. ;)
  • occkingoccking Posts: 346
    Are you saying you have averaged only 15 mpg since you have had the vehicle over 9000 miles? I don't have a heavy foot. On the highway though, traffic conditions allowing I may drive in low 70's. Maybe twice now for a few moments went up to 80. Have resisted the temptation for jackrabbit starts (well, maybe a few times) This car seems like a jet for me compared to the 05 Outback I had for 1 1 2/ years with just the basic 4 cylinder non turbo. That car, by the way had EPA ratings of 23 to 28. On only a few occasions did I ever avereage less than 22. On trips similar to the onces I described in previous posting, virtually all highway, I would average around 27 to 28 per trip computer, and 25.5 to 26.5 based on actual consumption. For the past 5 or 6 cars I have owned, I almost always get the gas mileage suggested by EPA sticker. And, the actual mileage is always less than what the computers indicate, no matter which vehicle. It almost seems as though fuel consumption indicated by trip computers is intentionally higher than actual.

    For my first 1500 miles in current vehicle I have been using premium. I am aware that premium usage is "recommended' and not "required". During the next few weeks I expect I will play around and start to use mid and regular grade. Probably first try them when I am about eo embark on a long trip. Heck one trip to Montreal and I will burn what's in the tank in 6 hours. I have a feeling I will not notice any difference in performance and quite possibly in gas mileage either. When I know I will be close to home & maybe take a week to burn off on tank full, probablyh stick with premium. If no change in performance or gas consumption during highway usage, will then go to lower grade for around town. For anyone interested I will report back during the next few months what results I come up with.
  • I have averaged about 19mpg for almost 2000 miles. I've gotten as high as 24 on the freeway and as low as 15 or so in town. I played with the different octanes a bit, and I think the mileage and performance are better with premium, so I'm sticking with it. I also noticed that the CPU is much closer to actual with premium!? I do drive more calmly with the mpg sitting in front of me all the time...
  • b9bingob9bingo Posts: 46
    Are you saying you have averaged only 15 mpg since you have had the vehicle over 9000 miles?

    Yes that's exactly what I'm saying.
  • tsportytsporty Posts: 13
    We just got back from a 2600 mile road trip from San Diego to the Pacific Northwest (Coastal Redwoods are magnificent!) and back. Including city driving days in San Francisco, and Portland plus lots of traffic and road work in Oregon (they seem to be working on the entire coast highway right now) and several Mtn. passes we averaged 22.3 MPG according to the trip computer which seems pretty accurate. That has brought our overall MPG for 8000 miles up to 19.8 since the daily commute includes only about 1 mile of Freeway most of our other miles are city/suburban. Not great but not too bad.
    The engine/transmission does work hard to get over the Mtn. passes but more than adequate power and sport-shifting does give more control over keeping the engine in the sweet spot.

    By the way the Tribeca was a great traveling car for us. Lots of room to pack and move around, Seats were comfortable for all day, great ride and handling, ipod plugged in when the radio stations sucked, nav not perfect but very helpful and the rear DVD was handy when arriving at a campsite too late to set up a fire- had a couple of beers and watched a movie in the reclining back seats.

    Not a perfect car but capable, comfortable and with great driving dynamics we are even happier with our purchase- ready to take her out for more road trips soon.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I had a loaner for a week and got mileage anywhere from 13mpg with a lead foot up to 25mpg on the highway. Overall average was 20.4mpg, and when I filled up the computer on mine turned out to be pessimistic, as I measured just over 21mpg.

  • occkingoccking Posts: 346
    IN a little over two weeks, for 2200 miles average per trip computer 22.5, actual per usage 21.7. Probably 83% highway, the rest a mix of city & urban. Like I said before, purchased a demo with 10,000 miles so already broken in.

    Only other problem low tire pressure light was on most of today on my 500 mile trip, stopped by a Subaru dealer in Bennington, VT. They were very pleasant, took my car into shop put it up on lift & determined one tire was about 2 lbs less than the rest, that was causing the light in dash to go on. I guess that sort of stuff covered under the basic 36,000 warrranty.

    While I have everyone's attention how about some prices on extended warranties. I got 100,000, 5 year, Classic -0- deductible for $1000. Still time to turn it in, could I do better? How much more would the gold one cost for same time frame.
  • tsporty,

    Quick question regarding you comment re. the engine/transmission working hard uphill, could you elaborate... was it difficult to accelorate? how hard did you have to really push it? did it maintain desired speed?

    many thanks
  • tsportytsporty Posts: 13
    Just that the vehicle is heavy and the engine (torque) output is modest and so downshifting is inevitable when climbing hills. Even with the transmission mapping/electronics there sometimes can be a bit of hunting -though I find anticipating the hill and being a bit more deliberate on the throttle minimizes that. When you put it into sportshift manumatic mode you are completely in control and so the vehicle behaves a bit better I think.

    I never had any problems with maintaining speed as long as you downshifted-even in quite steep passes, so sometimes you had to get down into third for short time-I must admit the engine doesn't have the greatest sound but gets the job done just fine. Even in third you are only going to get up into about 4500 RPM when you are pushing it and it will accelerate or maintain just about any speed up the steepest hill.

    A lot of us have gotten used to having a vehicle with way more power than one really needs and so some folks get pissed that a vehicle even has to downshift. I think a modest sized efficient engine that works great in day to day driving and has to work a bit when called upon is just fine. Though one could make the argument that a more powerful engine would stay in the higher more efficient gears longer and thus could be more efficient (Toyota's 3.5 V6 comes to mind) that only goes so far. I noted Car & Driver didn't find the Lexus RX350 particularily efficient -about 16 MPG-despite the claimed EPA mileage estimates.

    I drone on a bit but my take on it. I have a WRX for speed, the Tribeca is for comfort and function.
  • mikejlmikejl Posts: 78
    The trip computers reset themselves at 10,000 miles, so I don't have a complete running total of the mpg since day one. However, I keep a pretty close eye on it and I can say with certainty that I have averaged right at 19.5 mpg over the first 37,000 miles. That is in very mixed driving - full-out highway to big-city rush hour.

    In stop-and-go traffic (city driving), I'll see as low as 15-16 mpg. On a trip just this past weekend, I averaged 25.6 for about 50 miles on a two-lane highway with little traffic and traveling about 60 mph the whole way.

    I always run premium gas and I almost always use Sport Mode.

    These are real-world numbers.
  • morey000morey000 Posts: 384
    I'm gathering that those reported mpg values are right off of the trip computer. Have you checked the trip computer against actual mileage (by dividing the number of miles travelled since the last fill-up, with the gallons used)?

    37,000 miles. Wow. That's exactly 36,874 miles more than what's on my Tribeca. :shades:
  • occkingoccking Posts: 346
    Just passed 19,000 on my Tribeca. Got the vehicle at 10,000 miles and have put on over 9000 miles in less than three months. Per trip computer have averaged 22.2 since I got the vehicle. Actual mpg, based on actual fuel consumption is approx 21.5. Just got back from two day trip to New Brunwick (Canada) 1050 miles in less than two days, mileage for the 4 fillups was exactly 23.1, per trip computer 23.7. Always, actual mileage is a little less than trip computer indicates. Lately I have been running high test as it has only been 20 cents gallon higher than regular but, I must admit the times I have run lower octane I have noticed absolutely no difference in performance.
  • mikejlmikejl Posts: 78
    These numbers are indeed right off the trip computer.

    I've had trip computers in most of my vehicles since 1985. I've never had one that was completely accurate, but I've gotten used to relying on them as an indication that nothing is 'going wrong' with the vehicle, as long as the readings remain relatively consistent.

    Back in the early days, I used to compute every tankful on a calculator to get accurate mpg numbers, but I've gotten away from that the last few years. I don't know if the absolute accuracy became less important or if I've just gotten lazy, but I do tend to use the trip computer numbers too literally these days.

    So, maybe the number is 19.0 or 18.5 or something else. It's still right in the ballpark of the 18/23 EPA ratings, which I think is important to note.
  • tupintupin Posts: 71

    Hey, you should have come a little farther to PEI. We have a motel here. Next time you come this way let me know. We have a Tribeca and now my father is getting one. So we could have a mini-Tribeca rally.
  • occkingoccking Posts: 346
    I do want to come up next summer. I do a lot of business in Canada, more in Quebec & a little in New Brunswick (but, still far away from you, Edmunston)

    I want to get back to Halifax area, last was there in 2000 when they had the "tall ships" Love that area. Haven't been to PEI since then but used to go every year over there for a few days, stayed in Cavendish (White Eagle Cabins) Water nice & warm in summer but stopped going cause too many Jellyfish that time of year. I think you wrote to me once before (you bought your Tribeca in Maine somewhere?) areen't you in Bridgewater or Charlotte?

    So our "host" wont throw out this message, let's chat a bit on the purpose of this forum. Are there yet any Subaru dealers in PEI? If not, I would imagine you will have to go down to Moncton or Fredrickton for service if you needed it?

    You probably have the only Tribeca in PEI, right?
  • tupintupin Posts: 71
    I have seen one other Tribeca here on the Island but don't know if it was a tourist or not. I actually live in Summerside

    So in the next couple of weeks I will be going back to Maine to get my father his tribeca....a blue 5 pass limited. Also, you are right...Moncton is the closest dealer...1.5 hours from me. Hopefully they will get a dealer here again soon.
  • dsjqdsjq Posts: 2
    Hi everyone,

    New member here. I was wondering what everyone's experiences were on using regular vs. premium gas for the B9? Vehicles that require premium are a major non-selling point for me, but, it seems several people here have used regular gas with no adverse effects.
    Is it bad for a car like the B9 to put it on regular for the entire time one owns it? What would you advise?
    Thanks. :)
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    We confirmed with Subaru that premium is recommended, but not required.

  • morey000morey000 Posts: 384
    I just finished my first tank of gas (91). The car said I got 21.0 mpg, and dividing the miles by gallons indicates 20.8. Obviously- I've been driving her very easily during the break-in period.

    Frankly- that's about the same mileage that I would have gotten from my 1999 4.3L v6 Chevy Blazer in the same conditions (with regular gas). About the same weight vehicle, with more torque but a bit less hp.

    I'm neither impressed nor dissappointed.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    She's still green, give her time to break in and mileage should improve.

  • yoyodkyoyodk Posts: 28
    I have a little over 11K on my 2006 Tribeca and have exclusively filled with premium gas. I filled up at a Sam's Club the other day and the price for regular was too tempting at $2.25, while premium was running at $2.50 (no mid-grade). Well, it was just one tank, but it's probably the last tank of regular I put in it. I have to drive hilly terrain every day to and from work, and boy was the car sluggish, plus my mileage dipped from 21.0 MPG to 18.3 MPG. I filled up with premium with the next fill up and the car is back to its normal self, not a hot-rod, but certainly not a Yugo!
  • occkingoccking Posts: 346
    Don't want to question you on your calculations, but it is really hard to believe mileage dipped over 10% for just one tank of regular. I am now approaching 20,000 on my Beca, got it at 10k as a demo and, per trip computer have averaged 21.9 since I got the vehicle. But, we all know those computers always overstate the actual milage by at least 5%. My actual consumption during this period is just about 20.5. I also have used premium more often than not. When I am taking a long trip & the diff btwn regular & high test is like 25 - 30 cents I have tried regular, knowing I will use it up in just a few hours and have noticed no difference either in performance or gas mileage. When I know I am going nowhere for a week or so & just local commuting, tend to use high test.
  • kmartinkmartin Posts: 427
    I now have 22k miles on mine, and I can definitely tell a difference in acceleration (and a little in mpg, around 1 mpg) between regular and premium, especially after running a couple straight tanksful. I wonder if it could be that we have different type fuels out here (we switch to part ethynol in winter time in AZ because of the higher pollution). Also, I almost always get my gas at one of two places, so I'm pretty consistent.

    For me, I'd rather have the extra acceleration in traffic, even though better MPG is probably the more "politically" correct choice.

    -Karen in AZ-
  • yoyodkyoyodk Posts: 28
    I'm not sure what calculations you're referring to and yes, I know the trip computer is almost a full mile/gallon optimistic. I have to climb a 1,300 foot mountain every day to work and with regular gas, the car would just bog down on the incline, so I would have to kick it down a gear just to maintain my speed. Anyway, for the many who have nice flat commutes, the difference is perceived power is probably insignificant.
  • occkingoccking Posts: 346
    Interesting.... I have pretty much decided also to run premium for the most part; only exception may be if when travelling away from home & have a lot of highway driving to do & premium 30 cents or so higher than regular I may run that occasinally.

    Perhaps with the kind of commute you have there would be more of a difference in performance between both grades.
  • morey000morey000 Posts: 384
    Let's see if I get this right. Engineers are people who think they know how things work:

    Premium fuel, with higher octane, slows the combustion of the fuel. So, in an engine designed for 91 octane- the spark timing is advanced a bit to allow for a smoother and more thorough combustion, and slightly higher power. If you use lower octane fuel, it will burn too fast- before the piston is ready to be pushed fully down, and you will get a 'knock'- so the car, with a knock sensor, will retard the ignition timing to avoid the knock, and thereby reduce power a bit.

    This comes into play mostly at lower RPM, as at higher RPMs you don't have very much time for combustion anyway.

    So- when on the highway at higher RPM, you can get away with lower octane (faster burning) fuel (I think??). When lugging the engine up a grade at low RPM, higher octane is more important.

    Also- when it's hotter, fuel burns faster, so the hotter the temp (or your engine as well as the air being sucked into it), the more important higher octane fuel becomes. If it's cold and you're running continuously at higher RPMs, you probably won't notice much of a differene between octane grades.

    There's also more oxygen in the air at lower altitudes, so you need a higher octane in Los Angeles than you do in Denver... but it comes that way at the pumps in different locations. The oil companies already know this, so they offer us lower octane fuel in locations where they know that we don't need it.
  • occkingoccking Posts: 346
    I am no engineer but would you have said sounds logical. I would run regular more often than not if I was absolutely certain doing so would incur not necessarily more repairs down the road but eventually affect the efficiency of the motor, say at 50 - 60 miles which I will have in 18 months or so, or a"build up" of carbon or some other ugly stuff that would have a significant effect on performance, and possibly gas mileage. We all know premium is "recommended" not "required"

    Car will get another test starting tomorrow morning, have around a 1200 mile trip up from Prov RI area up near Kingston Ont, upto Montreal & back home Thursday evening. Already filled with high test now but next fill up in NY State I may try regular when tank almost empty. See what happens.....
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Octane only measures a resistance to pre-ignition, there isn't any more energy content in 93 octane vs. 87. In fact some of the additives they use to boost octane actually lower the energy content.

    So the drop in mileage probably has more to do with the fact that you had to mash the throttle to get the same performance from lower octane.

    Performance will drop, no question. Back when the H6 made 212hp, Subaru actually officially rated the engine at 208hp on regular fuel, so you lost 4hp. With a higher-tuned engine, you may lost more, say 6-10 hp or so.

    The knock sensor will retard the spark timing to prevent pre-ignition, and retarded timing produces less HP. You probably use more throttle to compensate, and that means lower MPG.

    So go for the premium. The difference only adds up to about $150 per year, or just $12 a month.

This discussion has been closed.