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Nissan Altima Hybrid Real World MPG

dunkmeisterdunkmeister Posts: 3
edited September 2014 in Nissan
Got my NAH on December 1st and just filled my tank for the first time. My MPG calculation came out at 29.8, which seems a bit low. The computer's estimate was 31.5. Since I've hardly driven the car this month when the temperature has been above freezing, I was wondering if the cold temperature is to blame for the somewhat dismal fuel economy, given that I've been driving the car rather wimpishly. Driving has been split 60/40 country (45-55 mph)/city (30 mph). Has anyone here made any comparisons of fuel economy between winter and summer driving? And what have you been getting for MPG?


  • emgremgr Posts: 109
    I got my NAH one day before you did. and I have about the same MPG as you are showing. Yes the Temp and the fact that the car is not broken in. I just filled up with my second tank last night. I use Shell and I noticed a difference in power...more. Don't know if that is typical or not, but I like it.
  • There's been some talk already on "Nissan Altima Hybrid Forum" about true mpg. Look at message 201 (hope the link will work).

    I've made about 3000 miles so far and did notice lower mpg in cold weather. For starters your engine has to warm up = wasted gas. And if you use heat, then the engine will keep running even if it's warm, while not moving for example. Turn off the heat and the car shuts off. Good thing for the heated seats.

    Putting better gas and changing oil won't do much to boost your mpg. Some people have been getting even 36pmg from day one, but looks like they live in warmer climates, ie. CA, with better roads.

    I'm in NY, and depending on driving would get 31-36, mostly it's 32-33. That's for 80% highway at high speeds. I make up for it in the city. Still better efficiency then V6.

    Enjoy your hybrid,

  • langjielangjie Posts: 250
    yeah, I was getting 35-36 MPG during the summer/fall. Not that it's winter in New England, my economy dropped by 4-5 MPG.

    I also think that winter gasoline formula's make a difference too.
  • I must have a optimum commute for a hybrid as in the summer I was able to achive about 40 mpg. Since the cold weather has arrive and I've put on four snow tires my milage has dropped to 36 - 37.

    Before the horrific snow commute, about two weeks ago, I was at 37.2 mpg after about 200 miles - after doing the two and a half hour / 20 mile commute the average had dropped to 33.4.
  • langjielangjie Posts: 250
    are you talking about the computer calculated MPG's or do you calculate at the pump? the computer is about 2 MPG overestimated
  • I don't believe the calculation at the pump - at least with my car. I checked my odometer against my Garmin and it ended up under reporting the mileage by about 2% - which is, by coincidence or maybe not, what the difference is between hand calculations and the computer. I also read somewhere else on the web that other drivers discovered the same thing.

    There was a big law suit against Honda and, I think, maybe Nissan as well that previously their odometers were over reporting mileage thus ending warranty coverage sooner so perhaps they're now erring in the opposite direction.
  • Anybody using Nitrogen in tires? I'm curious...

    Don't have NAH yet.....just ole 2005 Altima 2.5S. Noticed after I added Nitrogen tires, got about 8-10% better mileage....during spring/summer months.

    Also have 2006 Sentra 1.8S.....before Nitrogen, it was at 30mpg consitently....after Nitrogen 32-33 consistently during spring/summer.
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 7,966
    I've been doing the nitrogen experiment in two cars for about 10 months now. Other than keeping pressure longer, I really haven't seen any increase in mileage, but I expected that since I tend to keep careful track of my tire pressures and don't let them get low. If I'm running on properly inflated tires, it doesn't really matter what they're inflated with, my mileage will be consistent.

    If, on the other hand, I was one who let my tires go for long periods of time without checking them, I think I would see less of a decrease in mileage as the tire pressures head south slower with nitrogen.

    I have a blog entry about it... Nitrogen: A Noble Gas?

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  • There was a half an hour extensive report on TV recently, about benefits of putting Nitrogen into your tires. Basically there aren't any, unless you are too lazy to check tire pressure at regular intervals.
    As you nicely explained in your blog, Nitrogen will take longer to escape from your tires since the molecules are larger, therefore your tire pressure will be more consistent... and you will get slightly better gas mileage. Over 3/4 of air is already Nitrogen anyway.

    It's just another way for the industry to make money of you. Just keep correct tire pressure, case closed. Paying extra for Nitrogen makes no sense. If it's same price, then sure why not.
  • We just took a 2600 mile road trip for Christmas and the MPG was far less than expected. Two adults for a combined less than 300 lbs and luggage for a week (albiet there is limited space so I'm sure that didn't had enough weight to even complensate for another person), and the average mileage (all highway, minimal stops using cruise) was 31 MPG. Even the days in the city were pretty bad (29-32).

    My thinking is that this car's mileage is affected by the cold more than other cars and that the CVT is "geared" so that it's more for lower speeds and the maximum "gear" doesn't handle 70 - 75 too well.

    On the return from the trip it was warmer and we got our normal 35 or so the last day, but disappointing overall for the trip.
  • langjielangjie Posts: 250
    yep, my MPG went to hell when the cold weather came around.

    I also don't think that the cruise control is very efficient with this car. I find the mileage is better with a personal touch
  • I have experienced the same. Cruise control is a waster on the NAH. I have got better MPG without using cruise control.
  • emgremgr Posts: 109
    It depends how you use it. just to set it on and forget it. No. I use the cancel and resume feature often. I am getting 34 mpg in below freezing weather on this tank.
  • 500e500e Posts: 13
    I tried very hard to drive as if I had an egg between my foot and the accelerator. I also had 120 miles of highway where I averaged 65 mph. This is in the Bay Area where day time temps are in the 50s and night time temps in the 30s and 40s.

    I averaged 30 mpg.
  • emgremgr Posts: 109
    I took a 265 mile trip in sub freezing temperatures on Saturday. My average with lots of hills was 38 mpg. That was my 3rd tank and over 1500 miles.
  • So I've been getting regular gas for my one month old '08 from a couple of NJ gas stations, have a about 3700 miles on it, and I'm getting 32-34mpg at most, but usually 32, or down to 30.5 when it gets really cold.

    Now, last tank I purchased in NY (unfortunately much more expensive then in NJ but had no choice), but on the upside I'm constantly at 34.5 mpg after half a tank driven; same driving habits, same road, same 80 miles daily. What gives?

    I'll be definitely making mental note where I get my gas now. Apparently it does make a difference.

    On another note, I've read a quick article that car companies plan to put more mpg gages (such as in NAH) into more non-hybrid cars. Apparently drivers learn to save as much as 10% of gas just by adjusting their driving habits, that equals $$$ and brings real mpg to what auto maker advertises, so less complains.
  • I have had the car for nearly a year and there is a difference between winter and summer. In the summer I could get around 32mpg, but in the cold Portland winter I am getting 26 to 28. The engine is in the hybrid state only when it is warm and it takes much longer now to get to where the engine turns off when slowing down and at a stop. I find that turning off the heater while I am waiting to the light to change very offen turns off the engine. The reviews of the 2008 version of the NAH all seem to report higher mileage than mine. I am wondering if some change was made to increase mileage.
  • 500e500e Posts: 13
    OK, tank two was quite a bit better than tank one. I think I the car is getting better about getting in and staying in EV. Instead of the 30 mpg I got in my first tank full, I got 32.4 mpg.

    I love the car. I am really glad I got a loaded one with Nav, heated seats, etc. I highly recommend the Tech Package. As neat and polished as the Prius is, I feel this is a much better five-passenger car. And the lease payment I got it identical to the best I could do on a Prius when I was shopping.
  • 500e500e Posts: 13
    OK, I like the car more and more, but the mileage is actually down 1 mpg from the last tank. Lots of freeway miles again. In not too cold Northern California.
  • 500e500e Posts: 13
    Now that's what I am talking about! The break-in period seems to be almost up. The electric motor somehow feels stronger and the mileage is approaching the EPA average estimate.

    I got 19 mpg in my last car. I feel like a saint! Well, maybe like a saint with leather heated seats, Nav, bluetooth and a Bose system.
  • emgremgr Posts: 109
    I am just shy of 3,000 in the very cold and snowy great lakes of PA. I notice that the mileage is increasing. I am very very happy with my Hybrid with tech. Still like my old Garmin Nav better than the Altima but I can live with it. Such a fun car to drive.
  • Every vehicle gets bad fuel numbers in cold weather, but the Hybrid still posts some pretty incredible numbers. Think about it, if a vehicle post lower fuel economy numbers in the city, imagine how crappy it is when you let the car warm up for 15 minutes on a freezing day, going zero mph - it' takes your averages and kills them. When gas gets to $5 a gallon, and people are still commuting solo in big suv's and pickup trucks, you'll be paying several $1,000's of dollars a year less in fuel than they will. A Ford Expedition get's about 10 Mpg city (less really) and your Altima Hybrid 35 ish city. So if the Ford person drives 2000 miles a month (and many people do, and a whole lot more) if gas is $3.50 a gallon, the fuel cost is $700 a month. With the NAH the same travel costs only $199. That's $500 a month or $6,000 a year. Over 4 years, you can save so much money with a hybrid, you can easily fund a very good retirement account, simply by buying a hybrid and getting rid of that big, stupid SUV.
  • langjielangjie Posts: 250
    let's just hope gas doesn't go to $5 a gallon for a lonnnnnggggggg time.
  • gammagirlgammagirl Posts: 11
    Just got a new NAH. I have 125 miles on the car and the computer says that my average MPG is 20. Is this normal fror a brand new car? This seems way, way lower than the posted MPG. I have only driven the car 3 days. I am very gentle. with it.
  • hiwaymanhiwayman Posts: 98
    20 MPG is really low, but with only 125 on the car, I wouldn't worry about it yet. Have all the miles been yours, or were some put on by the dealership? The NAH's definitely get better and better gas mileage as they get broken in. Also, if you're taking short trips in cold weather, that plays hell with your gas mileage. The car doesn't really hit its good mileage until the engine is warmed up for a while. Our gas mileage continued to get better as we learned to drive the car and the machinery got broken in until about the 12K mark.

    Driving a hybrid takes some getting used to. If you drive a NAH like you would a normal car, you'll get normal car mileage. You have to be VERY gentle to get the good gas mileage, as in almost too cautious.

    What I'd suggest you do to is reset the MPG computer above your steering column and see if it gets better. Additionally, I'd bring up the display of instantaneous gas mileage (it's a little rectangle that indicates what your mileage is doing at any given moment). Check your owner's manual if you don't know what I'm talking about. That little bar display will show you if you're being gentle enough. You'll note that when you're coasting to a stop, or going down hill, the bar is all orange (filled in). If you're accelerating hard or going up a hill, it will be empty (showing you're really sucking the fuel). Make a game of it, and see how much you can keep the mileage high. That'll help you retrain your right foot....
  • occkingoccking Posts: 346
    To all. I have posted on some of the other NAH boards recently, just purchased not one, but two NAH's this week. One with fabric roof & convenience, and the other "loaded" with everything including tech package. I am the one in the family that does most of the driving, so, you can guess which one of us got the better model!

    Got my car just yesterday with 7 miles. Now has 410, having made a quick trip to Albany, NY & back (from Providence, RI area)

    The average mpg on trip computer started out very low, and, during the course of the trip went from just 5 or so mpg and by the time I got home now reads 31.5 mpg. Not going to fill er up until I go more miles, not sure if it will go higher or not. It has been my experiences, based on every car I have owned last 15 years with trip computers that none of them are accurate, and the actual gas mileasge is usually 1 or 2 mpg lower than the computer states. When I fill the car up I will have a better idea.. Even that way not the most accurate as I purchased the car with full tank of gas (free from dealer) so I am sure when the pump first "clicked off" that stopped putting more in. When I fill up I usually make sure it is full, you can almost always get another gallon or two in.

    Based on the miles to go until empty (I think 165 or so) it would appear that I can stretch & go around 600 miles on the first tankfull. I will report to all how I do.

    So, maybe because the car is brand new, it will take some time for the computer show accurate average mpg. Just never had a car that took 400 miles to finally reflect it correctly. One other thing that makes absolutely no sense is "mph". Would you believe it started out also at around 8 mpg and after traveling much of the day at highway speeds it now reads about 24 mpg. That makes no sense. I noticed same thing on my wife's car. We got hers & it had a few hundred miles on it as the dealer purchased the car in CT. When I got it said around 33 mpg, now it is down a bit to 30.5. I assume the dealer never touched it so that is mpg since day 1 on the vehicle.

    Anyone else out there have similar experiences?
  • hiwaymanhiwayman Posts: 98
    Don't bet the farm on that AMPG gauge, especially right after it's reset (you can reset it..I do it after every fill up..check your owner's manual). The computer that calcs your average mileage makes that calc since you reset the AMPG. So, if you have just filled up, and you accelerate hard onto an interstate, it will show a very low average MPG because you've gone a mile or so under hard acceleration. As you drive, your AMPG will get better, because the computer will be calcing over more and more miles with more and more variables of speed, acceleration, hills (both ways) etc. The average mileage of your car will get better and better over time as it gets broken in. Also, cold weather lowers gas mileage, and short trips play hell with the mileage because the equipment doesn't get a chance to warm up.

    A few months ago my wife made a snide comment about the low gas mileage the car had gotten when I drove it (based upon that gauge). Next time I had the car, I found a long hill near our house, reset the computer, and rolled down that hill with my foot off the gas. Then drove about 1/2 mile to our house, left the mileage display up, so she'd see the mileage when she got in the car. The mileage showed 77 MPG (impossible to get for any length of time unless you're entire trip is downhill). It took her a while to figure out what I'd done.

    The average speed is just that. It is accurate. This is one of the great misunderstandings of driving. People think that if you've gone 50 for 100 miles, and then you do 80 for another 100 miles, your average speed should be much closer to 80. In reality, your average speed is 65.

    Don't base average numbers on the first few miles you've driven. Zen-like patience my young green car driver, will reveal many mysteries. ;)
  • occkingoccking Posts: 346
    I wish that were the case, but I am 63 and have driven averaging arond 35 - 40k miles for over 30 years. I have had at least 8 cars during past 15 years or so all of which had some sort of computer information center relating the gas mileage, consumption, etc.

    I have never had a car that too 400 miles to eventually show the accurate average miles per gallon. Like I said, when I took it first at 7 miles, ave mpg was around 6 or so and average speed was similar. I can understand that having only a few miles on the vehicle. However after two hours, putting on over 100 miles, the computer should have reset the avg speed to at least 40 or 45 miles per hour. After another hour of 65 miles per hour, it should have increased another 5 miles per hour or so. When I returned home yesterday, wiith over 400 miles driven, even with the stop and go a few times it still only shows low 20's. I just hope the thing is taking a long time to break in and eventually will be accurate. I guess I will tell after I press the reset button the first time & see how quickly the system adapts.

    It really did take the entire trip yesterday for the mpg to increase from 5 to now 31.5 when I got home yesterday. Half way thru the trip yesterday I had gotten the mpg up to around 25. The last few hundred miles got it back to where it shows now.

    With all other vehicles I have owned, once computer reset would b very accurate. There is a long hill down in the Mass Pike near Westfield, MA> I fully understand that if I reset computer & go 6 miles down that hill, at the bottom the mpg will be at the absolute maximum shown (depending on the vehicle). Same thing going up, the absolute minimum. But, aftrer that, drive another six miles under "normal conditions" and the computer will gradually work it's way back to normal.

    Oh well, just hoping the actual mileage I get will be close to what is on sticker. Like I said previously, have never owned a vehicle in which the computer information was not influated by 1 to 2 mpg.
  • occkingoccking Posts: 346
    Well, I have had my NAH exactly one week, and slightly over 1300 miles on the car. Three trips from Providence, RI to Albany, NY area.

    Got the car with 7 miles and full tank of gas (although, probably not quite full as why would dealer go out of their way to squeeze in every ounce!

    Ok, first fill out was at around 440 miles, per tripcomputer 31.5, actual usage per amount of gas used 29. I figured it probably got a litle better than 29 because I filled it to the brim this time. Today filled up again, 585 additional miles trip computer indicated 35 mpg, I squeezed in 18 gallons so realistic mpg was 32.5.
    I am now back home having driven a few hundred more miles & computer says 35 mpg, but actual probably 32 or 33.

    I know the 08's are rated at 33 highway and 35 city, and most of my driving so far has obviously been highway, but still hoping it will improve as the car is broken in.

    During the first 400 miles, the average mpg on computer was very slow to respond, took just about 400 miles to creep up there to close to actual gas mileage. For the average speed, on those first 400 or so mile I never got about 25 mph, and it should have been a little over 50. However after the first "reset" the computer now responds very quickly.

    Curious what other's have to say on gas mileage.
  • gammagirlgammagirl Posts: 11
    I have just under 1000 miles on my 08 NAH. I manually figured out I am getting around 30 mpg mixed driving. I live in NJ and it has been cold especially in the morning when I drive to work. I am hoping that as the weather warms up and the gas mix changes in April, the MPG will get closer to the posted MPG. My gas warning signal comes on at around 450 miles-very annoying. THe first time it did that and I filled up, the car took 14.8 gallons so there should have been 5 gallons still in the tank. The second time, it took 17 gallons and I filled up at 460 miles. The computer shows 31-33 mpg. The needle on the gas gauge seems to move down very quickly ( like every 100 miles , it moves down a quarter of the way). That does not seem accurate. I expected to get 600- 700 miles per tank.
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