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Acura TSX Real World MPG Numbers

Karen_SKaren_S Posts: 5,095
Please post your actual TSX MPG.

"Real World" Fuel Economy vs. EPA Estimates

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  • flicmodflicmod Posts: 21
    I'd like to think I inspired this post by saying about gas mileage on the "Problems and Solutions" board ;) , but whatever the reason, this is a good subject.

    Like I said in that post, I got 497 miles on one tank when I drove to Virginia and back. I usually get on average, using premium gas, around 420-430 when the weather is warm. In the winter this year, I was only getting about 300-320, which was disappointing to me, but given the freezing cold we had here in PA this season, I guess it's alright.

    I had assumed that this mileage was about 30-32 MPG, but I had just computed the MPG now and its not really even close to it. I believe the HWY mileage posted on the window was like 32 MPG. The tank is 17.1 gallons, and even on that almost 500 mile tank of gas, the MPG was only 29.24. My average was only 25.15 MPG. That's not even close to what the EPA says. Reading that article and how they figured the MPG, it's pretty disappointing that my car gets so little compared to what it SHOULD get.
  • Karen_SKaren_S Posts: 5,095
    I've been adding MPG topics to all of the clubs for a couple of weeks now. Your post reminded me that there wasn't one for the TSX yet. :shades:

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  • flicmodflicmod Posts: 21
    Haha, alright. Well, I'm glad I could help you out somewhat. It's a good topic though. That article really sheds a lot of light on the issue. My office mate and I were just discussing the article and how the government regulates all that stuff with the auto manufacturers. Interesting stuff.
  • delmar1delmar1 Posts: 744
    I am going to cheat and post a message that I placed in the 'problems and solutions' forum:

    Here is an interesting article regarding the use of Premium Gasoline. is USA Today which quotes a senior Chevron Exec to saying:

    "I personally use regular even though my owner's manual says you'll get better performance with premium," says Lewis Gibbs, consulting engineer and 45-year veteran at Chevron oil company. He's chairman of Technical Committee 7 on Fuels, part of the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Fuels & Lubricants Council. Gibbs knows gas.

    Basic response so far is that MPG improvement is seen with premium.

    Somewhat interested to know more as I only had my TSX for one week so far. So I'll keep an eye on the messages on this site.

    Sorry if I offend anyone by double posting the above message.
  • rko2rko2 Posts: 40
    I like the new topic, so I'm interested to see what other people post.

    Take into account, these are MPG from Minnesota, so the winter certainly makes a difference. My TSX is a '04, 6MT. I only use premium (92 plus) gas.

    In the winter with a ski rack on, I got about 23 or 24 MPG at about 50% city and 50% hwy. All highway at 65 mph with loaded car and skis on the top, I got just over 29 MPG on one trip. Pretty good.

    In the winter without a rack, I got about 25 MPG at 50/50.

    In the spring/summer with a bike rack, I get about 26-27 MPG 50/50. On a long all hwy trip, I got just over 28 MPG. But then again, that was with a rack on the top (no bikes).

    In the spring/summer without a bike rack, I get about 27-28 MPG 50/50. On a long trip I got about 31 MPG once. I think the wind may have been at my back though.

    I am usually pretty good about not hammering the gas most of the time, which makes a big difference. If I drive hard a lot, I can lose 2 MPG in 50/50 driving easy. Sometimes more. I have also noticed that if you don't accelerate hard when the engine is cold, you get better gas mileage....but that could be in my head. Overall, I am pretty impressed with the performance/gas mileage mix. I am a very happy owner.

    Just one comment about the guy quoting miles for a full tank of fuel. I don't know if this still applies to newer cars, but I have always been told to keep your gas tank at least 1/4 full. It helps to extend the life of your fuel pump by keeping it from overheating. Plus, you won't ever be the guy on the side of the road walking to the nearest gas station :) Anyone else have a comment about this?
  • lmacmillmacmil Posts: 1,758
    "Basic response so far is that MPG improvement is seen with premium."

    Pretty simple to see if this makes sense. If premium costs 10% more and it doesn't increase your mileage by 10%, then your wasting your money (unless you can tell the performance difference.)
  • delmar1delmar1 Posts: 744

    So if the break-even is a 10% cost improvement with there a 2.5 to 3 MPG improvement that is consistently achieved??? Especially with same driving conditions and style.
  • flicmodflicmod Posts: 21
    Just one comment about the guy quoting miles for a full tank of fuel. I don't know if this still applies to newer cars, but I have always been told to keep your gas tank at least 1/4 full. It helps to extend the life of your fuel pump by keeping it from overheating. Plus, you won't ever be the guy on the side of the road walking to the nearest gas station Anyone else have a comment about this?

    My dad's a mechanic, works on Honda's. He's up on all the new technology and stuff in the newer cars. I was talking to him once about letting the tank run completely dry to see how many miles you can really get out of a full tank. He said that wasn't a bright idea because, especially on newer cars, the fuel injection system relies on the fuel to keep the injectors cool. If there's no fuel through the lines, but your foots on the pedal to go, the injectors could burn out and maybe even start a fire (unusual though). I asked him if that's the case with running the tank close to empty each time, because honestly, that's what I do. He said, as long as there's fuel in the lines everything should be fine.
    I got REALLY good with estimating how much gas I have in my tank from my old Civic. The gauge was a little whacky and no one was ever sure how much gas was in it. After driving that thing for 4 years, I got great at knowing it. With the TSX, it took about 2 months to get used to the tank. I know that when the fuel light comes on, that I have about 50-70 miles left (roughly 2 gallons). I never once ran out of fuel in either car. Thanks for the concern about me running out of gas though. I appreciate it. ;)
  • rko2rko2 Posts: 40
    I would even question that premium always costs 10% more than regular. In Minnesota, premium is usually 10 to 16 cents more per gallon. At current prices, that equals about 5-8% more for premium. Now you are talking only 1.5-2 MPG improvement to break even with premium. Plus, the performance benefits (most important factor in my opinion).

    My biggest question is why some people are so hung up on a savings of roughly $2 a tank using regular, when there are downsides for doing this. You spent over $25,000 on a car that you bought because it is all around great, but I presume also because it is quick and fun to drive. You also probably spend over $800 a year to insure it (most likely much more).

    So you have invested a lot of money in this great car, and some people are trying to save a few extra dollars a month to live with poorer performance. Plus, I would hate for something to go wrong with the engine under warranty and the dealer give me a hard time covering it because I was using regular fuel. Not saying that it would happen, but there are crazier stories out there. It just doesn't macke sense to me. Does anyone have another explanation? I may just be missing something here.
  • rko2rko2 Posts: 40
    Thanks for the info on running the tank empty. Like I said, I didn't know if there was a risk by running the tank low. I guess it is just fine. I appreciate the post.
  • delmar1delmar1 Posts: 744
    I was more interested in throwing out maybe a urban legend out for discussion...and perhaps dispell an ingrained thought perpetuated by the oil marketeers (make sure to READ the USAToday article which I linked to)

    Where I was at is that over a course of a year...the $2 a tank savings would be generate $125-$150+ over 12 months.

    $150 savings could go towards other toys.

    And if the performance issue is reducing the measurable horsepower from 200 to 190...not sure if the performance would be noticable.

    I still question whether MPG truly improve by 2 by switching grades. Maybe I am wrong.

    Where I am personally. I use premium and don't anticipate to go down to a lower grade. Here in Southern California...premium is $0.20 to $0.25 more. Of course...I use a gas rebate card. 5% cash back with Discover. 3% with my Chase Visa.

    So once again...the question to consider is the urban legend truth?
  • manavimanavi Posts: 150
    I'm getting about 26.5 MPG in my 2005 TSX. I'm only on the highway about 20% of the time.

    Regarding the premium gas versus regular gas:

    We have one TSX driver who already experimented with using regular gas and stated his mileage was reduced from 420 miles on a tank to 320 miles on a tank. That equates to roughly a 30% increase in mileage by using premium gas in the TSX.

    It seems like one would actually spend more money by using regular gas in the TSX. Does anyone have any data showing that using regular gas in the TSX will save you money?
  • 204meca204meca Posts: 370
    We seriously considered an 04 TSX, but ended up with an A4 for the more comfortable seating. Glad we did when looking at the mileage figures posted here.

    We use 89 octain in 04 A4 1.8T that calls for 91. Consistently beat EPAs handily (27-29 around town; 33-35 highway).

    On the other hand, I have a 92 Civic Si that specifies 87 octane, but use I 89 because with 169,000 it knocks w lower octane.

    I cannot detect performance difference in either car as describe above.

    However we loaned our A4 & it came back with a full tank & ran poorly until we topped if off with 91 octane. I suspect that it was filled with a low grade low octane gas.
  • jrynnjrynn Posts: 162
    15947 miles / 549.946 gallons (almost exclusively 93 octane) = 28.997 mpg.

    Best tank: 34.442
    Worst tank: 21.205

  • ronabironabi Posts: 39
    With almost 5000 miles on my 05 TSX with auto, my overall average is 27.7 in mixed driving. My lowest was my second fill-up at 24.5 in 90% around town driving. Highest was my last fill-up at 37.8 in nearly 100% highway driving at an average speed of 70 mph. The second highest was 34.8 a week earlier in around 95%+ highway driving with highway speed averaging 70 mph.

    Mileage has been increasing as time passes and the miles add up. I was ecstatic at the 34.8 figure and certainly never expected the 37.8 result. I'm curious if that will ever happen again. Fill-ups after mostly highway mileage have always been 30 or better, usually between 32 & 34 in recent weeks.

    These calculations assume that the pump cuts off at the same point on all fill-ups, which is probably not so, but averaging over several tanks should correct for that. I am more than happy to buy premium fuel (mostly Exxon 91 octane plus a couple of tanks of 93 octane) when it results in mileage like this!
  • mreedmreed Posts: 7
    That's awesome that you are saving some cash at the pump. You'll need it to make up for the 50% increase in expected repairs, and $2700 increase in depreciation vs. a TSX.


    (Figures quoted from Edmund's TCO for both cars)
  • stillageekstillageek Posts: 114
    I just finished a 550 mile round trip with 90% highway at speeds between 70-85 MPH the entire way. I averaged 32 MPG on the first leg and 33.2 on the return trip. Not bad at all. I am very pleased at the handling and ride of the TSX on the highway. The low amount of wind and road noise (compared to my last car Toyota Matrix XRS 6 speed) was also nice. Of course when I compare my mileage to my wifes car, 2004 Toyota Prius (which has averaged over 52 MPG since we got it) it doesn't seem so great. I have a 2005 Auto TSX and use only 93 Octane. What's with the 50% increase in expected repairs you are referring to? With a 4 year/50K warranty I will never need a repair while I drive it.
  • flicmodflicmod Posts: 21
    I think you mistaked his post. The 50% repair rating is comparing the A4 to the TSX. I believe he was referring to the poster that said he was getting better gas mileage with his A4 (since he decided to purchase that instead of a TSX). With 50% more repairs done to the A4 than the TSX, that extra gas money goes to the repairs. I believe he was harrassing our Audi fan ;)
  • 204meca204meca Posts: 370
    flicmod, I agree that I was the one "harassed - no offense taken! I realize that earlier A4s have a checkered repair record, especially compared to the stellar record Acura/Honda. I really liked the TSX and am a long time Honda fine owning about half a dozen Civic variants the past 20 years My current daily driver is an 92 Civic Si with 170,000 miles! But my wife was simply stuck on the A4 - her fussy back found the seats unbeatable. I was dubious due to its repair reputation, but am still loving it after 20,000 trouble free miles.

    Regarding A4 problems; most of the problems are atributable to the window regulators and the bum coil packs in the 02-03 models. Word is that Audi has those corrected in the 04 model and that they have extended warranty on those parts. Maybe I can make up some of the projected repair costs by the totally free maintenance that Audi provides for the 1st 4 yrs / 50, 000 miles. :)
  • viknjviknj Posts: 1
    We have a 2004 TSX, and had 1,500mi on it, when we did a cross-country road trip from CA to NJ. On that particular trip we averaged 33.5mpg. The best figure ever achieved in the TSX was 35mpg, with the A/C's compressor on & off. Temp avg. 78F. Tire Pressure 37psi., and 92 octane. (Premium octanes across the country range from 90-93) Since then, we have seen averages in mixed driving around 25-27mpg, in NJ's free flowing routes. Winter driving averages poorly at 22-24mpg. I read that this is attributable not only to the freezing temps, lower tire psi's, but an additive that gas stations use specifically for winter - I dont know how much of the latter is true. The TSX is now 1 year old and has 22,500 mi on it, and running decently. I diligently do my own oil changes every 3,000 mi, and dont wait for the recommended mileage/times - hey, at 9 bucks an oil change, its a relatively small price to pay. I have a 1991 Integra LS-S that has 142,500 and runs better now, and with more zing than it ever did. Somehow, I feel the Integra has more soul & passion. The TSX's character is the more refined, quieter, and safer (Volvo-esque) version that I give my wife to drive. Regardless, both are great cars.
  • storymanstoryman Posts: 17
    The navigation computer on the TSX is set to reset with every fill-up. I'm wondering how accurate are the numbers provided by the computer. From what the computer says we are getting 32 mpg on the highway with high octane fuel.
  • lmacmillmacmil Posts: 1,758
    Can't speak for the TSX but the trip computer in my wife's Highlander is typically about 1 mpg optimistic. Keep track of the miles driven and gallons used over your next 3 tankfuls and compare to the trip computer readings and let us know.
  • jg88jg88 Posts: 59
    So far, have not been able to discern which gets better highway mileage, the 6sp or auto? Doesn't the auto run at lower rpm's at highway speeds? If so, wouldn't the auto get better mileage in top gear?

    As for premium v. regular, my findings suggested to stay with premium. With regular, it appeared the mileage dropped more than the cost difference so it was a losing proposition. Also, the shifting with the automatic was not as smooth, it was much more clunky with regular. Since most modern autos 'retard' the spark plug for an instant to make the shift smooth, I wondered if regular gas somehow messed up the timing for shifting purposes. Am referring to my old RL -- may be getting in the market soon for a new ride and am thinking about getting a TSX for this latest version of my on-going mid-life crisis. Right now I drive a company car and it appears to be going away in October. Bummer, loved the price! (Hate the ride, a stripped Impala but free is free...) Am thinking '04 TSX, certified/used, or going back to an RL vintage '01 or '02.
  • delmar1delmar1 Posts: 744
    You won't have that much of a price savings by going with a 2004 TSX versus dealing for a brand new 2005 TSX during the close-out months.

    I understand that the Auto gets better mileage than the manual. Highway gets 32 vs. 29. How counter-intutitive...but the electronics has done the trick.
  • jg88jg88 Posts: 59
    Saw an ad in the local paper in Houston for a privately owned TSX auto for 22,500 with less than 20k miles. That seemed to be a pretty fair price. Figure when the 06's come out, the 04's will drop onto the lower 20k range. The Acura website lists certified used cars right on the dealer cost plus range but I would consider those numbers to be highly negotiable.

    Am leaning toward the auto because of highway mileage for expressway driving and also because of the manu-matic capability. Seems like the best of both worlds. Reading 30+ mpg commments in here for highway driving is pretty impressive.
  • delmar1delmar1 Posts: 744
    20,500 miles in one year is A LOT of miles....
  • upset5upset5 Posts: 3
    Is there ANYONE who is having problems with getting the indicated MPG on their TSX? I have a 2005 TSX (V4) that I bought because of the sticker indicated 23/32 MPG. I barely break 14 for city and 22 highway and maybe get 180 miles to a tank of gas. (On the rare occasion that empty dot comes on-and it rarely does since I keep the tank above 1/4 full always-I get so nervous because I literally have 15 miles to go). My SUV friends all get better mileage (including the Acura MDX!) Acura Dealerships all give the same excuse:"Independent/Government regulated, not actual numbers. They hand out pieces of paper indicating a 10/22% decrease in the "real world" consumption but even those percentages don't come close. I use premium only, I've had the tires checked, the engine checked. Everyone shrugs their shoulders while I get more and more aggravated every time I'm at the pump.! Any thoughts?
  • stillageekstillageek Posts: 114
    I have a 2005 TSX auto W/Navi. I have found MPG swings GREATLY depending on the right foot. When I have my "foot to the firewall" often I get the low 20's sometimes dipping into the upper teens. If I drive like a sane person, gentle acceleration never speeding I get 28-29 MPG. On the rare occasion my wife drives even in the city she gets 30+ in the city! Her numbers don't count though, her normal car is a 2004 Prius. She drives my car with a very light foot much like the way she drives her car. On long highway trips I get a steady 35 MPG+ going 70-80 MPH.
  • johnny420johnny420 Posts: 473
    I find it hard to believe you only get 180 miles per tankful. That's just unbelievable. I can usually get 350 if I drive conservatively in my '04. Are you calculating the mileage manually or by relying on the navigation system?

    BTW, the TSX four-banger is an I4, not a V4.

    Also, when the yellow light comes on, you have better than three gallons of fuel left, which will take you closer to 60 miles than 15. The TSX is very conservative in this regard, with the light coming on so soon.

    Sorry to hear of your problem, but I've never heard of a TSX getting fuel mileage that poor. Perhaps the motor is not fully broken in. Keep driving it, maybe things will improve. Other than that, I just don't know. Maybe you can look into your local lemon laws.

    Remember, if you feel something is truly wrong, don't let the dealer off the hook. Stay after them.

  • johnny420johnny420 Posts: 473
    Hey, stillageek, I don't care how heavy one is on the gas, I just can't believe the TSX would ever get only 180 miles on a tankful. That's something like 10.5 MPG on a full 17 gallon tank. That's not poor, that's phenomenally bad.

    I drive the wheels off mine all the time, and the warning light doesn't ususually come on until the 320 mile mark or so, indicating I've still got 3+ gallons left.

    I suspect we're getting our collective chains yanked, or this person is really bad at math.

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