Scion MPG-Real World Numbers



  • tundradudetundradude Member Posts: 588
    Almost every Japanese car has gotten bigger over the years. Probably the most drastic is the Civic. It used to be tiny and small. Now its a good sized car equivalent to the old (not very old) Accords.

    I like the Minivan example. If you parked a 84 Dodge, a 93 Dodge, and a new one, you would see it growing. Actually the Toyota minivans have done the same thing from the Van to the Previa to the 1st Sienna to the present one.
  • aathertonaatherton Member Posts: 617
    "... Mazda MPV in 2000. Lots of comments on the Mazda forum at that time about underpowered the MPV was at 170 hp..."

    They are still saying that at 200 hp!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    If anyone thinks any 200HP car is underpowered, they are probably a bad driver...
  • brvsgrlbrvsgrl Member Posts: 2
    I have posted before about the low mpg that I have been getting on my 2006 Xa. I was hoping that it would get better and maybe even be close to what the posters claimed to be getting. However, it seems that my mpg is just getting lower. I just drove from SF to LA and averaged about 28 mpg on the highway for the first leg of the trip. Far off from the 38 touted by Toyota. That was before I hit the grapevine. I know that the next trip to the gas station is going to yield even less mpg considering that the Xa could hardly go up the hill in a satisfactory manner and I was at 4000-5000 rpm for traveling at 50-60 mph. I was so happy with my car initially but the more I have it the more I feel that I made a great mistake. The only good thing about it is that it is small and easier to park on the street. I also do not know what Consumer report was thinking when it listed the Xa as the best for actual fuel economy for automatic small cars. I rather be driving a car with greater power and low mpg than a car that is just a big disappointment.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Oh if you are showing 4,000--5,000 rpm at 50 to 60 mph then your automatic transmission isn't shifting into high gear...which would explain your problem.

    Also if you drive long distances in the "defrost" position, your AC is on, and that will drop mileage by at least 10%.

    There is definitely something wrong with your car.
  • axiomowneraxiomowner Member Posts: 76
    I'm not familiar with the shifter on the Xa. Not sure if it's the same as my Tc. On my Tc, Drive and 3rd gear are side-by-side. There have been a few times where I put in 3rd instead of drive. If I were on the highway, 3rd gear would be high rpm and less mpg.
  • aathertonaatherton Member Posts: 617
    Underpowered 200 hp Mazda MPV:

    Consumer Reports...
    "... The noisy Ford-supplied 3.0-liter V6 delivers lackluster performance." an-es.htm?resultPageIndex=1&resultIndex=1&searchTerm=mazda%20mpv

    Consumer Guide...
    "... driver must frequently floor the gas pedal to achieve good progress, especially in hilly terrain or in highway merging or passing." est/
  • aathertonaatherton Member Posts: 617
    There is a thread on ScionLife about 2006 xA's coming from the factory with Denso spark plugs incorrectly gapped and causing poor mileage:

    Another person found his poor mileage was caused by his air cleaner and intake tube becoming unclamped. I think this allowed air to be introduced downstream of the air mass flow sensor which caused the sensor to misjudge the amount of air the engine was getting vs the fuel mixture.
  • jabberwocky2jabberwocky2 Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2006 xB with only 620 miles on it so not even close to a broken in engine. First tank showed 32.5 mpg, second was 38.5mpg. Some use of a/c and a mix of driving - interstate, two lane and city. I have to say that I have yet to at least equal, and usually substantially exceed, EPA sticker mileage. Our Volvo S60 non turbo routiinely got 30-38 mpg, as against in the mid twenties EPA. I can't claim to drive around at 25mph either but keep up with the normal flow of traffic. Anticipatory driving and easy use of throttle and revs certainly help. However, when my lead-footed spouse gets to drive, the mpg's come down markedly.

    Driving for mileage is a learned skill just as is driving for speed or driving for safety. Keeping to the posted speed limits certainly helps, not least when you observe how "speedy" drivers weaving through traffic seldom gain much time or distance advantage.
  • librarian1librarian1 Member Posts: 7
    Movermike, I had a problem with my ac unit making noise. My mechanic diagnosed the problem as a stuck clutch, but Scion maintained nothing was wrong. I even told them what my mechnic said and they still refused to acknowledge the problem. I guess when a dealer only makes $125 profit on a car they just don't care about customer service.
  • movermikemovermike Member Posts: 5
    that may be,but buyers cannot/should not accept this. not to politik, but in this Corporate-owned world, its more important than ever to announce yourself. call, e-mail, send snail mail to Scion/Toyota regarding your problem-although, i'll admit, i'm still waiting for a reply to my on correspondence-i dont know how old you car is, but something like that has to be covered-demand that a Sales wonk take a test drive w/ AC on & let him here it-and if he wont, tell him you're a local-newspaper letter writer, and will warn the locals to stay away...Exert Yourself!...Mover
  • aathertonaatherton Member Posts: 617
    I have been pleased with my MT xB's mileage, too.

    The first three tanks were 33.5 mpg, doing constant acceleration and deceleration under 3000 rpm on rural roads for break-in.

    The next tank was 40.5 mpg, driving as gently as possible, mostly on rural roads, with some suburban and city driving.

    The most recent tank was 35.5 mpg, driving as gently as possible, mostly in suburban driving.

    That was all on 87 octane. Now at 1700 miles I have filled it with 93 octane, to avoid any invocation of the knock sensor under full throttle, so that the engine will make its maximum power. And I am driving it hard. Flooring it often, winding it out through the gears in traffic and on rural roads, and going 75 on Interstate hops around the city. I am curious to see how low the mpg will go. I expect it will be around 27 mpg.
  • satswacsatswac Member Posts: 4
    Driving habits first and then car maint. second. If you don't monitor your driving habits, you'll only carry over the bad habits. One of my vehicles is a '95 silverado with 149K miles. With gas prices taking off I MADE myself more aware of my habits. Easy acceleration, easy and long stops (save on brake pads too), 3 seconds between me and the car in front (to avoid those sudden stops), never exceeding 60 mph, stuff like that. In short, driving the way I'm suppose to. I went from 16 mpg to 17.5 with 90% of driving done on the highway. Too bad we can't ask the car "how am I driving?" rather than assuming it's the car's fault.
  • james49james49 Member Posts: 5
    I have a 2005 xB with automatic. Consistently get 28-31 in town driving, and on one trip from Oregon to Wyoming driving at or above posted speed limits, I got 44 on 2 fillups. Usually get 35-37 on highway. Another trip to California got me 38-39 freeway driving. Now the wife has a 2006 model, she gets 30-31 in mostly town driving. We use Mobil 1 5w-30 since 2000 miles and K&N air filters.
  • dr1vexboxdr1vexbox Member Posts: 9
    I just wanna let you know that Toyota has he worst Cust. satisfaction I have ever expierenced, corporate, dealerships,etc. I have had a problem with my XB for a year now, I wanted to keep but I have had issues with paint chipping and horrible MPG, anyways, they did nothing. A year a got fed up and bought a Mazda. I dont necessarily think its Toyota that sucks, I just think that they treat the Scion owners differently. :lemon:
  • dr1vexboxdr1vexbox Member Posts: 9
    Beleive me, there are many out there with this problem, my family and I purchased a 2005 Scion XB and a 2005 Toyota Prius. The XB wasnt even close to the advertised MPH. 25 advertised of course is 31, any ways I never got more than that. Now as for the Prius, of course everyone knows that it suppose to run 50 to 60, sorry this prius runs at 38. No more no less, very disappointing for my family and I. We have had problems with Toyota. Keep this in mind when looking for MPH on Toyotas, subtract 5 miles from the suggested mileage. That way you arent as dissapointed when it doesnt even get close to suggested. We really have a bad taste in our mouth with Toyota and it might be a while until we trust them again, we are considering trading in our Prius for a Honda Civic Hybrid, I heard that they have a better track record, with mileage predictions.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaMember Posts: 12,726
    Toyota doesn't advertise the mpg of its models - it merely reprints the ratings calculated by the EPA, which it is REQUIRED BY LAW to do.

    As for the hybrids, Toyota came out publicly and stated that real-world mileage will not approach the EPA ratings, even though some people manage to achieve those numbers anyway. Toyota actually asked for permission to put an extra note on the car's sticker stating that real-world mileage will be less than the EPA rating, but the government told them they couldn't do it.

    However, the government DOES maintain a website where real owners can post their fuel economy averages, and last time I looked at it, Prius owners were averaging 47 mpg, NOT the 38 someone posted above.

    The xB is a brick in terms of aerodynamic drag - I imagine that if you drive fairly fast most of the time, it would be easy to get mileage only in the mid-20s. That car is putting a whole lot of glass and metal in the wind.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    I never expected the EPA figures to be "real" when I bought my Scion, but I would NOT have been happy if it fell under the "low range" (city)completely. As it turns out, it's about 8% less on average than the window sticker would indicate.
  • aathertonaatherton Member Posts: 617
    I don't understand why people can't get good mileage with their xB. In my new manual transmission xB with 1800 miles I have experimented with different kinds of driving. I am pleased:

    During break in with constantly and wastefully varying the speed = 33 mpg (on 3 tanks).
    After break in, driving as easy as possible = 40 mpg (on 1 tank).
    After break in, driving normally = 35 mpg (on one tank).

    Now I have filled the tank with 93 octane gas to avoid the knock sensor's reducing the power under high load, and am driving harder. Hard accelerations, shifting past 3000 rpm, etc. I expect the mpg could drop into the high 20's.

    I am satisfied with my xB's mpg, as I think it can be anything I want it to be.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Did my first full highway trip using up a tank of gas and got 38.2 mpg at 65 mph with the AC on. I think I'm about to break 40 mpg without AC on long trips. I'll let you know.
  • aathertonaatherton Member Posts: 617
    That sounds like an automatic.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    nope, stickshift. right now, it looks like worst mileage is full-on city driving, at about 30.5 mpg, and best is full-on highway at around 38.5 mpg. So really, it's pretty darn close to EPA. I think when I average it all out at the end of the year over 12,000 miles it'll be (for me anyway) about 33-34 mpg. So about ten MPG less than a "real world" Prius total.
  • aathertonaatherton Member Posts: 617
    That's about what I am getting with my manual, too, except I have not been "all-city" yet to get that low number. Some people don't get as good mileage as us, and I am sure it must be their driving habits.

    BTW, I met someone who bought a several-year-old Prius for $12K, and said he was glad he had bought a warranty on it for another $1.5K. He said in the past year the warranty has paid for $10K in claims.
    He said the cost was a combination of many things going wrong with the car, the difficulty and extra time required for working on the hybrid, and some dealer incompetence and mistakes.
    One example: The dealer drained the coolants. The electric motor has a separate cooling system, which they forgot to refill, which fortunately only burned up that water pump, which was a very special and costly part, and the front end of the car had to be removed to get at it.
    I think as the hybrids age, get high miles, break down and have accidents, we are going to hear more complaints about the complexity and cost of maintaining and repairing them. Their high initial and running costs will never be offset by their slightly better gas mileage.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Well my only objection to the Prius is really that it is not a very enjoyable driving experience. I presume that they'll have the usual Toyota reliability, but as you say, as cars age, all kinds of things come up that the engineers never anticipated---since they can test "in mileage" but they can't test "in time".
  • bing8bing8 Member Posts: 11
    Mr shiftright,
    I'm looking for the mileage of the XB in real world numbers. One of your messages indicates your XB got 33-34 average over the year. Don't you mean the Scion XA?? Your website indicates that you own an XA not an XB. I want the XB if it gets great mileage.
    Thank you
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Oh sorry, maybe I made a typo?

    I think it is the general consensus on this board that the xB will get somewhat fewer MPG than the xA because of its rather mediocre aerodynamics and no doubt because people would tend to carry more weight in it.
  • tmackenzietmackenzie Member Posts: 1
    I bought mine used w/ 9k on it. I am getting a consistent 32.5 mpg in mostly city/suburban driving. I don't drive the car hard or push it from stoplights or merging onto the highway. Just normal driving and acceleration.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    That's quite good. You must be a fairly careful driver.
  • juniorparkerjuniorparker Member Posts: 1
    I've owned my Scion tC for almost two years now, and haven't had any major problems. Although, when I am backing out of my driveway, which is on a very slight slope, my tC creaks in a few different places. I didn't notice this at first, but it seems to be getting worse. Would this, over time, cause the roof glass panels to leak?
    On to the gas mileage. I live in Houston, and the traffic is horrible. I drive 50 miles one way to work, and have noticed I don't get really good gas mileage. In the morning driving to work, the traffic is stop and go. Every few blocks I am stopped by red lights for about 10 or so miles. Driving home, the trip is smooth with minimal traffic. My average speed is 75mps. I find that my car gets better gas with the stop and go traffic. I know driving fast is bad on mileage, but I fill up every 3.5 days. I love my car, but I wish it got better gas mileage.
  • aathertonaatherton Member Posts: 617
    "... I don't get really good gas mileage... Every few blocks I am stopped by red lights for about 10 or so miles. Driving home... My average speed is 75mph.... I wish it got better gas mileage."

    Those are the two worst possible conditions for mileage. 50% stop and go from light to light, and 50% high speed on the Interstate. Don't blame the car.
  • aathertonaatherton Member Posts: 617
    Here are the tanks that I have recorded on my manual xB in the 2000 miles since I got it:

    33 mpg - 3 tanks
    Breaking in with constant acceleration and deceleration in 4th and 5th gear, on long drives on mostly country roads, some suburb, very little city, and no Interstate, using 3/4 throttle, shifing at 2000 rpm, not exceeding 3000 rpm.

    40 mpg - 1 tank
    One continuous drive, mostly country roads, some suburb and very little city, no Interstate, shifing at 2000 rpm, not exceeding 3000 rpm.

    35 mpg - 1 tank
    Normal daily driving in suburbs and city, no Interstate.

    32 mpg - i tank
    Normal daily driving in suburbs and some city, no Interstate, but with more acceleration by shifting at 3000 rpm and driving more aggressively

    The mileage is entirely under my control. I can get 40, or 35, or maybe even 25 mpg, depending on where and how I drive.

    If I wanted to compete at every stop light, lead the pack all around town, and eat up the beltway at 80 mph, the xB would aquit itself admirably. I have tried it rather often, and it is great fun. But is is very bad for the mileage.

    However, in consideration of the price of gas, I like to savor the ability of the VVT to take shifts at 2000 rpm, and I lay back from the pack in traffic.
  • aathertonaatherton Member Posts: 617
    The xB engine can benefit from high octane gas. The manual says use 87 octane or better. The "better" refers to the knock sensor. The high compression engine detunes itself for regular gas. The ECU (engine control unit) slows the ignition advance when it senses pre-ignition due to low octane gas. Slowing the advance reduces power, which requires more throttle and gas to compensate.

    If you drive gently, the engine will see no benefit from low octane gas. But if you drive hard, using full throttle, high rpms, and cruise at high speeds, the engine can benefit from premium gas. It will make it's full designed power, it will accelerate faster, it will use less throttle pedal, will make more power under full throttle and high rpms, and will use less gas.

    However, a tank of premium costs $2 more than a tank of regular. If premium gas saves 2-3 mpg, it is a wash cost-wise. The benefit of premium gas is not in the wallet, it is in the seat of the pants from better response and more power under full throttle and high rpms.
  • aathertonaatherton Member Posts: 617
    "... if you drive gently, the engine will see no benefit from low octane gas."

    That shoud read:
    "... if you drive gently, the engine will see no benefit from HIGH octane gas."
  • rspellmanrspellman Member Posts: 4
    Hi all I just bought a 2005 silver xa, on my first complete tank I averaged 36 mpg in mixed city and freeway driving( L.A. freeway traffic jam conditions),for a car with only 300 miles on it im very happy.I traded my Suzuki Aerio for this car,I liked the Aerio but questionable reliability reports caused me to trade it for the Scion.The Scion is a vastly superior car you can feel it the moment you sit in the vehicle.Looking forward to many happy miles ahead. Incidentally it's not just young people that buy these cars im 58. :)
  • cdoccdoc Member Posts: 41
    I bought mine last March, and haven't gotten below 35 mpg overall, mostly back roads driving. I've also found, since it revs so high, being very gentle on the gas makes the car drive smoother. I keep the rpms no higher than 2000, except in 5th gear, and I start in first by pushing on the gas very gently. And I love how high I sit inside.
  • rspellmanrspellman Member Posts: 4
    Sorry 2006!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    You might want to rev it up more. 2,000 is kind of lugging the engine I think. It is designed to rev up and is happy to do so.
  • rspellmanrspellman Member Posts: 4
    :) I just completed a 180 mile joy ride in my xa,mostly freeway some fast mountain and all with air conditioner use. The verdict 40.8 mpg! I have read complaints that the car is underpowered and rough riding I disagree the ride is much better than my Suzuki Aerio,that car had alot of power but this car is perfectly adequate.
  • carfanatic007carfanatic007 Member Posts: 267
    Sorry aatherton, everything I have read says there is absolutely NO BENEFIT from getting premium fuel. Your just wasting your money.
  • aathertonaatherton Member Posts: 617
    Sorry carfan, what you read is saying "there is no benefit to high octane gas IF your engine can't use it." We have all been reading that for decades. For that reason, I would never put high octane gas in our Buick Regal or Mazda truck. Waste of money.

    But the xB owner's manual says the xB engine can use high octane gas. Read it -- it says use 87 octane "or better". With its high 10:5 compression ratio, the xB engine uses its computer management system to retard the ignition on 87 octane gas whenever you use full throttle or high rpms, to avoid pre-ignition (aka knocking or pinging). Retarding the ignition reduces power. If you don't drive hard, you won't mind 87 octane. But if you are trying to pass a car on a two-lane road and need the most power the engine can make, you will want full ignition advance from high octane gas.
  • js34js34 Member Posts: 4
    Sorry but aatherton's right. No monetary gain but perhaps performance gain.

    I've owned 4.6L with 10.0 compression and knock sensors, and 9.0 without KS.

    The 10/KS required 93 octane and did horribly without it. Always better mileage with it but still cost me more $ overall.

    Is this absolute lab-tested proof? No. But aatherton's explanation is sound.

    I'm treating the car as it was designed. High fuel economy. There's no sense ricing the hell out of it (including 93-103 octane) to tweak out the extra 5 hp.
  • aathertonaatherton Member Posts: 617
    I have gone to using 93 octane all the time. I generally drive easy. But maybe half-dozen times a day, I like to boot the car up a hill or scoot ahead of someone, using heavy throttle and high rpm. At those times I want to enjoy the full power that the great little engine is capable of, without the inteference of the knock sensor.

    On the usual ten-gallon fillup, 93 octane costs an extra $2. I fill up once a week, so if I make use of the high octane 6x7=42 times per tank, the cost per kick is 200/42 or less than 5 cents. Cheap thrills for this 63-year old.

    The only possiblity of monetary gain from 93 octane is high speed cruising. If at 80 mph on 87 octane the knock sensor should be working continuously to prevent maximum ignition advance, then the engine would use less throttle at that load if it were able to burn 93 octane and make more power. Less throttle means less gas.

    In this ideal situation, can 93 octane then pay for its extra cost? People have reported that trips at 80 mph result in poor sub-30 mpg. Suppose that is not only due to the high wind resistance of the box, but also to the knock sensor reducing power on 87 octane and causing more throttle to be used to maintain the speed.

    Suppose using 93 octane at 80 mph reduced the amount of throttle enough to save 2 mpg. On a 300-mile tank, that would save .7 gallons of 93 octane, worth about $2. That is the same as the extra cost of the gas. So in reality, it's a wash, with no monetary gain from high octane.
  • aathertonaatherton Member Posts: 617
    The new little BMW F800 motorcycle has 800cc and 85 hp with a high compression ratio of 12:1. The review in the BMW News says:
    "... according to BMW, the fuel mileage is 47 mpg on premium fuel, with the option to convert to regular with a loss of 2 hp and a few mpg."

    Unlike the xB, the cheapest BMW motorcycle does not have costly sophisticated electronic engine management that senses knocking on the fly and retards the ignition as needed. To use 87 octane, the BMW bike's engine computer must be converted (i.e. "flashed" or reprogrammed) by the dealer.

    If the penalty is proportional to displacement, the xB would lose almost 4 hp and 5 mpg on 87 octane gas.
  • aathertonaatherton Member Posts: 617
    "... If the penalty is proportional to displacement, the xB would lose almost 4 hp and 5 mpg on 87 octane gas."

    This would only occur at high load on the engine - full throttle demanding full power, hard acceleration, high speed riding. Puttering around town, or crusing down the road, using only a little of the engine's potential, there would be no penalty.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    I've tested regular and premium on the Scion xA and wasn't able to record any MPG difference beyond statistical variation. I did feel more spunk in the engine though, but that was just butt-o-meter, and may be an illusion, I don't know. My toyota factory rep said to run a tank of premium through the engine every now and then, so I do that.
  • aathertonaatherton Member Posts: 617
    "...I've tested regular and premium on the Scion xA and wasn't able to record any MPG difference beyond statistical variation. "

    You would have to run a lot at high load, full throttle, high rpms, high speed, to see the difference. In ordinary driving, not invoking the knock sensor, there is no difference to record.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    yep, that's the only way I drive, mostly full on. I really didn't notice any difference in MPG, perhaps because I was enjoying what felt like a bit more power. I may try another test sometime and will let you know.
  • rspellmanrspellman Member Posts: 4
    From my house in Azusa Ca. to Primm Nevada sometimes caught in traffic,50% air conditioner use,most of the time above 70mph, 87mph top speed ---- 40mpg!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    that's great!

    I just did the 8,000 mile averaging, for all kinds of driving, all kinds of weather, all kinds of gasoline....and the answer is: 34 mpg!!
  • aathertonaatherton Member Posts: 617
    Manual xB with 3,000 miles. Been using Chevron 93 octane for the past three fillups, so it's all unmixed 93 by now. Just filled up today at my usual gas station after 268 miles of driving in and around Louisville. Mostly errands on suburban streets, some interstate hops downtown, and one 50-mile trip in the countryside. I drive at a normal pace, using minimum necessary rpms, with occasional 3/4-throttle bursts to accelerate around people or get up hills.

    The fillup was 7.29 gallons, for 36.75 mpg.
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