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Ford Focus: MPG-Real World Numbers



  • greenponygreenpony Chicago, ILPosts: 531
    >>Wow my MPG suffered after going to 100% highway. I recently moved and I go about 70 (yeah I follow the speed limit) on the freeway for my entire commute and I'm down to 29-30 MPG. I was getting better fuel economy going local with some minor gridlock. Very odd

    Not odd, really. This actually sounds just about right. Don't underestimate the effect of excessive speed on fuel economy. You may not think 70 is excessive, but try dropping to 60 and see your fuel economy dramatically increase. I'd say about 10% better.
  • greenponygreenpony Chicago, ILPosts: 531
    I keep religious tally of fuel economy, being somewhat of a statistical nut. Here's my numbers, for a 2007 2.0L SES 5-speed run almost exclusively with E10. (EPA revised rating of 24/33).

    As of 11-21-08, with 29560 miles on the clock:
    :) Best tank: 40.84 mpg
    :( Worst tank: 29.66 mpg (first tank)
    :shades: Average: 34.76 mpg
    :surprise: Most miles on a single tank: 421
    :mad: Total spent on gas over 15 months: $2,786.39
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    I just purchased this so can't report on gas mileage yet - I have just 200 miles on it. Almost all the miles on it are mine - I was the first and last to test drive it, when I pulled it out of the lot it had 6 miles on it, when I purchased it, it had 26 miles on it - I test drove it twice, first time to see if I liked it, second time two weeks later to make sure nothing had happened to it since the first test drive (like clutch abuse from another test driver - yeah, that can happen).

    I re-set the digital gas mileage readout after the dealer filled the tank and also zeroed the trip meter.

    Generally I don't have a special break-in routine, I believe that my normal commute, which combines about 10% city miles and 90% mixed freeway miles (high speed, slow and go, occasionally some stop and go) is a good break in routine, provided I don't lug it (let the rpm's go too low and then try to accelerate with heavy throttle, instead of downshifting) or use more than 3/4 throttle (and only use more than 1/4 throttle after fully warmed up).

    Since I intend to drive from SF to LA this afternoon, though, I decided to try to accelerate the break-in period with some more aggressive driving than usual. I mention this because it drags down the gas mileage, which I will report in a moment.

    To accelerate the break in period, I first varied my commute to include more city driving. I drove to a more remote on-ramp, which includes a hill climb. City driving has more acceleration and coast down (cool down) cycles and is supposedly better for seating the rings. It also varies the RPM, which is the only admonition in the owners manual (which basically states, don't drive too hard or at one constant speed).

    Second, I accelerated more aggressively and ran the rpm higher during slow and go traffic and on the streets. Instead of limiting my self to 1/4 throttle, I ran it up to 1/2 throttle; instead of shifting at 2,500 rpm, I ran it up to 4,000. These brief, harder runs supposedly "buff" high spots (of which there are few in modern engines) without creating excessive heat or galling. Keeping the rpm away from the 6,500 rpm assures there is plenty of oil flow (after this is broken in, I will replace the factory oil with Mobil 1 full synthetic, which is reportedly very superior to conventional oils in maintaining an oil film if there is reduced flow at very high rpm, and it is also more resistant to thermal breakdown at high rpm when the operating temperatures can peak and there isn't a lot of oil flow to carry heat away).

    My goal was to drive it harder than my usual break-in to accelerate break-in, but no so hard that I would be stressing the engine. In short, compared to my normal mild-mannered driving style, I drove the new car more the way the typical aggressive American driver drives routinely. :P

    All of the above tend to reduce mileage, so I haven't been expecting much in the first couple of hundred miles, but to my surprise the computer is registering 34.5 mpg!

    Well, I'll be putting about 800 freeway miles on it over the next three days. I'll report back on both computer indicated mileage and on calculated mileage. As the earlier poster notes, the sweet spot for mileage is usually 50-60 mph, but interstate speeds are more like 70-80 mph. I'll try to keep it down to 70, but almost all my other cars have been 2-4 mpg lower for interstate trips than for my commute (which has much lower average speeds).

    Finally - my thoughts on break-in. In my experience, modern motors are still breaking in at 15,000 miles, but for all practical purposes (driveability, gas mileage, power) the process is mostly completely by 7,500 miles. Of the first 7,500 miles, the first 200 are MOST critical, but from 600 to 1000 miles any critical break-in buffing is complete and the car can be driven hard (many owner's manuals state a 600 to 1,000 mile "cautious" break-in period, followed by no precautions). So I'm going to take the next 400 miles "easy" and will welcome any pre-Thanksgiving traffic that will slow down the interstate. After I hit 600 miles - essentially for my return trip - I'll just drive it completely normally. If I don't run into Thanksgiving slowdowns today, I'll vary my interstate driving speeds by spending some time in the turtle - I mean truck - lane and some time in the car lanes, which gives me a range of from 50 mph to 80 mph to assist the break in process. I considered changing to Mobil 1 before the trip, but the Motorcraft 5-20 oil that Ford developed is such a superior lubricant that I think it will work just fine, if I keep my throttle, top speeds, and steady speeds in the break-in mode.
  • I bought this car in September 2008, and I live in Raleigh, NC. I now have 6800 miles on the car. When the weather was warmer, I would get about 31 MPG. Now with the colder weather, I get about 29 MPG. My drive to and from work each day is 30 miles, 85% of which is highway at 75 to 80mph. Aside from work, I do errands with the car, which is more like 50% stop-and-go and 50% highway.

    One thing I notice is that the car's self-proclaimed Average MPG is always over stated. It consistently says I'm getting at least 3 MPG more than I calculate at each fill up.

    The MPG is "okay" in my opinion. Other cars that I considered (and test-drove) before buying Focus were the Honda Fit, Toyota Yaris and Corolla, and Nissan Versa. The Focus had the most comfort, quietest interior, and more features than the others for about the same price. So I'm happy overall. In fact, I love the little thing! Just wish the MPG were a little higher.
  • markus5markus5 Posts: 102
    I know it would be difficult, however, If you drop the 75-80 down several mph, you will see mid -thirties mpg. EPA mileage estimates are not based on your 75-80.
    My experience with the trip computers ( in a ford probe ) some years back was similar to yours, actual mpg was about 3 less than indicated.
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    Stick shift or auto?
  • I have a 2007 SE. I believe it is a 5 speed auto trans. Definitely find that if you keep it below 60 mph you get better mpg. I have modified the fuel delivery system to include a fuel heater. This seems to keep me up to 34 to 35 mpg in the winter here in Chicago. I also add lucus fuel injector cleaner and upper cylinder lube to the mix, about 2 ounces a fill up. Warm weather is getting me closer to 37.5 to 38 mpg.
  • markus5markus5 Posts: 102
    I must ask, does this "Fuel Heater" work in the summer-time as well? I don't see this being a good idea under those conditions. Who sells this Product. ?
    The Focus A/T is a 4-speed unit w/ overdrive, that is your 5th gear. The "green-zone" would be to keep to a reasonable speed on the Highway ( below 60 is probably dangerous today )
    The RpM"s on my 2.3 ZTS would be about 2250 at that speed, which I think is about equivalent to top gear in the five-speed manual tranny.
    EPA estimates will usually show MPG slightly better for M/T models. That does not mean that real world results will be the same. It is problematic at best, but most drivers do not use the tranny to optimize mileage. With an A/T the driver would only need to "train the foot" to apply as little throttle pressure as required to drive effectively.

  • jeromebjeromeb Posts: 31
    With the A/C in use, the fuel economy for my commute is about 25 mpg.
    With the A/C not in use, the fuel economy for my commute is about 29 mpg.
    With the A/C not in use, and coasting to stops with the transmission disengaged, my fuel economy is 32 mpg.

    My commute is 13 miles one way, about half highway and half surface streets.
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 12,032
    when i figured out how to read the computer, the mpg's read 36+.
    i reset it and when i turned it in it read 33.
    it had a 4 speed auto. i was impressed, since my commute is less than 14 miles each way.
    2017 Ford Fusion SE 2014 Ford F-150 FX4
  • wjtinatlwjtinatl Posts: 50
    Couldn't agree more with the above post. Bought my '03 Focus SVT used in '06 when gas hit $3.20/gal. It had 15k on it then, now has 67k. Outside of tires (2 sets of z-rated hi-po rubber) and at-home oil and filter changes, in the past 50k, I have not spent any money on the car! Still on the original brake pads and rotors and the interior (black leather Recaro's) looks like new with just a little work. I never expected to keep this car as long as I have (I get bored with cars easily) but find that there's nothing on the market that lights my fire enough to replace the SVT. It's a shame Ford discontinued the original hatchback design and SVT version as I'd gladly buy a new one over a Civic Si or similar. Hopefully the 2011 Focus will have a SVT version as mine will surely have 100k+ on it by then and I'll be ready for something new... I think!
  • auto2009auto2009 Posts: 2
    People seam to assume the computer is wrong but I have found a lot of gas pumps are not accurate. most pumps that I have been to within 10 miles of my house seam to be off by as much as 3/4 of a gallon per fill up. I have found 2 that are within .1 off for a fill up. these descrepancies can make it seam like your car is off but more likley you are not getting the gas you are paying for.
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 7,965
    I'd agree that sometimes different pumps behave differently about when they shut off when filling the tank, but the amount of gasoline they deliver and what you pay for is certainly accurate as those pumps have to be regularly calibrated and certified.

    And even though calculating your mileage is simple (and something I do at every fill-up) a lot of people make basic mistakes when doing so. I recall one person who was looking for a new car, but wanted something that got the same mileage as her old one. She said she was getting 35-40 mpg on her old car, but there was no way that was happening since the EPA mileage estimates on that car were like 25-27 highway. What happened was the very first time she filled the car up, it took about 10 gallons of fuel, so she assumed that a fillup meant she had a 10 gallon tank. When she'd drive a tank almost dry, she'd fill up and then divide however many miles she had driven by 10. Problem was she had about a 15 gallon tank! So while she THOUGHT she was getting 35mpg, she was actually getting 23mpg.

    But the basic calculation is simple. Fill up, drive, and at the next fill up, divide the miles driven by the number of gallons you put in the tank. Yes, you can get the occasional "short fill" when a pump shuts off short of really filling the tank which can give you a higher mileage number, but that will correct itself the next fillup when you actually do fill up completely.

    I use the mileage calculation as a general guide to the health of my cars. If the mileage suddenly changes lower I sort of go on alert. If it stays low on the next fillup or tow, there may be some problem. But if it comes back to normal, it either was a fillup variation or some change in my normal driving patterns that caused the drop.

    But back to my original point, I don't think there's any way that a pump is delivering 3/4 of a gallon less than it says it is. On a 10 gallon fillup that's a 7% error. Just not going to happen on a regular basis.

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  • sammy3165sammy3165 Posts: 1
    We have had our Focus (2009 sedan -SEL) for just four weeks. Around town we were getting about 28.5 to 29.0 per gallon. My wife is an RN and makes short (10-15 mile) trips from visit to visit. This past week-end, we traveled 358 miles from our home in Southwest, FL to Brunswick, GA. I was very surprised and pleased when the car would "only" take 10 gallons of gas when I filled up for the return trip. That 35.8 figure with automatic and cool AC while cruising at 75 mph was really good news. I traded in an Escape that would do only about 25 mpg highways on its best day.
  • jcp123jcp123 Posts: 3
    I kept track of the '04 Infra-Red SVT Focus I had for 7358,8 miles. In that time:

    28,73mpg average
    21,22 worst
    36,61 best

    I noticed that SVT's are fuel-intensive in town, usually getting 22-24ish on a commute cycle, though with some mild hypermiling I usually garnered in the range of 27-28 on my commutes. However, on extended freeway travel, knocking down 33-35mpg tanks wasn't that hard to achieve.
  • I've been very satisfied with the mpg i'm getting in the SVT. This car has an awesome combination of performance and efficiency.

    The car currently has about 70k and was bought new in 2004.

    I had flashed the computer at the Ford dealer with the latest profile (I think sometime in 2005).

    I've been averaging about 28-31mpg in mixed but mostly highway. Its usually consistently either 29 or 30mpg mixed. I usually drive at an indicated 70-75mph on the highway. I also drive very conservatively in the city and only rarely will I go past 4500k RPM.

    Best I've ever recorded was 37mpg on a trip from NY to Boston. I didn't think it was possible but I traveled 283.3 miles on only 7.65 gallons. It was mild weather in the 60's, had the windows closed most of the way and kept the car mostly on cruise control at an indicated 65-75mph (my gps says my speedo is about 7% optimistic so my real speeds were ~60-72mph).

    Is this the highest mpg seen on a SVT?
  • I just want to share my experience with a 2009 Focus, AT, odometer 13500 miles.

    I have had this car for the last 4 days and used it for my usual commute. 40% is city, 40% is highway and 20% rural roads.

    I drive 47 miles each way (75 Kms) and keep speeds at 62 Mph or less. Other than for accelerating away from a red light I rarely go over 2000 RPMs. When I accelerate I do it rather swiftly. No use of AC. Ambient temperatures between 45 and 71.

    My average, not by the computer but by dividing gallons used by miles traveled is 42.

    My my normal ride, a 2007 Nissan Sentra 2.0. S with CVT only achieves 37 MPG, probably because it is somewhat heavier.

    Locally I can purchase a brand new 2010 Focus (AC/AT) for US$ 14095 plus taxes. Seems like a real good deal to me.
  • mnfmnf Spokane WaPosts: 405
    You should be able to do better than that look around with all the rebates off. take the $3000 off invoice ( not MSRP) thats where you should be able to purchase.

    Good luck
  • I will check with all the local dealerships and have them provide me with their best offer.

    Many thanks for the advice.
  • carlrjrcarlrjr Posts: 35
    I bought my 2011 Focus sedan new in February 2011; it's a base model that came with a hefty rebate. It drives a lot like my 2003 did but with softer tires and suspension (I blame the OEM Hankook's vs. the Goodyear's Ford used in 2003). The more powerful engine (140 vs. 2003's 110 hp) and stability control are a fair trade though; overall I'm quite pleased with the car.

    I have checked nearly every tank fill=to-fill for over a year noting the computer's stated MPG (reset every tank), gallons used, and miles. Here's what I've learned:

    1. If the 89 octane ethanol blend is only 10 cents per gallon less, I save money by paying 10 cents more per gallon for the 87 octane without ethanol due to increased mileage. I run ethanol every fourth tank or so because the ethanol carries any moisture in the fuel system out the tailpipe (like Heet).

    2. The MPG counter on my car is 5-15% optimistic. I have never had it come within 5% of calculated MPG, it's always high. It says 36 MPG, math shows 33.5. It says 42.5 MPG, math is 38 (roughly).

    3. I get 400-460 miles per tank at 11.5 to 13.1 gallons per fill. High score was exactly one tank just a drop over 40 MPG so far, average is 30-34 winter, 34-38 summer. And yes, I've ran the 'MILES REMAINING' indicator up to 8 miles past zero. I know, I know, that's not good for the fuel pump...

    In summary, I would recommend any 2003 or newer Focus to anyone shopping used that prefers to buy American (both of mine were built in Michigan). I have needed only maintenance, no repairs for 115,000 miles on the 2003 I sold in 2007 and 25,000 so far on my 2011.
  • sobsbocsobsboc Posts: 4
    Please post real world MPG figures here and state whether you have the "SFE" package or which power train, driving conditions, etc.
  • kam327kam327 Posts: 115
    I have a 2012 SEL sedan with the dual clutch auto. I get about 32 mpg in mixed city / suburban road driving (no expressway). The car has 1700 miles on it so far so that should improve over time. The computer displayed 42 mpg once after a 30-mile easy country road drive.
  • I am getting 27-28 miles mpg with 80% of my driving on flat/straight road with few traffic light stops. My rpm runs at 27000 at 70 mph. I have a 2011 ford fusion with the I4 engine and it runs at 17000 rpm at 70 mph. Any ideas on why the focus is underperforming per their rating of 27-37 mpg? I ahve a 2012 Ford Focus SE Sport Hatchback with automatic transmission.
  • markus5markus5 Posts: 102
    edited March 2012
    Suggesting to you that something is not right here. The RPM's should be lower. I do not have any direct experience with these cars, but your 4 cylinder Focus with 6 speed auto transmission should allow the engine to turn about the same speed as your 6 speed Fusion. The Fusion engine may have a bit more torque than the Focus, based mainly on its larger displacement., but it is also pushing around considerably more weight.

    In my '04 Focus with the 2.3 engine, I do about 2750 rpm, at 70mph, about 3100 rpm at 80. It has 118,000 miles which I have had since new.
    It is returning about the same mileage now as new. It really depends on how aggressive I am driving. I will tell you that I am easily getting 27-28 in mixed driving if I drive reasonably. Some thing is not right with your tranny. Have it checked.
  • kam327kam327 Posts: 115
    edited March 2012
    2700 rpm @ 70 mph is a little high. Should be more like 2500-2550. Have you had the latest transmission software update done? Others have reported that that has moved the shift points a little and resulted in lower highway rpm's.

    These new Focus's are known for fuel economy dropping off much quicker with increased speed than usual. They also seem to be more sensitive to fuel. On the other hand if you can manage to keep the speed under 60 on a highway trip you should see over 40 mpg...
  • erzeszuterzeszut Posts: 16
    Under 60mph on a highway trip? On many (perhaps even most) US highways, that speed is well out of the norm of the traffic flow and could be dangerous.
  • My service manager is supposed to check out the software update at my request. That was my thoughts too in cking performance issue. I have to agree that i would probably cause traffic issues traveling at 60 or below on the fourlane hjghways i travel and still feel
    mpg perflrmance should not be compromised going 65-70 mph in todays world.there are no indications of such in the Ford commercial boasting of 40 mpg vehicles. Holefully updating software will help my mpg performance issue. Thanks for your input.
  • joegiantjoegiant Posts: 90
    Approaching 3500 miles on our new 5spd Focus SE. With about a 90% highway usage (fun driving commuter car btw) just hit 36.0 on the mpg meter. Just what the window sticker suggested. Satisfied. And as mentioned in a previous post, this engine does run high on the tach at 70mph but I really don't care. 36 mpg hwy is 36 mpg hwy. :D
  • gkachmargkachmar Posts: 2
    edited April 2012
    I just returned from a three week trip to Italy where we rented a base level 2011 Focus hatchback with 45K kilometers on the odometer, a TDI Diesel, six speed manual and 15" wheels. It rode comfortably, handled well, did not lack for acceleration or passing power, held two 24" suitcases and two 21" carry-ons easily in the covered trunk, felt safe and secure at 100+ mph on autostradas and averaged 43 mpg (5.5 liters per 100 KM) over 900+ miles. Most of the driving was in congested traffic and about half on twisty mountain roads in Campania and the Abruzzo.

    We were so impressed that I looked into buying a similar car to replace an aging SAAB wagon.

    But, here in the USA:

    - no Diesel
    - five speed gearbox
    - harsh riding 18" wheels/tires if you want upscale features and a nicer interior
    - also, no station wagon

    I'll believe the "One Ford" slogan when they start selling Focus and Fusion (Mondeo) Diesel station wagons with six speed manuals. Until then it's just marketing B.S.
  • kam327kam327 Posts: 115
    "- harsh riding 18" wheels/tires if you want upscale features and a nicer interior "

    Not true. The 18" wheels are only in the optional Handling package on the Titanium trim. The Titanium normally comes with 17" wheels. You can also get most of the Titanium features in a fully loaded SEL which also has 17" wheels.

    "I'll believe the "One Ford" slogan when they start selling Focus and Fusion (Mondeo) Diesel station wagons with six speed manuals. Until then it's just marketing B.S."

    When diesels and wagons start selling well here I'm sure more companies will bring them here.
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