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Nissan Versa Real World MPG



  • I would average MPG over at least 5 tankfuls. I do not believe you will achieve 40 MPG consistently, maybe 1 tank once in a while.

    To break in the engine in your Versa, the worst you can do is use cruise control over the first few thousand miles. You should vary speeds and rpm's and let the transmission do much of the breaking, to properly seat the rings.

    If you are very light on the gas, you will achieve MPG in the 32 to 38 range.
  • daniknightdaniknight Posts: 15
    You can't judge gas mileage by a fill-up of only 5 gallons. The less you put in to fill it, the higher (and more inaccurate) your mpg will be. My understanding is that you need to run the tank down below a quarter and then fill it to accurately gauge mpg. I always run mine down 'till the idiot light comes on.
  • jacksan1jacksan1 Posts: 504
    I agree with others in that your mileage figure was derived with insufficient data. With a snapshot data capture, your number can look disproportionately high. Even larger cars like the Accord or Camry can achieve and have recorded mid- to high-30 MPGs when using snapshot datum.You need to do a full tank at a minimum, and preferably, multiple tanks as others say, before your MPG figure becomes more realistic and statistically meaningful. I hate to burst your bubble, but it is quite likely that your MPG figures will now be going downhill from what you posted above.
  • Hi folks,
    thanks for the insights. You make some valid points, and I appreciate the pointer about not using CC too much at this early stage (do CVTs have rings?). That said, as a statistician I cannot see how my estimate would be much of an overestimate since I used a conservative estimation technique (e.g., it would be difficult to underestimate the amount of gas used, unless the dealership has some way to get much more gas in the tank than me). Sampling error would decrease somewhat in going from 5.4 to 10 or more gallons. but not by a huge amount (like going from 1 to 5 gallons). Indeed, a much bigger factor in any mileage estimation would be the fact that with more driving one would sample more of a mixture of city and highway driving conditions which will obviously reduce the mean highway value. We call this temporal averaging in my field and it is somewhat problematic in that it confounds variation with the mean and can obscure very important trends within the data. If one ideally wants to obtain a highway estimate of mileage then the mileage should only be estimated for the portion of a tank that represents highway travel and the same could be said of city driving. I don't know about you folks, but its a pretty rare event that I burn off a whole tank on a highway, much less 5 tanks (I believe that would probably get me roughly from Maine to Montana). If one wants to reduce sampling error it would be much better to calculate the mean of several estimates for purely highway trips (fill at the on-ramp and refill at the off-ramp). This would provide an estimate of the pure highway value and and estimate of what we call the standard error of the mean (different than the variance of the data itself). This value is useful in that it allows one to actually quantify statistically whether one mileage estimate is higher or lower than some expected value (like the EPA estimate). One could of course do the same thing for city driving.

    Another way to handle error is to estimate bounds on the likely error and estimate what that would do to the final estimate. In my case, some quick calculations show that my estimate would not be off by more than two miles per gallon had I somehow put a full third of a gallon less gas in the car than the dealership was able to (and I did slow my fill near the end and topped off, which I usually do not do, to guard against this error and make my estimate somewhat conservative).

    I don't mean to be unrealistic and I hope you did not think that I was claiming that I expect my car will always get 38 mpg, I'm just happy to not get the really poor mileage that some folks reported (i.e., 20's for highway). I would still be very happy with a Versa that gets 36-38 mpg on the highway brand new. I should clearlyl get more chances to quantify mileage and provide the sort of estimate I described above.

  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    What we mean, talking about "short refills," is that the .25-.5 gallon "fill variation" based on pump shut off sensitivity and angle of the station floor is less significant when you are working with 10-12 gallons of fill than when you are working with 5 gallons of fill. Fill variation is the greatest single source of error in calculating mpg. That's why the recommendation to average over 5 tanks. Yes, you'll have to go on a holiday to get 5 all-freeway tanks. Yes, a small amount of city driving can really "kill" your apparent mpg.

    The engine has rings. Although modern cylinders have a "break in pattern" machined into the cylinder walls, the last two remaining pieces of advice - make that three pieces - are:

    1. Varying engine speed helps seat the rings. Thus city driving is better than freeway driving, and freeway driving with cruise is the worst.

    2. When cold,you shouldn't use more than 1/4 throttle.

    3. When warm, during breakin (first 600-1000 miles) you should use no more than 3/4 throttle - no "pedal to the metal." Speeds up to 80 or 90 are generally fine though, top speed isn't an issue so much anymore.
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    ...and if you have a manual transmission, don't "lug" the engine during the break-in period. Lugging means letting the rpm get too low, close to the stalling point. Conversely don't leave it in 3rd on the freeway. Keep the rpm in the "sweet middle."
  • jacksan1jacksan1 Posts: 504
    And we have to remember that the number of gallons used equals the sample size. The fewer the number of gallons used to compute the MPG (the smaller the sample size is), the more susceptible the resultant MPG would be to data skewing. micweb's point about the five-tankful deal is essentially the same thing. You are spreading the fluctuations that occur at pumps over more gallons of gas, thus blunting the "data damage" of aberrant fuel-up experiences.
  • I bought my 1.8 S automatic in July 2007. Averaged 31.8 mpg for the first 5000 miles. The mpg then declined gradually to a low point of less than 25 mpg in mostly city traffic with the AC always on. On a 1500 mile trip I got less than 29 mpg all highway driving. At 13,000 miles I went for an oil change. The tech inflated all tires up to 40 psi. EUREKA! In the last 2500 miles since that oil change I have gotten 34.4 mpg, about 70% highway driving with the AC usually on. Moral of this story is - keep your tires pumped up to maximum pressure if you want to get maximum mpg.
  • jacksan1jacksan1 Posts: 504
    I agree with you that maintaining a good tire pressure, or for that matter, a high tire pressure, does help with the fuel efficiency. However, I do note one problem with your comparisons. You first stated:

    The mpg then declined gradually to a low point of less than 25 mpg in mostly city traffic with the AC always on

    Then you wrote:

    EUREKA! In the last 2500 miles since that oil change I have gotten 34.4 mpg, about 70% highway driving with the AC usually on.

    I don't want to sound too picky, but from these descriptions you are not comparing your Versa in the like situations. There is a big difference between driving mostly city traffic and driving 70% highway. In fact, in some cars, a gain of 50% or more in mileage is not unusual when you go from pure city driving to highway driving even without raising the tire pressure.

    I and many others know that raising the tire pressure is good for mileage. The question for your Versa is how much of the mileage jump is attributable to the tire pressure, and how much of it is the driving condition. It is a little difficult to isolate the two with your situation.
  • jacksan1jacksan1 Posts: 504
    Consumer Reports did get 20 MPG on their CVT Versa SL in a pure city driving environment. However, you wrote that your 20 MPG had come from the combined city and highway. What would you say the breakdown is between the two?
  • Hi folks,
    just thought I would let you know that I am still very pleased with the mileage on our Versa. We now have over 1300 miles on the car with 4 tank fills (first fill was a bit small but later fills were large (9-11+ gallons). I have yet to get under 33.2 mpg including one tank that was entirely in city driving and one tank (my most recent) that was what I consider tough highway driving (80+ mph, AC on and passing numerous other cars). A mixed highway-city tank with plenty of AC use (ca. 50/50 each) netted us 34.7 mpg. Clearly, how you drive the car makes a big difference in mileage, but if our bottom end stays above 33 for all types of driving (as it has so far) we certainly couldn't ask for more (we are doing much better than the new EPA estimate for the SL CVT 30/33). The potential to hit 38+ with careful highway driving (60 mph with CC and no AC) is just icing on the cake. Hopefully I will get a chance to try to replicate those conditions soon.

  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    That's very impressive mileage with the CVT. Early reports indicated the 4 speed conventional automatic actually delivered better gas mileage, around 30mpg, although the CVT had better pickup. It's good to hear that 32+ mpg are within reach with the CVT. Maybe for my next one I'll get the CVT instead of the 6 speed manual. So far my mpg on a mostly freeway commute has been 32 mpg, good but not any better than my former, much larger Dodge Caliber with 1.8 and 5 speed manual.

    The other car I use for my commute (I switch them off to keep the mileage lower) is a Honda Fit and has been consistently returning 37+ mpg on the same commute, but it is a much smaller, less posh vehicle.
  • g35johng35john Posts: 12
    I am now conssistanly getting 34-35 mpg on my SL HB CVT. I drive about 70% hwy. Some of that time is in heavy stop and go traffice as well.
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,992
    The reason you didn't see the fuel gauge move as quickly when you filled up slow is simply because you were able to put more gas in the tank, not because you're getting any better MPG.
  • rennie4rennie4 Posts: 55
    I just drove 466 miles on my 2008 nissan versa cvt. I pumped in 12.5 gallons (top off gas came out) of gas for an average of 37.3 mpg. half the miles were pure highway driving at 60 mph. about 40 miles in traffic. The rest of the miles were suburban driving on 1 lane roads and some city driving. I usually average 33-34.5 without ever touching a highway!!!
  • rennie4rennie4 Posts: 55
    BTW my versa is a 2008 cvt versa with 40,000 miles on the odometer if that means anything.
  • That means that you have one of the Versas with the highest ODO numbers.

    I drive a 2007 Sentra with CVT, average 35 MPG so far and just reached 30k miles.
  • Hi,
    I recently got a 2009 Versa SL sedan and am very happy with it except with the mileage. I have 650 miles and I am getting an average of 30 mpg with mostly highway driving and driving at 60 miles/hour without much throtling. Does the versa 2008 have better mileage than 2009 or is it because I am still in the breakin period? My other question is that the main front headlights have a orange reflector on the side but I think it doesnt work as the left and right indicator lights are loacted in the front of the headlight. Does anyone know if it is for the left and right indicator and is it that mine is not working or am I missing something here.
  • Disappointed for its fuel efficiency after driving this car for 4 months. The engine is capable of delivering more MPG. The poor gearing ratio on the manual 5 speed is preventing 2008 Versa from delivering at least 34 MPG normal freeway driving with A/C on. The 6 speed is useless as it is set too low to achieve any real fuel savings as a properly designed overdrive should be. It is equivalent to the 4th gear on my manual 5 speed Toyota Corolla. This explains why folks on the forum often mentioning about the engine noise on freeway speed due whining from the low gear ratio at 6 speed. Do not buy this car, if you're looking for additional fuel saving from driving a stick shift. Not this car. The extra $3000 for a 2009 Honda Fit delivers more value not to mention much higher quality control built into the assembly process than the Versa.
  • Design flaw preventing better MPG for 2008 Versa.
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 7,961
    I'm still getting 32-35 mpg out of my Versa depending on the amount of highway miles and contingent on staying away from ethanol-blended fuel.

    Even though I'm happy with the mielage, it does feel like cars in general could get more out of each gallon, but I'm afraid that's going to have to come from giving up the added weight of a lot of the add ons that we've become accustomed to in our vehicles.

    That brings up an interesting question... would you trade some convenince and safety for mileage? The weight of airbag systems. The comfort of air conditioning. There's a lot of stuff on our cars now that eats into mileage.

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  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 7,961
    Being forced to use ethanol laced fuel has cut my mileage basically by 10%. I know that driving styles can have a big impact on mileage performance, but I've ALWAYS gotten EPA numbers on all my cars. Now it's pretty much impossible.

    I wonder how many mileage complaints you see online are caused in part by the ethanol hit?

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  • rpm7rpm7 Posts: 4
    comuteguy, I agree. My 2008 Honda Fit has plenty of torque, a good-feeling ride and handling, and in about 20 tanks I averaged around 40mpg. In this class the Fit is a great choice.
  • I compute my fuel economy on every tank of gas - a habit I got from my mother. I have been averaging 28-29 mpg using regular -(87 octane) fuel for the city driving.
    On long distance trips - with 3 adults and 1 child - I have averaged 42-44 mpg using the Air Conditioner it is 42 - w/o AC it is 44. I'm a conservative driver which means I do not do jack rabbit starts and don't speed either. I set the cruise at exactly 70 on the interstate, and observe the posted speed limits religiously. I want to set a positive example for my children, and community that shows that I'm not fuelish.
  • jacksan1jacksan1 Posts: 504
    A wonderful habit it is to drive a fuel-efficient car with good driving manners. I often say to my wife that, hey, we all get there, so why pollute unnecessarily in the process?

    On a tangential note, I recently rented a Hyundai Sonata (I4, not V6) for three days, and was pleasantly surprised to have gotten 35.2 MPG for the tank (95% highway). With a car like this, I couldn't help but drive conservatively, and it showed in the gas mileage! :)
  • Hi,
    We purchased a Versa hatchback with CVT (variable) automatic transmission last fall. We now have 13k on it, but the mileage is still poor; nearly 25% worse than published. The local dealer has been no help, and just shrugs it off. We do everything possible to squeeze the rated mileage out of it, but to no avail. Our best highway mileage of 8.4 l/100 is still far cry from the rated city mileage of 7.9 and highway mileage of 6.3 l/100 km. After all I've read, I starting to believe this vehicle was over-sold, unless someone can give me a better reason. :lemon:

    Paul in Victoria
  • crutnackercrutnacker Posts: 38
    It seems odd that the flying wall shape of the Cube seems to be getting better mileage than the Versa, since they're both essentially the same underneath. (I know the Cube is a bit lighter, but not that much.)
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    I think it takes a very light foot on the CVT to get good mileage, it is very willing to deliver acceleration at the price of gas mileage!

    Also a lot of us drive more city miles than we think and that kills mileage.

    Have you tried filling up just before a really, really long road trip, then refilling and calculating your mileage?
  • daiseyhdaiseyh Posts: 1
    I love my Nissan Versa Hatchback!!! :)

    I bought it new in April of 2008 in Hawaii and usually averaged between 38-42 mpg. I opted to get the upgraded packaged with the CVT transmission, bluetooth feature, and other accessories.

    I was really suprised to see so many disgruntled users. In Hawaii the fastest highway speed is 60 mph, this may also have something to do with why I was getting better mileage than most users. Now that I've moved to the mainland, I'll see what my mpg will be with faster speed limts.

    I hope this helps. :D
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