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Nissan Altima Hybrid Real World MPG



  • occkingoccking Posts: 346
    Obviously, I have gone thru many oil changes already, even though the first three were "free" the salesman never bothered to tell me must use synthetic oil (which is around $30 more expensive every oil change) Some of the guys in service really wonder if it is necessary. Right now, my vehicle at dealer getting 30,000 mile service which I expect will cost almost $500. However, part of deal made when I purchased (2) NAH's the adjoining dealer is a Subaru one, owned by the same people and they are allowing me to use ":Subaru Bucks" of which I have accumulated many over the past few years, so this service doesn;t really cost me that much.

    When I p/u car this afternoon will fill up as just completed another long trip, computer reads 34.1 mpg and I expect actual mpg will be around 32, now dropping a bit cause of the cold weather
  • langjielangjie Posts: 250
    sorry you aren't too happy with your mileage. the synthetic oil to use is 0w-20, I waited until after 15,000 miles before I changed to synthetic. with synthetic, you can go longer without an oil change because the oil doesn't break down as much as regular dino oil. I was getting oil changes every 3750, but not I am stretching it out to 6000-7000 miles between changes
  • My low fuel light came on around 350 miles. Usually, I do not see that until around 500. I filled up at 400 miles today -18 gallons. That is just over 20 mpg. I don;t understand what is going on. I always got around 30 mpg, driving the same way even last winter. I filled up at a different gas station in case that had anything to do with it.

    I can't understand how everyone seems to get so much better mileage than I. I do live in a hilly area and in the Northeast if that has anything to do with it. I am going to call the dealer and have them check things out but I have a feeling they will tell me nothing is wrong and try and blow me off. Any suggestions on how to handle this? Maybe I have a lemon?
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 7,963
    Since you mention that you got better mileage last winter, you may be seeing what has happened to me with the introduction of ethanol into the fuel you're using. In my convential vehicles I'm seeing a 10% drop in mileage due to the ethanol and I know someone with a hybrid who tracks their mileage carefully and they're seeing a 20% drop.

    It wouldn't surprise me at all if that's the culprit. You can read more about it in this discussion:
    The Inconvenient Truth About Ethanol

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  • occkingoccking Posts: 346
    Just filled up vehicle mentioned din post # 92, computer read 32.1, actual mpg was 29.2, lowest it has been in 9 months. This was for my wife's NAH, only has 5000 miles on it and used mostly for short, suburban trips so I conclude it is definitely the winter fuel. Plus, my wife longer "stares" at the computer, trying to keep the car in EV mode as much as possible, and probably driving a bit faster. On mine, last fill up for mostly highway driving got close to 33 mpg actual ( I think due to warmer weather)

    For anyone to be getting close 20, something is wrong!
  • langjielangjie Posts: 250
    There seems like there is something wrong with your NAH. How long does it take you to drive 400 miles? How many miles do you drive per day?
  • I drive 400-500 miles every two weeks. After I posted about my terrible gas mileage, I had two more fill ups. The next one , I got 30 MPG but this last one is terrible. My needle is on empty and I only drove 400 miles. I am calling the dealer tomorrow and having this checked out. The only difference is the temps have been extremely frigid and we have had snow. This is a drop of 30% in my gas mileage.
  • Hi gammagirl: I have also had a big drop off in mpg. The other day I went to a doctor's appointment when it was -17 degrees farenheit. I had just put in a full tank the day before. It was at 27 when I parked it the day before. After I came back from the doctor's it was reading 21 mpg. I thought I had a problem with the computer calculations being it was so cold. Later in the day I put on a 200 mile trip averaging about 65 miles per hour. I watched it slowly climb from 21 to 29 throughout that trip. I parked it at 29 mpg where it remains. I believe that the NAH gets poor mileage when it's cold out. All summer I was getting 34 no matter what I did. Highway or city it was always 34 mpg. Now with it so cold, it's all over the place. I think your car is fine. It's just the cold that is affecting the performance. I'm confident it will be back to 34 as soon as the warmth returns. ;)
  • occkingoccking Posts: 346
    You are 100% correct, the cold weather does quite a number on gas mileage. I live near the Providence, RI area & still, for mostly highway driving have dipped down to 29 mpg, but nothing approaching 21. The weather warmed up a bit recently and on a long trip I was able to average 32.3. All Spring and last Summer I was always getting 33 to 35 mpg for the driving I do.
  • langjielangjie Posts: 250
    Have you taken your car to the dealer yet? Any response?
  • rocky63rocky63 Posts: 1
    Using the car's computer (which I know is probably a bit optimistic) I routinely and regularly get 33 mpg around town. In four recent trips between Monterey and Phoenix, with average speeds of about 61 to 63 mph, I have gotten about 38 mpg (again from the computer). Why would I get higher mileage on a high-speed, all-gasoline engine trip (where evmode almost never engages) than I get around town at lower speeds where evmode comes on frequently?

    This seems backwards. Thoughts/ideas?
  • tomscot2tomscot2 Posts: 33
    I have the same experience with my 2007 NAH.

    My conclusion is that fuel economy for this car is more related to using the electric motor to assist the gas engine during accleration. For straight cruising at freeway speeds the gas engine/transmission is set up to be most efficient when cruising at 60-65, the freeway speeds. The electric motor provides power for acceleration when you need it and to support the car's electric needs when the gas engine is off at stoplights.

    When you think about it, straight EV mode doesn't have that much of an impact on overall mileage because it doesn't last more than a couple of miles by itself.

    Those are my thoughts unsupported by reading any manuals or other techinal information on how the system is supposed to work :)

    San Diego, California
    2007 Nissan Altima Hybrid
    Radiant Silver - Black Leather
    Technology Package
    Purchased 5/26/2007
  • langjielangjie Posts: 250
    if you are driving around town for only 5-10 minutes, the warm up time affects your car a lot more than when you are driving for 30+ min. and the computer is about 2 mpg higher than real world
  • My first post and it's about the NAH. We just bought a 2009 with 8 miles on it. It's a base model meaning no options at all. We got the car with a little over a quarter of a tank according to the meter and I drove it about 85 miles and the meter barely moved under the 1/4 mark but the low gas warning came on. I filled the take up about 15 miles later and it took 16.5 gallons of gas. I guess it had close to four gallons left when the reserve light comes on. In two days, I drove about seventy miles and about twenty five miles of it was highway going about 65-70 mph. The rest was city driving and the trips lasted about 15 minutes each time and the distance was about four miles. I filled it up and it stopped at 1.4 gallons. I hit the handle two more times to top it off and it stopped around 1.7 gallons. From my calculations, I just got 40 mpg. I was driving about 25-30 mph in the city, and I have been feathering the gas pedal from a standstill to keep it into EV mode up to 10 mph or higher sometimes before the engine kicks in but by no means am I coasting or gliding or whatever the Prius guys do to max out the mileage. Except for the light pedal starting out I drive it like it was a regular car. Did I get lucky or is my experience too short to determine anything?

    I do live in SF and we have a lot of hills I go down but on the return trips I have to go up the same hills(going and coming back from work or my wife's work)
  • wayne8888wayne8888 Posts: 19
    Hi All,
    I have been waiting for summer to improve my 2008 Altima Hybrid's mileage. I bought it brand new in January 2009 in MD where they seem to import them from New Jersey to sell onesey twosey in this non Altima Hybrid State. I traded in a 2008 Camry Hybrid fo get it. The Camry was giving me about 33 mpg city and 40-44 mpg highway. Unfortunately with the Altima Hybrid, I am only getting 27-29 mpg in the city (and this is with the optimistic computer) and low 30's on the highway (so the city mileage is what is the huge disappointment to me .....even in July). I have nearly 5000 miles on my Altima hybrid and drove 11K miles on the Camry Hybrid. I love the Altima but it does not touch my former Camry Hybrid in mileage. It might be the luck of the draw with the Altima Hybrid with some individual vehicles beating the average but also with others falling far short of the average.
    Has anyone noticed any differences in mileage with different brands of gasoline? Thanks!
  • xavxav Posts: 23
    30 mpg for the first tank (that I manually measured). About 50-50 city/highway. We also use the A/C all the time and I played with the acceleration a little.

    The dealership told us not to expect to get good success with the first tank, given that the hybrid system batteries are not charged yet.

    What do you guys think?
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 7,963
    I suppose that "batteries not charged" might affect mileage on a brand new hybrid, but the first tank is no time to judge the mileage performance of any vehicle.

    There are a lot of things going on while a car "breaks in" including you getting used to driving a different vehicle. This applies whether we're talking about a hybrid or not, so give things some time to settle out.

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  • cephraimcephraim Posts: 31
    The battery should only take a few minutes and few regen braking cycles to charge. So, I don't buy that.

    It's most likely the break-in period of the car (as pf flyer suggests) and the break-in period of the driver. Getting over 40mpg out of this car requires adjusting your driving style. I'm getting about 50mpg on the last few tanks, but started in the mid 30s.

  • WOW 50 mph! I just purchased a NAH base but will not take delivery for 10 days due to the junker trade gov't program but I am wondering if you can give us some tips on how you do so well.
  • cephraimcephraim Posts: 31
    I would suggest checking out


    These sites have a lot of info on hypermiling...
  • newcarsnewcars Posts: 103
    I currently own a 2007 Toyota Camry Hybrid and was very seriously thinking about buying new 2009 Nissan Altima Hybrid but I never pulled the trigger. The Nissan just didn't seem as "smooth" as the Toyota, although I think it drives better. I also had heard that the NAH did not quite equal the fuel economy of the TCH but I never heard it being as bad as you experienced.

    General question, however, why did you decide to trade and (except for the fuel economy) do you have any regrets?
  • roar02ramroar02ram Posts: 12
    There's very little about the gas motor in a hybrid that's special. The only way to get better gas mileage in a hybrid is to KEEP THE GAS MOTOR OFF. If you aren't vigilant about this, then your mileage will dwindle downward to roughly that of a gas 2.5 Altima (if not a bit worse b/c of the extra weight from the batteries). There are lots of factors that can keep the gas motor on including anything other than the slowest/easiest accelleration, highway speeds, and cold weather.

    I'm always amazed by people who buy hybrids without understanding the technology, simply expect the car to magically return better mileage, and then say the car's "defective" after it doesn't do what they want it to do.

    '07 NAH
  • Hi,

    The reason that I traded in my Camry Hybrid for the Altima Hybrid was mainly (as a 6 year owner of a 6 cyl Altima Hybrid 3.5SE) I wanted to get back to the Altima feel on the road. I also assumed that I would get the 35 mpg in the city (I do a lot of city driving) that the Altima Hybrid was hyped to get compared to 33 mpg city for the Camry Hybrid. Well I am very sorry that I gave up the Camry Hybrid in terms of gas mileage. I had no trouble getting 33 city with the Camry and can't even get more than 29 mpg with the NAH. I tend to try to drive it the same way as I did the TCH like coasting whenever possible and not roaring off to a start and using the cruise control in the same manner as with the Camry Hybrid. But what worked for me for 11 months (and 11K miles) in the Camry Hybrid does not work for me with the Altima Hybrid. I have had the NAH for 6 months and 5k miles. I do like the ride and the pep but could have gotten that with the 2.5S Altima for a lot less $$$ and nearly as good mileage!
  • cephraimcephraim Posts: 31
    Cruise control on the highway is good, but not great.

    For better fuel efficiency, you're better off driving with constant throttle vs. constant speed, kinda like the truck drivers do. Faster downhill and slower uphill.

    This is called "driving with load (DWL)", one of many "hypermiling" techniques.

    Check out for more ideas, if you are interested.


    44mpg in the summer.
  • Very interesting. Most of the time, I drive in the city and I estimate I get about 31 mpg in the city. That's not bad considering I used to have a 2002 Corolla and I only got 22 MPG in the city. A 2.5 S will likely get the same mileage as the Corolla in SF city driving, and be down about 20 plus HP compared to the NAH. The CVT transmission in the NAH is better than the NA 2.5S so be glad you don't that transmission.

    Sorry to hear your NAH is not working out to your expectations. So far, it's working out well for me.
  • Glad that you are having a good experience with your NAH. In Maryland only a couple of dealers import one or 2 Hybrid Altimas (probably from New Jersey which is the nearest state selling them). Mainly they seem to import the top end model (leather bluetooth navigation system, spoiler , sat radio, etc) I should have gone up to NJ myself so that I could have gotten a lower end NAH. I must admit though, I love the rear Camera! I now only back into places and it makes parallel parking as easy as pie. But anyway, a lower end (with a price about 5K or so lower would have lowered the sting of paying so much for crummy mileage (compared to Camry Hybrid). I guess I either have a dud or I need to drive the NAH differently than I drove the Camry Hybrid to get better mileage. I will be experimenting some more I guess!
  • You aren't the only one complaining about mileage. Somehow, it just happens. Sometimes, i wish I had more features like the backup camera but we bought it based on price and incentives and the things we don't have we can live with. I have no real suggestions on how to drive it since it's our first Hybrid. Hopefully, you'll find a solution to get the best gas mileage possible.
  • I'm still on my first tank of gas and am kind of wondering about the mileage. In Canada, everything is in kilometers. When I left the dealership, the "range" showed 605 km. I'm down to almost 1/2 tank of gas and the range is showing 575 km. I keep running the numbers in my head and I'm not looking at very good mileage (for a hybrid). I owned an '06 Altima 2.5 and the mileage on my hybrid seems very similar to my '06.

    Does the mileage get better on the hybrd. I only have about 250km on the car, but it's through almost 1/2 tank of gas and am wondering. It's been mostly city driving with about 50km of the 250 being on highway. Just a sidenote 1.6km = 1 mile.

    I don't think that I'm that heavy of a driver...but the gas meter even moved the first day that I started driving the car.

    Any suggestions?
  • langjielangjie Posts: 250
    from the other forum also, it sounds like your dealer didn't really give you a full tank of gas. refill it up and then make a judgment
  • As a follow-up to my above question, I would like to know when is the car actually running in "hybrid" mode?
    - I know from reading the manual that anytime it says "EV" mode on the dash, that it's running as a hybrid (with the electric motor), but that is usually only up to 60 km/hr (40 mph). Does the car not run in hybrid mode past those speeds? How about if I'm driving down the highway on a long trip? Will EV mode come on at highway modes?

    I'm wondering because if EV mode only comes at low speeds, then basically what I have is a 4 cyl 158 hp car for highway driving (where I had a 2.5 lire 175hp '06 Altima before) that had way more power for the highway.

    Appreciate any feedback.

This discussion has been closed.