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Old 11-27-2008, 11:48 PM   #1
irish44j
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Join Date: Oct 2008
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Location: Burke, VA
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09 OPB SM WRXsedan
85 BMW E30 M2 Rallycrossr

Default 09 WRX fuel mileage results after 3,000 miles.

Thought I'd share my fuel mileage results (semi-scientific?) after 3000 miles on the 09 WRX, since it's a fairly new car out there and may or may not differ from previous models

A few setup notes:
- EPA estimate is 18 city/24 highway according to my window sticker
- All fuel purchases were logged to 1/10th accuracy, and mileage recorded to 1/10th accuracy.
- Measurements are based on actual fuel use, not on the "trip computer"
- My driving style during this period was "moderate." Was not trying to attain any result, just driving normally - including occasional WOT runs, mellow driving coming home from bars, and my typical heavy foot coming out of turns.
- Car is stock, for all intents and purposes.
- Based on inaccuracy of filling up the tank over a 3000 mile period, I estimate a margin of error of 0.25mpg for all my numbers below, give or take.


Results:

HWY: Over 95% highway cruising between 70 and 85 mph, including short stops at rest stops/convenience stores/gas stations during several recent road trips:

26.7mpg actual.
28.3mpg reported by trip computer

CITY: Over 95% city/suburban driving in areas with alot of stoplights, most roads 25-50mph, and typical traffic

21.6mpg actual
23.1mpg reported by trip computer

AVERAGE COMMUTE: My typical commute consists of:
- 6 miles suburban 25-40mph with many stoplights
- 13 miles highway (I-95/495) with about 10 minutes in bumper-to-bumper traffic and the rest of the time at abotu 70mph
- 5 miles heavy suburban/city with numerous stoplights and heavy, slow traffic. Average speeds 15-30mph

This combined average commute resutled:

22.8mpg actual
24.3mpg reported by trip computer.

Conclusions:
- Even with a heavy foot in snarled traffic, I never had any tank get under 20.6mpg, so I don't know where they got 18 from.
- Alot of my highway driving was over 75mph, where the car turns over 3k rpm, and yet still put up better highway numbers than EPA estimates.
- Also did a highway trip with the bike rack on the roof and my winter tires (Dunlop Wintersport 3D) on the car, and averaged 26.2mpg on two full tanks averaging about 70mph. So the extra wind drag and rolling resistance only cost about 1/2 of a mpg.
- Generally speaking, the trip computer on the dash showed mileage roughly 1.5mpg better than what the car was actually getting.

Thoughts:
- Would like a taller 5th gear. For driving on large highways it is ridiculous to be turning over 3k rpms at typical speeds (75+mph).
- EPA estimates are clearly tougher using the new measuring system than with the old one. To get the poor 18/24 mileage they state, though, one would have to drive like a complete maniac and drop the hammer from every stoplight. Not very realistic.
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Old 11-28-2008, 02:09 AM   #2
oRenj9
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Default

That's a pretty decent increase in fuel economy compared to my 07. When I first got it, I was seeing like 14mpg. Now I'm stage two and I usually average 22 with a decent amount of highway (60% or so).
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Old 11-28-2008, 07:24 AM   #3
boostdog
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wow that's great mileage...i wonder why it's higher than previous years? but good to know the mileage is there. thanks for the info !
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Old 11-28-2008, 07:46 AM   #4
Garandman
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Default

That's good to know. Mine has less than 1,000 miles on it but I am logging all fuel consumption in a notebook.

I logged all the use on my 06 OBW and found it to continue to improve for the first 20,000 miles. So you should see further increases. I live in Boston and commute out, so I seldom get "clear highway" mpg. The OBW MPG drops pretty dramatically from 65 to 75 to 80.

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Old 11-28-2008, 08:12 AM   #5
savsuby300
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I can't help but think some of this is due to a higher flow catalytic converter and the different turbo. All alows the engine to breath better.
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Old 11-28-2008, 09:04 AM   #6
nhmtns
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After 2500 miles in my '09, I'm at 23.4 mpg.
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Old 11-28-2008, 09:32 AM   #7
Derbagger
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sounds alot like my '05. just more power.
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Old 11-28-2008, 10:51 AM   #8
FaastLegacy
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by savsuby300 View Post
I can't help but think some of this is due to a higher flow catalytic converter and the different turbo. All alows the engine to breath better.

There's not much difference there between the old cars and the '09. 26.7 mpg isn't anything record breaking.
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Old 11-28-2008, 11:03 AM   #9
Badmunky
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R.I.P Colin! :(

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My stage 2 07 averages close 30mpg most of the time. My friends 08 2.5i averages about 26mpg. Its all in how you drive it.
Also my 07 pulls 3000rpm at about 78mph.
Your gearing seams off some how?

Later.
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Old 11-28-2008, 11:38 AM   #10
Stanley
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My 2002 got 20-22, almost invariably. I should note that the only highway driving I did was always with racks on top of the car - either a Thule box with gear or mountain bikes. I got just under 27 on the one road trip I took without racks on the car. It is impressive that the bigger motor with more power is getting similar or better results.
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Old 11-28-2008, 11:40 AM   #11
Samirr76
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3000rpm @ 75-78mph is very reasonable for an engine of this design and displacement. Gearing a turbocharged engine with tall gear ratios, especially 5th gear, doesnt work too well. Not enough power to maintain speed at lower RPMs.
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Old 11-28-2008, 12:15 PM   #12
ZeppelinPie792
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90% of that is city driving
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Old 11-28-2008, 02:18 PM   #13
irish44j
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85 BMW E30 M2 Rallycrossr

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Badmunky View Post
My stage 2 07 averages close 30mpg most of the time. My friends 08 2.5i averages about 26mpg. Its all in how you drive it.
Also my 07 pulls 3000rpm at about 78mph.
Your gearing seams off some how?

Later.
3k rpm could be at 78. I wasn't being precise, just ballpark. On my last trip cruise was set at "about 75" and it was almost always at 3k. 3mph difference is my "margin of error"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samirr76 View Post
3000rpm @ 75-78mph is very reasonable for an engine of this design and displacement. Gearing a turbocharged engine with tall gear ratios, especially 5th gear, doesnt work too well. Not enough power to maintain speed at lower RPMs.
Good point, though would still like to see a "lugging gear" (i.e. 6speed) or overdrive to keep it down when you're in a flat long-distance cruise at 75-80mph. Because let's face it, nobody cruises at 60. Just used to other cars I've had turning 2500 or so on the highway..

But beggars can't be choosers
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Old 11-28-2008, 04:53 PM   #14
bugeye829
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pretty much exactly what i get on mine
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Old 11-28-2008, 07:21 PM   #15
itschasethebaby
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My friend says his 08' gets way worse mileage than the EPA Estimate, he must be a lead foot.
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Old 11-28-2008, 07:49 PM   #16
424wrx
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my 08 wrx stage 1 gets 25.1 average,no highway.a few redlines each day.i think that is pretty good.
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Old 11-28-2008, 08:00 PM   #17
RedWRXwagonN
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Default

Yeah, i have an 04 wagon, and i get about that, actually even a little better....i also agree about 5th gear needing to be taller....on a trip with 3 of my friends to and back from mass with rest stops inbetween, going about 80 the whole way, i got about 28 mpg(so annoying how it rpm's are at about 3200 at that speed.
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Old 11-28-2008, 11:45 PM   #18
96accord
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Very nice Irish!

i do NOT have the patience or the power (to keep of the gas pedal).
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Old 11-29-2008, 02:14 AM   #19
ejicon
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Default

Sounds about right. The most I got out of my WRX was 28.3mpg (actual) on a trip from LA to San Fran.
Street driving: The lowest I got was 18.5 because I would really push it to see what the worst gas mileage I could get driving like a jerk.
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Old 11-29-2008, 08:16 AM   #20
mourron
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Satin White Pearl

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Quote:
Originally Posted by irish44j View Post
26.7mpg actual.
28.3mpg reported by trip computer

21.6mpg actual
23.1mpg reported by trip computer

22.8mpg actual
24.3mpg reported by trip computer.
My car does the same annoying thing--it keeps telling me I'm getting ~2 MPG better than I actually am. I wish it could be a little more accurate. FYI, Im getting around 24 MPG with 75% highway at around 70-75 average on my '09 wagon. I do take it easy, but I'd like to see it a little better. Im at 1200 miles now, hoping it improves....
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Old 11-29-2008, 09:33 AM   #21
curiousfish
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Quote:
Originally Posted by itschasethebaby View Post
My friend says his 08' gets way worse mileage than the EPA Estimate, he must be a lead foot.
most probably...... I get roughly the same as the OP. But cruising at 75-80MPH is not the most economical for my car, so 65 is it for me.
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Old 11-29-2008, 09:59 AM   #22
Mike Wevrick
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irish: thanks for the report!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stanley View Post
My 2002 got 20-22, almost invariably. I should note that the only highway driving I did was always with racks on top of the car - either a Thule box with gear or mountain bikes. I got just under 27 on the one road trip I took without racks on the car. It is impressive that the bigger motor with more power is getting similar or better results.
Try it with a canoe on the roof, which is how I do at least half my highway driving Still get at least 25 mpg if I'm careful.

More power doesn't have to mean worse mpg. The actual amount of work done to move the car is the same. Our S500 (4500 lbs and over 300 hp and ft-lb) gets 25+ hwy if careful.
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Old 11-29-2008, 10:09 AM   #23
Garandman
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Default

The issue with turbos is their compression ratios aren't very high. So they're less efficient when they're off boost then a similar NA engine, which would normally have >10 compression ratio.

But for the level of performance offered, WRX's are quite economical. That is why I bought one: just ask my wife!
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Old 11-29-2008, 10:49 AM   #24
Stanley
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Wevrick View Post
Try it with a canoe on the roof, which is how I do at least half my highway driving Still get at least 25 mpg if I'm careful.

More power doesn't have to mean worse mpg. The actual amount of work done to move the car is the same. Our S500 (4500 lbs and over 300 hp and ft-lb) gets 25+ hwy if careful.
Yeah, well, I wasn't that careful. With the ski box on top, I'd go as fast as traffic would allow which was typically between 75-90mph. Plus, I have a hunch the gas in CA is inferior.

Before I bought the WRX, I was considering a Jeep. Evidently the four cylinder versions got worse highway than the six cylinder.
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Old 11-29-2008, 08:08 PM   #25
curiousfish
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VVG View Post
But for the level of performance offered, WRX's are quite economical. That is why I bought one: just ask my wife!
the trade off is great! There are cars out there that dont have the HP or the AWD with the same or worst gas mileage. My mom's Corolla has trouble getting 28MPG routinely, I blame it on auto tranny. I had a 5 speed Scion tC prior to the Subaru. I averaged about 27MPG which is slightly more than what I'm getting now but AWD and WHP equal to the Scion's BHP, I can live with that.
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