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2017 - Terrible Gas Mileage - 22.5 MPG Average?

12508 Views 59 Replies 42 Participants Last post by  Benny_Squach
I've owned my 2017 Fully Loaded Forester since 2017 (purchased new) when I was in Reno, NV. While I lived in Reno, the gas mileage was not good at all for general driving - I think I was getting on average 25mpg. I figured it was due to the high elevation.

Well, I now live in Bellingham, WA and I have roughly 22,500 miles on my car, and the average MPG is 22.5. I get this regardless of putting regular or premium unleaded in (tried 4 tanks in a row).

We have no extra weight in the car, and don't drive it crazy at all.

I'm appalled at this horrible gas mileage. The highest I've ever seen the car display is 28MPG when it was driven on the freeway for hours after a refill. I've never, ever broken 30MPG.

Is anyone else experiencing terrible MPG with their 2017 forester? Is this a problem due to the horizontal engine, or some other factor?

My car has been properly serviced since day one and the ECU reports no issues at all.

Honestly, if I knew the MPG was this bad, I never would have purchased the car.
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Which Michelin tires do you have that you noticed the mpg drop with?
I live in the Reno area and my 2015 Limited has averaged just a tad under 28 mpg (calculated by dividing actual miles driven by actual gallons of gas purchased since I bought the car new). I drive roughly 1/2 city and 1/2 highway miles. On the highway, with the engine completely warmed up, the onboard computer shows about 32-33 mpg for longer trips such as to Pyramid Lake and back, or between Verdi and Sparks. I usually maintain my tire pressures at about 3-4 psi over the factory recommendation. I also change my air filter and clean the MAF sensor once per year. I never let the engine fast idle from a cold start until the blue temp light goes off since that's a waste of gas and not necessary. I start the engine, let it run just a few seconds, then get going which is the best way to get a cold engine warmed up quickly.
I have a 2015 Forester. My mileage dropped when I was forced to buy new tires. The OEM gave better mileage. My Michelin probably are safer. Mileage dies much above 70. At 65mph it is great. At 80 it is not. It was probably rated at 65mph. Great car but not perfect. Very happy with my first car I ever bought new. I have been buying cars since 1970.
I also have a 2015 and also noticed an apparent mileage drop after installing new Michelins (the rebadged Defenders that Michelin supplies to membership clubs, labeled X-Tour AS).

Then I realized that the smoother, quieter Michelins were encouraging me to drive faster. I made a point of reproducing the kind of driving that originally produced 32mpg on highway trips, on the same roads, same speeds, same conditions, and it turned out the fuel economy was the same. Toda, a year into the new Michelins, everything is fine.
"Appalled". Right.

Zero sympathy here.

What were you expecting?

And why didn't you know ahead of time the "poor mileage" rating of the car? It's not like they kept it a secret since every new car comes with an EPA mileage rating sticker ...and heaven knows there's enough online information on the subject. Nowhere in any fuel mileage stat will you find it starting with the number "3" with regard to the Fozzie.

Here's a link to the EPA website and the mileage ratings that should have been on the window sticker:

I'm sure you realize these EPA ratings bear very little on the actual in-use real world MPG's you're going to get. Right? The old rule was to take the city mileage and use it as expected real world highway mileage; city mileage would be less. But the numbers you're getting are in the ballpark and in the realm of realistic.

The Forester is a relatively high CG vehicle ...more ground clearance, a higher profile and less aerodynamics than most cars is a mini UTE ...and all these features work against fuel mileage.

On top of that you have an All Wheel Drive system that cannot be partially disengaged to allow a 2WD system; more moving parts means more parasitic power loss and with that goes fuel mileage. In reality, for a vehicle of this type with AWD the mileage is quite good. And 2.5L is a relatively big 4-cylinder engine as well.

My 2011 Forester 2.5X Premium, with the 4EAT automatic, gets about 24-25 MPG in my mixed driving. Strictly freeway driving I might get 27MPG and I've seen it drop down to the low 20's under mostly city driving. I knew before I bought my Foz (three years new) these cars were not mileage champs ...but that wasn't a driving factor for me. If fuel mileage was such an important issue then why did you buy a Forester? It shouldn't have come as any surprise to you if you'd chosen to look and research the topic before you pulled the trigger.
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Bellingham, WA
Well, this is part of the problem. Bellingham is rather hilly compared to Reno, NV. I've driven in Bellingham and some of those streets are very steep (e.g. Alabama St.); they will absolutely kill your MPG. So, if you're just driving around town in a relatively hilly city like Bellingham, the MPG you're seeing is nothing out of the ordinary and would be expected.
Like many have said its all about your speed and wind direction. Our 17 Premium model gets around 30 consistently but can get 32 or maybe 34 mpg on the secondary roads at 60 mph. I use the calculated MPG display as a goal, but can regulate my economy of the open road by being "easy" on the gas pedal and letting the CVT keep the RPM less than 2000 rpm. If you're into hypermiling, back off when you get to an uphill grade if traffic allows. Just how I roll.....
I think enough posters have made it clear the OP's gas mileage expectations aren't based on reality. So no need adding to the suggestions, etc.

When I traded my '17 FXTT my average after three years was about what others have seen... very low 20s. I COULD get over 30... driving 55 on level roads. And I could get high 20s in town... if I drove like a PITA to other drivers.

Gas mileage depends first on the driver's foot. The rest is a combination of many things unique to each veicle, as can be seen here. But in the end fuel mileage will gravitate to the common norm for your specific model.

It takes a concerted effort to get great mileage, it doesn't just happen. Expectations are a favorite subject of memes... one I like is, "Expectations are like hidden rocks in your path. All they do is trip you up." :)
I'm not thrilled with my mileage (2018 Touring - about 15K miles on it), but not really complaining either. On a couple long trips (NJ to Indiana), I was averaging in the mid to high 30's mpg. See photo below for the usual. 26.5 overall, 26.4 on this tank and 35.2 on this drive. (No, I'm not driving and taking photos).

Is it safe to say the computer is pretty accurate?
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Is it safe to say the computer is pretty accurate?
When comparing the dash display to a manual mpg calculation, I've found that my Forester's computer calculator overstates fuel economy by about 5%. That's why we call it the exag-o-meter.
I'm not thrilled with my mileage ... Is it safe to say the computer is pretty accurate?
You should be thrilled, if getting the best fuel economy of any car in its class is something that thrills you.

I have found my 2015 2.5 Premium trip computer is usually about 3% high compared to calculated, per tank. Because it's consistent and reliable, I find it useful.
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The gas tank indicator is likely off by half an axle handle so these indicators mean very little:

The shape of the tank is not linear. The bottom and top range of whatever device they picked isn't linear.
There are conversion errors, temperature changes, expansion errors, errors due to sloshing of fluids, errors between cars, etc.

All these errors aren't insignificant and are accumulative.
Short term, they are for entertainment value only. It means absolutely nothing.
Long term, they are for reference only. They are an approximation at best.
It could be handy: If you see a drastic change over this long term number, you may have a problem. Maybe the gas you've switched to is not quite as good as they say, etc. That's all it is.

If you really want your actual MPG, divide however much fuel you added each time that's measured to a state calibrated precise standard, how many miles you traveled on your odometer. Reset odometer. Rinse/repeat. Simple. We've been doing that since Lassie was a pup because it works.
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I find the computer entertaining but will try the manual calculation just to see. My Forester and my wife's Outback ('17) are the first cars we had with these computers and I used to "do the math" for my previous cars just to know how many miles I had left on a tank. My favorite was a cross country (US - NJ to Oregon) in a 1977 Chevy Caprice V8. Money was tight and my friend and i had to track our expenses so we toyed with premium gas compared to regular. Got better mileage with the premium on the highway but the miles/$ was about the same.
@pspaladi Exactly. The sticker MPG rating is under certain conditions, driven by a gramma at the speed limit, slow take offs, on her way to church without any traffic on the way, nor stop signs.

So the numbers generated by the computer are really is meant for reference. So they aren't accurate but could be useful:
If you have been seeing 26 mpg for a long time and it suddenly takes a nosedive, it is indicative something is going on.
For instance: If you lend your car to your teenage son and it suddenly drops to 10 mpg, he's probably street racing.
Your gas mileage is about on par with my 2.5. Driving habits play a big part in this equation. When I bought mine used the dash display showed the fuel consumption of the previous owner and boy did they have a lead foot!
Driving habits play a big part in this equation.
Driving conditions affect it as well. Last night, while driving under 70 mph into the wind the computer said I was getting around 23 mpg. Driving the opposite direction on the same road 20 minutes later, with the wind at my back, the computer said 33-34. Fozzy sits up high and isn't the most aerodynamic of vehicles.
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Does anyone have any advice or tips for fuel consumption for a 2017 Forester 2.0XT Touring? Wondering if it just uses so much fuel because of the turbo? Manual says it can take regular unleaded (I think 87 octane) but that 92-96 is preferred or something? Perhaps the fuel line is clogged or the dragging brakes?
You've got a turbo so measure in smiles per gallon not miles per gallon. 😄

But what's your dash say the average mpg is? Driving behavior plays a big part and I don't think the turbo models are supposed to use 87. If you happen to be in CA note that our gas sucks, burns cleaner and burns faster. When I do road trips I get 10-15% better fuel economy out of state.
You've got a turbo so measure in smiles per gallon not miles per gallon. 😄

But what's your dash say the average mpg is? Driving behavior plays a big part and I don't think the turbo models are supposed to use 87. If you happen to be in CA note that our gas sucks, burns cleaner and burns faster. When I do road trips I get 10-15% better fuel economy out of state.
Reading about 21-22.5 mph mostly city…. Just got it a week or 2 ago. Not sure if previous owners used premium or not. But I’m getting it tuned up and serviced at the end of the month so I’ll see if they can remedy the fuel consumption with new filters and whatever else they do at the 60k service :)
Hate to break it to you, but shy of changing the way you drive, and where-- increasing your tire pressure, and adopting hyper mileage driving techniques are about the only way you will get better mileage.
I'd say that's a typical mpg to expect. My NA gets about the same with all the stop and go around town. I can get up to 30 on long freeway drives sailing along at 65mph. Any faster and it dips to 25-26. When I bought mine my jaw dropped seeing the previous owners average mpg at 18mpg! I'm pretty sure they mainly drove around town and lived in San Francisco where there's tons of hills and stop signs.
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