Subaru Forester Owners Forum banner
1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been a long time reader of this forum and now it's time for my first post!

I took delivery of a brand new (4 miles on it, right off the truck) 2010 Spark Silver Premium Forester on New Years Eve. The car has been outstanding and basically everything I had hoped for and more. However, as I've accumulated about 60 miles on it thus far, I've noticed the fuel gauge to be dropping quite substantially (for the 60 miles drive, it used over a quarter tank of gas). I then experimented with the electronic MPG calculator used with the trip odometer and was shocked to see it averaging 8 to 11MPG.

My last car was a Honda Civic, so perhaps I'm not yet acclimated with the AWD fuel tax, but I was looking for some feedback as to whether or not this is normal for a car that has an advertised MPG of almost double what I'm currently getting. Being winter and all, I have had the car idling some, but certainly not excessively.

So what do you guys think, should I bring it back to the dealer and complain?

Thanks!
 

·
Premium Member
2009 Outback XT-B 5MT
Joined
·
10,241 Posts
1) Cars always get worse mileage when they are new than when they have a few thousand miles on them.

2) Idling is zero MPG. If you've only put 60 miles on the car, what percentage of actual run time is idle time?

3) You've only put 60 miles on the car. Get a few more miles on it before you start worrying.

4) 1/4 tank for 60 miles is barely below average for short trips and quick city driving.

5) Winter gas kills mileage.

Welcome to the forum!
 

·
Fast & Dirty
2009 Forester XT 4 speed auto
Joined
·
4,039 Posts
Welcome to the forum from Calgary.

I would fill the tank and reset the trip computer. This will reset your MPG on the display. Then start tracking your actual MPG. If after a few fills you are still getting 11 mpg then contact dealership.

You will likely not get 11 mpg. Your mpg will improve once the car is broken in. DO not use cruise control for the first few 1000 miles.
 

·
Premium Member
2019 Forester Touring
Joined
·
3,003 Posts
Happy New Year!

Be aware that the previous posts are accurate. When I got my 03 Forrie, mileage was in the very low 20s (highway).........as I read on this site, the engine has to break-in and that was claimed to take as much as 7000 miles......and, guess what, just as my car crossed the 7K threshold, the MPG miraculously jumped to 28 MPG.

The fact that you got the car several days ago proves the point. You're also dealing with winter gas blends which KILL mpg AND, to make it worse, winter temps also take a major toll on the mpg. The car takes more time to warm up, the engine is tight and on and on.

Once I started my horrible NJ commute in late 2003, I could predict when the mpgs would plunge and then go back up...the mileage always dropped in early Nov. when the winter blend started being pumped AND always jumped back up in early April when the summer blends returned.

Be patient! It's a great car....the fact that your odo was so low ehen you took ownership of the car is a good thing. You can control the break-in period as opposed to buying the car with 60 miles on it from other potential test drivers............who knows how much they might have nailed the gas pedal to see if they liked the car?

Take care,

Steve
 

·
Premium Member
12 Premium 5-speed
Joined
·
4,486 Posts
Maybe the "full" tank of gas from the dealer, umm, wasn't. In summer, after a fill-up, my gauge stays above the F until about 50 miles. That means about two gallons used before it reads to just full on the gauge, and then it's 60-80 miles before hitting 3/4. In winter it takes about 20-30 miles to hit the F.

So do what the others said: don't sweat this tankful, give it a solid re-fill next time, and don't worry too much about mileage until you hit 1,000 or so miles. And even then it will still slowly improve a bit assuming your driving habits don't change.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
90 Posts
Reset the trip computer. Mine read something like 16 mpg when new until I reset the computer. Now I get between 25 and 27.
 

·
Premium Member
2009 Outback XT-B 5MT
Joined
·
10,241 Posts
Happy New Year!

Be aware that the previous posts are accurate. When I got my 03 Forrie, mileage was in the very low 20s (highway).........as I read on this site, the engine has to break-in and that was claimed to take as much as 7000 miles......and, guess what, just as my car crossed the 7K threshold, the MPG miraculously jumped to 28 MPG.
What do you cruise at on the highway?

My mileage seems to routinely come back to 22ish, but I haven't been as concerned with maximizing efficiency as I was for the first 5ish thousand miles of ownership.

My peak was most highway, and I got 400 miles on a single tank in the dead heat of Summer and cruising at 80MPH.
 

·
Premium Member
2019 Forester Touring
Joined
·
3,003 Posts
I usually cruise at 65 MPH...being a semi old fart now, I've given up trying to see if I can end my life faster so I can beat another car......

I drive very steadily without any hard speedups or brakings so I tend to get the best that the engine can give me......

Have to reiterate how odd it was that I had to break 7K before the MPG improved significantly. I've had Hondas for decades and those engines broke in by 4K consistently.

Steve

Steve
 

·
Registered
2014 Forester Ltd. CVT
Joined
·
1,779 Posts
I got the Blue Meanie in august so it's a 2010 also; and if I'm driving around the city (less than 10 minute trips) which I often have to do for the better part of the week, my mpg is a nightmare; worst than the MPV I traded him for: 11-13 mpg over 6 months (I am below the 7k mark). Mind you my highway mileage usually compensates; so 2 trips to seattle or olympia a week (about 35 mi, one way) will bring my tank average to 20-23 mpg. But I am shocked by the city fuel usage.
 

·
Registered
2010 Forester
Joined
·
619 Posts
My new FXT's lifetime average is 21.3 over it's 3100 mile life according to the trip computer. I would not put much stock in those things in any car. I'll be doing some real calculated tests soon to prove or disprove it.

Yesterday I cruised around 100 miles at 70 mph on CC and it read 24 mpg for the trip. Then I slowed to around 60, due to the highway passing over a city area, without cc, and it went up to 25.2 a little while after....then I got off the highway and drove home through traffic towns and secondary roads and it head that 25.2 average for another 30 miles. THAT CAN'T BE. Maybe it's my computer but this thing isn't something I'd want to place any bets on.
Fill your tank and so some calcs the old fashioned way if you want to know your mileage.

Bob
 

·
Registered
2008 LL Bean (4EAT)
Joined
·
5,038 Posts
... took delivery of a brand new (4 miles on it, right off the truck) 2010 Spark Silver Premium Forester... I've accumulated about 60 miles on it thus far, I've noticed the fuel gauge to be dropping quite substantially...
You have actually not done anything that would accurately measure miles per gallon.

Fill the tank, reset the odometer, use up the tank, divide the miles by the gallons, and repeat one or two more times. Then you will have an accurate accounting of your mileage.

My first three tanks in suburban and rural driving in November 2007 were 27.1, 26.2 and 27.6 mpg. And the 2009-2010 Forester engines get better mileage than my 2008.
 

·
Premium Member
2009 Outback XT-B 5MT
Joined
·
10,241 Posts
I'm going to start noting computer avg MPG tank-to-tank when I fill up so I can compare it to my calculated fuel economy.

Most of the time it seems pretty spot on (within 5% or so).
 

·
Registered
2016 Forester XT AT
Joined
·
1,295 Posts
I'm going to start noting computer avg MPG tank-to-tank when I fill up so I can compare it to my calculated fuel economy.

Most of the time it seems pretty spot on (within 5% or so).
I have done that since I bought mine, over 42,000 kms now.

What I have found is that tank to tank there can be significant differences but when totaled for a longer period, like 10,000 kms or more, it is within 5%. But some tanks can be as much as 15% difference, both up and down. Not sure why but that is the case.

To the OP: I took mine for a test drive with only 6 kms on it, then drove it home (200+ kms at 80-110 KPH) 4 hours later. Fuel economy has not changed much since that first long drive so I would not get too hung up about that so called "break-in" period. It will take time to adjust your driving style to the Forester to maximize fuel use. I am averaging about 28 MPG US over the 42,000 kms I have owned mine. So go out a few more miles on it, get to know the beast, and make sure you measure the fuel in and miles driven and calculate the actual MPG. I think you will be happily impressed, I know I am.
 

·
Registered
2010 Forester 2.5X Prem.
Joined
·
80 Posts
Hello EfNx.. How are you? I am new to this forum as well as I just purchased a new 2010 Forester X Premium a few weeks ago.. I noticed the same thing as you first, but since me and my wife are heavy commuters (we live in Southern California and drive a minimum of 90 miles a day).. its been almost 3 weeks now and we have 1000 miles on the car as of today. It now registers 22.5 mpg Average. which is about right since its advertised as 26 highway and 20 city. in the beginning it was very little at around 11mpg but as we put on more miles and the highway travel accumulated the total mpg avg is 22.5 now.. we cheer every time it goes up. It went from 22.2 to 22.5 after my wife dropped me off at work today and she texted me to let me know. We are easily amused! But yes.. I had the same concern in the beginning and my dad told me that is normal and you will see it get higher (if you keep the mpg avg calculator on the TRIP A for total miles accrued - best way to see how you're doing). I too love my vehicle! I hope you're enjoying yours as well!

Edit: Its probably better than 22.5 right now because were using TOTAL miles accrued (TRIP A - haven't reset it).. so its averaging everything including the beginning when the gas mileage wasn't so great. What others stated above is the best way to know your mileage.. wait for empty tank.. fill up.. set new trip.. wait for it to empty again and check your calculated avg. That's the best way as far as I know.
 

·
Registered
2008 LL Bean (4EAT)
Joined
·
5,038 Posts
... some tanks can be as much as 15% difference, both up and down. Not sure why but that is the case...
That is due to a short-fill. Sometimes the pump cuts off a little soon, shorting the tank a gallon or less, making the mileage on the preceding tank calculate high. The lost gallon makes room for an extra gallon on the next fill up, making the mileage on the preceding tank calculate low.

If the mileage is unusually high on one tank, it will be unusually low on the next tank, and the actual mileage over the two tanks is their average.

The effect of a short-fill is magnified the less it takes to fill the tank. A gallon short out of 6 has twice the effect of a gallon short out of 12.
 

·
Registered
2002 Forester
Joined
·
22 Posts
... What others stated above is the best way to know your mileage.. wait for empty tank.. fill up.. set new trip.. wait for it to empty again and check your calculated avg. That's the best way as far as I know.
Just needed to add here that it is not really necessary and even not too safe or advisable to run to an empty tank to achieve what is described here.

What I have been doing for the last many years over different cars is simply noting the mileage and filling to first click (auto shut-off on pump). Filling to first click is more important than ensuring your tank is close to empty.

1) Fill to auto-shut off on pump and rest trip counter...drive off
2) At next refill, fill again to auto shut off and note trip counter mileage and fuel pumped

This will tell you mileage achieved for the volume used ==> mpg

If for some reason you cannot fill to auto-shut-off, then simply note the amount pumped but DO NOT reset the trip counter. Keep noting amount pumped and tallying it till the next time you are able to top it all the way up.

The reason for this and it addresses a point made by an earlier respondent is that measuring mileage for 1/4 tank or any other part based on the fuel gauge is woefully inaccurate. I am not convinced that the manufacturers do a good job of modelling tank shape/profile in the the calculation of volume left EVEN in the newer digital trip calculator readouts... forget about it in the older analog needle gauges. The gauge response is generally NOT linear.

As an example, in my 2003 Forester (turbo) with econo mode and hwy driving, I can expect 150 km by the 3/4 mark. Sounds good but it gets progressively worse from there. This will translate to no more than 250 km by half tank and around 420-430 over the tank of gas!! Another vehicle we have drives around for about 2 days without the needle moving, but when it gets going it's like the Energizer bunny :icon_frown:.

The only true reference you have is a full tank or an empty one, and as indicated in the first part of the post, using the full tank is the safer option.

Regards...
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top