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The Truth About EPA City / Highway MPG Estimates - Feature - Car and Driver

The first test cycle, which sought to mimic rush-hour traffic in downtown Los Angeles with an average speed of 21 mph, is called the FTP, or city cycle, and is still in use today. This dyno test is 11 miles long, takes just over 31 minutes to complete, involves 23 stops, reaches a top speed of 56 mph, and has maximum acceleration equivalent to a lazy, 18-second 0-to-60-mph run.
 

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Just hit 2000 miles.
Last 3 tanks:
1) 31 mpg, 85% city driving, Climate always on, no passengers...
2) 35 mpg, 90% HWY driving, some stop and go (10%), Climate always on, no passengers...
3) 35 mpg, 85% HWY driving, some stop and go (10%), Climate always on, no passengers...

My commute is 90 miles per day, 85 miles of it on HWY with some heavy traffic...

I have noticed that if you want to hit 40+ mph, you would have to cruise not above 65mph and avoid any slow downs. Otherwise, 35mpg is more realistic... Anything at 75 and above mph, the car sips much more...
 

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Discussion Starter #23
I just finished a nice sunday drive with the ms. up to Tarrytown and Scarsdale. Avg mpg went up to about 22 from 18. I forgot to reset it before trip. it involved a lot of climbing and speeds of about 70mph give or take 15 mph. with some stop and go do to police activity and st pats parades.
 

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After reading this post I got worried, I have almost 10000 miles and the most I have been getting is about 23-24 mpg with 80% city driving. Is it normal?
 

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@scorerror with 80% city that sounds a tiny bit low, but definitely not a concern :)
 

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Just got my 14' Touring about a month ago, I'm in Los Angeles do mostly 80% city driving, not long trips at all. My first Average MPG was about 17-18 I was severely disappointed but I figured it might be the car breaking in. I'm now on my third fuel up and and around 650 miles and my average mpg is about 22. I'm giving this a bit more time but right now I am disappointed with this MPG. When I am on the highway it has jumped up to around 26 MPG but I expected at least 30 or more in the highway. I'll update this if it gets any better.
 

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Discussion Starter #28
SB, we're in the same boat. I'm on 3rd fill-up and about 650 miles. and same avg mpgs in nyc. I leased it in Feb. I hardly drive during the week. since i take mass transit to work.
 

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Just got my 14' Touring about a month ago, I'm in Los Angeles do mostly 80% city driving, not long trips at all. My first Average MPG was about 17-18 I was severely disappointed but I figured it might be the car breaking in. I'm now on my third fuel up and and around 650 miles and my average mpg is about 22. I'm giving this a bit more time but right now I am disappointed with this MPG. When I am on the highway it has jumped up to around 26 MPG but I expected at least 30 or more in the highway. I'll update this if it gets any better.
yeah, almost same story here.
 

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Just got my 14' Touring about a month ago, I'm in Los Angeles do mostly 80% city driving, not long trips at all. My first Average MPG was about 17-18 I was severely disappointed but I figured it might be the car breaking in. I'm now on my third fuel up and and around 650 miles and my average mpg is about 22. I'm giving this a bit more time but right now I am disappointed with this MPG. When I am on the highway it has jumped up to around 26 MPG but I expected at least 30 or more in the highway. I'll update this if it gets any better.
The City will be around 25 to 26 MPG as Los Angeles is terrible. Highway you can achieve 30 MPG if you drive at a certain speed. If your in stop & go traffic nope, but if your going a cool 70MPH and no more you can get about 36 MPG.
 

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Well, to me....the real mpg is the old school manual compu miles driven/gals filled (combined/overall mpg of your car). I do that at the end of every week. Now that to me, at the end of the day...is one thing that you can really bring it home to.
 

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Well, to me....the real mpg is the old school manual compu miles driven/gals filled (combined/overall mpg of your car). I do that at the end of every week. Now that to me, at the end of the day...is one thing that you can really bring it home to.
That's how Fuelly.com does it. And it also does a bunch of different charts for you so you can track your mpgs. They have a mobile app so that you can input the info as you fill up. I can tell you that over the life of my car, my average fill up cost me $40. And it doesn't just give you an overall average, it gives you a rolling average over the last 10 fill ups. All I have to do is input a few numbers and it does all the work for me.

Sent from AutoGuide.com Free App
 

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I loved fuelly.. when I was filling up once or twice a week. I can never remember it now that It's like once every 3-4 weeks LOL. From my time with fuelly though the M6 gauge is quite accurate to a touch high (0.2-0.5) and the Miata was also usually to the low side :p
 

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Well, to me....the real mpg is the old school manual compu miles driven/gals filled (combined/overall mpg of your car). I do that at the end of every week. Now that to me, at the end of the day...is one thing that you can really bring it home to.
This is exactly what I do, always have and always will. Right after feuling up, I always reset the trip computer - the AVG MPG - and the AVG Speed. The trip computer is pretty close within 1 MPG usually. My commute is about 40 round trip - and I feel I drive in what I would call the combined category... and I am always above 30MPG.

I find the biggest MPG loss can be cold weather starts. I don't idle my car for several minutes.. just start her - wait about a minute and drive very smooth and softly until warm. If I don't the MPG's drop like a rock and then you really never can recover.
 

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I average around 23, and that's with my low profile tires (255/35/20) and my idiotic driving most of the time, plus 90% city, lol
 

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I'm averaging 23 ish...
 
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I'd ignore almost anything you see on the display. Does that "avg" jive with what you get when you track your miles at fill up time? Total miles driven divided by gallons you fill up till full with.

If it's still a terrible number, and you aren't accelerating like a madman all the time and revving the engine high, fill up your tank and take a 30-60 min drive down the interstate and keep it pretty steady around 60-70MPH. Track your miles and then fill up the tank at the end and see what you got. If you did in the 30's for that drive, your car is fine and it's your driving habits that are killing the MPG. If you get something like 25MPG in that test, then something is off with the car.

I posted the article above, because while the EPA does a stop and go test for city driving, they are doing a pretty slow acceleration. Approx a third of what the car can do (0-60 in 18 seconds, so roughly 9-11 seconds to get to 30). If you aren't driving like that, you won't match their numbers.

My car gets a good mix of driving, so I've never had under 26-27 MPG. I get over 30 on the freeway.
 

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Any winter conditions will lower the MPG, as the engine has a temperature deficit to overcome when warming. In the first few minutes it runs rich under these conditions to light the catalyst.

Not sure what the temps are in NY...

But here it's routinely -22F to -25F, and I can average 16MPG on an entire tank, 50/50 highway mix. The tires have more resistance, and colder air has more resistance to travel through (more molecules per volume). Not to mention more thermal energy loss with the thermostat that much more open, and more heat (therefore energy) lost to keeping the cooling system at temperature.

So 16MPG, and yet last August I was averaging 36MPG, more like what the other members on the board were averaging.

Winter. Is. Brutal. On. Cars.
 

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Discussion Starter #39
Thanks a million guys. This has been very helpful. I do find that the car drops mpg just from idling in these cold starts. Winter was bad for NY. Tons of snow and temps in low teens. its not -35. Hopefully things get better soon. FYI some of you guys know your stuff sound like some Nuclear Scientists.
 

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Took my son and one of his friends back to college in IA yesterday after their spring break, round trip 350 miles. Going west, from Chicagoland, my 2014 Mazda6 GT gave me 32.7 AVG MPG with three people in the car and a trunk full of stuff. Coming back east, just me and an empty trunk, car gave me 31.7 AVG MPG. I used the MRCC both ways, set at 70 MPH. How could the car have given me better AVG MPG going there with a heavier load than coming back with a lighter load and everything else being the same (cruise control at same speed both ways - I did not idle the car while dropping them off)? I can only think the wind was the one differing factor; maybe the wind was blowing from east to west most of the time during both of my segments (though doesn't it normally tend to go from west to east)? It kinda made me go "huh?"
 
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