Mazda mileage

We bought a 2015 Mazda6 in September in part because of the advertised 32mpg (25/37). We now have a little over 500 miles on it, almost all city driving, and we are averaging just 18+ mpg. The service manager tells us to wait until we have over 1,000 miles and then we should approach the advertised numbers. Is that plausible?

Yes it is plausible. But not likely. I will guess that as motor breaks in, you will see improvement. But not dramatic. Report back and let us know.

Cold weather, city traffic, new car, 18 MPG is probably correct. Actually advertised mileage figures could classify as works of fiction.

Fuelly shows folks averaging over 30:

Is there an MPG readout on the dash? Take a weekend trip and see how it does.

I have a 2010 Cobalt, it averages 28-29 mpg in suburban driving. I seem to recall the mpg improving a bit after a few thousand miles, but probably no more than 1-2 mpg.

On the other hand, my sister-in-law’s friend had a similar Cobalt. She was always complaining that she was lucky to break 20 mpg in city driving (Philadelphia).

Don’t depend on the dash mpg readout. I keep track of the fill-ups and mileage to calculate mpg. I calculate mpg every 3 or 4 tanks (every 1000 to 1200 miles).

Ed B.

Since you are doing all city driving, your results will be on the low side of what’s possible. But 18 does seem a little low even so. Suggest you wait until you have 1000 miles on the clock as suggested, then take a long freeway drive some weekend, see what you get on that. If it is still below the ratings, ask the shop to check the coolant operating temp and the calibration on the ECM’s coolant temp sensor. If the ECM thinks the coolant temp is low, or it is in fact low, the ECM might double pulse the injectors as it thinks it is still in the warm up phase…

A lot can depend upon the foot when it comes to mileage and city driving. It’s possible that 18 could be exactly right.

Fill it up, take a somewhat lengthy road trip of 3-400 miles on the interstate and refill the tank. If the highway mileage works out to be about 35 or so then you need to consider driving habits in town.

“Fuelly shows folks averaging over 30:”

I’m guessing those folks aren’t (for instance) driving up and down Broadway Ave during rush-hour! “City” driving can mean a LOT of things, some of which likely won’t net you double-digit MPG numbers in a non-hybrid.

Check the tire pressures if not already done.

From website of The Department of Energy:

Quick acceleration and heavy braking can reduce fuel economy by up to 33 percent on the highway and 5 percent around town. New EPA tests account for faster acceleration rates, but vigorous driving can still lower MPG.

Excessive idling decreases MPG. The EPA city test includes idling, but more idling will lower MPG.

Cold weather and frequent short trips can reduce fuel economy, since your engine doesn’t operate efficiently until it is warmed up. In colder weather, it takes longer for your engine to warm, and on short trips, your vehicle operates a smaller percentage of time at the desired temperature. Note: Letting your car idle to warm-up doesn’t help your fuel economy. It actually uses more fuel and creates more pollution.

Cargo or cargo racks on top of your vehicle (e.g., cargo boxes, canoes, etc.) increase aerodynamic drag and lower fuel economy. MPG tests do not account for this type of cargo.

Running electrical accessories (e.g., air conditioner) decreases fuel economy. Operating the air conditioner on “Max” can reduce MPG by roughly 5–25% compared to not using it.

Driving on hilly or mountainous terrain or on unpaved roads can reduce fuel economy. The EPA test assumes vehicles operate on flat ground.

So, as was already suggested by others, HOW the OP is driving this car in city driving situations has a lot to do with his/her actual MPG figures:

If you are “warming up” the car, stop doing that except on a day when the temperature is extremely low.

If you are racing from one traffic light to the next one, stop doing that.

If you are the type who tailgates other cars, stop doing that, as every time that you hit the brake, you are reducing your gas mileage.

If you typically use drive-up windows at banks and fast food joints, get into the habit of parking the car and walking inside the establishment. Both your wallet and your body will benefit.

If your city driving includes a lot of short-trip errands, your gas mileage may never improve, as the engine is running “cold” most of the time and never has an opportunity to fully warm up.

Its pretty hard to judge city mileage due to the wide variations of conditions and practices. Get it out on the highway for an extended trip at constant speed for a better comparison.

If you do a lot of short trips, then your mileage may be right.
My car is rated 17/24, but I’m lucky to get 15mpg when I fill up. 3 miles to work and 3 miles back. 3 miles to the store, 3 miles back. Most places I go are within 5 miles of my house, with a few stoplights here and there, so that’s gonna kill MPGs.

My 2010 Kia Forte was 25/36. On a long 1,000 mile trip at 55 or 60mph crossing the cascade mountains twice it got 40mpg. With about 50 miles 55/60mph highway per week and daily short trips it averages 27mpg. I’m quite pleased. If OP is doing stop and go city driving 18mpg is about right. I check mpg manually and the computer readout is accurate.

Make mine another vote that driving environment has far too great an effect and varies far too greatly to make any judgments at this point and season.

What city, by the way?

As driving pattern and environment; Our Camry gets 32 MPG when I drive it, but 22 MPG when my wife drives it. She does more stop and go driving.

With our cars, my wife usually averages about 3 MPG less in the same car and driving the same route as I do.
She believes that if the speed limit is 45 then the end game is to go from 0 to 45 in the shortest time possible; and vice-versa.


Do you have the 4 banger or the V6 . . . ?

Based on your 32mpg, I’d say you have the 4 banger . . .

@db4690; The 4 cylinder. Awaiting the dreaded head bolts to give away. At 120+K miles. Rumor is they changed the design for the 2005, so I am keeping my fingers crossed.

When my son was a teenager, we had a 1990 Ford Aerostar van. That van had a mpg indicator and my son could post a higher miles per gallon than either my wife or I could. I wanted to ban him from driving the Aerostar because he showed me up. One ride with him explained why he did so well–he accelerated gently and smoothly from a stop and anticipated traffic lights. He still drives that way at 41 and still posts good gasoline mileage. My dad (his grandfather) loved riding with him. Driving habits do make a considerable difference on gasoline mileage.


I get significantly worse mileage than you . . . perhaps 21mpg . . . but I’ve got the V6

My engine is all aluminum, heads and block, so it’s not super heavy

But it’s a significantly older design than your 2AZ-FE engine, so I would expect it’s much less efficient

As for those headbolts, the 2006 Camry with the 2AZ-FE is also affected. The changeover seems to be with the 2007 Camry with the same engine, which is not affected. I suspect changes occurred when they went to the new platform. Even though both of them use the 2AZ-FE, it’s undoubtedly not exactly the same engine