MPG lower than I expected

gasoline
kia
rondo
fuel-economy

#1

I recently purchased a 2009 Kia Rondo. It’s supposed to get mid-20s in town and high-20s on the highway. I got these projections from CR online, book and magazine. The best I’ve gotten so far is 22.8. What can I do about it? I am a conservative driver. What affect does AC have on the MPG? What is highwat mileage?


#2

The EPA shows about 22 in town and 26-27 on the road. If this 22.8 is open road driving only there may be an issue. A/C will drop the mileage some but not by that much.
That 22 in town may possibly be taken with a grain of salt; that’s awful close to the highway mileage.


#3

Follow the break in suggestions in the manual, if any, if not my old fashioned advice is to have the oil changed at 2 to 3000 miles. It should get better as time goes on, ac can cut a couple of miles per gallon, what did the sticker on the car say? What type of driving are you doing? MPG has been fairly close to the sticker on the window in my experience.


#4

Generally, the lower the rpm’s during normal driving -during acceleration and while traveling- the more you will get out of a gallon of gas. The optimal speed for a vehicle is 40 mph, providing that speed can be maintained for the majority of the trip. Highway mileage is better than town mileage because you cannot maintain a steady speed in a town, and have to stop frequently and then accelerate to a traveling speed that itself is often less than optimal. Also, highways generally tend to have smoother road surfaces than town streets, which also helps to improve mileage. Highway mileage refers to the economy of your vehicle under truly optimal conditions: dry, smooth, continuous roads with zero traffic at optimal speeds for the entire trip. Obviously on most highways you cannot travel at 40 miles per hour and not get run over, but you can do the limit or as near to it as is safe. If you think that 75 mph is conservative (some places it is), then you are not getting the mileage benefits of highway driving.
Accelerating and decelerating each should be as slowly as is safe as well. Sometimes you might have to punch the gas to safely merge onto a highway, but if you make a habit of it, your mileage will suffer (and it doesn’t do the longevity of your car any favors). Similarly, if you can coast your way down to the speed you want to be at when you are exiting a highway, approaching a turn, or stopping, you will save your brakes and gasoline at the same time.
The A/C question was answered, but I’ll add it depends on the car, settings and use. In some cars there are settings for Max versus Economy A/C. New cars often have climate control settings that maintain preferred temperatures often set too low by the car’s driver. Also, if you have a habit of getting into a very hot cabin and cranking the A/C to cool the car down, try instead rolling down all the windows for the first minute of driving, letting out the heated air, and then rolling up the windows and turning on the A/C.


#5

I have been asked by management to drive vehicles and note fuel mileage but I have never been told of the end result when a customer objects too mileage achieved. When the manufacture sells a car wth a stated fuel usage is he making a statement about mileage that the car must achieve or he will owe the customer something?


#6

Are your tires inflated correctly?


#7

How many miles are on it?

Make sure the tires are properly inflated.

Make sure the air filter is clean.

Have the alignment checked.

After driving for a while at some point, carefully feel each of the wheels to see if any are hotter than the others.

Is there any kind of a roof rack on it, esp. an aftermarket type (e.g. Yakima/Thule…)?

Other than that, the AC will knock the mpg down some. The EPA estimates may assume 100% gasoline while you’re likely on 10% ethanol, and it just is what it is.


#8

The fuel mileage figures are to keep the EPA happy; they are measured under stationary laboratory conditions with accessories off. They bear little resemblance to real world figures, although very careful drivers can achieve these figures.

Years ago, Chrysler took one of its compacts, and took out enough weight to qualify it as a sub-compact, which meant adding less resistance in the laboratory EPA test. Lo and behold the gas mileage shot up out of all proportions to the weight removed.

The manufacturer very carefully states the fact that this is the result of an EPA test, and the fine print ususally says that “actual results may vary”. Just like weight loss programs.

Unfortunately the advertising, e.g. Chevy Equinox, distorts the real picture.


#9

It can take 10K miles for an engine to get loosened up, especially driving it conservatively.