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Old 05-07-2010, 02:02 PM   #1
hzl6cm
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Default 32.0 MPG at 12,000 miles

My Saturn Astra, 3-door 5-speed, that I bought new last fall just hit 12,000 miles and the 2nd fuel mileage computer, which I have never reset since I bought the car, is now showing 32.0 mpg after showing 31.9 for a long time. That isn't too bad for this car, not as good as the car it replaced, an '04 2. echotech equipped Cavalier 5-speed coupe which always ran about 36 to 37 mpg, but it isn't too bad. I commute 46 miles each way to work, through Kansas City so about have of my driving is at 70 mph and there is some stop and go, or traffic impeded driving on the way home especially. I do run the cruise control when I can, mostly in the morning and try and drive pretty close to the speed limit. I also look ahead at traffic and try to really minimize brake use, which makes a big difference. I do use the AC when needed, too warm or for the defrost, and have no problem shifting at the readline when accelerating. I also ran on slightly over-sized snow tires for three months which would have hurt my mileage some. I check the computer when I fill up and have found it to be pretty accurate. This is better mileage than I expected after reading some of the posts on this forum. So far it has been a great car!
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Old 05-07-2010, 11:33 PM   #2
oilburner
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Default Re: 32.0 MPG at 12,000 miles

Doing better than me. I would average that but mine goes way down in the winter. Cant seem to do much better than 31 at 75 when its below freezing.

Tend to be better than 32 when its warm
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Old 05-08-2010, 08:02 AM   #3
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Default Re: 32.0 MPG at 12,000 miles

really regretting my auto purchase! I wanted a manual but was too lazy to hunt for one, my local dealer only had autos. I imagine the 3 door does a little better than the 5 as well. My overall average is 26.3 but most of those miles are with the roofrack on, now that I've removed it I'm getting about 28.5 over the last two weeks or so. Be glad you got a manual!
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Old 05-08-2010, 11:06 AM   #4
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Default Re: 32.0 MPG at 12,000 miles

Yea! I also just beat the EPA estimate of 32 mpg at 14k+ miles. That includes mostly highway driving between 60-70 mph with occasional AC use.

I'm afraid the Astra with it's heavier weight and shorter gear ratios will never be able to match many GM small cars of yesteryear. I've noticed that this problem plagues other manufacturers as well (mostly because of increased weight), although clever engine/transmission computers are starting to help somewhat. Drive a new car with an automatic transmission, and you'll see what I mean - upshifts occur too early.
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Old 05-09-2010, 10:23 AM   #5
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Default Re: 32.0 MPG at 12,000 miles

At 41,453 miles my overall average since I took delivery with 63 miles on the car is 31.151. This is calculated from fill-ups rather than the DIC, which can be optimistic. The last 1000 mile average was 32.865 and the best 1000 mile average was 33.932. This was a road trip after de-restricting the airbox and before I changed the exhaust to 2" cat back with a MagnaFlow muffler.

FWIW, my 1995 VW Jetta with 4 speed auto and non locking torque converter never did better than 29 mpg, so those of you with the auto shouldn't feel too bad.
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Old 05-09-2010, 11:31 PM   #6
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Default Re: 32.0 MPG at 12,000 miles

I get 30.594 average with an average speed of 63KMPH atm.

Fuel econ isn't affected by the fuel I put in unless it's ethanol - I'm in luck, there's no ethanol additive unless you require E15 at certain stations that offer it here.

Once I get my TCM module fixed I'm sure the cruise control will help me lower consumption quite a bit (36MPG-39MPG). I suck at maintaining a constant speed with this car, not that the roads help.

Anyhow I'm more impressed by simply reading the L/100KM than doing the MPG conversion, because I now realize my old car was doing worse than I thought and worse than the Astra (was converting to non-US MPG).
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Old 05-14-2010, 02:44 PM   #7
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Default Re: 32.0 MPG at 12,000 miles

This is all on 10% ethanol fuel as well since that is the mandate in Missouri (though at the same time they made the mandate they rescinded the requirement to label the pumps so nobody knows they are getting ethanol).

I felt lucky to find a new manual transmission equipped car last November. I didn't buy one when they first came out since I only had 50k miles on my Cavalier, but by last November I had 100k miles on it and I was able to get the Astra in the right model (3-door), right color (Star Silver) and equipped the way I wanted it (upgraded stereo, cloth seats and 18-inch wheels) for over $6,000 under sticker ($14.9k). Plus it came from a dealer in Oklahoma who had a really nice job of window tinting done on the car that I eventually got for free. I think that one of the local Saturn dealers had some cars for sale for even more off of sticker around then but they were all equipped with automatics.
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Old 07-24-2010, 10:23 PM   #8
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Default Re: 32.0 MPG at 12,000 miles

Been tracking fuel for a little while, each purchase is logged with type of fuel, cost, and miles per gallon. So far I have found the cars computer readout to be within a mile per gallon or so. Very accurate!

So I have been doing some mixed driving through eastern Phoenix and the mountains up north, and the photo comes up with 39.0 I started off at an elevation of 1400 feet and ended up again at 1400 feet after the 240 miles logged on the screen.

Used mid grade fuel (89 octane) Could it be the fuel that boosted me over my average 33mpg?

I did some fun driving on the hills and curves, wasn't taking it easy the whole time and had the air conditioner running for a few miles... When I go to the pump to refuel I can verify these awesome numbers... until then I am very happy!
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Old 07-25-2010, 08:46 AM   #9
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Default Re: 32.0 MPG at 12,000 miles

We havent got very far in 30 years in terms of overall fuel consumption if we compare car to car, but we must remember the weight penalty safety puts on cars. The weight of one car today may equate two old cars, and then you see how good new engines are at getting performance out of the fuel.
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Old 07-25-2010, 08:09 PM   #10
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Default Re: 32.0 MPG at 12,000 miles

My second trip odometer finally rolled over the mileage figure after somewhere around 50,000 miles (I forgot when exactly) but the calculated MPG figure was still accurate. I've averaged over 32mpg combined city and highway over the past 70,000 miles. The worst gas mileage by far is during stop and go summer trips where the A/C is running continuously, but that's made up for during the winter when I can see mileages as high as 34mpg combined.

One of these days I need to go through my mileage log and calculate actual (as opposed to BC figures) mileage. I've done some spot checks in the past and found the BC under-estimating the mileage by as much as 5%.
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Old 07-26-2010, 09:52 PM   #11
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Default Re: 32.0 MPG at 12,000 miles

Quote:
Originally Posted by MesaMike85 View Post
Been tracking fuel for a little while, each purchase is logged with type of fuel, cost, and miles per gallon. So far I have found the cars computer readout to be within a mile per gallon or so. Very accurate!

So I have been doing some mixed driving through eastern Phoenix and the mountains up north, and the photo comes up with 39.0 I started off at an elevation of 1400 feet and ended up again at 1400 feet after the 240 miles logged on the screen.

Used mid grade fuel (89 octane) Could it be the fuel that boosted me over my average 33mpg?

I did some fun driving on the hills and curves, wasn't taking it easy the whole time and had the air conditioner running for a few miles... When I go to the pump to refuel I can verify these awesome numbers... until then I am very happy!
Wait a sec. Are your BC screen colors inverted? Also, wouldn't 89 possibly make you consume more fuel? I've tried some comparison testing with different cars and it seemed that 89 at BP seemed to provide the worst economy (for me and a friend) compared to regular and premium. I've been using premium for a year now. I ASSUMED that maybe there is (more) ethanol present in 89 which would make you rip thru it a bit quicker. I may be completely wrong tho.
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Old 07-27-2010, 12:47 AM   #12
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Default Re: 32.0 MPG at 12,000 miles

I use premium, too... the Astra doesn't seem to run as well on mid-grade or regular especially with the a/c on. And yeah, my BC is orange figures on black background... I thought they all were.. can you change it?
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Old 07-27-2010, 03:31 AM   #13
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Default Re: 32.0 MPG at 12,000 miles

If you're using higher octane fuel you should only be doing it because there's ethanol in your regular mix, which results in a drop in mileage.

There is no actual improvement when using higher octane fuel in the NA spec Astra.

As for the cruise control, I often get the impression that it consumes more fuel than me managing the throttle input - at least that's the feeling I get from the instant fuel econ. readout.

Edit: lol, didn't realize I already posted here. But yeah the cruise isn't exactly efficient.
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Old 07-27-2010, 09:12 AM   #14
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Default Re: 32.0 MPG at 12,000 miles

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aprime View Post
As for the cruise control, I often get the impression that it consumes more fuel than me managing the throttle input - at least that's the feeling I get from the instant fuel econ. readout.

Edit: lol, didn't realize I already posted here. But yeah the cruise isn't exactly efficient.
I agree--a careful foot is a whole lot more efficient than using the cruise, especially in hilly areas. Using cruise in our hybrid VUE is a joke, but without it, it actually gets better mileage on the highway than the Astra.

I reset the BC mileage readout twice a year, so I have "summer" and "winter" mileage. This summer has been about 32.0 mpg, and winter was about 30. I've been using mid-grade fuel as an experiment for several months and have noticed no real difference in performance or MPG. I guess I'll try premium or just go back to regular.
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Old 07-27-2010, 11:00 AM   #15
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Default Re: 32.0 MPG at 12,000 miles

In every car I've driven cruise control was not very fuel efficient.

My record in my Astra is 5.1 l /100km on a 80 km trip driving at 80 km/h (manual tranny, no cc). For the last 1000 km of almost pure city driving my avg is 8.1 l/100 km
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Old 07-27-2010, 06:05 PM   #16
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Default Re: 32.0 MPG at 12,000 miles

To those asking about my screen colors, I have the orange background with black text and numbers during the day and it switches to dark background with orange letters at night, depending on what i have my headlamps set to...

And as for the mid grade fuel, I was experiencing some light knocking and pinging while going uphill between 2200 and 3000 rpm, the slightly higher octane has gotten rid of that. Could be due to extremely hot weather? I am not sure but anyhow, there ya have it!
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Old 07-27-2010, 07:26 PM   #17
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Default Re: 32.0 MPG at 12,000 miles

Quote:
Originally Posted by darek_dade View Post
In every car I've driven cruise control was not very fuel efficient.
No they're not, they're too dumb. There are advanced versions that know the way ahead, fitted to trucks and quite expensive. But on a truck they earn their expense.

Quote:
Originally Posted by darek_dade View Post
My record in my Astra is 5.1 l /100km on a 80 km trip driving at 80 km/h (manual tranny, no cc).
Hey that's pretty good for a petrol car! I can manage ~3.9 or so on highway/rural roads if I drive like grandma (lower than the rating which says 4.1) but I am a man of little patience so I usually average 5.8 over a tank of mixed driving. But remember, I cheat
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Old 07-28-2010, 02:29 AM   #18
Aprime
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Default Re: 32.0 MPG at 12,000 miles

The cruise is 'smarter' than the ones I've been using in other cars but still they've been efficient. This one is unable to get the same mileage benefits I was experiencing in the older cars.

By smarter I mean it actually keeps sticks to the speed, unlike cruises I've delt with before where they just like, a couple of seconds after they lose speed start accelerating or even possibly downshifting. Regardless of power (displacement ranged from 1.6L I4 to 4.0L V6) they've all had to downshift due to a loss of momentum going up the oh the highway not too far from my house while I could do it holding the gear.

This is also the first car fitted with an auto that does HILL DOWNSHIFTS by itself (moves from 4th to 3rd going down most of the hills).
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Old 07-28-2010, 09:51 PM   #19
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Default Re: 32.0 MPG at 12,000 miles

I've been at 30.9mpg for the last 10K or so miles.
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Old 07-28-2010, 11:13 PM   #20
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Default Re: 32.0 MPG at 12,000 miles

I'm only at 29.4 mpg, but have been tracking at Fuelly since new. I drive a short commute (10 miles) and it's mostly city/suburbs (2-3 lights per mile).

And yes, you can invert the colors on the screen with the advanced audio package. It's under settings someplace.
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