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View Full Version : 500L real world MPG - city milage great, highway a disappointment



MoranJ2000
08-28-2014, 04:38 PM
Hi all.

I would like to get some feedback regarding real world MPG on the 500L.

I bought my 500L Trekking toward the end of May 2014, so I’m just past three months of ownership and coming up on 3,500 miles on the odo.

One of the reasons I chose the car was because of the 25/33 MPG rating (I have a manual), which was almost identical to my much less spacious (or stylish) 2005 Honda Civic.

Most of my driving is local, and if I am light on the gas and try not to linger too long in gears while upshifting, I can very easily see well into the 28s or even low 29s around town, which is a very pleasant surprise. I should mention this is not true “city” driving, as it’s less stop than go—mostly doing 50 MPH on roads with fairly light traffic and a mile or more between lights.

On the other hand, my highway mileage thus far has been a real disappointment. I recently filled up at a station right off the Interstate, reset the tripmeter, and proceeded to do 105 miles straight up the highway. During that trip, doing about 77 MPH the whole way (limit is 70), the best I could manage was 28.3. Same thing on the return trip, flat ground, no traffic to speak of.

I would have expected at least 30 MPG (figure a 10% discount off the published figure is reasonable), so I’m trying to understand the discrepancy between better-than-expected city mileage and worse-than-expected highway.
AC blasts all the time, so that’s not a factor, so the only things I can think of to explain the poorer highway mileage is that either the 1.4 Multiair is much less efficient at the RPMs needed to maintain highway driving, or the near-upright pitch of the windshield create a lot more drag at higher speeds, or both.

Either way, given my experience it seems hard to believe anyone could realistically get 33 MPG on the highway in the 500L.

Has anyone actually managed to do that, or perhaps have any other insight on what might be going on here?

Thanks!

Joe

Andree
08-29-2014, 02:00 AM
I think you're driving too fast. Your "city" driving is more like usual highway driving for me. Your highway driving is too fast, I think. Winding it out sucks up the gas.

I'm in a regular 500. I don't think I've ever gone 70 in my car. LOL. We have low speed limits in the area, and the roadways are often congested to the point that going 40 is rockin' along.

Try out fifty miles at 60 mph, check your mpg.

Do you have the instant mpg in your evic? You should be able to fine tune your driving habits via that interface to max out your mpg.

Felnus
08-29-2014, 06:09 AM
I had a 500L for the better part of a week and put over 800 miles on it and averaged nearly 33mpg over that time and quite a bit of those miles spent on I-40 and I-81 with the cruise control locked in at 72mph. The one I had was a automatic though.

Andree hit it on the head. With any vehicle, you really start hitting an aerodynamic wall the higher your speed is above 60mph. Given that the speed limit is 70 on the stretch you were testing, try it again at 72mph, going 60 might get you killed. Keep in mind that the 500L has a turbo. The higher you are in the rpm range, the more air the turbo is force feeding the engine and that has to be balanced with more fuel. Keeping the boost low is key to getting good mileage with a turbo.

The other thing is that the description of your city driving is correct, it is not true "city driving" in the EPA sense. The speeds are generally lower 35 mph for a majority of the city test. The less time you spend idling and the more time you spend at a steady speed between 35 and 50mph, the better your mileage will be in city driving. The EPA highway test does have a speed spike to as high as 80mph on the high speed portion but most of the highway test is conducted at 60mph or less and the high speed portion at 70mph or less.

For information on EPA fuel economy testing go here http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/fe_test_schedules.shtml

By the way, my 500 was rated 30 city 38 highway and I average about 37mpg. I don't much "city" driving out here in the sticks.

X19
08-29-2014, 04:17 PM
We have the "automatic." Urban driving - mix of stop and go, brief jaunts on the freeway around town (Milwaukee), sometimes use regular, sometimes use premium, 8000 miles so far, including last winter as well - 25 mpg day in and out. Freeway - going up to Door County, down to Chicago, west to Madison, etc., always with 3-5 people in the car - between 30-35 mpg. Freeway seems to vary a lot, and I think it's because I have a lead foot (regularly exceeded 80 during Chicago trip yesterday), and because few trips are really all freeway (gridlock in Chicago, construction, etc.).
Based on the instant mpg calculated by the car, I have no reason to believe I couldn't take four people on a long trip and average 35 on the freeway or secondary roads with a little care given to peak speeds and smooth acceleration. If gas suddenly were rationed, and I was driving as if mpg really mattered, I bet I could average close to 30 city and 40 highway. In short, not fantastic, but not bad.
And almost spot on with the EPA ratings which, after their last adjustment downwards, my last several cars have hit pretty-much spot on. Even the EPA ratings for older cars I had, once I had the EPA website recompute their estimated milages using the latest formula, were just about what I got. Compared to the grossly inflated EU rating system, I'd say the EPA doesn't do badly at all now.

Rally500
08-29-2014, 08:12 PM
Hi Joe I am too,I just return from a trip from Canada( Montreal) to Florida Miami and back a 3700 miles trip.2 adults 1 teenager and a kid,luggage for 2 weeks and wide Thule box 16 cubic feet on top I was averaging 26.4 MPG with a/c on and at 75 mph on cruise, if I was going over that barrier speed went down to 23 MPG. It s not bad considering the weight of luggage and the Thule box on top but like everybody we would like it better.According to somebody I spoke to who own an abarth which has same engine,he states since he installed Madness tuning box and go pedal he found that his fuel consumption went down.
500 L manual with 17 inch wheel
Thanks

Wolfepaw
09-01-2014, 10:08 PM
Hi all.

I would like to get some feedback regarding real world MPG on the 500L.

I bought my 500L Trekking toward the end of May 2014, so Iím just past three months of ownership and coming up on 3,500 miles on the odo.

One of the reasons I chose the car was because of the 25/33 MPG rating (I have a manual), which was almost identical to my much less spacious (or stylish) 2005 Honda Civic.

Most of my driving is local, and if I am light on the gas and try not to linger too long in gears while upshifting, I can very easily see well into the 28s or even low 29s around town, which is a very pleasant surprise. I should mention this is not true ďcityĒ driving, as itís less stop than goómostly doing 50 MPH on roads with fairly light traffic and a mile or more between lights.

On the other hand, my highway mileage thus far has been a real disappointment. I recently filled up at a station right off the Interstate, reset the tripmeter, and proceeded to do 105 miles straight up the highway. During that trip, doing about 77 MPH the whole way (limit is 70), the best I could manage was 28.3. Same thing on the return trip, flat ground, no traffic to speak of.

I would have expected at least 30 MPG (figure a 10% discount off the published figure is reasonable), so Iím trying to understand the discrepancy between better-than-expected city mileage and worse-than-expected highway.
AC blasts all the time, so thatís not a factor, so the only things I can think of to explain the poorer highway mileage is that either the 1.4 Multiair is much less efficient at the RPMs needed to maintain highway driving, or the near-upright pitch of the windshield create a lot more drag at higher speeds, or both.

Either way, given my experience it seems hard to believe anyone could realistically get 33 MPG on the highway in the 500L.

Has anyone actually managed to do that, or perhaps have any other insight on what might be going on here?

Thanks!

Joe

I've left the "B" driving info running for the lifetime of my 500L which is now 26K miles. My life time average which is a mix of highway and city is 33 MPG. I just got back from a 700 mile trip which was 90% highway at 70+ and I reset the "A" driving info when I filled up before I left. My average for that 700 mile trip was 36 MPG. That was going over a mountain pass twice back and forth to eastern Washington and included sitting in stop and go coming back over the pass today. The 500L for sure can achieve what Fiat has stated is the mileage it will achieve.

aelfwyne
09-01-2014, 11:28 PM
I think you're driving too fast. Your "city" driving is more like usual highway driving for me. Your highway driving is too fast, I think. Winding it out sucks up the gas.

I'm in a regular 500. I don't think I've ever gone 70 in my car. LOL. We have low speed limits in the area, and the roadways are often congested to the point that going 40 is rockin' along.

Try out fifty miles at 60 mph, check your mpg.

Do you have the instant mpg in your evic? You should be able to fine tune your driving habits via that interface to max out your mpg.

Sadly, the "Highway" ratings are a friggin JOKE if you live in an area where speed limits aren't turtle slow. Speed over 55mph is a HUGE factor in gas mileage.

On my commute is a long section of interstate where the speed LIMIT is 75mph. Yes, 75. At 75mph, you are liable to get run over by those who have their cruise control set at 85 to 90mph and don't "notice" when they're pulling hard on the car in front of them. So going 60mph isn't an option for people like us (and maybe the OP)...

At that speed, my 5speed 500 Sport doesn't even get very good mileage. 40mpg is a pipe dream. In the 500L I suspect it's the same, as it would be in just about any other car. The EPA highway figures are really more like "40mph country road tour" figures.

That in mind, you really can't compare one vehicle's real world mileage to another's EPA rating. So just keep in mind any other vehicle you drive on those same conditions will probably get just as bad related to the official rating as well.

For example, before I bought my 500, I drove a Crown Vic Police... epa was something like 16/25.... In a "perfect" world at 60mph I could eke out 25. But average was about 18mpg... Now with my 500 that's rated 31/40, I get about 32 average with mostly highway. That's nearly double, so I'm happy, even though it's not what the highway rating claims I should be getting.

superchan7
09-02-2014, 05:56 PM
With its height, the 500L is pretty much a brick of a car. That said, I've been happy with my combined 29 MPG and I give it the boot when needed. The 1.4L has no guts without boost. The lady even gets 30 MPG combined on her commutes.

We keep our highway speeds down, mainly because of the heavy police presence on California highways. But understanding the 500L's aerodynamics, it will cost you to push the car much faster.

lsm
11-23-2014, 08:43 AM
I've had my 500L for about two weeks now and I'm getting around 28MPG average which I'm pretty happy with. My old S10 that it replaced did good to get 16MPG in similar driving situations....

Andree
11-23-2014, 09:30 AM
I've had my 500L for about two weeks now and I'm getting around 28MPG average which I'm pretty happy with. My old S10 that it replaced did good to get 16MPG in similar driving situations....

That's very good! Which of the transmissions do you have?

Wolfepaw
11-29-2014, 08:03 PM
Hi all.

I would like to get some feedback regarding real world MPG on the 500L.

I bought my 500L Trekking toward the end of May 2014, so Iím just past three months of ownership and coming up on 3,500 miles on the odo.

One of the reasons I chose the car was because of the 25/33 MPG rating (I have a manual), which was almost identical to my much less spacious (or stylish) 2005 Honda Civic.

Most of my driving is local, and if I am light on the gas and try not to linger too long in gears while upshifting, I can very easily see well into the 28s or even low 29s around town, which is a very pleasant surprise. I should mention this is not true ďcityĒ driving, as itís less stop than goómostly doing 50 MPH on roads with fairly light traffic and a mile or more between lights.

On the other hand, my highway mileage thus far has been a real disappointment. I recently filled up at a station right off the Interstate, reset the tripmeter, and proceeded to do 105 miles straight up the highway. During that trip, doing about 77 MPH the whole way (limit is 70), the best I could manage was 28.3. Same thing on the return trip, flat ground, no traffic to speak of.

I would have expected at least 30 MPG (figure a 10% discount off the published figure is reasonable), so Iím trying to understand the discrepancy between better-than-expected city mileage and worse-than-expected highway.
AC blasts all the time, so thatís not a factor, so the only things I can think of to explain the poorer highway mileage is that either the 1.4 Multiair is much less efficient at the RPMs needed to maintain highway driving, or the near-upright pitch of the windshield create a lot more drag at higher speeds, or both.

Either way, given my experience it seems hard to believe anyone could realistically get 33 MPG on the highway in the 500L.

Has anyone actually managed to do that, or perhaps have any other insight on what might be going on here?

Thanks!

Joe

I have 30K miles on mine and my lifetime average for both city/hwy combined is 33.2 Mpg. I typically see 36 Mpg or so highway. The highest I have seen is 38 Mpg. Despite all the post about the L being a brick and speeds above 55 it will drop dramatically, I call hog wash on that. I took mine on a trip to Reno and back, several thousand miles. Several times I spent hours at near 80 Mph as well as a lot of time around 55/60 Mph. There was only a 1 Mpg difference. I have a 2014 L with the 6 speed euro/auto. I use 89 octane gas most of the time. I'm not known to be light of foot with the accelerator either.