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Disappointing gas mileage

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Old 04-03-2014, 11:30 AM   #1
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Default Disappointing gas mileage

Late last year I traded in a 2008 Mazda CX-9 with a 273-hp/263 ft-lbs torque 3.7L V6 engine for a 2011 Q5 Premium+ 2.0T. The Mazda weighs about 500 more lbs. and I was getting around 15 mpg in city driving, 18-19 highway, and averaging 16 mpg overall.

Last night I went to refuel the Q5 and put just under 18 gallons in the tank just shy of the 300-mile mark. By my calculations that's just slightly less than 17 mpg -- only 1 mpg more than a much larger, heavier vehicle with significantly more power! Needless to say I'm a bit frustrated, especially since the Mazda took regular and the Q5, premium -- meaning I'm actually LOSING money! I was expecting to achieve 20-22 mpg in mixed driving. A few points:

-I live in CA and we get crappy "winter gas," so that might be part of the problem. But it would have been the same for the Mazda so that's a wash.
-Car is CPO with just about 39,000 miles and had its 35K mile service done by the dealer prior to purchase, including new spark plugs (I made sure to ask) and tires.
-I don't drive sportily except on occasion (80% D/20% S); same as the Mazda. I only really gun it when merging onto freeways or when I see a spot I need, such as preparing to exit the freeway.
-Driving mix is 80% city/suburban and 20% highway -- again, same for the Mazda.
-According to TPMS and my Audi tire gauge, tire pressures are at spec.

I'm baffled that a much smaller and less powerful engine hasn't resulted in the 5 or so mpg gains I was expecting. What gives oh Q5/SQ5 experts???
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Old 04-03-2014, 12:14 PM   #2
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Default Same driving as you.....

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Originally Posted by Dalancroft View Post
Late last year I traded in a 2008 Mazda CX-9 with a 273-hp/263 ft-lbs torque 3.7L V6 engine for a 2011 Q5 Premium+ 2.0T. The Mazda weighs about 500 more lbs. and I was getting around 15 mpg in city driving, 18-19 highway, and averaging 16 mpg overall.

Last night I went to refuel the Q5 and put just under 18 gallons in the tank just shy of the 300-mile mark. By my calculations that's just slightly less than 17 mpg -- only 1 mpg more than a much larger, heavier vehicle with significantly more power! Needless to say I'm a bit frustrated, especially since the Mazda took regular and the Q5, premium -- meaning I'm actually LOSING money! I was expecting to achieve 20-22 mpg in mixed driving. A few points:

-I live in CA and we get crappy "winter gas," so that might be part of the problem. But it would have been the same for the Mazda so that's a wash.
-Car is CPO with just about 39,000 miles and had its 35K mile service done by the dealer prior to purchase, including new spark plugs (I made sure to ask) and tires.
-I don't drive sportily except on occasion (80% D/20% S); same as the Mazda. I only really gun it when merging onto freeways or when I see a spot I need, such as preparing to exit the freeway.
-Driving mix is 80% city/suburban and 20% highway -- again, same for the Mazda.
-According to TPMS and my Audi tire gauge, tire pressures are at spec.

I'm baffled that a much smaller and less powerful engine hasn't resulted in the 5 or so mpg gains I was expecting. What gives oh Q5/SQ5 experts???
I'm doing 80% city/20% highway and got 17-18 mpg all winter. That will get up to 20-22 mpg when the summer gas blend comes back. So this is in the range that Audi specifies. Now I only drive in sport mode with the 2.0T as the trans shifting characteristics in D mode really sucks. I'm an agressive driver. If there wasn't any S mode I think I would have dumped the Q5 a month or so after owning it. It sure isn't like my older A4s.

I just want to say that Audi Q5 is all hype. My faily owns a 2014 Q5 and a 2011 Subaru Outback, plus we have owned 2 A4's. The family all agrees that the Outback feels like a Porsche (gets 25 mpg around town) and the Q5 drives and rides like a old truck. We have only 3000 miles on the Q5 in a year because nobody likes it. They all want me to trade it for a Cherokee Grand Laredo or Lincoln MKX. I'm impressed with the Lincoln's ride, handling, and power.
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Old 04-03-2014, 12:23 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Bob Petruska View Post
The family all agrees that the Outback feels like a Porsche (gets 25 mpg around town)
I would respond your family all agrees they've never driven a Porsche. My wife recently traded up from a 2005 Audi S4 Cabriolet to 2011 Porsche 911 Carrera S Cab, and the difference is night and day. Interior materials, handling, acceleration, overall build quality ... the S4 was a great car but can't hold a candle to the 911 except maybe in the area of comfort.

If you're so down on your Q5, why don't you just sell it???

BTW, equating a Subaru -- SUBARU! -- to a Porsche is the best laugh I've had all week. I had to check the date to make sure it wasn't still April 1.

Last edited by Dalancroft; 04-03-2014 at 12:39 PM.
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Old 04-03-2014, 12:40 PM   #4
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Not too long ago CR did a report on how various drivetrains did in their Road Tests vs. their EPA estimates. 20% of the small turbo engine cars tested missed their EPA estimates by 10% or more.

50% of hybrids tested missed theirs by 10% or more.

In the write up they mentioned that small turbos and hybrids need certain driving techniques to maximize MPG's where regular gas engines not so much.

The Q5 with the 2.0t is mid-pack at best vs. competitive CUV's.
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Old 04-03-2014, 12:53 PM   #5
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The winter gas blend gives us around 350-360 a tank and in summer consistent 390-400. Sounds like you have a lead foot or a fuel issue.
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Old 04-03-2014, 01:10 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Petruska View Post
The family all agrees that the Outback feels like a Porsche

You should refrain from posting on auto blogs based on that comment
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Old 04-03-2014, 01:38 PM   #7
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OP, something doesn't add up. Is this your first fill up? If you drive in sport, drive aggressively, and have stop and go traffic it makes sense but otherwise you should be getting better MPG for the 2.0T. Are you sure your trip odometer was reset correctly?

Regarding the Q5 vs Outback, the Subie is 600 lbs lighter and lower to the ground so it will feel more nimble (although not Porsche nimble). Just get an APR tune and you'll feel a LOT better about the 2.0T power.
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Old 04-03-2014, 01:42 PM   #8
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If the Subie is preffered over the Q5, maybe the Allroad would have been a better choice...
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Old 04-03-2014, 02:43 PM   #9
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My Q5 2.0T just passed 1.2K miles and one thing I do notice is that I do not get the best MPG on the freeway speed because I am normally driving 70+ mph. However, cruising on the back-roads at speed between 45 to 60 mph, I do get close to 30 mpg reading from the trip computer. My last fill up clocked at 374 miles with ~16 gal (35% back-roads, 40% freeway, & 25% local). I've been following the break-in recommendations. Most I've push was about 2/3's WOT on the tachometer.
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Old 04-03-2014, 04:08 PM   #10
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I had the same issue with my 2.0t vs the old 3.2 v6. THe 3.2 had way more power and character than the 2.0t.

The 3.2 would average about 16-17 city, 18-19 combined 21 highway sometimes higher.
The 2.0 would average about 16-18 city, 19-21 combined 23-24 highway

Now the diesel i get 24 city, 27 combined and 30 highway....oh and loads of torque.

Small turbo engines need to constantly boost to make power. they may be cleaner emissions wise but the trade off is decreased fuel mileage.
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