Why Is My 2017 Subaru Outback 2.5i Fuel Economy So Bad? (Ask TFLcar)


We recently received this email from Shrikanth. He’s a bit disappointed  with his new car’s fuel economy and he writes:

“I am a big fan of you guys and your channel. I appreciate all your reviews and videos. My question is, I just brought this brand new 2017 Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium. I’ve been driving it about a week now, mostly on highways. The average fuel economy it is showing in the dash board is just 22.5 MPG as opposed to 28 MPG as recommended. I am bit disappointed regarding this. My driving habit is descent and I am very gentle on throttle. Please advise me on what could be the reason and how I can improve the economy”

Shrikanth, the EPA says the new 2017 Subaru Outback 2.5i is supposed to get 25 MPG in the city and 32 MPG on the Highway with a combined number of 28 MPG. Your car says it is getting much lower numbers, but in order to actually determine your car’s real MPG you would have to drive at least 100 miles and use the same fuel pump to measure the actual fuel economy (see video below).

In other words, using the car’s computer to measure the car’s actual MPG is not a very accurate way to determine your real-world fuel economy.

You also don’t say in your email when you last reset the car’s computer, your current outside temperature, how many people or how much stuff is in the car, what type of fuel you are using, how the traffic is on your drive, who else drives your car, how fast you drive, how many hills, etc. All of these factors will determine your fuel economy.

For instance, if you are using an ethanol blend of fuel like E85, your fuel economy will be much different (much lower) than if you are using regular gasoline.

If you are serious about determining your actual fuel economy, take a look at the video below and use this pump method to find out what MPG you are really getting. Let us know the answer and we’ll publish the results.

Good luck!

If you have any other suggestions for Shrikanth please post them below. We would love to get your thoughts and advice as well to Shrikanth question.