2006 Vue gas mileage

Discussion in 'Saturn VUE' started by Phil Marshall, Jul 31, 2006.

  1. Hi all:

    Had our new Vue about a month now, 6cyl FWD.

    I know it will take a while to break it in before we start to get
    accurate mileage readings (1,000miles?) but so far it is very low.
    Mostly city like driving and short trips.

    At around 440 miles we got 13.8 MPG

    At around 600 mile improved to 16.9 MPG

    Hoping it gets MUCH BETTER soon. I was expecting around
    23 MPG combined ....

    Thanks, Phil
    Phil Marshall, Jul 31, 2006
  2. Phil Marshall

    SnoMan Guest

    True 89 or better fuel too on hot days as it can help. I would not
    hold my breath for 22 MPG in town/urban driving though.
    SnoMan, Jul 31, 2006
  3. Phil Marshall

    Sir Creep Guest

    Well, it's sad to hear your results.
    I just purchased a 2003 manual drive Vue with 24,000 miles. Drove it
    290 miles back home and put exactly 10 gallons in the tank (i.e. 29.0
    mpg highway). As advertised, and it's 3 years old. Maybe it's that
    nasty V6 (j/j) from Honda knocking you to 20 mpg or below. Though we
    haven't as much 'umph' as a V6 (honestly, I don't notice enough of a
    difference to worry about) your post is making me glad I didn't go V6
    when searching a Vue.
    Better luck in the future.
    Sir Creep, Jul 31, 2006
  4. Phil Marshall

    marx404 Guest

    I have had customers report various results, especially in hot weather on V6
    engines. The hotter the worse mileage, this is pretty much true on any car
    though when ingesting hot air. You cant lose with the ecotec engine though,
    4 bangers seem to get better mileage hot or cold temps.

    marx404, Aug 1, 2006
  5. Phil Marshall

    SnoMan Guest

    Not if you do not use 87 octane fuel that people are just in love
    with. THis is the real reason MPG takes a big dump in some cars
    because the ECM is have to badly retard spark with 87 on a hot day. y
    duaghter bought a clean used 97 SC2 this winter and if she uses 87 in
    summer with A/C it is a slug withA/C on and struggles to make even 20
    MPG in town but fill it with 93 and it runs much nbetter an it will
    due upper 20's in town and close to 40 on road with A/C on. THe GM
    kncon control is soo smooth that you do not even know you need better
    fuel knock wise but you do in pooer MPG and performance when hot.
    SnoMan, Aug 1, 2006
  6. Phil Marshall

    Sir Creep Guest

    Actaully, you have inspired me to search out an answer to the qeustion
    I've wondered about: Does the higher-priced higher-octane fuel actaully
    pay off in the long run? You say it does, and there must be other
    evidcence to support this. I've always wondered. If it be true that
    teh cost is 'worth it', then the 'love affair' is probably more due to
    the fact that the petroleum/auto industries haven't done anyting to
    promote the use of higher octane fuels, and leaves the consumer staring
    at gas pumps that have options costing $0.30 difference -- what the
    hell option to you EXCPECT the uninformed consumer to choose? So if I
    find any good studies on the Web, I'll post the links here. Or if YOU
    know of any good reports, please do the same, as I would appreciate it.

    Hey, maybe WE can start the promotion of using higher octane fuels
    right here :)

    Sir Creep
    Sir Creep, Aug 1, 2006
  7. Phil Marshall

    SnoMan Guest

    When gas was a buck 50 a gallon, a 30 cent increas meant 20% more fuel
    cost and if you did not get a 20% improvement in MPG, you "lost"
    money. (here is is 15 to 20 cents more for 93). Today with gas around
    3 bucks a gallon (and it will go higher with time) a 20 cent increase
    is only 7.5% and 30 cents around 10% or less. I have been using 89 or
    better in all my vehcles for over 15 years now and I can tell when my
    wife trys to get by with 87 in hot weather, her car is sluggish and
    uses a lot more fuel. When my daughter got here 97 SC2 I told here to
    use atleast 89 in it and one day a month ago when I was driving it in
    hot weather it was a real slug with A/C on (we always use A/C here)
    and she admitted to me that she had filled it with 87. I filled it up
    with 93 and it runs like a champ even when it is very hot out. I also
    have a 89 4x4 burb that I bought new and for first year or two I had
    it I used recommended 87 and it was a big slug at times and prone to
    ping with A/C on and on hills. I started using 93 in it year round (I
    do not drive in much in dead of winter here for a few months when salt
    is on roads) and it was a different animal. Eager to go at any temp
    and never wanting to ping (I even advanced base timing to gain even
    more with it). Even on the hottest days with A/C cranked it is very
    crisp in throttle responce that amazes anyone riding in it for first
    time and it get great MPG for its size and age. I has 180K on it and
    will do 16 to 17 in urban setting where I live and around 19 on long
    trips. (It has a 40 gallon tank and it will go 600 mile with ease
    between fillups on trips with running on vapors to do it) I usually
    have 6 to 8 gallons left at refill after about 600 miles. Whn I ran 87
    I was lucky to get 15 MPG on higway and unless 14 or less on a hot
    day. I have a 2000 K3500 SRW and it averages about 1 MPG more in
    urban driving with 89 or 93 and is a lot more responcesive (I use 89
    in cooler months) and it really shines when towing heavy loads on hot
    days with A/C on and never feels weak or unwilling doing it. Never
    taken it on a really long trip to see what it does there MPG wise
    because I like to average MPG over a "tank" and not just a top off.
    SnoMan, Aug 1, 2006
  8. Phil Marshall

    Steve Guest

    My experience just doesn't jibe with yours, at all. I have a '99 SL (1.9
    L SOHC 4 cyl) manual no air. In cold weather (generally no lower than 10 F
    around here), my gas mileage falls to the mid- to high-30s (per US gal). In
    warm weather (generally no higher than high 90s F), I get over 40 MPG. I
    have never used anything but 87 octane gasoline.
    Steve, Aug 1, 2006
  9. Phil Marshall

    SnoMan Guest

    MPG does drop in winter regardless of fuel type so this is nothing
    new. THis is because the engine runs a richer warm up mixture longer
    and oil in thicker from cold even after it warms up some alone with
    grease in wheel bearings and tires are a bit stiffer too. Without AC
    and a manual you may squeak by a bit better in hot weather with 87 but
    it would run better on hottest days still with 89. With a automatic
    and A/C the underhood temps soar and so does octane requirement that
    ECM spark control masks while stealing your power and MPG. 87 octane
    was designed with car had 8 to 1 compression and the ONLY reason your
    car has a knock sensor at all it to limit complaints about motor fuel
    knock and no other reason because it would be a sales nightmare to
    have cars knock on 87 all the time because people want to buy cheapest
    gas possible. (if they could buy 84 octane for 5 cents less they would
    and even if their car ran baldy on it they would not blame the fuel,
    it would be the cars fault.
    SnoMan, Aug 1, 2006
  10. Phil Marshall

    tut0101 Guest


    Depending on your driving style and the type of trips you are taking,
    this could be fairly normal mileage for the V6 engine. I've been
    monitoring the mileage of my Vue (2004 V6, AWD) since I bought it, and
    I've been amazed by how variable the fuel efficiency in this vehicle
    is. I've gone from a low of 11.9 MPG (moving to a new apartment 1.4
    miles away, so lots of short trips with moderately heavy loads) to a
    near high of 26.3 MPG on the very next tank in almost all highway

    This vehicle doesn't get much above 20-21 MPG unless you're doing a lot
    of driving in 5th gear on the highway. Driving with a heavy foot also
    makes a big difference in this vehicle, easy starts can really improve
    city driving mileage quite a bit.

    I currently live in New Hampshire, so I drive in 15-25 degree weather
    for 3-4 months a year and in summers like this I drive in 85-90 degree
    weather for several months. Temperature does not make nearly as much
    mileage difference as driving style. Simply, it's not something to
    really worry about unless you're looking for very small improvements in

    And as to fuel type, this engine is set up for 87 octane fuel, so if
    you want the best performance/efficiency, that's what you should stick
    with. Higher octane fuel is less flammable, so unless your car is
    designed to operate at higher compression, using 89 octane fuel will
    result in poorer fuel economy as less of the fuel is actually being
    burnt by the engine.

    Once you get more used to driving the car you should start seeing 20-22
    MPG. The only way you're really going to get as high as 23 MPG
    combined is if you drive extremely carefully, with very slow
    acceleration, and avoid the short trips.

    hope this is helpful,
    tut0101, Aug 7, 2006
  11. Phil Marshall

    SnoMan Guest

    This is a BIG bunch of BS. I do not know how started this poorer
    economy and unburnt fuel thing. Pure garbage! That engine is
    "designed" to TOLERATE 87 octane, not do it best on it. (this is the
    ONLY reason that there is a knock sensor and 87 octane was designed
    for 8 to 1 CR and they use spark timing trickery that reduces power
    and efficency to allow engine to "run" om 87) Every time the ECM
    retards spark from low octane fuel it hurts MPG silently. If 87 is the
    best as you claim then why does Detriot always run EPA MPG tests using
    93 octane huh??? Keep beleiving the myth if you want because it is
    costing you money and power not me.
    SnoMan, Aug 7, 2006
  12. Phil Marshall

    tut0101 Guest


    87 Octane is certainly not 'the best' gasoline possible. It is however
    the gasoline which the computer in the VUE is calibrated to run with,
    therefore, it is the best gasoline to run in the stock VUE. Higher
    octane gasoline is designed to burn at the higher temperatures that
    higher compression engines run at. The EPA tests are run with higher
    octane because they are not run with the stock computer calibration.

    If the engine in the VUE were properly calibrated with a higher
    compression ratio, then yes, higher octane fuel would be more
    efficient. The engine would operate at the higher temperatures that
    high octane fuels are designed for, and thus would be getting more
    power from an equal amount of gasoline.

    I wish the VUE was calibrated to operate with a higher compression
    ratio, but it's not. Because the engine in the VUE (and most other
    cars) is not calibrated to run at the higher temperatures and pressures
    of high octane fuel, consistently using higher than recommended octane
    will result in more wear and tear on the engine, reduced engine life,
    and reduced oil life.

    You will never see the benefits of the extra .10 to .20 cents you spend
    per gallon of 'premium' fuel unless your vehicle's engine is calibrated
    for it. That's why we all don't put aviation fuel (100 octane) in our
    vehicles. If the engine could even get hot enough to ignite it, it
    would probably burn the oil that lubricates all the moving parts,
    destroying the engine in a few moments. In a stock engine you will
    always get the best overall performance out of the gasoline recommended
    for it.

    If you want to read more about octane and gasoline check out the
    gasoline F.A.Q. at: http://www.faqs.org/faqs/autos/gasoline-faq/part1/

    but the relevant section is 6.13, in part: "If you are already using
    the proper octane fuel, you will not obtain more power from higher
    octane fuels. The engine will be already operating at optimum settings,
    and a higher octane should have no effect on the management system.
    Your driveability and fuel economy will remain the same. The higher
    octane fuel costs more, so you are just throwing money away."
    tut0101, Aug 8, 2006
  13. Phil Marshall

    SnoMan Guest

    You are thinking here but wrong logic. Again the ONLY reason ther is a
    not sesor is becuase of people that will burn the cheapest gas they
    can find. It is calibrated to tolerate it only and nothing more (the
    knock sensor is the biggest part of this "calibration") In order to
    rextract maximum power and efficency in a engine you want peak
    pressure to be achevied not latter than 5 or 10 degrees after top dead
    center to get maximum capture of energy from expanding gasses. You
    engines timing (before knock sensor input) is calibrated to very
    timing relative to load and RPM to obtain this peak pressure at this
    point. What happens is the knock sensor enters the picture and retards
    spark so that not only is the peak pressure point delay but it is also
    a lower peak pressure so less power is extracted from mixture and less
    MPG results (this is why some cars can get really nasty MPG and be
    sluggish in hot weather in city traffic with A/C on) Engine are more
    prone to power loss from this at lower RPMs because at higher RPM's
    the mixture is expanding so quickly that detination is somewhat easier
    to control (by high I am talking above say 3500 to 4000 RPM). I
    actually studies IC engine design and theory in college many years ago
    while persuing a engineering degree and the basic priciple of
    operation of a IC engine has not changed. If they would scarp 87
    octane fleet wide, gas consumption would likely drop 3 to 5% on a
    national level and if they would scrape it and build engine with 11 to
    1 CR and higher MPG would improve further and the difference or edge
    of a diesel engine would decrease in a lot of applications but it the
    peoples love or addiction for 87 that puts a damper on this.
    SnoMan, Aug 8, 2006
  14. Phil Marshall

    Sir Creep Guest

    Unscientific study:
    I just spoke to a number (read: 5-6) people who work at GM and/or
    American Axle, and they all said that the vehicles are designed to
    perform on 87 octane and there is no reason to pay more. It's hearsay,
    I know. Don't shoot the messenger. I have no personal knowledge of
    what I speak LOL.

    Now, unless there is an OEM/Petroleum industry conspiracy....
    Sir Creep, Aug 11, 2006
  15. Phil Marshall

    SnoMan Guest

    It is your nickle but the science behind it does not lie and I would
    not value a opinion for a axle company on thremodynamic engine design
    and efficecy. BTW, do you honestly think that someone at GM is going
    to tell you that you need better octane for there cars??? Of course
    not because if they did it could potnetailly hurt sales because Ford
    and Dodge would then say that they do not need the more expensive gas
    to run best (they do need it too though) It is all part of a big
    fabrication. Use 87 if it makes you happy but it is costing you money,
    performance and MPG, especailly in hot weather. Like I siad my
    daughter 97 SC2 is a slug on 87 in hot weather with A/C and runs
    really well with higher octane fuel. THe abily to burn 87 is a selling
    feature but abilty does not mean it is the best fuel for it.
    SnoMan, Aug 11, 2006
  16. Phil Marshall

    Bob Shuman Guest

    Is the vehicle in question capable of automatically advancing or
    alternatively, retarding, the engine timing? If not, then there is no
    advantage to higher octane. If it can, then the premium fuel may give
    better performance.

    Bob Shuman, Aug 14, 2006
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