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First off let start by saying I have had this car for 5 days and as of right now I'm not impressed at all with the MPG. I'm getting around 28 mpg. I live in Lafayette in so I'm up and down hills but I don't think it should affect it this much. Is there anything that could be wrong and me not notice. the PO did say he used reg gas and not premium...I filled with premium. Can that perhaps make a difference? There is no CEL and car runs fine...just not getting the best milage. What am I missing? also does anyone know of a good place in Lafayette to get service not on this thing? tune-ups etc?

thanks

2009 smart passion convertable
 

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There are a number of variables that will affect gas mileage. Gas quality, air temp, terrain, speeds, tires, driving style, etc. I have found my best MGP is when driving around 50-55 mph, using top tier gasoline, without ethanol, and 92 octane rating. I also have a ScangaugeII that I originally got to monitor my instant mileage. that helped me to see where I got my best range. If you have a lot of hills, you may need to go a bit faster to keep the trans in high gear on hills. My average is around 46-48 mpg on both of my smarts I have owned.
Also I did not get above 38 mpg until I had about 30K on the odometer. With Mobil 1 in there, they take longer to break in.

Using regular gas usually has ethanol in it which affects MPG, and a lower octane rating which also affects MPG. The computer will compensate for the lower quality gas but MPG will suffer. With only 5 days of ownership. it may be you that needs the training. it is a 3 cyl motor and a bit different than a V6 or even a 4 cyl and the trans takes a bit to get used to. it was designed as a city car so highway miles will use more gas.

Have fun and relax! the mpg's will come 28 is a bit on the low side, but if you drive hard or are fighting winds, not unheard of.
 

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In answer to the subject line: My long term, multi-tank, multi-year average is rock steady at 35 MPG. I've got a right foot composed of plutonium though. I would've passed on buying the smart if its fuel economy was horrible, but it's not.

Others claim averages in the 40s. 28 MPG is definitely low, but you didn't indicate whether or not this figure is an average or a one tank calculation.

You stated you've owned the car for five days. That makes me suspect it may be a single tank calculation, which could be way off. Get an average from at least three tanks before you get too concerned.
 

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28 sounds low, but when I first got my smart I thought my milage was not great either. However as Jim points out once you get used to how the car shifts and how it runs I find my milage has increased. I also run premium gas because it keeps the motor cleaner overall in terms of deposits. I also have a very heavy right foot yet running high speed on the highway gives me some pretty decent numbers.

If the original owner was running regular for a while it might take a couple of tankfuls of premium to clean things up. Also a good run down the highway might help. One other thing that I noticed was that I was not impressed with how the car shifted at first. But I started to learn how to accelerate and fine tune my driving style to compensate for the quirkiness of the smart transmission. I also noticed that the transmission started to learn my driving style (lead foot) and seems now to be better at anticipating when to shift though I really think it is a combination of my style and the tranny.

I get that the smart seems like it should have crazy good mileage but for what it is I find it just fine, and performance wise it turns out better than what I had been lead to believe.
 

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Oh and I should mention motor oil, that can impact milage. I run Mobil 1 0-40 in mine and perhaps that helps performance slightly. Reason I wonder is if the PO ran regular might they have run cheap oil as well?
 

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Tires also make a big difference. My previous Smart Passion with OEM tire sizes got around 38 mpg and a high of about 41. My current Brabus with 195/50/15 front and 215/40/17 rear gets about 33 mpg average. When I did an unscientific check of mpg with regular gas (4 tank fulls) I did not notice any MPG change. I do tend to try to accelerate quicker to avoid getting run over by the big pickup trucks here in Texas.
 

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Tires make a huge difference. With the factory 9-spoke setup and Khumos, I was getting 38-40. I just put 17" Darwin rims with Yokohama S-drive tires and I'm down to 32-33.
 

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Deffonally not unheard of.

-Many factors play into what your fuel milage is. Also since you got the car. Is it new smart or a older one? The brand new Smarts have to be broken-in with their new engines but that dont mean work them to death(or your mpg will suffer). Keeping the gas petal to 1/3 helps break them in better and you not using much gas.

-Tires also are a factor. Keeping the tires to the pressure the manufacturer set for your car plus having tires with alot of tread left gives you better mpg

-Gas: DO NOT PUT IN GAS LESS THEN 91 OCTANE or your smart's engine will hate your guts. What happens is the engine will adjust its timing in order to compensate for the lower octaine and to prevent damage to engine to occure and you lose 10-25 HP also lose 30% maximum mpg what you would have gotten. Lucky they have variable valve timing in case a issue happens. Whatever your situation is, don't put less then 91 whatever the cost is.

-Temperature: My smart car likes it COLD and dosnt like air temps above 100F so much because this raises the coolant tempture and a hotter engine is just all sorts of bad

-Service: A well maintained Smart Car will be doing good like it did when you get it off the lot but also dont forget the secret service you have to do on them like change engine oil every 5K or change the transmission oil every 35-50K like what I do. Car is happy and will last forever(hopefully)

-Speed: depending on most situation your Smart's maximum mpg will be in the range of 45mph-55mph. For some reason, mine is 55mpg-70mpg. No clue why and i will provide a picture to prove it.

These basic habits will be what you need to get the cashier to pay you everytime at the pump instead of you paying at the pump. The adverage range of mine is 325-400 miles on one tank and I own a 2012 going on 40K miles which I think is 42-50mpg with my first gallon being 70-100mpg(dont know why that is, pictures provided) and my average speed is 45-65 mph on level ground with some small hills.
 

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I average 48 consistently in my smart. I use premium fuel, regular conti tires and such. I did put an exhaust and intake on it but even before then I was consistently getting low 40s. I live in southwest pa and there is nothing but hills and mountains no matter where you go around here.


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In the summer when I don't use the a.c. I get about 50-55 mpg, so far best is 62 mpg. With a.c. I'll get about 43-46. This is because of driving style, Higher than normal air pressure in the tires (max sidewall), 185/65-15 tires on the rear and 185-60/15 tires on the front(the biggest I could get on the car), aerodynimic improvements, modified exhaust and fairly open roads with rolling hills. I recently had an exhaust leak and I temporarily replaced the exhaust with the factory exhaust and the mileage went down. It's quieter now but the aftermarket exhaust is going back on when I have the time. Keeping the speed down makes a big difference, above 50 mpg I usually lose 1 mpg for every mile per hour faster average. Chumly
 

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I've had 3 Smarts, the 1st '08 was all stock, easily maintained 40-42 mpg, the 2nd Smart, another '08, I did not have it long enough to record a solid mpg record because of personal reasons, my present '09 Brabus has 17" wheels all the way around, nothing modded to the engine(not yet anyway) and I average 39+ mpg, it doesn't matter how easy I drive this one, I cannot get to 40, but I have a small notion it's because of the Brabus chrome gas pedal, it goes to the floor way to easy(lol)
 

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These basic habits will be what you need to get the cashier to pay you everytime at the pump instead of you paying at the pump. The adverage range of mine is 325-400 miles on one tank and I own a 2012 going on 40K miles which I think is 42-50mpg with my first gallon being 70-100mpg(dont know why that is, pictures provided) and my average speed is 45-65 mph on level ground with some small hills.
Your fuel gauge observation occurred because the fuel gauges in these cars aren't linear. Each bar is not representative of a gallon but more of a calculated approximation. The first bar lasts 70-110 miles in my car. In that distance, it's already burned off two gallons of petrol. Every bar after that falls off in 30-40 mile increments. The "1 gallon countdown" in my car also adds an additional 30 miles on top of the miles the final bar gives me.

Sadly the fuel gauge shouldn't be used to calculate MPG as it has its own crazy programming that isn't linear with actual fuel level. :D

When I was homeless then subsequently unemployed, I used 87 octane exclusively in my 2012 451. At the time, Premium was basically a dollar more and every dollar counted. I ran it for over 20,000 miles like that with no adverse impact. The car routinely returned 45 mpg without struggle. :)

I started using 93 again after the (unrelated) fire...kinda used it as a sign to take better care of the car.

Nowadays, the car still returns 45 mpg on 93 octane at 133,000 miles and about 33-35 mpg while towing a 1,000 lb trailer.

My 2016 453 gets 45-55 mpg so long as I lay off the turbo. >:D
 

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it takes time grasshopper

5 days will normally not produce a few tankfuls of MPG numbers. The gas tank was most likely not full when you purchased the car, no matter what the previous owner/salesperson may have told you. Also, different gas pumps cut off at different levels in your gas tank, and while a half a gallon does not matter when you have a 20 gallon tank, with an 8 gallon tank it is more significant.

Let us know what your mileage is after 3-4 tank fulls.

Dave
 

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If I had to guess, I'd say my MPG is about 35-40 on my Peanut car. My Subaru Forester gets 33, but is not the same and is not sporty like my Brabus. And the Brabus scoots along in some situations which make it a blast to drive.
I have a ScanGauge/e but use it to watch engine temp and voltage.
 
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