New CRZ owner... looking for MPG advice - Honda CRZ Forum: Honda CR-Z Hybrid Car Forums
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-02-2016, 03:51 PM Thread Starter
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New CRZ owner... looking for MPG advice

Hello everyone! I just purchased a 2014 CR-Z EX Hybrid. It is the automatic transmission, not manual. This is my first hybrid car so I am looking for some advice on getting the best MPG out of this sweet little car. I'll give you some info to better help y'all with my scenario.

I'm going to be honest right up front... I have done a little searching on the forum but my work schedule (12-16 hours a day) does not allow me much time on here to read all the hundreds of responses and pages and pages of posts. It would take me months of reading to find what I'm looking for. So please, if it bugs you that I can't search for this information, please just don't respond. Those of you that can take the time to give me some info and tips, I thank you.

I live in the Dallas / Ft. Worth area of Texas where it's currently 102 degrees outside. So naturally, at the moment, the air conditioner is on full blast most of the time. My commute to/from work is about 33 miles each way. The terrain is fairly flat but it's pretty much stop and go traffic the entire way. Occasionally I will get up to highway speeds, but not usually. I am only on my 3rd tank of gas so I'm still experimenting with things. My first week of traveling to work, I got 37 mpg. Which to me is amazing considering I was getting about 16 out of my Chrysler 300 I just sold. Economy mode is not an option in the summer time because the air conditioner gets too hot and I feel like I'm melting. So Normal or Sport modes are my only 2 options until it cools down. Anyway, here are my questions.

1. Is it possible for me to achieve above 40 mpg in stop and go traffic?
2. Is it better to accelerate faster to get up to speed and then back off the throttle? Or would it be better to slowly ease up to speed?
3. I've seen some of you talk about "pulse and glide" but haven't really seen it explained. Could someone please explain this to me?
4. In my case, with constant stop and go traffic, would Normal mode be better for MPG or would sport mode be better? I've read some of you say that you get better MPG in sport mode.
5. I tend to use my cruise control a lot. Even when I'm on a 30 mph road. Will that help my MPG or would it be better to just not use it?
6. When it's not so hot and I can actually use Economy mode, is there really a significant difference between Economy and Normal mode?

I appreciate any help and feedback y'all can give me. I've only had this car for 10 days now but I absolutely love it so far.
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-02-2016, 05:01 PM
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As a "normal" driver, I don't much bother with the various modes. I'm almost always in Normal. My accumulated mileage is right around 40mpg, or perhaps a bit better. From what I've read, the true economy people and their procedures (some of which I find quite odd, and a few of which [such as coasting in neutral] are outright illegal) don't give the payoff to justify the effort- unless, of course, hypermiling is a hobby. Having to endure commute traffic is the poison dart to the heart of economy driving, but thank your lucky stars you're doing it with the CVT. Besides the comfort, it usually beats the manual gearbox in those conditions.

Overall, I say just drive. Accelerate as the traffic dictates, and use the AC as comfort calls for. Yes, you'll gain maybe 5mpg from trying and trying, but I just can't recommend it.

Your mileage in different modes will be a product of your driving style, and to what extent you may want to become a slave to the car's characteristics will have to be your own call. If you what to do the work, try two tanks exclusively in each mode, and see if it makes a difference for you.

I think having the side mirrors set up for effective and safe commute driving is probably of more overall worth than saving half a cheeseburger's worth of gas over the distance of a tank full.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-02-2016, 05:12 PM
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In my findings, not using cruise control helps with better mpg.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-02-2016, 10:25 PM
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For the first year I owned The Speed Bump ( My 2013 CBP CR-Z EX CVT) I left it in Economy and on my first long trip I exceeded 45 MPG. In the last year I have been playing withthe modes and if you let the car do what it does you can get pretty good MPG. I average about 35 running around town and stop and go but on long trips I get over 40 and as high as 46. From what i have read here though the modes have less of an effect in MT cars. Everyone drives differently and you have to find what works best for you as to what mode you want to to be in for any situation. Cruise control does not know when you are going uphill or down so it may not be the best for commuting in varying terrain and maximizing MPG.

My suggestion would be to keep a log book for the car and calculate your MPG. IMHO The readings on the dash tend to read high ( others will disagree with me). Play with all the modes especially if your route is the same every day and see what mode gives you the best MPG in your situation.

I just moved back from TX in April and while I lived in TX I drove in Econ and the AC worked ok except in stop and go traffic as it turns off under auto stop.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-02-2016, 10:28 PM
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Your first post, so welcome to the forum. It takes a lot of time to search through all the posts on the subject of MPG techniques, but it's the best thing to do if you don't want to miss the excitement of the same old questions; same old answers, BUT, you just might get a better base of knowledge of the CRZ and MPG's by reading it all--answers to questions you didn't even consider asking. Here's my take on your specific questions:

1. Is it possible for me to achieve above 40 mpg in stop and go traffic?
**Best you can do is work on your braking technique--and judging the traffic ahead--coasting in (in gear, of course) to a gradual stop with your foot barely touching the brake, will inititiate auto stop sooner.

2. Is it better to accelerate faster to get up to speed and then back off the throttle? Or would it be better to slowly ease up to speed?
**If no traffic ahead, I accelerate very aggressively to the speed I want to maintain, then feather the throttle to maintain speed, but that technique is useless unless you have miles of uninterrupted road ahead of you.

3. I've seen some of you talk about "pulse and glide" but haven't really seen it explained. Could someone please explain this to me?
**Eh, I think I do that at times, but have never given it a name. More or less, it's keeping up your momentem by blips of acceleration and backing off, more like feathering the throttle after the initial burst of power. Watch your MPG meter as you do this, and you'll see a one second or two of 25 MPG, followed by 75 MPG figure, slowly dropping back to around 40-50 MPG, which uses 100% of the IMA for the quick power up and initiates the regen on the gradual slow-down to keep a charge to continue the cycle (if the terrain permits.)

4. In my case, with constant stop and go traffic, would Normal mode be better for MPG or would sport mode be better? I've read some of you say that you get better MPG in sport mode.
**Just think of the different modes as giving you three different values of throttle response, and depending on your style of driving, you may find you get better MPG's in a certain mode in traffic, while the same mode gets you worse MPG's on hills or Interstate.

5. I tend to use my cruise control a lot. Even when I'm on a 30 mph road. Will that help my MPG or would it be better to just not use it?
**Sounds like I use cruise just like you do, and for me, it absolutely improves my MPG's because otherwise, I'd be driving 20-30 miles per hour faster, and wind resistance the true nemisis of MPG's. 10 MPG difference (or more) between driving 45 mph and 90 mph in my own actual experience.

6. When it's not so hot and I can actually use Economy mode, is there really a significant difference between Economy and Normal mode?
**Biggest saver for ECON is disabling A/C while in auto stop, and you can get the same MPG's in NORMAL by just not running the A/C
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-03-2016, 04:11 AM
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I averaged nearly 42mpg over three years with my 2013 Z (CVT). There are some good suggestions above. I drive mostly in ECON mode (yep, I'm one of those) and avoid the interstates whenever possible (high speeds kills mpg). On my 2016 Z (manual) I'm averaging about 40 now with mostly intown driving. I can get to 45-50mpg on road trips (again, avoiding interstates).
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-04-2016, 01:29 PM
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I've found I get the best highway mileage at 66 mph Normal with the 6MT. That is enough to consistently get 44 average.

I should note: that is in semi-hilly country. I can get 43mph at 70 on flat country such as you're going to have in texas
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-04-2016, 04:49 PM
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Yes, a couple more anecdotes:

I don't know how much I just think it's "true", but the CVT, for acceleration, seems to like having the RPM run up to begin with, but then once the momentum has started to build, feels like it might be accelerating even better if I drop from around 5K rpm to 4K or a little less. I have no idea how much this is a delusion. Er, illusion.

As repeatedly related above, Speed Kills.... mileage. The amount you'll gain at 45 over 65 is stupidly large- of course, traffic will have to let you do it. You aren't in a planet-sucking Prius, after all. AND DON'T TRY IT IN THE EFFING FAST LANE! I have a ten-mile stretch of two-lane which is essentially flat and straight, and they've been working on replacing it for ten years. So on the old road, the limit's 45 in the construction area (a good third of it), and out here in the breadbasket (well, more corn than anything else, really) you'll often get stuck at that speed for the whole stretch. I scored over 41, almost 42mpg yesterday in 95 heat with the A/C on, doing just under fifty. The Cx values really come into it over about 45 miles an hour.

Dopey as it may seem, AutoStop really does pay off. Turn on your INFO/Trip Computer next time you're in a slow "fast" food lane, and watch how quickly sitting and idling gnaws into your MPG average. Truly surprising.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-06-2016, 11:16 PM
 
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My commute to work is 5.3 miles of zero highway but not a crazy amount of stops and an average rated speed around 40mph with only 35mph near my house for about 1mile and 45mph for maybe 2.5 of those miles...

i am really lucky to get 42mpg on a one-way trip... that is in ECON mode, super slow acceleration, coasting to stops and only braking when i need to stop... my current tank of about 108 miles has me around 25.4mpg... i've noticed since changing the oil about 5100 miles ago that my mileage has been getting progressively worse on each fillup... my average on that 5100 mile stretch has been 29.8mpg...

my driving is almost all of what i mentioned above with little amounts of highway... on my few highway trips i've averaged maybe 33-34mpg around 70mph...


2011 CRZ base CVT with around 46k miles... bought it used in December...
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-09-2016, 04:06 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the responses everyone. I truly appreciate it. After having the car now for a few weeks, I've had time to do a little first hand research. And to make a long story really short, I've found pretty much everything y'all have mentioned to be true. I've been running in ECON mode in the mornings as the temperatures aren't blazing hot. I've actually managed to get a whopping 45mpg once on the way to work. And I'm steadily getting over 40mpg in the mornings. During the afternoon where AC is a must, in NORMAL mode, I'm still managing to get 35-39mpg pretty steadily, depending on traffic and the route I take home. I have found that feathering, or pulse and glide, makes a pretty big difference. I also did note that highway speeds do, in fact, lower the MPG's. I'm also managing to get a steady 370-390 miles per tank. That's a huge difference from my Chrysler 300, where I was getting 300 miles on a 16 gallon tank.

I have played with the SPORT mode a little bit, but not for MPG's. Just for fun. It does make this little car pretty zippy in that mode. Especially considering how super tiny that engine is under the hood. But I have a superbike if I feel the need for speed... so SPORT mode isn't used very much.

And as DEFIANT noted above, it's sad to watch your MPG's falling off when you are just sitting at idle. That right there makes me love the ECON mode since it virtually stops it from happening. I'm looking forward to cooler temperatures where I don't have to use the AC. It's almost like a game for me to try and get the best mileage I can.

Again, I really appreciate the responses from y'all.
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