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10 Easy Tips To Improve Gas Mileage In Your AWD Subaru - 3 Things Won’t Work

How can you get the best gas mileage in your all-wheel-drive Subaru vehicle this winter? Check out ten easy things to do and three things that don't work.

According to AAA today, the average U.S. price is $3.92 per gallon for 87 octane unleaded gasoline. The price was $3.79 per gallon one week ago, so it's inching up again. How can you get the best fuel mileage in your Subaru Forester, Outback, Crosstrek, Ascent, and other models? 

A recent report from Kelley Blue Book has some good tips to get the best fuel economy in your all-wheel-drive vehicle. Here are ten easy things to do and three things that don't work.

2023 Subaru fuel mileage

Ten tips to improve your all-wheel-drive Subaru vehicle's fuel efficiency this winter

1. Plan out your trips

It takes a little planning, but you can save a lot of miles by thinking about your errands before you leave the house. Driving fewer miles adds up. 

2. Is your check engine light on?

A check engine light means you are likely wasting fuel. A perfectly tuned engine gets the best fuel mileage. If it's a bad O2 sensor, your fuel economy goes down by 40 percent.

2023 Subaru fuel mileage

3. Check the air pressure in your tires once a month

Keeping your tires inflated to their recommended pressure will also save fuel. The Department of Transportation estimates the average driver could increase their fuel economy by 25 percent by inflating the tires to their full capacity.

4. Slow down

If you drive the speed limit, you will save fuel. For every five mph that you go over 60 mph, your vehicle uses up to 7 percent more gas. Wind and rolling resistance wind resistance make the engine burn more gas to keep up the higher speeds. 

5. Change your engine air filter

The vehicle's engine has to breathe just like your house's furnace. A dirty filter restricts airflow and lowers your fuel mileage. If you drive on dirt roads or trails or live in a dry climate, you should change it more often.

6. Coast as much as possible

You should coast downhill and push on the gas pedal when going uphill. It sounds simple, but those who are Hyper-milers who track fuel economy say it's the number one tip to improve fuel mileage. 

7. Keep your vehicle tuned up

Get your Subaru serviced regularly and complete your 30,000, 60,000, 90,000, and 120,000-mile major services. 

8. Take off your roof and bike rack

Leaving a rooftop carrier or rooftop tent on top of your all-wheel-drive vehicle creates unnecessary aerodynamic drag (or wind resistance) when you're not using it. Depending on where you're driving and the speed you're traveling, going with bulky items on the rooftop carrier can increase fuel consumption by up to 25 percent (increasing the faster you drive).

9. Weight is not your vehicles friend

You can improve your fuel efficiency in the 2023 Subaru Forester, 2023 Outback, or 2023 Crosstrek by taking just what you need for your camping, hiking, or biking trip to the mountains. Reducing the weight of your vehicle by as little as 100 lbs could result in a fuel economy improvement of between one to two percent. So, if you're planning on going on a road trip or Overlanding excursion, take only the necessary gear and save money on your journey.

10. Don't warm up your car

Starting your car when it's cold and leaving it running with the heater on means you'll burn more fuel. Your vehicle's engine will warm up quicker when driven, improving the heater's performance and reducing fuel consumption.

Three things that don't work

Most fuel additives do not improve fuel efficiency

You will hear claims that fuel additives will improve fuel mileage. Most additives that you buy off the shelf will not improve fuel efficiency. Some professional products are sold at the dealer to clean your fuel injectors do work. Don't waste your money on additives from the auto parts store.  

2023 Subaru fuel mileage

2. You don't need premium gasoline

You don't need expensive 91-octane gasoline. If you drive a Forester, Outback, Crosstrek, Ascent, Impreza, or Legacy, your vehicle is designed to run on 87-octane or regular gasoline, and you don't need expensive premium fuel.

3. Don't turn off your air conditioning

Stay comfortable while driving while temperatures are still warm. KBB says, "In your grandmother's car, turning off the air conditioning helped boost fuel economy. But modern car air conditioners are so efficient that they are only a slight drag on an engine's performance."

The 2023 Subaru Forester compact SUV, 2023 Outback midsize SUV, 2023 Crosstrek small SUV, and 2023 Ascent 3-Row SUVs are fuel-efficient, but these ten tips will help improve your overall fuel mileage this winter.

You Might Also Like: The Complete Fuel Guide For Your Subaru And How To Save Hundreds Per Year

Denis Flierl has invested over 30 years in the automotive industry in a consulting role working with every major car brand. He is an accredited member of the Rocky Mountain Automotive Press. Check out Subaru Report where he covers all of the Japanese automaker's models. More stories can be found on the Torque News Subaru page. Follow Denis on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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Kurt Kaufman (not verified)    October 13, 2022 - 10:47PM

According to the built-in mileage indicator, my using the cruise control (when safe to do so) as much as possible has helped inch up my average MPG gradually. My guess is that the acceleration is more gradual and even using the CC. I have tested this repeatedly, and either using cruise control more or less can predictably affect MPG. Forester 2020, currently 36k on the odometer.

Ren (not verified)    July 22, 2023 - 9:31PM

A dirty airfilter does not reduce mileage. You just jave less performance. The engine adjusts to less air with less fuel. Resilting in less power. But not lower mileage. Also, the last turbo forester requires PREMIUM fuel. Yes. Do your homework before spouting misinformation.