X3 bad fuel economy

My 2006 x3 with 30000 miles gets just 16mpg overall hiway and city. Its epa rating is 17 city and 23 hiway. What gives? There is nobody in the car except little old me and I drive 10 miles each day on the hiway.

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You do not drive nearly enough highway miles to get the higher number. You drive all of your miles in the city, for all practical purposes. If you speed up quickly and wait until the last possible second to slow down again, yur mileage is pretty good.
If you live near to the freeway, and have a 10-mile commute, then you spend much of your drive with a cold motor, and this is bad on gas mileage too.
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That plus the EPA figures are always over-optimistic. They aren't obtained by real world driving but putting the car on a 'treadmill' and mimicking the hwy and urban speeds. Even after that, it is not the consumption of gas that is analysed, but the amount of CO2 output and the consumption of gas is calculated indirectly from the CO2 output, i.e. how much gas it would take to produce that much CO2! Even with the most careful and economical driving habits, I doubt you will ever match the epa figures!
Vijay
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You're completely wrong on this. My '01 330xi is rated 20/27 (this is the pre-2007 ratings). I have never gotten lower than 22 mpg. I have gotten as high as 31 highway, but more typically 28/29. My son has gotten 30 highway on his '07 335i, and it's rated 18/27 (new style).
You're right in that the EPA figures are bogus.
FloydR
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In addition to Jeff's reply, how are you calculating mpg? If it's using the OBC, are you resetting after each fill-up, and have you measured and accounted for any OBC error?
As my BMWs have always equaled or exceeded EPA figures when properly warmed up and driven judiciously, I suggest you check highway MPG by filling the tank, resetting the OBC, taking a nice 200 mile cruise on the highway in top gear at about 65 mph and then checking your mileage. If you aren't getting at least 25 mpg under those conditions, I'd have the car looked at by a good mechanic.
Tom
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I moved from the east coast to the west coast and drove my '01 330Ci. Generally 10 over the speed limit the whole way with cruise control at every opportunity. OBC average was 32 mpg. Go figure, German engineering..
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I'm also somewhat surprised that my old 5 speed E46 can get the same 32~33 mpg on the highway as my '08 128i with it's overdrive 6th. Of course, the 128's Cd isn't as good, as it is a convertible, but the fuel economy of the 2.8/3.0 liter BMW 6 is definitely impressive.
Tom
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Yup, Mine is a manual 5 speed as well. Shocks my friends all the time when I mention it.
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What's shocking about a manual 5-speed?
"In Europe we are not shocked by manual."
DAS
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Dori A Schmetterling wrote:

BTW: The days of manual gearboxes seem to be over soon. (*) (**) The new double clutch automatic gearboxes outperfom manuals in performance AND in fuel economy.
It is just that this technology has no yet made its way down from the high end into mid priced cars.
Sadly BMW currently limits these new gearboxes to some of their 330 and better models.
(*) Ok, you must of course be willing to pay the higher price for that, but once you have been using it you will never return to anything else (classical automatic gearbox or manual).
(**) Porsche seems to have dropped manuals for the performance reasons.
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There's no way it can better a well driven manual in economy. Equal, possibly. But I doubt that since it has more moving parts and therefore friction.
But many prefer a good manual because they enjoy the challenge of well timed gearchanges and smooth clutch operation. In other words part of the driving pleasure on a fine car. For those who prefer autos there's little difference between traditional torque convertor types and DSG. Personally I think the idea of a robotised synchromesh box flawed - no matter how good the implementation.
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I totally agree :-)
But for the record my old 635CSi had the same mpg before and after it's auto to manual conversion.

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Dave Plowman (News) wrote:

Seems like they should be able to accomplish the same thing, more cheaply, with a "normal" auto and lockup in all gears, eh?
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shocked that it gets 31 mpg on the highway.
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What's shocking about that? (US gallons, presumably?)
DAS
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Actually I found it rather rude to in two instances for two different things you consider something as 'not shocking' with a nose in the air haughty attitude. And further, the difference between imperial and us gallons is rather insignificant compared to gallons/litres. So why did you even bother asking.

Good for you. Like we are here in the states?
and

31 mpg for a 3 liter sports car is very good. I bet in the top 85th percentile or better. Most are AMAZED at the mileage my car gets, incorrectly thinking it must be a guzzler. You uppity Europeans might not be impressed as 90% of you drive small displacement DIESELS.
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Actually one of my cars has a 3.2 litre engine, the other a 2 l. Neither is diesel; I do so few miles that it would not be economical to have oil burners.
Yes, 31 miles per gallon (small) IS very good, sports car or not, for a 3-litre engine, but I could not understand what you meant by "shocking". Try to remember this is written comms only.. Actually, the difference between US and Imperial gallons is sufficient to make the 31 mpg sound even better in Imperial.
And no, 90% of Europeans do not drive small-engined diesels. If North Americans paid twice as much for their fuel they'd be reducing the size of their engines too.
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HGL wrote:

I get about 18 with my X5 4.8. Are you using premium gas? If you use regular, the computer will compensate for it so the engine runs properly but the fuel economy will drop. Is the air filter clean?
-dk
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Short runs, stop start, hills, heavy right foot, AC on, 4WD = low mpg
Long runs, steady cruise, flat, light right foot = high mpg.
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