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It seems that everyone says that the Xterra was discontinued because it was a gas hog. This hasn't been my experience. Last July, I bought a 2012 X-model 4x4, with 40K miles.

I don't know if my driving is typical or not. I drive it around town for running errands, shopping, etc. (not for going to/from work). I often drive it through the Sierra Nevada mountains, to go hiking, kayaking, etc. These trips gain and lose as much as 3-4K feet though the mountains. When driving in the mountains, I turn off overdrive, which should make the MPG worse.

In the year that I have had the Xterra, the worst that I have had was 19 MPG. Once I even got 28 MPG. I usually get 20-22 MPG. Considering the size and weight of this vehicle, and the fact that it is 4WD, I think that I am getting excellent mileage.

I don't know if this makes a difference, but I always fill up with Top Tier gas, and use the mid-grade, not the lowest octane. I have done this with the last four vehicles I have owned. Some say that I'm wasting money. Maybe so, but it's what I do.

What MPG are others getting?
 

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When I first got mine I was getting just over 17 on a 160 mile round trip that I needed to make several times of varied driving and after I changed the rad , spark plugs and all synthetic fluids got strong 19's. Tire change last year and now low 20's.
 

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It seems that everyone says that the Xterra was discontinued because it was a gas hog. This hasn't been my experience. Last July, I bought a 2012 X-model 4x4, with 40K miles.
If that was the case then why keep the Frontier? Same engine , drivetrain and almost the same aerodynamics. The reason was sales of the X slowed down. Dealers offered Xterra,Pathfinder and Armada all SUVs all available in 4wd. Nissan was and still is going broke, so my guess is they figured they could split the potential Xterra buyers between the newly redesigned Pathfinder and the Armada but now the Pathfinder is more crossover than SUV which leaves only the Armada and IMHO It is too big.
 

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The first leaf was a joke and the second leaf was not much better the Chevy Bolt was a much better option . Now the 2019 and up leaf is close to the range of a bolt, but its reputation precedes it so sales are low.
 

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i get 14 around town, 18 when i go to the mountains. stop and go kills it. i was suprised at first that it did better in the mtns, but i guess the coasting down more than makes up for the increased throttle going up??..

either way, its not great. some v-8 trucks to as well or better. now it is lifted~ 2" with oversized compared to stock tires.
 

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I don't know if this makes a difference, but I always fill up with Top Tier gas, and use the mid-grade, not the lowest octane. I have done this with the last four vehicles I have owned. Some say that I'm wasting money. Maybe so, but it's what I do.

What MPG are others getting?
According to the owners manual, recommended fuel grade is 87 octane (AKI) which is typically the mid grade in the US, with some exceptions. My understanding of modern fuel systems is that, under that recommended 87 octane could cause the engine to retard timing and make change some other fuel system parameter changes to prevent knock and therefore sacrifice some horsepower and mileage. Anything over that should be no help and a “waste of money”.

So my read is you are in the sweet spot. I’m curious about your tire size and typical load?

I have been averaging 17.3mpg over the last 27k miles with best mileage of 22.5mpg. That includes some towing when I’m typically in the 15mpg range.

I’m on 32” tires with 3.13 gears (auto). It’s a 2011 with 103k on the clock. I am carrying a steel rear bumper with tire carrier, aluminum skids, approx. 75lbs of recovery gear and emergency supplies. Typically two persons.

I use 87 octane fuel.


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How are you calculating your mpg? i have found that the mpg reader in the gauge cluster isn't that accurate in my 14'
 

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According to the owners manual, recommended fuel grade is 87 octane (AKI) which is typically the mid grade in the US, with some exceptions. My understanding of modern fuel systems is that, under that recommended 87 octane could cause the engine to retard timing and make change some other fuel system parameter changes to prevent knock and therefore sacrifice some horsepower and mileage. Anything over that should be no help and a “waste of money”.

So my read is you are in the sweet spot. I’m curious about your tire size and typical load?

I have been averaging 17.3mpg over the last 27k miles with best mileage of 22.5mpg. That includes some towing when I’m typically in the 15mpg range.

I’m on 32” tires with 3.13 gears (auto). It’s a 2010 with 103k on the clock. I am carrying a steel rear bumper with tire carrier, aluminum skids, approx. 75lbs of recovery gear and emergency supplies. Typically two persons.

I use 87 octane fuel.


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I got Crap for saying t same thing on the Nissan Xterra Facebook page. A guy called it a theory I quote "Your theory works on a high aspirated or high compression engine.. not an xterra." I responded with

" Not a theory, Engine has a knock sensor and a computer and that is what their job is. If my state has 85 85.5 or 86 as the standard Octane rating I would be putting in mid grade fuel in my vehicle as the owner's manual states 87 octane or higher is recommended."

His response was "I’m glad you know what a knock sensor is and how to read the manual. I wish you knew that putting a higher octane into a lower octane recommended vehicle, doesn’t not achieve mpg or horsepower"


Does anyone read that I said putting a higher octane gets better mileage? I specifically mentioned that the manufacturer recommends 87 Octane. If you put a lower octane that is recommended you vehicle will still run, just not as well as it could with the correct octane. The computer will adjust for the lower octane by retarding the timing which will slightly reduce HP.
 

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How are you calculating your mpg? i have found that the mpg reader in the gauge cluster isn't that accurate in my 14'
miles divided by gallons= mpg.
I don't have that gadget in my 06. I have found most vehicles calculated mpg is off
 

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lol i know how to calculate it..... I guess I should've worded it better lol... OPs is a '12 which has the gadget I think. If he's reading off of that then that's what I was saying that they aren't all that accurate in my opinion. In my 14' half the time it doesn't even update regularly and when it does it shows like 12-13 mpg ALL the time... which I think is ludacris at highway speed on flat ground...
if he's doing the calculation himself then damn that's some good mpg.
 

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I agree the mpg on the Xterra is not that bad... on the highway. I get around 14mpg on mixed driving and 19~20mpg on the highway cruising at 65mph. My 2011 Pro4X has around 105k miles and its running on 33 inch mud tires at 32psi.
 

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How are you calculating your mpg? i have found that the mpg reader in the gauge cluster isn't that accurate in my 14'
I have tracked every fill up in the last 27k miles in the fuely app. Actual fuel used and mileage from the odometer.




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Discussion Starter #14
(Edited for brevity)

According to the owners manual, recommended fuel grade is 87 octane (AKI) which is typically the mid grade in the US, with some exceptions.

So my read is you are in the sweet spot. I’m curious about your tire size and typical load?
Around here, the low grade is 87 octane (I prefer Chevron, if available). I use the next grade, 89 octane.

I can't check the tire size right now, without going outside in my bathrobe. I'm pretty certain that they are the standard size (32 inch?). They are probably the second set of tires, as they are almost new. I don't remember the brand at the moment, but it wasn't a brand I recognized. They are rated mud/snow, but drive well on pavement. When I eventually replace them, I'll probably go with Michelin or Pirreli (I have traditionally bought Michelin).

As for load, not much right now. I have taken out the two rear seat bottoms (leaving the seat backs). I currently have a travel potty, a tri-fold foam mattress, a small pillow, a piece of plywood to support the head of the matress, a down sleeping bag, a folding chair, a folding table, and some supplies. When needed, a large cooler is added. I have often carried a ten foot kayak on top, using foam pool noodles (I need to buy some cross bars). BTW, the mattress is very comfortable. I sleep very soundly on it.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I agree the mpg on the Xterra is not that bad... on the highway. I get around 14mpg on mixed driving and 19~20mpg on the highway cruising at 65mph. My 2011 Pro4X has around 105k miles and its running on 33 inch mud tires at 32psi.
In the year that I've had it, most of my driving has been in the Sierra's. Speed limits anywhere from 35-55, with some 25. On a recent drive to Fallen Leaf Lake, the last several miles are on a one-lane, paved road, at 10-15 MPH. Occasionally 65-70 on short interstate sections. I use cruise control whenever possible. I don't drive it nearly as much as most people. In one year, I've only added about 6K miles.

Other than the tires, and a tow hitch, I believe that the vehicle is completely stock.
 

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Around here, the low grade is 87 octane (I prefer Chevron, if available). I use the next grade, 89 octane.
It varies in some parts the country which is why the octane number is important to look at on each pump.

In that case, I don't see any reason to pay extra for your 89 octane mid grade.

It certainly would be interesting to make the change for a few tanks and determine for yourself if there is a difference in MPG. My guess is you won't see a change and could save money.
 

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How much booze are they adding? 89 with booze is still poor as the BTU content is lower. I usedto get on the Illinois border no booze 87 that would give me better than 5% better mpg
 

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How much booze are they adding? 89 with booze is still poor as the BTU content is lower. I usedto get on the Illinois border no booze 87 that would give me better than 5% better mpg
Really good question.

Here in Colorado like other places in the US we have "winter gas" that has a different blend than summer. Every producer has a slightly different formula, but generally they are blending to reduce environmental impact (smog) and potential for vapor lock in summer. Like you, I swear I get worse MPG in winter, but I just took a look at my last two years of data, and I see no significant impact on MPG. As they say, I guess it was "all in my head".
 

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Here in Colorado like other places in the US we have "winter gas" that has a different blend than summer. Every producer has a slightly different formula, but generally they are blending to reduce environmental impact (smog) and potential for vapor lock in summer. Like you, I swear I get worse MPG in winter, but I just took a look at my last two years of data, and I see no significant impact on MPG. As they say, I guess it was "all in my head".
Colorado also,...
I do get slightly worse mileage in winter, but overall I can't complain. I also use only 85 octane, as that is equivalant to 87 octane at lower altitudes.

Now if someone wants to pay for my gas for 6 months, I'll try using 87 (midgrade) to see if there is a mileage difference. ;)
 
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