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Thread: 2015 Micra SR automatic week long test drive: Darin's notes & impressions

  1. #21
    Administrator MetroMPG's Avatar
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    fuel economy

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    Above: that was the Micra's fuel economy display from the 1-way ~110 km trip from Ottawa after picking up the car. 4.8 L/100 km = 59 mpg (Imp.) = 49 mpg (US) ... I later calculated the display to be about 4.5% optimistic.

    Actual (calculated) fuel economy from 2 fill-ups over 940.5 km (584 mi.) was:


    • 5.4 L/100 km = 52.3 mpg (Imperial) = 43.6 mpg (US)


    The display showed 5.2 on the first fill and 5.1 on the second, so it was a little optimistic.

    Fill-up method: each time I filled with "3 clicks" by slowing the pump when I could hear fuel coming up the filler neck until the first click-off, then slowly adding fuel twice more until the pump clicked off each time.

    Driving details / techniques:

    Speed: The majority of my driving was fuel-friendly cruising on secondary highways at or very close to the speed limit (~80 km/h = ~50 mph), plus about 120 km of freeway (@ ~100 km/h / ~62 mph). Urban/suburban/ex-urban driving probably made up about 200 km.

    Very few short trips: by "short" I mean less than a couple of km. Short trips from a cold start are where you'll see your worst fuel economy (aside from autobahn speed highway driving, that is ).

    Little A/C use: It wasn't very hot this week, so I only turned the air conditioning on to try it out for a few minutes -- most of the time I had windows down in town and the right two cracked open a little bit when on the highway.

    Eco-driving: I "eco-drove" nearly all the time, which means things like...


    • never idling for more than a few seconds,
    • moderate acceleration, aiming to get the torque converter to lock ASAP in 3rd & 4th gears,
    • minimizing brake use (letting off the gas early to coast as much as practical toward slowdowns/stops/turns, depending on traffic),
    • reading conditions ahead to keep from wasting momentum by rushing into avoidable slowdowns, eg. choosing the lane with the best "flow", timing traffic lights, etc.,
    • sticking to the speed limit (or very close to it),
    • turning off the engine at long stops (when safe),
    • stuff like that


    Micra's slightly optimistic fuel economy display

    The on-board fuel economy display was optimistic by 4.5% compared to actual pump readings. Not horrible.

    Close to Montreal numbers

    At the Micra launch in Montreal using the same car and same driving techniques, the trip computer said 5.6 L/100 km (understandably worse, given the more "challenging" Montreal route & traffic). Or about 5.85 actual.


        __________________________________________

        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 2015 Micra S manual: 5.0 L/100 km ... 56.5 mpg (Imp) ... 20.0 km/L ... 47.0 mpg (US) ...


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  3. #22
    Administrator Daox's Avatar
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    That is quite impressive for an older 4 speed automatic design Darin. Nicely done.

    Any Micra specific driving tips you'd recommend for those with 4 speed autos?

  4. #23
    Administrator MetroMPG's Avatar
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    Mileage tips for automatic drivers...

    Well, I can think of a few things:

    1) If at all possible, avoid "cruising" along in 1st or 2nd gear. The torque converter doesn't lock in those gears, so they're more wasteful, even at low speeds. Better to get into 3rd gear lock-up speed, which happens at roughly 41 km/h under light throttle. IE: better to drive at 42 km/h than 40.

    (The exception to this rule: there's no point in going for the 3rd gear lockup unless you're going to be moving for a while. If lockup is immediately followed by a stop, for example, you're probably better off staying in 2nd at a lower steady speed towards the stop.)

    2) The car's maximum cruising fuel economy happens when it shifts into 4th gear and the torque converter locks at around 59 km/h (warm engine) under light acceleration. IE: best to drive at 60 km/h than 58.

    3) If you're accelerating briskly, the shift points happen at higher speeds. But you can still get the car to shift into top gear "early" by briefly easing back (not off) on the throttle once you pass 59 km/h, wait a second for the shift, then pressing down again. It will stay in top gear/locked while you continue moderate acceleration as long as you don't floor it.

    4) Make use of the Deceleration Fuel Cut-Off (DFCO) feature: ease off the accelerator as early as practical when you see a slow down or stop ahead. If you're in 3rd or 4th gear with the torque converter locked, fuel injection stops completely while you're coasting.

    5) If you're going to be stopped for more than a few seconds, shift to Neutral. (You can move the lever back & forth between Drive & Neutral without pressing the button, so you don't even have to look at the lever... just bap it forward for N, and backward for D). More and more automatic cars are coming with an "idle neutral logic" fuel saving feature to automate this inside the transmission.

    Of course, if you shut the engine off when you're going to be stationary for more than 10-15 sec., you'll save quite a lot. (When safe to do so! Automatic or manual.)

        __________________________________________

        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 2015 Micra S manual: 5.0 L/100 km ... 56.5 mpg (Imp) ... 20.0 km/L ... 47.0 mpg (US) ...


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  6. #24
    Administrator Daox's Avatar
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    Nice list, thanks!

  7. #25
    Administrator MetroMPG's Avatar
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    That little SR automatic works hard!

    On Sunday evening, I passed it on to another reviewer who is currently posting his thoughts, if you're interested:

    http://www.autos.ca/car-test-drives/day-day-review-2015-nissan-micra-sr/

    And there's forum chatter about his review as well: http://www.autos.ca/forum/index.php/topic,88806.0.html?

        __________________________________________

        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 2015 Micra S manual: 5.0 L/100 km ... 56.5 mpg (Imp) ... 20.0 km/L ... 47.0 mpg (US) ...


  8. #26
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    Curb feelers . . . now that is something I need. Where do I find them? CT shows nothing that I can find.

  9. #27
    Administrator MetroMPG's Avatar
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    You may have to shop on eBay or similar to find them. I checked Canadian Tire & Princess Auto and found none. But some American parts shops seem to have them.

        __________________________________________

        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 2015 Micra S manual: 5.0 L/100 km ... 56.5 mpg (Imp) ... 20.0 km/L ... 47.0 mpg (US) ...


  10. #28
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    Guess I will have to resign from the Micra forum. I test drove Micra and Note and decided to buy the Note SL. No curb feelers needed with this car, all around cameras.

    I'm totally impressed with the electronic power steering in the Nissan cars! I know this Note will not be as fun as the Micra but more practical for my lifestyle and needs.

  11. #29
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    Congrats on the new Nissan. Enjoy.

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  13. #30
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    Brakes - no problems this time around

    Back in May when I got to try this very same SR automatic in Montreal, I noted that the brakes felt grabby:

    Brakes: my only negative comment is about the brakes in one specific situation. In moderate/hard braking -- such as when getting on the binders when a light turns amber -- I found them tricky to modulate. They seemed to grab harder about halfway through the pedal application. I experienced this in both cars. The Nissan rep riding with me thought it may have been the Brake Assist safety feauture being triggered (which applies the brakes more than the driver actually requests during a "fast" or "sudden" stop). Would this be a deal breaker? No... but I take a small amount of pride in trying to drive smoothly, and this feature makes that harder to do. If it was brake assist, I think it is activated too soon.
    I thought I should point out that I noticed NO odd braking at all with the car during my week of driving.

    Not sure what would explain the difference.

    Anyone else noticed the "grabbiness" I experienced?


        __________________________________________

        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 2015 Micra S manual: 5.0 L/100 km ... 56.5 mpg (Imp) ... 20.0 km/L ... 47.0 mpg (US) ...


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