My understanding is that as a part of the strive for higher and higher fuel economy the tightness of piston rings has been relaxed in many recent engines, reducing internal friction is a general benefit and part of how this modern motor can be more powerful and economical than larger engines of yesteryear but it comes at a cost and in this case the cost is a small amount of expected oil consumption and increased contamination of the engine oil during normal usage.
Yes I'm afraid it really is expected that these types of engines will "use" some oil between oil changes. For us old-timers this is a hard concept to grasp, that anyone would purposefully engineer a motor "loose enough" to burn a bit of oil but you can google this yourself, I'm not making it up. I know I sound like I'm guzzling the service department bs-koolaid again but seriously, check into it, this is a real thing.
Some modern mass-produced economy-minded engines are designed and expected to consume a tiny bit of oil between changes. This is part of why we have such a small engine with such a massive oil capacity. 5.5 quarts is a LOT of oil for a small four cylinder but the extra capacity is, in part, because its expected that the oil level is going to work its way slowly down the hash marks on the stick over the course of a 7500 mile interval.
Now, its not *supposed* to use enough between oil changes to go under the add mark of the dipstick or be a problem. The intention is to loose maybe a half a quart to not more than one quart over the time from one oil change to the next, and thats at the high end. Ideally we'd be talking more like 1/4 to 1/3 quart, which is the neighborhood my engine seems to be in. Actually, I think mine would be right at a half a quart probably if it ever went a full interval between changes, but I never give it the chance.
After reading articles describing how and why some modern engines use a small amount of oil on purpose, I resolved to double up on my recommended oil changes which basically just puts me near what was a "normal" oil change interval for cars back in the day. Right now the Compass computer seems to be on track to call for an oil change roughly every 8000 miles for my driving and usage (it's internal calculation varies depending on how you drive and in what conditions). I simply cut that in half, so when I first reached 4000 miles I changed the oil. Then at 8000 the computer threw up an oil change message and the dealer did it. Then at 12,000 miles I changed the oil again at home. At around 16,000 I expect the computer to put up a message again and into the dealer I will go. 4000 miles between each oil change, more than frequent enough to hopefully never have an issue with slight intended oil consumption and gasoline contamination that comes with less-tight piston rings, but long enough that I don't see it as a major burden (especially since I am only doing every other one). So far with the miles I drive this works out to the dealer changing the oil twice a year and me changing the oil myself twice a year. Whoopdido.
Obviously I'm one of the lucky ones. Mine only uses the tiniest bit, as was intended. I think where trouble really starts is for some of you, you get a motor that was already intended out of the gate to us a little oil, and you were unlucky enough to get an "extra loose" motor that was at the extreme end of the mass-production acceptable minimum tolerance range and all you need on top of that is for your rings to fail to seat a little bit the first few hundred miles and boom, you got yourself a very oil-thirsty engine.
The service and marketing and sales departments don't want to vocalize this intentional oil consumption thing too much, they know it sounds very bad at face value and that many of us will struggle a lot to come to the engineer's line of thinking that they have made a "good trade" in using a bit of oil to gain a bit of economy and power. They are between a rock and a hard place, the governments are legislating and demanding more and more efficient engines, this is one way to inch towards that goal, but they have to hope the average consumer never checks their dipstick and pays attention to what it was at 1000 miles ago. For 95%+ modern car buyers this is a safe bet to make, hardly anyone pays attention to their oil level nowadays. But they have opened themselves up to a percentage of their mass-produced motors being a little too loosey-goosey and still passing inspection and poor folks who get those unlucky motors are going to be really mad.
The thing is you can't hardly get away from this anywhere. Its not one lone car brand or company that is doing this. Any mass-produced car you buy from any branded lot could be a lurking lemon. Odds are in your favor but *somebody* is going to get the handful of bad ones.
My honest two cents, take it or leave it:
1) Start out with a lease. It doesn't have to be a long one, but long enough to give you time to know whether or not you have one of the "good ones". If you get stuck with an oil-consuming, poor gas mileage, faulty-electronics, lemony-peppered-pig then happily give it back to them at the end of the lease and you won't come out ahead but you won't be too far 'behind' if you know what I mean.
2) Seat those rings! Know somebody with a 1000-2000 pound boat you can borrow for a couple days? Hitch it up around the 600-mile mark and do some gentle but firm accelerations on a safe country road somewhere. Or load up the cargo area with bricks. Google "new engine ring break-in procedure" for some ideas maybe. A moderate amount of heavy load can help piston rings seat and seal, as best as they can anyways. You aren't supposed to have to do this on a new motor but I don't know what else to tell you, its worth a try, seems to have worked out ok for me.
3) Don't put anything but good quality full synthetic oil in your engine, especially early on in life. No slick-50 or anything hoaky like that. If you start playing guessing games with friction modifiers early in an engine's life because of something you read on the internet, your rings may never seat and you will have a life-long oil burner for sure.
If you have a motor you think burns wayyy too much oil (ie, those of you that get oil pressure lights on the dash) go get a compression test done. This is about the only non-invasive thing you can do to find out if your rings are having major problems sealing, assuming the valves all work as they should. This is also something solid evidence-wise that should hold up arbitration or court, or it may point towards a problem in another area. I haven't looked but I have a feeling its pretty tough to do a compression test on these engines so if someone ever gets that far, I'd be curious to know how it goes and how much of a pain it is with the design of the intake.
Alright I've typed way more than enough for now, I'm sure you are all very sick of me by this point but hey, my 2 cents is free. If it leads you to google around and learn something, great. If you learn that I am wrong and full of sh t, thats also great. I don't care too much since mine works really good so far (knock on wood) but I hate to see other people having such a bad time after putting out their hard earned money.