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Toyota Highlander Hybrid MPG-Real World Numbers

11618202122

Comments

  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 3,732
    "This would be incorrect. The hybrid system on the HH only operates at speeds up to about 40-45 mph. After that it is all ICE. "

    No, I'm afraid YOUR statement would be incorrect. I own the FEH, which is similar in drivetrain design to the HH. The electric motors can provide boost at all speeds; the only imitation is the state of charge in the battery.

    The design requires that the engine operate above 40 MPH, but this actually means only that the engine has to spin, not that it has to consume fuel. I think that on a downgrade with a full battery of vehicle will use the drag of spinning the ICE to bleed off excess electricity from the generator. At least, this is my understanding.
  • peraltaperalta Posts: 94
    Now 23k on the odo. 33 miles to work 95% highway.
    Average 28-30 mpg per tank.
    Some of my short local drives can be as high as 50 mpg.
    I tried many techniques. Cruise control at 57 mph gives good mpg but slow travel overall. Or I drive like a roller coaster, accelerate on the downhill and let it slow down on its own at the incline. I get the same mpg but the second technique is faster and more fun. Most of the time, I combine them, using cruise control on downhill once the speed is about 75 mph.
  • monte8monte8 Posts: 75
    "The hybrid system on the HH only operates at speeds up to about 40-45 mph. After that it is all ICE."

    Not true. If you watch the display, you will see the electric motors kick in for short periods at higher speeds. I have observed it doing this at up to 70 mph. I have noticed this if you go down a small hill, the ICE will shut down. At the bottom of the hill, the ICE starts up again. As you climb a gentle hill the traction motor(s) will assist the ICE.
  • tourguidetourguide Posts: 188
    Thanks to all who've replied to this and set the record straight. I stand corrected. I was under the impression it worked differently - thanks.
  • peraltaperalta Posts: 94
    I have done this many times on my 2006 HH since I drive on hilly terrain. When I am going downhill and set my cruise control, sometimes the synergy drive sorts out and decides to do it in all electric mode even at 75 mph.
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 3,732
    "I have done this many times on my 2006 HH since I drive on hilly terrain. When I am going downhill and set my cruise control, sometimes the synergy drive sorts out and decides to do it in all electric mode even at 75 mph."

    Is the ICE still spinning? (check the RPM gauge)
  • cdptrapcdptrap Posts: 485
    According to Toyota, the ICE comes on at and above 40-MPH so even if not in use, it will spin at idle. I believe Khdspyder confirmed this with Toyota last year.
  • monte8monte8 Posts: 75
    This past weekend I did a 180 mile round trip. Going out was east against strong (25-30 mph), direct head winds. I got about 24mpg. The return trip was with strong quartering tail winds (I was driving generally west, the winds were from the southeast). I got 33.6mpg. Overall, the round trip was 28 mpg. This is in a 2008 HH with only 2900 miles.
  • cdptrapcdptrap Posts: 485
    Does the '08 model have good acceleration? I don't mean "racing" speed but good acceleration to freeway speed?

    It looks like Toyota did listen to early adopters and really made the car efficient. I am envious of your 33+ MPG!
  • kyrptokyrpto Posts: 216
    The '08s are slower than my '06 Hh but they can get better mileage.
    Mine beat a Jeep 5.7 Hemi in an 1/8th of a mile stoplight launched street drag.
    The traction batteries have to be fully charged and the preferred technique is a firm steady press on the pedal. There is torque steer.
  • monte8monte8 Posts: 75
    "Does the '08 model have good acceleration?"

    I am happy with it. I believe that the LA Times review by Dan Neil reported 0-60 mph times of about 6.7 seconds.
  • mevander1mevander1 Posts: 43
    That concerns me re: people getting only 20 - 22mpg over the first 1000 miles. I have a 1998 BMW 740i. The city mileage is awful, 14MPG at best driving methods. The highways is a different story for I get 22-23 going 75mph (speed limit is 70). I would love to get a HH, however want the city to be at least 26 and highway about the same. I would drive 'normally . however not try and hypermile. I want to drive it like a car that is only a small improvement in the highway.
  • mevander1mevander1 Posts: 43
    Hotch41 shared "" Averaged just under 27 MPG on the first tank, with a roughly 50-50 combination of highway and city mileage. "" That is what I am looking for. re: mileage. My mix would be 30% city and 70% highway, I wonder what that combo gets. As shared I would drive 'normal' ie no jack rabbit starts, however I do want to drive it like a car and not hypermile.
  • cdptrapcdptrap Posts: 485
    This post is not to give '08 driving experience although I will share some. This is to focus on your comment about not wanting to hypermile and wanting to drive "normally".

    We have the '06 and test drove an '08, the following is a combo of our '06 experience and impression of the '08. First off, hypermiling is fun and addictive but unnecessary in most cases unless you want spectacular MPG.

    If you are a mild driver, then how many people/things you carry, tire pressure, summer vs. winter gas, terrain, traffic patterns and even wind can impact MPG. The heavier the car, the lower the tire pressure, winter gas, challenging terrain, short light-to-light stop and go and stiff headwind can impact MPG from tank to tank. Deal with those factors, hypermiling becomes just a hobby.

    One thing about jack-rabbiting, the '08 HH is very smooth and quiet (more so than our '06) and can accelerate very quickly (ECON=OFF) without you knowing it. So relearning that characteristic is important. A gentle tap on a gas engine car may be considered "gentle" but the same tap on the HH may have it out-accelerating other cars and come up to speed in a blink. We have had to learn to really soften our tap in our '06, same is true for the '08.

    2008 has an EV switch and an "ECON" switch. These two addressed our biggest gripes on our '06 HH. We are really glad Toyota "listened".

    When batteries are charged up, EV mode allows one to drive 1 mile on electric only, no gas engine at all. On favorable terrain and a stiff tailwind, we rolled the '08 on electric-only for about 1.5 mile in our test drive. The sales guy was impressed and said he would do the same for the next couple test driving the car :).

    The ECON mode tempers the power curve so that instead of instant torque and get-up performance, it is much slower and gentler with acceleration. This is a fantastic mode to use on gentle rolling terrain on CRUISE. It can really save gas. If we buy the '08, I would have ECON on whenever I can CRUISE.

    The car cannot self-detect terrain nor your intention so we cannot just drive the '08 HH normally (even when gently) like a gas engine car and expect to get fabulous MPG. We will need to learn the characteristics of the car and its features (EV, ECON) to take full advantage of the available technologies. Our test-drive experience showed that with judicious use of EV and ECON modes, and by picking favorable terrain and traffic pattern, the '08 can get really decent MPG for a mid-size high-power SUV; better than our '06. Without EV and ECON, in challenging terrain, in frequent stop-and-go traffic, MPG will still be better than comparable gas-engine car but may not be as dramatic. It could be a difference of 20-MPG (other SUV) vs. 24-MPG for the '08 HH without any work but 20 vs 26+ if we learn to take advantage of the EV and ECON modes.

    Our '06 now gets 26-MPG on average on summer gas. If I choose the road carefully and drive 5-MPH lower than posted limit, I can get about 28-MPG. If I hypermile, our '06 eeks out 29+ MPG but our area and traffic pattern rarely allow this.

    Good luck with your '08 research!
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 3,732
    "That concerns me re: people getting only 20 - 22mpg over the first 1000 miles. I have a 1998 BMW 740i. The city mileage is awful, 14MPG at best driving methods. The highways is a different story for I get 22-23 going 75mph (speed limit is 70). I would love to get a HH, however want the city to be at least 26 and highway about the same. I would drive 'normally . however not try and hypermile. I want to drive it like a car that is only a small improvement in the highway. "

    If you can live with a smaller car, consider the Ford Escape Hybrid. The FWD is rated at 34 city / 31 highway (2009). They are hard to find, since Ford is only making 25K for 2009. The 2009 has a number of improvements over the 2008.

    However, it is a smaller vehicle and only seats 5.

    One other note. The HH rides soft, the FEH rides firm, more like a truck or SUV.
  • peraltaperalta Posts: 94
    Hi,

    I am happy to report that my average is more than 30 mpg. That is about 85 % highway. I thought that I had to sacrifice speed to get this kind of mileage but not anymore. By driving as if you are driving a bicycle, you get the most fuel economy. That is to say, accelerating when there is downhill and maximizing the use of momentum that is gained, avoid accelerating on uphill but apply the same power as if you are on level ground and let the speed fall as you go up (just like in a bicycle). Coast as much as you can to the next stop. Avoid rapid acceleration and deceleration.

    I had no problem going above traffic speed and still get more than 30 mpg.

    In the end, it is all about driving technique since I even get much better highway MPG on my wife's subaru outback (35 mpg).
  • msgolf41msgolf41 Posts: 9
    I have been reading various posts for a few months (prior to my HiHy purchase and after) with great interest in real-world mileage. I was very concerned about the reports for very low mileage on this and the RX400h, but decided on the HiHy for the extra room/seats as I was replacing a 'too-small' FX35.

    Now that I have had my Highlander for 2 months and 3000 miles, and have kept logs of fuel consumption, I think I can help contribute to the discussion. The first thing I noticed is that the cause of very low mileage results is most likely driving style. It would seem that many people believe the mere act of buying a hybrid assures them of optimal mileage, regardless of how they drive. Think of all the cars you see ahead of you accelerating with excess non-ignited fuel dripping (pouring) out of their exhaust. Floor the hybrid and the mileage will be poor - probably better than a non-hybrid, but not up to EPA numbers.

    I have found that my mileage exceeds the 27/25 EPA estimates, and I have also become acutely aware of my "gas pedal habits" because of two items in the hybrid - the multi-information screen showing the EV/ICE use, and the economy bars on the Kv Power Meter. If you keep the indicator within the economy bars you can typically beat the EPA numbers and still not seem like a "snail", though you will not experience any "G-Forces" on acceleration.

    Over the two months I have averaged just of 26mpg, with a low of 24 and a high of 29 for individual tanks. 90% of my driving is a variation on local, as I live in a semi-rural area that puts us on 45-50mph roads for 15 mile (one way) trips to the closest malls and major shopping areas. I say this because local travel to me is not a lot of stop and go (where hybrids supposedly excel) but rather more like highway, where they do not. My true highway mileage (70+mph interstate) experience has been where we have gotten the greatest mileage (27-29mpg).

    I calculate my mileage by only filling up each time, and by dividing the gallons into the actual miles since last fillup. I have been gaging this vs the multi-display indicator mileage estimates and find that the car is a bit optimistic by about 1mpg. My Infiniti was extremely accurate with its onboard computer estimates, so I was a bit spoiled.

    Miles Gal Mileage
    345 11.9 29
    364 14.5 25.1
    129 5.9 26.9
    321 12.3 26.1
    338 13.1 25.8
    261 9.3 28
    315 12.9 24.4 (lots of idling with heavy A/C use)
    323 12.8 25.2
    309 11.8 26.2

    I have noticed that my mileage has been down a bit lately and that has coincided with very hot conditions (near Philadelphia) this past couple of weeks.

    Overall very pleased with the choice as we needed more space and am really glad now that I did not go for the Lexus GX470 as I would be kicking myself at every fillup at $4/gal.
  • gtategtate Posts: 2
    We have 6k on our 08 and have averaged 23mpg. We have gotten better mileage on the highway than city. But city driving in San Antonio is like most cities. You have a combination of freeway and city streets. We keep it in econ. use the downshift brake to increase recharging, and no fast starts.
  • sepcosepco Posts: 4
    I have 7000 miles on my Hybrid and can only get 20 to 21 MPG. On a highway trip I did get 24 MPG. This is southern California driving with air on. The dealer says nothing wrong. I have tried to baby the acceleration with everyone else passing me and it doesn't help. Worst purchase I ever made.
  • peraltaperalta Posts: 94
    You should get an average of about 27 mpg. Here are what people are doing:

    1. Tire inflation to 36 - 38 on all 4.

    2. Slow and gradual push of the accelerator pedal, - plateau - , and then slow and gradual release. Repeat the process all over (pulse and glide or you can do pulse and feather). This is how you get >30 MPG in the city.

    3. Slow and gradual push of brake pedal for max regen. The regen portion of blended braking works best with gradual pedal motion.

    4. With cruise control "on", max MPG is at 47 MPH (35 MPG), it gets 28-30 MPG at 55-57MPH, Fuel consumption drops horribly above 57 mph.

    5. Without cruise control, drive as if you are riding a bicycle,,,, accelerating on the downhill to gather momentum for the next uphill or use it for maximum coasting distance. Apply constant (level speed) power even on uphill and allow your car to gradually slow down as you move up.

    6. Use of 0-20 toyota synthetic oil.

    7. On hilly places, park your car facing downhill. Start your car and immediately shift to neutral (engine will not start) and let it coast as far down as possible before you shift to drive.

    Good luck
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