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Toyota Prius MPG-Real World Numbers



  • texvegastexvegas Posts: 17
    2004 Prius....54.6 average with AC in 90 degree weather. Total average in summer and upstate NY winters is 48.9 mpg.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160

    I have a feeling that I may know what causes your low fuel economy. You wrote...

    I have had the car for less than two months and have put on 1600 miles to date.
    Any information will be greatly appreciated.

    In 60 days this is about 30 mi per day on average. Can I guess that you take a few short trips each day locally?

    If so, this is the single worst factor in destroying fuel economy. No one will ever tell you that but every vehicle on the road, hybrids included, suffer from this characteristic of internal combustion engines. Your Prius and all other hybrids are still essentially ICE's. Short trips are death on fuel economy. The second worst factor is bad weather.

    As a comparison if you were in a normal non-hybrid 4c ICE vehicle such as a Camry, taking the same short trips, your fuel economy would likely be in the 22 mpg range ( CR estimates ).

    How would you describe your typical 30 mi drive each day
    No of trips / day....
    Distance / trip.....
    % Hwy driving....
    % City driving.....
    weather, temperature.....
    terrain ( flat, hilly? )...
    No. of passengers? Cargo?....
    Can you provide this easily?

    These are all the factors that the EPA fails to mention other than the disclaimer 'Your mileage may vary'.

    Mine for example is:
    150 mi daily commute
    85% Hwy @ 60 mph
    15% City @ 40 mph
    flat terrain
    good weather
    one passenger, no cargo
    51 mpg over the last 15,000 mi.
  • For the first seven tanks overall I've gotten 48.4 MPG :) - It's still trending up as I modify my driving habits. I drive about 120 miles/day and I'm pretty much going 66 MPH on a generally flat trip. I buck the wind most afternoons. The first two tanks not commuting were much faster at about 74 MPH.

    Great Forum.
  • shammshamm Posts: 10
    A few weeks ago I posted a message that I was getting 38mpg with my Prius. I received some feedback, I also spoke with the sales guy. I filled the tank and followed the suggestions. At the next fill up I can report that the display on the dash showed 50mpg, we actually got 45mpg.
    I'm glad to get 45! I attribute this to keeping the speed below 40mph as much as possible. I did not change my other driving habits for this experiment.
    Unfortunately, my drive to work has about 4 blocks at 30mph, 10 blocks at 40mph and the rest is county road at 55mph (some days 65) for a total of about 13 miles. In this area, if the speed limit is 40, EVERYONE goes 45 (or more). Thus driving the Prius below 40 will eventually cause an accident and is unacceptable.
    I'll try some more experiments and post again later.

    I agree, this is a great forum!
  • bamobamo Posts: 1

    I own a 2003 and am getting 51 MPG. From what I have experienced with this type of car you have to drive it a little differently that a normal car, if you want to maximize the MPG. From a complete stop, ease into it, and whenever you have a downhill, let off the gas. Let the screen guide you. If you tweek little things about your driving, you will be getting 50-55 in no time.
  • shammshamm Posts: 10
    Thanks Bamo for the advise. Unfortunately, I already ease it out on the green light and allow the car to regenerate power as I approach a stop. (I have a Celica too, that's my jack-rabbit starts car!)
    From all I've heard, I'm doing everything right and I'm getting 45mpg - at best! I'm not carrying heavy loads, I ease up to speed at the starts and let the motor generate power as I approach a stop. I keep the speed at the speed limit (when I feel safe in doing so). I have the tires at the inflation numbers on the chassis (I've heard to increase the pressure to 42front/40rear but I'm reluctant to do that - it's not a recommended Toyota practice and I'm trying to keep it "official".)
    Pretty soon the sales guy, my wife and I are going for a drive. The sales guy says he can show us a few things that might help...
    My plan: Zero the trip counter and let the sales guy drive. I want to see him get over 50mpg on that guage. Then my wife and I will drive and let him critique our style.
    I'll post again when I have more news.
  • I have been driving my 2001 Prius for over a month now. Let me share what I've noticed about the MPG:

    1. This is a Texas summer, so sometimes I drive with a/c and sometimes without. I notice a big difference in the MPG; I get about 52 without the a/c and 45 with it turned on. I have seen in this thread that others have noticed a 5 mpg difference, but have read elsewhere on the Internet that it is negligible. For me, the difference has been very noticeable.

    2. My tires were inflated to a pressure between 25 and 30 psi when I bought the car. I increased them all to 42psi and I noticed a slight mpg improvement and slightly better handling.

    3. You do not have to drive less than 40mph to get these excellent mileage numbers! Most of my trip to work and back home is on a highway, and I drive around 63 to 65 mph. My mileage is slightly higher in town, but the difference is very little.

    4. My rough estimates indicate that the car's computer is close to accurate on the actual mpg.

    My automotive budget is lower than for most people; in fact, the 5-year-old Prius is probably the newest car I've ever bought. The inside space feels midsize, more than enough space for my family of four. This is a cool car!
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Congrats on the car, and welcome to the cadre of proud Hybrid owners.

    How many miles are on your Prius?
  • terry92270terry92270 Posts: 1,247
    I too have always read it was a negligible, as driving with the windows down also creates air drag that drives the MPG down as well.....

    Does anyone remember reading any studies on the mileage effects of AC :confuse:
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204

    This is a very interesting page filled with PDFs which indicate good performance in regard to HEV battery life.

    See this one in particular:

    One of those PDFs, maybe the last one, has a few statements about the effect of A/C on the Priuses. Seems like it took a substantial hit.
  • terry92270terry92270 Posts: 1,247
    Thanks for the fantastic information & links! :)

    I see there has been a good improvement from Generation 1 to Generation 2 Prius in MPG, and that the AC will take about 10 MPG away from you....pretty cheap price not to melt, imo. ;)
  • I bought my '05 in October. Unfortunately my commute is short (2 miles) I do drive a bit through the average day. From Oct. '05 till Aug. '06 I drove about 9500 miles. Filled up 23 times and averaged 42.3 MPG. Winter seemed worst. This summer was hot so lots of AC. Have changed my driving a bit but I didn't buy the thing 'cause I need a hobby. I drive it. I "built" and ordered the car on the web. Got emails and calls from 2 local dealerships. Choose one, Airport Toyota in Knoxville and paid MSRP. No muss no fuss. I've got everything you could get on the car when I bought it. Love the bluetooth. Would like to study the appropriate voice for the nav software. I say chinese food it says, "police station ahead on the right." They have done all oil changes and tire rotation. They pick up and deliver free and for simple stuff like this have been very reasonably priced (as in I couldn't have done it cheaper when you factor in taking somewhere and sitting with it). They picked up on recalls of steering part and ordered it. They didn't tell me though till the part came in. Considering one warning was you could loose ALL control they might have told me. I didn't buy it JUST for mileage but for lower emissions TOO. So if you know that's a lie don't tell me.

    Knoxville, TN
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,848
    So if you know that's a lie don't tell me

    Good post and welcome to the Forum. We would never accuse you of prevarication on this forum. We all get along. Keep us posted on your Prius.
  • ck90211ck90211 Posts: 129
    I just picked up 07 4 days ago, and decided to top it off with gas being cheap ($ 2.65/gallon, I am in SoCal). 200 miles, jammed 5 gallons in. I suspect the full tank from dealer was not really full. So this would be the first real tank (that's why I topped it off). According to Consumption Screen I averaged 46 mpg.

    In a few days I am going to pump up the tires with Nitrogen, and I may try to jerry-rig a EV switch, and hopefully I can get the mileage to 50+ consistently. Without it (EV) the engine goes on too often, even with battery full and car going slowly.
  • terry92270terry92270 Posts: 1,247
    Such a switch will void your entire warranty, you know that, right :confuse:

    The engine, computer controlled, making thousands of calculations per second, turns the ICE on exactly when, and runs it just as long, as it should.

    Certainly it is your car, and you can do with it as you wish, but I urge you to consider all the ramifications.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,848
    I urge you to consider all the ramifications.

    Good advice. Dealers are always looking for ways to get out of warranty repairs. Don't give them ammunition. Be happy with your 46 MPG. That is very good. I would imagine you are using the AC and it will require the engine to run more also.
  • shammshamm Posts: 10
    Hey Newbie!
    I like the idea of a switch too, but the others are right, connect a switch = void the warranty!
    And I bet Toyota is not going to give you a switch just because you ask for one. They THINK their computer program is smart enough to adapt to the speed being driven. Unfortunately, I think they are wrong, their on-board computer program is good, but it could be improved a lot! The engine runs entirely too much for me! I have noticed many times that the engine is running on a flat road with the battery mostly charged and the speed below 40. The motor should be maintaining the speed and the battery allowed to power it. But instead, the engine starts...
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    There are a LOT of Prius owners who have installed the EV mode switch kit.

    And I doubt any lawsuit over the switch being installed would result in Toyota winning, because the EV mode switch is


    This factory option is currently not available for buyers in North America although the programming for it is still included in the computers which control the hybrid system. This kit allows you (in just a few minutes) to activate the electric feature of your Prius and drive for short distances. The software already present in the car will automatically restart the engine when the battery needs to be recharged or if you need to accelerate quickly. The electric only feature can be turned on and used up to a speed of around 34 mph at which time it will automatically turn off and the car will operate as usual.

    So my guess is that it would NOT void the warranty if challenged, because Toyota thinks the rest of the world is "smart enough" to use the EV mode button but we dumb North Americans are not? Puh-Leeze.....
  • terry92270terry92270 Posts: 1,247

    The simple solution would be for you to present, here, a letter, or executive name, from Toyota saying what you have above. :P

    There won't be a lawsuit, and it doesn't concern dealers, for they are more than happy to perform warranty repairs. They account for a substantial portion of any dealers bottom line profits. It matters nothing what Toyota does in other countries, except to you, evidently. Toyota will just deny to pay any dealer because of the switch effecting....God only knows.

    Maybe you could put as much effort into finding out why that switch isn't provided in the United States. Something tells me it has nothing to do with judgments about the intelligence of the driving public here, and more to do with a technical need. ;)
  • .. Curley and Moe,

    What does it matter? 4 wheel disc in Europe . EV mode is built into software, just disabled. Ever seem multi-iuser licenses in software, whereby a key disables features not offered or features you don't pay for? Nav not offered in Canada, but DRLs have always been required.

    Business, marketing and requirements decision. Doesn't always make sense and doesn't have to do with intelligence or technical needs.

    Also it you look back through this thread and other Prius threads there are many hacks and add-ons available for the Prius. The hacks are not intrusive and not permanent. Therefore, they can be removed without evidence. Without evidence the car owner can not be proven guilty. Therefore no puntititve or compensatory damages.


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