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Toyota Prius MPG-Real World Numbers



  • So many things come into play when investigating your mpg. Cold weather drops it considerably..."ICE" has to run considerably more for heating. Another factor: Winter blend of fuel that drops mpg's. With 56K miles under my belt I've seen these things effect milage often. Be patient as the weather warms up and you should see 36-40 cold season & 42-47 warm season (or there about) DON'T EXPECT the 60 mpg since that's "EPA'S" fantacy estimate. Really now!! Did you actually expect those rediculous #'s?? Just remember a Hummer gets 7-8 mpg's.(that's roughly 280 miles per tank and nearly $100.00 fill ups @$2.55 per gal) My best example: 543 miles per tank...$24.44 fill-up 10 gallons) Nuff said!! :)
  • shammshamm Posts: 10
    I wondered about this kind of mileage too. We only got down to about 35mpg which was too low for me. Then I did some homework. It seems that the good mpg only comes when you keep the speed below 40. Above 40, the Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) runs, even if you don't really need it - like going down hills. Thus your mileage will go down when you cruise above 40. All the streets around here are posted at 40 and no one drives that slow, so it's either go faster than 40 and lower the mpg or get run down. For one tank I did keep the speed below 40 and the mpg did go up to 45, so that did work.
    Also, the oxygenated fuel lowers your mpg.
    And the heater only running off the ICE which cuts the mpg.
    But the car is still really nice and when you manage your speed and have nice warm weather, you'll see better mpgs.
  • boraboraborabora Posts: 16
    thanks for all your tips.
    i drove the car for another 30 commuting miles yesterday and today. seems the number gets better. 40mpg average.
    then i reset consumption for the last 3 mile really jammed high way, turns out to be 70mpg.
    the tip is that, dont step on gas unless you have to... :)
    once the gas engine kicks in, the consumption goes up.
    it will be a nice commuter car...
  • bakaronibakaroni Posts: 10
    We've driven about 390 miles in our new Prius so far and we've got 50.5 mpg so far. The driving so far includes a good mix of city, highway and mountainous roads. Love the car so far.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    ... to whom I've sold two Prius' stopped by today to see when the next Gen will be out.

    He's at 140,000 miles in 38 months (!) in all kinds of driving and sits at 48 mpg over the life of the vehicle.... and...still on the original set of brakes.

    When mine comes out of the body shop :surprise: I will be at 15 months, 41,000 miles and also at 48.1 mpg lifetime ( GreenHybrid ) ... and the original set of brakes. I get 51-52 mpg in spring, summer, fall and 44-45 mpg in winter.
  • boraboraborabora Posts: 16
    I found the tip really is not to press gas too hard. but it is not practical if there are vehicles behind you. so i accelerate asap and use the electric motor to keep the speed.
  • luckyboyluckyboy Posts: 10
    only had 2 tanks so far and getting 47.5mpg, I am happy!
  • bakaronibakaroni Posts: 10
    Yes, easing up on the gas pedal conserves a lot of gas. My other car is a 5-speed VW Passat, which displays mpg stats, too, and I've learnt a lot of tips on efficient usage of gas over the years driving that car. For example, I coast a lot, which is easier with a 5-speed than with an auto.
  • ck90211ck90211 Posts: 129
    I parked my Prius for 2 weeks, and upon return found the mileage to be at least 3-5 mpg less than before (I usually get 48+). Weather in SoCal has been warm, so probably not weather related. Does anyone have similar experience? Or is it something to do with summer blend gasoline in SoCal? Thanks.
  • shammshamm Posts: 10
    Absolutely correct!
    But don't bump your Prius into Neutral! Just let off the gas and let the motor turn into a generator - the generator creates electricity which is saved in the batteries. This "regenerative braking" is a critical factor in getting good miles per gallon. Truly coasting in a Prius will reduce your MPGs.
  • pathstar1pathstar1 Posts: 1,015
    Check your tire pressure. Most owners find running 42 front and 40 rear gives the best mileage. Your tires may have lost some pressure over those two weeks, or someone may have let some air out.
  • pathstar1pathstar1 Posts: 1,015
    Actually that's not totally correct. If while in "D" you let off on the gas just enough to make up for fictional loss, you are coasting in "stealth mode", the most fuel efficient mode a Prius can use. Will not work above 43 MPH however as the ICE will not shut down.
  • boraboraborabora Posts: 16
    I drove about 20 miles to work. my first tank worked out 46.7mpg. not bad. i am in the start of second tank now. i just tried cruise control around 60mph today on the trip, turns out better -49mpg. the current mpg is always above 75mpg. hopefully this tank will turns out much higher than the first, thanks for cruise contr :P ol.
  • Not on the LA freeways i drive. My last car had a driver's information center that showed my average speed (in a Corvette no less) in LA traffic at 34mph. :surprise:
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 3,788
    "Not on the LA freeways i drive. My last car had a driver's information center that showed my average speed (in a Corvette no less) in LA traffic at 34mph."

    I drive those same freeways, but mostly on weekends or in the evenings.
  • :confuse: I have put about 300 miles on my new '07 Prius, with combined city and highway travel. I typically get about 38 average MPG, according to the info display. It has been a bit cool (in the 20's & 30's), so I've run the heater set in the low 70's, so that might have some effect. Still, I'm disappointed at 38 MPG. I can get that MPG without hybrid technology, on several small cars, including the new Honda Civic or Toyota Corolla, which are priced at least $5,000 less based on the options I have. I paid a premium price to buy high MPG, so the cost at 38 MPG is hard to justify.

    Is the MPG better after a few thousand "break in" miles? Is there anything I should have Toyota service check?

  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,682
    Have you obtained 38+ mpg in a car like a Corolla or Civic, driving the same routes under exactly the same conditions? Or are you supposing you could get 38+ mpg in a Corolla or Civic under those conditions? If the latter, I suggest you check out the Real-World fuel economy discussions for those cars. I think you will see that averaging 38+ mpg on a Corolla or Civic in cold weather and a combination of city and highway driving is not very realistic.

    I think you'll find that as weather warms up, your fuel economy will improve. You will also probably learn how to drive the Prius for maximum fuel economy, e.g. coasting as much as possible to use the regnerative braking, and using a light foot on the gas to stay in electric mode as much as possible.
  • carbotcarbot Posts: 14
    My '04 Prius will turn over 145,000 miles next week, at 39 months old. It is my business car and I drive for production, not mileage. Getting there means money for me. I have kept a log of every tank of gas I have put in the car, and am getting an "honest" 48-52 MPG, figured by dividing gallons into miles, not using the gage. I never have the windows down, and most of the time have the AC or heat on. Surprisingly enough, the thing that causes the biggest variable in my mileage, is the age of the tires. I keep them pumped to the max, and when the tires get close to replacing, the mileage is at its best. As soon as I get new tires, the mileage goes down drastically. Still on the original brakes. It's the perfect business car. I love my Prius. Waiting for the "plug-in".
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,850
    Smooth tires have less rolling resistance. Lots of tread more resistance. They are safer than the baldy tires.
  • shammshamm Posts: 10
    If you trace back through my history, you'll find a very similar posting from me. I too get about 38 mpg most of the time with my '05 Prius. But I know how to get 45... it's just that driving that way is hard to do.
    1. Gradual starts from stops - no jackrabbit starts!
    2. Keep the speed under 40mph - above 40 (or 43 depending on lots of circumstances) the engine runs regardless of needing it or not.
    3. Keep the tires inflated. Some people set them at 40psi, others go to 42psi. More pressure, less rolling resistance.
    4. Keep the windows up. The A/C will drag you down some, but not as much as the air drag with the windows open.
    5. When you see the traffic light ahead turn amber, take you foot off the gas. Let the motor become a generator and return some energy to the battery. This makes you slow down more gradually than many people want to slow down, but it really does help the MPGs. Hard braking uses the mechanical brakes on the car - just like everyone else. But braking with the generator returns lots of power to the batteries, so let it! No, you don't need to shift to "B". That's used when you're coming down steep hills and you don't want to ride your brakes. It's the same as downshifting.
    6. Don't carry excess weight; carrying four passengers, a trunk full of books or other heavy loads will reduce mileage.
    7. I bet there are other ideas that others will suggest. Try them all!
    Enjoy the car for all the other reasons. It is very comfortable, easy to drive, roomy, comfortable, etc.

    Following these practices, I can make my Prius return about 45mpg. (Less in winter with oxygenated fuels.) To do it, I had to drive in the right lane and use the cruise control to keep from going too fast. Most of our major streets are four lanes and posted at 40 and everyone goes 45 - naturally. So stay right and let them pass you. And smile as you see much better MPGs on the dash.

    By the way, no one recommends using a cruise control in heavy traffic. It will take too long to react when some knuckle head does something stupid.

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