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Toyota Prius MPG-Real World Numbers

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Comments

  • You raise a good point. For me, the gas mileage is a sidebar to the cleaner emissions of the Prius, but use of ethanol shouldn't be pushed as good if it's more harmful in production!
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    From an envoronmental perspective we're agreed.

    However the reason for the E10 addition has nothing to do with the enviornment it only has to do with stretching out the petro-fuel supply by 10%.
  • bob104bob104 Posts: 94
    I think you've covered all the bases. Not to quibble but I wonder a bit about some of your estimated impacts. From memory . . .
    2) rule of thumb: each 100 pounds of added weight reduces impact by 1% (depends on car, of course). So a Prius at full capacity--850 pounds would get about 7% worse mileage than a Prius with a 150 pound driver alone. Ex: 46.5 mpg instead of 50 mpg.
    7) rule of thumb: each 10 mph faster costs 15% in mpg. This depends on the car. Some cars start paying the penalty at 35mph. Others at 55mph. From my experience my Prius going 55mph gets mid-50s mpg and going 70mph gets mid 40smpg--about 20% difference. Going 80mph will drop your mpg near 40.
    9) Hilly terrain will cost you in mpg compared to flat because there are inefficiencies as the transmission finds the sweet spot and due to braking (the regen brakes don't recover all the energy) and high revving (less efficient) on acceleration.

    The high-mpg tips:
    limit braking, as possible
    drive the speed limit
    mind the tire pressure
    limit short trips (combine errands)
    maintain steady speed, as possible
    don't tow (voids the warranty!)
    use car carriers judiciously (a Prius with a carrier still beats a minivan)

    winter in Florida
  • I just had my Prius at the dealer today to check the coasting vs braking arrow colors and have them check the alignment. First off, my steering wheel was about 3-5 degrees left when tracking straight on the road and I wanted them to check the alignment/wheel position because I believe I should get what I pay for. The put it on the rack, noticed a slight toe in on one tire, fixed it, recentered the steering wheel and then ran full diagnostics on the computer system and checked the arrow colors. These guys ran through the system for 2 hours checking everything, setting customized settings for me (at no charge) and let me know that Toyota has 3 manufacturers for the touch screen system. depending on the package, there may be differences. For example, package 6 (mine) will not show a different color are from regen coasting to regen braking, other packages on the lot did and the other package 6's did not. They threw me the keys to other 08's to drive around the lot and see for myself without me asking. After all they went through they only charged $110.00 to warranty for the work. Great service.

    Talked to a very knowledgable service guy about the battery bars. As the car goes through break-in, it will find the high battery levels and then find the lower battery levels (no more worring about engine charging at 6 bars all the time). After about 10k miles, it should be going through the full programmed range for the battery (and FE will improve also). He also mentioned many of the same items to watch for FE changes as read on this sight. He has one customer that drives the same way, same route all the time and can get pretty close to knowing the outside temp based on his FE display. Also warned about a guy who ran out of gas on the blinking light issue and drove on battery to the gas station. He fully drained his batteries and wound up buying a new battery for about $5k. He also has a customer with 200k on the orignal brake pads.

    I did reach full 8 bars on the battery today (have 1260 miles on now) and am getting better mileage by being able to stay in Electric longer when coming of the highway.

    Just one side note: My 04 Explorer gets 18mpg avg in the summer and 15-16mpg avg in the winter driving the same routes (thats the same 10-15% drop as the Prius and all others). It's just more noticable when the numbers are larger.
  • this is my second Prius. I purchased one 3 years ago and stupidly sold it when I moved out of the area. Now I'm back

    Bought a bright red one last sunday - got the leather seats this time, which are nice.

    I'm averagine 53 mpg on my commute. Means one measley gallon of gas a day to go to work and back. I'm very happy. 300 miles this morning total, and it just hit the halfway empty on the tank.
  • In the Buffalo area E10 is starting to crop up everywhere, although it is no cheaper per gallon than non-ethanol.My question is: in areas where E10 is widely available, is non-ethanol still available at the same gas station, or does a seperate gas station carry only non-ethanol. Has anyone noticed a price difference?
  • rcinmdrcinmd Posts: 139
    Here in Maryland, E10 is now mandatory, so there is no option regarding the purchase of non-ethanol-laden fuel unfortunately. The pumps indicate "at least" 10% ethanol. I know there are advantages to E10, in terms of octane and its cleansing properties. But the mileage takes quite a hit. On my Touring I have seen a reduction from new on certain drives, dropping from the low 50s to the upper 40s. In addition, winter gasoline here is oxygenated, and that hurts mileage even more. This past summer I could eke out 47 or so mpg to and from work, about a 3 mile drive. During this relatively mild winter, I have been struggling to hold 40 mpg. It seems that if I use Virginia gasoline, even though E10, my gas mileage is significantly better than with the winterized Maryland gas.
  • Thanks for your response. I spoke with someone from corporate hq at the Flying J Refinery and he stated they currently are not offering any E10 in NY or PA(I didn't ask about MD), It appears there is much uncertainty as just how much E10 will be sold in NY, but that conventional no lead will probably be around for the forseeable future, at least in NY. Paying more for E10 and getting less FE is a ripoff we can be thankful to the government for, both political parties share the blame for appeasing the farm lobbies.
  • pathstar1pathstar1 Posts: 1,015
    Perhaps you don't understand. E10 was mandated in most states by the feds for several reasons:
    1. It replaces MTBE and Techron, both toxic chemicals that were getting into the groundwater. Ethyl alcohol is a naturally occurring chemical that -can- get into the groundwater, but wouldn't be toxic unless at almost pure concentrations.
    2. It reduces the amount (in gallons) of petroleum fuel that will be needed (by 10%).
    3. It supports the farm community, which needs support!

    E10 will burn cleaner than fuel with other additives, resulting in longer engine life and less cleaning needed (decarboning engine fuel systems/intakes has become a big money maker for dealers and mechanics).
    E10 will reduce your mileage by about 3-4%. Not really significant compared to the benefits.
    E10 will negate the need in colder climates for "gasline antifreeze".

    It's not really a "ripoff", it's the lesser of several evils.
  • My spouse has been quite busy putting dents in my new Prius. After the first on, I found that I've never been able to achieve the same mpg. She just presented me with another one last night, on the roof. How much of an impact do small dents and changes to the skin shape have on the mpg I can expect? Anyone?
  • south4south4 Posts: 32
    Don't have an answer, but I have found that Dent Wizard can pop almost any dent back out-good as new- for 30 to $50: larger jobs cost more .These services go by various names and are often advertised within the dealership service area.I have used them twice(after an estimate of $1500 by a body shop Dent Wizard fixed a door that wouldn't open after someone let go of a shopping cart and it hit my door fully loaded-cost for that was about $100 and no paint job was needed afterwards-a miracle result.). Good luck!
  • pathstar1pathstar1 Posts: 1,015
    It would take a VERY large dent to drop the mileage. Your mileage decrease is from other causes. For example:
    Winter will drop the mileage (lower temps force the engine to run longer to warm up and stay warm).
    Interior heater use will drop mileage as the engine will run to keep the heater core warm.
    A drop in tire pressures will drop your mileage. Tire pressure will drop with ambient temp drops (as in winter).
    Short trips will drop mileage a lot. The car will almost always be in "warmup" mode.
    Some places change the fuel in winter and that can drop the mileage a few MPG.

    Prius owners are very sensitive to mileage as they can see the results right away. It is, however, very difficult to attribute mileage drops to one thing specifically, and to track it accurately, as there are so many variables. Aerodynamic changes due to small dents will not result in mileage drops that you can measure. Now, if you added a huge wing to the rear, THAT would result in noticeable mileage drops! ;)
  • Thanks for all that. It may be looking beat up, but I'll look elsewhere to increase the mileage. I do a lot of short hops. Might have a lot to do with it.
  • Several months ago my wife & I took a trip from Valpo, Ind. to Des Moines, Iowa for a family reunion. On the way there we encounter severe head winds (approx 50-60 mph). Milage was, to be expected, very dissappointing...34-35 mpg's. Ah! But alas! On the way back, with a tail wind, I got a whirlwind surprise. Winds were 40-45 mph. at my back and... low and behold...54mpg's. This should come as no surprise really because there are so many varients when judging your milage. The many above prior testimonies atest to that. So...be patient and...reasonable when calculating MPG's. I have 73K miles on my '04 Prius and again have seen my milage vary from a low of 32 mpg's to a high of 53 mpg's (per tank). One last thing to remember. The Prius is so many things besides a great economy, green hybrid car. It has an amazing transmittion, brakes that seem to last forever and resale value that a Mercedes would envy. My '04 is valued @ $17-18 K average. I bought it for $22,365.00 out-the-door. Nice to know. Sounds like an investment to me.
  • I am on the road most of the time for business and I am considering a 2008 Toyota Pruis. Often my car becomes my office for up to a few hours a day. The engine must run to keep the car cool or warm, depending on the outdoor weather of the region I am in.
    My Accord burns about 4/10 of a gallon per hour. I would assume that the prius would burn far less since it would stop the engine periodically. Does anyone have any data on the idle fuel economy of the prius with the heater on on a cold day and/or with the air conditioning running on a hot day?
  • I have a new Prius, 3 weeks old. last fill up had 1644 miles on it.
    Is the on board computer at fault?
    First fill up was by the dealer, don't know how 'full' it was. My first to fill up was at 530 miles. I know it was full (up to visual on inside ring). MPG on computer was 49.5mpg.
    Next fill up was at 926 miles, took 9.3 gals to fill to ring, comp had 46.6 mpg, calculate to 42.6 mpg.
    Next fill up at 1327 miles, took 10.0 gals to fill to ring, computer had 45.3 mpg, calculate to 40.1 mpg.
    Last fill up at 1644 miles, took 7.6 gals to fill to the ring, comp had 49.4, calculates out to 41.7 mpg.
    Is the 'on board' computer normally this far off?

    Darned near 10 % average?
    Doesn't give me much in the way of confidence in the on board computer.
    I've read about the 'bladder' tank, but this much difference? I've had aircraft with bladder tanks and nothing like this.
  • I heard that there are upgrades available to the Prius from the manufacturer to boost the fuel economy. Now the numbers thrown around were up to 90MPG but that cant be right. Is there such a thing?


    traffic_tom
  • carlt1carlt1 Posts: 6
    Hello,
    Great forum, so helpful
    On verge of buying a new car, but am troubled by the 20% hit on mpg on short trips in the Prius which is on my short list. As most of my driving comprises trips under 10 miles and I live in a cold climate, would I do better in a Focus (assuming mpg is only factor considered) ? Would I expect the Focus would pay less of a penalty in mpg, driving cold? This morning (temp 45) I test drove a Focus and got 35mpg on cold start over a 15 mile trip (Great grandmother driving style - airfoot).
    Thanks for any help,
    Carl
  • tiff_ctiff_c Posts: 531
    Great forum, so helpful
    On verge of buying a new car, but am troubled by the 20% hit on mpg on short trips in the Prius which is on my short list. As most of my driving comprises trips under 10 miles and I live in a cold climate, would I do better in a Focus


    No car does all that well in the cold with winter fuel and even worse on short trips. Your best bet is to drive right away and not warm the car up in the driveway. I fire up my Civic and I'm out the garage door in 20 seconds!
    It takes longer if where I am parked i have clear the windows of snow and ice.
    Ask yourself how much for the Prius versus the Ford or even a Honda fit or that sort of economical car $22-23K versus $15K That buys a lot of fuel.
    Also the battery in the prius doesn't like the cold weather. In fact no battery does that why so many cars need jump starts in the winter.
    There were several reasons I didn't buy a Prius, but I like the concept however I live in a hilly area and once the Prius traction control kicks in you aren't going anywhere in the snow. :sick:
    If you have no snow you will be ok, but mileage always suffers in the winter in the cold States.
  • Lets not forget "other" facters while comparing any cars w/ the Prius. Resale is darn good w/ a Prius. Quality & Durability of a Prius is one of the best ( I can attest to that w/ 74K on an '04). I saw where roadability in snow was questioned...I live in N.W. Indiana with massive snows this yr. and simply put...NO PROBLEMS. Around Town driving I average 44-45 mpgs during winters and 48-51 in summers. One last note.....Take a test drive and check out the roominess and fit & finish of the Prius...You won't be dissappointed and I love the hatchback for obvious reasons.
  • tiff_ctiff_c Posts: 531
    Lets not forget "other" factors while comparing any cars w/ the Prius. Resale is darn good w/ a Prius. Quality & Durability of a Prius is one of the best ( I can attest to that w/ 74K on an '04). I saw where roadability in snow was questioned...

    Well maybe on plowed roads in the city it's ok but on the roads up in my area even my Civic had to have the traction control off to make it up the hills here.
    No question resale is very high but as far as real snow on real hills and back roads which are plowed poorly. Even with snow tires it's bad here, so it depends where you live. I use Nokian tires, snowflake rated, and that is bare minimum. We have a lot of accidents around here from snow and ice. This morning there was a pickup truck stuffed way up and onto a 6 foot snowbank, not just the front end but the entire truck!
    In the city the Prius works well but on these roads it's inability to shut OFF the traction control makes it a poor choice for my area. The rest of the city is fairly flat and lots of Prius's on the road. But in the boonies, it won't make it up the hills, and that only because you need to shut the traction control off.
    That's why this is Subaru country. AWD's are a must in the winter and yet I bought a civic. :confuse:
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 3,846
    "There were several reasons I didn't buy a Prius, but I like the concept however I live in a hilly area and once the Prius traction control kicks in you aren't going anywhere in the snow."

    That error was fixed in the 2007 Prius.
  • tiff_ctiff_c Posts: 531
    That error was fixed in the 2007 Prius.

    Well the one I test drove couldn't make it to my house and the dealer really didn't want me driving in a snow storm. It was unplowed so with the traction control on it just couldn't make it up the hill. Thankfully we were able to turn around and get back.
    Maybe full blown snow tires would have helped.
  • baron64baron64 Posts: 41
    What "error" was fixed? I live in the Black Hills and the Prius owners I've talked to haven't had any issues with winter driving--even with the stock tires.
  • I am getting 52 MPG with my 2007 Prius on trips of 8 miles, uphill, from 9,000 feet to 9,600 feet in constant snow conditions. The Toyota Prius is the most fantastic vehicle I have ever driven in my life.
  • carlt1carlt1 Posts: 6
    58 mpg on short trip, winter, uphill runs. Amazing. I searched every review and message board I could find and have never heard the like of this. Countless posters get half that on cold start short trips. Go figure.
    Finally got the car which was not the preference of my heart or my fun side, but my sober minded economical side. Buying American was also a factor. The Focus automatic (still on my first tank) exceeds my expectations on FE. Driving very carefully, I get in the low 40's on the interstate (55-60 mph) and 29-32 in pure town driving. These estimates are from the "Average mpg" read out on the message screen. The Focus is no where near as much fun as the Prius to drive. The only "wow that's neat" feature is the audio aux jack for my ipod.
    Looking ahead to the lithium battery vehicles which will be introduced this year and, according to the WSJ, will revolutionize the automotive industry worldwide.
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 3,846
    "What "error" was fixed? I live in the Black Hills and the Prius owners I've talked to haven't had any issues with winter driving--even with the stock tires."

    I don't own a Prius, so maybe someone else can confirm the following.

    The original Gen 2 Prius could not turn off the traction control. When the car into snow environment, the owner could not "rock" the car to get unstuck. My understanding is that the traction control can be disabled on the current model.

    The original design was meant to keep the electric motors from over heating, but it had the effect of keeping the car stuck...
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    Ask yourself how much for the Prius versus the Ford or even a Honda fit or that sort of economical car $22-23K versus $15K That buys a lot of fuel.

    Yep this is was/is/always be true. That differnce in price though has little to do with it being a hybrid or not. It's more what you want in a vehicle.$22-$23K gets a semi-midsized vehcle with all the safety equipment possible. $15K gets a Yaris or a strippie Corolla 5M with rollup windows. Both are perfectly viable options but the major difference in price is the size and the features. Actually the 'correct' comparo for a Prius is a new 09 Matrix with all the safety features. Both are the same size and both are 5 door hatches.

    Also the battery in the prius doesn't like the cold weather. In fact no battery does that why so many cars need jump starts in the winter.

    Sorry this is just not correct. Otherwise the Canadian owners would be giving them back enmasse. OK yes if you are talking about months at -20C.

    There were several reasons I didn't buy a Prius, but I like the concept however I live in a hilly area and once the Prius traction control kicks in you aren't going anywhere in the snow.

    This TC situation was solved beginning with the 2006 models. Non issue now or at least no more than any other Toyota with TC.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    This is correct. There was no 'TC OFF' switch on the Gen1 and first two years of the Gen2. What the TC system does is reduce engine output in order not to exacerbate a skid/slide. But on the original models that encountered deep snow the computer sensed a 'slippage' and thought that a skid was coming and thus reduced engine output creating the 'stalling'.

    Beginning with the 2006 model the system now allows the wheels to slip and skid somewhat in order to allow for some 'plowing' and 'rocking' in deep snow. It was a programming issue.
  • tiff_ctiff_c Posts: 531
    Yep this is was/is/always be true. That difference in price though has little to do with it being a hybrid or not. It's more what you want in a vehicle.$22-$23K gets a semi-midsized vehicle with all the safety equipment possible. $15K gets a Yaris or a strippie Corolla 5M with rollup windows.

    You can buy a Honda Fit which has all the safety features and gets great economy for about $15.5K
    The cheapest you'll get a Prius is $22K if you negotiate hard.
    That still buys a lot of gas and after driving the Prius and driving it in snow and up hills etc...
    It damn well ought to have a height adjustable seat and a few other things that you would normally get in a $22K car. My Civic Si cost me just under $22K and it has all that and more.
    The Prius needs a few upscale touches to really boost it up a bit. The interior is low rent and just a few minor things would improve it so much.
    My wife wants to drive one tomorrow so we'll be test driving cars I guess. :blush:
    Gotta get a second car soon.

    My neighbor has a Prius and she says the battery drains when it sits in the garage for more than a day. it charges right up again but the dealer told her that was normal due to the -5 to -10 fahrenheit weather we've had lately.
    not the starting battery but the rechargeable one.

    No idea about shutting off the traction control the dealer didn't know about an switch and many cars get stuck on these hills with traction control even my civic with snow tires. With traction control off it's not a problem.
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