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Getting the Most Out of the Toyota Prius: Driving Tips

labfamilylabfamily Posts: 1
edited March 20 in Toyota
Had my prius now for 3800 miles now and of course love it. But in trying to wring out the best milage I still can't decide between D and B. It seems like I can get to about 25+ before gas kicks in on B and about 22 in D. I am down to about 38mpg for winter but I hope thats because of snow tires and winter gas? Anything else I should know? Thanks Joe


  • SylviaSylvia Posts: 1,636
    Hi Joe - you've come to the right place! There are plenty of Prius owners here who should be able to give you a hand.
  • Joe: I can't believe you only get 38mpg. I live in Utah & drive my prius to the ski resorts. The only time I get 38mpg is when I am driving UP to the ski resorts (then I get 99mpg driving back down - HONEST!) I have had my 2004 prius for 2 years & average 48mpg winter and 53 mpg summer (I just reached 30,000 miles). I only use B when driving down mountian roads, or when slowing down getting off the freeway.
  • I am still waiting for my Prius to arrive...(next month, so I am told)...but it seems pretty clear. 'D' is drive. 'B' is brake. Normally, use 'D'. When you need to slow down, as if you were shifting down in a manual tranny to slow yourself down, use 'B'.
  • If you use B mode, it will un-necessarily run the gas engine, reducing your gas milleage. Also, if you are in B mode, cruise control is automatically turned off. It's been reported that B mode doesn't aid in recharging the traction battery, too. Why Toyota included this mode is a bit beyond me.

    The only reason I can even vaguely see where B mode might be useful is if you are going down a long mountain road, the traction battery is already at 8 green bars, and you want to avoid using the brakes for some reason and instead want to use engine braking to help slow you down. In that case, it might be useful.
  • seekoseeko Posts: 33
    this is my first toyota prius.2006 white pkg. #8. had it for not quit a month. tinted all glass put body side mouldings on it also put oyota mud guards on it also. have not a thousand miles on it yet. am still getting used to it yet. got a bath with gas the other day when i filled up the gas tank . i guess there is a good way of finding things out the hard way sometimes! anyways just figured i'd say hi to every one. if any one wants to email info about tips on the little machine that would be nice.
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 3,719
    "anyways just figured i'd say hi to every one. if any one wants to email info about tips on the little machine that would be nice."

    Welcome to the forum. You will get more response by posting in the Prius 2004+ forum; this forum is for a very specific topic.
  • lefmilefmi Posts: 1
    Where is the best place to purchase accessories for '06 Prius (mud guards, moulding, seat covers, etc.). Found out no one makes husky liners for Prius.
  • michealsmicheals Posts: 27
    The purpose of "B" mode is for engine breaking down steep mountain grades. It does have to be pretty steep to be necessary, as it will slow you down on just typical downhill portions.

    B does recharge the traction battery (and very quickly I might add), but it really is just there to save your brakes. I have only used it a couple of times in trips through the Rockies.
  • seekoseeko Posts: 33

    Here is the website that I purchased the side molding and mud quards for my 2006 Prius.

    Hope this helps.


  • 515kim515kim Posts: 1
    Does anyone have tips for driving a Prius in the mountains? I will be in the Smokies this week and don't want to destroy my brakes or my mileage. Just keep the car in "B" and limit use of brakes when possible?

    Thanks for any experienced input!

  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204

    1,455.9 miles on 12.978 gallons of fuel for a grand total of 112.2 mpg!

    Details include a total distance of 2,343.1 km (1,455.9 miles) on 49.13 L (12.978 gallons) at 47.69 km/L (112.2 mpg) actual from fillup to fill up. 49.1 km/L (115.5 mpg) was displayed on the Japanese Prius II’s FCD.

    Warm up from dead cold to final destination totaled 75, so the average distance traveled was 31.2 km (19.368 miles) from dead cold to parked.

    Date the achievement was accomplished was from July 4th through August 16th, 2006

    Climate was relatively mild with a max temperature of 25C (77 degrees F). It rained just one day during the entire record tank.

    Her home is in a valley of southern Akita Prefecture in northern Japan.

    Totally Awesome results !!!
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,681
    1,455.9 miles on 12.978 gallons of fuel for a grand total of 112.2 mpg!

    Hmmm, don't tell that to poor "wentgreenin06" over in Prius software problems. He got less than 300 miles on a full tank before the triangle of death shut him down. Let's see 300 miles on 12.978 gallons of gas, that is 23.1 MPG. A lot of good all these records and accolades do for the people with hybrids, if they don't get where they are going without being towed.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Well there is obivously something wrong with "wentgreen"'s car, which I'm sure will be fixed.

    Having a broken Prius is nothing different than a Toyota Echo or a Chevy Cobalt leaving you stranded on the highway - it happens to all cars, and they either get fixed or replaced.

    Such is Life.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,681
    Such is Life

    Not for me. The last car that left me stranded by the side of the road was my 1964 Toyota Land Cruiser. I think you are in denial on the reliability aspect of the hybrids. The Prius probably has more complaints to the NHTSA for just quitting and being towed than any other current car model. Toyota has not resolved all the failure issues with the Prius to date.

    They need to incorporate a manual over-ride in the computer system that will allow you to drive the car even though it has detected something it did not like. That goes for any car that is overly computerized. A sensor going bad should not disable a vehicle.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    quote gary: "I think you are in denial on the reliability aspect of the hybrids."

    Someone needs to research hybrid reliability, and it aint this poster. A few Priuses needing a software upgrade does not mean "hybrids" as a vehicle family are "unreliable."

    there are 600,000 plus Hybrids on the road worldwide, and EVERY reliability study (biased or not) has shown that hybrids are superlativley reliable.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,681
    A few Priuses needing a software upgrade does not mean "hybrids" as a vehicle family are "unreliable."

    I think you need to read back a bit on the Prius posts. Several 2006 owners have complained of shutting down with gas still in the car. This has nothing to do with the original stalling issue that is part of the NHTSA investigation. You are also ignoring the big brouhaha in Japan over some accident with faulty steering. I do think that was more than just the Prius. Toyota is still getting raves from the likes of JDP & CR for their very reliable cars during the 1990s. They have lost ground and these publications are slow to react.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,623
    Your beating up on the Prius whenever a problem is reported is getting really old. No car made today is perfect. But organizations like CR and JD Power research reliability of cars every year (not just cars from the 1990s) and have found the Prius to be one of the most reliable cars, and Toyota in general to be one of the most if not the most reliable brands, short-term and long-term. This year, CR reported that the reliability of brands like Toyota is levelling off--but not declining overall. This is not surprising. As the error rate gets closer and closer to zero, it's harder to fix those last few problems. That Toyota, in general and specifically with the Prius, has been able to stay at or near the top in reliability rankings despite increased complexity in their cars is quite an accomplishment.
  • spoken Like a true consultant!
  • Exactly. I had just that chance the other day. 11% grade for 6.5 miles. I'd have overheated brakes on any/every vehicle I've ever driven were it not for compression braking - using the engine to assist in braking.

    It's not a matter of wearing a set of pads out - it's a matter of having any brakes at all to stop with during a long descent.
  • pathstar1pathstar1 Posts: 1,015
    You should only use "B" when decending a long hill. Light pressure on the brake pedal also uses regenerative braking. The friction brakes only come on below 8 MPH or so, or when you use "panic" brake pedal pressure. You can feel the slight jar when you slow gradually with light brake pedal pressure. It should occur around 8 MPH as the car transitions to friction braking.

    So driving in the mountains just use "D" until you decend from a mountain pass. Otherwise, light pressure on the brake pedal will suffice.
This discussion has been closed.