Hybrid Gas Mileage Good? Bad? As Expected?



  • mistermemisterme Member Posts: 407
    Congratulations on your new car and its performance!
    Your efficient driving skills deserve good comment.

    It sure gives you a good feeling when you park and realize what you and your machine have saved.
    "Man what a car!" is what I used to say with mine. Now I'm pretty much used to it unless I have an exceptionally good run.
  • timber104timber104 Member Posts: 24
    Hello All,

    I am still attempting to get my first Hybrid vehicle, but was it expected and what will be is expected to be different based on vehicle & where I live with which type of terrain and weather conditions. Several people say they get close to what is expected for EPA rating, but we don't know if there are a lot of hills, traffic conditions, snow & rain, etc.

    All my non-hybrid vehicles in the past have gotten much worse and lots of times better then EPA depending on where I am driving, How I am driving, and how my vehicle is (type of gas, new plugs {tuned up}, air filter is clean, tires are at proper PSI, is the vehicle whole and waxed or rusted with holes all through the fenders and body, and speed and the number of people in vehicle or total weight when driving)

    We should try to understand what people are doing or not doing and where they live when they post here, before saying what should be. Everything is being averaged out by EPA for the entire country.

    Please give us more information when posting MPG to help us all understand if what we are getting is average for our area.

    Thank you,
  • eaaeaa Member Posts: 32
    You need to adjust the most important componet in the vehicle, the driver. I just go over 60 mpg in my CIVIC Hybrid by driving smarter. I watch for coming lights, drive at the zen highest mpg by going a little over the posted speed limit then lightening up on the accelerator.
    How you drive is key to high mpg. The hybrid gives you the feed back to get way over the EPA estimate.
    I've got as high as 74 mpg on a 40 mile round trip . Always reset you mpg trip odometer so you can learn how your doing.
  • mistermemisterme Member Posts: 407
    I have an '04HCH and have driven it almost 40K miles, my average is about 60MPG. I live in North Georgia in the foothills of the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains (Very hilly) and the winter weather here is pretty mild.

    It sounds like you are already ahead of the curve about efficiency. Things like driving skills, maintenance, tire pressure, weight, etc. I'd say that 90% of other drivers have no clue at all and think their car just does what it does.
    The MPG swing depending on the issues above are much greater in a hybrid compared to a regular vehicle. For example our Grand Caravan can go as low as about 14 and the highest we've seen is 23-24, about 10 MPG swing.
    My HCH has more than a 30MPG swing.

    I'd like to say that flatter, milder areas like Texas would give better results but I haven't noticed that much of a difference. There's a Insight hypermiler (Xcel) who has averaged better than 90MPG in the Chicago area with some tanks well exceeding 100MPG. As with my own numbers, Xcel and eaa are not typical or average but should show what these cars are capable of.

    The current average over many owners of the HCH is about 46-47MPG. This is a combined mix of not-so-skilled efficiency drivers, average ones and a few hypermilers- all owners across the country.
  • rfordrford Member Posts: 5
    HI all. I spend a lot of time reading Edmunds messages before I make a purchase decision. So, it seemed fair to post my experience now that I have owned a new 2005 Prius for exactly 7 days.

    I live in Davis California, and last week I found a newly delivered Salsa Red Prius at Hanlees here in Davis. I bought it on the spot. I drive a lot of miles for work In CA between the San Francisco Bay Area and Sacramento. After putting 250 miles on the car, I fully filled the gas tank. 240 miles after that it took 3.97 gallons to again fill the tank, meaning 60.5 MPG. Yesterday I drove exactly 200 miles and filled with 3.34 gallons, or 59.9 MPG.

    Of the above mentioned travel, I would estimate that 85% to 90% was on the highway at close to the speed limit of 65. The temperature was between 55 to 70. I drove carefully, but not overly. And all of the miles were with me at 180 lbs. and about 70 lbs. of work stuff. I like the car! It is weird to fill a car after al long day of driveing these days for under $10!

    Dick Ford
    Davis, CA
  • falcononefalconone Member Posts: 1,726
    Welcome aboard! Glad you're enjoying your Prius. Please keep us updated on your mileage. You seem to be getting a little better than most folks who seem to average in the mid to high 40's.
  • crystal2crystal2 Member Posts: 52
    Timber104, I left you a message in the Prius Buying Experience forum. Can you take a look at it. I am looking to purchase the Prius for the most reasonable price in the Tri-State area. Can you share your best experiences and recommendations for dealerships. Sorry to interject in the discussion here.
  • razorxrazorx Member Posts: 12
    Civic Hybrid just gets better and better gas mileage with age but...

    My last trip I left with 3/4 of a tank of gas and when I arrived it was almost full. It is now so bad that I have to siphon gas out with a hose if I don't watch it very carefully. The only way to safely drive now is to leave the gas cap off but then gas starts spilling out the side which sort of defeats the "anti-pollution" reason for driving the car.

    Anyone else with the same problem?
  • dbrusieedbrusiee Member Posts: 5
    I don't believe that the "Electrical Power System" in any Hybrid really helps the vehicle to get better mileage for most drivers and I can't find any data that proves otherwise. Regenerative braking is a good idea but I hardly touch the brakes during my daily 60 mile round trip commute. Therefore I can't believe that driving the generator while the gas engine is running to charge the battery to be used later to run the electric motor is efficient. What am I missing? I always try to keep an open mind but I bet that the Prius would get even better mileage without the extra heavy battery, generator and electric motor. :confuse:
  • larsblarsb Member Posts: 8,204
    The Hosts at Edmunds "discourage" us from trying to "prove anyone wrong" because they think it is a very rare achievement. So I will not approach this as a "prove anything" post, but as a "use common sense and view your result" post.

    No car the size and weight of the Prius can achieve the MPG that the Prius can achieve.....if Hybrids were not inherently equipped with a "mpg advantage" over similarly sized cars, they would never have been developed, eh?

    You think some engineer at Toyota said "we can have a midsize car that is gas only which gets 51-60 MPG, but let's just "complicate things" and add an electric battery and electric drive capability just for the fun ot it, OK guys !!???!!"

    That would be a ridiculous thing to say, no? So his statement would be a ridiculous thing to believe, right? Of course Hybrids use the electric drive system and battery to help increase the mpg efficiency - else why would they exist?
  • dbrusieedbrusiee Member Posts: 5
    So where is the data? I don't want to be the "grinch" on this issue but other than the regenerative braking I can't "see" an advantage.

    Think about it: The car burns gasoline to drive the generator to charge the battery to be used later to power the electric motor. How can this be more efficient than just using the gas to drive the car directly?

    Don't read me wrong. I think that Hybrid Cars are the right approach to solving our oil problem but they aren't there yet. The pluggable solution being promoted by CalCars is really going to offer a benefit.
  • larsblarsb Member Posts: 8,204
    forum here on Edmunds. More of what you ask can be addressed over there.

    But the data you think you are lacking is this: "real world results" which indicate that no gasoline engine driven cars the same size and engine displacement of the hybrids currently achieve the MPG of the hybrids.

    That's the data.....

    P.S. Something else I thought about also: if carmakers could do this without "hybridizing" the cars and adding additional cost and complexity, WHY WOULD THEY NOT JUST DO THAT? You see, logically, merely the fact that Hybrids even EXIST is a perfectly good reason as to why the hybridization is required...If they could do this with "lighter, smaller" car designs which would be palatable to buyers, you know they would..
  • stevedebistevedebi LAMember Posts: 4,098
    "What am I missing? I always try to keep an open mind but I bet that the Prius would get even better mileage without the extra heavy battery, generator and electric motor"

    The Prius gets such good gas mileage because it has a small engine that is tuned to what is called an "Atkinson cycle", which is a method of running the engine such that it gets better MPG, but has very little "get-up-and-go" power at low RPM. You are partially correct that a Prius with only the Atkinson tuned engine would get good mileage - but never the mileage of the hybrid. And no one would buy it, because the thing would take forever to accelerate. The electric motors are highly efficient at all speeds, but their best use is at low speeds, where the Atkinson cycle engine is least efficient. So in the first respect, the electric components allow adequate acceleration with a smaller, less performance oriented engine.

    The second area in which the electric motors help is in getting the car up to speed. A large amount of gasoline is wasted on ICE vehicles just getting their 3000 + lb weight up to speed. This is why EPA mileage for a normal ICE vehicle is lower in the city than on the highway - once the vehicle is up to speed, it takes far less gas to get places. The electric motor takes on the brunt of the workload in getting the hybrid moving, thus saving gas. It is this characteristic that results in an EPA rating that is higher in the city for the Prius.

    The other trick of the hybrid for city driving is shutting down the engine while the car is stopped (in traffic, or a stop light, for example). This behavior could be emulated by all cars, if they implemented electric air conditioning rather than engine powered air conditioning. But it might be a strain on a standard 12 volt electric system. However, some cars do have this feature, notably a French commuter car that is being produced at this time.
  • dbrusieedbrusiee Member Posts: 5
    Thanks for the new reference. I took a look at the "Advanced Course in Hybrid Engineering" topic and totally agree that this discussion should be taking place there. Just for reference I remember when the Honda CRX was sold and it got
    about 50MPG. Sure it was a smaller vehicle but most cars only have one person in them (the driver) anyways. No comments please.
  • dbrusieedbrusiee Member Posts: 5
    I am familiar with the Atkinson cycle and think that this is a "good" response to my message. What got me started on this whole topic is all of the data that I have
    read on http://www.calcars.org Web site. They are promoting a kit that will allow a Prius owner to add a huge battery and power cord for recharging it using the local Electrical Supplier. Many people said "Oh Great". Now we will just burn more coal to produce the electricity to power the car rather than burn more gasoline. Well guess what? It turns out that an electric motor uses less than 50% of the energy as a gasoline engine to power a car. In other words your electric bill would be less than 50% of what you would have paid for gasoline assuming $2.00 a gallon which looks like it isn't going to go down..... Moving this discussion to
    "Advanced Course in Hybrid Engineering" section...
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAMember Posts: 9,400
    Thanks for being aware of staying on topic guys!

    Been a crazy day and that saved it for me! :)
  • mzuckermanmzuckerman Member Posts: 12
    getting 25.6 mpg at 500 miles half highway and half city.
  • gruchygruchy Member Posts: 3
    Not as well as I hoped. I have a Honda 2005 civic, average is 39mpg. I heard that some folks have gotten into the 50's and 60's. I dont see how.
  • solar_dadsolar_dad Member Posts: 22
    It is largely determined by your driving conditions. I do mostly city driving, getting about 37 MPG with my HCH CVT in strictly residential driving with lots of stops, 50+ on the highway, and about 42 overall.

    The "hyper-milers" getting consistently over 50 mpg generally travel long distances at moderate, consistent speed with little or no traffic or stops. Not having to reaccelerate the car makes all the difference.

  • cablackcablack Member Posts: 45
    It is largely determined by your driving conditions.

    What solar_dad says is entirely true. If I travel at 65 mph on a freeway, I can't help but get 50-54 mpg. If I take a 1 mile, hilly trip to the store and back, I will get under 40 mpg. And on my daily 6 mile city commute, I get over 45 mpg.

    And I would add to what solar_dad said by saying that mileage is also determined by your driving style. Driving reasonably near the speed limits will achieve better mileage than burning rubber and slamming brakes at every traffic signal.

    These effects of driving condition and style are true of any automobile, not just hybrids.
  • refieldsrefields Member Posts: 18
    Depending on how much highway driving I do. That's also not babying it around a whole lot. Some but not excessive.

    I also get best gas mileage on mid-grade gas.
  • rx400_ownerrx400_owner Member Posts: 59
    We finished the third tank now. The average mpg was 27 mpg.

    On longer drives, I see pretty much the EPA numbers when the weather is cool enough for the airconditioning to be off:
    27 MPG going 65 on the freeway
    ~30 MPG on city/suburban roads (that seems to vary a bit more than the freeway driving, perhaps because the conditions also vary more).

    Air conditioning now that the weather is getting quite warm and short drives on a cold engine (2 - 5 miles) pull the average down. The first 5 minutes of driving always have a much lower mpg so short drives really hurt and we seem to do more of that than I realized. I guess they have a similar effect with a non-hybrid but I didn't have th ability to monitor so closely in my previous cars.

    We try to anticipate stops and brake gently whenever possible. Other than that, we don't baby it a lot. I'm pretty pleased with the mileage numbers.
  • gscootergscooter Member Posts: 7
    Sounds like an Insight fan who has forgotten a few facts. Like what is the load capacity of an Insight? (365lbs total) So two 185lb males are over the limit. Hmmm and what about a husband at 185 lbs, wife at 120lbs and some stuff from Lowe's for the house like a 50lb bag of birdseed and 1 20lb bag of fertilizer and a couple of plants ? Hmm let's see ... Nope too much for the car.

    In other words the Insight is great for going to and from work.. but don't have a large friend or plan on picking up much from the home improvement store. (Imagine having to tell a friend - Hmm sorry Fred I think I can't give you a ride to home cause that would put me over the load capacity of my car.

    Let's be real here. Any car that has limits like the Honda Insight does in terms of capacity is not in the same league as the Civic or Prius of a number of the other new hybrid vehicles. The Insight really is a true Hybrid, it's just not a practical car for anything but 1 person commuting. And a fairly expensive commuter vehicle at that. It was a nice start but only that - a start.

    Blind allegiance to a cause or a car is not wisdom, it's dangerous and it will get you into trouble.
    So Mr Insight go back to your Honda forum, hunt down and harass the disloyal Honda owners over there. Don't bother coming onto a Prius forum in an apparent effort to boast about a Brand or car that isnt' near the equal of a Prius. I've had a Honda before and I'm not driving one now based on that experience.
  • gscootergscooter Member Posts: 7
    Please note that one doesn't have to be "hitting the brakes" for the system to be regenerating power. If you had the time or interest to take a Prius out or ride along in Prius on a moderately long test drive you'd see that electrical regeneration takes place without the use of the brakes. Unless you constantly maintain the same throttle pressure on a perfectly level or uphill path, the hybrid system uses any opportunity to regenerate electricity for the batteries.

    Additionally the Prius Hybrid system uses a mix of gas and eletrical power at optimum times to provide the requried power to move vehicle. This also includes shutting down power sources (Gas engine) when not needed. This isn't simple technology so don't dismiss it simply because the evidence doesn't jump out at you. Credit the engineers at Toyota with a lot of work to devise a very smart system to optimize the cars power consumption.

    Perfect it isn't - Yep that's right, the technology continues to be refined and there will be some issues, however, today's Prius is a major improvement over pure electically powered cars of even 2-5 years ago. Just a comparison of the Prius to the Honda Insight will provide a clue as to how much better things are getting in the world of Hybrid technology. MPG alone isn't the measure of a Hybrids success - practicality is a major factor as well. After 2 1/2 months of ownership, 1 1200 mile cross country trip and driving experience in Big City traffic, highway and 'small town' commuting I can honestly say the Prius does a great job at them all. Now if they could only add in some of the handling characteristics of my 02 MINI Cooper, I'd be ear-to-ear smiles 24 hrs a day.
  • sinepmansinepman Member Posts: 137
    I had a Cooper so I know what you mean about the ride. I owned a 2005 MCC for six months and sold it. The ride was way too jarring and I hardly had time to keep the roof open. If you want better handling in your Prius I know a few folks that have added 17" wheels with HUGE success. The say the handling is much, much better. Nothing will be like those Coopers. Tons of fun to whip around corners. I may buy another one when they put the new engines in. This time, I'll get the hard top with a sunroof. Enjoy your Prius!!!
  • gscootergscooter Member Posts: 7
    That's one of many things I wouldn't mess with. I'm sure that the Prius engineering plan included tire type and size in their design to optimize mileage. The greater the mass to be turned the harder on the system and therefore lower mileage. Inertia is a tough thing to overcome.

    As to your ride comments on my previous car (MINI) Many owners wanting smoother ride are going away from run-flats which, by design have stiffer ride. I had little problem with the stock 15" tires and wheels and when I sold the car with 35,000 miles I estimate there was still another 5 miles of life in those tires.

    When a car is as carefully crafted as the Prius, I would be very careful to inquire about ANY changes to things that could impact the cars behavior. Change the daylights out of the paint, interior etc but 1) don't add weight and 2) Don't mess with the running gear/suspension.
  • falcononefalconone Member Posts: 1,726
    The European Prius has 16" wheels so I am sure that it would not be a problem. Many have done it with great success. It's worth a try.
  • rx400_ownerrx400_owner Member Posts: 59
    "I don't believe that the "Electrical Power System" in any Hybrid really helps the vehicle to get better mileage for most drivers and I can't find any data that proves otherwise."

    Now we have a real test case to look at. The Lexus RX330 and the RX400h. They have the same engine and the same body other than the mods to add the hybrid like extra air vents in the front bumper for the extra cooling. The AWD RX400h weighs about 300 pounds more than the AWD RX330 (and about 500 pounds more than the FWD RX330).

    EPA numbers city/highway are:
    RX330 FWD 19/25
    RX330 AWD 18/24
    RX400 31/27

    Even on the highway, the EPA number on the RX400 is 2 miles per gallon better than its conventional FWD cousin and 3 mpg better than the AWD cousin. What has really surprised us is that at 65 mph we are really getting 27. On top of that, the RX400 has better acceleration than the 330.

    Why does the hybrid help on the highway? Because the engine doesn't have to be efficient over as broad a range as on a conventional car, it can be tuned to maximize efficiency for the narrower range the hybrid uses. Also there is what gscooter pointed out. On the freeway when I need to give it a bit more throttle to maintain speed on an upspeed or adujst to traffic flow, the electric motor kicks in. When there is a down slope or a need to drop back a bit, I've seen it use just the motor or go into regeneration. It doesn't get as much gain over the conventional mileage as the city number, but there is a real gain.

    From what I've experienced so far (3 tanks), the highway mileage is very repeatable.
  • lessgas1lessgas1 Member Posts: 3
    You are correct when you say that the IMA (Integrated Motor Assist) system in the HCH is not a "true" hybrid system. I own a HCH w/ CVT and I honestly LOVE the fact that it isn't a TRUE hybrid. I don't mind the fact that the IMA system can only assist. The car is still a wonderful machine. I get approximately 54.5 mpg on a regular basis, and can regularly travel about 775 miles on a full tank! I do two things to cheat, though. I inflate the air pressure in the tires to the maximum amount within spec, AND I use premium gasoline. With regular I can achieve about 49 or 50 mpg, but w/ the premium it is not uncommon to achieve 54-55 mpg. This is well worth it for me, as I drive a LOT and prefer NOT to stop at the gas station more than I must. Also, I've been VERY impressed w/ the performance and handling of this car. I also like how it LOOKS NORMAL. I will certainly be getting the faster, more efficient 06 Civic Hybrid. That IMA system (3rd generation...) will be truly impressive!
  • stevedebistevedebi LAMember Posts: 4,098
    "You are correct when you say that the IMA (Integrated Motor Assist) system in the HCH is not a "true" hybrid system. "

    Hmmm, I thought that the definition of hybred in these automotive applications was "Gasoline / Electric dual propulsion". I think that the HCH meets this definition, since it will use both electric and ICE to propel the car. I haven't yet seen a definition of "Hybrid" that says the car has to be able to run on either propulsion. In any case, the Prius won't fit that definition either, since it cannot run on ICE alone.

    Obviously, everyone realizes that Honda and Toyota used different technologies to achieve hybridization. The advantages / disadvantages of each system have been discussed ad nauseum in this and other threads.
  • jhb2jhb2 Member Posts: 2
    I don't see how terry can coax 55mpg out of an HCH system, even by over-inflating tires & using prem. gas, but miracles can happen, no doubt! It's difficult to do-BETTER than 43 mpg (in city driving), even in a Prius, but such an (mpg) figure can explained-by the traffic/speed patterns, etc. .. Also, certain cities are allowing hybrid drivers to park, FREE, in their locales, and Toyota may start building hybrid Camrys, in Georgetown, KY (near to my city). .. The trends are encouraging.
  • mistermemisterme Member Posts: 407
    HCH seems to be averaging a combined city/highway of 46, and Prius about 48.
    The vast majority of these drivers are typical from all areas, with a small number of hypermilers in the mix.

    I've owned my 04HCH CVT for 17 months and have driven it over 40K miles.
    My lifetime average is over 60MPG and the last few tanks have been 62-64 and well over 700miles from 11-12 gallons of regular gasoline.
    This is determined by the miles per gallon pumped calculation.
    My best trip was back in January where I averaged 68.9MPG over 46miles.

    My commute is 46 miles twice a day. About 20 miles are rural highway with quite a few stops, about 20 miles is on 65-55MPH limit freeway, and the last few miles 5:00-5:30PM worst Atlanta rush hour traffic.

    There are a few HCH drivers who are doing better in the FE department than me.

    Better FE is not difficult but requires training. Once learned it can be applied to all vehicles you drive be it hybrid, EV, diesel, motorcycle etc.
    For example we've applied the same principles to our 2001 Grand Caravan and have improved its MPG by 8, as we are now beating its rating as well.
  • jhb2jhb2 Member Posts: 2
    misterme: Sorry for such a late response (other matters obtruded). It's GREAT to know that an HVC can achieve such excellent mileage, even in the Atlanta area (where my sister, w/her old, Sentra, lives). I don't DENIGRATE the HVC, at all, but it appears that the Prius can do AS well, in certain situations and uses. ... It also, still, appears, that many car-buyers should (in increasing amounts) be weaned-FROM the gas-guzzling counterparts, in the basic buying-patterns, of the American buyers .. but that's a consumer-type pattern that may take many years to achieve. Louisville (Ford plant) still makes Expedition SUVs, and other areas of production (except for Toyota & Honda) have almost NO (if any) capacity for hybrid-type vehicles, other than the Ford Explorer series, and/or a handful of others. Even the Louisville plant, and others, are cutting-back on behemoth-sized SUVs, but the trend-towards hybrids should be accelerated, as much as possible, and certain cities are granting "free" parking (w/in their limits) to hybrid owners. The trends are obvious, even if the Japanese techs/engineers are the ones "spear-heading" their best results. .. Do you agree?
  • ojogaltojogalt Member Posts: 5
    I understand that Motorola is launching a high quality video telephone called an Ojo made by WorldGate Communications (Nasdaq:WGAT). I just hope that someday, in some future Prius model, the Ojo will be incorporated. One may see the Ojo on motorola.com/ojo The ojosodes are amusing and although they are video simulations, the actual phone call is superior in that it has audio synchrony. The quality of the Ojo would fit in nicely with the Prius.
    Wgate.com has more pictures of the Ojo and more information.

    i recently rented a prius for a week and got 53 mpg on a 161 round trip. My new Prius arrives the coming week.
  • larsblarsb Member Posts: 8,204
    This really puts into question the veracity of the CU tests in my eyes. I could not get "only" 26 MPG in City Driving in my Honda Civic Hybrid without FLOORING IT the whole time !!! What in the name of all that is Holy was CU doing in their City test? :confuse: :confuse:

    http://www.consumerreports.org/main/detailv4.jsp?WebLogicSession=QpyFjEqMV99BTETBzIpt0WMRw- jWoI3dRId7TF4LHatCS1VZyX1kW|-840875848657064/169937913/6/7005/7005/7002/7002/7005/-1|-1124- 202329229838292/169937904/6/7005/7005/7002/7002/7005/-1&CONTENT%3C%3Ecnt_id=303375&FOLDER%- 3C%3Efolder_id=113261&bmUID=1117554060987
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaMember Posts: 31,450
    What in the name of all that is Holy was CU doing in their City test?

    What have I told you about CR, Toyota pays the big advertising bucks and gets the good write-ups. Their tests are very subjective and can go anyway the tester wants. I think that a certain green hybrid website keeps the best track of average MPG. I wish there was such a place for all vehicles.
  • molokaimolokai Member Posts: 313
    One thing that is certain about CU is that statistically their car data is right on the money. Toyota has all the red dots and cars like VW/Audi have tons of black dots. Makes you wanna go hmmmmmmmmmmmmm.
  • stevedebistevedebi LAMember Posts: 4,098
    "This really puts into question the veracity of the CU tests in my eyes. I could not get "only" 26 MPG in City Driving in my Honda Civic Hybrid without FLOORING IT the whole time !!! What in the name of all that is Holy was CU doing in their City test?"

    CU is very focused on PERFORMANCE. So yes, they were treating the HCH like a Ford Mustang.
  • billy5billy5 Member Posts: 4
    I'm really enjoying my 2005 Honda Insight. So far, over 5400 miles I have averaged 88.2 mpg. I carry a GPS and save fuel receipts to verify. My previous Insight was a 2003 model and I only averaged 85 mpg over 35,000 miles. So this car is a slight improvement! William......
  • rorrrorr Member Posts: 3,630
    "CU is very focused on PERFORMANCE. So yes, they were treating the HCH like a Ford Mustang."

    This brings to mind a question I've had about hybrids in general: Are hybrids more sensitive to....ummmm....'exhuburant' driving than standard ICE vehicles? I mean, if 'realistic' mileage for an HCH if around 50 mpg (or substantially higher according to some posters), yet 'treating it like a Mustang' will cut the mileage in half, is this normal?

    Point of comparison, if I 'baby' my Celica GTS, I can approach 32-33mpg. But even if I flog it for an entire tank, it only drops down to the 25-26mpg range (roughly a 20% drop in economy). But it sounds as though CU got around 50% less fuel economy than what seems to be reported. I can't even imagine the abuse I would have to heap on my Celica to cut my fuel economy in half (well actually, I can, but a full day spent hot lapping at TWS doesn' t count).

    I guess where I going is this: would the average person see that big of a boost in fuel economy by driving a hybrid and keeping their same driving habits, or is a change in driving habits necessary as well?
  • larsblarsb Member Posts: 8,204
    Here's why:

    Hybrids use software and system integration (how much gas to use, how much electricity to use, etc) to achieve high MPG ratings.

    If you floor it, and thrash the engine, then the electric portion is used way LESS and the GAS engine is used way MORE and thus the benefit of the "systems" working together to achieve high MPG is completely compromised.

    As far as changing driving habits, my opinion is YES you must do that to achieve GREATEST miles per gallon performance. But it's a GOOD THING to change. For example, I know for a FACT that I will NEVER EVER get a speeding ticket again in my life. I just don't speed anymore - that's too costly on gas mileage.

    But if you want to buy a hybrid and drive it like you have always driven, then you will get about the same percentage below EPA ratings as you get in your current car. Any car driven without "fuel conservation" in mind will get less than EPA mileage - guaranteed.

    P.S. Let's disregard CU's 26 mpg in City in the Civic - something was COMPLETELY WRONG with that result. Like I said, you cannot find me a driver ANYWHERE who could take a properly performing Civic Hybrid and get 26 MPG in City driving, unless it was a 2 minute early morning drive in the freezing cold with the accelerator floored. It's just abnormal beyond measure to get such a low number.
  • cablackcablack Member Posts: 45
    I thought we had all agreed that the Consumer Reports article with the alleged rating of the HCH at 26mpg was a typo that originated in some magazine article, and got copied from place to place.

    The real CR rating for the HCH is 36mpg, which still is terrible and must have been done while dragging overweight oil company executives from a bungee cord or something.

    From ConsumerReports.org:

    "The Hybrid model is slower and averaged 36 mpg in CR tests with the CVT."
  • markdelmarkdel Member Posts: 56
    It would seem to me (older electronics engineering tech) that what was done was to design a car which gives good gas mpg (by using a very lean burn engine) and using a small displacement engine, and then adding an aux electic motor so that the car has an acceptable acceleration profile. You nor anyone else would buy a 72 BHP ICE car with no acceleration just to get good MPG. :confuse: But, maybe I am wrong about that...
  • markdelmarkdel Member Posts: 56
    I have just finished 1000 miles on my new HCH, w/CVT, and got the same EXACT results as Consumer Reports - 26/45. And, I did not floor it!, I did all of the "coasting" etc and other "stunts" that the so called "Hypermilers" have talked about. My conclusion: the only way you will get 50+ MPG is to put it in neutral, turn the engine off and push it. :(
  • mistermemisterme Member Posts: 407
    Sorry to hear that Mark, it's hard to tell what is going on. If you are near the Atlanta N. Georgia area I'll offer to take it for a spin and see what it will do, perhaps it is the car but I think perhaps not.
    I noticed another one of your posts:
    markdel, "Hybrid Tips: Optimizing mileage" #255, 2 Jun 2005 2:48 am
    While it is good to experiment this is not the best direction to go for good results in an HCH.
  • john1701ajohn1701a Member Posts: 1,897
    Trying driving a Prius. The 50kW electric motor contradicts the acceleration comments above, since the other hybrid uses a considerably smaller motor.

    I'm very generous with the pedal in my Prius, taking full advantage of the electricity but not enough to cause the gasoline engine to rev high. That results is a very pleasing MPG... low 50's for me right now.

  • markdelmarkdel Member Posts: 56
    I know what you mean about the size of the two motors vesus your engine. The Prius has two motors geared to the engine (one that counter rotates for your reverse gear). When I accelerate from a stop the amount of assist I get from the motor in my HCH depends on how much I depress the accellerator. From no assist to 4 bars to just below full reading on the gauge my MPG indicator reads much the same - about 10 mpg. If I back off of the gas to get a better MPG indication when leaving the stop light I have to back off untill there is no assist from the electric motor at all, and i STILL can not get much more than 20 to 22 MPG indicated until I get up to city limit speed, say 25 MPH, then back off of the accellerator and then I get 40 to 45 MPG indicated. But if I do that each time I would end up getting NO BENITFIT at all from the electric motor as I would not be using it. Thats why I made a posting to the effect that all of the MPG savings in the HCH come from the 1.3L engine and the motor is just there to give the car enought acceleration to be an acceptable buy. I have tried every thing posted by everyone I have read on 5 different sites here, and I cannot get better than 45 MPG combined city/hwy. I just don't see there being much improvement until the engine is broken in (right now I have 1100 miles total), and I have even tried using premium gas (the higher octane trick). :(
  • mistermemisterme Member Posts: 407
    "all of the MPG savings in the HCH come from the 1.3L engine and the motor is just there to give the car enought acceleration to be an acceptable"

    Actually it's both.
    I don't want to post too many tips on this forum but when I begin from a stop I want the Assist to latch in at its highest reading, usually 36 (One bar below 40) or 40 MPG and hold it there until I get up to speed, then back off in the 60+ MPG range depending on conditions.
    If I had no Assist beginning from the same stop my MPG would likely be in the 20's.
    In this instance the Assist contributes around ~15MPG.

    If I'm pulling hard up a hill I'm also targeting that highest Assist of 36-40MPG.
    Often times if it is at 36MPG I can raise it to 40-44 MPG and still keep the Assist latched in. That would be 4-8MPG improvement up hills contributed by the IMA alone.

    In almost every instance my car will never be in the 20's MPG range except for the very brief moment accelerating from 0-20MPH where it climbs at least into the 30's.

    There's alot more than just the smaller engine for MPG but the whole package.
    LRR tires, aerodynamic panels underneath, heat rejecting glass, electronic PS etc all contribute, rather than just one item.
  • mjjensemjjense Member Posts: 2
    My wife has put approximately 5,000 miles on her '05 HCH and never has it averaged greater than 40 mpg; overall it averages between 36 and 39. Ironically, I am rather disappointed in such a performance given how it is marketed (we traded-in a 97 Camry that was averaging 28 mpg). Were it not for the tax credit, knowing the performance would be 10 mpg less than anticipated - we might have purchased a Corolla instead.
  • markdelmarkdel Member Posts: 56
    "when I begin from a stop I want the Assist to latch in at its highest reading, usually 36 (One bar below 40) or 40 MPG and hold it there until I get up to speed, then back off in the 60+ MPG range depending on conditions"
    Just how do you get the HCH to Assist when you are at 36MPG indicated. I cannot do that no matter how I try. To get the minimum 4bar assist my indicated MPG is 8 to 10 which raises up to 20-30 at my MPH goes from 0 to 35. To get the maximum assist, I need to really press down on the accelerator, and in that case my indicated MPG stays at 10 until I get to 35 MPH (When driving in town with 35MPH the posted speed limit, or 60 MPH on the freeway, either case). I just don't see how you achive the conditions that you are talking about. :confuse: :confuse: :confuse:
This discussion has been closed.