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Toyota Prius MPG-Real World Numbers



  • johndjrjohndjr Posts: 80
    I agree with you. I attempt to fill mine up to the inner ring each time so I know that it is full. Only thing, near the full level, the gas tank actually honks at me, then shortly afterwards, it burps up about a cup full of gas all over the side of the car. It looks as if there is a slight eruption in the tank.
    The difference I have between the computer mpg and my calculated mpg is that the cal. comes out about 10% less than the computer has. Still, 46-48 mpg cal. isn't bad.
  • I hear a distinctive gurgling sound as the tank gets full, guess you could characterize it as "honking". Sometimes I'll leave the nozzle in the tank for 60 seconds or more to allow the gas time to recede and not spill out. Still i've spilled my share of gas, it does take time and patience filling the tank.
  • carbotcarbot Posts: 14
    Why is it so important to know your mileage for each tankful? Just fill until the pump stops each time. Figure the mileage based on that. Then every 5, 10 or 100 fill-ups average the actual mileage and the gage mileage. That will give you a more accurate overall true mileage, gage mileage and difference figure. It will also save you money in spilled gas, and save the environment some spilled gas/emissions. Even given the difference in the stopping point in pumps, it will all average out in the end. My Prius is my office. I don't have time to wait for the tank to "burp"'. At 195,000 miles and over 420 fill-ups, can you imagine the time and spills I have saved?
  • One reason for continuing to pump after the automatic shut off is that you can ordinarily pump another l to l.5 gallons. In a pinch that is another 50-75 miles you can drive w/o refueling.
    I'm not concerned about the mileage for each tankful because I realize the bladder issue distorts the calculation. My main concern is knowing the same exact level for each fill up so that after l0,20 or more you can make an accurate calculation.

    I'd rather take another 2-3 minutes flling the tank and having the extended driving range in addition to the "exact level" constant.
  • coupedncalcoupedncal Posts: 252
    I am not sure what reasons you had to buy your Prius, but if it was to help the environment, please consider this action is taking significant savings away from your motivation. There is a reason there is a shut off mechanism in place.

    Of course, no offense is intended and none should be taken. This is just an advice.
  • mlaurencmlaurenc Posts: 1
    Give your new car some time to "break in" - they require 6 months at least.

    Lately (over last 1500 KM ) my 2006 Prius has achieved 54.5 mpg with once weekly driving between collingwood and niagara (140 miles)

    60% country roads (50 mi/hr) 40% 6 lane highways (60 mi/hr)

    Also suggest you might want to look at the folllowing guide to how to drive a Prius:

    Also, I've learned that if the tank is totally filled (careful as it can shoot out if you don't stop as soon as you begin to hear the "gurgling") I get 120 miles before the first indicator bar disappears.

  • rolinrolin Posts: 13
    Many thanks! I am starting to "relax" about this..

  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    A number of points were raised above. Oh, I've been involved with selling them since they first arrived in 2000. My own is a 2005 with 75000 mi now.

    First about filling the tank. Go to and search for the sticky on 'topping off'. Don't. You risk a whole lot of trouble. Essentially when the pump shuts off just end it right there. Don't worry about individual tankfuls. It's of no issue.

    I liken this to when I used to tell my wife that by the time the kids were ready for college none would suck their thumbs and they'd all be housebroken. It's fun to see how you're doing tank by tank but look at it in the long run. As one noted above, you will average 48 mpg for the life of your vehicle. There are tens of thousands of Prius drivers doing just that day after day after day.

    Don't worry about the individual tank fillings. Just use a spreadsheet or use the database at and enter your miles driven and gallons pumped and you'll have the best and most accurate summary. The MFD display is a good 'indicator' that;s all. In the end after owning the vehicle for 8 years and driving 135000 miles if you added up all the fuel you had used you'd come to this value......48 mpg!
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    In your manual.... the breakin period is 600 mi. But you don't have to do anything special during that time. Just don't tow a boat. At 700 mi you're done already.

    There are two other 'break in' periods where you'll find that your engine is more efficient, one at 5K and another at 10K. Both are very small differences.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    If you want a longterm record of your particular Fuel Economy save the receipts and mark the gallons pumped and miles driven since the last fillup. Then enter them in the database. There are nearly 1600 Prius owners tracking their vehicles.

    Don't worry about the FE. In the end it will be 48 mpg...with one caveat. If you only use the vehicle for short trips of 15 min or less then you will lose about 10% from the 'norm'. This is true for all vehicles on the road. It's just more obvious in a Prius.
  • prius2007prius2007 Posts: 41
    Just completed one year of ownership of my 2007 Prius and I'm very happy with it. I log each tank data/performance in a spreadsheet and my first year MPG = 56.8 (US gallons). Since the 5000 mile break-in period MPG = 58.6. Had several 60+ tanks highest being 64.1 and so far this spring all my tanks are 60+. It is getting better and better - easily exceeding EPA numbers. More than 50% of my drive is on the HWY.
  • Some Prius owners are just obssessive-compulsive when it comes to stats.

    Obviously you are very knowledgeable on Prius issues. Just two questions:
    a) assuming no gas spills, what are the adverse results of "topping" the tank, that is the extra 1-1.5 gallons after the shutoff engages?
    b)is the trip fuel gauge for the Prius inherently flawed, or are the discrepancies due to bladder issues, i.e. an elapsed reading of 57MPG,manual calculation of 50MPG?
  • rolinrolin Posts: 13
    Great questions. I await responses as well.

  • prius2007prius2007 Posts: 41
    Hi Cheryl,

    Keeping stats is not "obssessive-compulsive" it helps in learning and forming an opinion. Personally for me it only takes less than a minute to log it every two weeks. Being educated about the car helps to give answers to questions like the ones you posted.
    a) other than the problem with gas spills you may also damage the charcoal filter and bladder by overfilling the prius. This can be an expensive replacement in case it happens (do a search on the subject at If you for whatever reason overfill drive the car some distance to use up the overfill rather than parking it. An extended period of the overfill condition will increase the chance of the damage to your charcoal filter system etc.
    b) Most people call the Prius gas gauge as "guess gauge". Most gas gauges tend to be not very accurate and serve as a guide only. With the Prius the added complexity is the bladder as you pointed it out. It expands/contract with age and fluctuations in temperature. These factors result in the difference between MPG calculated and displayed on the MFD. Tank to tank variations can be significant but long term they should be pretty close. Also some pumps shut-off earlier than others and the rate of speed you're filling up also effects how much you're able to put in the tank.

    Hope this helps and enjoy your Prius. Just drive it! :)
  • Thanks for your explanation. It certainly makes sense. Fortunately I seldom gas up closer than 15 miles from home, so this has probably given some protection in the past. I'll probably reassess my habit of topping the tank. I'm just guessing, but could a damaged charcoal filter/bladder cause the car to failure the state auto emissions inspection?
  • prius2007prius2007 Posts: 41
    I don't think so. The charcoal filter is unique to the Prius preventing the release of fumes when you fill up. Google "Prius emission test false results" - I seem to recall some reports on Google of this in the Atlanta region.
  • prius2007prius2007 Posts: 41

    Digg - Toyota Prius can't pass Georgia's emissions — Every Toyota Prius tested has failed the state of Georgia's emissions test because the vehicle is required to idle its engine during the test ... - 79k - Cached - Similar pages
  • pano1pano1 Posts: 11
    I live in WV, in mountainous terrain, in a city of 20,000 people with lots of congestion and stop and go conditions. I can't go more that 2-3 blocks with sustained speed at any time or any place. Mileage with my other vehicles no matter the size or the brand has historically been around 15 mpg over a tankful. 90% of my driving is in the city and I'm pointing my question to those of you that might have similar or at least, sort of similar, conditions in your town or area. What is the worst expected mileage that you could surmise for my conditions? Would I get at least 30 mpg??
  • kalyan34kalyan34 Posts: 1
    I am considering a Prius but I have been hearing and seeing reports that the mileage is around 35 - 40 MPG under actual conditions which in my opinion can be matched by a regular honda civic. Can someone who owns a prius share some information on the actual mileage of the car in real time driving conditions.

  • scottc3scottc3 Posts: 137
    The actual mileage has been posted many times, it's around 48 - 50 mpg. Is someone tells you more, it's not true on any regular basis. If someone tells you less, something is wrong. You will get around 50mpg.. a bit less.

  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 4,098
    "The actual mileage has been posted many times, it's around 48 - 50 mpg. Is someone tells you more, it's not true on any regular basis. If someone tells you less, something is wrong. You will get around 50mpg.. a bit less. "

    That's a pretty bold statement, without knowing the driving conditions. What if the owner is driving 5 miles at a time, and the engine is cooling off between drives (such as to and from work)?

    What about winter MPG? You don't mention that cold weather can SEVERELY impact mileage.

    What about "lead foot" drivers? People have to modify their driving habits to match the capabilities of the hybrid.

    What if the owner wants to keep up with traffic going 70 - 75 MPH on the freeways?

    Several of those situations could easily result in MPG less than the amount you claim.
  • oldcoacholdcoach Posts: 28
    I have a new Prius with about 1100 miles on it and I average 45 MPG. I get more than 45 but my wife get about 43 (heavy foot). I am sure it will get more when broken in.
  • oldcoacholdcoach Posts: 28 on Green and you can get the averages of each car, the prius averages 48 mpg :D
  • prius2007prius2007 Posts: 41
    To stevedebi,
    re: Is someone tells you more, it's not true on any regular basis. "

    OH really? Well a couple of posts back I did say just that and guess what; it is not only on a regular basis but for life time MPG. 17 months, that includes winter too.
    I never had a tank below 50 other than the first 3 at 49.7. Now I'm averaging 63.5 on the last 9 tanks since spring. So it is true! I agree with you on MPG related to the driving conditions as you describe but it is possible and actually fairly easy to do >50 if majority of your distance is not too short.

  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 4,098
    "To stevedebi,
    re: Is someone tells you more, it's not true on any regular basis. " "

    I suggest you re-read my post, I was quoting someone else... which is why the first part was in "quotes".

    That person practically guaranteed MPG higher than 45. I agree that is it possible to get far better, but one has to be willing to make the effort of driving for hybrid MPG, rather than driving like a normal vehicle.

    IMHO, if someone drives a Prius like a regular car, they may well get 45 MPG, even worse in winter.
  • prius2007prius2007 Posts: 41
    I stand corrected - you were quoting scottc3, therefore my question is redirected to him. On the other hand I don't necessarily agree with your last statement: "IMHO, if someone drives a Prius like a regular car, they may well get 45 MPG, even worse in winter."
    I never ever had a tank even close being that low. My life time MPG is now 58.0 since April 2007 to now nearly 21K miles. This includes winter when I averaged 55.3 MPG. Perhaps if one drives many very short trips than you would get such low MPG. Good luck and enjoy your Prius no matter what it's an awesome car.
  • tothemaxx2tothemaxx2 Posts: 22
    We live in the SW Denver CO area. In the 2-1/2 months we've had ours we have put on 2,300 miles and average a consistent 50 to 51 mpg. Three others I work with who own Priuses (sp?) get 47; 51 to 53; and 50 mpg.
  • prius2007prius2007 Posts: 41
    tothemax: that's a great start... your MPG numbers should get even better as you break in the car and the "driver":). Most people report an improvement after 5K miles. Enjoy!
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 4,098
    "I never ever had a tank even close being that low. My life time MPG is now 58.0 since April 2007 to now nearly 21K miles. This includes winter when I averaged 55.3 MPG. Perhaps if one drives many very short trips than you would get such low MPG. Good luck and enjoy your Prius no matter what it's an awesome car. "

    Thanks, but I own a Ford Escape Hybrid. I follow the forums to get tips on MPG, stay up on trends, etc.

    Let me tell you how most people drive here in LA. They jackrabbit start up to around 40 MPH, then accelerate towards the light, only to hit the brakes when they suddenly (doh!) discover it is still red. They drive 70-75 on the freeways (even those posted for 55 MPH).

    If a person drove a Prius like that, it would most likely get 45 MPG, in warm weather.
  • When I use any brand of gasoline with Ethanol in my 2008 Prius with 8000 miles, the mileage decreases to about 37 mpg. With non-Ethanol fuel I average between 48 to 52 mgg. Is anyone aware of any fuel that does not come from the Middle East that does not contain Ethanol?
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