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Toyota Prius MPG-Real World Numbers



  • I believe some of you may not looking at the most important factor in mpg in local driving.
    The big killer to mpg is short trips of 1 or 2 miles where the engine does not have sufficient time to warm up and the car is pumping excess gas to the catalytic converter to heat it up to reduce the pollution.

    My normal commute is 6 miles each way with speeds of 30 and 45 mph. In the fall and spring here in Florida I average near 60 mpg (no AC). But in my local driving mall, home depot, Sams Club, I average 52 mpg. Overall year round mpg is about 54 mpg this includes Summer AC and winter .

    I do drive to get high mpg and get into stealth as often as possible.
  • I replaced tires on my 2007 Prius in Spring of 2010 and immediately experienced a drop from 48 mpg to 41 mpg. Nothing else changed, just new tires. Very disappointing. Looked everywhere online to get advice or confirmation of similar experience. Hope I find an answer on this forum. I am gg to increase tire pressure to 42 psi and see if this helps.
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 7,487
    Were those the original tires you replaced? I'd bet that they had lower rolling resistance than the new tires. I know someone who put special low rolling resistance tires on their hybrid and changed them out a week later because of decreased traction. It's a sliding scale. The more traction you opt for, the more it will affect your mileage.
    Think about snow tires for example. Definitely better traction, but they DO cost you at the pump!

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  • jayriderjayrider Posts: 3,602
    The new continental eco tire is well rated both for traction and mpg.
  • mickeyrommickeyrom Posts: 936
    I have had my Prius since January and have averaged 45.1 MPG.It's better on the highway,which it's not supposed to be.I get only about 35MPG in town.
    It would be hard to make the car cheaper as it is a very complex piece of machinery,however they could save a bit by eliminating some electronics such as power windows,locks and a CD player.I don't think that would save more than a grand on the price though.
  • dmathews3dmathews3 Posts: 1,739
    and if they did make them without power windows/locks they'd sit on the dealers lot for months. I have worked in car factories and for example in the factory that made the Grand Am and its siblings they ran about 3 cars to 5 cars in 24 hours that had manual trannies. Why, no one wanted or ordered them and this was in a factory that put out anywhere from 1500 to 2000 cars per day. Not very many is it. And though not nearly as low manual door locks/windows were maybe a hundred out of the total per day. Again not many. In this day and age of computerized building/shipping I think it would cost more to build a car with manual windows/locks than it does to build them with. Car companies take advantage of computers in building cars/trucks down to the last little thing. I have seen them build white cars for days without another color being painted cause it is far cheaper to do it that way then to clean robot painters and prepare them for another color.
  • npmnpm Posts: 3
    My city/highway comnbined average since day one is 55.4 mpg. So, yes it is true.
  • mickeyrommickeyrom Posts: 936
    You totally miss the point.The poster to who I was responding commented that the Prius was too expensive for Asians.ASIANS.I simply suggested what would make them less expensive,probably not cheaper enough to make a difference.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,000
    It's also a bit of a moot point, as I've determined that the person posting the question was not, in fact, asking a genuine question, but spamming for his online parts store. :mad:


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  • agnostoagnosto Posts: 205
    2010 Prius IV with almost 9,000 miles and 60MPG combined (71.9MPG best ever), very pleased so far and one of the best Toyota vehicles I have owned...
  • i currently own a 2007 toyota yaris hb,auto trans and love the mileage i get. i average appr. 38mpg doing your typical suburban chicago driving-never use freeways. so with that said, would i enjoy a prius? i really would love to get back to an suv, but totally love the mileage i get with the yaris. i drive 10,000 miles per year-
    another question, is the back large enough to accomodate my 2 large dogs? thanks
  • of course you must sit in the rear seat of the Prius to see for yourself but in my opinion its rear seat is very roomy.
    My two youngest sons are both around 6', 200 lbs and can accommodate their knees, butts, and feet quite well. Of course they would prefer the front seats to recline but insurance won't let them drive my car and their mother likes the front even more than they do.
    I have made 4-5 hr trips from Miami, Fla to Gainesville, Fla with myself and 3 sons all about the same size in my earlier 2005 Prius which one of my sons now owns, we averaged 48 mpg and drove around 75 or so mph on the turnpike. The new 2010 Prius has even more room, including rear seat head room.
  • I forgot to mention that the rear seats of the Prius fold flat so that from the rear hatchback to the back of the front seats becomes a pretty large deck which dogs might like better
  • Just visiting to see peoples real fuel economy in the Prius and it looks great. Most of the fuel efficient cars seem to beat EPA numbers while SUVs like Lexus 450h and Hilander posts seem to come up short. Although I liked the gen3 Prius (except for the instrumentation) I wanted more cargo room too and got a Jetta TDI wagon. Can't quite match Prius fuel economy but I still get 34-38 around town and 51 on trips and have the volume of a small SUV. Fuel costs a little more, 12% on average lately but don't have to budget for a battery down the road. Test drive one, I bet you'll be impressed. Climbing a hill the torque is great. A couple years ago I was driving a Saturn ion and could get 28 mpg from a tank of mixed driving with some attention to efficiency. Now my son uses that car and my wife (Honda Insight) and I tease him about driving the gas hog!
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,992
    With the 12% higher cost for diesel, if you're averaging 45mpg overall with a diesel, that's equal to getting 40mpg on 87 octane. (eg100 miles driven at 45mpg = 2.222 gal x 3.36/gal diesel = $7.46 or 100 miles at 40mpg = 2.5gal used x $3.00/gal = $7.50 using $3.00/gal 87octane x 1.12 = $3.36/gal diesel).

    So after converting and compare apples to apples, you're comparing getting a real 40mpg in the TDI vs 50mpg avg with the Prius. Driving 15,000 miles/year at $3/gal that means the TDI will cost about $225 per year more for fuel. And I'm being conservative, since if someone is able to exceed the Jetta's MPG ratings, they'll probably exceed the Prius 50mpg rating too.

    But that's only fuel cost. The carbon footprint for the Prius is 3.8 as compared to 6.2 with the TDI ( Also, the reliability of the Prius is much better then the VW Jetta based on what I've researched.

    That being said, there is more cargo space for the TDI Wagon (21 vs 33 CuFt) behind the 2nd row. And if you're mostly driving on the highway, then the MPG difference between the Jetta and Prius is even less. As far as the battery life, from what I've researched, the real-world battery life is well over 150,000 miles and even then it's usually only specific cells of the battery than need replacing. I think that the Jetta would need more repairs (given the reliability differences) over that same time to more than make up the potential need to replace battery cells.
  • Last year We rented a German VW TDI wagon, I believe it was a Passat (2 ltr engine, 6 speed trans) and drove it from Berlin to Barcelona. All in all it was an excellent car and roughly achieved 40 or so mpg. The VW's here from what I have heard suffer from production quality issues. Diesel is also less expensive in Europe than in the US due to tax vagaries. I would not be surprised if the prices for both gasoline and diesel ramp up here in the not too distant future. Why we cannot develope the infrastructure and use natural gas I just cannot understand.
    In Berlin there were lots of Prius taxis besides the other German makes...its too bad they do not import the Opel which runs on Hydrogen which was parked in front our hotel as an advertisement! For now, I am sticking with my Prius and am very happy.
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,992
    The main difference is that in Europe fueling up a car is much more expensive. The only way alternative fuels will ever come to America is if gas was $5/gal, THEN folks would start demanding more efficient vehicles.

    The VW wagon TDI is good in that it has more cargo space then a Prius, but in a couple of years there will be a Prius wagon (possibly with 3 rows of seats similar to a Mazda 5) that will also average close to 50MPG, so that should fill the need of those needing more cargo space than the regular Prius offers.
  • jhinscjhinsc Posts: 399
    My first fillup yielded 53.2 mpg per computer and 49.8 per spreedsheet calc. Almost double the MPG of my previous car, an 08 Accord V6. Still getting used the seating position, not quite as comfy as the Accord's.
  • This is the 3rd winter with my Prius; second winter with snow tires. My mileage has dropped at least 8 mpg this winter. I don't recall it dropping but 2 or 3 mpg last winter. Ideas?
  • Hi Karen,

    From the limited info given - sounds fairly normal. In the winter the car takes longer to warm up to get to the efficient temp zone and to-date this has been a colder winter than the last few years.

    Other things to watch out for:
    -limit as much as possible short trips / combine trips
    -make sure your tire pressure is adequate
    -snowy / wet roads will reduce mileage
    -heater / defrost "robs" heat from engine - stay safe using them as needed :)
    -new tires usually mean worse MPG

    You're still getting better MPG than most vehicles:)

  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,992
    I'd say this December has been A LOT colder than the previous few Decembers, which is why you're seeing more of a drop. I'm seeing a 10-15% drop on both of my cars too this year, which is higher than last winter.
  • mickeyrommickeyrom Posts: 936
    With the outside temperature approx 30 degrees Fahrenheit,and driving very short distances in my small town(2-5miles)my computer showed 25MPG which while not bad for a regular car is pretty disappointing for a 2007 prius hybrid.Could there be something wrong with my car?
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 7,487
    Cold, weather, a trip that's not long enough to even get the engine temp up to cold. Even a hybrid isn't going to get much in the way of mileage performance under those conditions.

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  • mickeyrommickeyrom Posts: 936
    Thanks,that is pretty much what I suspected.Just wanted to get another opinion,since I have never read here on Edmunds of such low mileage by another poster.
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,992
    I'm getting about 10-15% worse MPG in both my Fit and 15% with my '06 Prius in this cold weather.
  • if you take short trips in very cold weather the engine never gets "warmed up" which the computer forces it to do to operate properly and to furnish your request for heating in the vehicle. Its a disadvantage of all cars in very cold weather unless you might have a heated garage.
  • jayriderjayrider Posts: 3,602
    You could also get an engine block heater. Not sure if the cost plus the electric usage would pay off but it is more comfortable. Use a timer that turns it on 3 hours before you leave for work.
  • At first I rarely got over 40 mpg, but then I raised the tire pressure to 41 psi, and Shazaam!, I'm getting over 50mpg even at 80 mph, easily averaging 49mpg on long trips that were heavy on the gas pedal. I just wish I could inflate with nitrogen, to avoid the recently discovered 5-year tire burnout. reliable cars
  • Did you check with your dealer before overinflating tires?Not sure 40PSI is safe in those small tires.I have nitrogen in both of my car's tires.One is a 07 Prius.Why is it that you can't use nitrogen? :confuse:
  • I quick note on my MPG. 2008 Prius, had 185/15 tires , switched to 195/15 after 37k worn out. Per indicaters before changing tires I was getting about 49 MPG in mixed driving. After changing tires about the same reading on indicaters but found the speedometer was off by 3-5% with old tires and still off by 2% with new (when reading 50MPH was really only going 49 per GPS) This means the online calaulations of the onboard computer are not accurate. I believe the milage everyone is reporting is off by approx. 4% (on the high side) if using the dashboard calculations (odometer). Also winter driving drops milage substantialy. I still think it's a great car, it's just that the milage rating is overstated by most.
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