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Lexus GS 450h MPG-Real World Numbers

PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 9,279
edited October 2014 in Lexus
With the price of gas being what it is, your real world mileage is becoming more important than the estimates on the sticker. This is the place to talk about your real world on the road results!

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Comments

  • alp8alp8 Posts: 656
    still hoping for more posts advising:

    what the best mpg is that you can get?

    20 or so, if you are driving it hard?

    How do you do on a typical 70 mph highway commute?

    How is it in your typical driving? (i.e. normal around town, mixed with commute- your "normal" conditions)
  • bmwconvertbmwconvert Posts: 75
    Just about done with my first tank of gas. Averaging 23.7mpg with an average speed of 25mph. Unfortunately I've only been commuting on roads with 40mph max so far and haven't had a chance to get out on the highway. I'm pleased with the economy, given the stop & go driving and many examples of stomping on the gas to show off the car's acceleration.
  • tommtomm Posts: 31
    We have the '06 RX400h -had for about a year now (paid full sticker, obviously) - mpg = high 20s average (30+ around town - with care!). Not impressed with your note about the mpg of the 450h around town - thought the hybrids did much better around town ? (vs. highway).
    Also - sure the rear-wheel drive is no bargain in the northeast, esp. with extra power of the el">link titleectric motor(s).
  • gs450hgs450h Posts: 49
    I am getting better than EPA estimates on the highway 30-31. City driving realy depends on driving habits. If I am real careful, I can get 24 but otherwise it is 22-23. For comparison, my E500, with less power, was 15-16 in the city.

    We have a 400h too and it does a little better in the city but not as well on the highway.
  • alp8alp8 Posts: 656
    Any new reports on MPG?

    I'm curious how it does on an 75 mph commute

    as well as around town (seems like that is 21-24)

    and how is it on a 65 mph commute?
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 4,098
    "Not impressed with your note about the mpg of the 450h around town - thought the hybrids did much better around town ? (vs. highway)."

    The 450h was designed purely for performance purposes, not MPG. It is a 6 with the power of an 8 cylinder engine. It fits into the same category as the Hybrid Accord (except that the 450h is a luxury vehicle, where the Accord is a normal vehicle).

    The vehicle was not intended to get good gas mileage. Good MPG takes a 4 cylinder engine tuned for the Atkinson cycle, which does not support high performance such as Lexus requires.
  • alp8alp8 Posts: 656
    "Good MPG" is in the eye of the beholder

    I'd be thrilled with 22 mpg around town, if I could get 35 on the freeway at 75 or so

    especially at the luxury and driving level that the GS provides

    Can I get 40 mpg at 65?

    Can someone please provide thse numbers and burst my bubble so I can stop oining for a GSH?

    :-)
  • bmwconvertbmwconvert Posts: 75
    There was an article in the NY Times yesterday that's probably relevant to all of the readers of this board. "Greening Up With the Jones" -- http://www.nytimes.com/2006/05/14/fashion/sundaystyles/14_GREEN.html?_r=1&oref=s- login -- about being "light green", i.e. making positive choices about the environment and conservation while not sacrificing the finer things that money can buy. (if readers can't access the nytimes.com site, I can post the entire article).

    If you're about to drop $60k on a GS450h, you must care about both luxury & performance as well as the environment & energy conservation. If you only cared about the former, you'd be buying a 430, and the latter, you'd be in a Prius.
    I think the 450h is a terrific blend, and worth the extra several thousand for a great car that, if it catches on, may help move the industry in the direction of more innovative solutions like this one. Engineering should allow us to have our cake and eat it too.
  • alp8alp8 Posts: 656
    yes, this certainly fits my mind-set

    I have solar (electric) panels on my roof

    and a great hot tub
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 4,098
    ""Good MPG" is in the eye of the beholder "

    Yup, and the 450h will get better MPG than a similar class non-hybrid vehicle. But not in the same class as a Camry hybrid.

    The same thing happened with the Highlander Hybrid and RX400h; people read the title "hybrid" and expected Prius-like MPG. It doesn't happen that way.
  • gs450hgs450h Posts: 49
    The GS 450h is an ideal blend. The only sacrifice one has to make is paying more money than would be the case for a car that was less gentle to the environment. If every luxury car on the road could get 20% better MPG and less emissions without sacrificing performance, the world would be a better place. :D
  • alp8alp8 Posts: 656
    any mileage updates? a poster in the Camry Hybrid forum noted that he gets 36 mpg at 80 mph. How close can the GSH get to that?
  • zeroohmzeroohm Posts: 7
    My commute is mostly highway with some stop and go at congestion points. Is there someone out there that has seen consistent highway mileage? I do wish the gas tank were bigger - I would like to be able to go 600 miles between fill-ups. Looks like I will be lucky to hit 475 in this car.
  • eli73eli73 Posts: 4
    28-31 mpg regularly on a 150-500 mile trips at 70+ mph including hills up to 2350 ft above sea level; 25-27 mpg in shorter in city driving. For first 3000+ miles driven, 80% highway, 20% city, avg mpg 28.2 and still rising! Last three tankfuls have averaged >29 mpg, including mix of aggressive highway and city driving. Lowest mileage during short 1-2 mile trips when electric battery is lower on charge and gas engine kicking in earlier than usual, but then still 20-22 mpg. For some reason driving in heavy rain with much water on road leads to lower mpg (25 mpg).
  • eli73eli73 Posts: 4
    Obtained 35 mpg going 65 mph for a 50-100 mile section of the Pennsylvania Turnpike on a holiday weekend when troopers were swarming. Very hard to maintain that discipline in this car, however!
  • I just got my GS 450h. It was used and had 2000 miles on it. If there was supposed to be a really thick owner's manual, then I don't have it. All I have are "Quick Guides". I can't find out how to reset the Tank Average in the display screen after putting in a full tank of gas. I thought that opening the fuel door would reset it, but it didn't. Is there something you have to do to reset it?
    Thanks.
  • ideleidele Posts: 200
    The on screen average (this is the navigation screen; don't know if navigation is absent that it's present) is long term. It resets when you use reset button on screen. There is on dashboard (you have to get it by scrolling) a tank average which resets upon fillup automatically. Also on dashboard you can scroll to get graphic display of instantaneous mpg instead.
  • Thank you for that. I'll look for the instant mileage on the dash display. I believe my tank average is not working with the gas cap opening and closing. Did you get a thick owner's manual?
  • flidflid Posts: 11
    Yes, there is a standard set of owners manuals that are in a Lexus cover/binder that fits in the upper left area of the glove box. This is in addition to the "Quick Guides".

    How did you end up with used one with 2,000 miles? Dissatisfied customer? I just got mine (have only just over 100 miles) and couldn't imagine giving it up...
  • ideleidele Posts: 200
    The average mpg on the car (never reset) now stands at 27.9 after 2800 miles. It is slowly improving as the car breaks-in. The tank average mpg (a different readout which automatically resets upon fillup) stays above 28mpg which meams the total average mpg will move to 28mpg in a little while. The GS450h is such an excellent performer that the fuel efficiency is a very nice bonus.
  • Can you please describe your driving style and typical trips. Any tricks you use to boost results?
    I am reasonably pleased with my mileage and have also seen about a 5% improvement since the car was new (I now have 4,200 miles), but I am not seeing results like you are.
    My typical tank average is about 25mpg. I've gotten as high as 28mpg, but only when on a long highway trip driving ~70mph. I use 93 octane fuel, drive more city than highway, up/down some large hills during a mostly local roads daily commute and mixed driving on weekends. 90% of the time I'm not exploiting the car's performance, but rather am driving for maximum economy by coasting to red lights, not accelerating hard from a stop and trying to run as long on the electric motor as possible.
  • alp8alp8 Posts: 656
    I'm all for trying to maximize mpg, but I think it is naive to expect the 450H to get 30 mpg or upwards

    cars like the 450H without a hybrid get, what?, maybe 16 mpg? The 450H ain't no Camry, if you get my point. To get this much performance and get 20 mpg is quite an achivement. Tons of people buy this much performance and get 15 mpg and are happy about that!!
  • ideleidele Posts: 200
    I had an RX400h for 11 months before trading for the GS450h. I only use premium gas. The kW meter teaches you that accelerating fast guzzles gas. So I do zoom on occasion but try to make the decision to do so rationally rather than stepping on the gas habitually. The long term average gas mileage on the RX400h was 27.3 mpg over 7400 miles when I traded it. On the RX400h coasting is bit easier than on the GS450h and urban mileage seems a bit better. But on the highway the GS excels, the main reason being the two stage reduction gear. If you get the GS over 55mph the cruising range kicks in automatically and stays in until you get down below 40mph. So I try to get into cruising range quickly. And I take somewahat longer routes that let me get that speed. Conversely at very low speeds one uses the battery power only and I try to use that too. I live in a hilly area, so coasting downhill when possible is standard.
    The fuel savings by itself is not a reason for buying a Lexus hybrid. It's a performance car and an excellent one. It's different in the sense that one isn't driving but piloting. It's a "drive by wire" car analogous to piloting a jet fighter (" fly by wire" by necessity since the old mechanical linkages wiould be impossible). Your fuel savings may be lower but still significant the more you emulate being a jet fighter pilot.
  • Thanks for the information on the owner's manual. The car was owned by Michael Nesmith of The Monkeys. (Carmel Valley, CA) He traded it in to the local Mercedes dealership, who sold it to the Lexus Dealer. I was told that he goes through cars very fast.
  • I'm not expecting 30 or higher. If mileage was my primary objective, I would've gone Prius or Camry. Just curious why I'm getting lower results than some other owners.
    Economy vs. performance is definitely the right way to measure this car, and on that account it's a winner. My 2001 530i got better highway mileage, but didn't come close in power/speed.
  • alp8alp8 Posts: 656
    I didn't mean my comment to sound like a critique of your post. Sorry about that. I was commenting generally on the issue you raised - not responding specifically to your concerns

    I think the 450H is a great car. I wish every BMW 7-series buyer would buy one of those. The planet would be better off, by a small margin, I admit.

    I wish Toyota would make something nifty that got 30 mpg. I am being forced to buy a Camry Hybrid, which isn't as sporty as I would like. I'd love an IS hybrid. Or a Camry Solara hybrid. That would be sweet.

    but it looks like a TCH for me. :-(
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 4,098
    "I wish Toyota would make something nifty that got 30 mpg. I am being forced to buy a Camry Hybrid, which isn't as sporty as I would like. I'd love an IS hybrid. Or a Camry Solara hybrid. That would be sweet."

    You should at least test drive the Honda Accord Hybrid. It really zips, but I have also seen people getting over 30 MPG in this car (when driven correctly).
  • alp8alp8 Posts: 656
    Hi Steve: I did drive it, but I liked the feel of the Camry better. My problem is that I want a bit more luxury or gizmos than the Accord offers. That's what I get for buying my wife a new Volvo XC90 with all the bells and whistles. :-) The Accord did not have as solid a feel as I currently want when I touch the switches, sun roof, etc.

    I think the Accord is great, but I want something a bit nicer.

    Of course, it didn't help to drive a car that had plastic wrap over all the seats, etc. I guess they need to keep them wrapped up nice in case they need to trade them to another dealer, but it does make for less of a driving experience.
  • I posted this comment several months ago and I think it's pertinent to this discussion... We need a manufacturer to produce a hybrid with a switch, similar to the sport/normal suspension setting, that will allow a driver to switch between performance and economy from their hybrid powertrain.
    I read a while back in a Wired magazine article that there's a wide range of performance/economy trade-offs that can be made and that the technology is not that complex. Toyota hardwires this today by making the Camry so much more efficient than the GS (ignoring for this argument the performance differences in the gas engine).
    A previous poster commented that the GS doesn't fully exploit its battery power because it's designed to keep a large amount in reserve to respond to demands for fast acceleration. It would be logical to let the driver make this choice depending on one's driving style at any given moment.
    Maybe Toyota's working on this for the next generation?
  • ideleidele Posts: 200
    I drive a GS450h. If you're looking for Camry hybrid performance buy a Camry and stop complaining. You appear to be unaware that the GS transmission has an S mode which allows you to shift the continuously variable transmission as if it were a six speed transmission. I never use it so I can't tell you how well it works.
    Finally let me make this statement: Don't buy a car you don't understand.
  • alp8alp8 Posts: 656
    I drive a GS450h. If you're looking for Camry hybrid performance buy a Camry and stop complaining. You appear to be unaware that the GS transmission has an S mode which allows you to shift the continuously variable transmission as if it were a six speed transmission. I never use it so I can't tell you how well it works.
    Finally let me make this statement: Don't buy a car you don't understand.


    Actually, it appears that you didn't understand BMWconvert's suggestion. The GS "button" doesn't switch the car between a "performance - 25 mpg mode" and an "economy - 40 mpg mode" - that's what BMWconvert is looking for. It's a nice idea, though not sure if it's feasible.

    It would be cool if the Camry Hybrid had a button you could push that would add performance/sportiness but compromise MPG (i.e. 30 mpg when you want to impress certain friends), and then normal mode would give you 40 mpg, but a bit pokier (to impress my granola-crunching buddies)

    and if none of us could drive vehicles unless we understood them, I think 99% of us would be walking
    :)
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 4,098
    "Toyota hardwires this today by making the Camry so much more efficient than the GS (ignoring for this argument the performance differences in the gas engine)."

    But that is just the point - you can't ignore the engines. The Camry has an Atkinson cycle 2.4L engine, and that engine with the weight of the Camry could not easily go into a "Sport" mode; there simply isn't enough power in the battery to provide the extra thrust on a constant basis. You would run out of "juice", forcing the engine to run continuously, further dropping MPG. I suspect it might do about the same MPG as an I4 Camry (or worse).

    The GS has a large engine, and you can't produce Camry-like MPG with the GS weight class and that many cylinders. I think it even uses the Otto cycle instead of Atkinson.

    Hybrid technology has the capability of allowing a smaller motor to perform like a larger motor. So there is a design choice to be made - power or economy? The Honda Accord Hybrid, and the Toyota HH, RX400, and GS chose power at the expense of economy. The Camry, Prius, and Civic chose economy at the expense of more power.

    The other problem to consider is - which setting would the EPA use to test fuel efficiency? My guess goes to the "fast" setting, to indicate worst case. All of the manufacturors are interested in upping their corporate MPG. So having "sport" modes on the engine (even if it were possible) would not be useful to the automakers.
  • Let's relax a minute skeptics... I'm not suggesting turning a GS into a Camry, but rather a subtle but meaningful difference in the economy/performance balance based on the driver's desire at any given time. Say 10% or so for argument's sake -- worth 2 or 3mpg. It doesn't have to be so complex.
    For example, how about letting the electric motor run to 30mph instead of 20mph as it is now? A little tweak or two like that would probably add up. It would hardly take reengineering the whole thing. It's just a different setting in the control systems. I'd use the economy for commuting and switch to the performance when I want to enjoy the ride.

    There's precedent for this with normal/sport suspension settings and the normal/sport switch on the automatic transmissions of many luxury and sports cars.
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 4,098
    "For example, how about letting the electric motor run to 30mph instead of 20mph as it is now? "

    If it had been possible to allow the electric motor to run longer, Toyota would have done it. They were restricted as to the size of the battery. Consider that Toyota is interested in maximum MPG, just as much as you are.

    Toyota optimizes the HSD for the vehicle implementation. The GS was designed for power and comfort, with slightly better MPG than an equivalent ICE only car.
  • ideleidele Posts: 200
    Compared to an Audi A6 4.2 I owned a few years ago, the V8 of which is a comparable powerplant, I'm now getting almost 47% better overall gas mileage. That's more than "slightly better MPG than an equivalent ICE only car".
  • alp8alp8 Posts: 656
    Compared to an Audi A6 4.2 I owned a few years ago, the V8 of which is a comparable powerplant, I'm now getting almost 47% better overall gas mileage. That's more than "slightly better MPG than an equivalent ICE only car".

    exactly (although I had heard that the 450H compared to even more powerful sport sedans, but your numbers are more conservative, so better for any analytical discussion)

    there is this mythology that the GS450H gets bad mpg, since it doesn't get 40 mpg

    The GS is not comparable to any other car that gets over 25 mpg. It is comparable to cars that get 15 mpg, 20 at best

    no, it is not going to save the world from OPEC

    but if everyone that bought a 15 mpg gas burning performance sedan bought the GS450H instead, we'd have a 50% (at least) increase in fuel efficiency in that segment, and that ain't bad

    I guess we could do better if we simply outlawed the entire segment. I have no interest in that sort of approach, however, nor do the great majority of American drivers, I would bet.
  • flidflid Posts: 11
    I like this response; it's logic is sound. I now drive a new GS 450h with just under 1,000 miles on it. My average on this tank of gas is 27 MPG (maybe a quarter tank left) and on the overall average I reset after the first tank of gas I am at just under that (26.8 or so). I sold a 3 year old Toyota Land Cruiser in which I was averaging just over 16 MPG before buying this vehicle - I feel like I am making a difference in consumption. However - and perhaps more importantly - the larger contribution to the planet may, in fact, be the lower emissions...

    But, most important to me is that this car is really fun to drive and it is a green luxury!
  • Here are three suggestions for Toyota that could be tied to a "switch":
    1) Switch the engine from six to three cylinders when in "economy" mode,
    2) Let the battery discharge more than is needed for performance when in "economy" mode. (Recharging of the battery would rely more on braking and less on the engine. Which, of course, leaves less battery reserves for the take off but should result in higher city MPG.)
    3) Reduce the power of the electric motor by only engaging a portion of the motor coil. Less power = higher efficiency.

    Toyota created an amazing machine and I am not criticizing the car at all. It would just be fun to have the switch that others have suggested. And there are ways to do it that would work. Think outside of the box that Toyota built.
  • alp8alp8 Posts: 656
    like this response; it's logic is sound.

    Thank you, flid. I consider that very high praise.

    Congrats on your new car. You've made almost a 100% improvement in your fuel economy. That's a pretty nice statement.

    I am not one of those environmentalists that criticizes anyone who doesn't drive a 50 mpg vehicle (or anyone who drives anything), and I am pretty hard core in my environmental beliefs. If we could get every car owner to make SOME positive adjustment (like yours), we could have a real impact on our country's energy independence, and have a positive impact on our local and global environment.

    Now how can we get you to turn off the air conditioning in your 5,000 square foot house, once in a while? ;-)
  • From the editor of hybridcars.com:
    "I have heard about a performance vs. economy switch. An executive from Toyota was talking about it several months ago. Then, I gave a call to an engineer at Toyota who tossed aside those comments as marketing hype, saying that it's not nearly so easy. The entire system needs to be built to support a certain level of performance/efficiency, and you can't simply switch from one to another, with adding a ton more complexity and cost. That's all I know."

    In line with prior comments. I thought it would good in theory, but real world engineering issues are another story.
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 4,098
    "Compared to an Audi A6 4.2 I owned a few years ago, the V8 of which is a comparable powerplant, I'm now getting almost 47% better overall gas mileage. That's more than "slightly better MPG than an equivalent ICE only car"."

    YMMV. Driving style has much more influence on a Hybrid than an conventional car. Does the average GS owner wish to "baby" the vehicle to get maximum MPG?
  • alp8alp8 Posts: 656
    Driving style has much more influence on a Hybrid than an conventional car.

    Is that really true?

    My primary ride is not a hybrid. Depending on how I drive it, I can get 21 on the highway or 24.5 on the highway. That's a pretty significant difference. And I'm not talking about driving 80 versus driving 55. I'm talking about the difference between rapid acceleration and gentle acceleration (and operating at 70 versus 80) The difference in my commute time is probably 1 minute, and I get there less stressfully. It's been eye opening for me. I should have started this practice ten years ago.

    The average GS owner likely has at least some desire to get good mpg, or he would have bought a different car. He could get the same performance but much worse mpg had he bought something else. But he chose to buy the H, for some reason. Not saying he is gonna baby it at every turn, but he might baby it on occasion (as I am with my non-hybrid)
  • ideleidele Posts: 200
    Of course driving style counts. I compared the Audi V8 I once owned with the GS hybrid since they are both luxury perfornce sedans. The Audi loses fuel efficiency tremendously in stop and go situations. On the other hand, the mpg at interstate speeds of the Audi is quite comparable to the that of the GS hybrid, about 2 mpg less for the Audi. As I mentioned before, one learns to save floorboard acceleration for situations that either demand it or by a conscious decision. The launch effect of the GS hybrid is better than the Audi.
    I'm not yet at 3000 miles but the average mpg over the car's lifetime has moved up to 28 mpg. It's not unexpected because the tank average mpg consistently stays above 28 mpg.
    I mentioned in a prior post the S mode that is on the gearshift. The S mode lets the transmission mimic a six speed. I have never used it. If one has a stick shift, one knows to keep the car in the highest gear to improve fuel efficiency. It might be possible with the S mode to do something similar to increase mpg.
  • This idea is going to sound crazy to many, but would it be possible to modify the 450h to make it a plug-in for better effective gas mileage while retaining the performance it has now?
  • I've wondered this myself - The way they do the plug-in conversions on the Prius is to replace the nickel metal-hydride battery pack with a lithium ion pack, and then hack the cars software to allow for greater charge and discharge.

    From what I've learned, the reason they do this is because NiMH batteries lose efficiency when they are fully charged and discharged over time - so it works great to start with, but the batteries gradually lose charge-recharge ability and therefore massively decrease the life of the battery and fairly quickly reduce performance.

    Li-ion on the other hand, take full recharge/discharge cycles without any real problems, but they have a fixed number of cycles before the die completely - think of a 2-3 year old cellphone or laptop, the battery suddenly stops holding as much charge and you have to replace it.

    For the plug-in Prius, this apparently means you get a couple of years of extreme economy, and then need to replace the battery pack.

    According to an interview with Toyota engineers I read, this is why they haven't pursued plug-ins - the battery technology is not there to support it for the 8-10 year life they need to get on the batteries. At least not yet, there's a lot of research going on into batteries, so the problem should resolve over time.

    What I've wondered about is leaving the NiMH batteries in place, and supplementing with Li-Ion that plugs in with a suitable micro-controller to feed from the Li-Ion batterines into the NiMH pack - which would allow you to use the battery for longer on full electric before the combined battery drops below the 30% mark that apparently triggers the engine to come on.

    Of course, that would probably mean you'd lose most of the rest of the trunk space...
  • So, someone else has thought of adding Li-Ion to the standard NiMH batteries - http://www.hymotion.com

    Don't have a product for the GS450h yet, but do for the Prius and Escape - if you're interested, I suggest you e-mail them at [email protected] to let them know there is a market for it. Cost is about $10K and will significantly increase MPG - you won't pay for the cost in gas savings, but the impact on the environment, particularly reduced greenhouse gas emissions would be significant.
  • eli73eli73 Posts: 4
    At 10400+ miles, 70% highway/30% city driving, average combined mpg is exactly 28 mpg. Highest mpg on 150+ mile trip is 31; usual average mpg is city driving is 25 mpg.
  • ideleidele Posts: 200
    I have about 4350 miles on my GS450h. Average mpg for life of car 28.1. That's almost 50 per cent better than a comparable V8. Performance is much better than any other car I've owned with its faster cornering, instantaneous acceleration, drive by wire steering, etc. The design of the car gets many favorable unsolicited compliments.
  • I am astonished by the mileage you and others have reported on this forum. I've got about 7,000 miles now. I was averaging around 23.5 - 25mpg per tank in the summer and fall, but that has now dropped to 22 - 23mpg in the mild winter in the NYC area so far. I drive a mix of 80/20 around town and city vs. highway. I do not drive with an overly heavy foot and do my best to economize. I do leave the air conditioning and heat running, and sometimes use the seat heaters. The gas engine does seem to run more often in winter than summer, even when it's warmed up.
  • ideleidele Posts: 200
    I live in a mild climate but even so I"m surprised by your relatively poor mileage. Your city mileage is a much higher percentage than mine.
    Watch the kW dial and the tank average display (you have to put it on display) as you accelerate and notice what it's costing you. That will help you discern the situations where you may be wasting gas. Also are you using premium gasoline as specified? Still, I believe you're doing substantially better than an equivalent V8 powered model.
This discussion has been closed.