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Toyota Echo Real World MPG



  • That is interesting. Nealy all my tanks over 50mpg have probably been on 85 octane, which seems to produce considerable mpg in my experience. But it may be caused by some other factor, like different driving conditions/habits when out of state (85 is not available in my homestate). Of course, I have no understanding of the science behind any of it.
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    Supposedly octane has nothing to do with how well the engine runs. I have noticed however my mileage drop immediately upon the advent of winter grade gas each year and improves again in the spring with summer blend.
  • Octane itself should not have an effect.... but alcohol will. The more alcohol by volume in the fuel, the less energetic it is. Winter grade fuel with 10% alcohol will require you to push on the pedal harder to go as fast, or accelerate as hard. I've seen my MPG drop by as much as 10% due to that alcohol.
  • We have 04 Echo 5 speed. We get 32 mpg city to 48 mpg hwy. We use 92 or 93 octane. Owners manual calls for at least 91 octane. No power with lower octane. Look in your manual and see for yourself. ;)
  • Which method of calculating Octane do you use? RON, or MON, or the US method of averaging the two different numbers? (R+M/2) We typically see 87, 89, and 91 sold at pumps here.

    87 (R+M/2) is typically the same as 91 as calculated with the RON process.

    "Gasoline pumps typically post octane numbers as an average of two different values. Often you may see the octane rating quoted as (R+M)/2. One value is the research octane number (RON), which is determined with a test engine running at a low speed of 600 rpm. The other value is the motor octane number (MON), which is determined with a test engine running at a higher speed of 900 rpm. If, for example, a gasoline has an RON of 98 and a MON of 90, then the posted octane number would be the average of the two values or 94."
  • Hmmm yeah i dont believe I've ever even seen 93 octane. But my cars have always run great on the cheapest gas I could find.
  • I've driven the Echo for 10 years on the lowest grade of gas sold, and gotten consistent 40-41 MPG with US gallons. I don't run AM/PM mini mart gas, as my mileage always was less, running that fuel. First brand to routinely use 10% alcohol in the US.

    When the mandatory federal 10% alcohol add was done a few years ago, my MPG went down 4 MPG, running the lowest grade of fuel. High 30's, rarely seeing 40. When I had been getting 43 MPG doing mostly highway driving.

    Just started using the mid grade gas.... first time I refilled the tank at the half way point, I was getting 43 MPG.

    If this holds up through a few tanks, it will work out to lower costs and less fill ups for me than running the lower grade gas.
  • this does make sense as colder air is more dense which make the computer add more fuel.
  • Update: Just re-filled with 89 Octane, and calculated the MPG... 43 and change.

    388 miles on 8.9 US gallons.
  • We have 2004 Echo in winter we get better MPG with higher octane. If u look in owners manul is tells u to use 91 octane or higher. We had new 2000 Echo it got better milage then r 04. Don't figure :confuse:
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    Maybe less alcohol in premium? That is the mpg killer. How much does your MPG vary summer to winter?
  • It is as much as 10 mpg less. Must be alcohol. Summer we use ac that should drop mpg.
  • ctgriffictgriffi Posts: 3
    So, I've got a 2003 Echo (4-door, automatic, factory 15" wheels, factory front/rear spoilers) with about 130K. It's been very reliable and repairs have been minimal, except for an AC compressor replacement around 100K, to the tune of $800 (!). BTW, I do have a Rostra cruise control unit that I added a few years ago, which makes the Echo a far better highway cruiser.

    I'm not really thrilled with the car's mileage, but let me explain: I really only check it when my wife and I are on a long road trip—the car loaded with luggage, the AC cranked to full blast, and traveling about 78mph (~3100 RPM). Also, we've only ever put 87 octane gas in this car; I've never heard that Echos benefit from premium fuel.

    Given those factors, the best I've seen is about 33mpg. More recently, we took a long trip to the Gulf Coast, and we had 2 adult bicycles on a trunk-lid rack. With this setup, my average sunk to 29mpg over the 1000 mile trip. :(

    Anyone care to comment on this performance? Are these normal numbers? Is something amiss?
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    For an automatic, and averaging 78 mph, your numbers are decent.

    The manual would do several points better, and you could be into the early 40s with that and a 10 mph speed reduction.

    I have averaged 46-49 mpg on trips between SF and San Diego, holding the speed to 65 mph (and mine is the 5-speed) and not varying it too much except to pass.

    Isn't that Rostra a great cruise? Mine still works like the day it was new, at 160K miles. Well worth the money for making highway cruising easier and also improving fuel economy. The Toyota people are idiots for not making cruise a factory option on all the Echos and Yarises.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • rj2112rj2112 Posts: 8
    Something seems to be amiss, IMHO.

    I'd check the usual suspects.... air pressure in the tires, and the engine air filter. I'm sure the auto tranny costs you a bit of MPG, but it shouldn't be on the order of 7-10 MPG. If you have many hundreds of lbs of stuff in the car, that will also affect the MPG.

    I am consistently getting 40+ MPG with mid grade gasoline, compared to high 30's on lowest grade.
  • I've never had a single tank anywhere close to as low as 33mpg (I got 39 once, mostly city driving in cold weather--I think that was the worst). I average 48mpg highway over the life of the car, mostly around 60-65. However, I've had many tanks right at or slightly above 50mpg at @70-75mph in long stretches of MT, WY, CO, and UT.

    But instead of an auto I have a five speed, no air conditioner, otherwise stripped, and I would just guess am a lot more conservative driver than you are. It is possible to significantly exceed estimated mpg if you drive carefully, but 78mph with air conditioner, you should get less. Yours sounds about right to me.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    edited May 2011
    which I use liberally when the weather is warm is, I think, one of the reasons I can never quite get to dephinusorca's superlative fuel economy numbers.....another is that I never drive below the speed limit, I usually set the cruise to speed limit + 2.

    And I know someone posted that the difference between manual and auto shouldn't be all that much, but in the Echo it is quite extreme. The automatics made much worse real-world fuel economy.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    Yeah with my ECHO I could be in 5th at 35 mph. With my Yaris with automatic transmission Im getting 35-36 city driving to work in summer. Whereas with the ECHO I got 40-41. In winter its worse. 36-38 with manual in the ECHO and as bad as 28 mpg this winter with the Yaris with auto.
    With my manual ECHO on the highway at a steady 60 mph I got 53 mpg once! One of the few times I drove it on the highway.
  • echothatechothat Posts: 8
    You and I have about the same car. 2003 Echo automatic 4-door with 165k miles. My city mileage this week was 44.9. Sorry about your 33. Yikes.

    I keep about 38 pounds in the tires, front and rear. Air filter is clean. Car has nothing in it, but me and a carseat for my kid. I coast aggressively. Turn off the car at traffic lights. 5w30 oil is always full. Coolant looks good. I ride with the windows up, but cracked a little. (It's starting to get too hot to keep doing this, however.)

    Park head out in parking spots to keep down idle time. I coast to the end of the driveway. When you get in, get yourself settled and buckle up before turning on the car. Don't let anyone drive your car for about a week but you. Somebody else's habits will throw off your experiment. Keep your speed to no more than a smidge over 40, which is where you slip into the highest gear.

    Leave earlier and take your time. Slow down when you approach a light to let the other people trip the sensors to get it to change. That way, you can roll up to it and never have to stop. Also, park in the shade.

    Fill your tank no more than half way to keep down your car's weight. When you get low, fill back up to half a tank. The tank has 11.6 gallons. Leaving out half a tank saves you about 46 pounds. Wouldn't you take out 46 pounds of unneeded stuff?

    That's about it.
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    Leaving your tank half empty will encourage water condensation on the inside of it. As the car ages (and ECHOs are old now) this will affect injectors, the fuel pump etc. 46 pounds isnt by itself going to affact mpg all that much.

    Just FYI. You make the call...
  • echothatechothat Posts: 8
    Thanks. I appreciate the info. on the condensation.
  • rj2112rj2112 Posts: 8
    As I am running a 5 speed, most basic 2 door model ECHO, I have to wonder if we are comparing apples to apples. The statement about not having 85 octane available makes me wonder if you're in the US or Canada. Canadian Imperial gallons are about 20% larger by volume than a US gallon.... that would explain why you are seeing MPG 20% higher than what I am.......
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    85 octane is used in higher altitudes. It would not be good at sea level..
  • ctgriffictgriffi Posts: 3
    Well, thanks for all the ideas, everyone. I do keep a close eye on tire pressure (33psi) and the air filter, rj2112, and I religiously change the 5W-30 oil myself. But, I don't think I'm willing to change all of my driving habits (or give up AC!) to eke out a few more mpg.

    We got this car from Carmax about 5 years ago, and although they reportedly examine everything thoroughly, I can't help but wonder what might have happened to the car before I bought it. (As an aside, within a week after purchasing, we had to bring the car back to Carmax; it was shaking badly because a couple engine mounts had failed—something that Carmax is supposed to check during their inspection process.)
  • I'm in WA State, so no imperial gallons for me. I have a 2000 echo, 2 door 5 speed, totally stripped (it doesnt even have a clock). The only repair in the life of the car (in mid 130k now) aside from belts, fluids, and brakes (routine maintenance) has been a mass airflow sensor. I always use the cheapest gas I can find, which in WA means 87 octane from Safeway or Arco. On summer trips to the Rockies I buy 85, which is available out there. I've calculated the vast majority of tanks over the last 70k miles and average 46mpg total over that time, 48mpg highway (obviously the vast majority of my driving is highway). I drive pretty gently: steady speeds right around speed limit, slow down to time stoplights, avoid using brakes, etc.
  • Maybe the car was abused before you got it. But I did just notice that the 2003 automatic is only rated for 36mpg highway, according to the new system. At 78mph, with air conditioner, loaded up...33 doesn't sound bad. At 65mpg and no air conditioner I bet you'd exceed govt estimate, though as you say it may not be worth it to you.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    I will slow down for better fuel economy, in fact that is the express reason I stick to the speed limit, but I won't limit A/C use for a couple mpg - I use it all the time when the weather is hot. And it's hot a solid 4-5 months a year, I'm in California.

    The worst mileage I ever get is not in the summer with the A/C running constantly, but in the coldest part of winter, because the car takes longer to warm up (and I often idle it for a bit while I wipe the windows so I can see out, and so the defroster will work as soon as I get on the road).

    The per-tank mileage is very consistent for me in this car: 40-41 mpg in summer, 42 in spring and fall (less A/C use, mild nights), 39 in winter. That is for my typical suburban driving, including my commute which only sometimes has traffic. A trip out of town on the highway will net me a 5-7 point gain.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • mnmanmnman Posts: 34
    Oops, I hit enter.. and the title was posted, but I wanted to say my '01 does about the same for MPG. But every once in awhile I can get a 50 MPG on a 60 mph trip. And I will always use A/C when needed. Just like at home, I have it to use and I will use it when needed . I've had the '01 Echo since 2003 now, it's been technically totaled out two times now, and the last time we were on a Judge Judy show to make a settlement. 150K on her, but the old Toyo just keeps going, but it does feel the pain of the Northern Wisconsin roads up here compared to the Twin Cities where we drove before. It now is shadowed by the big logger rigs and 3/4 ton Ford pickups around the area. Soo... I am learning all about replacing sway grommets, etc. Wisconsin gas is right up there- and still at $4 per gallon close to June. Chow for now, Mark in Winter, Wi.
  • rj2112rj2112 Posts: 8
    FWIW I bought my ECHO from Bremerton Toyota, in 2000. Another stripper, 5 sp 2 door, with an AM radio. Manual windows. After 5 years I added a CD player. I've done the brakes, and replaced the struts. 3rd set of tires.

    It spent the first 50K miles driving between Port Orchard, and Redmond, WA. Nasty drive. The next 60K or so saw me going from Pt Orchard to Dupont, WA. Then from Pt Orchard to Hillsboro, OR. 5 years of driving between Hillsboro and Rainier, OR.

    Now I drive 48 miles one way to work in rural VA. The car has about 210K on it and it's needed basic maintenance.

    My GPS tells me that my average speed over the last 3,000 miles is 48 MPH.

    I have observed that if you refill the tank at the half way point, the MPG is considerably lower than if you run the tank all the way down. Lower 30's. If I run to the blinking light and then fill, I get 41-43 MPG running 89 Octane.

    In the same conditions, with 87 Octane, I get 35-38 MPG.
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