Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Toyota Prius MPG-Real World Numbers



  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    I wish I had my Prius when I used to commute into Manhattan from No Jersey back in the 80s/90s. I did take a 'trial run' a couple of years ago from Jersey across the GWB, down the FDR to 71st and zig-zagged across to 7th Ave then went down to the Holland Tunnel.

    50-ish mpg up to the GWB.
    55-ish mpg in 'normal' traffic across GWB
    60-ish crawling down the FDR
    35-40 mpg zig-zagging across Manhattan!!!
    70 mpg running down Bway/7th Ave and out through the Holland Tunnel at 20-25 mpg
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    I do the same.. drive til the last bar is lit and then fill up. I normally put in 9.5 to 10.2 gal depending on how quickly I can find a station. I also find that 475 to 525 is the 'normal' number of miles for these 10 gal.

    Watch out for overfilling though. There are two risks...serious risks, Check for a more detailed explanation.
  • scott,

    It's a well known fact that calculated individual MPG numbers can be misleading. I was always "skeptical" of posts of calculated individual tank MPGs and want to know what the previous and next tank calculated tank MPG is. This would be the case for any car, but more so for the Prius due to the fuel bladder.

    There is a simple way to get around it: the MFD MPG is accurate on a tank by tank basis. These are the numbers quoted in my posts. Now I know how much you doubt anything >50 MPG as indicated in a number of your posts. Those of us who track both calculated and MFD MPG have proven that the MFD MPG > than the long term calculated MPG by ~2%. As an example since Apr'07 to now my calculated total MPG is 57.6 vs. the weighted average of the MFD MPG of 58.6. The MFD MPG is > than the calculated MPG by 1.8%. I would say that is not material. However on a tank by tank basis you can have much larger differences for the reason you correctly stated.

    I think for some reason you're motivated to disprove anyone quoting MPG numbers > 50 as evidenced by many of your posts. You even went as far as doubting pictures of MFD MPG saying it doesn't show the first 5 minute bar ... and the first 5 minutes is always low.

    When I've a chance I'll post my pictures of >60 MPG tanks and pictures of some of my typical commutes (and just 4 u include the first 5 minutes). If you don't want to learn or apply how to maximize the potential of the Prius you don't need to discredit those who do and please don't turn off others from trying by saying no one consistently can and achieves >50 MPG.

  • scottc3scottc3 Posts: 137
    Wow, is this fun or what?

    Yes, I doubt the 'normal' driver will consistently get over 50mpg. I do believe it can be done if you drive on a flat road, no going up-hill.. not passing anyone, and going the speed limit. I have seen numbers on my car that show this (>50mpg).. but let's be honest, most of us don't drive on flat roads all the time, most of us do not drive at 50mph on the freeway, and there are external factors that prevent most of us from getting >50mpg.

    I would like to see the 1st 5 minutes shown.. I have been told this is when the cat-converter heats up and the motor runs most of the time. Now, you may be able to shut the car off - after being run, then turn it right back on again and see a 1st 5 min graph in the 50 area.. but I know you would not do that.

    Honestly, I'm not out to prove anyone's numbers wrong, we all have the same car.. but road conditions vary, as to terrain we drive on / in, as do driving speeds.. so you being able to get >50mpg is great news.. bet I could too if I drove where you were. I would need to coast when you do, basically 'follow you' and I would get the same mileage.

    Oh, I don't think comments of 50mpg (I get 49.2 'normally') turns off anyone from getting a Prius.. this should encourage them. I do think if a new buyer reads some posts, and thinks they will get >55mpg, they will be disappointed.. and if they think they will get >60pmg.. we are misleading them. In the next 100 buyers, perhaps 1 will see 60mpg.. most will see close to 50mpg however.

    I hope this has cleared up any Prius Smashing that you may have felt.

  • oldcoacholdcoach Posts: 28
    I own a new 2008 Prius and I am getting 47.6 MPG after about 3 thousand miles. We do not baby the car and my wife runs AC all the time. I have been told the MPG will increase after 5000 miles. Have saved about 300 dollars in gasoline in 3 months. :) :) :)
  • scottc3scottc3 Posts: 137
    Hey.. way to go.. I also monitor my savings.. had a Honda Van and an older (1990) BMW. I was spending $400/month.. now about $150 - and I drive a fair amount. My 2008 Prius is 8 months old, have 11,500 miles on it. I average about 49mpg.. and love it. If you have read these posts, you know others are getting >60mpg, but don't plan on this. I think you always see around 48mpg if you don't change your driving habits - like turning off the AC and really 'baby-ing it' - then you may see 50mpg, but not sure it's worth it - of course, up to you.

    Welcome to the Prius world..

  • fseaverfseaver Posts: 13
    It depends what goodies you got with the vehicle.
  • I have a 3 year old Prius. I drive 60 miles per day 4 days a week. (50 HWY, 10 city). i have never had less then 50 mpg !! good grief, my mileage is more like 57 mpg (i wish i could post a picture here) with over 660 miles on a tank (stop filling by the pump, no further gas added). I live in a gently hilly region. To me 55 mpg is easily achievable.
  • scottc3scottc3 Posts: 137
    These posts of >55mpg seem like the 80/20 rule. Well, the 90/5/5 rule to be more exact. 5% of the Prius drivers get >55mpg, some get >60mpg.. but this fall in the 5% also. 90% of the drivers will get between 48 and 52mpg, and the final 5% will get 60mpg.. hummm.. something must be wrong with our cars!

    You own a great little car, and it will serve you well. Be happy with it no matter where in the MPG spectrum you are.

  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    The GreenHybrid database is by far the most representative presentation of what the real world results are for a statistically significant population.

    Yes there are extremes of drivers getting over 60 mpg and under 40 mpg... however the histogram is very very accurate in that the middle 50% is between 45-50 .. on average ... over an entire continent's driving. The results therein reflect Canadian and Dakota type winters and Arizona summers; Rocky Mtn driving and dead flat Florida driving; NYC driving and Texas plains driving.

    The Median value for the entire population for all kinds of drivers over millions of miles of driving in all kinds of conditions is 47.7 mpg. That's the best guideline on average for anyone new.

    Special conditions may results in this unusual statement.

    Your Mileage May Vary
  • cdhccdhc Posts: 11
    I always get over 50MPG on my 2008 Prius. I bought my car this past December, and each month my average MPG keeps getting higher. My current average is 54.5. I have a commute that involves 30 miles of highway driving, and the best part is in the mornings. Once I exit off the freeway I take a 2 lane street, and average 37 MPH. I can go about 3 miles without the gas engine coming on at all. If you let it, this car will teach you how to drive it by giving you the immediate status of what's happening in the drive train.
  • sthogesthoge Posts: 28
    This summer I saw an average of around 54mpg, Highest with when it was real warm weather, and since I don't use the air conditioner, it got 56.5, ran 530 miles on a little over 9 gallons of gas. Now that the cold weather is here in eastern washington, it's dropped to around 51.
  • I own an '04 Prius with over 90 K miles and there is a small trick to gain 1 to 2 extra miles by doing this.....Next time you're filling up when you're done filling reach over to the pump stand and shove the "stop switch" with your hand. Then squeeze the nozzle and shake the hose while still in your fill hole. You'll get 3-5 oz's. Some pumps more than others. But you definitly get some more gas. Over the yrs I've done this and it all adds up. By the way....The most I ever got with one tank was 546 miles. I've never ran out in all these yrs. Lord knows I tried. Amazing Hybrid Car!
  • jana6jana6 Posts: 17
    I have a 2007 Touring Package Prius. I have been keeping track of my gas mileage the old fashioned way as well as what the car computer says I get. Other than a VERY FEW times, my calculations are always lower than the car, sometimes by 4 mpg. As far as I can figure, it should average out but that is not the case. Does any one know why there is such a major difference?
  • cdhccdhc Posts: 11
    I've got an '08 base model, and I haven't had that problem. The computer is within 1 mpg mostly, sometimes 2 mpgs of what I actually get. And its on both sides, higher & lower. I don't know what you're averaging, but I had been getting 54.5 on average, and after getting a couple of other tips from this forum I'm now up to 57.5 average. In fact I gassed up today getting 57.7 actual, and the computer showed 58.1.
  • jana6jana6 Posts: 17
    Unfortunately I am only averaging about 47 mpg per the car but more like 44 actual. I coast as much as possible and have tried just about everything to get better gas mileage. I had read that the Touring package results in lower gas mileage but it shouldn't be that much. I know that Consumer Reports has reported averages more like 42 mpg than higher. I guess there was a big stink about them claiming 60 mpg when it was really much lower so the average claimed now by Toyota is I think much less than 60. I'm excited for you being able to get that great mileage. Sure wish I knew why I'm not and why my car is trying to trick me into thinking I'm getting better than I am! Thanks for replying.
  • cdhccdhc Posts: 11
    I would really like to see you get better mileage. Here's some tips that I can offer, in case you haven't tried some of these. I had written a lot of these tips for a salesman at the Toyota dealership. I'm sure you're already doing a lot of these things.

    Keeping the battery as fully charged as possible is where you need to focus. Since we don’t plug our cars in at night, there’s a few tricks. The #1 best way to charge the battery is when you are coasting at a speed with your foot off the accelerator. This charges the battery more quickly than braking or the gas engine charging it.

    Speaking of braking. That’s another subject. The car has regenerative braking as well as conventional brake pads. Regenerative means that energy is going back to charge the battery. You can learn to control this. When you use the brake pedal lightly, it is in regenerative mode. When you use a medium or firm brake pedal, braking is done by way of the brake pads, and the car is not capturing as much energy to charge the battery.

    The next thing I’ve learned has to do with basic physics. It takes more energy to push a car that has its front wheels turned to one side than a car that has its front wheels straight. What this means is that whenever possible, I do not press the accelerator pedal during a turn until I’ve straightened the front wheels. I accomplish this by having enough speed before starting the turn that I have time to straighten the wheels again before applying the accelerator. Can you always do this? – No. You may have people behind you or you might otherwise need to stay with the accerator during a turn. But doing it whenever you can is where the benefit is.

    I used to drive more with the regular flow of traffic, 10 mph or so above the speed limit. Now that I’ve got a car that can literally give a very wide range of gas mileage, I try not to drive over 57mph on the highway (unless I’m in a real hurry), and I find that not very many people stay behind me on the road which gives me much more opportunities to work the accelerator pedal in such a way that the car is charging the battery as much as possible. The highlight of my day is on my morning commute. There is a 2 lane city street in Houston (Windfern) that’s more like a drive in the country that I take every morning after getting off the beltway. I can drive for about 5 miles on this street without the gas engine coming on at all. The speed limit is 35, and I go about 37-38. I’ve noticed that speeds above 40 tend to keep the gasoline engine on rather constantly.

    It takes learning some new tricks, and allowing yourself to be taught how to drive again, and not by a driving instructor, but by a car that gives you a visual indicator of what’s happening in the drive train.

    I did a Google search early on after getting the car, and I stumbled on this film clip of a group of a dozen or so people in Japan that are known as ‘hybrid hackers.’ They have hacked into their Prius’ computers, and get over 100 mpg, and in the case of the one lady in their group she gets 150mpg out of a Toyota Prius. I know that hacking into the computer would void my warranty, so I’m not going to that extreme, but I am working with the car by way of ‘massaging the accelerator pedal’ rather than just depressing it to go.

    I hope this helps. The main thing is to take a deep breath, and don’t allow yourself to be in such a hurry. When you drive more relaxed, you will see an improvement. The more it improves, the more you challenge yourself to keep getting higher & higher gas mileage.

    Also I keep all tires at 40PSI
  • jana6jana6 Posts: 17
    Thanks for the hints. I do many of them but not all. I do watch the energy monitor probably way more than I should (!??!!) so I know some of what you are talking about. I'll definitely try more of the suggestions. I do travel on the freeways and go faster than 57 mph just to keep up with traffic so I'll work on that! I knew I needed to keep the tire pressure higher than the suggested but wasn't sure what that was so thanks for that as well. I live in Las Vegas so I wonder if the extreme heat causes problems? I really don't see any difference between winter and summer mpg. I wonder if my computer can be "fixed" at the dealership to at least reflect the actual mileage I am getting rather than always showing 4-5 mpg better than actual, hmmmmmmmmmm. Once my warranty is gone, maybe I can find a hybrid hacker! Okay, maybe I shouldn't say that. But that does tell me that it's my computer that is affecting my gas mileage some. Again, thanks for all the hints.
  • re: "I did a Google search early on after getting the car, and I stumbled on this film clip of a group of a dozen or so people in Japan that are known as ‘hybrid hackers.’ They have hacked into their Prius’ computers, and get over 100 mpg, and in the case of the one lady in their group she gets 150mpg out of a Toyota Prius. I know that hacking into the computer would void my warranty."

    I read about Japanese hypermilers but not that they achieved >100MPG through as you stated hacking the computer. Perhaps you like to provide the link to this story? Good / great mileage can be achieved without hacking the computer.
  • re: "I wonder if my computer can be "fixed" at the dealership to at least reflect the actual mileage I am getting rather than always showing 4-5 mpg better than actual"

    You always going to have a variance between the MFD MPG as compared to your manual calculation. How do you know that you filled up to the same level as your previous fill? Do the calculation and you'll find just a small variation will have a great sensitivity to the MPG numbers. Added to this complexity is the fact that the Prius has a fuel bladder that expands / contracts over time and its flexibility depends on outside temps. The level of fill-up depends on pump shut-off (some pumps shut off sooner); how fast you fill-up; how level your car is; and temps. Because of all these variables the MFD MPG is more reliable on an individual tank basis. In the long run the MFD has been found ~2% (only) more optimistic than manually calculated MPG over the same extended period.

    As an example I had my Prius now for 18 months and have driven it for 27K miles with 62 fill-ups. My life-time weighted average MFD MPG is 59.4 compared to 58.3 calculated. On an individual tank basis some tanks have large variations but overall 1.7% difference only.

    I don't advise to hack the computer instead recommend to study up on the car on where you can get lots of great tips from many experienced Prius owners.

    Good luck,
  • ...and that's why I don't put much stock into individual tank calculated MPG numbers. However individual tank MFD MPG numbers are very reliable as well as manually calculated numbers over many tanks.
  • cdhccdhc Posts: 11
    Trying to find it this time around, I'm having trouble finding the same video. This url is along the same lines, and I saw some others on a Google search that appear similar too.
  • phd86phd86 Posts: 110

    I think you answered the question yourself; what people "claim" in reports on the internet is not necessarily what they actually got. There are various possible reasons for this, such as incomplete refills and reporting only the highest calculated outliers. But the idea that you're doing something "wrong" by getting only 44 mpg; ummm - - - I think you're beating yourself up over nothing.

    Quite a few people I know drive the prius where I work; we also have some in our fleet that I've tried. They all get low to mid 40's mpg on average. Nobody gets even 50 mpg, and none of them post on edmunds.

    Hope this helps you feel better.
  • What has become routine:

    ...followed by many more and higher MPG numbers.
  • re: "I think you answered the question yourself; what people "claim" in reports on the internet is not necessarily what they actually got. There are various possible reasons for this, such as incomplete refills and reporting only the highest calculated outliers."

    how is this possible given your stmt?!!!
    link title
    I finally broke the 100 mpg/tank barrier! On 9/16/08 I filled up with 8.58 gallons after traveling 867.4 miles for 101.096 mpg.
    link title

  • phd86:
    re"Nobody gets even 50 mpg, and none of them post on edmunds."

    Is that so?!!! Then what is this: :confuse:
    link title

    HMMM phd really does mean "Pile it Higher and Deeper"!!! :cry:
  • I have a 2008 prius with pg 2 and have driven just over 5000 miles and my real MPG is 48.6.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    Further on your point one has to be aware of the 'forest and trees' concept. Watching each and every tank average on the MFD is not really useful for all the reasons that you noted above. It is a best an indicator. The only real values that should be used are miles driven / gallons pumped. Nothing else matters.

    Due to variabilites beyond our control from the gas station to the fuel tank/bladder to the outside environment watching one tank or another is far too specific ( looking at a tree ) to have any concern. Only after accumulating a sufficient amount of data can one really determine what the vehicle truly is using in fuel. This will take a year or two ( the forest ). And the result will be be about 47-48 mpg.

    A couple of other important suggestions:
    1. Short trips are death on fuel economy. You can see this on your MFD every day that you drive. Look at the first 5 min bar on the CONSUMPTION screen. It will almost always be 25-35 mpg. THIS is the anchor that is holding down your average fuel economy. Having to overcome this first 5 min of relatively inefficient driving brings down your daily/weekly average. DON'T TAKE SHORT TRIPS!!!!!

    2. DON'T STOP - EVER!!!! This may seem ridiculous but no vehicle can overcome Newton's First Law of Physics. Succinctly a body at rest will remain at rest unless a superior force overcomes it's inertia. When you come to a stop light or stop sign normally you will stop the vehicle. It takes a huge amount of energy to get the vehicle rolling again. That energy always comes from the ICE through burning fuel. Now some of it may have been stored in the battery previously so it's the stored energy that first gets you rolling away from a light but all that does is deplete the battery quickly such that the ICE has tokick in sooner and replace the used energy in the battery reserve.

    You will likely get your best fuel economy on a 30-60 min trip where you never have to stop and you must keep to driving at about 35 mph due to traffic or to road laws. I've averaged 65 mpg for such a 50 mi trip.

    93,000 miles with a lifetime average of 2.1 gpc used ( 47.9 mpg ).
  • jana6jana6 Posts: 17
    Thanks phd86. And I do think you are right that a lot of people don't get above 50 mpg. I checked out the one file (adobe) and read all it had to say. I really understand better why I'm not getting the 50+ mpg and that does make me feel better too. My drive to work every day is only 15-20 minutes and I do a lot of short trips to the store, etc. As for actual vs what the computer says, I've been keeping track since about March and I'm going to put together a spreadsheet to see what it averages and to show the dealer. For me, there is a big difference between the two and the actual is normally quite a bit less than the computer. I would think it should average out. I understand about the bladder, not filling it completely full, etc but... Again, thanks for your reply.
  • jana6jana6 Posts: 17
    I read through the Adobe article as well as your info again and thank you. I do have a question. Why is it better to glide than to coast when coasting charges the battery? Isn't charging the battery better in the long run? Shouldn't the Energy Monitor battery showing green vs blue best?
Sign In or Register to comment.