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Toyota Prius MPG-Real World Numbers



  • It is your short commute (3 miles) which is hardly enough to warm up the car. On the bright side the same occurs with conventional cars except that you still get better MPG with the Prius. Take it for a long drive (a trip on the HWY and another trip in the city) and see if it is better.

    Enjoy your new wheels!
  • I hate to be the one to break it to you, but I found out the same thing; a short commute kills gas mileage as it takes the Prius 10 minutes or so to charge the battery so that you can run on battery assisted power. After that 5 to 10 min interval passes, your mileage will increase significantly. Take it on a long road trip and watch what happens.
  • Wow, thank you all for your responses, I thought I was going crazy... Thanks, really. :D
  • chiplchipl Posts: 3
    Would hate to see what my Subaru 2003 Baja would get doing a 3 mile commute My commute is 10 miles taking 20 to 30 minutes depending on traffic along back roads.

    Right now I get 20mpg in the Baja, the 32mpg by prius2007's experience would be nice to see. And looking at the site, the low of 37mpg on the 2011's I have sights on would be even better.

    Thinking of doing a rental from the dealership I plan on buying from for this coming weekend to see what my typical driving might bring. Hefty price tag for the Prius for some of us.
  • sthogesthoge Posts: 28
    On my 2008 Prius IV, I get around 45 in the winter and 52 in the summer. I also have a 10 mile commute each way to and from work. It is mostly flat with a couple of hills. The speed varies between 35 and 30 mph. It usually takes around 10 to 15 minutes for it to warm up, then the graph shows a great increase in mileage. Mileage is calculated by hand and tends to be around 2 to 3 mpg below the displayed average.
  • I agree with you Chip, it is a hefty price tag. I found a 2010 Prius II with 45,000 miles on it for $15,400, and I am very happy with it . . . averaging 49 mpg (51 mpg according to the optimistic Prius computer).

    Also, the rental is a good idea and you can see what kind of mileage is delivered by your commute conditions. As they say, "Your mileage may avary".
  • gopriusgoprius Posts: 15
    51 mpg calculated after fillup. car's computer said the MPG was 54.6 MPG.

    Trip A will be reset after each fillup and Trip B will be used to look at the long term mileage...
  • hansjhhansjh Posts: 2
    I have done this for the last 13000 miles (bought it new). On average, my calculated mpg are about 3 less than Toyota calc's when measuring just one tanks worth. (Your Trip A) I get anywhere from 51 to 48. (Significantly lower in winter when temp is down). My longterm (your Trip b) measures 51.8 over last 13000 miles, but calculated it is more like 49.2. Toyota does not calculate averages very accurately.
  • New to this board and have found it incredibly helpful while choosing a new car! I just bought my 2010 Prius III last week. After 1 tank and around 470 miles, here is my data:

    Computer 54.3 mpg
    Calculated 50.2mpg

    My drive is 60-70% freewaY. My primary job is 60 mile commute on primarily flat highway. My 2nd job is 20 miles on hilly backroads. Hoping to get my next tank closer to 55mpg... been working on driving techniques I have been reading about around the boards, yt, etc.
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,992
    For your 60 mile highway commute, what sort of speeds are you driving. For me there's a pretty big MPG difference between a constant 65mph and a constant 75mph. If you can keep your speed closer to 60mph even better.

    And if you think about it, driving 60mph for your 60 miles will take one hour. If you drove 72mph, then it take 50 minutes. If you drove a constant 60mph you'd probably get close to 60mpg, so that would be on gallon of gas. At 72mph it might be down to 45mpg and you'd use 1.33gal of gas, or about $1.25, or about $2.50 round trip, or about $12.50/week or $600/year.

    The question is whether or not the $600/year is worth the extra 10 minute commute each way. That's a personal decision. My commute is only 20 - 25 minutes depending on my speed, so for me I keep the speed down to increase my MPG, plus it gives me a chance to listen to more news on the radio driving to and from work.
  • litesong2litesong2 Posts: 44
    Use 100% ethanol-free gasoline. 10% ethanol in gasoline loses 2-4% btus compared to 100% ethanol-free gasoline. Also, gasoline engines do not have high compression as actual ethanol engines would have, to be able to access the full energy in ethanol.

    Go to to find the 5100(& rising) stations that sell 100% ethanol-free gasoline. Thousands of drivers switching to 100% ethanol-free gasoline show mpg jumps of 6-8%..... some people say they get even higher mpg jumps.

    Also, gasoline engines running on 100% pure gasoline(no 10% ethanol blends need apply) will run smoother, quieter & have less need to shift down while ascending hills.
  • For my 60 mile commute, I would say I typically have the cruise set at 65mpg. There is a 5-6 mile stretch where the speed limit is 55, so i tend to slow down to at least 60. I wouldnt care about a 10 min longer commute, but i might have someone up my you know what if i slow down that much! LOL :)
  • 2nd tank info-
    Calculated 53mpg Computer 56.5mpg. I was doing really well on my current tank. Computer was reading 61.5... then it got hot out and I succumbed to AC! Now down to 58.5 per computer.

    Question-what are the "ranges" for rpm based on the eco bar? Sometimes i feel like i need alot of umphh, even into power zone to accelerate up any incline.
  • gt50mpggt50mpg Posts: 2
    Just traded my 2009 Prius II with 36000 miles for a 2012 Prius III. I have a vanity license plate GT50MPG and I hate to lie. Over the 36000 miles I averaged 52.2 MPG hand calculated. Was very happy with the 2009. Only [non-permissible content removed] was the "bladder gas tank". I Drive to Columbia Maryland every year and have been averaging 54.1 MPG until this year when I got 55.1 MPG and that is through the mountains, all hand calculations not Toyota computer. I get this because I have discovered the great benefits of drafting on the vehicle ahead. My favorites are Semi's but any vehicle with a slightly higher profile will work, and contrary to popular belief, you get the benefit of the draft (5 to 10 MPG) up to 5 car lengths behind the lead vehicle. I live in Michigan and another trick I learned is when the weather turns cold, consistently less than 50 F, block off about 3/4 of the front grille air intake to help the engine warm up faster and stay warmer during your trip. My results were 47.5 MPG without blocking the grille air intake and 49.2 blocking the grille air intake, again hand calculations. I also increased my tire pressure by 3 PSI which did not seem to effect handling or tire wear. I anticipate that my new 2012 Prius will be everything and more than my 2009 Prius.
    Any Comments or new tricks appreciated.
  • Help!!! I took my car to the dealer thinking it was a bad wheel bearing. I had just purchased the car 2 weeks beforehand so they offered to repair free of charge. It ended up being just 2 tires unevenly worn so they gave me two new tires. Yesterday I noticed my gas mileage creeping down from 58 to 56mpg. On the freeway, I normally get 60-70 mpg and last night was barely 50. I inflated all tires to 40psi like I had previously. The 2 new tires say a max psi of 50 unlike the old ones (and current other 2) that say 44. Any thoughts?!! :surprise:
  • XCEL,
    Another great techique is what I call "Fuzzy Cruise Technique." First never use cruise control on the highway. Cruise T your chosen speed and do not maintain your target speed. For example say you are on a 65 mph freeway. On the flat you maintain 65 MPH or use the Pulse and Glide technique. As you approach a hill do not press down on the accelerator to maiintain 65 mph. Try and hold a fixed throttle position and allow the speed to slowly decay as you climb the hill. Usually you will lose 5 to 8 moh depending on the size of the hill. Once at the apex of the hill keep the steady throttle position and the vehicle will accelerate back to 65 mph or higher. Bank the speed. Also if the downhill is steep enough on the backside you can glide downhill and charge the battery.
    I have gotten 13 mpg over the rated Highway mileage using this technique on a 65 moh highway. (60.8 mpg on a 200 mile leg)Of course, this technique should only be used in the slow lane(right lane) of the highway and don't do it if you have tailgating traffic behind you in a 2 lane road.
    I wish Toyota would give us a a two stage cruise control with a choice of a Hard or Soft cruise setting. The Soft setting would allow the speed setting to be fuzzy and allow a decay of speed down to a certain limit. Instead of soft cruise they could call it maybe, Eco Cruise. The problem with Hard Cruise is as soon a the speed drops the engines revs up high trying to maintain set speed. A waste of gas in my mind. That is why you should never use cruise control on hilly terrain. :shades:
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,992
    So now you have two different sets of tires on your car, plus the new ones have more tread/traction, hence more friction and worse MPG. Maybe those two things combined accounts for your worse MPG. Plus it's getting colder out and maybe in your area they've started using the winter blend of gas, and in general colder weather increases the need for the gas engine to run more often.
  • I just filled up my new car for the second time. I discount the first time since it was filled by the dealer and a hand calculation was in the low 50s. This time, I got about 8 gallons in the car. Hand calculation showed 49mpg. The computer read 51.6. That all seems consistent with what I have read here.

    This is a great car. The ride is great. I have to learn how to ignore the displays. I tend to use the one that shows EV, ECO, and PWR modes. I try to keep it near the middle if possible. To get where I live, I have to drive up 1000' for about 5 miles. I get in the 20s when I do that. On the way back down, I get close to 100mpg. I note the car seems at its best when you are going in the mid 40-50mph on fairly level surface. Most of my driving is "open road" at about 60 or so. It appears I will get near 50 on the type of driving I do. I think that is great.
  • Awesome its is so nice to see others who are knowledgeable about ethanol. Plus I might add. Scientists knew that adding ethanol will decrease the shelf life of gasoline and cause massive damage to older cars if left sitting longer than 6 to 8 months without flushing the gas lines & tank.. Ethanol is one big lie and people are starting to realize this.. Ethanol causes billions a year in damages. Yet they say its good for us.. yeah driving food prices through the roof.... Everyone needs to boycott Ethanol. And yes I see a 10% increase in mileage in my 93 civic vx "45 mpg" but soon will be adding a 2010 Prius to my collection. I love that car.
  • dmathews3dmathews3 Posts: 1,739
    I like you just filled mine for the first time. Except I put 4010 miles on it and only added 4.9 gal of gas. Oh ya, I own a Chevy Volt. :shades:
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,992
    Have you been able to accurately calculate the electricity cost for the home charging for the 4010 miles? It would be about $300 to gas a Prius for 4000 miles at 50mpg & $3.80/gal.
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,992
    I just finished a round trip between Ohio and South Carolina and averaged about 47-48mpg in my '06 Prius averaging 65-70mph going up and down the appalachian mountains. I pretty much used the cruise control all the time, even in the mountains because there was little traffic and it made the long drive easier. I thought it would be better not to use the cruise control in the mountains, but manually speeding up and slowing down while going downhill and uphill didn't seem to help much with mpg. What I would do occasionally is on long and steep uphills is tap down the cruise a little bit at a time if it seemed like it was revving too much, but only to drop the speed from the low 70s mph down to 65mph. But then I wasn't driving for max mpg but more to balance mpg with getting to my destination in a timely manner. At some point I'll get a newer Prius, but I don't like the interior style of the Gen3, plus the interior feels cheaper than my '06.
  • rinimarinima Posts: 1
    Great, so you prepaid over $10k on gas.
  • I do a weekly drive of 2x200 miles on the fwy with speed limits of 65, 70 and 75 mph, with a 10 miles hilly stretch and the rest flat. If I keep up with the traffic, I need to drive between 70 and 80mph. Most literature on Prius say the mpg drops significantly above 50mph. I am considering buying one, and wondering what to expect for mpg at those speeds. Comments on your experience appreciated.
  • If I can drive a steady 60to 65 mph, I get about 52 MPG. If I am in heavy freeway traffic being pushed to keep up at say 70to 80 mph I will get 46 to 47 MPG.
  • bimmer4mebimmer4me Posts: 266
    edited March 2013
    I drive to my parents home once a month; 300 miles round trip all hwy. My average speed is 70-75 and received 51 mpg. In the city I only acheive 47-48.
    Those numbers are calculated the old school method. If I go by the computer, the mpg is much higher.
  • I have a 2011 Prius 111 with 17000 mi and I consistently get 48-9mpg at 70-75mph. love it!
  • Hello Posters, Just had to send in my findings with my prius, I bought a used LOADED Prius , with every option they had for 2011, The car is the first car I can get a REAL 50 mpg driving at 70 MPG in colder climate 0 minus 10 F to 90 degrees F in the summer I can get up to 60 MPG still driving 70 MPG .
    I am planning a trip of 4000 miles this summer. I have all the bells and whistles on this car for long range driving including air, cruise, stereo NAv package ,Teck package leather seats sun roof Solar package.
    It is great to drive all day and pay less for gas than I will pay for Hotel at night.
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  • rsquagliarsquaglia Posts: 1
    edited May 2013
    i drive a 2007 Prius touring model and have been keeping detailed accurate records from time i bought the car new. i have both MPG per the car display as well as MPG gas Pump average. I live in Seattle WA, drive on some hills, do mostly in-city short trip driving and some occasional highway driving. My average gas milage per the gas pump calculation for the over 6 years I have been driving the car is 40.8 MPG, and for the car's display average calculation, it is 39.96. I get better than that on the highway during warmer weather, but even less than that in the city during colder weather. Don't let anyone tell you differently, the Prius's ratings are as overstated as any other hybrid cars.
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