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Toyota Estima - Hybrid - Fuel Consumption


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Hello folks

I have 2.4 Hybrid Petrol Toyota Estima.

I've had it for a few weeks. It's drive well, very spacious and lots of cupboards....decent family car.

However, I'm really concerned with the fuel consumption.

A full tank is around 60litres of petrol (approx) and it has returned 250 miles. I have driven a mix of local and motorway and sensible speeds.

Is something wrong with this car ? Considering its a Hybrid...that's really excessive fuel consumption. Am I driving it wrong or is there a fault ?

Any ideas anyone ?

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So have you filled up yet, and by how much? Toyotas tend to illuminate the low fuel warning not when the tank is nearing empty, but when the reserve is reached (which could be anything between 5 and 15 litres depending on model)

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I've filled it up 3 times now.

The first 2 times I filled it when the fuel bar was on 3-4...

This time I've let it go on empty (no bars showing) and orange full warning sign.

Fuel cost was around £85 for approx 60litres of fuel (unleaded).

There is a B gearbox slot I can drive the car in...I've noticed the car tends to drive more on the Battery when this is selected. I've also discovered the EV button.

When the EV button is pressed the car drives on electric upto approx 15 mph...which is pretty useless...if that went to 30mph...I could use it on local roads....which would be good.

 

Any ideas ?

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Usually with hybrids the B position is the equivalent of engine braking, used on long descents - which if used otherwise will increase your consumption.

Have a look at Hybrid driving tips for best fuel economy - Toyota UK Magazine

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John, as Frostyballs said, B is usually a mode to assist with engine braking, particularly for going down steep hills where if you were in a manual car you would be dropping down a gear or two to help. B is NOT Battery.

Use of EV button is limited, you do not have a pure electric vehicle. If you did you would be limited how many miles you could travel before Battery was empty. Back in 2006, when car made, Battery technology was very limited. So Toyota brought out the Hybrid, that still has an engine which weighs a lot, and a hybrid battery to help out. It means you could travel from Surrey to top of Scotland and not have to plug in to recharge, just keep enough fuel in the tank. That trip in an all electric vehicle in 2006 would mean charging up every 120 miles, if you could find a charging point. EV mode for 2006 would mean providing enough energy to get the car moving (which takes a lot of petrol) and move in slow moving traffic. It is going to be limited. For sure, Toyota could have fitted a bigger hybrid battery, which would have weighed a lot, meaning you couldn’t carry as much passenger/storage weight, and taken up physical space, again cutting down on passenger/storage space. Even today with hybrids life is a compromise, but until pure electric vehicles can do 400 mile on a charge and there are more chargers (working) available  a lot vehicle owners are happy to compromise with a hybrid, and that is if compromise is the right word to use.

In my 2016 Prius, 10 years younger then your vehicle, technology has increased so I can do around 28mph as an EV, but I would need a full hybrid battery to eek out 2 mile, on a flat road, and being very light footed on the  accelerator. But that is good enough for town stop start traffic, and occasionally, only occasionally can I do it. Life’s a compromise.

Just learn, first of all, what all your controls do. If you thought B was for battery use, mistaken, big time. Go on you tube and see videos of how you can get the best out of a hybrid vehicle. And don’t use fuel gauge markings as proof of mpg. Brim full to brim full, preferably using the same pump at the same petrol station if you want to get any sort of reliable figures.

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15 hours ago, Catlover said:

And don’t use fuel gauge markings as proof of mpg. Brim full to brim full, preferably using the same pump at the same petrol station if you want to get any sort of reliable figures.

Maybe I'm a bit anal, but I've been doing this on all my cars since 2016 🙂

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Forcing the car into EV does more harm than good. The computers, even on the older ones, are constantly working out how to best use the Battery or engine to capture and store energy.

Forcing it into EV mode drains the Battery further, meaning the car will try it's hardest to recharge it again afterwards. That will be impacting your fuel consumption as it charges back up.

In reality, and the principle is identical now with the modern hybrids, the Battery is there to capture spare energy, whether that's running the engine slightly harder so it's more efficient or recharging the battery when you're slowing down. Even when you're on the motorway, the motors and battery will be being used as part of that balance. The only real difference is the newer batteries can charge and discharge more quickly, and hold more power for their size/weight.  With that comes scope for more powerful motors etc.

60 litres for 250 miles does sound low though, that works out at about 18mpg. Looking at fuelly etc. seems to give around 25mpg (UK) for the Estima Hybrid. I'm not sure how accurate that is or what is expected though.

Remember as well that things like having the heat up too high will make the car use the engine more so that it can heat the cabin. Winter has a big hit on hybrids. Plus, getting the knack for hybrid fuel efficiency can take a bit of time.

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That's certainly a low mpg.....my 3 litre V6 does better than that.

As has been said...driving style, Winter weather, shorter journeys etc all take their toll.

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TBH, the Estima is a really heavy barge, and the hybrid system in it is one of the older ones, gen2 or gen3 I think, and were not great for efficiency. IMHO they were very underpowered for the Estima. The biggest advantage it had over the conventional ones was lower CO2 emissions, but as an efficient drivetrain it was a lot like the Prius+ - Better than the petrol ones but not by a huge amount and not close to the diesel ones.

I think the general expectation for the hybrid Estimas was 40mpg tops, on an optimal run, but for short journeys, carrying lots of stuff, hills etc. it could easily drop into the 20's.

You can check e.g. the wheels are freely turning and there's no problem with any of the bearings or brakes binding. Also when was it last serviced? And what oil was used? Hybrids are very sensitive to the oil - Using thicker oils can take a chunk out of the mpg (As we found in the early days when some dealers were using 5w30 instead of 0w20!)

 

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Cyber, it’s a couple time now I seen you negative on the Prius+ and I wonder why? I not had. Prius+, but always thought it was. Gen3 Prius with different shape body. That shape body made it a 7 seater but not cutting through air as efficiently as a standard Gen3. My Gen3 on the day I traded it in, on a 100 mile journey did 66mpg, so I presume a Prius+ would probably have done 60mpg. Isn’t that diesel territory (for a 7seater vehicle).

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On 1/28/2022 at 9:46 PM, therealhyper said:

Hello folks

I have 2.4 Hybrid Petrol Toyota Estima.

I've had it for a few weeks. It's drive well, very spacious and lots of cupboards....decent family car.

However, I'm really concerned with the fuel consumption.

A full tank is around 60litres of petrol (approx) and it has returned 250 miles. I have driven a mix of local and motorway and sensible speeds.

Is something wrong with this car ? Considering its a Hybrid...that's really excessive fuel consumption. Am I driving it wrong or is there a fault ?

Any ideas anyone ?

Hi, i have a 2012 estima exactly same as yours as its 2.4L and i find it hard to convince me its a proper hybrid, love the car it ticks all the boxes as i have 3 kids, but im not totally convinced it's efficient on fuel either, i drive 22km to work on motorway and same back, then little driving the weekend locally, i put about €35-40 petrol a week so not cheap but reliability is where u save as far as i can envision, lets remember the price of fuel has rocketed too sadly, hope this helps

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30 minutes ago, Catlover said:

Hi Eamonn, why you not totally convinced your car is not a proper hybrid?

Hi, no its hybrid for sure just sometimes fuel consumption wise it doesnt feel like it at all, i thought they would be more fuel efficient, although they weight approx 1.7Tons with no load onboard so that's a factor too

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OK...understand....but it's a big old sturdy barge and from what I hear the hybrids are not quite as frugal as people think they are going to be.

Driving style and Winter weather (with more systems running) plus shorter runs have such an impact on fuel efficiency of course.

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17 minutes ago, RUToyota said:

OK...understand....but it's a big old sturdy barge and from what I hear the hybrids are not quite as frugal as people think they are going to be.

Driving style and Winter weather (with more systems running) plus shorter runs have such an impact on fuel efficiency of course.

I agree with everything you say, they are a big oul bus in fairness but given what i know now im still glad i bought it there fantastic, but yes the jury is still out for hybrids indeed, thanks for your info appreciate it

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Are there any petrol only Estima, or whatever name in other countries?       
What mpg are they getting?

what are the quoted mpg for those hybrid models?  
 

sorry not your figures, saying you travelled so many Kim’s and put x euros in is not accurate enough. To get any sort of accuracy you need to fill up until the pump hose clicks, note the Speedo reading, do journeys, when your rank down go back to the same pump, fill until it clicks, note the Speedo reading. You should get a decent reading. The more you travel and the more fuel you put in the more accurate the reading becomes. Other then that you never really know what the fuel consumption is.

If a petrol model does 20mpg, and an hybrid model does 25mpg, then that is a 25% advantage, manage 27mpg and that is 32% betterment.

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I don’t know whether RU and Eamonn are undecided about hybrids in general do hybrid Estimas. 
 

My Prius is very frugal. Twice I have done journeys and finished up with 92mpg and 96mpg. The former was the day I picked up the car, so new to me, and it was a 100 mile journey.  Just yesterday I did a 16 mile return journey, 9deg C outside, so not good hybrid weather, but it returned 72mpg. Of course the Prius was designed to cut through air, and is Toyotas most efficient hybrid car, and the Estima is a tank by comparison.

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55 minutes ago, Catlover said:

I don’t know whether RU and Eamonn are undecided about hybrids in general do hybrid Estimas. 
 

My Prius is very frugal. Twice I have done journeys and finished up with 92mpg and 96mpg. The former was the day I picked up the car, so new to me, and it was a 100 mile journey.  Just yesterday I did a 16 mile return journey, 9deg C outside, so not good hybrid weather, but it returned 72mpg. Of course the Prius was designed to cut through air, and is Toyotas most efficient hybrid car, and the Estima is a tank by comparison.

That's some mpg i knew prius were extremely fuel efficient but not that good, but estimas are so much more heavy so that's enough said really, i got in October so maybe summer weather might be able to pick up couple more mpg hopefully

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52 minutes ago, Catlover said:

I don’t know whether RU and Eamonn are undecided about hybrids in general do hybrid Estimas. 
 

 and the Estima is a tank by comparison.

That's my point....re. the Estima....I just get the feeling that peeps buy into the hybrid part believing that the are going to see far better mpg...but you are right..it is a bit of a tank and it's never going to be that frugal whatever power source you have.

I have the 3 litre V6 and tbh the difference between that and the 2.4 4 pot really isn't that big in terms of mpg..and I just prefer the lazyness and potential performance of the V6...

I'm not saying you can't make some savings with hybrid...simply that those savings are perhaps not as obvious as people may think in a vehicle like the Estima.?

Whilst I have no need or intention to buy a hybrid I fully accept their usefulness and economy and I certainly am aware of just how good the Prius (in particular) is.!

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The problem is the earlier gen HSD systems had very poor torque characteristics, esp. from the ICE - This meant they couldn't move anything heavy and maintain their levels of mpg, as the miller/atkinson-cycle petrol engine would have to rev much higher than even a regular petrol engine to get the same torque, which obviously has a negative impact on mpg.

The Prius+ could get maybe low/mid-50's mpg IIRC, but fully loaded that would tank quite dramatically to being not far off the petrol Verso, and it was all because of the disproportionate penalty the extra mass had on the HSD. That's why the diesel Versos just blew it out of the water the same way my Mk1 Yaris diesel blew the original Yaris Hybrid out of the water for performance and mpg, because the diesel cycle is just better at hauling heavy things - You just can't beat high-torque+low-rpm with low-torque+high-rpm.

The Estima has the same problem - That Miller/Atkinson-cycle 2.4 and the electric motors they put in it are just not adequate to move something so heavy, so they are always running outside of their most efficient rev ranges, and it just gets worse the more people are in it. I honestly think if they'd paired the 1.4D4D with the E-Four system in that thing it would have been dramatically better.

They do have the potential to get higher mpgs than the regular petrol models, but you have to dramatically change your driving style, and give absolutely no thought to other drivers to have a hope of doing so.

But to be fair all the older HSD's had the same problem when they stuck it in a big heavy car, even the Lexus barges.

 

It's like I was always saying since the original Gen2 Prius - Toyota underpowered the engines in all the earlier hybrids; It seems like it's taken this long for them to realize this and do something about it, which is why the current gen HSDs get so much more mpg than the older ones, and also feel much more powerful.

In the latest ones, they've given them a lot more low-end torque from both the electric motor and, somehow, the petrol engine - This means they don't have to rev so high and have a wider maximum-efficiency band, so you don't even have to drive them efficiently to get good mpgs (I certainly wouldn't be getting 70+ mpgs in a Mk3 if I drove it the way I drive my Mk4 :laugh: )

I'm sure anyone who has gone from any of the previous-gen HSDs to the current one has noticed the dramatic difference in response and behaviour of the two systems. I can get quite a move on in mine without having to crest 3000rpm, whereas if I tried the same thing in the Mk3 it'd probably be red-lining :laugh: 

They really need to bring the new drivetrain to all their models - I reckon if they took the new Rav4 drivetrain and stuck it in the Estima, it would be dramatically better in both acceleration and efficiency than the existing ones!

 

To be fair tho', the Estima isn't about efficient transport - It's an incredibly opulent and luxurious vehicle to be moved around in, esp. if you get the 6 seater with the reclining seats with integrated tables and foot rests! I never understood why Toyota stopped selling them here. Maybe it was stepping too much on Lexus' toes? :laugh: 

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22 minutes ago, Cyker said:

 

 

To be fair tho', the Estima isn't about efficient transport - It's an incredibly opulent and luxurious vehicle to be moved around in, esp. if you get the 6 seater with the reclining seats with integrated tables and foot rests! I never understood why Toyota stopped selling them here. Maybe it was stepping too much on Lexus' toes? :laugh: 

Your summation is correct....and should not be expected to deliver high mpg...it isn't (or shouldn't) what you buy an Estima for.

I bought mine 6 years ago for the sheer comfort and luxury, reliability, build quality (and the V6 if I'm honest)..the mpg element never came into it as I don't do enough miles to worry about it (5k p.a. max).

It's been an incredible vehicle...no issues, just normal service stuff and passes it's MOT every time and thus far with no advisories..it is simply a pleasure to own and drive...and that V6 is sublime.!!

Like you I never understood why Toyota stopped selling the Estima/Previa in the UK....for me, there's nothing to match it.

 

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Yup; You want efficient, you get a Mk4 Yaris (and a crippled spine); You want comfort and the ability to plough through all road surfaces and a functioning spine, you get an Estima :laugh: 

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37 minutes ago, RUToyota said:

Like you I never understood why Toyota stopped selling the Estima/Previa in the UK

At the time Toyota stopped Previa sales in the UK, the exchange rate between Japan and European countries made the Previa relatively expensive, plus Toyota couldn't compete with the heavily discounted European produced MPV's such as the Ford Galaxy, VW Sharan, Seat Alhambra, etc. Also vehicles produced in Japan and sold new in the EU market are subject to tariffs, which would have added to the issue.

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1 hour ago, RUToyota said:

Your summation is correct....and should not be expected to deliver high mpg...it isn't (or shouldn't) what you buy an Estima for.

I bought mine 6 years ago for the sheer comfort and luxury, reliability, build quality (and the V6 if I'm honest)..the mpg element never came into it as I don't do enough miles to worry about it (5k p.a. max).

It's been an incredible vehicle...no issues, just normal service stuff and passes it's MOT every time and thus far with no advisories..it is simply a pleasure to own and drive...and that V6 is sublime.!!

Like you I never understood why Toyota stopped selling the Estima/Previa in the UK....for me, there's nothing to match it.

 

I concur with every single word you guys have said, its luxury at an affordable price cant be matched, i am thrilled with it and have no plans to sell it for years, 

 

1 hour ago, RUToyota said:

Your summation is correct....and should not be expected to deliver high mpg...it isn't (or shouldn't) what you buy an Estima for.

I bought mine 6 years ago for the sheer comfort and luxury, reliability, build quality (and the V6 if I'm honest)..the mpg element never came into it as I don't do enough miles to worry about it (5k p.a. max).

It's been an incredible vehicle...no issues, just normal service stuff and passes it's MOT every time and thus far with no advisories..it is simply a pleasure to own and drive...and that V6 is sublime.!!

Like you I never understood why Toyota stopped selling the Estima/Previa in the UK....for me, there's nothing to match it.

 

I concur with those replies..They are pure luxury and plan i on keeping it for years the family love it as do i, i would still take it over your SUVs flooding the market, ut ticks all the relevant boxes i bought it for,im a huge fan of space and comfort so say no more, European built Toyota's are no match for their country of origin manufacturers the great Japanese with denzo parts and superior reliability.

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