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Prius Fuel Economy


Brian Paling
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Hello there, this is my first visit to this site since buying a T Spirit on March 1st this year.

Generally speaking I am fairly satisfied with the car, the build quality is up to usual Toyota standards and the ride, comfort and performance are all I would expect from a family car. But here's the rub - one the attractions in choosing this car was its' exceptional fuel economy which is claimed to be 65.7 mpg for the Combined Cycle and 67.3mpg for the Extra Urban, but try as I might, I am unable to achieve anything better than 53 mpg.

I have had my local dealer check the car over and they confirmed that there was nothing wrong with the car and that 53mpg is about correct. I found this unacceptable and contacted Toyota(GB) who advised that these performance figures are independently supplied by The Vehicle Certification Agency and apparently they are derived from data from laboratory tests e.g. rolling road with fan to simulate wind speed etc.

My question is - are there any Prius owners out there who have achieved these VCA figures?

Overall it's a fine car, but not perfect - for example what genius decided to have the rear wiper parking vertically and also located on the nearside so that the offside(drivers) doesn't get wiped?

Brian Paling

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Hello Brian,

I've only had my T4 since June - so not had mine much longer than you.

First off, I don't think your current mileage is too far off what others get to begin with. The thing with the Prius is that the mileage you get is quite dependant upon many factors - some you'd expect just as with a normal car others not quite so much.

Things that can affect fuel consumption are:

Tyre Pressure: higher is better, I use 42psi front, 40 rear.

Temperature: warmer is better

Journey type: Short trips really kill mpg because the prius will always run the engine for a minute or two just to get everything up to temp.

High Speed Cruising: Although very aerodynamic once you get over 65mph mpg suffers quite quickly.

As a guide if I am on motorway I will tend to use Cruise Control set between 65 and 75 depending if I am in a hurry or not. Then I'll get about 59 - 57 mpg.

When travelling on slower roads another milestone seems to be 42mph. Above this and the engine is forced to rotate to protect the electric motors so the efficiency is hit slightly, keep below this (provided it's sensible) and your mpg will be better.

My 12 mile each way commute on rural roads usually returns me 60+mpg.

There is a wealth of discussion and comment on this topic to be foung on the Yahoo Group http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/Prius-UK/

give that a look over for more comments.

Vic.

Hello there, this is my first visit to this site since buying a T Spirit on March 1st this year.

Generally speaking I am fairly satisfied with the car, the build quality is up to usual Toyota standards and the ride, comfort  and performance are all I would expect from a family car.  But here's the rub - one the attractions in choosing this car was its' exceptional fuel economy which is claimed to be 65.7 mpg for the Combined Cycle and 67.3mpg  for the Extra Urban, but try as I might, I am unable to achieve anything better than 53 mpg.

I have had my local dealer check the car over and they confirmed that there was nothing wrong with the car and that 53mpg is about correct.  I found this unacceptable and contacted Toyota(GB) who advised that these performance figures are independently supplied by The Vehicle Certification Agency and apparently they are derived from data from laboratory tests e.g. rolling road with fan to simulate wind speed etc. 

My question is - are there any Prius owners out there who have achieved these VCA figures?

Overall it's a fine car, but not perfect - for example what genius decided to have the rear wiper parking vertically and also located on the nearside so that the offside(drivers) doesn't get wiped?

Brian Paling

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Hello there, this is my first visit to this site since buying a T Spirit on March 1st this year.

Generally speaking I am fairly satisfied with the car, the build quality is up to usual Toyota standards and the ride, comfort  and performance are all I would expect from a family car.  But here's the rub - one the attractions in choosing this car was its' exceptional fuel economy which is claimed to be 65.7 mpg for the Combined Cycle and 67.3mpg  for the Extra Urban, but try as I might, I am unable to achieve anything better than 53 mpg.

I have had my local dealer check the car over and they confirmed that there was nothing wrong with the car and that 53mpg is about correct.  I found this unacceptable and contacted Toyota(GB) who advised that these performance figures are independently supplied by The Vehicle Certification Agency and apparently they are derived from data from laboratory tests e.g. rolling road with fan to simulate wind speed etc. 

My question is - are there any Prius owners out there who have achieved these VCA figures?

Overall it's a fine car, but not perfect - for example what genius decided to have the rear wiper parking vertically and also located on the nearside so that the offside(drivers) doesn't get wiped?

Brian Paling

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Hi Vic, thanks for your quick response and I'll certainly try putting a bit more air in the tyres. Presumably this does not compromise safety and/or wear? Anyway I'll keep you posted, particularly after my membership of the Prius Yahoo group has been accepted.

Brian

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Hi there,

I'm currently averaging 60.00mpg (60.10 today!). I think it would be impossible with my routine to get much better than this. I drive about 60 miles a day, half being motorway and half across the New Forest where the speed limit for most motorists (BMWs & 4WDs excepted) is 40mph (I do around 45 depending on visibility and wildlife). On the motorway I vary between 70 and 75 with the occasional macho burst!

Even driving down to Devon recently which entailed lots of hills and the odd traffic jam I averaged 59.7.

So all in all I'm pretty pleased with my 2001 Prius.

G.

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Brian, you're welcome. No I don't think increasing the pressure will adversely affect safety but it will make the ride a little bit harder - still if you try it and can assess how much better mpg it gives you, you can then make your own decision about a tradeoff between economy and comfort.

Good luck on the yahoo group(s) - I should warn you that although it's mainly a UK group quite a few members contribute from across "the pond" so watch out for US vs Imperial gallons (ours are bigger).

Vic

Hi Vic, thanks for your quick response and I'll certainly try putting a bit more air in the tyres. Presumably this does not compromise safety and/or wear? Anyway I'll keep you posted, particularly after my membership of the Prius Yahoo group has been accepted.

Brian

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I've had a TSpirit since July and my wife and I are extremely pleased with it.

MPG? Our first trip was up to the lake district and back, with some touring in the hills. avg 57mpg. Our second tankful was a lot of short journeys around town, avg 54mpg. Our second tankful is again mostly short journeys, but avg is currently about 58mpg.

Things I've noticed:

1) if you fill up then do a longish drive, you can get a high initial mpg figure (I got 76mpg for my first 12 miles!). This then gets nibbled down, but it feels nicer than filling up at the end of a trip and doing a short uphill drive which started my average off at 38mpg :crybaby: but then gradually improved from there. Moral: the mpg calculated figure looks nicer if you can do a 'nice' and worthwhile trip just after filling up :)

2) It likes constant velocity (or at least constant engine usage) and if the Battery is well topped up I find it often goes onto battery-only mode when at 50/50/60mph for quite long stretches. The key in my limited experience here seems to be in keeping the Battery topped up nicely. This leads to...

3) engine breaking mode ( B ). Took a while to get the hang of using it, but if you pop it on each time you are going downhill, whenever you want to decelerate for a lower speed limit and in all kinds of other situations, it does a fantastic job of keeping the Battery available.

4) Around town, switch to EV mode when you have the opportunity, especially if your speed is going to be 25mph or under for a period of time. Make the most of that stored breaking energy and it improves the mpg figures nicely.

A side note - I'm not sure exactly how the mpg is calculated, but I did spend twenty minutes in a traffic jam creeping along and although the engine hardly got used at all the mpg figures reported in the graph were atrociously low - although it didn't seem to be burning petrol the low mileage in the given 5 minutes seemed to count heavily against the avg mpg calculated.

Hope these notes from a beginner help!

(n.b. I prefer vertical wipers - they handle snow much better and with less risk of motor failure. I wonder if the side they are positioned on says more about the number of left hand drive vs right hand drive cars sold?

Cheers

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I've had a TSpirit since July and my wife and I are extremely pleased with it.

MPG? Our first trip was up to the lake district and back, with some touring in the hills. avg 57mpg. Our second tankful was a lot of short journeys around town, avg 54mpg. Our second tankful is again mostly short journeys, but avg is currently about 58mpg.

Things I've noticed:

1) if you fill up then do a longish drive, you can get a high initial mpg figure (I got 76mpg for my first 12 miles!). This then gets nibbled down, but it feels nicer than filling up at the end of a trip and doing a short uphill drive which started my average off at 38mpg  :crybaby:  but then gradually improved from there. Moral: the mpg calculated figure looks nicer if you can do a 'nice' and worthwhile trip just after filling up :)

2) It likes constant velocity (or at least constant engine usage) and if the battery is well topped up I find it often goes onto battery-only mode when at 50/50/60mph for quite long stretches. The key in my limited experience here seems to be in keeping the battery topped up nicely. This leads to...

3) engine breaking mode ( B ). Took a while to get the hang of using it, but if you pop it on each time you are going downhill, whenever you want to decelerate for a lower speed limit and in all kinds of other situations, it does a fantastic job of keeping the battery available.

4) Around town, switch to EV mode when you have the opportunity, especially if your speed is going to be 25mph or under for a period of time. Make the most of that stored breaking energy and it improves the mpg figures nicely.

A side note - I'm not sure exactly how the mpg is calculated, but I did spend twenty minutes in a traffic jam creeping along and although the engine hardly got used at all the mpg figures reported in the graph were atrociously low - although it didn't seem to be burning petrol the low mileage in the given 5 minutes seemed to count heavily against the avg mpg calculated.

Hope these notes from a beginner help!

(n.b. I prefer vertical wipers - they handle snow much better and with less risk of motor failure. I wonder if the side they are positioned on says more about the number of left hand drive vs right hand drive cars sold?

Cheers

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I've had a TSpirit since July and my wife and I are extremely pleased with it.

MPG? Our first trip was up to the lake district and back, with some touring in the hills. avg 57mpg. Our second tankful was a lot of short journeys around town, avg 54mpg. Our second tankful is again mostly short journeys, but avg is currently about 58mpg.

Things I've noticed:

1) if you fill up then do a longish drive, you can get a high initial mpg figure (I got 76mpg for my first 12 miles!). This then gets nibbled down, but it feels nicer than filling up at the end of a trip and doing a short uphill drive which started my average off at 38mpg  :crybaby:  but then gradually improved from there. Moral: the mpg calculated figure looks nicer if you can do a 'nice' and worthwhile trip just after filling up :)

2) It likes constant velocity (or at least constant engine usage) and if the battery is well topped up I find it often goes onto battery-only mode when at 50/50/60mph for quite long stretches. The key in my limited experience here seems to be in keeping the battery topped up nicely. This leads to...

3) engine breaking mode ( B ). Took a while to get the hang of using it, but if you pop it on each time you are going downhill, whenever you want to decelerate for a lower speed limit and in all kinds of other situations, it does a fantastic job of keeping the battery available.

4) Around town, switch to EV mode when you have the opportunity, especially if your speed is going to be 25mph or under for a period of time. Make the most of that stored breaking energy and it improves the mpg figures nicely.

A side note - I'm not sure exactly how the mpg is calculated, but I did spend twenty minutes in a traffic jam creeping along and although the engine hardly got used at all the mpg figures reported in the graph were atrociously low - although it didn't seem to be burning petrol the low mileage in the given 5 minutes seemed to count heavily against the avg mpg calculated.

Hope these notes from a beginner help!

(n.b. I prefer vertical wipers - they handle snow much better and with less risk of motor failure. I wonder if the side they are positioned on says more about the number of left hand drive vs right hand drive cars sold?

Cheers

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Hi, Interesting to hear your fuel consumption figures and I will now keep an accurate check on my Prius now after having increased the tyre pressures.

I do not rely on the figures shown on the display, but use the infallible method i.e. fill the tank, run the car until nearly empty, re-fill and then note the mileage. A simple bit of basic maths and hey presto - the true and accurate mpg!

Regarding the rear wiper, so why has the Prius got the front wipers parked on the left, as you would expect coming from a country where they drive on the left. This ensures that the driver's side gets properly wiped, whereas if you look at say, a VW which comes from a country which drives on the right, then the wipers park on the right.

In any case regarding the rear wiper, I notice that the Avensis now has a centrally mounted wiper which parks horizontally, so why not the Prius?.

Regards,

Brian

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Regarding the rear wiper, so why has the Prius got the front wipers parked on the left, as you would expect coming from a country where they drive on the left. This ensures that the driver's side gets properly wiped, whereas if you look at say, a VW which comes from a country which drives on the right, then the wipers park on the right.

Haven't got the foggiest idea! The decisions of the motor manufacturers are a bit of a mystery to me and I was just giving my best guess :)

Cheers

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  • 1 month later...
I've had a TSpirit since July and my wife and I are extremely pleased with it.

MPG? Our first trip was up to the lake district and back, with some touring in the hills. avg 57mpg. Our second tankful was a lot of short journeys around town, avg 54mpg. Our second tankful is again mostly short journeys, but avg is currently about 58mpg.

Things I've noticed:

1) if you fill up then do a longish drive, you can get a high initial mpg figure (I got 76mpg for my first 12 miles!). This then gets nibbled down, but it feels nicer than filling up at the end of a trip and doing a short uphill drive which started my average off at 38mpg  :crybaby:  but then gradually improved from there. Moral: the mpg calculated figure looks nicer if you can do a 'nice' and worthwhile trip just after filling up :)

2) It likes constant velocity (or at least constant engine usage) and if the battery is well topped up I find it often goes onto battery-only mode when at 50/50/60mph for quite long stretches. The key in my limited experience here seems to be in keeping the battery topped up nicely. This leads to...

3) engine breaking mode ( B ). Took a while to get the hang of using it, but if you pop it on each time you are going downhill, whenever you want to decelerate for a lower speed limit and in all kinds of other situations, it does a fantastic job of keeping the battery available.

4) Around town, switch to EV mode when you have the opportunity, especially if your speed is going to be 25mph or under for a period of time. Make the most of that stored breaking energy and it improves the mpg figures nicely.

A side note - I'm not sure exactly how the mpg is calculated, but I did spend twenty minutes in a traffic jam creeping along and although the engine hardly got used at all the mpg figures reported in the graph were atrociously low - although it didn't seem to be burning petrol the low mileage in the given 5 minutes seemed to count heavily against the avg mpg calculated.

Hope these notes from a beginner help!

(n.b. I prefer vertical wipers - they handle snow much better and with less risk of motor failure. I wonder if the side they are positioned on says more about the number of left hand drive vs right hand drive cars sold?

Cheers

1) I find that initially mpg is pants prob the engine is heating up.

2) Coasting on flat and slight decline stretches of road would give me 99.9mpg. I do what ppl suggest by feathering the accelerator - this only uses Battery power to maintain the 70mph speed. Went a few miles on the M1 like this. Obviously once I have to go uphill then mpg went down to 25.

3) Haven't used Engine Braking apart from my test drive. It consumes more fuel but protects brake pads.

4) I do that whenever I could. EV mode is great with the Battery above half.

After 150 miles, average is 51mpg.

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I filled up 38 litres of Tesco Super Unleaded fuel after doing ~445 miles. This equates to about 44 miles to the gallon. Hope it gets better :)

How does 53.2 miles to the gallon sound?

I think that you have used a litres to US gallons conversion (38l = ~10 US gallons) rather than a litres to UK gallons conversion (38lt = ~8.36 UK gallons)

Hope that makes you feel better!

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How does 53.2 miles to the gallon sound?

I think that you have used a litres to US gallons conversion (38l = ~10 US gallons) rather than a litres to UK gallons conversion (38lt = ~8.36 UK gallons)

Hope that makes you feel better!

OMG! You're right! I am so ashamed yet happier! :P

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Hello there, this is my first visit to this site since buying a T Spirit on March 1st this year.

Generally speaking I am fairly satisfied with the car, the build quality is up to usual Toyota standards and the ride, comfort  and performance are all I would expect from a family car.  But here's the rub - one the attractions in choosing this car was its' exceptional fuel economy which is claimed to be 65.7 mpg for the Combined Cycle and 67.3mpg  for the Extra Urban, but try as I might, I am unable to achieve anything better than 53 mpg.

I have had my local dealer check the car over and they confirmed that there was nothing wrong with the car and that 53mpg is about correct.  I found this unacceptable and contacted Toyota(GB) who advised that these performance figures are independently supplied by The Vehicle Certification Agency and apparently they are derived from data from laboratory tests e.g. rolling road with fan to simulate wind speed etc. 

My question is - are there any Prius owners out there who have achieved these VCA figures?

Overall it's a fine car, but not perfect - for example what genius decided to have the rear wiper parking vertically and also located on the nearside so that the offside(drivers) doesn't get wiped?

Brian Paling

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Hi all! I've had my Prius since 17 September, and I'm still not bored with it, even after nearly 3500 miles!! I've got it on contract hire, I do about 30,000 miles a year.....So far I've averaged between 58.4MPG, somewhat of an improvement on the diesel Citroen Picasso I ran for the previous 3 years. I do a mixture of motorway, normal roads & London driving, usually cruising at about 65MPH, I know, like the boring old f**t that I am!!

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How do you guys know when to fill up your car? The fuel gauge is pants but the car manual does say to fill up when there is 2 blobs left. Or is it better to wait till 1 blob is left? Don't want to visit the petrol station if I don't need to.

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