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Discussion Starter #1
I have owned my 2004 Prius for 3+ weeks now.
It seems that on highway I have been getting 45-49, on on city 38-30 MPG
The compuer has been showing 37-40 as an average.
What happened to 60 city?
Is my air eating up the difference?
Comments?
Experiences?
Robert
 

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I've found that due to the initial warm-up period and relatively short (15-30 minute) trips, I don't get anywhere near the "60 city" figure (48.2 on my last tank). It's been my long round trips on the highway (approx. 1 hour each way) where I see the best "gains"; mostly because I'm not stopping every other block for a traffic light. :p
 

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MPG in town and highway

We initially got more mpg on the road just like in a regular gasoline engine car but now I think that has changed due to experience in driving the car which is mentioned in other topics on the site. Experience with the car seems to help increase mileage. I am much better now at finding the spot where the car runs on the electric engine even town speeds of 40 or so. I wish Toyota could have built in a "spot" on the pedal that made it easier to run electric. Also, as mentioned by others on this forum, it is better to accelerate a little faster in a Prius from a dead stop, "darn what luck eh", because you will be using the electric engine more and get to speed faster and to better miles per gallon faster. Can't back it up, but it also "feels" to me that the car is getting better at knowing how to run more efficient and use the electric motor more.

So it is probably a combination of things, experience and breaking in, that increases mileage. Ours is now averaging about 43 mpg city/highway combined. BTW, Toyota admits the Prius will not get what the EPA says it does and says it is the government's test, not theirs, good point I think.

You should see improved mpg over time.
 

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A BIG part of the confusion is due to the EPA definition of "city" and "Highway".

I think the best way to think of it is that moderate speeds without slowing/speeding up or unnecessary stops is best. If your 'city' allows you to drive 2-3 miles at a time at 45mph you're going to be pegging and exceeding the EPA 60mpg numbers (assuming good driving technique, anticipating stops, no or minimal A/C use, light load, proper tire inflation and oil level, etc).

If your "city" is drive 1 block with accel up to 45mph during that 1 block then harsh braking then drive 2 blocks. A lot of start/stop with little coasting or sustained speed then you're going to get terrible mileage--hybrid or not.

Thus, most people's definition of highway includes prolonged periods of steady speed over relatively level terrain often with cruise control. The Prius is able to find it's 'sweet spot' for that particular speed and maintain a good mpg for you. If you look at Wayne Brown's Palm Simulator and plug in the numbers for your conditions and speed you'll see why it's easier to get the hwy numbers than the city ones. Though under ideal conditions the "city" will give the best.
 

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I get (checking spreadsheet for days I know I was on the freeway at least 75% of the time,) pretty darn close to 50 mpg on 'mostly freeway' days, and closer to 45 miles per gallon on 'city' days, including days where I'm going 45mph for long drives, and days I'm in 'stop and go 25' traffic, where I can stay in stealth mode as long as the battery holds out.
 

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My first 200 miles was mostly all Start/Stop - Drive a mile, stop for a stop sign - drive another half mile, stop for a light, etc. I was averaging about 40mpg.

Then I had a short business trip, I did about 200 miles of highway driving and that brought my average mileage up to 48mpg. Since that brought my average up so high, I must have been doing much better than 48mpg that day.

So, from my unscientific and limited experience, I would say that the starts and stops kill your mileage. Nothing is more disappointing to me now than coasting down a hill only to stop at a light at the bottom. I know I've converted some of that downhill momentum to electricity, but I also know htat when the light turns green I'll probably need some gas to accelarate into traffic.
 

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Better mileage requires experience in driving the car, really! Best mileage is gained by using the electric more, otherwise, it'll be similar to a 4-cylinder engine with electric assist.

As I've learned, accelerate up to about 40, then remove your foot from the pedal, wait till it gets to 99mpg then step on it slightly to get to the electric mode. It takes a very light touch to maintain it...easier to do at 35 or so.
 

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I've actually found it easier to get a higher 'average' mileage by watching the 'Consumption' screen as opposed to the 'Energy' screen.

In 'Energy', you try to hard to stay in EV mode at all costs. In 'Consumption', you just try to keep the 'current mileage' bar higher than what you want your average to be. You can still tell when you're in EV mode because the bar is maxed, but it makes it easier to see how well you are driving in 'gas' mode at a glance, without having to try to read the MPG number.

(That said, I've sucked so far this tank, 35mpg in 30 miles.)
 

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I drive 4 miles to work and the engine doesn’t get time to warm up so the mileage is low ( low 40’s ), same for in the city driving and on the highway I get around 50, but on the back country roads it get around 55 ( 56.8 was the best so far ). I find that the Prius really like the road with the speed limit around 50 – 55 with no stopping. This weekend trip to New Hampshire I averaged 54.3mpg driving 337miles mainly on Rt. 202.
 

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Highway works best for me, too. 1500+ miles up and down I-79 and I-77 from South Carolina to New York, I averaged over 51MPG.

Kicking around town, 47MPG is pretty good lately. Cooler weather will probably lower that...
 

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ehurtley said:
In 'Energy', you try to hard to stay in EV mode at all costs.
Actually, I try to keep power flowing INTO the battery; I figure that once it reaches a high enough level, it will balance things out on its own.

I seem to recall reading something like this in another post, possibly from BIF; feel free to correct me. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for your comments...

I agree with the concept of getting up to speed of 35-40 then gently pushing the petal to TRY to stay on electric.
It's sorta like driving a video game... hehe
Into my first full month and averaging mid 40's some highway and local.
I also note that the tank's bladder seems to be growing...
9 gallons first load... almost 10 the second.....
and 3 bars now left till the next fill.
Would love to know what the EPA used for their CITY 60 MPG.
Robert
 
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fuel economy

To get the official govt definition of City & Highway, for mpg figures, go to http://www.fueleconomy.gov You can see the definition of the test run that produces the EPA number for each. I have found that Consumer's Reports estimates are much more realistic.
I was originally concerned that quotes such as "60mpg City" for Prius would set the level of expectancy so high that buyers would be disappointed in the technology. Fortunately, that does not seemed to have happened. I think that is the result of Toyota designing such an excellent car overall. The high mpg becomes part of a delightful driving experience. :)
 

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Take a closer look at the actual window-sticker... http://john1701a.com/prius/images/Prius_WindowSticker.jpg

It does not say what you think it does. Those big numbers are not by any means whatsoever a promise or even an expection. In short, your results can vary significantly.

Here's the text for Prius: "Actual Mileage will vary with options, driving conditions, driving habits and vehicle's condition. Results reported to EPA indicate that the majority of vehicles with these estimates will achieve between 51 and 69 mpg in the city and between 43 and 59 on the highway."
 
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Will look

I don't want anyone to think that I don't LOVE the car!
So far I would give it an "A"
It's nice to know that I am help the environment, not to mention to break my state Connecticut gave on the sales tax - NO SALES TAX!
Robert :D
 
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Actually got 60mpg for the first time after 19,000 miles

Normally our in-town mileage is lower than highway, with best tank mileage being 56 with nearly all of it on Maine secondary roads. My commute is short, so the warmup period reduces the mileage. Today, thanks to an unexpected bridge closing, I had to drive 30 miles to get home, all at 30-40 mph. The display average for the tank, which I started this morning, hit 60 as I drove into the driveway. That may be off, of course, but it is normally close to reality, and often a bit lower than actual. So it is possible, under the right circumstances, to get the elusive 60. I don't expect to see it again, unless I get a new job, or start driving three times further than necessary just for the heck of it.
 
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