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I am a fairly new owner of a very lightly used '02 Prius - had 7200 miles on it when I bought it about six weeks ago. It is my understanding that the EPA ratings on the car are about 52 City and 45 Highway - not as good as the new ones, but not exactly bad.

When I first got the car I drove it some locally and then went on a trip of about 150 miles doing 55-75 mph with a/c on, then came home and did more suburban driving. When I hit 505 miles I filled it and achieved roughly 54 mpg. I generally seem to be getting an average of 50-52 as my wife and daughter seem to know how to crater the gas mileage. My daughter has been successful at getting below 40 when she tries :(

Yesterday I drove from NW NJ to NYC on the highway at 55-70 mph with air on, a little driving around the city and then home and was able to get 55mpg.

My question is why is it that I actually seem to get better mileage on the highway than both the EPA ratings and slightly better than I get local. Although I must tell you that locally I have many big hills so I imagine that costs me in gas mileage as it takes more energy to climb a hill than you save going down.
 

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Your mileage scenerio is similar to what i have at times...i have the 2004 version prius...and the wife tends get lower mpg as well...as you drive the car you will learn to become a "prius driver" that is trying to maximize mileage and maintain velocity, etc...as far as the other drivers are concerned...until they learn not to "lead foot it" on acceleration and learn to anticipate stopping, their mileage will be reduced. I see it all the time...people will have to learn to accelerate moderately and slow down long before they get to the next light instead of slamming the brakes on...
Todays driver ed courses obviously dont teach correct ways of maintaining velocity, and acceleration, and they dont teach people how to stop ,either.
just my 2 cents worth...
 

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You may get better mileage on the highway because you don't stop and start. Regen makes a bigger impact in the EPA test results than it does in real life.

Why?

Acceleration. Every time you accelerate, your mileage will crater. More if you accelerate too quickly. Even more yet if you accelerate too much, then have to step on the brake to avoid hitting the person in front of you.
 

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mpg

I've had my car since March (about 4000 miles thusfar) and average about 46 mpg. I'd love to get in the 50's, but I do mostly city driving and contrary to the EPA numbers, I do better on the highway.
 

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Re: mpg

drtravel47 said:
I've had my car since March (about 4000 miles thusfar) and average about 46 mpg. I'd love to get in the 50's, but I do mostly city driving and contrary to the EPA numbers, I do better on the highway.
Ditto that here. People come up to me and say, "Hey, I hear you get 50mpg or better in city driving." I have to respond that I don't get near 50 with my driving location and habits but do better on the highway--though not 50. Unless I fill up way early before arriving home again to my "city" driving.
 

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Re: mpg

drtravel47 said:
I've had my car since March (about 4000 miles thusfar) and average about 46 mpg. I'd love to get in the 50's, but I do mostly city driving and contrary to the EPA numbers, I do better on the highway.
Most people's definition of "city" driving is nothing like the EPA city driving cycle...

A brief description of the EPA test cycles is here:
http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/info.shtml#estimates

The EPA tests are done in a laboratory, and some fudge factors are
applied to round down the tests...

<quote>
The test used to determine the city fuel economy estimate simulates an
11-mile, stop-and-go trip with an average speed of 20 miles per hour (mph).
The trip takes 31 minutes and has 23 stops. About 18 percent of the time is
spent idling, as in waiting at traffic lights or in rush hour traffic. The
maximum speed is 56 mph. The engine is initially started after being parked
overnight. Vehicles are tested at 68 F to 86 F ambient temperature.

The test to determine the highway fuel economy estimate represents a mixture
of "non-city" driving. Segments corresponding to different kinds of rural
roads and interstate highways are included. The test simulates a 10-mile
trip and averages 48 mph. The maximum speed is 60 mph. The test is run with
the engine warmed up and has little idling time and no stops (except at the
end of the test).
</quote>

It'll take a fair bit of searching for me to find the time/speed graphs for the tests.
 

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Hmm. I don't think the EPA would bother with my driving--2 miles, 6 minutes, 35mph, 3 stops, AC on these days. I'd be a good advertisement for not buying a hybrid. I went from 53mpg when I filled to 42 today. And I haven't dropped a pip. So that means if I keep up my driving habits without any highway driving over the next 2 weeks, I'd be under 20mpg. (oh my God, that's scary!) But this scenario isn't typical and the Prius is a terrific car.
 
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