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First off, I'm not saying I'm not happy with the car and I'm complaining. I love it and it is hard to complain about the money I'm saving in gas right now. However, there are 2 things that have not been true for me of what's advertised, and I want this to be a chance for you all to tell me what I'm doing wrong over what the car's doing wrong.

The 2 things I was expecting that have not come true are both related to the overall MPG. I was expecting high 40's city (maybe even 50's in some instances since I had read several people say they get that) and low 40's hwy. I'm actually getting on average 36-38 city and 40-42 hwy. That leads me to my second expectation not coming true, and that is I should have higher MPG in the city than on the hwy. That has not been true for me as you can see. Hwy is slightly higher than city. I've attributed this to living in Little Rock, AR, which is a hilly city, but I've read about people in parts of CA that is far more hilly that are getting better numbers.

What am I doing wrong? Is there a certain way to drive, or should I utilize the B position instead of D all the time? Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.
 

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Hello... I'll tell you how I drive, then you may compair. First off, i must note that i have a lead foot. So, i only drive this way about half the time and still managed to get 42mpg on my last tank.... well.. my first tank.

Acceleration: Make accelerating quick. Don't punch it. If you watch your multi display, try to accelerate with the gas engine supplying the electric motor with all the electricity it needs, or have the gas engine accelerating and charging the battery. This is the key to keeping your battery full, which increases your mpg.

Cruising: When either keeping speed or very slowly accelerationg when already at a disirable speed, i try not to use the electric motor. If you tap down with your foot on the gas pedal, you might end up using only the electric motor. Press a tiny bit harder to start the gas engine. When crusing, try to use the gas engine to keep you at speed while charging the battery.

Outcome of all this extra battery power: The Synergy drive system only likes to be soo full. Once you get higher battery power, your mpg will go up. When crusing, your car will make your electric motor assist you. If you were using my technique for cruising (45mpg +)... when the electric motor decides to assist, your mpg will go up even more 65 - 91mpg.

Good luck. It's a technique you have to learn. I simply figured this isn't a normal gas pedal. It's more like a joystick. It' sensative and isn't simply on or off. If you move it slightly, it makes a difference to something.
 

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LRPrius,

For a wealth of new owner information, including driving tips, go to john1701a.com and click on Prius Info. There's lots of good stuff there, especially the Owner Advice sections.

However, the short answer is, it sounds like you're making short trips. At startup, the Prius runs the engine until it is hot, because hot engines burn more cleanly, and the Prius' #1 design goal was reduced emissions. It takes a few minutes for the engine to become hot, so if you only drive for five minutes, your trip was almost all gas and no battery, so your mileage will be much lower than the EPA ratings. (The EPA standard test drive lasts over 20 minutes.)

Make sure your tires are inflated to around 40 psi, try to chain together your short trips so that the car doesn't have time to cool down between drives, and follow the other tips on John's site. Don't use "B", which is only for going down steep hills and will reduce mpg. Also, don't worry that the hills in your city are a problem. The Prius actually seems to get better mileage when going up and down a lot of small hills.

Note: Although V8Cobrakid's suggestions may be useful, I don't think driving style can make enough difference to explain your low mpg numbers. I recommend you try just driving normally for a few thousand miles, and then try adjusting your driving style to see what works best for you. In particular, I try to avoid using gas when cruising, and I usually get city trip mileages around 50 mpg during my commute with my '02.

Also, I hope both you and V8Cobrakid are reporting tank mpg from the Multi-Display, not pump measurement, right? The variability of the bladder in the gas tank makes it hard to fill the tank to the same level on successive fill-ups. Pump measurement is best for long-term statistics, but you have to rely on the screen for short-term.

Douglas (2002 Silver, Wisconsin)
 

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Thanks. That makes sense. One thing about Little Rock is that it's not very big and was built pretty close together, not spread out, so most of my driving are quick trips with stop and go traffic. That probably explains why I get better on the hwy. I've noticed when I drive downtown from where I live (about 15-20 minutes) I average over 50mpg. Probably because the engine has warmed up. Great tip, and makes sense. I appreciate the replies.
 

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LRPrius said:
Thanks. That makes sense. One thing about Little Rock is that it's not very big and was built pretty close together, not spread out, so most of my driving are quick trips with stop and go traffic. That probably explains why I get better on the hwy. I've noticed when I drive downtown from where I live (about 15-20 minutes) I average over 50mpg. Probably because the engine has cooled. Great tip, and makes sense. I appreciate the replies.
I'm sure you meant warmed, not cooled. The ICE works most efficiently when it is warm.
As for mpg, just keep driving. I live in a hilly area as well and, with about 7500 miles on my '04, I don't really think much about mpg anymore. My spring temp mpg is consistently greater than 51. Don't drive like a maniac and your mileage should continue to rise.
Drive happy,
Moo :)
 

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Like the manual states, if you use "B" for normal driving, your MPG will go down. Only use "B" if you're going down a long, steep hill.

Toyota does state:

Prius Fuel Economy: Explaining the EPA Ratings:
http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/Pri ... ssage/2742

Can I expect to get over 50MPG in the new Prius?
(see question #6): http://www.toyota.com/vehicles/2004/prius/faq.html

Prius Fuel Economy Factsheet:
http://www.toyota.com/images/vehicles/p ... conomy.pdf

there are some more hints in the Owner's Manual, as well.

I'd also suggest reading the Prius User's Guide:
http://john1701a.com/prius/prius-userguide.htm (2004+ model year)
http://john1701a.com/prius/prius-userguide_classic.htm (2001-2003 model year)
 

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I have an 04 Prious with 5300 miles on it. I find that when I have a lot of short hops, my MPG goes way down. This is because the gas motor will stay on and be the primary power source while the engine warms up. I know this was already stated, but I wanted to confirm that statement with my own findings.

Once the car is warm, I find that I will get about 60-70MPG in the city driving at about 35-40 MPH. During this time, the electric motor is the only source of power more often then not. When I don't have to stop for lights is when I see the 70MPH numbers.

Stoping and going makes the MPG go down.

On the freeway, I've been getting about 48-50 MPG. My overall average based on the onboard computer is about 49MPG for each tank of gas. This is not what I was expecting, but still way better than the 20 I was getting! :)

Steve
 
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