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My 2004 Prius starts with ICE on. If I drive less than 10 minutes I can get 20 or less mpg as it will not go into stealth mode. I have concluded this car cannot compete with anything other than a Hummer for this type of driving....so sad.
 

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What kind of weather/temps? What kind of terrain that first 10 minutes? Are you using AC or does the engine need to warm from cold temps? Have you tried 'feathering the pedal' to achieve stealth?

Certainly the first 5-20 min. will be the worst time for fuel efficiency, but if you are in a moderate temperture area, relatively level terrain, and the situation you describe ALWAYS occurs then I suggest that there's something very much wrong. I've started with the ICE quickly kicking in 3-4 times, but almost always I'm able to start with just the battery, back out in stealth, then when I start forward the ICE kicks in (regardless of battery charge status)--presumably to warm the engine and coolant.

After even a brief 3-4 min drive I'm able to achieve stealth and maintain it on slight downhill grades at speeds up to about 46mph (56mph after well warmed with near full battery), and even on level ground can feather into stealth up to 42mph if maintaining a steady speed.

This has gotten easier and easier as I approached the 600mile mark.

I think everyone's results will vary, but if you're under 'normal' conditions and still seeing the milage you described and no stealth then I'd take it to the service shop to have it checked.
--evan
 

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Short commute in cold weather

Based on the two previous posts, it seems to me that a Prius would NOT be practical for my 1.8 mile round trip commute especially in cold, snowy weather.

Any advice would be appreciated.

Syracuse, NY :cry:
 

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funpilot,
I agree with efusco. I'm a new owner as well (silver '04 with less than 500 miles). The first few days my mpg wasn't very impressive, but I've been getting better at using stealth at a variety of speeds and am now averaging 45.2. The temperature has been dropping below freezing at night and rising into the low 40s during the day and I can usually get out of my driveway and started down the street before the gas engine (ICE) kicks in. I think the biggest factor for me early on was the A/C, which comes on automatically with the defroster. I've started using the defroster as little as possible and find that after just a couple of minutes I'm able to get into stealth fairly easily. I practiced by driving on backroads with no traffic, turning off all accessories and trying to develop a "feel" for coaxing the ICE to shut down. Keep trying and good luck!

saltcity,
Your commute is 1.8 miles roundtrip? Wow. Under those conditions I would expect the Prius to perform pretty much the same as any other car of similar size. I suggest you forget about your commute and think about the kind of driving you do the rest of the time. That's probably more important when determining the type of vehicle that is right for you.
 

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funpilot,
I agree with efusco. I'm a new owner as well (silver '04 with less than 500 miles). The first few days my mpg wasn't very impressive, but I've been getting better at using stealth at a variety of speeds and am now averaging 45.2. The temperature has been dropping below freezing at night and rising into the low 40s during the day and I can usually get out of my driveway and started down the street before the gas engine (ICE) kicks in. I think the biggest factor for me early on was the A/C, which comes on automatically with the defroster. I've started using the defroster as little as possible and find that after just a couple of minutes I'm able to get into stealth fairly easily. I practiced by driving on backroads with no traffic, turning off all accessories and trying to develop a "feel" for coaxing the ICE to shut down. Keep trying and good luck!

saltcity,
Your commute is 1.8 miles roundtrip? Wow. Under those conditions I would expect the Prius to perform pretty much the same as any other car of similar size. I suggest you forget about your commute and think about the kind of driving you do the rest of the time. That's probably more important when determining the type of vehicle that is right for you.
 
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