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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What kind of performance can I expect to receive?

Before any decides to flame me and give me link upon link to other places where this topic has been covered, revisited and the coverage revisted again, let me tell you what my driving habits are. First of all I should mention that I have a large family, so I have a mid-sized van for any recreational driving. The Prius would take the place of my commuting car.

My driving is the same mon-fri. It doesn't change. There are no variances what-so-ever. I live on a military installation. I drive 6 miles one way from home to work. I drive home for lunch break. I drive back to work. I drive home. The car stays parked until I go to work the next day. I put on a total of 24 miles each day. Along this "fascinating" journey, there are 2 traffic lights. They always catch me. There's no highway. My max speed limit is 30 mph. Yes, that is it. Only 30 mph.

My driving habits on the weekend are just as predictable as they are on the weekdays. I don't go anywhere in my commuting car on the weekends.

The questions I have are few, but mean a lot to my buying decision.

1) At the speeds I drive and for the lenght of time I drive them (30 mph for approx 10 minutes), what kind of gas mileage can I anticipate?

2) Because I do not do much acceleration and do not drive for any extended length of time, will I run into problems with keeping the battery charged?

3) Currently I do not follow the recommended oil change interval. With my current commuting car, it takes a little over 5 months to get to the 3k oil change mark. And I can't see changing oil every 3 months having only driven a little over 1,500 miles. How will this habit have to be amended when I add a Prius into the picture?

These are the only real questions I have. Now, if there are links anyone wish to give me that I may have overlooked, please feel free. I yield the floor... er, ummm thread... to the next speaker. I mean writer. Or would it be typer?
 

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Your situation sounds similar to mine, though I live in a suburb not a military base. My trips are usually 3 or 4 miles a trip to a location and the same back. Weekends don't change that much. With AC on in the summer, I get in the low 40's. In fall and spring, perhaps mid 40's. I've not hit 50mpg yet, even with some highway driving thrown in. As to oil change, Toyota recommended to me a first oil change at 3000 miles and subsequent ones at 5000 miles increments-unlike other cars where every 2 or 3 months is advised. Good luck. You'll enjoy the car without getting those high mpg's other Prius owners seem to show.
 

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katnrob said:
1) At the speeds I drive and for the lenght of time I drive them (30 mph for approx 10 minutes), what kind of gas mileage can I anticipate?
Probably about 35MPG.
Speedwise, you are driving at the optimal speed, its just that you're not driving long enough to realize the fantastic 50+MPG. For the first 5 minutes, and sometimes into the 2nd 5 minutes, the MPG is around 25-38MPG as the ICE, O2 sensor, and Catalytic are warmed up. EPA does their test wtih a fully warmed up car, which is how they get 60 in the city.
katnrob said:
2) Because I do not do much acceleration and do not drive for any extended length of time, will I run into problems with keeping the battery charged?
The car uses ICE to charge the battery. Regen is only a supplement. Your battery should stay in the 50-60% usable range, unless you "idle" for a long period of time with AC on, in which case the SOC will drop to 20% after which the ICE will come on for a bit to maintain charge. Once you start rolling again, the computers will bring the SOC back to about 60%.
To add a comment to your first question, if you add an EV switch, you may be able to defer some of the lower MPG during warmup for the next trip. That might boost MPG a bit, maybe to 40-42MPG.
katnrob said:
3) Currently I do not follow the recommended oil change interval. With my current commuting car, it takes a little over 5 months to get to the 3k oil change mark. And I can't see changing oil every 3 months having only driven a little over 1,500 miles. How will this habit have to be amended when I add a Prius into the picture?
Oil changes are required at 5K/6mo throughout the Toyota line. Dealers often push for 3K/3mo, but that is not required by Toyota.

If financial economy is your only concern, a late model used corolla might be your better choice for a short distance commuter.
 

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I also drive my 04 Prius on short trips of 10 to 20 miles. Level roads in a temperate climate. Avg about 500 mi. a month.
1. You should expect low to mid 40's mpg but don't be surprised if it's lower. Use of a/c and low tire pressure will effect gas mileage.
** Whatever your Prius gas mileage, I'll bet it's a lot better than your current car.
2. Your daily trips should keep the battery charged at a safe level. If it gets low... go for longer drive on the weekend.
3. I change oil at 5000 miles. I use synthetic because it makes ME feel better. The car hasn't said.
 

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Here is my commute, also very short, probably shorter than yours. I drive 3 miles or so to work and then the same back home each day. All residential/CBD arterials. Max speed limit is 30, however I sometimes push it a little above that. I hit at least 8 lights to and from. Sometimes I get caught at lights, sometimes I do not. Downtown the lights are synchronized, so I usually am able to pass through them. Occasionally I have to wait for the train to pass through town (at the most inopportune time, "rush hour"). I usually eat lunch at work, occasionally I go out to eat, so my lunch hour does not add that many miles to my daily activities.

So my daily commute is 6 miles, but an occasional errand after work or during lunch can bump that up pretty quickly. I go basically downhill in the mornings and back home again it is mostly uphill. I am running the a/c on full auto and have the system set between 70 and 75 degrees. Our temperatures have been in the high 90s for most of July. I have a bit over 5000 miles on the car. Survey says... I'm getting about 45 mpg on this driving loop. I usually get closer to 50 mpg on the weekends when I'm running errands or enjoying a day out with the car.

A brand new Prius will be so tight that you will probably only get about 35 mpg on your driving loop. It will get better as you put miles on the car. It helps that your roads are mostly flat because that will increase the opportunity for the vehicle to go into stealth, (increasing average mpg) however for all stealth operations, energy has to be returned to the battery, either through regen braking or via direct charge by the ICE.

I do oil changes strictly by mileage. I have never changed oil based upon date. I suppose it is my funeral, however it has never worked against me. I'm running Mobil 1 now. Toyota's only change interval is 5,000 mi or 6 months. I did my first oil change at about 3000 and will do one again between 3000 and 5000 miles. My oil has about 3200 on it right now and it is very clean in appearance, golden with a little black in it. I'm amazed at how clean it is at this mileage. Every other vehicle I have owned, the oil was ready to be dumped by 3000 and pitch black. Since the vehicle only idles when it needs to warm up there is none of that awful, high temperature idling running. I think that is where our conventional vehicles dirty up their oil so quickly.

The computer system will maintain your HV battery just fine, regardless of how you drive it. That is the computer's job, or rather one of the many jobs the computer has. The battery has a bottom limit and upper limit of charge that the computer is programmed to maintain the battery at. So, on the top end, the computer will prevent the batter from being charged over 80% of total capacity, and on the bottom end it won't let the battery get beyond 40% of total capacity. The top and bottom of the battery graph on the dash display are those limits. The vehicle likes keeping the battery between 50 and 60% of capacity most of the time, that means that the graph will be blue.

I concur with JDavies, it doesn't really matter what kind of commute you have, the Prius will outperform anything out there that is doing the same kind of driving loop, with the same style of driver at the same mileage level.
 

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Actually, the optimum vehicle for this application would be the discontinued RAV4 EV.
 

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You didn't mention your climate. In cold temperatures, the mileage is even worse for short trips. I'm talking below freezing temperatures.
 

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katnrob,
I also drive 6 miles to work, 6 miles back home at night, on side streets. Average speed about 30 mph, with a couple stop signs and 3 or 4 lights, of which I hit maybe 2 each trip. At lunch I usually drive 1 mile to and 1 mile from our mall area. If my family goes anywhere at night or weekends, we usually take the Prius, so I do get some longer trips in. Not all that many, though, and not that much longer.

I live in Minneapolis, and my lifetime mpg is 45.

My dad has a Prius in Naples, FL, is retired, and mainly takes very short trips around town. His lifetime mpg is about 48-49.

rob
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
KTPhil said:
Sounds like a motorcycle would be a better choice for the commute...
Only one comment about motorcycles.... :lol: No!


I live in Washington State and the temps are very, very moderate. A "hot" day here will average about 85 degrees.

I truly appreciate all of the input everyone has given me. I shared these posts with my wife. In addition to the other threads about what to expect in the 2006 model, our final conclussion is that we are gonna go for it. :)

Just about any gas mileage above what we are getting now will greatly offset the mid-size van we have (20 hwy, 15 city :cry: )

Now to do some research, keep my ear to the ground and wait for the 2006s to roll out on the showroom floor.
 
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