I purchased a 2008 Toyota Highlander Hybrid on February 14th, 2008. The advertised EPA MPG rating for this car is 27 city, 25 highway. When I bought the car, it had 139 miles, and showed an average of 14 MPG. The salesman told me this low MPG was because the car had sat idle a lot while prospective buyers saw the car, options, etc. Unfortunately, 600 miles later, the best MPG I have gotten is 18. I drive “by the book” – I never drive above 60 miles per hour, and avoid sudden breaking and acceleration. I took the car back to the dealer and the service department said “it was working fine” and there is nothing they could do. They said that the MPG ‘may” get better after the break-in period of the car. I got the same story as you report as to why the car is getting such a low MPG (this is winter, fuel type, MPG is not expected to be as good as EPA rating, etc). I am following up with Toyota. As I see it, my hybrid is either a defective car, or, if that is the expected standard of performance, we have a clear case of "bait and switch". I purchased a hybrid because of its advertised fuel efficiency, paying a hybrid price, amounting to over $6,000 more than a "regular" Highlander. As of now, I am not getting better performance than got with my 7 year old Mercedes SUV! I expect Toyota to act swiftly to resolve this issue. I would hate to see hybrids get discredited, which is what will happen if Toyota is not proactive at dealing with underperforming cars.
Has anyone had similar experiences? If not, what is your MPG? Many thanks.