Better Gas Mileage in a Toyota Prius

Here we go again: gas prices are spiking and sales of hybrid are zooming. The economics of buying a hybrid—more demand than supply—also mean that popular models, like the Toyota Prius, will cost a bit more. Given these trends, it’s a great time to revisit our expert guide to maximizing mpg in a Toyota Prius—so that new and existing Prius owners can make the most of their hybrid investment.

How do some Prius drivers achieve fuel economy above the EPA estimate of 50 mpg—while others barely reach 40 mpg? What techniques allow some of these “hypermilers” to consistently break 70 mpg?

In the search for answers, it’s easy to get lost in the hundreds and hundreds of posts on discussion forums. So we took the trouble of reading everything we could find, and to speak directly with the most accomplished of fuel-efficient drivers. The info below is the “Readers Digest” of Prius mileage advice.

Do these hints work for you? What else would you add?

With the 2010 model, Toyota added its three modes—Eco, Power and EV. That puts more efficiency tools in the hands of Prius drivers. How are using those buttons to maximum benefit? Please add your suggestions in the comments and we’ll integrate the best ideas into the main article.

Overview

Toyota’s sophisticated hybrid system allows nearly all drivers to achieve better than 40 mpg. Master the art of "gliding" and your mileage could far surpass the EPA’s combined estimate of 50 mpg.

Break-in Period

Give any hybrid a full six months and/or 10,000 miles to get broken in. The biggest impact occurs in the first 2,000 miles or so, and it may take as much as 15,000 to achieve peak mpg’s. Hybrid owners commonly experience a 10-15% improvement in fuel economy after the new car smell has drifted away.

Route Selection

Speed is your enemy. The ideal routes have long stretches without stops, and speed limits of 30 – 35 mph. (The sweet spot for most hybrids, in "steady state" testing, is between 40 and 45 mph.)

Don’t be concerned about hills, especially routes with short steep uphills and long gradual downhills. The glide or coast on the way down—especially if it’s uninterrupted—will more than make up for the extra energy to get to the top. And the downhill stretches will give you a chance to recharge your battery through regenerative braking.

Pick routes that are less windy. A hybrid’s aerodynamics are streamlined for head-on gusts, but swirling and sideways winds can destroy high mpg. Tail winds are great.

Experiment with multiple routes to see which paths consistently produce the best mileage.

When to Drive

Cold starts are mpg killers. The Prius and other hybrids get the worst mileage in the first five to ten minutes of driving.

Try to get all your errands done in one outing. If you can help it, drive after the day has warmed up. Hot humid air is the least dense, and produces the least air resistance.

Avoid rush-hour traffic, if at all possible.

Do your best to skip driving during rainy, slushy or snowy conditions.

Tire Pressure

Tire pressure (i.e., rolling resistance) has a significant influence on fuel economy, and an obvious impact on safety and the quality of your ride. Do the research, and make your own decisions about how far to take the tire pressure to maximize mileage.

Drivers getting the highest mileage recommend using the recommended maximum tire pressure on the sidewalls—not the psi supplied by the automaker on the doorframe.

Maintain the maximum recommended tire pressure. Check the tire pressure regularly so the pressure does not fall below the maximum level.

Fuels

Low octane gasoline is best. (There is actually less energy in high-octane fuel.)

Some convenience stores may use more additives than "name brand" gas stations.

Distance from Other Vehicles

Be aware of road conditions. The most important factor in maximizing your mpg is your ability to take your foot off the accelerator absolutely as soon as know that you’ll need to slow down or stop—and getting into "glide" mode.

To give yourself time to stop and coast, create space between you and the car in front of you—except when you have the opportunity to "draft" behind larger vehicles on the highway. You can obtain the benefits of drafting while maintaining a safe distance of 150 feet of more.

Starting & Warming Up

Frequent short city trips will not produce good mileage, even though the Prius is rated very high for city driving. Combine errands to reduce the number of warm-ups.

Dashboard Displays

There are two schools of thought about using the Prius’s display to maximum effect.

Simple: Watch the instantaneous mileage numbers. Learn what produces the best results by watching the effects of your experimentations. Don’t worry about the arrows that appear on the "Energy" display.

Advanced: Use the Energy display to watch the direction of the arrows. Drivers getting the best mileage are able to use split-hair changes in how they press on the accelerator and brakes to move energy from the gasoline engine to the wheels and/or the batteries—or to get all arrows to disappear completely from the screen, in what is referred to as "glide mode." (More on this below.)

Learning how to get the system into these different states is only possible if you monitor the Energy display and keeping an eye on the results of your fancy footwork.

Accelerating & Cruising

Never mash your foot to the floor. Accelerate slowly especially from a standstill. (Some Prius drivers prefer moderate acceleration before gliding with the engine off.)

If you would like to simultaneously send energy to the wheels and to the hybrid batteries—for example, when you have the headlights on at night and you have a low charge, follow these steps:

  1. While traveling above 20 mph, slightly lift your foot off the accelerator (but not all the way).
  2. Reapply your foot gently, until the Energy display shows the energy flow going to the wheels and the batteries. If you push the accelerator too soft, all arrows will disappear (and you will be gliding). If apply too much pressure to the accelerator, all of the gasoline will go to the wheels.

When you need to enter a highway or otherwise rapidly accelerate, simply stomp on the gas and go. The battery power will "assist" the gasoline engine, thereby reducing your fuel use as much as possible.

For highway driving, get best results by setting cruise control at 55 mph. For every mph over 50 mph, you lose approximately 1 mpg. Slowing down from 65 to 60 mph or from 75 to 70 mph will save you approximately 5 mpg.

Braking & Deceleration

In the eyes of advanced Prius drivers, the way you slow down and brake is much more important than acceleration techniques—and the goal is to "glide" (description below) at every opportunity, regardless of the traffic conditions.

The main idea is to control the amount of braking that is used to regenerate energy to the batteries. (Regenerative braking is essential for keeping energy in the batteries, but a little bit goes a long way. Avoiding overuse of regenerative braking will prevent you from slowing down more quickly than necessary. Extending your glides and coasts is a key to maximizing mileage.)

Native Alaskan people have many words for "snow," and Prius hypermilers have at least four words for how to brake. Use the least aggressive method to travel as far as possible before needing to accelerate again:

Gliding (least aggressive) – While traveling, remove foot from accelerator. Then, ever so slightly, re-apply pressure until all arrows disappear from the Energy screen. You’ll a feel slight surge forward.< /p> This technique will only work when the car is warmed up.

You can glide at any speed, but it’s difficult to get the arrows to disappear at speeds higher than 40 mph. At the higher speeds, even if you are gliding, the internal combustion engine will spin in order to protect the smaller electric motor from getting damaged. Above 40 mph, the engine is spinning but no gas is being used. Under 40 mph, the gas engine is not spinning. (Some Prius drivers report a "sweet spot" at 39 mph.)

Coasting (slightly more aggressive) – This kind of braking is much easier to explain. Simply remove your foot entirely from the accelerator, but do not apply it to the brake. Regenerative braking is engaged, so you will slow down more quickly than gliding.

Regenerative Braking (aggressive) – Press down on the brakes, but not firmly. As you press, you’ll obtain more regeneration than with coasting, and the electric motors (now acting as generators) will make you slow down quickly.

Mechanical Braking (most aggressive) – Firmly stomp on the brakes to immediately stop. You will obviously use this style of braking if a vehicle or pedestrian jumps in front of you.

To recap, the most important point: Anticipate the need to stop so you can slow down in a glide or in the least aggressive manner. If you do nothing else but get your foot off the accelerator more quickly, you will increase your mpg.

Another "magic number" is 7mph. Below 7 mph, regen stops and friction brakes are engaged—wasting energy that could be stored in the battery. Try to avoid slowing below 7 mph by decelerating earlier while approaching a red light, so that it turns green before you get there.

All-Electric Mode

Prius hypermilers do not favor all-electric mode as the optimum strategy for maximizing mileage. They prefer to alternate between the gentlest use of gasoline (pulse) and the gliding technique described above. See Advanced Techniques below for a detailed description of the pulse and glide technique.

In certain situations, such as the last mile or so of your trip, or if you’re just moving the car from one part of the driveway to the other, the all-electric mode is more advisable. (The batteries will recharge quickly on your next start-up.)

How do you get into all-electric mode?

  1. In the third-generation Prius, the 2010 model, that’s easy: use the EV button.
  2. While traveling, remove foot from accelerator and then, very gently, re-apply pressure to the accelerator. Ever so slightly increase the touch on the accelerator (hardly moving your foot at all) until arrows on the Energy screen flow only to the battery.

Maintain steady speed to remain in all-electric mode. In the third-generation model, you’ll get kicked out of EV mode above 34 miles per hour.

A sustained period of all-electric driving will deplete the battery charge, which could trigger the use of gasoline to recharge the batteries, essentially nullifying the efficiency benefit.

Idle versus Shutdown

If you need to remain stationary for no more than ten minutes or so—stopping to run quickly into your house or pick somebody up—place the Prius into park, but don’t shut down.

Turn off the heating, cooling, lights, and other electric accessories. Push the "Park" button.

The goal is to avoid shutting down and restarting, at which time the Prius will run through a startup cycle that uses gas.

Gear Selection

There are not a lot of gear selections to consider. (Think of your foot as the main control for maximizing mileage.) The one exception is the B gear.

The B gear should be used only if you are going down a long hill. The B gear lets the engine slow down the car without overusing your brakes and over-charging the batteries.

AC and Accessories

It’s best to avoid AC and Defrost whenever possible. Using the vent function with the temperature set to your preferred comfort level works well on long trips.

On hot days, set the AC two degrees lower than the outside temperature or to 85, whichever is lower. This setting keeps air coming into the Prius using the least amount of energy.

Avoid using the MAX setting.

State of Charge (SOC)

Two or three bars from the top is fine. When you are missing five bars, the gas engine will kick in to recharge the battery.

When you are three bars down, consider the technique of sending gas power to wheels and battery (watching arrows and wiggle foot to get it) or use a slightly more aggressive form of braking to increase the amount of regeneration.

It’s okay to allow the charge to drain at the end of the drive, or right before an anticipated long downhill stretch.

If the SOC gets too low, you can’t get into glide mode. SOC display in bars is not always entirely accurate.

Cruise Control

Cruise control, which provides smooth acceleration and allows the computer to make the fuel-saving decisions for you, is recommended in most situations. It works well on flat driving, and is excellent for non-congested highway driving.

Set at 55. (Good way to discipline yourself to keep your speed down.) Lower speeds will produce even better results.

Cruise control is not nearly as good in hilly terrain, where uphills produce aggressive driving and too much regen braking on downhills. When you’re going downhill in cruise control, you can give a little push on the accelerator, which will disengage regen and give you even more speed. Maintain safety by not allowing to much speed to build up.

Advanced Techniques

The Pulse and Glide technique, which has allowed some drivers to achieve exceptional mileage, is ideal for roads that allow 30 – 40 mph unobstructed driving. Pulse and Glide will be more difficult in any road conditions with busy traffic or numerous traffic signals.

  1. Accelerate moderately (not babying accelerator, but not gunning it) to 40 mph.
  2. Then ease off the accelerator. Then, ever so slightly press down on the accelerator again and hold the pedal in that position.
  3. Glide (engine on but not turning over and transmission in neutral). At this point, the energy screen should not have arrows going in any direction. This state has been referred to as "dead band." If you press too much, repeat the process of easing up and pressing down again until you find the right spot. At this point, you are coasting without any energy being used to charge the battery.
  4. Coast down to 30 mph.
  5. Gently accelerate (pulse) back to 40 mph.
  6. Repeat steps, alternating between gentle accelerations to 40 mph and gliding down to 30 mph.


  • mike

    when you change the gear shift to neutral the screen looks like it is dead-banded. If this is the case why not shift to neutral for glide.

  • Robert

    Everyone needs to understand the Pulse and Glide technique to ad much more mpg on your Prius fillups. From this advise I went from an average of 41 mpg to an amazing 62 mpg…Thank You Mike!!!

  • Buzz

    I am surprise to see comments from 3 years ago… anyways.

    The gliding part has been made much more difficult to achieve on the GEN III if i am not mistaken.

    In my GEN 3 its almost impossible to disengage all arrows but i do use the accelerator display and try to keep the little bar off the left CHG meter and as little of the EV meter as possible.

    CHG EV ENGINE PWR
    ===:::::::::::::::::::::::===
    —> ^^ < ---

    In that way I dont waste energy with Regen and use very little energy to go forward. Its almost like Gliding!

    Like i say, its almost impossible to keep all the arrow of the Energy display, every little bumps on the road will make you trigger the Regen or EV anyways.

  • tyler west

    Use of neutral works just as well as “pedal glide” under 43 mph; better yet, it works at any speed, so for folks like me who do primarily highway driving you can glide down hills in neutral. If you push the accelerator to the neutral point over 43 mph, the ice still needs to spin (does not burn gas) and that adds a lot of drag. Just throw it in neutral and coast for miles.

  • sodajerk

    In cold weather climates, I noticed a noticeable drop in economy as a result of using the heater – not the defroster or heated seats – the heater. During warm weather, even occasionally using AC, I could eek 60 mpg consistently on several tanks. As soon as the weather got cold, and I resorted to using the heat, I was lucky if I could get 50 mpg. Now that the weather is warming-up, I’m inching my way back to 60 mpg.

    My advice: wear a warm jacket, gloves and a hat and skip the heat. You need to be dedicated (or cheap) if you want good mileage.

  • Bill Walker

    “Don’t be concerned about hills, especially routes with short steep uphills and long gradual downhills. The glide or coast on the way down—especially if it’s uninterrupted—will more than make up for the extra energy to get to the top.”

    Um, no. This would violate the Second Law of Thermodynamics. You cannot possibly recover more energy going down the hill than you used to get up the hill.

  • Regent Guay

    Could you please elaborate on your statement:

    “low octane gasoline is best. (There is actually less energy in high-octane fuel.)”

    Since years I paid for higher octane gas thinking it was more energetic and was better for the engine (keep it clean). Has anyone made any comparison in mpg we can get from both?

  • Sanath

    whatis the changing system while driving fuel to battery and battery tgo fuel.

  • Paul Rivers

    “In cold weather climates, I noticed a noticeable drop in economy as a result of using the heater – not the defroster or heated seats – the heater. During warm weather, even occasionally using AC, I could eek 60 mpg consistently on several tanks. As soon as the weather got cold, and I resorted to using the heat, I was lucky if I could get 50 mpg. Now that the weather is warming-up, I’m inching my way back to 60 mpg.

    My advice: wear a warm jacket, gloves and a hat and skip the heat. You need to be dedicated (or cheap) if you want good mileage.”

    Cars get worse mileage when it’s cold out, regardless of whether you use the heater or not. Here’s an article about the subject on a 98 Ford Ranger -
    http://www.startribune.com/autos/11354696.html?source=error

    It may be that not using the heater might help somewhat on the Prius – though not as much as 10mph. Here’s a thread I found on the topic if you want more info -
    http://priuschat.com/forums/gen-ii-prius-fuel-economy/14701-new-owner-want-mpg-help-read-first-20.html#post1295931

    Bottom line though is that cold weather causes lower mileage, and cold weather causes you to use the heater – it’s not using the heater that causes the severe drop in mileage (the big drop comes from the weather, you might be able to help by not running the heater but that isn’t going to get you near the summer mileage that you were getting).

  • PatrickPunch

    I now have 15000 km (+/- 9400 mi) on my Prius and the weather is getting better (faster engine warm up).

    When using it on secondary roads and by maintaining modest speeds on highways plus some of the above tricks my on-board computer tells me fuel consumption is at 4.0 l/100 km (58.6 mpg). In reality is is 0.3 to 0.4 l/100 km higher (52 mpg).

  • AP

    Actually, Road and Track got up to 67 MPG in mixed suburban driving, and they weren’t particularly concerned with the driving strategies listed above.

    http://www.roadandtrack.com/tests/comparison/hybrid-reality/page_3_-_reality_page_3

  • Scott Simkover

    There are Prii, and there are Prii, slightly bothersome that Toyota could not beat my converted PHEV Prius, even a couple of years down the road: http://www.smilingdogsranch.com/priusblog

  • David E

    For this author to even MENTION cruise control makes me start to question his article. I live in the Dallas area and drive 65 miles one way to work each day. For those not familiar, we have some fairly level terrain and some small hills for the most part. Using cruise I will average about 49.5 MPG. Just by turning the cruise off, and holding the throttle as steady as possible I can increase my mileage up to around 53 or so, even cruising up to 70 MPH.

  • fuyuhiko

    High octane fuel is made for higher compression engine to avoid early exprosion.

  • Goldfish23

    Higher octane fuel just resists burning more than lower octane, so you can use it in a higher compression engine without detonating early. The higher the compression, the more pop you get (more power). The fuel alone doesn’t do anything unless the engine is made for it. If you use low octane in a high compression engine, it can burn too quickly causing a loss of power at the least and catastrophic failure at the worst because the piston is not at the optimum place or worse is before it reaches T.D.C. and the explosion pushes it backwards.

    Short version, if your car is made for lower octane fuel, you will get nothing out of putting a higher octane fuel in, if not actually hurting your performance.

  • Alan Piel

    A casual drive in my Prius hits 70.2 miles per gallon

    I’m on my fifth year of driving a Prius and am currently leasing a 1 year old 2010. Except in winter (I live in a cold, snowy climate) it has averaged 50 mpg consistently. I’ve only used regular gas up until last night when I mistakingly filled up with Amoco Silver (89 octane) at an unfamiliar pump. My wife and I took a casual ride this morning and after about 40 miles I noticed that the average mpg display was at 69.7 and topped out at 70.2mpg. Other than using the 89 octane fuel I have no explanation of what could have caused this sudden 40% increase in gas mileage. Needless to say, I’m going to continue experimenting with higher octane fuels to see what difference they may make. Has anyone else had this experience?

  • dylan

    while your correct about the second law of thermo dynamics and its application to a prius going up hill and gliding back down. the amount of energy going up will equal the amount saved by the force of gravity bringing it down. and then you have to subtract the energy used to keep the motor running but your forgetting to add in the force of friction generated by the regenerative braking of the car. if we use hypothetically of course: -40j to get up the hill, gravity saves us 40J on the way down, -5 j to run the motor then we gain 10-15 j from friction heat in the brakes we come out 5-10 j ahead. in the real world converted j to gas and electricity

  • Graytwig

    Thank you for the article, I find it helpful and logical. I would like to add some comments and questions from my experience with my 2008 Prius, currently at 47K. I drive always using a/c on auto and tires I try to keep about 2 pounds over Toyota recommendation. I drive primarily watching the “Consumption” display ( I wish the battery level showed on that display).
    I keep a chart on fill-ups and mileage tracking my yearly and last 10 fill-up MPG. Yes expressway trips at 65 or 70 kill the averages. Anniversary date July 7.
    1st year 47.83mpg mostly city driving, 13,600 miles. Very erratic fills hard to relate to estimate.
    2nd year 49.69mpg very similar conditions, 13,273. miles.Non winter average progressed from 50 to 53.
    3rd year 46.82mpg lots of changes 4 long road trips and new tires. Local mileage similar to previous years was approaching 55mpg. New 80k “Y” tires at 34,710 miles and local mileage dropped from 54mpg to 47mpg. Now at 47,000 miles I am getting back to the 52-54mpg range.
    So many variables, but if we work together we can help each other.
    Tires may be a major part of the “break in” mileage loss. If so buying high mileage tires, although they seemed to seriously drag down my MPG may save me an extra break-in period of 10-15000 miles. Any input?
    In the last year I have experimented with gasoline brands and “up to 10% ethanol” gasoline (little white label on the pump). Two brands not the big names and no ethanol label seem to give me 3-4 mpg compared to others with no ethanol label. Those with ethanol labels appear to me to reduce the average even more. Can y’all offer more input to this subject?
    What effect does the tank bladder and or car position/attitude have on a fill-up (high/low fills).?

  • fredi

    one way to improve cold weather fuel economy would be to move the air intake to just under the hood for better fuel-air mixing and faster engine warm-up. This may not work as well in the warm month as it would lean out the fuel-air mixture.

  • corning townsend

    Just got my 2011. Ave. mpg slowly climbing from about 35 when i picked it up to now 46.2. Great articles, comments and info. I will try the pulse to see what that does. Can’t wait for the tires to “break in” and see a 50+.

  • Mike Kehle

    Higher Octane just has more resistance to “knock” or “detonation.”

  • Observer

    No offense to the author, but this whole thing needs to be rewritten. Too many mistaken principles, wrong ideas, incomplete ideas, etc. Really, a video with narration would do the job better. Our a photo with notes like this… http://flickr.com/#/photos/picspicspics/612754295/

  • ritika

    Toyota is better and best reputed brand than other brand in world. Exterior and Interior of this car is really amazing and looks luxurious . I think this car will rock the market. It’s really cool!!!
    Even I drive the Toyotaand it hasn’t troubled me till date. If you want to know more about this car then visit the following link: http://www.toyotainnova.org/.

  • tonyrenier

    Octane is a measure of antiknock agent not potential energy. Not only do you waste money buying it you also are much more likely the foul your engine.
    Hope that helps.

  • Canada

    Shifting to neutral is the worst thing to do (in a hybrid) as it does not allow for the capture of energy and you cannot recharge the batteries.

  • Florida

    2010 Prius averaging 48 – 49mpg (lots of highway driving). Not being very knowledgable, I trusted Tire Kingdom to know what they were doing and ended up with Yoko AS530….nice tire but the mgp dropped to 43. Disappointing. Any advice about what tires should be on the car? Thanks.

  • Kabes

    Well…maybe not. In order to bring the second law of thermodynamics into play you have to factor in ALL forces, while the writer is only concerned with forces that actually are available to move the car.

  • BRIDGILS

    Put low rolling resistance tires on your Prius

  • David R. Youberg

    Florida should go back to his dealer and get low rolling resiostance tires. Low rolling resistance is not shown on most tire shop charts.
    By getting on the internet I was able to find LRR tires to replace the ones the dealer originally sold me. They traded me out and they didn’t previously know about LRR tires. Dave.

  • Bruce

    In reguard to “short steep uphills and long gradual downhills”.

    The engine needs a minimum amount of fuel to stay running. It needs additional fuel to move the car on a flat. Any additional fuel used to climb a hill adds to the potential energy of the car.

    When you go down the hill the engine can shut off at speeds below 42 mph and use no gas. If it is a gentle down hill you can step lightly on the gas and the electric motor will help maintain your speed for a long ways with the previously stored potential energy doing the rest.

    If the down hill is steeper you can recover some energy through regenerative braking, but you never get as much out of a battery as you put in, so it is best to have a slope that allows you to just glide at your chosen speed.

    The fact that the gasoline engine runs more efficiently under the higher load of climbing and is then shut off on the down hill can allow you to get higher mpg than you would on a flat. It is the same as using pulse and glide on a flat.

  • Observing

    So I just read trough this entire article and everyone’s comments it’s great that so many of us Prius owners are getting together to help each other save more money!

    One thing that was not clear cut is whether we should use low octane (regular) or high octane (premium or 97)

    Thank you for the feedback, I just bought mine 4 days ago got it with a full tank and 80miles used (damn car dealers!!!!) now I’m at 277 and only 3 fuel notches are down out of 11! Guess I’m doing something right!!

  • Mr.Bear

    Use lower octane. Higher octane pruduces less energy per unit volume. Unless a car is specifically designed for huger octane gas, you don’t need it.

    Speaking if gas, ethanol is another mileage killer. If you can find ethanol free, you’re better off.

  • Jim D.

    Just picked up 2007 Prius and saw 42.3 mpg avg from previous owner. By watching the monitor and gliding as much as possible when driving I’ve already increased avg mileage to 49.2 and still climbing with each daily drive. What a joy after driving my 300C with 18 mpg Hemi. Will save $400 per month on gas!

  • adkdan

    It’s not the using the heat that saps your mileage. It’s the cold air itself. It’s much denser than warmer air, and takes much more energy to displace. Also, your engine has to work harder to keep itself warm (there’s a min threshold for its optimal running). Further, rolling resistance of the tires is greater when it’s cold. But really, the main thing, is the colder, denser air. Don’t worry about using the heater, it doesn’t use more energy – it just puts some waste heat into the cabin that would otherwise be radiated to the ambient air.

  • Canada Goose

    Bookmarked the site and will be back again!The blog article very surprised to me! Your writing is good. In this I learned a lot! Thank you!

  • SC Beach

    “Pulse and glide” is awesome. But some roads MUST be driven faster. I understand that “glide” works ONLY for 40± MPH & below. However I can do the same concept by “pulsing” to 60 MPG, then popping the shift over to Neutral (which produces the same “dead-band” effect), glide to 50±, pop it back to Drive and pulse again. I NOT saying this to inform anyone–I am a NOVICE at this. I have tried this, and it DOES “dead-band”.

    My question is: Is there a problem with this? Is the car damaged by many miles of coasting/gliding in Neutral? (i.e. is it different that “pedal dead-banding”?) Yes, if I am intentionally decelerating, I DO pop it back into Drive to get regenerative charging, etc. In essence, is there a difference between the expert hypergliders’ “dead-banding” and being in Neutral? Since the Prius seems designed not to “glide” over 40± MPG, but WILL “dead-band” in neutral at ANY higher speed, is there an accelerated wear and tear on any parts (i.e. is there a wear and tear cost in excess of gas price savings)?

  • SC Beach

    Follow-up: I’ve read somewhere that there is a danger of hurting the MG1 (“motor-Generator 1″) if I’m in Neutral over 65 MPG. Near SC beaches we have no hills that would accelerate above 60 while in Neutral. So if I stay below 65 MPG while in Neutral (in a 2008 Prius–I understand the maximum MG1 RPM changed–I don’t know what year), will I stay damage-free?

    Again, I don’t think there is any problem of the battery lacking recharging, because the ICE (“Internal Combustion Engine”) kicks in upon each “pulse” and uphill stretch, plus the fact that I put it in Drive each time I intentionally decelerate.

  • Dale

    My 2007 Model “requires” 89 Octane gas to reduce knock and detonation. I experimented with 87 octane, and sure enough I got detonation issues. I tried 92 octane and saw no real difference.

    You usually don’t go very wrong if you take the manufacturer’s recommendation.

  • Dale

    My 2007 Model “requires” 89 Octane gas to reduce knock and detonation. I experimented with 87 octane, and sure enough I got detonation issues. I tried 92 octane and saw no real difference.

    You usually don’t go very wrong if you take the manufacturer’s recommendation.

  • Keith D.

    To those wondering about the difference between using neutral vs. a proper “glide”, there is a difference. When the Prius is in neutral, the two electric motor/generators are electrically disconnected from the hybrid system. This means the hybrid battery cannot be recharged, and the gas engine cannot be started or stopped while in neutral.

    This becomes a problem if you cross the boundary speed between when the Prius can safely operate in all-electric mode with the gas engine off and the speed at which the gas engine has to turn in order to protect the electric motor (MG1) from damage caused by over-revving it. This speed is different for each generation of Prius. I don’t know the original Prius’s threshold speed, but in the generation 2 (model years 2004-2009) the speed threshold is around 40 MPH. I think in the third (current generation, 2010 and newer) the speed may be higher but I don’t know what that speed is.

    So the danger, aside from potentially discharging your hybrid battery too much and causing damage or premature failure if you’re not careful, is that if you shift into neutral while the gas engine is not running and then a tail wind or hill causes you to accelerate beyond 40 MPH (or the threshold speed of your model year), it can cause damage or failure of MG1 requiring the hybrid trans-axle to need rebuilt/replaced. If you find a salvaged unit and are qualified to work with high voltage systems and are willing to risk doing the swap yourself, you can do it for maybe under $1,000 if you’re lucky. If you have to take it to a shop to have it done, expect it to cost a few thousand dollars.

    If you manage to not damage MG1 by over-revving it, but forget to pay attention to your hybrid battery’s state of charge and over-discharge it, you may have to replace it early (something like $1,100-1,800 I believe currently), or if you discharge it too far by mistake, Toyota has to ship out a special charger to recharge the cells so your car will be able to run again. My understanding is there are not very many of those special chargers in the country, so it can result in being stuck without your car for several days.

    But if you pay careful attention to your hybrid battery state of charge and your speeds and whether or not your gas engine is running or not before shifting into neutral, using neutral for a glide is no different than doing a proper glide. You’re just running a few risks if you aren’t good at maintaining your attention on the things that your Prius ordinarily does for you.

  • Michael Flynn

    The statement about the energy content is just wrong and misses the whole point. Octane is the eight carbon version of gasoline. Smaller hydrocarbon chain molecules containing slightly less energy are mixed into most gasoline unless you can find 100 octane. But the advantage of high octane fuel is not about energy content. High power engines have high compression ratios which tend to preignite low octane fuels- the resulting premature fireball pushes the piston in the wrong direction and causes damaging loads on the piston. This can be heard as “pinging” under heavy loads. Not all engines have extremely high compression so they do not need high octane fuel. If you don’t experience pinging under heavy load, you can just use cheap gas. High octane fuel does have a little more energy but not in proportion to the extra cost.

  • Ray Lindsay

    I did a recent country drive, hilly, lots of curves, on a Sat morning, speeds between 70/to 95/100kph, and over 40 mile trip, averaged according to the computer on a generation III ,2010 Prius with thirty plus thousand kilometers on it, 3.9 litres per 100 kilometers. I had gassed just prior to my trip, re set the tripometer at the gas station and left from there…
    It was at 3.8, but just before my final destination was a long hill that bumped it to the 3.9. Although I was driving carefully, I was not hyper sensitive to driving for mileage, and on several ocassions actually accelerated quite forcefully to overtake or resume speed…Very impressed….

  • Linda J

    Bought my 2011 Prius in Western NC in April, and have consistentently gotten 51-52 mpg since day 1. Definitely keep tires inflated to achieve best results. Mountain peaks in our county are higher here than anywhere east of the Mississippi, so we are quite pleased with mpg at this point….but I believe there is still room for improvement.

  • JohnnyBoy

    You are right about energy, but we’re talking about mileage. You burn lots of gas going up and cover a short distance, but then you can go for miles not burning any. Net result is the mileage readout can read much higher than when you started.

    It’s really fun coming off a mountain and getting alll the mileage bars on my 2007 Prius to max out at 99.9.

  • Fararjeh

    I need your help
    I have 2007 Prius and I have bought it as used car so I dont know and nothing shown in the computer check about the car
    The problem taht the MPG reachs to max out at 99.9. and down to the min as every car . but…. the average MPG is about 32 only .
    I changed the plugs but with no change .
    So what might be the cause for this ???
    Thanks

  • Priyanwada

    I used to drive manual cars, Recently I brought toyota prius 2011 hybrid car. Now I realize that week fuel consumption of my car (about 13 Km per ltr,) how should I drive for better consumption. and I feel no effecency form my car while I try to speed

  • Anonymous

    I would like to congratulate all of the Prius owners out there who are doing their part to help put the oil sheiks in the poor house, and I also enjoy seeing how high I can get the trip meter to go between fillups on my 2011 Prius, but I would like to point out some basic economy and math for all of my fellow cheapskates. I do admit to being the worst kind of cheapskate. When you are going from 18 mpg to 50 mpg, there is a big difference in your monthly dollar amount going into the tank, but from 50 to 60 or even 70, it is not much difference unless you travel a lot more than the national average. Example: If you drive an average amount like I do, (approximately 1500 miles per month) you can expect to buy about 30 gallons of fuel per month with a stock Prius, which at today’s rate is about 105 bucks a month. At 60 mpg, you’d use about 25 gallons a month at about 88 bucks a month. So, for the price of one good pizza, you’re taking back roads, driving slow, taking extra time out of your day, and getting in people’s way, possibly causing accidents as they try to get around you. Again, I’m not pointing fingers, because I was doing these things myself, more like a game to see how little I could see the gas engine arrows come on. I think the smartest thing we did was buy a Prius in the first place instead of a big 18 mpg pickup, which I really do miss, because I loved driving my big pickup, but that’s beside the point. I think we should try to maximize the mpg’s within reason. If nobody’s around, and it’s safe, by all means have some fun, coast, pulse, glide, or whatever else works for you, but when there’s traffic around, make sure we flow with them and pay attention. Any gas savings we could obtain by going slow could quickly disappear with some blood on the highway, this coming from an 911 dispatcher and a prior Air Force emergency room technician and ambulance driver. If you’re daily commute is short, you might consider the Plug-in Prius that’s coming soon, but it too will cost on your electric bill, more than you think (around 3 cents per mile or $45 a month. Having said all that, how many of us try to decrease the miles driven somehow by planning ahead and not taking so many little trips to fast food and multiple errands. As a society, we are pretty wasteful So, again, let’s have fun out there, but don’t obscess about a few bucks a month.

  • iluvmyprius

    I have an idea. Why don’t some of us see how bad we can get the gas mileage for a month? I’m not talkin wreckless driving and wearing the brakes out, but kind of mash on it on takeoffs, keep it in power mode, and coast as little as possible while being safe. I’ll bet we can’t get it under 40 mpg under any circumstances when it is in “D” mode. Maybe if it was left in “B” position, it might get below 40, because of all the engine braking. Just a thought. I’d like to see how efficient it is, and a test like this would really show the electric benefits upon acceleration. I’ll try it and post again after the test.

  • Anonymous

    Just for fun, I’m going to see how bad I can make the MPG get on my Prius. I’ll let you know how low it gets. My guess is it won’t go under 40 MPG.

  • robert r

    On a TDI VW we can see 199 mpg :)

  • AC

    Good stuff here, even if it’s not all 100% right. New Prius owner- one tank #1 I got 45mpg. After learning how to accelerate, brake, and glide- almost up to 555 mpg on the second tank!

    For me, whatever speed I’m targeting on the highway, I try to accelerate up to 5 mph above target, and then coast down to about 5 mph below it. Then I repeat the process. With slow acceleration, it seems to do a decent job of making mileage good.

  • arizonataylor

    Buying a Prius – That’s the first great move you made when it comes to saving money on gas. I’ve written about this topic on many occasions, and I see absolutely no false statements in this article. Your article is absolutely correct and well written. There are a few more things that you can do though. Here’s a link for additional ideas on how to save gas:

    http://arizonataylor.hubpages.com/hub/Save-Gas-Cut-Fuel-Costs-Expert-Money-Saving

  • Anonymous

    I just got my Prius about 4 weeks ago and have about 3200 miles on it. I am getting usually max of 46.5 mpg on it and that is from working my hardest to get the best MPG possible. In other words I am driving like a Granny (that is what my kids say). I am kind of irritated by that. I hope it is just the breaking in period, because I can’t get to 50 mpg no matter what I do. I will try the glide method, haven’t tried that yet. I do almost all city driving. My average speed is usually about 22mph. I have to admit that I use the EV mode quite a bit. Why not use EV mode when taking off at a traffic light to get you to 25MPH before your engine kicks on? My next tank of gas I will not use the EV mode at red lights or stop signs to see if that helps. I live off a dirt road that takes me 5 min to get down and I can travel at speeds of no more than 20mph max because of how rough the road is and I usually have the EV mode on there, but it drains my battery before I get home. Anybody else out there using the EV mode a lot?

  • kane

    Anonymous’ comments are well taken, if long winded. If our high mileage games cause (directly or indirectly) accidents and/or injury, we negate any good we might do by saving a little gas. Just the deductible on a single fender bender will cost more than the gas you save over years of hypermiling.

    Re lower mpg in winter: in addition to more time spent warming up, ethanol levels in gasoline are higher during winter in many urban (less pollution). Ethanol has ~ 2/3 energy density of gasoline, so a mixture of gasoline & ethanol will give you fewer mpg. So expect to see lower mpg in winter.

    I enjoy cranking up the mpg when I can, but I confess, I run the heater, I run the A/C, and I drive with the flow on the highway, usually 65-75 out here in TX.
    Anecdotally I see higher mpg in hilly terrain than on the flat, which seems to be a common thread in some of the other posts.

    And finally, truth be known, the neighbor down the street with a Nissan Leaf has us all beat.

  • florists in cyprus

    Great post I must say. Simple but yet entertaining and engaging… Keep up the good work!

  • florists in cyprus

    Great post I must say. Simple but yet entertaining and engaging… Keep up the good work!

  • ESMOG

    This is WAY too much work! Just f-ing drive the car!

  • Anon

    I’ve been tracking the mileage in my 2010 Prius since May 2010. The overall average is 51.1 mpg, with a high of 56.3, and a low of 45.5. I don’t spend any time trying to hypermile, or maximize mileage, so I’d say the EPA was right on with their combined estimate. Sometimes the per tank average jumps or drops, and that makes me wonder what exactly I did differently to affect the mileage, but I don’t spend much time thinking about it.

  • v4750

    Just did the math after the first tank of gas through a new 2011 Prius, mostly freeway driving 70ish much of the time under cruise control. Didn’t know or try any hypermiling techniques till I just read this. 50mpg.

    Trying to learn from this page plus use what has seemed reasonable by watching the dash display for the 2nd tank. I do understand the statistical noise represented by only 2 datapoints, but right now I am encouraged enough to think I will beat that 50 with the second tank, if the weather holds.

    Been driving a VW TDI Jetta diesel for the last 300,000 miles with very little trouble. Got 50+ mpg when it was new, now mid 40s and the fuel is more expensive than gas. Came close to buying another though. Had a diesel rabbit through 350,000+ miles with little trouble also.

    The Prius is a costly experiment, but looks good so far.

  • Buy software

    Nc9QxG Thanks for all the answers:) In fact, learned a lot of new information. Dut I just didn`t figure out what is what till the end!…

  • EruditeMan

    I think it takes a special type of person to enjoy the challenge and accept the fun one may get in owning and driving a Prius. I drive a 2007 model and typically get about 55mpg. My personal challenge is to drive more than 600 miles on a single tank of gas. To date the farthest I’ve driven on a tank was 622 miles for around 56.6 mpg and since I filled it with 11.6 gallons of gas it appears my owner manual’s statement of 11.3 gallon tank capacity is a little off. I just replaced all 4 tires; it was a little disappointing original tires wore out in 42,500 miles. One of my goals is to drive the same Prius to around 175,000 miles before I need to do anything with the brakes. I regularly check my tire pressure which I think will help assure better gas mileage. I’ve read some blogs where people get far more mpg than I do and admit wondering what those drivers do that I don’t do. Having said that – I think my 2007 model year Prius is doing well at 55 mpg. Maybe if I were to buy a 2011 or 2012 model year vehicle I’d see 65+ mpg. I understand the comments regarding traffic flow and driving like a grand-pa/grand-ma but think I’m reasonable if I drive in keeping with United States and State traffic laws. It sometimes amazes me they way some people do everything possible to squeeze in ahead of me and then, invariably, slam on their brakes to stop at the traffic signal within the next block or two while I arrive at the same intersection directly behind them without using my brakes at all. When I’m at a complete stop my personal challenge is to accelerate so I get to 30 mph before the gas engine kicks in. I’ve sometimes gotten up a hill to 45 mph without using a drop of gas. I think one can do a lot to improve their gas mileage primarily by driving far, far ahead of actual position on the road so they avoid braking and forced use of gas pedal. I’ve found, by doing these things, my travel time isn’t greater than it is when I drive more forcefully but helps me use less auto fuel and spend less maintaining my vehicle. Has anyone used 2 ounces of ethyleneglycol in 10 gallons of gas and seen fuel mileage improvement? I’ve read that one may see about 8% better mpg as it pulls water out of one’s fuel which leads to better combustion. Does anyone know how long original batteries may last in a Prius? If I keep my Prius more than 10 years should I budget a few thousand dollars to replace the batteries?

  • Considering 1st Prius

    Anonymous, I appreciated your message. I currently drive 2,000+ miles a month is a Jeep Grand Cherokee at an average of roughly 15 MPG. The monthly gas bill is brutal!! After reading all of these posts, I began to get concerned that driving a Prius was simply way too complicated adn would require too much “messing around” on the roads to be practical and safe.

    However, it sounds like from your post, that you can still drive relatively normal and still achieve 48 to 52 MPG. Would that be an accurate statement? I believe that the monthly fuel savings alone would cover the car payment for the new Prius, but I want to be sure that this is the right move. Everyone seems to love their car, but I never thought I would be considering a Prius & would also miss (I think) the SUV.

    Any reassurance is much appreciated!

    Thanks

  • I love the new Prius

    I just got a new Prius. Have owned a VW Jetta, Subaru Legacy, Toyota Corolla, Lexus E250, and a Nissan Sentra. I will say the Prius is by far the best ride I’ve driven. So smooth and quiet. With the new Prius V you get a more wagon style, so there’s extra cargo room, which might help if you’re used to an SUV. You can drive aggressive and still get better gas mileage than a regular car, let alone any SUV currently on the market. If you learn to drive it really well, you can get between 50-70 mpg, but it means you kind of have to drive like a granny and learn to ‘glide’ a lot. The Prius is not complicated to drive, though with so much electronic computer control you can put a curve on your fuel economy based on how you drive. You should be way ahead of 15 mpg with “normal” driving. Plus Toyota warranties are pretty good and any of the models above 2008′ have a solid track record. Just 10K oil changes and go.

  • Prius is the way to go!

    I just got a new Prius. Have owned a VW Jetta, Subaru Legacy, Toyota Corolla, Lexus E250, and a Nissan Sentra. I will say the Prius is by far the best ride I’ve driven. So smooth and quiet. With the new Prius V you get a more wagon style, so there’s extra cargo room, which might help if you’re used to an SUV. You can drive aggressive and still get better gas mileage than a regular car, let alone any SUV currently on the market. If you learn to drive it really well, you can get between 50-70 mpg, but it means you kind of have to drive like a granny and learn to ‘glide’ a lot as stated in the above article. The Prius is not complicated to drive, though with so much electronic computer control you can put a curve on your fuel economy based on how you drive. You should be way ahead of 15 mpg with “normal” driving. Plus Toyota warranties are pretty good and any of the models above 2008′ have a solid track record. Just 10K oil changes and go. Get one!

  • sam calli

    We got better mpg with low octane. The high octane also made our 11′ Prius run and idle rough.

  • DickG

    On my 05 Prius and now on my 10 Prius, I’ve used Michilin X’s and gotten equal or better mileage than stock with more improvement once the tires wore in.

  • Wing Chen

    I just traded-in a 2010 Murano (18 mpg city) for a 2011 Prius. I mean, literally just got the Prius. I did allot of research before buying it and I got a great deal. I’ve much to learn about driving the vehicle but that’ll be fun. What has me confused is the “B” mode on the shift lever. The dealer said I should use this as often as possible to save wear of the brakes. Yet I have read that “B” should only be used on long downhills. I don’t get it. It should be easier to understand.

  • mlbex

    Actually it doesn’t violate the law of thermodynamics because the Prius is almost (probably never) 100% efficient. The steep uphill/gentle slope downhill causes the car to do something that is not very efficient at (steep uphill) for a short time and distance, and something it is really efficient at for a long time and distance. It’s a net win, but it’s never 100% efficient.

  • Edgar Coudal

    Drove my ’05 Prius (46-50 mpg) for six years, then moved on to a 2011. I routinely get 50-53 mpg on the 2011, with a lot of radio and AC (Florida here, thank you). Using non-ethanol gas adds 2, maybe 3 mpg, overinflating the tires by a couple of pounds adds another mpg. Now must master the gliding described in the article. 70 mpg, here we come!

  • Trudi B.

    This article has been a God-send for me! I have been a Dodge Durango driver since 1999, until just recently it was totaled and I rented a Prius, and loved it so much that I decided to purchase a used Prius from my friend. It is a 2005 that had 82,000, and I have gone from 11 mpg with my Durango to an immediate 45 mpg with my new Prius. I am so happy about it! After finding this article just 3 days ago, my current reading on my dash has gone up to 50.1 mpg. It is very cold now so I am dealing with the early morning drops in the mpg, but trying these different tips which has helped immensely. I travel at least 75 miles a day across highways and in town, so saving on gas will make a big difference on our monthly spending. Thank you!

  • EBGwd

    Shifting to neutral was the best thing to do (in my hydrid) as I am diligent enough to place shifter back into drive when at the bottom of a long hill or when I need the Prius to slow. I watch the displays and road and function as the driver and not a passenger. I’ve seen 62.4 mpg on my best tank and get at least 55 mpg on other tanks. My Prius is a 2010 and has 35000 miles.

  • Pru Balatero

    Thank you for the article and the various responses which were helpful. I recently bought a 2009 Prius about 4 months ago and was getting nice mpg approx. 46 mpg until about 3 or 4 weeks ago, late Oct. 2011 when mpg dropped into 25 to 30 mpg range. I took it to a Toyota dealer to have it checked out. Everything checked OK. Then, I did some testing on my own based on reading your article. Cold weather has commenced and the worst gas mileage for a Prius is when the engine is cold. My wife uses the car daily in the morning to go to her exercise class about a mile and a half from home. After the class returns home. So, I suspected the round trip entailed a cold engine and therefore very low gas mileage, present total mileage is 41,000 miles on our car. So, one day I started the car with its cold engine and did a round trip of 3 miles from my home to the exercise class place, temperatures in the mid 40s and had the heater on for only half the trip. For the 3 miles, the car indicated 35.1 mpg. Then, I repeated the trip, now with the engine warmed up and it was 40.7 mpg again with the hearter on. Then, I drove it again, but with the heater off and the reading was 52.2 mpg.

    Later I did the 3 mile trip with the heater on the entire trip, cold engine start and only got 27.8 mpg.

    I read the tire pressure readings as follows: 34 psi LF, 33 psi RF, 32 psi LR, 31 psi RR.

    A couple of days later, I decided to do some other tests. First as a baseline, I drove the same 3 mile trip from a cold enginine start with the heater on and temperature at 45 degrees and got a 35.3 mpg reading, but I did have to run the engine awhile because heavy frost was on all the windows and needed to be cleared before I could drive. Then, I changed the tire air pressures as follows: 39 psi FR and FL, and 35 psi RL and RR. and drove the same 3 mile trip with heater on and got this reading 45.1 mpg. This would compare to the 40.7 mpg reading at lower tire pressures. Then, I looked for gas stations that sold non-entanol added gasoline and could not find any, they each said that up to 10% entanol was added. So, I bought 89 octane gasoline instead of my usual purchase of 87 octane gasoline as called for this Prius 2009. I had about 3 gallons of 87 octane gasoline in the tank before I filled it up with the 89 octane gasoline. I then drove the car on the same 3 mile route that I have been usiing as my test run and it indicated 49 mpg. So, an increase over my previous 3 mile run at 45.1 mpg.

    As I write this comment, I realize that I need to do a test run again without the heater on, with the new tire pressures and the 89 octane gasoline to complete the comparison of these variables.

    I really did not try to glide and optimize my gas mileage, I just drove in my usual manner for these tests.

    I hope this is helpful to others.

  • FARARJEH

    Thank you Pru Balatero
    Actually good job
    I still hav bad MPG 32 FOR PRIUS 2007 of only 65000 milgae
    I changed the plugs and now its 34
    These days I found wile wer newly using the heater because its coming colder – you know- taht the heater is not working , so I think ther is a malfunction in the heater in the last few months which this gave me 34 MPG
    I need a help on this and can any body comment
    thanks

  • Bradley Rice

    It is possible to get better fuel mileage this way though although the wording is technically incorrect. The prius may get 20mpg for 10 seconds on a steep quick uphill, but then on a slow steady downhill back to the original elevation could cause gains of 99.9 mpg for 20 or 30 seconds. Leaving you with an average of 70 to 85 mpg overall.

  • PriusRules

    Have 1200 mi on my 2011 Prius and have been averaging 57 mpg so far. My daily 35 mile one-way commute includes 5 miles of city traffic, 20 hwy miles at 70-75 and 10 hwy miles in moderate, 30-50 mph traffic. No hyper inflation of tires, no trailing big rigs, no slowing traffic with all-systems-off gliding techniques, though I’m careful about keeping safe distances so I don’t have to slam on the brakes too much. I keep headlights, radio and A/C on pretty much all the time. I notice that I get best mpg when I accelerate to traffic speed and let off gas pedal a bit so the display shows I’m using battery power mostly to maintain speed but I do not stress over it. Everyone who has to drive from Fort Lauderdale to Miami knows I-95 traffic could be brutal, so getting 57 mpg is pretty impressive for a little car!

    Main pros for Prius:
    Use of HOV lanes – shave up to 15 mins each way off my commute each way
    Free use of express lanes – save $60-100 a month
    Gas savings – $80 a month ($3.25/gal)
    Hybrid car parking discount at work: $250/year
    Pretend I’m in a spaceship – priceless!

  • Anonymous

    How does it feel to drive a hybrid and get worst gas mileage at 45 than a twin turbo v10 m5?

  • Coolrod

    I use a block heater that is made for the Prius. to get better cold weather mpg. The heater element slides into a hole designed for it in the block at the rear of the engine. The block heater is made in Canada.

  • scott angelacos

    this is great, i never find such article before..i think i’m gonna do that thing to my Prius and let see if that’s working on some New Car 2012 .once again, thank you for posting this informative article

  • kneel

    I am in my 6th week of owning a new 2011 Prius. I get different mileage depending on the route i go. I probably filled 6 tanks and put on 2k miles. I average around 48 to 49 MPG. I tried both going like a Granny and also tested with my regular style and i do not see much of a difference. So, i would probably drive normally and be safe than going slow and making everyone uncomfortable on the road. Doing a little bit of Costing while going along with the traffic is improving my mileage.

  • Garyt

    Just bought a 10 Prius 4 days ago and after reading all the posts it seems a lot of work to attain the max mpg. I am using studded snow tires till warm weather. Not sure what to expect for mpg but time will tell. The dealer also told e to buy low rolling summer tires. Does anyone know how hard to find those?

  • Anonymous

    I was wondering how I could improve my gas mileage. I drive a lot . . . as in I have 65K on my 2010 and a lot of it is highway. I change the oil on time and have put a new set of tires on my car 2.5 (lol) times. I am a college student with kiddos and I could really use some tips on how to get better mpg as right now it is at 36 mpg. I drive between ok and texas and it has been rather windy here lately. If you can help, I’d really appreciate it!

  • anucha

    could be a wrong type of tires, or tire pressure. change the tire to the LRR ones and keep the right tire pressure as recommended from toyota.

  • Andy

    Any opinions about spending the big $$$$ on converting to a PHEV (plug-in hybrid electric vehicle)?

  • DocIA

    Garyt
    Re: Tire Question
    TIRE RACK is good. Sort and Filter for LRR.
    http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tiretech/techpage.jsp?techid=29

  • Kor Kiley

    Thank you for this comment which makes perfect sense although. I would expect that fan usage must also be a factor since it, obviously, consumes energy. Electric motors are pretty efficient, so hopefully not much.

  • Kor Kiley

    Sorry, my previous comment was in reference to a message suggesting that using the heat in winter should have little effect on mileage since all you are doing is directing engine heat to the interior of the car.

  • Kor Kiley

    Yesterday afternoon and this morning I tested the theory that using heat in winter shouldn’t make any difference on fuel consumption, and my brief testing, with outside temps of 25 to 30 degrees farenheit, indicates that it does make a difference. I turned the fan off which turns auto climate control off and doesn’t heat the interior. The result was that the engine switched off much sooner than with auto on and a temp of 65 selected.

    From this quick test, it appears that the engine warm-up period on a cold day might be less about the catalytic converter temperature operation threshold, and more about providing sufficient heat to warm the interior. I was making a short trip with one stretch of about 1.5 miles between 30 and 40 mph and the rest of the three mile trip at a speed of 20 to 25 mph. Perhaps, once the car is warmed up and traveling at speed, especially on the highway, the heater will have little effect–in other words when it is likely that the ICE would be running anyway.

  • Lucky

    Even without using the heater, I am only getting 44 mpg. I even tried letting the car run before driving it. What am I doing wrong? I do drive about 70 mph usually though.

    Thanks!

  • Anonymous

    I have a 2005 Prius with 139000 miles on it. I am pretty consistently a lead footed driver and for years have gotten an average of 46-48 mpg in summer with A/C on and a little less in winter with the heater running. Since mid summer 2011 my mileage has dropped off to 37.5 to 40.5 mpg. New higher quality spark plugs, more careful cleaning of my K&N air filter helped, as did keeping inflated to tire pressures on the car door.

    What else could be causing the drop in mileage? Any reommendations would be appreciated.

    Can the batteries be losing efficiency? Can they be tested for this? How much do replacement batteries for a 2005 cost (with installation) when the need arises?

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  • vjkwit4is

    Good article, very informative. Not many people talking about the environmental effect of reduced emissions which was a BIG draw for us.
    As the owner of a 2004 Pri with about 105K many of these things were learned by experience. Never tried the hyper-miling techniques of shifting in & out of gear. Kind of scares me, not really sure of the effects on a “continuous drive” transmission.
    My question relates to drop in mileage. Just had the sinuous belt replaced by a dealer, @ about 102K. Since then it seems the mileage has been consistently lower. Previous mileage would range from high 40s in cold weather to near 60 in warm weather staying comfortably warm or cold, accelerating as needed, etc..

    Have not been able to go over 42mpg EVER, at all, no matter what techniques I’ve used. Has anyone experienced a change like this when the drive belt was changed? Could IT have a break-in period of several thousand miles? And why would that change my mileage? Thought maybe it is just the battery getting old. Thoughts, experiences? Thanks!

  • Jav

    High octane gasoline is only good when the engine has a high crompression ratio (over 10:1). The engine on the Prius has a low one so using high octane does not add anything to its performance. Additionaly, both high and low octane gas have the same cleaning agents (assuming the same brand)

  • Tom Coll

    I recently was in an accident, and replaced my prior vehicle with a certified pre owned 07 Prius. I am learning to love this car more and more every day I drive it – thank you, all, for your posts.

    No question, a Prius takes some getting used to, but I can’t argue with 49.6 mpg the past 3 weeks in 70% city, 30% highway driving. I am an accountant, so forgive me for being so anal. I will continue to strive for +50mpg, I know I can do it.

    My question is – I have a vibration (rattle) from the passenger side around 45mph behind the glove boxe(s). It sounds like loose plastic hitting plastic – surprise, it is a Prius, and, they do have to maintain weight. I have checked the restraining hinge for the lower glove box and the in-cabin air filter, but can’t seem to locate the vibration.

    Anyone out there with any history and a resolution before I take it to the Dealer?

  • Tom Coll

    Anyone have any ideass about what might cause a vibration rattle at or around 45mpg in an 07 Prius?

    I have already checked the lower glove box assembly to include the restraining harness as well as the in cabin air filter unit.

    Thanks

  • Mike Anderson

    Any more info or testing on the MPG improvment due to the 89 Octane?

  • MaryF

    Just ordered my Pruis C four yesterday but test drove a C three today. Can’t wait to get mine and be on the “road”.

    Thanks for all the information, I will definately re-read the suggestions since I am hoping to get the 53 mpg during my 52 mile roundtrip commute for work.

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  • Stacy G

    Regarding lower mileage when using the heater. I have a 2010 gen 3, close to 50,000 miles and rarely get below 50mpg over 1,000 mile stretches (even in winter) and know my mileage is lower during the cooler and wetter winter months, I’m in the Pacific NW.

    I noticed that with the heater on after having only driven a few miles on a cold engine, the engine would not shut off at stoplights. So, thinking about how the heater works: it needs heated engine coolant circulating through the heater core to warm the air the blower blows through it. If you want heat and the coolant is not warm enough, the cars computer knows that and the engine continues to run to warm the coolant, to warm the air, to warm you.

    So, I experimented and I know for sure that if I have the heat on early in a drive, and the engine does not turn off when the car is stopped, I can turn off the engine simply by turning off the heat. It works every time. So, in the winter I just leave the heat off as long as possible until the engine has warmed up or until I am driving at a speed where the engine has to run no matter what, like on the freeway.

    I think the MPG gains are minimal but every little bit helps, I just find it strange to be at a stoplight now and have the engine running.

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  • Anonymous

    It would take you forever to get anywhere going 30-40mph…

  • MUHAMMAD MUJEEB ALAM

    I LIKE THIS CAR VERY MUCH……………………
    IF ITS DRIVE ONLY FOR BATTERIES INSTEAD OF PETROL OR GAS & GIVEN 50 MILES P/LITRE &ABOVE……….

  • Glenn Sullivan

    Octane does not add energy. Octane reduces the gases ability to ignite. Why would you want to do this ? With a high performance, high compression engine, the higher compression causes the gas to ignite earlier than desired, known as pre-ignition or knocking. The Octane allows the gas to ignite at the right time. If you don’t have a high compression engine then the octane does nothing for you.

    Actually today with the computerized timing, fuel injected cars. they can sense the pre-ignition and and they make adjustments to prevent it. Only a few cars actually need high octane fuel any more. It was needed more back in the 70′s with high performance high compression engines that had no computers to manage pre-ignition.

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  • Glenn Sullivan

    Octane does not add energy. Octane reduces the gases ability to ignite. Why would you want to do this ? With a high performance, high compression engine, the higher compression causes the gas to ignite earlier than desired, known as pre-ignition or knocking. The Octane allows the gas to ignite at the right time. If you don’t have a high compression engine then the octane does nothing for you.

    Actually today with the computerized timing, fuel injected cars. they can sense the pre-ignition and and they make adjustments to prevent it. Only a few cars actually need high octane fuel any more. It was needed more back in the 70′s with high performance high compression engines that had no computers to manage pre-ignition.

  • Jeff S

    There is no more or less energy in gasoline of different octane levels. The main difference is that the higher octane the fuel is… the more difficult it is to make the combustion start. The advantage to this is that if you have a high-performance engine with high compression you want the engine to wait until the spark occurs before combustion starts. Otherwise you effectively will have a timing problem where your engine is firing too early. This also helps older cars that are carbureted and may have hot spots in the head. They tend to run on after the ignition is turned off. If you vehicle manufacturer suggests normal “87 octane” gasoline then that will work fine.

    On the other hand it is true that some gasoline companies put fuel additives in only certain grades of gasoline.

  • Anonymous

    I just got my 2012 Prius IV and I love it!
    Sea green/blue color is beautiful and the mileage is great.
    Hoping to increase it from 50mpg to 60mpg. Hated gassing up in my 20 mpg Acura-now I just “glide” by the gas stations.

  • Joe

    High Octane gas is required in engines with high compression ratios, like turbo or super-charged engines. With that type of engine, low-octane fuel ignites prematurely, causing knocking. So, using high octane gas in normal engines is just a waste of money.

  • Bill

    It does seem all gas engines get less mpg in the winter months. However the Prius will use even more mpg than necessary if you leave the heat on in the cold weather. I found if the cabin temp is less than you set it at and you are in glide mode or at a stop light, the (ICE – gas motor) will run to heat the anti-freeze to bring warm air into the cabin.

    This guys comments are 100% correct on gas motors, it takes no extra energy to use the heater since the motor is running anyway making heat. (yes yes there is an exchange loss in heat to water to cabin, but it consumes no extra gas in a regular car/truck system) However in the Prius you can save energy and still have a relative warm cabin by following techniques I am still trying to master.

    Simply turn the heater off, when coasting and stopped at lights. As soon as the ICE kicks on (like during takeoff from stop lights) turn the heater on, but when you know the engine would normally kick off, if it were warmer out, turn the heater off. That way the engine won’t run only to warm up your cabin space, yet at the same time you will warm the cabin while the engine has to run anyway.

  • Tim Johnson

    Regarding using the “B” shift position, either you didn’t understand the dealer’s explanation or he doesn’t know what he is talking about. Use “B’ (for Braking) when you are going down a long, steep hill and the hybrid battery is already charged. Using “B” will engage engine braking to limit the speed of the car, much like downshifting in a conventional car rather than riding the brakes. Within the limits of safety, use light to moderate braking to charge the hybrid battery – depressing the brake pedal hard will engage the brake pads. After speaking with a Toyota mechanic, my understanding is that it is possible to overcharge the hybrid battery, though there is no indication of when that is happening, other than the fact that the battery icon would be fully charged. The mechanic told me that the battery is designed with a little extra “capacity”, as a safeguard against over-charge. On the rare occasions that I am on a steep enough hill that the battery icon might get fully lit up, I’ll charge the battery most of the way with regenerative braking and then I’ll shift into “B” just as I’m about to fill up the battery charge icon. This should allow a little more “capacity” for any more charge I get from coasting down the remainder of the hill.

  • BGC

    Thanks for the reality check. I live in WI and have owned a Prius for about 5 weeks and 1700 miles. As I have not reset my tripmeter it shows a cumulative mpg of 58. Sounds like winter will definitely make an impact on that.

  • JohnE

    Have had my 2011 Prius III for 6 mos. (new) Previously drove a 2003 Accord 6cyl/6spd manual. Using hypermiling was able to get 40 MPG (pre ethanol) then 35mpg. It’s rated 25mpg. I overinflate tires to 60 psi. Coast down all hills. It’s hilly/mountainous here in Hudson Valley/catskills NY. There are plenty of long straight-a-ways too. Slow starts, long/gradual stops, keep rolling at slow speeds.
    I leave plenty early and adjust my course for flattest and/or without frequent stops. I drive at 45 in 65/55 MAXIMUM zones. You have to be fairly thick skinned. Most people could care less about the price of gas. Or they’d slow down. Previously I was the most aggressive driver. I used to always look ahead. Now I drive from my rearview mirror.
    I bought my Prius not just for reliability and $$ savings. I bought it to reduce emissions and hopefully influence others to do thge same. Each time I drive others are “stuck” doing the speed limit behind me. Therefore saving more gas and reducing emissions. I know what you “road warriors” are gonna say; “we’ll just speed later to overcompensate”. Yeah, but we all have a maximum speed in our head we wouldn’t exceed. Hopefully my actions will influence others to slow down. It’s the easiest way for ANYONE to save $$.
    Does anyone have the solar roof panel? Or is that just to operate sunroof? Does it add weight? Create more drag? Seems the moonroof would :(

  • JohnE

    Have had my 2011 Prius III for 6 mos. (new) Previously drove a 2003 Accord 6cyl/6spd manual. Using hypermiling was able to get 40 MPG (pre ethanol) then 35mpg. It’s rated 25mpg. I overinflate tires to 60 psi. Coast down all hills. It’s hilly/mountainous here in Hudson Valley/catskills NY. There are plenty of long straight-a-ways too. Slow starts, long/gradual stops, keep rolling at slow speeds.
    I leave plenty early and adjust my course for flattest and/or without frequent stops. I drive at 45 in 65/55 MAXIMUM zones. You have to be fairly thick skinned. Most people could care less about the price of gas. Or they’d slow down. Previously I was the most aggressive driver. I used to always look ahead. Now I drive from my rearview mirror.
    I bought my Prius not just for reliability and $$ savings. I bought it to reduce emissions and hopefully influence others to do thge same. Each time I drive others are “stuck” doing the speed limit behind me. Therefore saving more gas and reducing emissions. I know what you “road warriors” are gonna say; “we’ll just speed later to overcompensate”. Yeah, but we all have a maximum speed in our head we wouldn’t exceed. Hopefully my actions will influence others to slow down. It’s the easiest way for ANYONE to save $$.
    Does anyone have the solar roof panel? Or is that just to operate sunroof? Does it add weight? Create more drag? Seems the moonroof would :(

  • JohnE

    I’m getting 73 MPG, btw. ;)

  • Anonymous

    Ahahahahahaha. Oh naive, naive people. You do know how much more environmentally unfriendly it is to make a Prius than other cars is, right? Over a ten year life, total emissions from mining the metal to make the vehicle up to the end of its life, a Range Rover will actually pollute slightly less than a Prius. It’ll burn a helluva lot more gas, don’t get me wrong, but the manufacturing process for hybrids is just absolutely crazy compared to other cars because of the metals required to make the batteries.

    Protip: Drive a hybrid to save money, not the world.

  • Anonymous

    Ahahahahahaha. Oh naive, naive people. You do know how much more environmentally unfriendly it is to make a Prius than other cars is, right? Over a ten year life, total emissions from mining the metal to make the vehicle up to the end of its life, a Range Rover will actually pollute slightly less than a Prius. It’ll burn a helluva lot more gas, don’t get me wrong, but the manufacturing process for hybrids is just absolutely crazy compared to other cars because of the metals required to make the batteries.

    Protip: Drive a hybrid to save money, not the world.

  • Sig

    Ahahahahahaha. Oh naive, naive people. You do know how much more environmentally unfriendly it is to make a Prius than other cars is, right? Over a ten year life, total emissions from mining the metal to make the vehicle up to the end of its life, a Range Rover will actually pollute slightly less than a Prius. It’ll burn a helluva lot more gas, don’t get me wrong, but the manufacturing process for hybrids is just absolutely crazy compared to other cars because of the metals required to make the batteries.

    Protip: Drive a hybrid to save money, not the world.

  • JohnE

    Ahahahahahaha
    Show me ANY evidence of that? Or should we just take your word? Batteries are fully recyclable. Wasted oil on and gas from your excessive Rover aren’t. I did all the research first.
    I sleep just fine.

  • JohnE

    Ahahahahahaha
    Show me ANY evidence of that? Or should we just take your word? Batteries are fully recyclable. Wasted oil on and gas from your excessive Rover aren’t. I did all the research first.
    I sleep just fine.

  • Colton

    You could just buy a VW Passat TDI clean diesel if you want 50 mpg with “normal” driving. The Passat TDI is a bigger car than the Prius, has no batteries to mess with, has more cargo room in the wagon configuration (not sure on the sedan), has more horsepower, has MUCH more torque, can run on biodiesel (which is renewable and has fewer emissions), has a 10k mile oil change interval, and is similarly priced. Also, the diesel engine will usually last over 350k miles before needing a major overhaul. I don’t understand why anybody would buy a hybrid when diesel technology can produce a similar result in a nicer package. There’s an article on edmunds that compares the fuel mileage of a Passat TDI to 5 other compact cars. The Passat beat them all and actually beat its EPA rating by over 10 mpg at 70 mph. It got 50+ hwy mpg and over 40 mpg city. For more information on VW diesels check out TDIClub.com.

  • ted johnson

    My 2010 Prius cost 22K new, LMPG is 57, summers I never have a tank under 60mpg. It has lost $1,000 in resale value over 2 years. I carry a Kayak inside with the hatch closed, have camped in it , will carry a twin bed with the deck open. NO diesel stink, no carcinogens released into the atmosphere per WHO, and no VW reliability issues . AC works at a stop light while engine is off. Regens downhill and the braking energy is gained that is lost on a TDI. Car runs on electric a good percentage of the time. Its a step toward an all electric future, where cars run on renewable energy from wind and solar and nuclear, not polluting fossil fuels. My second hybrid , the first was a Honda Insight , put on almost 300K mi at LMPG of 61, summers never under 70 mpg. Ran as well when I sold it as new. Hybrids – the way to go cleanly.

  • JohnE

    @ Colton:
    This is what The American Cancer Society has to say about your diesel (cars banned in my state: NY and California)
    http://www.cancer.org/Cancer/CancerCauses/OtherCarcinogens/Pollution/diesel-exhaust
    And I don’t plan to spend all my time begging for deep fry oil setting up multiple filters and modifying my diesel engine to accept. Not cost efficient.
    BTW my GAS Accord went 200K miles just fine. Before a hailstorm totaled it.
    Still getting 70 MPG.
    Cancer isn’t a “nicer package”
    And I sleep just fine…

  • JohnE

    Also…
    With the price of diesel your car would have to get nearly 100MPG to equal my cost per mile…
    Yeah…no.

  • BAR

    I read the entire article, and every comment. For the most part it’s worth reading for the new Prius owner. I have a 2011 Prius with 5,000 miles and LMPG is 52, worst tank, flooring it everywhere was 45 mpg, highest was my last tank at 59.51 mpg using neutral to extend my coasting. Driving this car is like driving any other car, with the benefit of being able to increase mgp if you can learn to be patient, drive smart, drive for space, not for time, and above all else need a new car. Buying a new vehicle to save on gas doesn’t save you any money at all. Buying a new car because you don’t have a vehicle, or the one you are replacing is rusting into the ground, has the potential to cost you less over it’s lifespan. I replaced my 2011 IMpreza 2.5i with my 2011 prius II. I was previously getting 25 mpg, and had 14% interest on my Subaru loan. I traded in, because I was offered 0% financing, $1,000 off for buying a 2011 leftover, and my current payments are exactly the same as they were with the Subaru. Thus, Over the life of the loan, the gas savings alone are effectively saving me some money. I fill up 1-2 times per month, $30.00 – $60.00 @ $3.50 avg per gallon. A lot of people argue with me about my neutral coasting technique which I favor over gliding in D, but It’s nothing new people have been doing it and no reported failures have ever been linked to excessive use of N coasting. Have a nice day :)

  • Anonymous

    I must be doing something wrong. I have almost 15,000 miles on my 2012 Prius. I have an iPhone app that I use to track my average mileage for all fuel consumed. I’m at 45.7 and use the cruise control and go the speed limit. I get much better mileage on the highway, and have gotten over fifty on a few highway trips. I can’t glide no matter how I try. Maybe I’m looking at the wrong display. I’m also worried about being distracted by watching the displays.

  • Shawn Ellsworth

    Wow, after having my 2012 Prius III for .almost 15,000 miles, I have an overall average mpg of 45.7.

    I have some exciting early results using pulse and glide techniques. I filled up and reset the trip odometers and here is what happened:

    I drove home from the gas station on streets posted 35 mph to 45 mph. The trip was 8.3 miles and I got 64.3 mpg!

    Wow, and thank you so much for this amazing article!

  • Anonymous

    That’s one of the smartest comments I’ve read on here!

  • Rusty Sponge

    You are absolutely correct. There were a couple of things that made me suspect the author was talking rubbish, but when he claimed glide down the hill more than made up for the climb, I realised he had no idea what he was talking about and stopped reading.

  • Rusty Sponge

    My doubts about the poor quality of the article were confirmed when he reckoned you get more energy from cruising down a hill than you do when climbing it, thus totally undermining the second law of thermodynamics, which has remained proven since 1824.

  • Vincent

    Strangely enough, I get the best milage in standard and not eco mode. Be aware of the traffic and glide as much as possible when you know you are going to have to stop. Also, watch your display and after speeding up to speed take your foot off the gas and reapply gently. Being smart about how you drive will get you better milage. I am getting 60 to 80 miles per gallon in my new Toyota Prius C. You just have to modify your driving a little and most of all, do not speed. Excessive speed kills good gas milage!

  • Paul Thailing

    I believe what the article intended was to not worry about “fuel consumption”. It was not a lesson in physics. Yes, we all know that no more than equal energy can be regenerated down hill as used uphill. However, the downhill re-charges the battery. This “harnessed” energy can then be used later without comsuming more gas…

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  • jimgiggidy

    Lower octane gas burns at a lower temperature than higher octane gas. Low octane fuel burns easier. High octane gas is designed for engines with higher compression to reduce spark knock (or “pinging”) This is why it is used in performance applications. It does NOT increase your engine’s performance unless the engine needs the octane to prevent knocking and would otherwise electronically retard the ignition timing to prevent the knock, thus reducing performance. Higher octane gas burning in a low compression engine will not fully burn off as thorough and complete as lower octane gas.

  • Tess

    Just bought a used 2010 Prius 2wks ago. Read all the posts here but still in the learning curve. Can’t seem to get beter than 5.5L/100km (43mpg). I’m a little unclear as to when to use the different modes and how often people switch back and forth? Are you constantly switching back and forth as you drive thru town, switching at hilly sections vs. flat? Should I start in EV mode? Should I avoid Power mode unless driving thru the mountains? Should I just leave it in ECO mode always? What’s best for commuting on the hwy at 100k/hr? I will definitely start working on my gliding and braking. Thanks for those tips, however please explain how to best use the modes. Also, would a remote engine starter be benefical on a Prius? Heat up the engine to avoid cold starts?

  • Vicky

    I just purchased my 2012 Prius III 9 days ago. Thus far I’ve obtained an average of 40 MPG’s, however I see that I have some practicing (glide, cruise, etc) to do. After watching the videos on you tube as well as reading the comments on this site I can’t wait to test out what I learned when I get in my car tomorrow.

    If you haven’t viewed the videos on you tube do so, they have some great examples of what is discussed on this site where as you can actually see them performing the techniques. The videos also provide tips on how to use the heater. Unfortunately I don’t know which one spoke about it, I watched so many but they were all interesting and again I learned a lot.

    Ok I will continue to share my experiences as well as any information that may be helpful as I know everyone will do the same, so that we can obtain the best MPG’s and driving experience from our “green machines”

  • Keith Kacner

    I own a 2009 Prius. I average 46MPG in the Winter & Summer. In the Spring & Fall I average 50MPG. I just ordered a 2012 and I’m looking forward to it. My wife has a new Prius V. With 8500 miles on it she gets around 44-46MPG. I expect this to improve once she learns how to drive it effectively. Love Prius!!!

  • Vicky

    Here is one of the links on “You Tube” that I spoke about previously. It shows you how to apply the pulse, glide, and braking techniques as well as a tip about using your heater.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3XxB6ma7qu8&feature=related

  • Lachlan

    I bought a used 2008 Prius last December and less than a year later the inverter and transaxle assembly fried to the tune of… wait for it… $10,000 worth of damage (new parts/labor at the local dealership). Luckily they were able to find a used inverter/transaxle assembly with 60,000 miles and a 2 year warranty on it for… wait for it again… $5,000. OUCH! Prius repair costs are definitely something to think about before you dive head long into buying one. Now granted, I put a good 3000 miles a month on the car which just went past the 120,000 mile mark (I’m a pizza delivery driver), but I never drove it harshly or did any taboo hypermiling stuff (like throwing it into neutral at high speeds/downhill, etc.). I accelerate slowly, I use regenerative braking (coasting) almost all the time well in advance of stops, etc… I don’t know why this happened, but it sure was expensive to fix!! :( Funny thing is, I made a spreadsheet before I even bought the car to see how much money I would be saving over a 6 year span compared to driving my (now sold) 18mpg Toyota Tacoma, and even WITH this $5,000 repair and TWO $4,000 big battery replacements (which I figured may need to be done within these 6 years), I will still save a minimum of $18,000 over that timeframe driving the Prius instead of the Tacoma (and that’s if gas stays at $3 bucks a gallon)! So, all in all, I am STILL extremely pleased with my purchase. Oh and last winter BEFORE I put low-rolling resistance tires on it, I averaged 55mpg. Summer was only about 45mpg (I blame the A/C and TEXAS 100+ degree HEAT). This fall I’m averaging 50mpg, and hopefully when it gets colder, I’ll get 55 or better with the new tires. When the money saved in better mpg is enough to cover the monthly car payment, you KNOW you’ve made a good choice (just be prepared in advance for expensive repair possibilities because they hurt a lot less if you know they might be needed and are ready for them when they show up ;)

  • matt b.

    johnE..in regards to the solar panel “i have it” it is for turning on your a/c on while out of your car. on a hot day turn your a/c/ a few degrees cooler than outside temp. before turning car off,hit switch on left side by your knee, turn car off. close door. get your key out of your pocket and hit the a/c button air will start circulating in car without car being on and does not use any power “other than solar”..enjoy, i am..