The Drive for 55 (mpg, not mph)

Nov. 15, 2006: The San Jose Mercury News—Hybrid Owner Obsesses Over Every Last Bit of Mileage

Summary: "I woke up grumpy in the pre-dawn darkness Thursday, and not because the puppy bolted up at 2:30 a.m. to play. No, I was upset over something dogging me for months — the poor mileage I’ve been getting in my 7-month-old Prius.

Since summer, despite all my driving tricks and countless tips from other hybrid owners, mileage has fallen to under 50 miles per gallon, usually in the 43 to 47 range. A few times, as low as 41 mpg.

I WANT 50-PLUS MPG! EVERY TRIP!"

So the efficiency-obsessed Prius owner took a trip to a hybrid mileage seminar run by AAA—a group infamous for its resistance to environmentally sound public policy such as smart growth, the clean air act, and limiting road expansion.

Is the message—in this case, how to improve mileage, apparently quite a bit—worth consorting with the messenger?

Or should we be cautiously optimistic that the smog-monger is moving toward reform?


> Read Full Story

> More Hybrid Cars News


  • James

    I get 64 MPG out of my Citroen C2 1.4HDI and thats not driving economically, 70MPG is possible.

    And it’s a nippy responsive car, the engines quiet and delivers Way less CO2 than a Prius.

    The advanced Particulate filter actullay brings it down to Petrol levels of Soot.

    And it only cost £6000

    Why would any1 Want to Pay a fortune for a Prius?
    What is the big deal with Hybrids?

  • Danny

    Because that’s mostly what you can get in the US. Don’t be knocking hybrids, it’ll be nice when they add hybrid technology to diesel cars, then you’ll probably get 80-90 mpg

  • Alix Vincent

    I get really grumpy if I fall below 60 mpg with my 2002 Insight. Average over 147,000 miles is 67.4 mpg.

    ALix Vincent
    Newport Beach, CA

  • joe540ci

    All on the HWY pulling a empty 6×12 trailer from las vegas to minn. I got over 18 MPG pulling it with my highlander hybrid.I traded off the durango the next morning after getting home from the trip.I also get an easy 41 mpg HWY with my camry hy.

  • Rusty Shackleford

    My 1986 F-250 gets five MPG and I love it sooooo much. I have power not efficiency. That’s right, baby, power.

  • hobo bob

    oh yeah im single handedly killing every fish in the state of arkansas beat that

  • Bob

    Five mpg Rusty? Now that’s pretty silly. Go ahead and keep on pumping money into the pockets of terrorist organizations and big oil companies. Power, that’s right baby, power for foriegn countries and big oil.

  • Mike

    Fuel economy is great, but if only a few people out of 300 Million are in hybrids, there’s no real oil savings. Why doesn’t someone push the goverment to use more hybrid vehicles, especially for mail delivery? That would really start to add up quickly.

  • Andrew

    I can manage to squeeze out 49.5 MPG on my Civic Hybrid every so often, but I usually get 45.6. Just a tad bit less than the EPA estimates, but still close.

    As far as the guy with the 1986 F-250, yeah, thats real mature…what do you need power for, to help pump up your ego and look “cool?”

  • Andy

    I am sure hobo bob loves his truck, but really, do you need so much power to get from A to B. This is gloryfying the mode of transport and totally loses perspective. Its from A to B and anything more is being totally sucked in by someone elses agenda or to fill someone elses pockets. If you want to brag how big your dick is , go somewhere else. People on this site want to go forward not play with their nether regions :(