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ECO Mode vs. "Normal" Mode MPG

Discussion in 'Gen III 2010+ Prius Fuel Economy' started by stream, Jun 10, 2011.

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  1. stream

    stream Senior Member

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    I've been driving in ECO mode for nearly all of the 2 years I've had my Prius, assuming it would result in better fuel economy. After reading a post a while back (tried searching, can't find it) where somebody said their MPG increased when switching from ECO to normal mode, I decided to try it. It's been about 6 weeks, and in normal mode I'm getting 0.5 MPG higher than I did in ECO mode. Car lifetime MPG is ~45 FWIW.

    My driving pattern is the same, the only variable that's changed is the outside temp--but although it's warmed up a bit here, we've had unusually cold weather the last month so the temp change has been minimal, if anything.
  2. cbcdesign

    cbcdesign Junior Member

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    I am not remotely surprised. I think equally impressive MPG figures can be observed in normal mode just by driving carefully.

    In my experience Eco mode deadens the response of the gas pedal resulting in less controlled surges when demanding a bit of power during those odd moment when you need to pull away just that bit quicker too. In normal mode I have far more control over the response of the car to power over the range of the gas pedals travel.

    There is some optimisation of the AC and heater apparently but I personally refuse to worry about MPGs to the point that I start compromising on comfort to squeeze every yard out of every drop of petrol. Its just not worth it in my opinion.

    That said, large fluctuations in ambient temperature swings in some states in the US may make eco mode yield very different results from the ones I have in my area of the world.
  3. alfon

    alfon Active Member

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    I have got good results in power mode
    when driven carefully.

    It all depends if you have a heavy or light right foot....

    alfon
  4. xpcman

    xpcman Active Member

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    I think ECO works best in Town with bumper to bumper traffic and the AC on.

    I am right at 50 MPG over the last 7k miles using a mix of normal and power. Mostly 30 to 40 mile trips up and down the east-bay hills. The wife currently averages 39 mpg in her 2008 where she drives 2 or 3 miles per trip, absolutely NO hi-mileage driving techniques on her part. I drove the Gen II when it was new and remember getting about 45 mpg at that time.

    There is also a couple of mpg gained when they switch from winter gas formula to the summer gas. But, I can't say when that happens in California.
  5. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    In my climate zone, 6 weeks of weather improvement causes a lot more than 0.5 mpg increase.
  6. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North Staff Member

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    It's possible. I use ECO mode mostly to keep tabs on the A/C and heater usage. If the conditions are right for ventilation only, I use normal mode. The vehicle response is much nicer.
  7. Teakwood

    Teakwood Member

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    I have never bothered with the "mode" buttons. I just drive the Prius.
    I get 50 MPG in the summer.
    With grill blocking, I get about 46 MPG in the winter.
    1 person likes this.
  8. alfon

    alfon Active Member

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    In respect with Power, Normal, and Eco mode only the
    Eco mode regulates the ac when in use for max mpg's.

    It is useful to perhaps use Eco Mode when driving with the
    AC on. Otherwise It doesn't make much difference.

    alfon
  9. revhigh

    revhigh MPG Enthusiast

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    I'm with you TW !!

    48 and change calculated overall MPG is good enough for me ... although I DO drive sensibly and gently most of the time ... I don't obsess with the HSI displays much anymore. :D

    REV
  10. tonyrenier

    tonyrenier I grew up, but it's still red!

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    I have hardly been out of ECO mode. My 25K calculated average now stands at 55.4. It also makes moving ahead on a slippery road much easier, no wheel spin.
    I use power mode when the guy next to me looks like he wants to drag race, he's expecting nothing till I blow him away. That's my fun time.
  11. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North Staff Member

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    50mpg is easy to achieve. Getting above 55mpg (calculated) is my challenge (given my terrain and commute.. terrain is good but the commute isn't friendly).
  12. pakitt

    pakitt Active Member

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    More about the modes here.
  13. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

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    I'd speculate ECO mode is a little "harder" on the hybrid battery: depleting and recharging it more: might shorten it's life. That said we've been using ECO most all the time.
  14. TheBlueWedge

    TheBlueWedge New Member

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    I find that normal mode makes P&G a bit easier -- I find it easier to accelerate to my desired speed and then back off.

    I haven't used ECO mode in ages now. To be honest, I find that I end up being almost too conscious of how I'm driving when i can see the HSI, and my MPGs end up dropping as a result of me overcompensating. Just my 2 cents, though.
  15. motif66

    motif66 New Member

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    I have had my Prius for 5 weeks now and I'm showing 65.4 mpg with a best of 69.7. I use normal mode to start and then go to Eco. I had a Auris Multi Mode 1.4 diesel before and I have not changed my driving style, the Auris average was 50mpg.
  16. alfon

    alfon Active Member

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    Is that imperial gallons or U.S.
    gallons?
  17. GSW

    GSW PRIUS POWER

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    Hi Mendel,

    It seems just the opposite on mine. Temps here in the south (US) demand A/C almost all the time in the summer and ECO mode appears to keep the traction battery from discharging as much compared to "normal" mode. I could be wrong, just an observation. Short trips especially.
  18. qbee42

    qbee42 My other car is a boat

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    Heavy use of the battery will reduce mileage, so it is unlikely that ECO mode does this.

    Tom
  19. HIGHcard

    HIGHcard New Member

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    Good info, thanks for sharing..I recently switched from eco to normal as well..
  20. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

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    Ok, to #17 and #18, you're very likely right. Just seemed plausable.

    Regarding #11: on an extended road trip, I gradually got our mileage down to (displayed) 4.1 liters/100km. Posted speed was 100km (I stayed around 90), weather wasn't that good, and it was somewhat hilly and winding roads. Then getting into a slight but steady upgrade, the mileage started moving back up (bad), 4.2, 4.3, finally 4.5 before we crested the climb. Once again it started moving down (good), think it ended up at 4.2, which of course translates to about 4.5 calc'd.

    I recall thinking: that's as good as it gets. Of course: I can get better mileage around town, on longer trips, if really careful: 3.8~3.9 (displayed). I guess that's reflected in the Transport Canada mileage estimates: better in town than highway.

    I would say on the highway, in my incompetent hands, the Prius would be neck-and-neck with our previous HCHII, or slightly behind. For sure around town the Prius would excel, but it seems to hit a ceiling on the highway, where the HCHII has greater potential, especially for a skilled hypermiler.

    We did a run out to Harrison Hot Springs once with the HCHII, with a full tank and reset odometer, for our north Coquitlam home. Getting home, the displayed mileage was 4.1 I believe, but: when the HCHII dash display says 4.1, calc'd is at least 4.0.

    Still, I'm happy with the switch ;)
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