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How does everyone Average 50 MPG

Discussion in 'Gen III 2010+ Prius Fuel Economy' started by bobs prius, Sep 11, 2010.

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  1. bobs prius

    bobs prius New Member

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    Hello Everyone,
    I am a new prius owner and have a gen 111 2010 with 15K miles and cannot get the 50 MPG rating everyone else talks about.
    Is there a special way to drive and accelerate to make this happen?
    Any idea's, please post.
    I will be watching.
    Thanks, Bob,s Prius
  2. cwerdna

    cwerdna Senior Member

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  3. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    1) i could get 50 with one hand tied behind my back. if you have owned your car since new and have driven 15,000 miles and never averaged 50 or better, i would have the dealer check it out while it's under warranty. maybe you should rent one for a day as a comparison.

    2) see above first, might be something you're doing wrong although, i don't know what it could be. i'm sure you've tried driving gently for a tank to see if there is any great improvement?
  4. k.beal

    k.beal New Member

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    Mechanicals aside. I have found the ethanol fuel drops my to 45mpg - so I use REC full octane for the little bit of gas I use. If you are on and off the road, as I often am, going from a stop to 45mph quickly - 10 times a day - your mpg will go down accordingly. If I drive 50 miles with only a few traffic lights I can get 58mpg. With the wind behind me 62 for that same drive. Synthetic oil gave me a small boost too. Are you idling for significant times? Hope you figure it out.
    2 people like this.
  5. spiderman

    spiderman wretched

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    I think the above questionnaire ask the question but if not, what is your typical commute (average speed, hills/flat, distance, stops, etc).
  6. SageBrush

    SageBrush Senior Member

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    I have been reading "why don't I get xx mpg" since about 2002. I think I remember one time it was the car, because the parking brake was partially engaged. Sometimes driving conditions explained the low mpg (short drives in cold weather usually), but more often it was driver habits: lead foot, fast speeds, lots of brake use.

    The interesting thing is that many drivers cannot identify what part of their habits is the mpg killer, they just know they are not aggressive drivers. My wife falls in that group: she drives about the same speeds as I do, and is not aggressive at all. Yet my multi-year fuel economy is easily 25% better than hers. The difference is mostly brake use, and to lesser degrees my P&G and climate control antics.
    7 people like this.
  7. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    all good points!
  8. silverfog

    silverfog New Member

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    Put this another way, and it would be difficult not to get an average mpg in excess of 50 mpg on a drive of 500 miles over varied terrain and keeping speed within 80 mph.
    Any average, mileage or any other, requires a spread and a reasonable base number. Start up cold, drive a short distance and you could get a very low "average."
  9. tedjohnson

    tedjohnson Member

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    I gripe when I get under 60 mpg... I drive about half round town and half on trips. MY average mph on each tank is about 40. I only go over 60 mph on a down hill coast. I pulse and glide continuously as the terrain and traffic allow. I seldom ask the engine for more than 24 HP. I drive in ECO mode all the time. I do not do short trips but group all my errands so I am driving with a hot engine once it fires up. With a little downslope I feather the throttle to inhibit regen and let the car coast using battery power where I can. I use the HSI as the only screen up on the display and watch it carefully and find the Scangauge 2 a pretty useful tool. I keep my tires at 44 PSI, and do not carry extra weight around. Hope that helps. Ted
  10. Rae Vynn

    Rae Vynn Watch out, I have a degree in BS!

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    Things that make MPG go down:

    Short trips
    Easing away from stops, trying to run on battery/EV only
    Stomping the accelerator, to pass, go uphill, or to be macho
    Bad alignment
  11. adamace1

    adamace1 Senior Member

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    i would add not costing enough such as staying on the gas up to a red light then using the friction brakes intead of re-gen brakes only.
  12. bobs prius

    bobs prius New Member

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    My Driving was for about 400 miles, about half city and half interstate with cruise set on 75 MPH. I have owned the car about 5 weeks and driven it a total of 1000 miles.
    I am using actual calculation. For the total 1000 miles average MPG has been 41 on first tank and 43 on 2nd tank. I had dealer check everything and he says all is to Manufacturer settings and no problems anywhere. I thought maybe the way I am driving which is like I drove my GM SUV that only got 22MPG. I may be using to much leadfoot.
    Bob's Prius
  13. bedrock8x

    bedrock8x Senior Member

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    If you set the CC at 65mph and light on the accelerator, you will get your 50+ mpg.




  14. sunvia

    sunvia Junior Member

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    i just picked up my 2010 prius wednesday....drove home about 100 miles... Averaged 55.9mpg until i started my upgrade driving...when
    i got home (3500 ft elevation) i finished at 50.9mpg...
    In driving around town, i can't get anywhere near that, even tho
    i try to start up slowly from stop.... Car just turned 14,000 miles.

    Perhaps there are some hints to help do better around town.....

    Also, i have been looking for 0-20 weight oil.... Walmart and kragen
    sell it in quarts, but not 5 qt jug..... Any suggestions would be appreciated
  15. nerfer

    nerfer A young senior member

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    Don't try to start up slowly from stops, that's a common rookie mistake.

    Hypermilers try to avoid using the battery as much as possible. The battery helps with the Prius design by allowing a smaller engine and running accessories (including brakes and power steering) while the engine is off, but shouldn't be used for driving the car, as much as possible. The reason is that the gas engine supplies all the original power, to use it from the battery that means kinetic energy (moving the car) must be first converted back to electrical power which gets stored in the battery, then taken out of the battery to be turned back into kinetic energy again when you call on it. Each step has some energy loss (10% or greater) so it's better to just the use the gas to move the car directly. And allow the engine to turn off when not in use instead of recharging the now-depleted battery.

    In fact, it's better to not think of the car as a hybrid at all, and just follow general efficient driving techniques, and you'll get better mpg. Becauseof the feedback and advanced design of the Prius, you'll still improve your mileage more than in a normal car.
    * accelerate normally, but brake slowly, try to coast as much as possible by anticipating stops. Even with regenerative brakes you're throwing away energy every time you come to a stop.
    * avoid short trips, especially on a cold engine. If you need to make short trips, try to group them together - ie. do some errands on the way home from work, instead of going out an hour or two later when the engine has cooled. The Prius typically gets 25-35 mpg in the first 5 minutes (depending on engine temperature), and then it improves dramatically.
    * make sure your tire pressure is at least at the level listed on the doorwell sticker. Usually 10%-15% above that is fine, like 40 psi front and 38 psi rear for the Prius. There's more threads on this if you want to read more, but higher psi = higher mpg and longer tire life, but a little less comfort. Handling effect is debatable. Don't exceed the max psi on the tire sidewall (44 psi generally for the Prius).
    * don't drive over 65 if you can help it, the Prius gets the best mileage in suburban driving between 30 and 45 mph (not the city stop-and-go traffic as some people think, that was an artifact of how the EPA used to do their tests).
    * use the A/C and heat sparingly. For short trips or slower speeds, just roll down the windows a bit, you get good airflow by putting the drivers window down a few inches and one or two back windows down the same amount. All 4 windows down all the way is too much drag at high speeds.


    If you want to get into hybrid specific techniques, there's a lot of reading you can do here, but pulse-and-glide is definitely part of it, as is understanding the 4 (actually 5) stages of the Prius startup & running. Then you'll want to buy a Scangauge or similar tool. And there's things to help in cooler weather, like blocking the front grill (almost free) and installing an electric block heater (EBH). The EBH can be pricey depending if you go thru the dealer, or buy it yourself thru PriusChat and have Wayne or somebody willing to install it.
    9 people like this.
  16. Colonel Ronson

    Colonel Ronson New Member

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    50MPG is the EPA Average. So Half will get something under 50mpg, half will get something above 50mpg.

    Its hard to say why other people get better mileage than you. Terrain, driving habits, all play a factor.
  17. cwerdna

    cwerdna Senior Member

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    Still not enough info. Please answer the questions from post 2. Lots of people have thrown in hints but some may not apply to your situation.

    By "GM SUV that only got 22MPG" please indicate make, model and year, how you derived the 22 mpg and whether your commute and trip lengths have changed vs. while driving that vehicle.

    From http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/...ost-fuelefficient-suvs-306/overview/index.htm and all the prior versions available at http://web.archive.org/web/*/http:/...ost-fuelefficient-suvs-306/overview/index.htm, I see 0 GM SUVs that achieved >=22 mpg overall, in Consumer Reports testing.
  18. nerfer

    nerfer A young senior member

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    Exactly. Some people get 50-60 mpg without even trying so they're dumbfounded when others try their best (or think they're trying their best) and can't break 50, so they blame the car. Generally I've found the biggest mpg killers are: short commute, extreme temperatures, short commute, low tire pressure, short commute, excessive speeds. Did I mention a short commute?

    In winter when I'm only going back and forth to work (2.8 miles, temperatures well below freezing), I might get 35 to 40 mpg. That's even though I understand the hybrid system, keep my tire pressure up, pulse and glide when I'm in stage 3 or stage 4 (using my Scangauge to track it accurately).

    The reward comes with longer drives and warmer temperatures. In the summer (70's and 80's), mix in some longer drives (and fewer short ones because those are done on my bicycle), and I easily average 50-55 mpg for a good six months. Same car, same driver.
  19. darelldd

    darelldd Prius is our Gas Guzzler

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    Drive down hill and with the wind. Works a treat!
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  20. DaveinOlyWA

    DaveinOlyWA 3rd Time was Solariffic!!

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    Trip today most of it at 55-60 mph. 82 miles total including stop at drive in for lunch ( did not turn off car and lost 1.2 mpg on the trip) still ended up at 63.4 mpg (on my Pri that equates to about 58 mpg)

    At 75 mph i get around 44-46 mpg. So u r normal
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