Consumer Report city, highway fuel economy doesn't make sense

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Fuel Economy' started by cycledrum, Apr 5, 2011.

  1. cycledrum

    cycledrum PSOCSOASP

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    Consumer Reports fuel economy ratings -

    2011 Prius IV - 32 city, 55 highway, 44 overall

    Anyone else see something strange above? Reported city/hwy looks like that of a conventional car, albeit, a very good one.

    I don't like their results because they misrepresent what Prius can do - city fuel economy can be higher than highway - a very important aspect of full hybrid cars.

    I have found as does the EPA, Prius fuel economy goes up slightly when exiting 65 MPH highway then going back onto suburban streets.

    Very typically in a 3rd gen Prius, 65 MPH cruising will net high 40's MPG or 50. Get back onto city streets, and it will go up slightly over 50.
     
  2. NC BILL

    NC BILL New Member

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    I always take the Consumer Reports test figures with that proverbial "grain of salt".

    We now have almost 2000 miles on our 2011 Prius, purchased about 6 weeks ago. The first 1000 miles we drove using the "ECO" setting and averaged 50-52 mpg (mostly small town driving, but some interstate driving).

    After 1000 miles, we began using the "Regular" setting and are getting BETTER mileage (53-55 mpg), which I find very interesting.

    We live in Western North Carolina, which is pretty hilly and that kind of mileage is impressive.
     
  3. john1701a

    john1701a Prius Guru

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    CITY normally means everything not HIGHWAY.

    The oridinary SUBURB type driving where lights are off in the distance (1/2 mile or more) and many you can hit green (no need to even slow down) at speeds of 40-50 MPH results in MPG way higher, yet that could technically still be considered CITY.

    In their case, it likely only represents the type of driving you encounter in a downtown situation... lots of stops with extremely short distances in between at very slow speeds. Of course, that spells a golden opportunity for plug-in benefit.
    .
     
  4. JimboPalmer

    JimboPalmer Tsar of all the Rushers

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    Our experience may differ.

    Like you, I find that I get exceptional MPG coasting down from 55 MPH to 35 in town. The EPA test is run that way as well, on an already warmed up, fully charged Prius.

    However, when I start in the morning, in town, I struggle to match even the CR numbers. Cold starts, frequent, un-timed traffic lights, and unfavorable weather hinder my morning mileage compared to my trip home.

    On the Bright Side we hardly ever get folks mad because they were mislead by rosy expectations from reading CR.
     
  5. mainerinexile

    mainerinexile No longer in exile!

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    Consumer Reports is out to lunch on automobile gas mileage issues, in more ways than one. It appears that their auto testers are horsepower-loving grease monkeys, and they must drive the cars like that too.

    CR reports 44 mpg average for Prius, but most of us couldn't mileage that bad even if we tried really hard. I've driven about half a tankful with my summer tires back on the car (42/40 psi) and the grill still blocked because it remains cold here. 71 mpg so far on this tank.

    CR has never admitted that peak oil might be possible, and hence they continue to test and recommend muscle cars. I think they should rate any vehicle that gets less than 35 mpg as 'unacceptable'.
     
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  6. billnchristy

    billnchristy Active Member

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    Even in 30 degree weather and winter blend gas we get at least 40mpg, all city.
     
  7. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    jimbo, are you saying you could actually be sub 30 mpg on your morning commute? how many miles is it? what do you consider bad weather? that seems really low to me.
     
  8. JimboPalmer

    JimboPalmer Tsar of all the Rushers

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    I average 45 MPG for the year, but 40 MPG in winter, and 42 MPG in summer, and make it up with 47 MPG spring and fall. (last tank was 50.4 MPG, it is 75 F here now)
     
  9. xs650

    xs650 Senior Member

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    I have gotten as low as 38 mpg (actual) when it was all short trip driving. Whether the car gets warmed up or not makes a big difference. It is hard to understand how they got clear down to 33 mpg.

    I have no trouble getting over 50 mpg (actual) while going with the flow of traffic in the middle or fast lane on the freeway or 55mpg at the speed limit.
     
  10. cycledrum

    cycledrum PSOCSOASP

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    In the SF Bay Area (40 to 70's F :) ,

    IIRC, I would see about 25 or 30 MPG in the first 5 minutes driving on consumption gage. After 5 minutes, it would jump into the 40's.

    If I only did 1 1/2 mile trips from store to store, I would still get low 40's MPG.

    I would get 45 winter, 48 summer on a 5 mile, 12 minute commute on streets with lights 1/2 mile apart or so, 2009 Prius.

    Betcha money if I drove a 3rd gen all day in SF traffic, I get about 45 MPG, not 32 like CR claims.

    If they're doing 5 minute drives then parking for 2 hours, 32 might be close, but that is a strange type of driving.
     
  11. cwerdna

    cwerdna Senior Member

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    On my 2nd gen, I find it tough to get higher city mileage than highway mileage. Yes, this contradicts the EPA test result. Your scenario definitely doesn't at all sound like what CR does.

    As I posted at http://priuschat.com/forums/gen-iii...hoc-mileage-testing-european.html#post1208815, How we test: Fuel economy: Consumer Reports Cars Blog and the last page of http://www.consumersunion.org/Oct_CR_Fuel_Economy.pdf describes how they do their tests. Unfortunately, there are a lot of details left out and open to interpretation.

    Keep in mind the EPA test procedures changed starting w/model year 08, so the govt tests they refer to are now only a subset of the current govt tests.
    Yep. I have no 3rd gen but they gave the 2nd gen 35 city/50 highway, 44 mpg overall, 48 mpg for 150-mile trip. I find 35 city or less on my 2nd gen definitely possible w/very short trips, esp. in cold weather w/o grille blocking and w/the hills I have when I'm leaving home.
     
  12. SageBrush

    SageBrush Senior Member

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    Consumer Reports city MPG is much lower than EPA for every car I have ever checked. You have to compare apples to apples. The ratios of mpg between cars matters; the absolute numbers just reflect how demanding the course is.
     
  13. sipnfuel

    sipnfuel New Member

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    Sounds like your car is more broken in, including the tires. Congrats on your results!
     
  14. mainerinexile

    mainerinexile No longer in exile!

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    This is true, and the problem I have with it is that it sets the public's expectations too low for the gas mileage they SHOULD be getting on any car, and hence they don't learn to drive better/smarter. The solution starts with CR's drivers learning to drive better.
     
  15. Corwyn

    Corwyn Energy Curmudgeon

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    I suspect this is because of two factors. 1) You are getting better at driving it. 2) eco, normal, and power aren't (for the most part) directives to the car telling it how to drive, but rather advising the car how you intend to drive, and would it please make that easy for you.
     
  16. fotomoto

    fotomoto Senior Member

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    Also, the ICE is getting broken in but probably the one factor having the most to do with it beside getting better at efficient driving: weather is warming up.
     
  17. TheSpoils

    TheSpoils Member

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    What is this???? the sticker said 33 city / 55 highway. I'm getting 49 city / 60 highway!!! we need a recall, toyota execs should resign, call NHTSA, NASA, FAA, OSHA, CIA AND FBI. It is unacceptable, additionally a class action lawsuit is needed because the resale value just changed.
     
  18. tpfun

    tpfun New Member

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    Only if you think the MFD is lying to you....
     
  19. SageBrush

    SageBrush Senior Member

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    My MFD definitely lies. Both the scangauge and manual calculations show it UNDER reports about 3% in my G2 Prius.

    I have though about trading it in as a lemon, but I have decided to live with 65 mpg.
     
  20. manku

    manku Junior Member

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    I live in LA, drive mostly short distances (rarely more than 15 minutes without stopping), and am now averaging about 43mpg. I think I've been on the freeway twice since buying the car (only 800 miles).

    Not sure where 32 comes from, unless you're in the power mode with a lead foot!

    Then again, while I still read CR, it is more for entertainment than worthwhile information.
     
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