something's not right

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Fuel Economy' started by mfarmer1, Aug 14, 2008.

  1. mfarmer1

    mfarmer1 New Member

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    Ok, new Prius owner here. Sorry if this is the same old same old. Anyway, got this car because I drive about 30K per year and wanted to save some money. I'll say it up front, I could care less about being green, I think man-made global warming is a crock, and I don't even recycle aluminum cans...I'm in this to save money to spend toward jet-a fuel to get me to exotic scuba diving locations hopefully leaving a Godzilla-like carbon footprint everywhere I go before Mother Gaia reclaims my body. Ok...the first two tanks I'm not even getting 38MPG. I keep it between 68-75 on the freeway which feels as if I'm almost walking it's so slow compared to how I'm used to driving. Even then I'm almost a road hazard here in southern California. I also drive at least 35 miles at a clip on the freeway to start and end my workday, so it's not all stop and go. I see people here talking about 60+ MPG and either they're lying, only drive downhill and never use the AC, or I've got a lemon. Is there a bunch of extra smog junk slapped onto California vehicles courtesy of the socialists in Sacramento hurting the mileage? My father in law has had one of these things for four years and he states he gets 41 MPG routinely. Wish he would have told me that before I bought this thing...wish I would have asked. I would have been better off buying some el-cheapo car that gets 32 mpg for half the price. Oh well, I've got my deposit down on an Aptera due to be delivered next Spring. Anyway, I just need to hear if this is routine for a new Prius and if I can drive like a normal person and will see improvement or if I have to turn into some obsessive hyper-miling geek to get at least the EPA estimates. After all, they already forced Toyota to drop the estimates 20% or so. Thanks.
     
  2. tasker109

    tasker109 New Member

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    i think the biggest thing that is affecting your mpg's is your speed. nobody gets good gas mileage doing 75 miles and hour. also this time of year, a/c eats up your mpg's.
     
  3. dwreed3rd

    dwreed3rd New Member

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    I probably should not be one to answser, but have faith, they will come. It is my understand that long drives at highway speeds are not the Prius' forte. At least, not without pulse and glide. The "stop and go driving" that you actually claim is not "all" of your driving, Is actually the Prius' forte. Remember, the Prius extends MPG by storing energy from breaking and slowing down to power the motor generators, thus saving gasoline. Long runs at highway speeds w/o breaking or downhills are not condusive to taking advantage of the hybrid system. That's my novice optnion. Much better and more accurate opinions and advice will follow. Welcome to the group. I hope it works out for you. But then, as great a car as the Prius is, it is not the best car for everyone.
     
  4. Kcissem

    Kcissem New Member

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    Maybe no one is lying, maybe you don't have a lemon and just maybe it is the driver? I see you blamed everything else but left out the possibility it may be a driver defect.

    As someone already said going 75mph is not the prius's forte, it has been said for every 5mph over 55 you lose about 5mpg. My first tank i drove 65 to 70mph and averaged 48mpg. My second tank i slowed to going around 60mph and averaged 55mpg and now on my third tank still traveling at 60mph but raised my tire pressures to 42/40 i am at 59mpg. I also have been practicing the different driving techniques such as pulse/glide and warp stealthing i've read about on here as well as just simply slowing my speed down and staying in the slow lane.

    you can't drive a prius like any other car and expect to get the epa or above mpg estimates, you have to take advantage of the hybrid system to get the most efficent fuel use and as anything in life this can take practice and patience
     
  5. Sp33dy_gr33n

    Sp33dy_gr33n New Member

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    mfarmer, slow down a little and coast when you can. You'll get the hang of it. On another note - you should recycle more - my kids would appreciate it.
     
  6. efusco

    efusco Moderator Emeritus
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  7. mfarmer1

    mfarmer1 New Member

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    Efusco,

    Thanks. However, I just need to drive, not play games with my car. The dealer should have told me that I would need to master "warp stealthing" or drive 20 mph slower than every other car around me on the freeway to achieve the advertised mileage.

    I just bought a Toyota Corolla for one of my employees. 17K out the door. He gets 32 mph and drives like a normal person. No offense, but most of us are too busy to worry every second about how we're driving a car in order to maximize its efficiency. That's borderline time to go to the shrink behavior.

    I'll keep it until next Spring when my Aptera gets built and delivered. Even if I only get half the advertised mileage in that contraption, it will still be 150 mpg.
     
  8. mfarmer1

    mfarmer1 New Member

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    Thanks for the tips, but it looks as if I bought something not for me. I just want to get in and drive, without having to master quantum physics and worrying about "warp stealthing", "black hole avoidance", and the Borg for that matter while trying to address IT concerns for my clients. With that said, the bluetooth in this car is the best one I've ever used.

    Check out Penn and Teller's Bullsh*t episodes on recycling on Youtube. You might be surprised.
     
  9. mfarmer1

    mfarmer1 New Member

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    Like I said...that's slow for me. I bought the wrong car. I really don't mind paying the gas prices and in fact have rather liked the fact that traffic has been slightly lighter as of late, but thought I could save some money by moving to a more fuel efficient vehicle. Don't get me wrong, 38 mpg is certainly more than I get in my Pathfinder, but the trade-off is huge and probably not worth the cost in my case. Thanks.
     
  10. kazots

    kazots LifesaBeach

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    I think you are correct in saying this car may not be the right car for you. I notice when I am rushed and push my Prius and always staying on the gas I only get 43 mpg. I find the Prius made me understand, "slow down and smell the roses."
     
  11. mfarmer1

    mfarmer1 New Member

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    I have slowed down for me anyway. Honest, my usual freeway cruise speed in my other cars is 80-85 and I'm just going with the flow of traffic. I try to stay at 70 or even a bit below in the Prius and it's just not cutting it. If I'm going to drive like a grandma, I should get grandma mileage. As it stands, I barely get better mileage than I used to get in my 1988 Jetta going like a bat out of hell. That was a car, handled great, fast, and got 30 mpg no matter how I drove it. Think of that, 20 years on everyone goes nuts over 32 mpg in a gutless Corolla or Elantra. I just don't get it.

    OTOH, I was very tempted by the Lexus GS hybrid. Wow, what a car. But no, I wanted to be practical and all of that and now I've got a car I really can't justify for the price considering the mileage. Again, I could buy another Corolla for 12,500 less than this Prius for a 6 mpg difference in mileage.

    I'm usually very good about doing my car homework before buying, but I thought these things were the real deal after being around so long and didn't think much about it. I had never heard anyone talk about babying these cars to the point of ridiculousness to get the high mpg. Lesson learned. Thanks again.
     
  12. Sufferin' Prius Envy

    Sufferin' Prius Envy Platinum Member

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    I never have the opportunity to drive the Prius in urban settings where I am going to be driving for hundreds of miles at a time, BUT, I recently did a week long, 1,700 mile trip of mostly two lane highway and freeway driving. I got 57.7 MPGs on two of the three tanks.

    One of the keys to obtaining good highway mileage is to not adjust the gas pedal for every little change in road or driving conditions.

    It's hard to deprogram yourself from doing so, but try not to do minor adjustments of the gas pedal.
    Maintain lots of clearance between you and the car in front of you.

    Let the ICE run at one constant speed as much as possible. This is the most efficient condition an ICE can run under.

    Let the HSD do the minor adjusting . . . don't do it yourself with the gas pedal or expect great mileage using the cruise control . . . it sucks for MPGs.

    If your speed drops off or speeds up a MPH or two, so what . . . you are getting great gas mileage!
     
  13. a priori

    a priori Canonus Curiosus

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    I'm sorry you aren't happy with the car or its performance. It seems unfortunately clear to all that this is not the car for you. I wish it were -- even more so, I wish you were able to enjoy any portion of the experience (aside from the bluetooth connection!).

    I think your expectations were more than a bit misplaced. I am guessing you've never come close to the advertised mileage for any other car you've had. Have you ever been in the habit of recording gas purchases and calculating mileage? Perhaps this would have given you the first indication that your driving habits will never gain you any reasonable gas efficiency.

    At the same time, you are getting incredibly higher mileage out of your "lemon" Prius than anyone else out there who drives like you do. Also, if this really is the very beginning of your use of the Prius, you'll see significant increases in gas mileage as the car breaks in. Take a look at John1701a -- he clearly says he just drives the Prius and doesn't try to treat it any differently than driving any other car. He is now above 100,000 miles with a lifetime mileage in excess of 48 MPG.

    How does your employee drive? I know you've said "like a normal person," but I'm just wondering if it is anything like the way you drive. The Corolla is rated at 35 MPG highway (your arena for driving), so I wonder if your employee is upset at getting "only" ~90% of the EPA estimate. After all, even your first efforts are getting you 38 MPG, out of an advertised 45 MPG highway -- that is more like 85% of advertised mileage. Considering the way you drive, I'd say that's pretty high mileage.

    Caution: If you decide to pick up a Corolla for its overall cost effectiveness, please do not expect to get better than 29 MPG (that is equivalent to your 38 MPG out of a 45 MPG rating on the Prius).

    I'm assuming you're looking ONLY at the hybrid Aptera. Your type and distance of driving could put the all-electric version into the same "not for me" category as the Prius.

    Oh . . . let us know how much you get for selling the Prius next year. I'll be interested to hear about the size of the loss for getting rid of that lemon.:D
     
  14. mfarmer1

    mfarmer1 New Member

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    My Pathfinder gets 18 mpg. The sticker said 16/19.

    My wife's Lexus GX470 gets 16 mpg. The sticker I believe was 15/18. (think I drive fast? you should see her)

    My 68 Cougar gets whatever it wants.

    The Corolla gets 32 according to my employee. I don't know what the sticker said on that one as I've never even been in the car and only saw it for 5 minutes.

    My previous cars all got as advertised. I mentioned the Jetta. I actually had two of those, both excellent cars with great mileage. I don't know what happened, but today's version gets far less than the cars of 20 years ago.

    I put my $500 down on the Aptera hybrid. I was order 1723 but they changed that to 932 when they split the full electric orders with the hybrid orders. Like I said, I don't care if I get 1/2 or 1/3 the advertised mpg, it's still going to be great. I can't wait to tour the new facility later this year. I live only 15 miles from the place.

    It's rather odd to see so many people who think driving on a freeway at 70-75 is fast. Weird.

    The bluetooth is great. The Prius top of the line stereo is a piece of garbage. That rear window thingee right in the middle is annoying as heck. The car is kind of quirky cool, but the uniqueness of it is already wearing off in two weeks. I also like the controls on the steering wheel. The car is surprisingly roomy inside. I had never even been inside one of these before I bought it.

    Like I said, I'll keep it for awhile to see what happens after the "break in " period. If I can get all around 45 not being a road hazard getting flipped off every two minutes, I'll be happy with that. I fully expect that a flood of hybrids will hit the market in the next two years and that I will take a significant hit on the resale of this car. It will probably be worth 15-18K or so I'm guessing. It looks like the 2010 Prius models will feature far better technology, rendering the current models almost obsolete.

    Thanks.
     
  15. Celtic Blue

    Celtic Blue New Member

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    If you don't want to understand how the car works, then you are unlikely to ever get decent mileage from it. You don't even seem to have bothered to check the car out before you purchased, or to do a proper check out once you took delivery, so you have no idea if the car needs a set up adjustment or some modification in driving style, or if it is just the wrong car for you. Due diligence and RTFM apply here, and so does looking at what the hypermilers are doing--not to drive like a granny, but to understand how this car really works. They've figured some stuff out that is really helpful, regardless of how fast you like to drive. It's not the same as what you've driven before. It's a bigger difference than going from automatic to manual transmission for example. It's not speed or acceleration that is likely your problem, but driving style. If you fight it, you will be getting poor mileage.

    My suggestion: if you lack the patience to try to understand it, sell it to someone waiting for a car that actually has some idea of what they are looking for. You should be able to get your money back out of it and the new owner can figure out what you don't care to learn. That would be a win-win.

    If you want to take a deep breath, relax, and ask for help in determining if there are set up problems then you will likely get a lot of help here. If you expect someone else to do all the work for you, then you will likely be disappointed.

    Do you grab unfamiliar scuba gear and a new dive computer and jump into a 100+ ft. wreck dive without even getting it wet first? Or do you know your equipment, study the manuals enough to be familiar with the basic functions/differences and do a check out dive before you take it out for a week of intensive diving thousands of miles away?
     
  16. Sufferin' Prius Envy

    Sufferin' Prius Envy Platinum Member

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    Hardly! :mad:

    If the 2010 Prius renders current model Prii obsolete, you may as well drive any other car straight to the auto crusher as they would have become outright archaic.

    Hey wait! That sounds like a good thing. :D
     
  17. RonH

    RonH Member

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    I drive from CV to RB on 805 & 15 and back daily hitting 80 mph in stretches but also crawling through heavy traffic. I get 48-50 mpg week in and week out. You must be working the night shift if you can go 80+mph for long stretches around here. 2 * 35 mi * 200 work days = 14Kmi. Are you heavy footed on the other 16 Kmi on surface roads or doing it on short deliveries? That'll kill your mileage.
     
  18. a priori

    a priori Canonus Curiosus

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    Really? You just finished telling us they came up short. One was pretty close at about 95%, but the other was less than that -- in the upper 80s. Sounds a bit like what you've gotten from the Prius. Of course, if you could just get that 38 up to 40, then you'd be at the same point your wife is on her Lexus.

    Again, just out of curiousity: How do you track mileage? I'm assuming the Pathfinder is like the Lexus and shows you a lifetime MPG number. If that is the case, then the number likely is pretty much what is going on.

    I don't think you really are far away from expected mileage. YOUR expected mileage, that is. You and I drive differently. I've always kept close track of mileage on my cars, and I've always exceeded the EPA numbers. You also keep track of mileage, but you are always below the EPA numbers. There seems to be some consistency there, so why be upset that when driving the Prius you get a similar percent of the EPA numbers?

    Hmm. Speed limit is 55. Driving at 75. One third again above the limit seems to be fast to me -- it doesn't to you? So your car can handle it, the road can handle it, but perhaps it just doesn't fit with trying to conserve fuel, reduce pollution and get away from foreign dependence on oil. I know -- you don't care about those things (you made it clear from the start). And, uh, well, uh . . . it is against the law.

    OK. Now you've hit weird for me! I agree with your assessment of the bluetooth and the stereo. Well, the stereo may not be garbage, but it just doesn't compare with the sound I'd expect from nearly any car offered for sale in America. I also agree with the "quirky cool" (it just hasn't worn off for me). The weird? You had never been inside a Prius before making the purchase!!?? Weird. An impulse buyer!

    Thanks for sharing your story.
     
  19. landstander

    landstander darling no baka

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    Penn and Teller are hardly an authoritative source on, well, anything. That's entertainment masquerading (unconvincingly) as news, at best.
     
  20. NYPrius1

    NYPrius1 Active Member

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