To "mode" or not to "mode"

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Main Forum' started by ITgem679, Apr 29, 2015.

  1. ITgem679

    ITgem679 Junior Member

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    I have been hearing that some people use Ev mode, Eco mode in their Prii. Some do not. Would anyone be able to explain of being in mode is best or would I get better mpg out of mode?
     
  2. Munpot42

    Munpot42 Senior Member

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    Eco mode should help a little on mileage but the ac and heater work at a reduced level to conserve energy, also I found the throttle response in Eco a bit frustrating, so I just used the default mode. I am not a hyper miler I just drive it like a normal car.
     
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  3. DoubleDAZ

    DoubleDAZ Senior Member

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    There is no best and there are too many factors involved to suggest one over another. Some folks use EV mode in parking lots while others say that just uses up the battery and the ICE has to eventually recharge it. Some use ECO mode thinking it will save fuel, but the only way to know if it does is to drive the same route many times in both modes. As Munport said, ECO mode reduces throttle response, etc. Some folks don't mind the sluggishness, but I don't know how many have done actual tests to see if it's saving them money or not. PWR mode seems to be the only mode that doesn't get much use manually. I played with all the modes and I no longer bother, I just drive the car. The car will switch between modes as needed and, like cruise control, that's good enough for me. :)
     
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  4. ForestBeekeeper

    ForestBeekeeper Active Member

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    If you want to maximize fuel economy, then generally run in ECO mode.

    When driving on ice, crossing frozen lakes/rivers, when I must push through a pile of slush at an intersection, or when on the on-ramp getting up onto the interstate; I use PWR mode. It gives you the zip you need to punch through those issues.
     
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  5. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    Except for some minor tweaks to cruise control and AC (allowing more slop for both), the different modes (ECO vs Normal vs PWR) change only the user interface, not anything with how the propulsion system actually operates. So, the choice is entirely a matter of personal preference.

    If you have fantastic dexterity (with the right foot), you should be able to achieve the same MPG with all of them (absent cruise control and AC). If your coordination is less stellar, like some of us clumsier folks, the ECO should help achieve better results.

    EV is a different matter. It is useful sometimes, but can sabotage economy when used improperly.
     
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  6. ITgem679

    ITgem679 Junior Member

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    Thank you all for your input. I have been leaving it in ECO mode (played with EV when rolling slow in neighborhoods), and was surprised to read some don't use the modes at all. Maybe I will try that after my next fuel up to see if my driving style sways the balance one way or another.
     
  7. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sand Pounder

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    What fuzzy said. I find with neither ECO or PWR pushed, I get "normal" gas pedal response, works just fine for me. ECO just gave my right leg too much of work out, tromping through excess travel.
     
  8. ITgem679

    ITgem679 Junior Member

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    ;)
    And I don't want to become "imbalanced" with my right leg stronger than my left!
     
  9. FuelMiser

    FuelMiser Senior Member

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    Never touch any modes. Mine goes into EV mode automatically during "parking lot" situations. The previous owner had it in ECO mode when I bought it, but I did not like the diminished throttle response, so de-selected it. Never tried PWR mode.
     
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  10. VicVinegar

    VicVinegar Member

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    I usually leave it in Eco as I don't mind the reduced response and it probably saves some fuel. I'll use PWR once in a great while if I need to accelerate quickly from a stop.
     
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  11. ITgem679

    ITgem679 Junior Member

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    Very similar to my experience with it. Now, I am wondering just how much fuel actually gets saved by Eco mode.
     
  12. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sand Pounder

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    I used ECO for about the first 6 months of ownership. Then switched it off, didn't notice any difference. It does change some other stuff, AC performance, and maybe something with Cruise Control. But with the gas pedal all it's doing is remapping response.
     
  13. DoubleDAZ

    DoubleDAZ Senior Member

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    Not sure why that would surprise you. Automatic transmissions have manual controls on the shift lever, but most people only use drive, reverse and park. Automatic transmissions are designed for optimal "all-around" performance, just like the Prius is designed for optimal "all-around" mileage. There are times when some might use D1, D2, whatever, just as there are times when some use EV, ECO or PWR mode, though my guess is most just let the car decide. I tried ECO and didn't like the throttle response, especially in heavy traffic here in Phoenix. Back home in small town Wisconsin, ECO might work just fine. I'm just not convinced giving up throttle response would be worth whatever benefit I'd gain. I already try to minimize getting into the PWR zone in "normal" mode. However, everyone drives differently and in different traffic patterns, so there's absolutely nothing wrong with using ECO if it works for you. That's why I said there was no best, it's up to each driver to figure out what works best for them. If you do some tests, please report back with your findings.
     
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  14. CardiffChris

    CardiffChris Member

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    I use ECO mode 99% of the time.
    The sluggish response allows me to give the car small amounts of throttle.
    I use PWR mode when I need to launch from a stop to assert my position in traffic.
    My results are usually 52 to 57 mpg calculated.
    You have to want to get really good mileage to get the most out of a Prius.
    I'm usually one of the slower cars on the road(driving the speed limit)
    Aggressive Impatient Drivers on the road don't like how slow I drive.
    Once you slow down a bit you will find driving is much more relaxing.
     
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  15. mrbigh

    mrbigh Prius Absolutum Dominium

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    I drive the vehicle in ECO mode at all times.....
     
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  16. David Beale

    David Beale Senior Member

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    I use eco mode most of the time, just because it's easier to finely control the throttle.
    The Prius IS NOT an "EV", though it CAN be operated as one under the correct conditions for short distances. If I want to wash Pearl S, for example, and she is in the garage and hasn't been operated for a few hours (engine is cold), I will use EV to move her to the back yard to wash. This prevents the engine from starting and being shut down when still "cold" (sometimes a "bad thing" (tm)). But about half the time "EV mode not available" is displayed, due to temperature, battery charge level, colour of the sky, etc. ;) This is the only use of "EV" I could find in my case. YMMV.

    Be aware, use of "EV" is inefficient, because the battery must be charged from running the engine. Charging the battery is about 30-40% efficient. Same for discharging it. So overall, it is about 1/2 as efficient as running from the engine directly. It's there to allow all the other things the Prius does to maximize efficiency in "hybrid operation". Not to make the Prius an EV. It's a little different for the PIP (Plug In Prius), because you can charge that battery by plugging it in. So your inefficiency is transferred to your home power bill. ;)
     
    #16 David Beale, Apr 30, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2015
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  17. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sand Pounder

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    Same here, and same issues: there are SO many times EV is locked out, not available, on a coffee break, makes you wonder. You DO have about 15 seconds of EV, at start up, guaranteed, without pushing the EV button. I can cajol the car outa the garage and into the driveway with one of those. If I need to zig-zag it to an adjacent spot in our (double-wide) driveway, I can do it with two or 3 of the 15 second EV sessions. Just wish they'd give you a minute, that'd be nice.
     
  18. ITgem679

    ITgem679 Junior Member

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    What is your usual MPG?
     
  19. JayLn

    JayLn Active Member

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    San Francisco no matter how hard I tried any modes 39-43 mpg not using aircon just fan is enough to be comfortable inside. Anyone in SF can do 50mpg+ I dare you.
     
  20. FuelMiser

    FuelMiser Senior Member

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    I get approx. 50 mpg calculated (52 displayed).
     
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