2010 Prius getting 38 mpg - Toyota Nation Forum : Toyota Car and Truck Forums
Prius 1st Gen - Hybrid (1997-2003) Toyota Prius Hybrid discussion for years 1997-2003.

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post #1 of 30 Old 03-21-2011, 11:19 AM Thread Starter
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2010 Prius getting 38 mpg

Prius is rated as 50+ mpg, i have been getting sub-40 mpg since i purchased my 2010 Prius last year. Dealership tells me to increase air pressure in tires, only use gas stations that purchase direct (Exxon, BP, etc), that the engine will be 'optimized' after 5-10K in miles, that summer fuel mix will give me better results, blah blah blah. After following all of their advice, and driving in the city every day in Eco Mode, i am now getting 38 mpg. Took the car into the dealership who after running some tests declared the car to be running fine. Both dealership and corporate are telling me they don't care.

Anyone have a similar story, or have advice to share?
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post #2 of 30 Old 03-21-2011, 11:26 AM
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Well if they say the car is fine, then let's examine your driving style and routes.

literally take us on a ride.

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post #3 of 30 Old 03-21-2011, 11:30 AM Thread Starter
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I drive primarily to and from work and around town running errands - 90% city mileage, in Eco mode the whole time, with an eye on the fuel monitor display. I use 87 unleaded gas. what else would you like to know?
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post #4 of 30 Old 03-21-2011, 04:40 PM
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How often are you stopping/going? For instance 2 stops per mile from 45mph or something. When you are in ECO mode are you accelerating/driving slowly so you can keep the bar near the middle of the display or are you just driving like you normally would?
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post #5 of 30 Old 03-22-2011, 07:17 AM
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I can list a few of the known MPG killers we have noticed;
  • Trips under 10 miles where the ICS and Synergy drive do not have sufficent time to warm up (Gets better in summer/warmer weather)
  • Hills... Hills really take there toll
  • Blended gas (10% Ethanol) My Highlander Hybrid was only averaging 23.6 MPG this winter and the wifes Prius 2101 43 MPG this winter. My records on the HH showed a 5 MPG loss in mileage since they went to the blended gas. (Thank your politicians for this, as the Feds and States love getting more gas taxes due to this)
  • Trying to drive it the same as a regular gas engine only car, the Hybrids love the Pulse and Glide method.

2016 Tacoma Limited 4x4
2016 RAV4 Hybrid (Wife's Hybrid)


Batteries are included with Hybrids

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post #6 of 30 Old 03-22-2011, 07:43 AM Thread Starter
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I try to keep the gauge in ECO mode as much as possible, but I have to admit I am still driving it like a normal car. Do I have to keep from accelerating whenever possible in order to just get the listed mpg of 50+? I was getting 32 mpg in my VW Passat and didn't have to 'trick' it into getting decent mileage.
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post #7 of 30 Old 03-23-2011, 01:26 AM
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That depends on your definition of driving it like a normal car. How are you measuring your mileage, at the pump across multiple tanks or by using what the display says? Are you sure your Passat averaged 32mpg w/ the same driving conditions (city driving in the winter)?
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post #8 of 30 Old 03-23-2011, 08:45 AM Thread Starter
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I'm using the display to track mpg at the moment, but plan to start tracking mileage with each fill up going forward as well. So far there's no reason to doubt the display's calculations, it just received its 10K checkup and everything was fine. The service manager tried to sell me on this winter/summer fuel mix concept, that I can expect to get slightly better mileage in the summer. Won't this be offset by AC use?
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post #9 of 30 Old 03-23-2011, 11:36 AM
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"Normal" is relevant. I'm not saying this is you but some folks buy something and think it will fix a problem for them. Some of these people buy a hybrid and think they will automatically get 50 mpg even while doing 80 down the freeway.

The Prius hybrid was meant for a lot of city driving which is your situation. Here is a few more questions.
How is the charge level for the batteries?
Do you see a lot of charging coming from your braking?
What is the average mph you hit in city driving?
Do you keep your foot on the gas until you get to the next light or do you get up to speed and then coast to the next light with minimum gas (to keep up speed)?
Do you let your engine warm up before you move?
You don't haul any unnecessary weight?
Are there other drivers who aren't driving as conservative?



To others: Does anyone know how to reset the computer for the Prius? I'm not too familiar with hybrids, in a regular car, it's just a matter of pulling the battery cable for a few minutes. Resetting the computer will force it to relearn driving patterns and shift in more conservative order.

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post #10 of 30 Old 03-23-2011, 01:08 PM Thread Starter
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The Prius hybrid was meant for a lot of city driving which is your situation. Here is a few more questions.
How is the charge level for the batteries? Always at or near max charge
Do you see a lot of charging coming from your braking? Yes
What is the average mph you hit in city driving? I'm a conservative driver, i probably average 35-40 mph in city driving.
Do you keep your foot on the gas until you get to the next light or do you get up to speed and then coast to the next light with minimum gas (to keep up speed)? Get up to speed and coast
Do you let your engine warm up before you move? No - when would you consider an engine to be warmed up? I live in South Carolina, so it rarely drops below freezing.
You don't haul any unnecessary weight? No
Are there other drivers who aren't driving as conservative? VERY rarely
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post #11 of 30 Old 03-23-2011, 06:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mariovillanueva View Post
I'm using the display to track mpg at the moment, but plan to start tracking mileage with each fill up going forward as well. So far there's no reason to doubt the display's calculations, it just received its 10K checkup and everything was fine. The service manager tried to sell me on this winter/summer fuel mix concept, that I can expect to get slightly better mileage in the summer. Won't this be offset by AC use?
IME the display on the Prius reads a bit lower than what I get from a fillup, but I only used a couple tanks when I borrowed a Prius one of my family members bought. Summer versus winter should show a ~5-10% difference in mileage. The difference between winter/summer gas plus the warmer weather usually more than offsets A/C use.
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post #12 of 30 Old 03-27-2011, 07:10 PM
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You're braking too often if you're seeing a lot of little green leaf-cars on the Consumption Screen (those leaf cars indicate how much power you've regenerated via regenerative braking).

Ideally, you'd want to glide to a stop to maintain as much momentum so that you don't have to accelerate as much when the light turns green. Of course this depends on the traffic volume on your commute and the types of blocks (short w/ lots of light changes or long blocks with mostly green lights).

Winter vs. summer makes a big difference. I'm barely breaking 50mpg in the winter while 55mpg is not a problem (even with A/C) in the summer. I've gotten as low as 38mpg but that's when it hit -40 =P.

Have you checked your tyre pressure? If you're on 15" wheels, the factory spec is 35/33 front/rear. On 17s, it's 33/32. On the 15" wheels that I'm running on, I'm running 38/36 on winter tyres (Nokian Hakkapeliita R) and 40/38 on the factory Bridgestone Ecopia EP20s. Tyre pressure plays a big role in fuel economy. A few psi below the factory setting can mean up to 10% worse fuel economy due to extra drag/friction from the tyres (not to mention unnecessary wear on the tyre due to additional heat generated from the friction)

Also in the winter, heater requests will run the engine more often than A/C requests. Try bumping the automatic climate control temperature lower (say 68F to start). Use the minimum temperature that keeps you comfortable. Note that regardless of temperature setting (except MAX HOT), the heater will blow at full blast once the engine is warm and then it will settle down so no need to worry about freezing.

Don't run the front defroster unnecessarily. It'll keep the engine running. Once the window is clear, go back to AUTO mode. If it keeps fogging up and you don't want to keep turning the defroster on and off, just pres MODE and try the defroster/foot mode.

Don't run in "B". That's engine braking and will keep the engine running when you come to a stop at a traffic light.


Some of us block the grill in the winter to help keep the engine warm (by not letting cold air get sucked into the radiators.


Also, use an engine block heater in the winter (even if it's at 32F). You'll get heat in the cabin faster because the engine's already pre-heated and it will take the engine less time (and fuel) to warm up to operating temperatures (assuming your commute is long enough). Once it's warm, it can shut off as designed. In ECO mode, I have had the engine shut off as cold as 14F but any colder, it'll run continuously as it's much too cold for my short commute to warm up (6 mile commute).


That's all I can think of for now.
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post #13 of 30 Old 04-01-2011, 11:14 AM
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I am really confused at these little green leaf car symbols. Can you tell me if more is better or less is better?

Also, I get about 40m/g in winter, and 50m/g in summer. never got 55 or above. I consider myself very modest driver. To me, I found actually driving on Highway gets me more mileage than in city. Perhaps because the speed is too low, average speed is 30. I have tested numerous times that if you are consistently driving at a speed below 30, with much traffic, many traffic lights and stop signs, you won't save your gas at all, while if you go over 70 on highway, your gas mileage comes down quickly.
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post #14 of 30 Old 04-01-2011, 10:47 PM
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I have over 13,000 on my 010 Prius II. I use BP 87 octane with no alcohol and drive 5 under the speed limit.

This yields right at 60 mpg winter and 62 mpg summer.

It is all in how you drive the thing. The very first day last year, I got 52 and it improved every tank since then.

The worst that I got was on a trip through the Dakota's at 75 mph and very strong head winds and it came in at 50 mpg.

I have found that I have always got better mileage on the highway than in town. Just the opposite of what EPA tests.

Last edited by lh4x4; 04-01-2011 at 10:52 PM.
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post #15 of 30 Old 04-10-2011, 09:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jstray View Post
I am really confused at these little green leaf car symbols. Can you tell me if more is better or less is better?

Also, I get about 40m/g in winter, and 50m/g in summer. never got 55 or above. I consider myself very modest driver. To me, I found actually driving on Highway gets me more mileage than in city. Perhaps because the speed is too low, average speed is 30. I have tested numerous times that if you are consistently driving at a speed below 30, with much traffic, many traffic lights and stop signs, you won't save your gas at all, while if you go over 70 on highway, your gas mileage comes down quickly.
For an average person, you're in the right range. You'll need to just adjust your driving slightly to take advantage of the Hybrid Synergy Drive system to squeeze out 5, 10, 15 mpg more (depending on how far you wanna go).

The leaf cars represent how much energy you've recovered via regenerative braking. In the 1 Min Consumption screen, each leaf car is 30Wh. On the 5 Min Consumption screen, they represent 50Wh. The more the better if you're coming down a mountain (Cause that means you weren't using your brake pads) but in the city, that means you're braking too often. Try to coast and maintain momentum if possible.

For me, highway reduces mileage in the summer but increases mileage in the winter (I'll be running the engine more often in the winter because I need heat!)

Try the Pulse & Glide method, check your tyre pressure (I'm running 40/38 front/rear. The stock pressure is 35/33), use the Hybrid System Indicator as a guide - avoid accelerating into the PWR zone (unless of course traffic requires it) and if possible, maintain the pedal within the darker green "Hybrid ECO Area" to minimise engine usage when cruising. Of course, P&G can get better mpg but sometimes the situation doesn't allow you to use P&G so you have to continually adjust on the fly, switching from method to method to maximise mpg based on the terrain, volume of traffic and so forth.
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