New TN User
Join Date: Mar 2019
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Hello From Portlandia!
I'm Joe, and I live in the southern suburbs of Portland, OR (AKA Portlandia). Although I retired from the Army Reserve in 2006, I was not eligible to collect my modest retirement pension until 2017. To celebrate that momentous occasion, I traded in my 2007 Camry for a 2014 Avalon Hybrid Limited. I had fallen in love with the Avalon when I had taken my Camry to the Toyota dealer for servicing, and killed time wandering through the showroom checking out cars. So, when the time came, I found a great deal on a Toyota Certified Used model.
Although I had considered a used RAV4 Hybrid, Camry Hybrid, Ford Fusion Hybrid or Energi (plug-in version), Nissan Rogue Hybrid, Ford Edge, Nissan Murano, and the Mazda CX-5, ultimately the SUVs were too expensive on the used market due to their popularity. Mileage was another consideration: I had plans to do some traveling and wanted something that got great mileage. Sedans have a decided edge, even over hybrid SUVs due to lower profile and frontal area. Although I had looked at some Avalon XLE models, I was fortunate to find a Limited model (with the technology package to boot) that was within my price range.
So far, I don't get close to the EPA city mileage. In suburban driving (mixed city/Interstate), I'm only getting around 32 MPG. On straight Interstate driving, I have gotten as much as 45 MPG. Best of all, when I use Sport Mode, it's a lot of fun to drive on the twisty mountain curves of US 20 from Salem to Bend... perhaps not Ferrari fun, but it's a great way to get places. It's the best of both worlds... high mileage like a Prius, but much, much more comfortable.
I'm hoping to get ideas from the forum about possible modifications that might allow my Avalon Hybrid to run in EV mode for more than a few blocks, and possibly at slightly higher speed before the engine kicks in to make suburban driving a bit more practical. I figure there's got to be some kind of programming tweak or computer chip that might help that. I would also be interested in mods that would top off the battery overnight to maximize the EV Mode availability.