There have been a few threads where people have written about the "distance to empty" not being accurate. It is an estimate based upon the average fuel consumption and fuel remaining. It resets when you refuel (only if the car is off) and you haven't just added a "small amount of fuel" according to the '13 manual.
Toyota is conservative in their distance to empty estimates. I think they'd rather greatly underestimate the distance than risk an owner running out of fuel when the display still shows range remaining. The highest I've ever noticed mine was something like 340, but I know I've driven greater than 450 on a fill-up.
With my 14 TAH LTD, the car records the mpg as you use fuel as an average. Only when you "RESET" the avg mpg, will the calculator change. It also has a sensor that detects the remaining fuel. Not tracking how much is used. The sensor will have a variable to "empty". The warning light goes on with "X" left in the tank. This varies from car to car. Anywhere from 1-2 gallons as we have discussed over the last 4-5 years. The calculation probably has hidden factors to calculate remaining miles. My car on average gets 33 mpg. I can get the mpg readout to show 45, by resetting while driving and coasting downhill (or using low speed to get the mpg to average 45+..
When I don't do anything tricky, I refill and it reads out usually at 500-510 per tank.
I have figured it out that the latest history of mpg's times the 16 gallon tank, (yes it holds more than 16) gets the miles remaining per tank.
If you fill your tank on the highway or especially at the top of a grade and can drive 2 miles with above average mpg, the miles remaining actually increases as you drive.
Example of true driving:
I was driving at high travel speed for an hour and I filled up on a long trip and drove at 65 after filling up for 5 miles. The miles remaining when I refilled. calculated at 505 and avg mpg was 36. After the fill up, As I drove conservatively at 65 with light acceleration, the mpg calculated average at 43. The miles remaining wet from 505 to 518 after driving 5 miles.
Drive this car and enjoy what it is and what it does.
The automatic things usually work well.
As I have done, you can drive differently and change pressure in tires and use different gas and very little will matter.
My 14 V 6 has been 19 to 20 mpg average around town. And highway use its average is 29 mpg. Under perfect highway speed travel say 2 hours or more non stop, it can get close to 34 mpg. The DTE is only a average per tank reset and is mostly used to avoid a run out of fuel.
Toyota's distance to empty estimates is way too conservative
on a recent trip, fuel light is on when drove near 600 miles
refuel @ 611 miles, only 14.2 gallons to full tanks, almost 3 gallon left in the tank when the fuel light is on
similar results on long trips. Theory is that manufacturers (Ford Chevy, Nissan, etc.), probably all and those listed have similar warning light levels. Safety to try to prevent less attentive owners to not run out of gas, because they use the light to tell then to get gas.
Mine has been slowly going up now since I've had it for a week 3 refills and now when I fill up it says 380. Alot better then the 310 when I 1st got the car. Yes Toyota is extra cautious with DTE. I was a good distance under 1/4 a tank and filled up with 12.6 gallons.
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