Question about MPG

I am planning on getting a new 2006 Prius.
I would like to hear from others who own a 2006 and see exactly what your gas mileage is in the city and the highway. Please indicate if you
use the AC and driving habits etc.
I am looking for people whom have did the math rather then just how many miles to the fillup.
Start with a full tank. Drive and write down miles driven. Fillup with fuel. Take miles driven and divide by the number of gallons used to fillup the car.
I know that everyone knows how to do this, but the reason I specify this method is because I want an accurate reading.
The window sticker says 60 in the city and 51 on the highway. I have a hard time believing this to be real world mileage as I have never gotten EPA sticker mileage on any car I have ever owned. So before I take the plunge and buy this car verses another to save fuel, I want to know what I'm getting into.
Thanks so much and any other information you find may be useful to me, please post or E-mail directly to me.
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snipped-for-privacy@nospam.org wrote:

The car has a built-in mileage computer. According to that computer, I averaged 51-52 MPG from last September through the end of May of this year. Mileage dropped to about 48 in June and 46 in July, but it's now back up to 51.
I live in the Phoenix area, and temperatures were 110+ most of June and July. Now they're in the high 90s or low 100s.
My driving is a mixture of metropolitan-area freeway and suburban/rural. I use cruise control wherever possible and try to keep it set at 65 on the freeways.

The Prius in the US has a bladder inside the gas tank, so fillups are not consistent because of bladder elasticity changing with temperatures.
Also keep in mind that a ten percent variance from 55 MPG (EPA average MPG for the Prius) is 5.5 MPG, whereas a ten percent variance from 20 MPG is only 2 MPG. When comparing variances from the EPA rating use percentages, not absolute numbers of miles per gallon.

How do you expect anyone to email directly to snipped-for-privacy@nospam.org?
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M.S. I do not understand how your Prius can get such good of mileage. I'm in the same hot environment in the So. Cal Central Valley and I'm only getting 38 mpg now with AC running almost always. Very odd, although the local dealer has no explanation as to why a couple of Pri's in a company pool vary so widely in their mpg's. Even though the drivers rotate between them, they still produce the same mpg for the most part (one at 37 and the other at 46). Must be good ones and bad ones?
Best I did was 51 mpg in San Francisco, but that area didn't require AC. Fwiw, my AC does work pretty darn well and cools down within two minutes or so. Maybe the compressor drag accounts for some of the differences?
Running I-5 the way I do (85+) can get it down into the upper 20's to lower 30's. Also, our gas is pretty watered down during the summer months with the "blend." Don't know if Arizona has accepted the watered-down ethanol stuff yet?
B~
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I don't understand why people wonder why they are getting low MPG when they continually drive on the interstates at high speeds while running the A/C. The Prius is very capable of achieving over 60 MPG once you realize it's not a sports car.
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You'll notice most of the complaints come from those who are part of the high speed congestion. So, my guess is the complaints are merely indirect complaints. If one is all alone on the highway and still insists on traveling 85 miles and hour and bemoans the Prius mpg's then as far as I'm concerned they are just out of touch. Or, the complaints are really meant to impress as if none of us ever dared to drive so fast, or can't afford to run the AC.
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I suspect there are some Prius that have undiagnosed problems that drop fuel economy into the 30s. We used to see a lot more of those reports in the Yahoo Prius forum, but they have become less common for some reason.
Assuming your tire pressures are okay (the stock pressures will cost you about 5 mpg and wear the tires rapidly in the first generation - not sure about the current version), there are a couple things that have been known to cause such poor mileage. The first one is easy enough: some shops overtension the parking brake cable and the parking brakes drag. If you use the parking brakes regularly that goes away in a week or two, but applying the parking brake hard and releasing it about ten times apparently does the same trick. The other one was only reported once: the fuel injectors tested bad and were replaced under warranty. Problem solved.
Mike (getting about 50 mpg in Flagstaff until we changed tires, now mid-40s)
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What tires did you get? I want to avoid them when I have to change tires.
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wrote:

I got Yokohamas. In fairness, I haven't bothered to see what pressure I can run them at; if I can do 42/40 they should be better. However, they are 195s and not LRR so there may be limits....
Mike
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I don't know why you're getting such low mileage. As I said, I tend to keep at 65 on the freeway; most of the rural driving is at 45 to 50, and in the city it's 25-35. The lowest I've ever had was 42 MPG, and that was on my first tank.
I make heavy use of the cruise control whenever I can, and the rest of the time, I keep a light foot on the go-pedal, and try pulse-and-glide whenever I'm able if I can't use the cruise control.
I know people who routinely get the high 50s or even low 60s; I don't know how they do it.

We get MTBE in the Winter and ethanol in the Summer.
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wrote:

My Prius got into a mode a while back (last summer) where it wouldn't charge the battery and the engine ran continuously. Problem went away with a re-start and then reappeared a few days later. It was hot when it happened and the A/C had pulled the battery down. Hasn't happened since the last recall upgrade but I have no reason to believe that upgrade solved the problem. Read about an identical situation in the Prius_2G group a few days ago.
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Was it uncomfortably hot in the cabin when this happened? The traction battery and its electronics draw their cooling air from the cabin. Continuous A/C use can cut MPGs 10%, but it is necessary in hot weather to keep the battery system working properly.
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wrote:

I don't remember. Is it possible the A/C can draw from the battery at the same rate the engine can charge it? Hasn't happened this summer and I've driven several day with temps in the high 90's and one 65 mile trip in the low 100's.
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I've been driving my Prius for about 3,100 miles, mostly around town, short trips of no more than 15-20 minutes, usually under 65mph. I pulse & glide when possible, but that's a very small percentage. Here in Augusta GA, it's been 90-106 degrees, and I use the A/C all the time. Only rarely do I use Cruise (one 1,000-mile trip @85mph, one 500-mile trip at 75mph). My tires are stock and at 42/40.
My best mileage for 100 miles or so has been about 49mpg, but I generally average right at 45-46. Always between 43.5 & 46.2. BTW, I use the MFD as I've found that hand calculation isn't as accurate for tank-by-tank calculations. See the "Who do you believe" thread for more, or visit greenhybrid.com.
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Have you seen the Prius FAQ in GreenHybrid.com?
What model year?
Bob Wilson
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Bob Wilson wrote:

Yes, Bob, I'm Uwaku, driver of "Smudge," an '06 HF3. Thanks!
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Ok, a couple of things:
1) Can you do the first mile at 25-30 mph?
This will let you get the engine and systems up to operating temperature. Thereafter, you'll get much better fuel efficiency.
2) The oil level is OK?
3) About your speeds:

We have some MPG vs MPH data:
http://home.hiwaay.net/~bzwilson/prius/epa.jpg

You control the speed, the MPG follows.

I use pump recepts for my long term average. I find the MFD is best used for 'tests' or learning how to drive.
Bob Wilson
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Thanks, Bob. I appreciate the effort.
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wrote:

Good point! I'm genuinely interested in hearing accurate data for a change.

Trip computers are notoriously inaccurate (erring on the economical side - which auto manufacturer wouldn't prefer that?).

But over several fillups (say a couple of thousand miles) the total amount of fuel put in will be valid, and (give or take some slack on the last fill) should give a fair basis for the math(s) if you record the start and finish odometer readings. Then do the math, and see whether you still get 51 mpg, but I'm guessing the computer will turn out to be significantly optimistic. As the OP says, it's the _only_ way to get a realistic mpg figure (for any car).
The Prius is a reasonably economical car, especially in the urban cycle, but it still ultimately gets _all_ its energy from a gasoline engine, rather than a diesel, which is what we Europeans have come to know and love.
Steve P
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I didn't know there was a hybrid diesel on the market. If you are comparing the Prius to the conventional diesel then your statement regarding energy deserves some clarification. In both cases the energy comes from the engine HOWEVER the Prius is capable of recovering some of it's own energy whereas the conventional diesel is not. Climb a hill with both and an efficient diesel will use less fuel than an efficient gas engine. On the other side of the hill, on the way down, the Prius will recapture some of that energy and store it in it's battery bank to be used when needed. When a Prius is slowing to a stop, it is recovering some of the energy required to get it up to speed in the first place. The conventional diesel, unable to recapture energy, is less efficient overall.
Then, of course, there is the matter of hydrocarbon emissions.... What Europeans have learned that Americans don't understand is that smaller, lighter vehicles take less fuel to operate. The situation in Europe, and especially in Asia, is remarkably different in another aspect. Population density is such that many more people can be served per truck-mile. When I lived in what was then West Germany, the country was the size of Minnesota with a population 1/4 of the U.S. population. That same population density made mass transportation economically feasable and, in many cases, preferable to personal transportation.
Don't get me wrong here. I don't excuse my fellow Americans for wasting fuel and emitting hydrocarbons. It's a national disgrace, worse in the long run than the unnecessary invasion of Iraq.
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Presuming that enough people continue to think hybrids are the way forward (I'm not yet convinced), Europe will go for diesel every time. In many countries, diesel cars far outnumber gasoline already. Several manufacturers who area talking about doing hybrids in Europe are talking only diesel, rather than gasoline. However, there are also makers such as VW who are releasing super-economical (non-hybrid) diesels with very low emissions and exceptional fuel mileage (aiming for 3 litres per 100km). It's interesting that in several cases recently the most powerful model in a maker's range is a diesel - e.g. the VW Touareg, Skoda Fabia, etc.

Of course, that's what the batteries are for (though I have met people who say that the reason for the Prius's economy is that some of the power is ultimately "electric", without having thought much about where the electricity comes from).

Correct.
There are two caveats. The first is that in normal driving (not in stop-start traffic) how much time do you actually spend pressing the brake pedal? Not much, as a proportion of a journey, unless you are a driver with exceptionally poor anticipation. This is evidenced by the very low capacity of the Prius battery pack, only able to power the car for a few seconds at full output, which in turn explains why Toyota provided no facility to charge it from the mains. There's no point.
Second, lugging the additional mass of the battery pack, electric motor / generator set, power and temperature control units, etc around all the time has an impact on economy.

Indeed, dramatically less. Increased vehicle body mass / engine power increases secondary items such as transmission, brakes, suspension, and it's a vicious circle.

In and around London it's the only sensible option. Millions of people take the train every day.

..which will bite the US in the bum.

Don't get me started. Aas a Brit, I'm disgusted that our government has been going along with it.
Steve P
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