2007 Toyota Prius: Real-World Mileage

Priusdisplay_1

Tell someone you drive a Toyota Prius, and they might conclude you also enjoy tofu scramble and "West Wing" reruns. Rest assured, I have no idea how tofu ever got scrambled, and I’m no "Wing"-man either. But I did get considerable seat time in a 2007 Prius Touring Edition last week.

The Prius has been praised for bringing hybrid technology to the masses, but many have criticized its real-world gas mileage, which is nowhere near EPA estimates. I averaged just 34 mpg in a 104-mile week of frugal, A/C-free driving. That’s a far cry from the car’s window sticker, which reads a lofty 60 mpg in city driving and 51 mpg on the highway. New EPA regulations for the 2008 model year are reportedly going to lower mileage estimates on hybrids by roughly 30%.

Prius_touring

The engine switches on and off almost seamlessly, and it takes an alert driver to detect it. The only indications are the noise level, which goes from eerie silence to a light drone, and the fuel consumption gauge, which drops from 99.9 mpg to a more believable 25 or 30 mpg.

I found enough electric propulsion to accelerate to about 10 mph. The Prius can do 20 or 30 mph on battery juice alone, but that requires lots of patience — and a complete disregard for the cars behind you because you have to milk the accelerator. For all intents and purposes, meaningful oomph beyond 15 mph requires the engine.

Returning to electric mode is tricky. Oftentimes the engine shuts off on its own during deceleration, when the vehicle’s braking friction recharges its battery. With a light foot and low enough speed, I found it possible to pick back up in electric mode afterward. But other times — especially in cold temperatures, when the car’s heater was active — the engine remained on after deceleration. It took a complete stop and a few seconds of waiting for the Prius to transition back to electric mode, if it ever did. Try doing that in heavy traffic.

Over time, I found that city driving did not give me the best gas mileage. As careful as I was noting the traffic around me and planning my acceleration to stay as long as possible in electric mode, my hard-earned mileage gains were quickly erased every time I needed to make a yellow light or merge with faster traffic.

If you get a Prius, drive it lightly — but don’t become obsessed with the electric motor. Clock lots of time on the highway at 55 mph, and the engine will yield gas mileage in the mid-40s. Around town, a prudent stretch or two in electric mode will balance out the times you need to accelerate quickly. And with any luck, you’ll achieve respectable gas mileage — not 50 or 60 mpg, but something you still couldn’t dream of in another car.

Update: Over the course of the week I commuted 4.5 miles to work — in downtown Chicago, from Lincoln Park to the Loop — and drove a mix of short (less than a mile) and medium (12-15 mile) distances at mostly sub-highway speeds in varying traffic conditions. Weather ranged from the mid-30s to mid-50s, and apart from a few parking garages, elevation changes throughout the week were minimal. The air conditioning remained off almost all week. The Prius Touring Edition I tested features 16-inch wheels and tires, compared to the standard model’s 15-inch combination.

Comments 

I have a 2005 prius with 45K on it and easily average 50 mpg and thats with the ac and traveling 70 mph. Trust me the prius is well worth the money.

Marcus,
Impressive. What's your secret -- do you sweat the EV mode or just drive normally?

Matt

I have a 2006. I upgraded the tires from the dounuts that toyota gave me to the same ones that come on the new touring edition and my average gas milage dropped from 45 to 40. When I first got the prius, I was only getting 35, and then I found out about tire pressure. 45 psi in the front and 43 psi in the back is what I have found that works best for me, and it really does make a difference. Also, if I only drive long distances my average goes up. If I only drive for 10 minutes at a time, my MPG is killed because of the warm-up time. For instance, driving from Atlanta GA to Destin, I averaged 55 mpg, averaging 70 mph.

DaveInSoCal

I had a 2005 Prius, and now have a 2006 model, and on both I average 48-52 mpg, depending on how "badly" I drive. I am not the easiest on my car's, so it is impressive for me. Only 34mpg? What the heck were you doing? Even on my worst weeks, I have never EVER gotten less than 42 mpg.

I have driven 87,000 miles on my 2003 Prius and have averaged 48 mpg after correcting for the 1.5 to 2.0 mpg optimism of the Prius mpg readout of my particular Prius.

In the summer, I average 53 mpg with a mix of 55-60 mph freeway and 30-40 mph mountain driving. On cold days in the winter it can drop down to 44 in the mountains. If you only do 5 minute trips, the mpg will be much less because the engine must warm up the catalytic converter.

It seems clear that the author's comments are so off base that either he has not driven the Prius enough to evaluate it or has an alternate agenda. I do not believe the 2007 Prius gets less mpg than my 2003.

Also, when there is an elevation change, it is important to report the round-trip mpg, not the one-way mpg. Gravity matters!

shane

I also own a 2006 Prius that I purchased a couple months ago. I too am amazed at the review. The best tank I have gotten was 54 mpg with mostly highway driving. The worst I have gotten may be my current tank as temperatures have dropped significantly. As of this morning, I'm getting 48 mpg. Maybe the reviewer had the emergency brake on the whole time.

Dave Hoffner

I've had a 2006 Prius for about 2 months, and I have to say that this review really surprised me. I can drive like a maniac and still get 45 mpg, and my usual conservative driving yields an average of 55-60 mpg, with some 30-mile trips getting as high as 64.5 mpg. One thing that this reviewer didn't realize is that you don't have to accelerate slowly to drive efficiently in a Prius. The car is much more efficient when accelerating briskly.

Rodger

I've got a 2005 Prius and I live in Alaska. During the dead of winter, even with a block heater, my worst mileage ever (including the short commute penalty) was 34. During the summer I get 50 MPG pretty easily. Sounds to me like the 2007 that was tested wasn't broken-in yet. The mileage has steadily improved throughout my ownership.

Vince Dee

I just bought a 2007 Prius almost three weeks ago. I'm hardly a fanboy, so I can tell you that the mileage figures that the reviewer got with the car are totally BS. There is no way that you can get those mpg figures in this car. One thing I can agree on, for sure, is that the Prius doesn't even remotely get 61mpg in the city. After 600 miles I'm averaging about 45mpg with mostly normal driving.

When you post such erroneous information your credibility goes down. Now I wouldn't be able to trust your reviews on other cars, since you clearly screwed this one up.

Vince

leigh

are you serious? 34 mpg? i've never gotten below 40 in my 05, and that was with a 3-mile highway commute (think: hard accel right away, then a quick .5 mile coast to the parking lot, car never even warmed up!)

in cooler weather it's in the upper 40s and with nice temps i top out around 57 mpg, which is above the epa combined estimate.

you can usually pop it back into electric only by completely removing your foot from the gas pedal, then lightly putting it back down for a "coast" at constant speed. people who accelerate like a grandma in their prius piss me off, especially when i'm behind them in mine. get up to speed, foot off accelerator, foot back on accelerator lightly to coast.

after 104 miles my tank mpg is often still in the lower 60s.

Marc

I'm approaching 45K miles on my '04 and my lifetime mileage over the 2-1/2 years is right on 55 MPG (calculated by actual fuel used not the computer). It will vary up and down as weather and gasoline formulations vary, but it averages out. I haven't had a complete tank lower than about 46 MPG since the second tank ever filled on the car. There's a website that allows people to post tank over tank info for cars and the Prius users are averaging around 48 MPG with the usual expected bell curve on either side.

That being said, variables do affect the Prius mileage more than other cars. There was a recent DOE study that showed hybrids being more variable.

Mark

You're a liar.

GreenDrive

I have an 05 Prius and tried all the tricks but the best I can get is 33 mpg combined. I also had a minor wreck when the car stalled while turning. That cost me $5,000 and took 3 hours to clear the accident because the fire dept was afraid of the batteries leaking.

A coworker of mine tried adding more air in the tires and she wiped out because of the lack of traction, luckily minor damage from a very shallow ditch and alert oncoming traffic.

All in all this car has been very disappointing considering I paid several thousand dollars premium over MSRP for it, it doesn't deliver, I can't trust it and worst of all my wife gets slightly better mileage in her ZX3 Focus which cost $7,000 less and has a 100,000 mile warranty. Even with the generous tax deductions, this car is costing me more than a mid-sized sedan to operate.

Never again.

Thomas M Wetherbee

You averaged 34 mpg driving a Prius?!? You must have been dragging a safe behind it, or driving with the parking brake on. I have a 2006 with 7000 miles and I average about 55 mpg. I get 50 mpg on the highway at 70 mph with the A/C running. Around the county on the 55 mph country roads i have had mileage up to 60 mpg. Perhaps you made a number of short trips. That will really hurt mileage, since the engine has to heat up each time. Anyway, it's a great car.

Tom

SimonT

I have had an 06 prius for 9 months and 36,000 miles. I average 33 mpg, 35 on good days. The tire overinflation tip didn't work for me as the car became way too unstable. I can't believe that I paid so much for this car. There is no way I will ever get my investment back. I would have been better off moneywise with a small Cobalt or Mazda3 and I would have a fun small car. Believe me, my Prius is anything but fun. After an hour those seats just kill my back.

Tom Simon

Brandon

What the heck are you talking about? I've had a Prius for two years and consistently average 50+ miles per gallon. Have you tried releasing the emergency brake?! Honestly, I don't know how it is even possible for you to obtain 33 mpg without something being seriously wrong with that particular Prius. Did you have it checked out? Surely your driving habits can't be THAT horrendous.

Thomas

My car has 3k miles on it. I'm averaging 53 mpg in extremely hilly driving conditions in Salt Lake City. Best tank was 60, worst was 44 (which was my first when I suspect the dealer didn't fill the bladder properly). I'm 27 years old and don't drive this thing like a grandpa. I drive 5 mph over the limit wherever I go, and my commute is 6.5 miles on city streets each day (10 minutes). I think to get 35 mpg I'd have to take the car on 500 yard trips, or leave the parking brake on while driving it.

Zoe

I just purchased on '06 in March of this year and my average mpg is 51. This impressive mpg is accomplished with little more than coasting to lights. Anyone that's getting less than 45 is either doing something terribly wrong OR there's something wrong with their car.

Thomas

I love the email addresses of the naysayers. [email protected]
totally different names then the ones they're posting under.......

Pathetic.

Dennis

I've had my 06 since March (21k miles so far) and have been averaging 51.6 MPG. I drive aggressively and most of the time at 70 mph @ 55mph zone. When I need to pass, I would go to 80-85 mph. This car is fun to accelerate and pass on highway because it is so responsive. I get great mpg because I use the power wisely -- minimize braking, the same way I drove Celica.

This car is a blast to drive and there is no way I can go back to automatic tranny car. Prius also have precise control at low speed due to 295 lbs-ft electric motor torque -- no, none, zero slipping like the fluid torque-converter.

Dennis

Randall Henderson

Another very happy Prius owner chiming in... in fact when my wife bought her 2005 I was not that enthused, but after driving it a bit I said "I have to get me one of these!" and now we're a two-Prius family.

I've never been much of a car person in fact... get me from point A to point B in reasonable comfort and I'm happy. But I love this car! The great mileage is only one reason -- it also has great acceleration, is comfy and roomy, and the large hatchback and fold-down seats give it great utility.

Interestingly, my wife's 2005 seems to get slightly better mileage than my 2006 regardless of who's driving it, but nevertheless I'd have to drive a lot more agressively (or sloppily) to get less than 45mpg, even with my relatively short commute of around 12 miles.

I wonder if the reviewer is in a particularly cold or wet climate? Temperature makes a difference, as does wet pavement. Nevertheless it's hard to figure how one could do as poorly as 34MPG.

Dennis

Title (fixed)

2007 Toyota Prius: Fantasy-World Mileage by Toyota Hater

For the record, no the parking brake was not on. And with temperatures in the 50s or higher, the car started right into EV mode without having to warm up. What killed mileage was colder days (30s and 40s) when the engine needed to heat up. I took shorter trips in the city in a low-mileage car and relatively colder temperatures. Not a lot of elevation changes either. And when the week was over, the average mileage readout read 34.0 mpg.

But cheers to everyone who's weighed in with stories of much higher gas mileage -- that's the kind of extra perspective we're looking for.

Brandon

Hi Kelsey,

Okay, so if those were the problematic factors (and they shouldn't have that great an impact - I drive short distances in cold weather all the time during the winter and still average 46-48 mpg), imagine how low the mpg averages would be in a conventional vehicle under those same conditions. All vehilces perform worse in cold temps when the engine isn't warm; it's just more noticible when the mpg average is usually 50 instead of 18 and when there's a screen in the dash telling the driver about the vehicle's fuel efficiency.

Kelsey,

How many miles was your trip? And why was it titled "Real-World" when you have only tested under one extreme condition?

2007 Toyota Prius: Cold Weather Short Trip Mileage

That title is more suitable I would think.

Dennis

Joe

I highly suspect that there is something wrong with your car and it should be checked out. I would think that a dealer tech can compare your car to a more normal one and find out where you are loosing efficiency. I consistently get almost exactly 50mpg and I drove 60 miles every day and I cross over the Santa Suzana pass(So. Cal) each way. The Prius is in now ways a perfect car but yours should be must better than that.

leigh

warms right up into ev mode? um, the engine is programmed to invariably kick in 7 sec after startup and run until warm to warm up the catalytic converter. will usually run at least a minute even at comfortable air temps. the only way to start up straight into ev mode is with an ev switch, which is an aftermarket install and far from a mainstream thing.

if all you wanted was mpg numbers you could have checked out greenhybrid.com's database.

L Taquino

I gave up my Chev 1500 HD ( 15mpg Hwy )and my ImpalaSS 04 ( 28 mpg Hwy ) and got my 2006 Jan 1. Love my Pri and I don't know how you can't get 40+. I have almost 30k and my life time ave is 60.1mpg. I live in Houston and am by no means a slow driver. My worst was 42.3 and best is 52.6. I know for a fact that even if you start off low in the 40's becouse of hard driving it is very easy to recover 10-15mpg even after 200-300 miles of driving. I can't wait to place my order for my 2009.

Ken Cooper

If my Prius mileage was in the 30s I'd take it in to Toyota and demand it be fixed.

I've driven my Prius in every imaginable condition including very cold, very hot, high elevation, low elevation, city driving, highway driving, mountain driving, hard driving, easy driving, or whatever. The worst mileage I've ever experineced with this car is about 44 mpg (best is 55 mpg, average is 48.5 mpg). This on a 2004 Prius having 34,200 miles on it.

What amazes me is that articles like this get published at all. Don't you folks have any kind of peer review process? Do you even check to see if the writer of an article such as this is maybe being paid by some competing car manufacturer?

Shame on you. I'll never again look at one of your articles without pre-setting my thought process to 'extreme skeptic mode'.

Chris

I put a K&N drop-in filter in my 06 and am now getting 61 vs 55 before. What's more- it cost about $45 and I never have to pay for another filter. If you are having trouble achieving windowsticker MPG contact your local Toyota Dealer and ask for the Delivery Specialist familiar with the car. In Colorado- Burt Toyota seek advice from Aaron Brown. I will end up saving some $3000 in fuel this year over my old Acura CL I traded in not to mention the state and fed tax incentives. We are so happy we'll buy a Hylander Hybrid for the wife in 2 years.

Dennis

I think I figured it out how 34 MPG was achieved. Start up in EV mode and use the battery to run the heater. Then the engine is fored to recharge the battery. Drive 7 miles and turn it off and repeat the process 15 more times. Oh and that's the real-world.

Dennis

Please remember when we say "city driving" we're talking City of Chicago. Meaning downtown and surrounding neighborhoods, so when you leave a stoplight you basically get going fast enough to kick off the motor, kick on the engine and back again. This is not suburban "city" driving.
Also this is the all-new Touring edition with larger wheels/tires (16 inchers versus 15) which usually also equals lower mileage. We're preparing an update to the post to point out these issues.

50 degrees is also not what I would consider cold weather.

Bluto

Take it back, you have a lemon. I avg 48 MPG in my 06. In my 18 mile one way commute I spend about 15 minutes in city driving and 10-25 minutes in freeway driving. Lots of different situtations - 2 Blvds with multiple stop lights, freeway at speed, and freeway at slow and go. The area I drive in has some hills, so I get lousy MPG going up, but great MPG going down the other side.

john

Let me guess ...... the 104 miles were all at the local drage strip. What is your motive for posting a bogas review?

Donee

Hi Kelsey,

I cannot believe your mileage. I took delivery of a 2006 Prius 390 miles from home on a 15 degree F day last Febuary. The fuel economy for that trip was 43 mpg, with heavy cross and head winds with the cruise control set to 70 mph. Since then my best tank mileage has been 63 mpg in a 23 mile suburban commute, and the car typically delivers right at the EPA combined of 55 mpg, even with the AC on.

Most people do not know this, but piston engines have better efficiency at higher RPM and Torque levels. So, accellerating at a low engine output results in poor mileage. In regular cars there are extra fuel delivery mechanisms (called enrichment)that come into play if you quickly push the pedal to the floor. The Prius does not have an enrichment mechanism, it just brings the engine up to speed gradually under computer control and relies on the motor for initial torque. So, trying to accellerate ever-so-slowly will waste gas in a Prius as the engine has to run below its good efficiency zone and for longer, until the car is up to speed.

In a standard car, one can stay out of the enrichment by pressing the accellerator pedal ever-so-slowly, but for best mileage one should get the pedal up to nearly full throttle.

There is more to getting good mileage in the Prius, but this is already a long post.

My thing with the Prius: Their average selling price is around $26,000. You can get a comparably sized and equipped vehicle for 8-10 thousand dollars less than that and be paying $160 to $200 LESS a month for it (or even less than that if you're financing for less than 60 months). So how long would you need to keep a Prius in order to start breaking even? Probably longer than most people will even keep the car.

Angus

It sounds like one of two things may be going on here:

1) Some Priuses (or is that Prii?) are way better than others. That is, there's a bunch of defective ones on the road.

2) A bunch of tree-huggers are deluding themselves into thinking they're getting better MPG than they really are. And are then displaying absolutely "Bushian / Rovian" behavior by suggestion that anyone who claims the Prius doesn't get 50+ mpg in all conditions is a liar and maybe even a terrorist. You ALL crack me up, to be honest.

Jennifer

I have a 2006 Prius with no performance mods other than upping the tire psi to 40/38. I don't drive special and in fact tend to have a bit of a lead foot especially when accellerating. I'm still averaging 48mpg without hardly trying.

Although I must admit that I do try to take advantage of driving on electric-only when in slow traffic on the freeway and on roads with 35-40mph speed limits. I can't go any faster than 40mph without the gas engine kicking in, unless I'm travelling on a downward slope.

The lowest mpg I've gotten in 8+ months of driving the Prius was while driving a very steep mountain grade (6% 20-mile grade at a 4,000 ft elevation) in 35 degree F weather. And that mpg was a dismal 34.3 for the duration of that leg of my journey.

http://www.greenhybrid.com/compare/mileage/car/2107.html

this is pathedic are you people really that cheap on gas? You do realise that everyone behind you will eventually run you down by pulling that "slow acceleration" crap- society is fed up with these damn remote control cars. You're killing the environment!!

PS

I got my 2007 Prius about a week ago. And my experience has been quite different from yours. I've averaged trips of 40-50mpg all week. I can stay in electric mode up to about 40 MPH. And I'm enjoying everything about the car. Most people know that the EPA mileage ratings are merely for comparison to other vehicles - they don't indicate the actual mileage of the car. Other Prius owners I know are getting an average of 49-50mpg over an extended period.

Lanny

"my hard-earned mileage gains were quickly erased every time I needed to make a yellow light.."

A yellow light isn't for speeding up to "make it", its to advise you to come to a stop so you don't T-bone another driver that will be coming through on a legal green light.

And to another responder, if you really read what is being said here, most Prius drivers are saying that they don't do that "slow acceleration" crap because its not the best way to get good mpg. I notice a lot of non-hybrid drivers that do that "slow acceleration" crap all the time.

Godiva

Trying a Prius out isn't the same as owning one.

I've got a 2005 Prius package #1 and average between 47 and 52 mpg. The only time I got lower (high 30s) was when I had a flat tire and didn't know it. Like any car, tire pressure is important for good gas mileage.

If your commutes are from 1 mile to 12-15 miles, that's a problem too. Like any car a Prius needs to warm up. That takes about 10 min. So...your trips are too short to get really great mileage.

I recently did a rally with the local Prius club. I averaged 59.4 mpg. That was both city and highway mileage.

Can you beat the EPA? You bet. There are hypermilers that can get over 100 mpg in a stock Prius solely by driving techniques.

But it sounds to me like you're trying too hard and don't really know how to drive the car yet. That takes ownership. Not borrowing it for a week.

Douglas Grove

I liked the prius so much I bought two. Mileage always averages about 48 miles per gallon on each tank. Maybe a little less in winter 45. I bleieve the mileage is great but no one ever considers the amount of oxygen these standard cars are consuming while idling in the city. Has anyone ever calculated what a difference the air quality would be in the cities if everyone were driving a hybrid? Gasoline engines basically run on a 16 to one ratio. 16 pounds of air for one pound of gasoline. A gallon of gas weighs 6 lbs. If you do the math that is 96 lbs of air for each gallon of gas. How much oxygen do we have left on the planet? Does anyone know?

Camry Hybrid

I have a Camry Hybrid and consistently get between 35 and 40mpg. I don't drive slow either. I don't know what the reviewer is smoking.

i dunno considering your damn batteries will eventually cause more harm that good

Kurt

I drive an '06 Prius. Worst tank was was the first tank at 44mpg. I consistently average over 50mpg without doing anything besides driving the car. In fact, the cruise control and AC are on most of the time. Better mileage is possible in town by accelerating to the speed limit and coasting. I'm guessing the reviewer's trips were so short that the car didn't have time to warm up. We save about $100/month on gas over our prior compact car's gas usage. Sounds like the Prius may not be the best fit for the reviewer's driving needs. Does fine for us.

Doing all the wrong things, that's typical. The hybrid system wasn't designed to be babied. In fact, that causes reduced efficiency.

JUST DRIVE IT!

Brisk acceleration, which is quite normal for much of the population, will yield the most efficient results. When you reach the desired city cruising speed, like 35 MPH, the engine will automatically shut off. There's no special driver behavior required. You'll see it happen just through routine driving... in other words, following the usual flow of traffic.

That 34 MPG wasn't representative of real-world in any way. On the other hand, my 62,500 miles resulting in a 3-year average of 48.6 MPG is. My worse tank ever was 36.4 MPG, carrying 2 kayaks on the roof on the highway. I averaged 55.1 MPG for an entire month once. So a tiny sampling, like that reported here, is most definitely not what owners experience normally. It was a worst-case scenario, an extreme, not an expectation.

IAP

I own a 2005 Prius, bought new, which I have driven for 26,000 so far. I have rarely averaged under 50 mpg per tank, after the first six months of ownership. Even then, I got 46-48 mpg. I recently drove up and down I5 between Southern and Northern CA. At speeds of 80-85 mph, I only received 45 mpg.

Michal

Is this issue--where real-world gas mileages are apparently much lower than EPA estimates--present in previous-generation Priuses and the Honda Insights?

rahmat

design car in elips shape as i got the idea about it, have design its front back as well as its top well want more information plz e -mail me at my adderess and send me new designs which ever you make or in progress,on which i can give idea about it

Cambium

This debate never ends... the Prius gets about 50 mpg, but it does take a little learning. I know that puts off most drivers... "I already know how to drive!!". Yeah, and you already know how to do your bit to cause climate change, and could care less. But, it's a simple fact: the technology in the Prius could make a big difference if the political will were there to encourage it, and technologies like it. Notice that not one US car made the top 10 for mileage this year? Who cares, right?

Marlin

I seriously doubt anyone will read this far down, but...

Your poor gas milage was due to your very short commute of 4.5 miles. For the 1st five minutes or so, the Prius runs less efficiently to warm up the engine and catalytic converter. While it does this, it averages about 30 MPG. However, after that, you will see 55+ MPG.

So, people who drive mainly less than 10 minute trips will see gas milage under 40 MPG. Those who drive 30+ minute trips will see gas milage over 50 MPG.

My 2006 Prius is 8 months old, I have 29,000 miles and average 52.4mpg after very careful tracking of gas receipts at the pump.

My best tank was just over 60mpg in the heat of summer, and my worst was recently during open freeway driving 75mph into strong winds at 42mpg.

My best mileage is in Chicagoland tollway traffic at 55 to 70 mph. I get less in suburb light - to - light driving.

If my display is showing anything under 50, I'm having an untypical low tank experience. Usually my display is in the 55 mpg range which seemingly is a bit higher than the actual calculated mpg of 52.xx.

29,000 miles in 8 months. If you drive 5,000 a year, don't get a prius and expect great mileage.

DrvFar

I have a lead foot (my other car has 260lbs torque and 300+ hp) and get 45 mpg in my prius in a daily 7.5 mile commute. However, my first 300 miles were more like 35 mpg. Prius mpg increased significantly after that first tank of gas. Seemed like it needed to break in a little bit, but after that, it's been awesome and by far the most fun to drive vehicle I've owned.

Kevin

There's a certain self-selection going on here, in which everyone with high mpg numbers chips in to justify their purchase, while those with lower ones keep quiet.

For myself, here in Britain, I certainly am not in the group that easily averages 50mpg (US) = 60mpg (UK). My lifetime average is 52mpg (UK) = 43mpg (US). I do do a lot of short commuting though; for example, 90 miles into my current tank, where I've not done any long trips at all, the display is showing 47.3mpg (UK) = 39.4 (US). Mind you, that is surprisingly poor for me.

From other UK owners, I believe an average of 55mpg (UK) = 46mpg (US) is pretty typical. I can just about reach 60mpg (UK) = 50mpg (US) on long runs, but to have that as a lifetime average would be inconceivable.

It's possible that our larger wheels (as now availble at last now on the US touring version) and lack of coolant storage contributes to the difference. I think driving conditions are probably very different too.

If you want real mileage information on the prius you need to check out the site http://www.greenhybrid.com Check out the mileage of real people that drive the Prius. My stats for my car bought in January.

Member: ibcs
Car Name: Toyota Prius
Car ID#: 3590

Model: Toyota Prius
Generation: II
Year: 2006
Transmission: CVT

Lifetime Fuel Economy: 47.5 mpg (US)
Current Distance: 10,566 mi
Starting Fuel Economy: 44.0 mpg (US)
Starting Distance: 2,005 mi
Tanks: 21
Distance/Tank: 408 mi
Total Fuel: 222.6 gal (US)

Speed: At Limit
City/Highway: 60/40%
Calculation Method: By Hand
Primary Environment: Suburban
Zip Code (US): 45322

deh

That 34 MPG figure is pretty silly. I wonder how it was measured? Perhaps it was by filling up the tank, driving 104 miles, and filling it up again. That could easily introduce a very large error margin.

I have a 2006 Prius and live in the mountains. I average 47.8 mpg. Who ever wrote this review is a complete moron. Was he draggin a trailer without wheels??? Interstate mileage I have easly averaged 50.3, right at the posted mileage for this vehicle. Gas prices may be down right now, but I'll bet anyone here they won't stay down. Hybrids are the future. Get used to it.

Monica

Does anyone have any info or any good websites comparing the 2007 Standard Edition to the 2007 Touring Edition? My husband and I are interested in buying a Prius but are on the fence about which edition to choose. Thanks!

jimsum

What kind of mileage do you get in a regular car under the same situation? The Prius may be much worse than the EPA rating, but I believe that will also be true of conventional cars in the same conditions. What car will get better mileage than the Prius under the same testing conditions?

Personally, I get about 40 mpg in the Winter, 48 mpg in the Summer. My best mileage for a long trip (800 miles) was 55 mpg. I have had truly horrible tanks in the winter, when temperatures are well below freezing on my 2 mile commute. I don't think any car would do better, even if I don't get the rated mileage. Mileage is 20% better than my old Civic hatchback, which didn't have air conditioning.

There is another factor that may have contributed to your results. Was the temperature different when filling the tank before and after the test? The bladder in the gas tank holds less gas when temperatures are colder. If you fill when cold, then compare to filling when warm (or vice versa); you will get an inaccurate reading. Mileage fluctuates a lot in all cars with different conditions; you can't tell much from a single tank of gas or single EPA test.

Actually the results didn't come from filling the tank -- I reset the trip computer when the Prius arrived in our fleet, and a week later it read 102 miles and 34.0 mpg average. Bear in mind this was lots of urban driving over short distances in cooler weather -- not the optimum mix for high gas mileage, but plenty of city-dwellers drive with the same conditions.

Kelsey,

I drive our Prius in the exact same conditions you specify, and we see very low mileage for the Prius - meaning we sometimes end a tank at 44. Our typical trip is <1 mile in length on a very cold engine.

I still call BS. Something's wrong on your end.

To back Kelsey up here is my first interaction with a Prius from my old publication in 2004, before I met Kelsey or worked here.
http://www.autoblog.com/2004/09/20/toyota-prius-in-the-autoblog-garage-day-2/

I did get 36 mpg in the city and 46 on a long highway trip.

adrian

paying extra for an eco-friendly status symbol never made much sense to me.

if you want real-world gas savings by a diesel. no marketing hype required.

Angus

Hello! This site is sponsored by Lexus. Anybody still think Kicking Tires is making this stuff up? If they are (and even if they're not), at least they have balls.

We're not "sponsored" by lexus in the traditional sense of the word. We didn't launch with their ad dollars backing us. they signed up after we launched. They have purchased advertising on the site and we of course appreciate it.
We do not alter content because of any advertising or we'd have a blog that didn't inform.

The cool part of this post (and blogs in general) is Toyota doesn't even have to respond. They have a few dozen owners here talking about their Prius experiences to counter ours. I don't see why any of these comments (or ours) aren't valid. they all aid in the discussion.

Bryce

What is the real difference between the 2007 Regular Prius and the 2007 Touring Prius? I know the wheel go from 15 (regular) to 16 (touring) and there is a slightly larger spoiler with the Touring. But is there any difference in the actual performance?

I concur with many of the Prius drivers here that 34 MPG is impossible to explain. I own 04 and 06 versions and consistently rate between 48-51 MPG.

And please stop associating Hybrids with tree-huggers. The closest I come to nature is selecting my X-mas tree every year and I burn all sorts of pre-mix in my two-stroke jet boat every summer. Getting weary of the incorrect association, Prii?

And nevermind the few environmental toxins you emitted while driving the car...more were expelled in your review!

I see comments about battery disposal. Don't get confused: NiMH (Nickel - Metal Hydride) cells are benign compared with Lead Acid / NiCad and are much better behaved than the LiIon types (aka Dell Dragons!). A cheap source of "raw" nickel for making new batteries is old batteries, so the manufacturers are really keen on recycling!

Drew

I have an 'o4 Prius.

Couple of things.

A novice driver right off the lot won't get great mileage. You do have to learn to drive the car.

I drive 60 miles roundtrip daily, and avg 53 MPG.

Your short trip wasn't allowing tghe engine tow arm, hence the poor mileage.

Brian Walsh

I am now driving my 4th Prius. I do this since I have been able to trade or sell my old prius for $3K less than a new Prius and I get a $3K tax credit from IRS. This car is capable of 50+ MPG. The stastistic I like to quote is from a round trip between Arkansas and Florida. 3008 miles, 50.4 MPG. I can drive this car so it gets in the low 40 MPG range but that is tough. Typically I get around 50 MPG driving in the hilly country in Mountain Home, AR where I live.

Sandy

I drive a 2005 Prius. I can get 45 to 50 highway and only 38 to 40 city. I don't know what I am doing wrong. I really have to try to get 40 but highway driving is definitely better. I still like the car but I am somewhat disappointed with my mileage. I will try adding more air to the tires.

Herb Sprague

I made a trip from New Hampshire to California and back in my 05 prius. I got 51.1 mpg over the whole trip . How come I'M the only one who seems to be experiancing low tire milage. 56,000 miles and I'm om my 3rd set of tires.my dealer says this is normal.this car just eats the right rear tire.a complete wheel alignment made no differance at all.I am sure I would be ahead of the game if I had bought a gas powered economy car at a sticker prise of $16,000.00 even at the gas savings.

Suzi

Drew,
I am a novice drivier of a 2006 Prius. How am I suppose to be driving the car? I read about the pulse and glide technique is this what you are referring to?

tommy blackston

I am constantly amazed how people harp on the Prius as being such a leap forward in fuel mileage.
I owned a 1991 V W Rabbit and a 1984 V W Jetta Diesel. That was over 20 years ago.
The Rabbit averaged somewhere betwwen 42 and 49 M P G and the Jetta was even better. 46 to 52 miles per gallon.
Even though as reported by some of the Prius owners that they do a bit better than that, while others do not even come close to that mileage. You would think after 20 years the Prius or any other car would be able to really out do the Volkswagon in fuel mileage. I am not impressed. It seems all one has to do is hang a Toyota sign on a car and people will buy it. Looks like after 20 years some one could have developed a car that could get 100 MPG . Then I would be impressed. Fuel mileage gains have been very dismal in 20 + years.

Garth L Ross

Engine warm up is a factor for many who do only short trips. Get an engine block heater. Even in warm climates my sense is it will save a lot on gas. I have Good Year triple tread Assurance on my Toyota Camry and Yokahama Z for my Supra both take 44psi which greatly improves fuel mileage. Go to the max psi. You will greatly extend the life of the tires if you rotate as recommended and use the max psi. A little hard riding? Get used to it.

Garth L Ross

Why doesn't Toyota make the Prius with an engine that burns CNG. The fuel is 1/2 the price of gasolene and much cleaner than diesel or gasolene. The range is not yet what it should be. That would change if a car maker made the CNG cars in more volume. The short range doesn't matter so much if one drives mostly in town.

I have a 1.5 mile commute to work. Because the engine doesn't have time to warm up in either direction, I only get 27 - 28 mpg commuting in my 2005 Prius. But heck, any other car would get about 10 mpg under these harsh conditions.

Out on the open road, I get an average of 51MPG with the A/C on. In a recent long trip to Las Vegas, I averaged only 46mpg. But I was going 80mph with the A/C on. Not bad!

Glory

Hi, I bought my Toyota 2006 Prius from my stepsister who had had it for 6 months and was getting great mileage. I live in Los Angeles and have been getting between 35-36 so am right in line with this writer was actually searching to see what I am doing wrong cause most people I've talked to get 40-45 nowhere near what some of you are saying. I don't drive like a grandma but obviously am not using this vehicle optimally. I actually get much better mileage on the freeway and I do use my a/c alot especially cause of how bad the air is here. My parents ( who are in their 50s not grandmas) just got the new Lexus sedan hybrid driving in the bay area and are getting about 33 so it's not crazy. But I would appreciate more constructive advice if you have any.

Bill Lattanzi

Hi -
most useful information for a prospective buyer here, and entertaining too... like sports radio.
So: I live in Boston, have a Chicago like commute: bump and grind for 3-5 miles in all sorts of weather, then get the car out of town on highway trips with wife, two kids and stuff in tow. What's your guess as to my mileage if I -gulo- buy a 2007 prius: reading all this I'm guessing 35-40 city, 40-50 highway. That beats our current cars
saturn sw1 97 22/28
bmw 318i 97 24/32 - woo hoo go beamer.

what do you think? also, when I hear the "well it's not cheaper" argument, i want to say... no, the idea is to USE LESS GASOLINE! and encourage weaning us off the expensive imported, earth destroying stuff that's we're running our of anyway... on the economic argument: think gas prices are going down anytime in the next decade?
thanks!

Bob

I just got an 07. After three tanks, the average mileage is 46 mpg-- the gas/od method was close to the readout mpg-- which I was surpised to find since the fuel gauge seems inaccurate. I don't have a good sense of how much is left in the tank when the blinking square starts, and thus I haven't "filled" it using more than 9.7 gallons. Time and experience needed I suppose. Whan the blinking square starts, does anyone know how many gallons are allegedly left in the tank?

s kleiner

I got gas the other day when the light started flashing and filled up with a little over 8 gallons and I think the tank holds 10.

Dr Kraft

Sold my Lexus LS 430 & bought a 07 Touring. Some observations:
1) Rough ride, but
2) Handles surprising well
3) Easy to drive-just like a “regular car”
4) Disappointing mileage-‘bout 38-42 so far (only 2200 miles old)
5) Like the GPS/map but it’s not very intuitive

Recommendations: Buy the Prius Touring version, for its superior handling and the HID Headlamps. The 9 speaker sound system is not bad, either. But don’t expect bragging rights about the gas mileage…

ted

I have a 2005 Prius, about 16000 miles so far. I average 50mpg at 70mph. But that only occurs after warm-up on level ground. The mpg always sucks during the warm-up period. My first mile takes 5 minutes and averages about 30mpg. But on my commute of 11 miles the total average is about 48mpg. The 9 miles of freeway and last mile fully charged and decelerating cancel out the first bad mile.

ted

Honora McNulty

In August of 2006, I purchased my 2006 Prius and rapidly accelerated to an avg of 44-mpg around town in Alaska. Then, the third week of the following month, September, quite suddenly, when the avg mpg were 49, and within a 40-minute time span, the avg dropped one-by-one to 34 mpg. It has been a steady decline since then to sometimes 7 mpg to an avg of 22 mpg. It is now late December and the best I've obtained since September has been 34 mpg. The Toyota Dealer will be assessing this problem at week's end. Discouraging to purchase an advertised 61/mpg vehicle only to find that it gets lower gas mileage than many non-hybrids on the market.

john t

This review is consistent with the experience of a local radio talk-show host in Atlanta about two years ago. He purchased one and was very vocal on-air about his disappointment in it. I hardly think he was mistaken or deceptive in his assessment. I don't think the owners above have a case of the "emperor's new clothes" either. Perfect quality control is something no manufacturer, not even Toyota, can attain. That's why cars have warranties.
john
(I personally like my Saturn SL1, which I paid $6k for used and consistently gets 37-39mpg).

BlueBill

I have an 06 Prius. when we 1st owned the car (in Summer) we were getting 49-50 MPG. Now, in winter we are averaging only 37 MPG. We are very disappointed. We paid full sticker because the vehicle was supoosed to get 50 MPG!

Ken

I have a 2007 Standard Prius, the only extras are, well is I guess the reverse camera....I'm averaging about 41-47mpg..usually around 42-43. My math is always fewer mpg than the car's PC's estimates. We got the car in late Nov, early Dec, and temps here are average to warm (It's been from 20-70F in N. Alabama) I've got 3500miles on it so far, and I really try to watch the consumption/enginge display and milk it, but still dont get near epa estimates. I have gotten as low as the 31mpg range on one tank of gas, but I had been mad and had a lead foot for a couple of days... Oh.. and my driving range is mixed from just a few miles, to 150+ in a day, city and hwy mixed. I hope it gets better maybe in hot weather, but I guess it's still better than most cars, though a friend of mine gets about 40mpg in a manual trans Honda Civic!.... whats up with that..!?

mark_d

I got lousey results once when I didn't pay attention to the minimum octane rating of the regular gasoline.

Daniel J.

Well, just to add a bit of perspective. I drive a '91 Camry, 4-cyl. automatic w/169k miles. Typical in-town mileage around 28mpg average. Recently took it out on the freeway for a mileage test, 80 miles each direction with a fillup at the start, another at the end of the first leg, and a final one upon returning. Stayed between 55mph and 60mph the entire way, trying to avoid needless accel and decel. Windows were closed, A/C was on.

Gas mileage on the first leg was 46.5mpg, on the return leg was 46mpg.The point here is the obvious one, that the care with which one drives makes a huge difference in the fuel economy observed. And one other item: if a Prius is too costly, a cheaper way of saving fuel is to just drive a bit less.

Neil

My wife and I bought a 2007 Touring about 2 months ago, and just turned 2K miles. While I can get better milage than my wife by driving very carefully, there is no question that the advertised milage is way off, especially for city. No matter how smooth I drive, 45 mpg is the best we can do, that includes uphill and downhill drives to our house (in Los Angeles) and some freeway. Straight freeway, I can get in the 50's as advertised. Now, I have not done an actual fuel test, just going by the computer readout that we reset each tankful. If accurate, our 2007 gets low 40's around town no matter how carefully you drive, so the article is not far off, maybe earlier years got better real world.

Miles Adam

I have an 06 Prius since April that reads 5.1Liters per 100 kilometers over 15000 kilometers (about 9000 miles)which translates to 56 miles per imperial gallon. I notice that the colder weather has reduced the efficiency a little, but during the winter I do less highway driving and more 1mile trips to the shopping center. It has great acceleration and is a pleasure to drive. I drive it as I did my 93 Camry which got 28 city and 38 miles per imperial gallon highway.

Tad

I have a 2007 touring with 3,000 miles. I bought it 11/06 and commute 16 highway miles each way, but often that is still stop and go.

From the car's screen, I've been averaging 44 mpg.

I think there is some truth to the speculation that the touring mileage is not as good.

Some ideas as to why:
Wheel size
Tire pressure
Suspension mod adds weight (anti-sway bar?)
Bigger rear spoiler adds drag

TomKat

Why all the hostility for this poor Kelsey guy? I logged on to this site to see if other people are encountering the same problem as me, and there's at least one [Kelsey]. Someone even accused him of having some kind of agenda - hard for me to believe, since I have the same problem, and almost the same MPG [34.4 when I parked it in the driveway tonight]. What's up with that? We've had 2006 going on two years now, and only had this problem lately. We believe in the technology so much we bought one of the brand-new 2007 Camry hybrids last year, and they're both getting about the same mileage. WHAT'S UP WITH THE PRIUS - does anyone have a clue? All I see here is a lot of bragging and I must confess I did a lot of that too - but not lately! HELP!

jyd

MPG is one of the most easily misleading and misrepresented figures in the automotive industry. There are dozens and dozens of factors that affect the MPG people get. The EPA estimates are being overhauled because they are driven less by science than by marketing. It is very common for cars to get real world mileage that is 20-50% lower than EPA estimates. Adding to the confusion are on-board computers that calculate your "true" mileage. This number is almost always off. Also consider the many stories of people who get incredible mileage figures much higher than anyone else with the same vehicle. You can read some of these stories above. In many cases, the people acheiving these incredible mileage figures are the same that claim to be able to make a 5-hour drive in 3 hours. Frankly, they are exaggerating. Lastly, it is surprising how many people don't actually know how to figure their true mpg.

Hybrids are nothing more than a stop-gap measure between the combustion engine and the next technology. They are not the long-term answer. Hybrids are really about marketing. Making people feel good about themselves that they are doing something good for the world. Study after study has proven that hybrids do not save you money. They cost more to begin with, they have more complex and expensive maintainence and, as noted above, often do not acheive the promised gas mileage figures they claim to.

I'm not anti-hybrid. I just don't buy into the hype surrounding them.

Sam

My 2006 Prius has been driven 7000 miles over the past 11 months. I do mostly 5 mile mixed city/freeway commute and got around 42-45 mpg in summer, esp. if I do lots of freeway driving. Around the city doing 1-5 miles trips, I have been getting 35-37 mpg.
My neighbor's '05 Prius gets 35 mpg. for 3 miles city commute.
I just took my Prius to Toyota to check why mileage is so poor. Service manager told me that they got frequent customer complaints of getting only mileage between 33-37 mpg and inform them it is "normal" and just accept it.
I am requesting that they have a Master Mechanic inspect the car and give me a detail report.
I have my tires inflated to 40 psi with slight iimprovement in mileage.
Toyota service manager laughed at me when I told him that even Consumer Report testers got 44 mpg.
I just got an oil change using Synthetic oil to try to improve my mileage. Toyota charges $69 vs. $29 using regular oil, apparently a mark up of $10/qrt. for the 4 qrt of Synthetic.

Sam

2006 Prius- after Dealer check up:
1. Synthetic oil, tires at 38 psi.
2. Toyota dealer said No abn. codes. Brief test drive on freeway showed 45 mpg.
3. Dealer declared clean bill of health for Prius. Also many customers complained of getting only 33-37 mpg, all "normal".
4. Mixed freeway and city, some hills drive back home and around town, 38 mpg. vs. my usual 35 mpg. Just want share my frustration after 1 year of trying many tricks to boast mileage.

Dr Kraft

Update from my Dec 17, 2006 comments ('07 Touring)
Mileage is settling into the 39-40 mpg with both my wife & I driving. Finally (mostly) figured out the GPS and use/like it a lot. An interesting new development: the car hesitates and almost stalls when accelerating and turning right. Has anyone else noticed this? Also the rear cargo retractable cover rattles horribly.
Only 3700 miles; will discuss these issues with the dealer at 5000 miles

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