Hybrid MPG Myths

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  • I’m just one data point, but I have a 2007 Prius. I pretty consistently get 50-55mpg most of the year (in CA), 45-50mpg in the winter. I do a mixture of city and highway driving and typically drive 65-70mph on the highway. I’m reasonably gentle w/ my accerator, and I do drive w/ an eye to fuel efficiency (the displays make it easy to do that), but I use it when I need to and have no trouble merging, etc. You are correct about hills — most of my driving is pretty flat, and hills can definitely adversely affect my mileage, but even when I am driving hills I don’t think I’ve ever had a tank much under 40mpg. I haven’t really noticed any change in performance over the 5 years I’ve had the car.

    To be honest, my husband also has a Prius and usually only gets mileage in the 40’s (he drives considerably faster than I do, w/ a bit of a lead foot). But still, I don’t think it’s as impractical to get good mileage as you make it out to be.

    Also, the numbers for the Leaf and Volt are mpg-equivalents — they are assuming you will spend some significant fraction of your driving time in electric-only mode, so that’s how they get those numbers.