If you drive a hybrid, you do it for one of two reasons. Either you really think you are impacting the environment by not driving conventional, or you put your ego to one side and you drive a hybrid to save money on gas. In these troubling times, I can say that a lot of us hybrid owners drive hybrids for the later reason. On average, I see that I save a significant amount of money when I drive my 2012 Toyota Prius compared to my 2007 Honda Odyssey.
To date, the best hybrid SUV in my opinion that you could own has to be the 2022 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid. This roomy and affordable (on paper) SUV can take you anywhere from 500-600 miles just at one fill up! Within the last 2 months, I have covered a lot of stories on how the 2022 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid has taken people to and from destinations while being light on the gas. In normal driving conditions, expect to get around 31-45mpg. Don’t think 45 is the max. There are accounts of people reaching 50, and even 55 on some highways.
Most hybrid cars come with some driving modes to play with like sport mode, trail mode, eco and EV modes too. Usually, the average driver wouldn’t really mess with any of these considering he does not want to either waste gas on sport mode or really fiddle with the eco and EV modes. However, did you know that if you set your driving mode to eco mode instead of normal or EV, you can save more gas?
Karen Stadler posted on Facebook’s Toyota RAV4 Hybrid group saying, “When do you use ECO? I have just been driving in Normal Mode. First tank of gas averaged 36.8 MPG.” Now this is a great question because these modes are tempting to use. If you are a new hybrid driver, you probably have heard that EV mode is used to just back out of the garage and maybe cruise below 5-ish mph. However according to commenter Jon Rubatsher, keeping it in eco mode changes the shifting dynamic which betters your fuel economy. So, if you keep it in regular or even in sport, switch it to eco and you can save more gas that way.
This may sound like a pretty basic thing to do but you would be surprised that a lot of hybrid drivers, not just Toyota RAV4 Hybrid drivers but hybrid drivers together, drive with their cars in regular mode or sport mode. I had a buddy in high school who gave me a lift home one time and his brand new 2020 RAV4 Hybrid was always on sport mode. When I asked him, he just said, “it’s hybrid sport so it just makes it faster.” I don’t think that 28mpg on a brand-new hybrid is very efficient for that.
What do you think? Let us know in the comments below.
Harutiun Hareyan is reporting Toyota news at Torque News. His automotive interests and vast experience test-riding new cars give his stories a sense of authenticity and unique insights. Follow Harutiun on Twitter at @HareyanHarutiun for daily Toyota news.