America’s best-selling and hottest Hybrid is the 2019 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid, and recent sales show no signs of slowing down. In fact, August sales for the popular gas-saver were up 174.4% compared to the previous year.
But why are sales skyrocketing for this specific Hybrid?
For one, the 2019 RAV4 Hybrid is an excellent value, as it is priced less than $1000 more than its equivalent gasoline AWD RAV4. Also, it has great acceleration, providing 219 net Hybrid horsepower. It is available in LE, XLE, XSE and Limited, so there is a good variety to choose from. And, of course, there is that amazing fuel efficiency.
I recently wrote a story where I showed a majority of new RAV4 Hybrid owners are getting more than the EPA-rated 40 mpg listed on window stickers. I made a mental note that I needed to follow up on this and see how they are achieving these results.
Also found in my very unscientific study were a few people who had not yet been successful in getting the gas mileage they were hoping for. They were seeing under 40 mpg.
Here are some tips and suggestions to help us all save money on fuel at the pump with our Hybrids, including the 2019 RAV4 Hybrid.
Watch your current mpg display to help you get better
This first point will save you money for sure, and it could also become addicting. Your car has a “current miles per gallon” meter on your multi-information display that can now be used as your guide. It will show you exactly what you are getting real-time.
Your job, should you choose to accept it, is to adjust your driving style and adapt to find ways to keep your meter above your average miles per gallon. In other words, watch the bar and make it go higher. Every time you can raise your current mpg meter over a stretch of several miles, it will be a victory in your pursuit of better gas mileage.
Coasting is your friend in a RAV4 Hybrid
One of the basic principles of a Toyota Hybrid is the fact that the gasoline-powered engine cuts off and your car runs solely on electric power every time you take your foot off the accelerator. This is very true on city streets where you find a lot of stop signs and traffic lights.
Based on this concept, I suggest if there is no car behind you that you take your foot off the gas pedal sooner than you normally would and let your car coast to a red light or stop sign. The longer you drive without using the gas, the quicker you will see your average miles per gallon start to increase.
You can also apply this to when you go down hills as well. Let your momentum and gravity guide you without your foot on the gas. Again, this is a time when you don’t normally need to use gasoline. If it is a steep enough downward hill, avoid using the gas at the bottom for as long as possible and allow that momentum to spare gasoline from being used. Another point for savings.
RAV4 Hybrid does not need you to fast start
I know we all want to “win that race” when the traffic light turns green. Many of us, including me at times, get antsy at a red light and want to step on the gas as soon as we see green. The goal is to get up to speed as quickly as possible, right? And to beat those drivers next to us. Let’s change that mindset please.
When you drive your RAV4 Hybrid, try to slowly accelerate from a stop. The harder you push down on the gas pedal the more you will needlessly expend fuel in your tank.
ECO mode is your RAV4 Hybrid friend
Some people already know there are different driving modes in a Toyota Hybrid that allow us to achieve various goals. Normal mode drives in, well, normal mode. You should be getting good gas mileage on your own this way.
Sport mode gives you a more aggressive throttle response and more precise handling. Sport is ideal for pulling out into heavy traffic or accelerating on to a highway to get up to cruising speed fast. It also causes you to get worse gas mileage.
Although it is suggested mainly for city streets, ECO mode is the mode I suggest you live in for almost all your 2019 RAV4 Hybrid driving. You can really utilize ECO for any Toyota Hybrid you own, including the Prius.
ECO, short for Economy, takes a little bit off both the accelerator and the air conditioning system while you drive. For most drivers, you will barely notice much difference at all in throttle or air response. In turn, however, your vehicle will give you better gas efficiency and you can see better overall mpg results.
What in the world is EV mode?
This is the quirkiest button you will find in your car. But it is also one of the most effective in cutting down fuel costs at low speeds. Electric Vehicle is what EV stands for, and it is perfect when you are driving in places at lower speeds, such as your subdivision or a mall parking lot or stop-and-go traffic on the highway.
You can only use the benefits of EV mode for up to one-half to one mile, depending on conditions. Then your car will need to build back energy to allow you to use it again. But I still urge you to give it a try. Just push the EV button while in your neighborhood or a parking lot and keep your speed under 20, and you will see positive things happen to your mpg.
Take advantage of radar cruise control in RAV4 Hybrid
Especially on the highway at cruising speeds, try to incorporate your 2019 RAV4 Hybrid dynamic radar cruise control into your routine. This system will monitor you and cars in front of you and will slow your vehicle down so you are a safe distance behind them. This also helps with gas savings.
See if you can keep your top speed below 75 mph while you drive. This includes normal driving without using cruise control and also setting your radar cruise at 72 or 73 instead of 79. When you drive at higher speeds around 78 and above, you are burning excess fuel and you will see poor results, which translates to spending more money at all future gas stations you encounter.
Tire pressure and weight are important too
Remember, the weight of a vehicle and its contents have a big effect on gas mileage. If possible, try to keep your car clean and free of items that add significant weight. You might empty out boxes filled with heavy things, sandbags, luggage and anything else you can think of.
Also, keep your tires filled to the recommended pressure found in your owner’s manual. Not doing this can adversely affect mpg as well.
Hypermiling is a funny word used with Hybrids
A lot of Hybrid forums use the word “hypermiling” to describe their incredible fuel efficiency. Prius owners and enthusiasts use hypermiling all the time. Basically, hypermiling is anything that can be done to increase mpg. It can be taking full advantage of the tips I mentioned above. Or maybe you have suggestions of your own that are working. Use what works.
Time for our final thoughts on miles per gallon
I believe the tips given will help you save money in the short term and in the long run. These are pearls of wisdom I have collected both from Toyota representatives and from personal stories and anecdotes from drivers all over the world. They work. They really do.
However, the most challenging part in all this is that most of these tips require us to change our current driving styles either a little bit or drastically. This is the toughest thing do to, and the reason why some of us will never achieve the gasoline savings we are hoping for.
My sister Jamie has a saying that it takes 21 days to change a bad habit or behavior. We often joke about this at get-togethers by just saying “21 DAYS.” She is right, though.
I challenge you to try incorporating even one or two of my gas-saving tips for a few weeks, even though it will seem awkward and you will have the urge to “get that lead foot out” again. See if you get positive results and let me know.
Compare all 2019 RAV4 Hybrid Trim Levels so you can choose the one for you
I would love to hear from you now. Do you own a Hybrid vehicle and what type of gas mileage are you seeing? What do you drive? Also, do you have any helpful hints that have worked for you that we can all learn from?
Thanks for reading everyone. See you next story.
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