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What Is Considered "Good" Gas Mileage In A Toyota Prius?

If you own a Toyota Prius and are wondering what "good" gas mileage is for the little car, how do you know? In this article we will take a look at different ways to measure if your Prius is doing its job.

So you bought a Toyota Prius, and now you want to know what your gas mileage should be. Well, I am here to tell you that we will explore why your gas mileage is "good" despite what other people are getting.

Why Gas Mileage In Prius Varies So Much
I know quite a few Toyota Prius owners all over the world. Every one of them has a unique story to tell about the gas mileage they achieve in their car. But why do my friends on the East coast get 45 miles per gallon, and my pacific northwest friends get 39? The answer is closer than you think.

2020 Toyota Prius AWD-e Silver

Many factors go into gas mileage, and I want to expose them, starting with the number one, the driver. Believe it, the person operating it is the number one reason for your gas mileage being good or not.

The way we drive our Prius does not have to be slow. I drive my Prius in a lively manner, but I am mindful of when to be spirited and when to lay off the throttle. Being aware of your surroundings and courteous to other drivers will help you find your happy medium of road speed.

Another big variable is the weather. Too hot, cold, or windy can undoubtedly cause your reduced mileage to the tank. The Prius loves a no wind 75-degree day. It is almost as if Prius has a personality all its own. The right temperature, though, keeps Prius operating at peak efficiency, and that translates into MPG.

Several other things affect your MPG. Tire pressure, routine maintenance, and of course, your hybrid battery health. So there are many things to consider when trying to figure out why your fuel economy is hanging out in the range it is.

Why Does A Healthy Prius Get "Bad" Fuel Economy?
This is the thing that most people do not understand about fuel economy is where they live. That is right; your terrain dictates a very hefty margin of what your Prius will get for MPG in every tank. How do I know this, you ask? Let me explain.

Ever since owning a Prius, I have become obsessed with playing the fuel economy game. For years I drove the same route to and from work (when I was commuting) and recorded like clockwork my fuel economy.

It was 17.2 miles one way downhill into work and the exact 17.2 miles uphill back from work. My car had a healthy engine, battery and the tire pressure was checked weekly. The exact route landed me 43 miles per gallon which was not bad.

I then began driving a different route for another purpose and began averaging 48 miles per gallon. My driving habits stayed the same, but changed was my terrain.

If your Prius is not getting what you think is good gas mileage and you have checked everything, maybe it is time to take a road trip and relearn your computer to different roads. Good gas mileage is all based on your and your surroundings.

The more I drive, the more I realize that you can be as careful as you want, but if your roads are all over the place, well, you have a considerable force against you.

That is all for this article, and I hope your Prius is treating you well. Remember Today's Adventure is Tomorrow's Story.

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Peter Neilson is an automotive consultant specializing in electric cars and hybrid battery technologies. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Automotive Service Technology from Weber State University. Peter can be reached on Linkedin and you can tweet him at The_hybrid_guy on Twitter. Find his page on Facebook at Certified Auto Consulting. Read more of Peter's stories at Toyota news coverage on Torque News. Search Toyota Prius Torque News for more in depth Prius coverage from our reporter.


David Hungerford (not verified)    October 10, 2021 - 1:58PM

Just finished a 7500 mile road trip in our new 2021 Prius LE. Drove from Florida to Oregon and back, with a few side trips along the way. I averaged just over 60 mpg throughout the trip. I drive like an old man - I obey the speed limit. I accelerate and break carefully. In those areas where the speed limit was 80 mph, I would do 70, because it just felt safer. Final verdict was that the Prius is not the best car for such a lengthy trip (seat comfort, ground clearance, road noise) but no complaints about gas mileage.

Nick G (not verified)    October 10, 2021 - 3:37PM

I just got a used Prius C back in February and was delighted at the nearly 50 mpg I was seeing. I'm in the South Carolina midlands, so it's not really hilly but not entirely flat, and I'm mostly driving around town on short trips. What had impacted me the most is summer... One temps hit 90s my milage took an almost 10 mpg hit--still better than the 20 year old traditional engine Maxima I replaced but not as amazing as I'd been getting! I also learned that it's really easy to switch into performance mode on accident in this Prius which hits milage too.

Going without ac around here is pretty much a no-go for me so I'll just take the hit part of the year and enjoy the fact I'm still getting over twice the milage I had before!

Todd Robinson (not verified)    October 11, 2021 - 9:35AM

What makes a Prius so special? I currently drive a 2016 Mazda 6 w/2.5L “Skyactive” 100% ICE. Approaching 124,000 miles (200,000km) so contemplating my next commuter vehicle to replace the 6. To date I have consistently achieved 33MPG (7L/100Km) in mixed in town and rural driving in Central Ontario Canada. Burning the less expensive 87 Octane gasoline. Occasionally I see up to 39MPG (6L/100km) between seasons without using AC or heat. The Mazda 6 is a very comfortable mid size sedan that is less expensive than most compact hybrids and EVs. I want to do better for the environment, but it will take the full life cycle of at least the Hybrid just to financially break even. For now I do my part for the environment by driving sensibly and plan ahead avoid unnecessary trips to anywhere. Covid has certainly “helped” with all the stay at home orders. Doing the math and “seat of my pants” comparison, I can’t justify a Hybrid, plug in Hybrid or EV now or in the near future.

Dion H (not verified)    October 11, 2021 - 12:39PM

In reply to by Todd Robinson (not verified)

In my opinion, you will do better for the environment by just driving your Mazda 6 for another couple of years. I purchased a Prius Prime this year because my old vehicle was a 99 Tahoe with probably 15 MPG, and my commute is 50 miles one way. With $4.00/gallon in California, that Prius saves me at least $100/week. However, in your case the current vehicle actually has a quite decent mileage.

MIke (not verified)    October 15, 2021 - 8:27AM

In reply to by Todd Robinson (not verified)

How much more is a Prius than the Mazda 6? When we bought our Prius 5 year ago, it cost $24,900, which was actually cheaper than the Camry we were planning to buy. Unless the prices have skyrocketed, I didn't find the price of a Prius to be more than the Sedans I usually buy and after 61,000 miles I have an overall average MPG of 61.3, which is about twice the normal gas car.

Silvia (not verified)    December 4, 2021 - 3:27PM

In reply to by MIke (not verified)

I’ve was driving my first Prius since 2009 . Until I had an accident and was totaled. I was fine though I immediately bought another Prius, of course, a 2016 this time, and while I get excellent millage as with my first one, I have some issues. Not mechanical issues, mind you, but DESIGN ISSUES: I had 2 glove compartments, now I have 1, and the “stuff” falls behind it, so I have to remove the compartment to retrieve my masks, etc.
The “cargo door” opens so high that I barely reach in my tip toes to close it, which is surprising for a Japanese car. There is no interior space for anything and the console is pathetic. I think Toyota needs a woman for the interior design.
That said I great mileage as I’ve been getting with Prius from my previous one. I’m missing the comfort of an intelligently designed interior.

William Sadler (not verified)    December 6, 2021 - 11:09PM

In reply to by Silvia (not verified)

I agree for 2010
Add this: back battery compartment, how to reach if battery dead; back door won't open when battery is dead... Defrost in Cold and wet weather, why do my hands and feet freeze?

Liz Fusco (not verified)    January 23, 2022 - 11:00AM

In reply to by Silvia (not verified)

I agree whole heartedly with the interior design issues. I. I previously drove at 20:08 Toyota Prius and loved the interior! As you mentioned, the double glove compartments and the center console bin which was large enough for my purse. I now drive a prius prime and there is absolutely no trunk space in this thing due to the placement of the batteries.I agree whole heartedly with the interior design issues. I. I previously drove at 20:08 Toyota Prius and loved the interior! As you mentioned, the double glove compartments and the center console bin which was large enough for my purse. I now drive a prius prime and there is absolutely no trunk space in this thing due to the placement of the batteries. Gas mileage is great, of course, and the purchase price was significantly reduced with the help of green vehicle incentives so no complaints about finances.

NormT (not verified)    November 26, 2021 - 7:18AM

In reply to by Todd Robinson (not verified)

Getting 40-50 mpg in a penalty box Prius is a joke today! This author is buffoon to say you should drive out of your way to increase your MPG while increasing congestion.

Our 2018 CT6 2.0E plug-in sees 37-39 mpg in hybrid mode and it is a big boat of a vehicle. But I wouldn't drive out of the way to increase mpg but plan the shortest route for the time of day.

Shaun D. (not verified)    January 17, 2022 - 7:54PM

In reply to by NormT (not verified)

You're the reason why car manufacturers are making cars smarter, so thanks. You have absolutely no idea how physics affects fuel economy. Not wanting to change your driving habits is a direct reflection of how dumb you are.

Marcia Madeira (not verified)    October 11, 2021 - 12:44PM

Just bought a 2020 Prius XLE. So far 65 MPH. So sorry to lose trunk space I had on my 2008, 46 MPH. But Since I have moved I don’t really need it. Good tire advice! I am loving all the features except, the navigation is terrible and I can’t set the clock. I figured out it's 12 Hours off, so when I set the calendar for a scheduled charge, it doesn’t happen. I read the manual and listened to many YouTubers but I need help with this one please!

MIke (not verified)    October 15, 2021 - 8:30AM

In reply to by Marcia Madeira (not verified)

We bought our Prius 5 years ago and one of the things we were concerned about was the trunk space in the hatchback, because we do a lot of moving from house to house, but we were surprised by how much it actually holds. There may have only been 1 or 2 times we had to rent a truck to do a move because of lack of space in the hatchback. Maybe it depends on the model.

Merlin Valencia (not verified)    October 11, 2021 - 3:22PM

Depends on how you drive it. You don't need to drive it slow to get good fuel economy. You need to step on it and get it up to your cruising speed then let off and start cruising. It acceeleration that eats the gas and the shorter you are accelerating and longer crusing will get you the best MPG. Barely stepping on the pedal and slowly getting up to speed is making your time during acceleration longer then as oppose to just smashing on to quickly get to your crusing speed.

Also repeated cols starts eat up a lot of gas. The Prius has to warm the engine and to do so burns more fuel. Not to mention keeping the heat up when it's cold will force the engine to stay on longer. Definitely the colder the weather worse MPG you'll get.

MIke (not verified)    October 15, 2021 - 8:34AM

In reply to by Merlin Valencia (not verified)

I have found that to be true as well. After experimenting with it, quickly accelerating to your cruising speed does lead to better gas mileage. I also do a lot of coasting and try to use my brakes as little as possible, which has the added bonus of saving wear and tear on the brakes, as well as being safer. (Who's in a hurry to stop at a red light?) Right now after 61,000 miles my Prius has a lifetime average of 61.3 MPG on a car that was marketed to only get 57 in the city, driving in the hot Florida Summers no less with the A/C on.

Linda ward (not verified)    December 6, 2021 - 8:36AM

I drive a 2010 .I live in a.Gm state .I love my car.I take flake for it but I sell people on it .when they own one and see how much money it saves you,especially with kids driving..there very people are the hardest people to convince..

Chris Wolfgram (not verified)    January 17, 2022 - 9:18AM

I have a 2019 Prius LE that looks just like the one at the top of this article. I drive it pretty hard, but would't say I beat the heck out of it. I've averaged 51.8 mpg for the entire 70 k miles I've put on it.

Ralph and Susan (not verified)    January 19, 2022 - 5:39AM

We're still loving our 2006-Prius. We changed the hybrid battery at 150k for $3000. Engine swapped for a low mileage used one at 250kiles for cost of $2500. A second time we swapoed for a used batt at $1000. Now we're at 280k and still getting an average if 46mpg. Overall a wonderful car still efficient and plrasant to frive after 26yrs and almost 309k miles. My next car will be another Prius. one important detail, I saved iver $25000 in repairs iver the yrs by avoiding the dealer for repairs. I use Hybrid auto tec, a local repair shop that services los angeles area taxi at great price.

Denis (not verified)    March 6, 2022 - 10:36PM

In reply to by Ralph and Susan (not verified)

You spent $6500 at about the 250K mile mark for hybrid batteries and an engine. This cost is about 38 cents/mile. I'm afraid this was financially a bust. If you drove a vehicle at 7 mpg without this $6500 expense you would have the same out of pocket expense.

Ron Harrington (not verified)    January 20, 2022 - 3:39PM

I have a 2020 Prius Prime Limited, a plug-in. I get 80 MPG. I plug it in at night. The first 30 miles are electric. I really like the electric part. It’s smooth, quiet, and a lot more acceleration. I use the “B” mode on the transmission for stopping. That super charges the batteries to get me more EV miles. This is my 3rd Prius. I’ll probably go with an all electric in a couple of years, as soon as the prices come down, and range increases. It will be a small one similar to size of Prius. I couldn’t resist the deals they had on this car in the Northeast. A $4500 rebate, and a $4502 Federal income tax credit. They almost pay me to drive it. LOL… I have driven most high end cars made. This car is what I drive now, and it’s a very good one. The gas engine doesn’t have the get up and go, from a dead stop, but I’m semi retired. I don’t have to get in a hurry. I have a Mint condition 03 Boxster S 6 speed for that… Life is good…

Warren Baker) (not verified)    February 18, 2022 - 2:49PM

I drive my 09 Prius hard. Mostly 75 highway. 85 happens too. With Michelin energy tires I got about 50. Got new cheaper and now get 45. Mine likes to run hard.

Justin (not verified)    March 5, 2022 - 10:24AM

I get 48.8 on average in regular drive mode with a lead foot in North Florida. I can get closer to 50 if I drive more conservatively.

Joseph Eckhout (not verified)    March 6, 2022 - 12:07PM

The Prius is all about drive style and terrain. I get a pretty consistent 48mpg on flat roads with not a lot of stop and go. When I'm on hilly roads or driving in the city, it drops a bit. Use the gas pedal lightly, lay off the gas farther to a red light, realize the brakes are just bleeding energy and you can easily see 45-48 mpg.

Devin McKean (not verified)    March 21, 2022 - 8:24PM

I have been trying to maximize my mileage this month due to the US cutting off Russian oil. I am getting 53 mpg on this tank in my 2012! Slow take offs, avoiding hills... being mindful. But I am doing better in Nebraska... in Florida, doing the same thing I was getting 4-5 mpg less. I suspect maybe summer blends versus winter blends of gas???