We’ve made it a point here at MPGomatic to put the gamut of hybrid cars and SUVs through exhaustive road tests. Our continuing goal is to examine the ability of hybrids to meet or exceed the official fuel economy estimates when using appropriate driving techniques.
While some folks have complained that their hybrid cars’ gas mileage falls short of the stated numbers, we found quite the opposite to be true. We were able to meet or beat the estimates with every hybrid we tested.
But here’s the rub …
Hybrid gas mileage depends largely on technique. If a driver fails to use the tools at their disposal and drives in an inefficient manner, they’ll struggle to hit the numbers.
Truth be told, it can take some effort to beat the official gas mileage estimates, no matter what you’re driving.
This is amplified with a hybrid car or SUV, where the right techniques can pay off with eye-popping numbers under the right conditions.
To achieve the best gas mileage in a hybrid, you’ll want to use the data provided by the dashboard to alter your driving technique.
When you minimize the pressure put on the pedals and maximize the use of inertia, you’re light footing.
The accompanying video shows the dashboards of three hybrid cars that deliver the highest gas mileage results: the Toyota Prius, Ford Fusion Hybrid, and Honda Insight.
Each manufacturer takes a different approach when displaying real-time fuel efficiency.
The 2010 Toyota Prius tops the charts with an estimated 51 city / 48
highway miles per gallon (MPG).
Although the center-mounted real-time fuel-efficiency display in the Prius can draw the eye away from the road to a degree, our 55.1 MPG combined results – calculated from tank fills – proved the capabilities of a conscientiously driven Prius.
The 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid official ratings of 41 city / 36 highway provide a hint of the car’s potential.
Using the configurable (although somewhat distracting) Smart Gauge dashboard display, we were able to easily trounce the estimates in the Fusion Hybrid, scoring an average of 44.5 MPG combined. The Smart Gauge display is an excellent training aid for light footed driving.
We found the 2010 Honda Insight to be conservatively rated at 40 city / 43 highway, and were able to easily trump the numbers with an average of
46.5 MPG combined.
The Insight’s subtle glowing ambient meter surrounds the speedometer allowing the eyes to maintain focus on traffic conditions. With a change in color from green to blue, the driver instantly senses fuel efficiency, without the need to draw attention away from the road.
Hybrids have been traditionally touted as shining over conventional vehicles in stop-and-go traffic. But the benefits clearly carry through to more open roads, when driven appropriately.
The Fusion Hybrid’s ability to cruise under electric power at speeds up to 47 miles per hour is a case-in-point. If you can adapt not just your driving technique, but also the route traveled, you can achieve remarkable results.
Although road conditions can prevent you from getting the optimum gas mileage at all times, the more in tune you are with your vehicle, the better the results.
Stay tuned for more videos on techniques and tactics that you can use to dial up your fuel efficiency.
– by Daniel Gray
2010 Hybrid Gas Mileage Ratings
|2010||Toyota||Prius||4 cylinder||1.8 liter||R||Auto (CVT)||51||48|
|2010||Ford||Fusion Hybrid FWD||4 cylinder||2.5 liter||R||Auto (CVT)||41||36|
|2010||Mercury||Milan Hybrid FWD||4 cylinder||2.5 liter||R||Auto (CVT)||41||36|
|2010||Honda||Civic Hybrid||4 cylinder||1.3 liter||R||Auto (CVT)||40||45|
|2010||Honda||Insight||4 cylinder||1.3 liter||R||Auto (AV-S7)||40||43|
|2010||Honda||Insight||4 cylinder||1.3 liter||R||Auto (CVT)||40||43|
|2010||Lexus||HS 250h||4 cylinder||2.4 liter||R||Auto (CVT)||35||34|
|2010||Nissan||Altima Hybrid||4 cylinder||2.5 liter||R||Auto (CVT)||35||33|
|2010||Ford||Escape Hybrid FWD||4 cylinder||2.5 liter||R||Auto (CVT)||34||31|
|2010||Mazda||Tribute Hybrid 2WD||4 cylinder||2.5 liter||R||Auto (CVT)||34||31|
|2010||Mercury||Mariner Hybrid FWD||4 cylinder||2.5 liter||R||Auto (CVT)||34||31|
|2010||Toyota||Camry Hybrid||4 cylinder||2.4 liter||R||Auto (CVT)||33||34|
|2010||Lexus||RX 450h||6 cylinder||3.5 liter||P||Auto (AV-S6)||32||28|
|2010||Lexus||RX 450h AWD||6 cylinder||3.5 liter||P||Auto (AV-S6)||30||28|
|2010||Ford||Escape Hybrid 4WD||4 cylinder||2.5 liter||R||Auto (CVT)||30||27|
|2010||Mazda||Tribute Hybrid 4WD||4 cylinder||2.5 liter||R||Auto (CVT)||30||27|
|2010||Mercury||Mariner Hybrid 4WD||4 cylinder||2.5 liter||R||Auto (CVT)||30||27|
|2010||Toyota||Highlander Hybrid 4WD||6 cylinder||3.3 liter||R||Auto (CVT)||27||25|
|2010||Chevrolet||Malibu Hybrid||4 cylinder||2.4 liter||R||Auto 4-spd||26||34|
|2010||Lexus||GS 450h||6 cylinder||3.5 liter||P||Auto (AV-S6)||22||25|
|2010||Cadillac||Escalade Hybrid 2WD||8 cylinder||6 liter||R||Auto (CVT)||21||22|
|2010||Chevrolet||Silverado 15 Hybrid 2WD||8 cylinder||6 liter||R||Auto (CVT)||21||22|
|2010||Chevrolet||Silverado 15 Hybrid 4WD||8 cylinder||6 liter||R||Auto (CVT)||21||22|
|2010||Chevrolet||Tahoe Hybrid 2WD||8 cylinder||6 liter||R||Auto (CVT)||21||22|
|2010||Chevrolet||Tahoe Hybrid 4WD||8 cylinder||6 liter||R||Auto (CVT)||21||22|
|2010||GMC||Sierra 15 Hybrid 2WD||8 cylinder||6 liter||R||Auto (CVT)||21||22|
|2010||GMC||Sierra 15 Hybrid 4WD||8 cylinder||6 liter||R||Auto (CVT)||21||22|
|2010||GMC||Yukon 1500 Hybrid 2WD||8 cylinder||6 liter||R||Auto (CVT)||21||22|
|2010||GMC||Yukon 1500 Hybrid 4WD||8 cylinder||6 liter||R||Auto (CVT)||21||22|
|2010||Mercedes-Benz||S400 Hybrid||6 cylinder||3.5 liter||P||Auto 7-spd||19||26|
|2010||BMW||ActiveHybrid X6||8 cylinder||4.4 liter||P||Auto (S7)||17||19|