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Old 09-17-2020, 01:30 AM   #9 (permalink)
JSH
AKA - Jason
 
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Join Date: May 2009
Location: PDX
Posts: 1,869

Adventure Seeker - '04 Chevy Astro - Campervan
90 day: 17.3 mpg (US)

Dieselgate - '14 VW Jetta Sportwagen TDI
90 day: 38.24 mpg (US)
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I've had two 2nd Gen Prii (05 and 09) and a 2003 ALH TDI (5 speed)

My wife's commute is also 7 miles. As Bob said, it will be warmed up about the time your wife gets to work. With our cars the first 5 minutes was 25 mpg then it jumped up after that. The good thing is that even "bad" mileage with a Prius is pretty good. My wife averaged about 40 mpg in the winter and 45 in the summer. The Prius will do better on that short commute and the fuel is cheaper.

The key to improving mileage on her short commute is getting the car to warm up faster. Some options:

Engine Block heater (never tried)
Grill Block (I blocked the middle 2 rows of the lower grill all year in Alabama)
Don't turn on the heat until the car is warmed up. (Not a chance with my wife)

The difference between 40 mpg and 50 mpg is tiny* with that short of a commute so I wouldn't go crazy spending money to try to improve the mileage. That is why I never tried the engine block heater.

*Commuting 14 miles x 5 days a week x 50 weeks a year = 3500 miles. The difference between 40 mpg and 50 mpg is 17.5 gallons or $44 a year at $2.50 a gallon.
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