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Old 10-25-2012, 10:53 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Prius has terrible mileage for first 10 minutes?

Had sorta decided to go with a Prius next and was doing the usual researching when I came across a thread at Priuschat that stated the Prius gets horrible, 20-30 mpg during the first 10 to 15 minutes after start up. So if your daily commute is around that, mine is 20 minutes, that the Prius may not be a good choice.
I trust the people on Ecomodder, so could anyone give me their feedback on this topic?

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Old 10-25-2012, 11:37 AM   #2 (permalink)
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If I were you I would go with the plug-in pruis and go on all electric. I had a chance to drive my mom's Pruis and I achieved 55 mpg on a cold start in an under 15 minute drive in an urban area. I think i could have achieved greater mileage but I hit every red light possible and did not even mess with tire pressure ect. 55mpg isn't that bad for a first drive is it?
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Old 10-25-2012, 11:48 AM   #3 (permalink)
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No vehicle gets its best mileage after a cold start.

However, hybrids are particularly affected because they will not activate some of the fuel-saving hybrid functions (like automatically stopping the engine while coasting/stopped, or enabling EV mode at low speeds) until the engine coolant is up to a certain temperature.

The solution (whether hybrid or not) is to add a plug-in coolant heater (block heater), partial to full grille blocks, and a belly pan. Some people even add fire-proof insulation in the engine bay. Thermal management!

I'm sure other Prius/hybrid owners will chime in.
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Old 10-25-2012, 11:48 AM   #4 (permalink)
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is this from the same people who drive a prius like a corvette and expect great mileage? my guess is there is more to the story of that prius only getting sub-30mpg. low tires, bad battery, poorly running engine, dumb driver, etc.

FWIW, top gear did a test a few years ago where a prius would race around the track as fast as possible and a bmw M5 IIRC would follow. the prius couldn't get away, go figure, and got 17mpg, the M5 got 23mpg.
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Old 10-25-2012, 11:54 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Yes, and the BMW was drafting! But that's another story anyway.
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Old 10-25-2012, 12:08 PM   #6 (permalink)
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As a Prius owner for the past 3 or so years, I can confirm "terrible" mileage with the first 5 minutes of driving, not 10 minutes though. I say "terrible" because its still above what average people get on a normal basis.

I have a commute that is just under 15 minutes (7 miles). My first bar on the Prius MFD (they're broken down in 5 minute segments) is normally around 25-30 mpg. By the time this bar is up, I've gotten up to temperature and can start EOCing if my speed is still below 40 mph. My second bar (minute 5 to 10) is normally around 75 mpg in summer (I travel a 45 mph road to work and its slightly downhill). My last bar, if it pops up, is normally pegged at 100+ mpg as I'm back into the neighboring town and doing under 40 mph where I can P&G.

So, for a 20 minute commute you won't have any issues.

As Dain said, ALL vehicles (besides PH/EVs) get horrible mileage in the first few minutes. This isn't really a hybrid specific thing. If normal cars had the same MFD as the Prius I'd bet they'd see a very similar thing.

A block heater can certainly help this, but I still rarely see 35+ mpg in the first 5 minutes unless my engine is already pretty warm. The one situation where I have seen high mpg in the first 5 minutes consistently is if I get in the car and almost immediately get up to a decent speed (45+ mph).
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Old 10-25-2012, 12:19 PM   #7 (permalink)
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You do know how to get really great mpg on a 15-minute commute, don't you? Bike.
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Old 10-25-2012, 12:26 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Yep! That was one of the perks I thought of when I took the job last year. I plan on doing some biking next year. I have to work up to it since I've had knee surgery, and I can't just go out and bike 7 miles the without a fair bit of pain.
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Old 10-25-2012, 12:49 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamesqf View Post
You do know how to get really great mpg on a 15-minute commute, don't you? Bike.
Someone's been spending lots of time over at MMM.

(Not that you're not right.)
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Old 10-25-2012, 05:07 PM   #10 (permalink)
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YeahPete's point is a good one: the Plugin Prius (PiP) would be a great choice for a short commute, as there is no warmup problem for an EV. A short charge at work (about an hour or a little more?) and you'd have a gas-free drive home, as well.

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