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My 2007 Camry Hybrid has been seeing 37-41 MPG city mileage since new (rated 40). Three drivers with various driving patterns. Couple months ago, I got my family to agree to let me be the only driver for one tank where I would try some hypermileage techniques on my 12 mile each way commute (including 9 miles of freeway). That is, timing lights carefully, slow accelerations, minimal AC use (even in Phoenix!), and using cruise control at the speed limit when traffic permits. That got me into the 700 mile club with 46.1 MPG, slightly better than a 20% improvement. Not bad, and it added less than 2 minutes to my normal 16 minute morning commute (but 25-35 minutes afternoon return).
I decided to try the same with my 2006 Sienna minivan, rated at 17 MPG city, and typically getting 17.5. Today, after a month of using similar hypermileage techniques on this minivan, I got my results. The results were 25.5 MPG, a 45% improvement!
This was not only a tremenously pleasent surprise, but now I get to drive my TCH again!
The big difference in percentage improvement points out the importance of improving gas mileage in the least efficient classes of vehicles; minivans and light trucks. There is much more bang for the buck to be had here, than in improving mileage in vehicles like the Toyota Prius and other hybrids with "super" versions.
Hybrids: '06 Civic Hybrid Magnetic Pearl w/Navi (as of July 1, 2006)
Re: hypermileage with hybrid vs non-hybrid
Whiterook, add SUVs to that list. And I agree. Although I'm thrilled to see improvement at the upper ends, it IS important to see it at the lower ends too, because not everyone will adopt the "right tool for the job." Many will still drive overheavy or overfast or overpowered vehicles for a long time to come. Improving MPG in those vehicles is important, if we're going to become energy independent, and reduce our overall usage of fossil fuels.
STOP terrorism - Drive a HYBRID
350 miles a week ------------ 2006 HCH II, Magnetic Pearl, w/NAVI (born on May 25, 2006)
350 miles a month ---------- 2003 Mazda Tribute ES-V6
350 miles a year (for now) - 1986 Mercedes 560SL
This has been one of my frustrations actually. As a family with 4 small kids and 2 dogs a large vehicle is the "right tool for the job." We still need a fixed car seat for our toddler which limits rear room and our kids are still too young to ride in the front seat. Even when my wife and I used 2 smaller commuting vehicles, we were often limited by having to transport our kids as part of our commute to or from work. We do many things to limit its use to only when necessary and are a low mileage household - we only drive about 10k miles per year combined. I often wondered why manufacturers never put work towards Hybrid mini-vans. Yes the SUV's are now available, but the price tags on the Yukon and Highlander (in Canada anyway) are outrageous and minivans have always been a lower priced option in conventional form. When the time came to fish or cut bait, our money was better spent on household improvements for energy efficiency than a Highlander Hybrid.
I often wondered why manufacturers never put work towards Hybrid mini-vans..
Mini-vans have been a shrinking market segement for years. Detroit and the Japanese have pushed SUV's in their stead because they make them more money.... dealers tell you that you are safer in an SUV etc.
Despite the fact that a mini-van might be more practical for most they just don't sell well anymore... they became the station wagons of recent years.
Anyone notice they are giving us "cross over vehicles" that are basically over-sized station wagons? They don't want to call them station wagons because no one would buy them.
Its all simple marketing.
Expect to see hybrid cross overs LONG before you ever see a hybrid mini-van.