Driving a hybrid car offers many benefits, including quieter running and low tail-pipe emissions.
Our hybrid driving hints and tips will help ensure you get the very best from your car’s engine, extending fuel economy and improving MPG.
Whichever Lexus hybrid you’ve set your heart on, our guide will help you maximise your car’s range.
The basics – these will help any car’s fuel efficiency, hybrids included.
1. Tidy the boot! Removing unnecessary weight from the car will boost performance immediately
2. Consult the handbook. Ensure the car’s tyres are correctly inflated
3. Plan your journey – avoid jams or getting lost
4. Close windows and sun roof at higher speeds (above 45mph)
5. Remove unused roof racks, boxes and bike racks
6. Maintain a steady speed, and do not exceed speed limits
7. Avoid sudden braking and acceleration
Hybrid driving – sorry other car drivers, these are for hybrids only!
8. Familiarise yourself with the car’s hybrid information display so you can monitor how much energy is being used
9. Be gentle with the accelerator pedal; press it lightly but consistently, to help keep the car in EV mode
10. Use ECO mode for improved efficiency – this will reduce response to aggressive use of the accelerator
11. Gentle, early braking boosts regenerative braking, resulting in EV mode being able to operate for longer periods
12. Monitor the dials and gauges to fully understand the state of the hybrid system and manage high voltage battery levels
13. When in stop-start traffic, do not select ‘N’ neutral when stationary, as electricity will not be generated and the hybrid battery will discharge
14. Consider the use of Cruise Control to maintain steady speeds
15. If using Climate Control, re-circulate mode reduces energy usage
16. Maximise your use of EV mode wherever it is appropriate to do so
17. Consider the environment! Heavy use of ancillaries like air-con, lights and wipers will increase energy consumption
The Lexus Hybrid Drive powertrain provides four drive modes in Lexus hybrid cars. When you first turn on your hybrid, the car will be ready to drive in a default drive mode. This will automatically choose the most efficient use of both the engine and the battery. Using the car’s different ‘on-demand’ drive modes (see image below) will help achieve better fuel consumption.
A Lexus hybrid has the following drive modes: EV Mode (encourages the car to be powered solely by the battery when city driving), ECO Mode (the car reduces A/C output and dampens harsh acceleration), Normal Mode (the default drive setting in everyday motoring) and Sport Mode (which uses the battery to help boost acceleration along with the use of the engine).
The shift lever offers four positions, R (Reverse), N (neutral), B (engine braking) and D (drive). Using position B has the effect of engine braking and can be used when descending a hill, for example. We don’t recommend you leave the car in B for normal driving as this can use more fuel over time. For normal driving we recommend you move the shift lever to D.
Read the road ahead:
When driving your hybrid, the aim is to utilise the car’s battery. A way to do this in urban driving is to accelerate to your required speed then to ease off the accelerator then gently ease on again. Given the right conditions, you’ll see the ‘EV’ light come on to note that the engine is switched off and you’re using the electric battery.
Do try to maintain a constant speed. It’s important, always, to read the road ahead. This will reduce the amount of unnecessary braking and accelerating needed and will therefore use less fuel. Slow and gentle braking will utilise the regenerative braking system on the car.
Other factors to consider:
Many things affect a hybrid’s performance. If it’s cold, your car will use more fuel to warm up. Once it’s at its optimum temperature you’ll see your MPG figures increase. For example, you’ll achieve better MPG figures in the summer than in the winter, traveling on the same route. Also, during winter months you are more likely to use the car’s accessories such as the air conditioning system, radio, lights and window wipers. These all will use electric power from the battery.
For further advice on hybrid driving tips, we recommend visiting the Hypermiler website.
Please note, these hybrid driving tips are published as general guidance on how to get the best fuel economy from your Lexus hybrid. Lexus encourages and supports safe driving at all times – please adhere to the rules of the road.