Lexus Hybrid Driving – Expert Guide

Are you a Lexus CT or an RX owner? Perhaps you are thinking of buying your first hybrid car from Lexus? With MPG such a hot topic, here are our top tips for ensuring you get the best possible fuel economy from your car.

Lexus hybrid range

It’s worth pointing out these tips for driving will help any car’s fuel efficiency, but are particularly effective when teamed with our hybrid range:

1. Remove unnecessary weight from the vehicle
2. Ensure the tyres are inflated correctly
3. Try to plan ahead to avoid jams or simply getting lost
4. Close windows and sun roof at higher speeds (above 45mph)
5. Remove roof racks, boxes and bike racks if not being used
6. Maintain steady speeds and do not exceed speed limits
7. Anticipate road conditions to avoid sudden braking and acceleration

In addition, the following are hybrid driving techniques that will maximise MPG – please note these are specifically aimed towards hybrid drivers:

8. Familiarise yourself with the car’s hybrid information display so you can monitor how much energy is being used
9. Be gentle when accelerating; press the accelerator 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 and optimise Climate Control settings
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 stationary, do not select ‘N’ neutral, 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.

There are four driving options in Lexus Hybrid models which are Sport, Normal, ECO and EV mode. To maximise your efficiency when driving we suggest you regularly use the ECO mode. This uses an on-board computer to ensure the car works to the best of its ability. For further increased efficiency there is an EV mode. This ‘Electric Vehicle’ mode will fully engage the car’s electric motor as much as is possible, reducing petrol consumption and increasing MPG when driven properly.

Finally, once you’ve mastered these tips, your hybrid’s trip computer will show that there is little or no reduction in the vehicle’s overall average speed when driving economically.

Hybrid power

Here is some great independent advice from a site dedicated to helping you get more MPG.

You can get greater MPG out of any car if you adjust your driving style. Learn more here.

Please note, these hybrid driving tips are published as a general guide 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.


  1. whatever make of car you buy you will never achieve the fuel consumption that any manufacturer claims and Lexus is no exception to that, 70 mpg for my CT200h that is a joke same for my partners Auris hybrid and her previous car a Honda Insight. Surely there must be something illegal in manufacturers claims of fuel consumtion figures

    1. Hi Russell,
      All manufacturers are subject to the same simulated test conditions when reaching an mpg figure for each vehicle which ensures a level playing field. Legally this is the only figure every manufacturer is allowed to quote. Ensuring all manufacturers undertake the same test means quoted figures are consistent and comparable. The EU test is internationally agreed to take into account the different conditions that will be experienced by motorists across the EU and ‘real world’ driving conditions may result in different figures. The reason for this article is to help drivers achieve the best efficiency from their cars. Many thanks.

    2. Deja Poo,

      This is just the same old stuff again.

      Manufacturers don’t “claim” these numbers.

      European bureaucrats tell them to operate a standard test, and to not claim any other numbers.

      Car reviews such as What Car give alternative numbers – but these are always from heavy footed Petrolhead journalists.

      If there’s a complaint, you should be talking to the Bureaucrats in Brussels.

  2. Good article, chaps, but you really don’t need to tell people not to leave roof racks on, or to take pushchairs out of a 2,400kg car to save weight.

    Think about your reader.

    People need to work out what their REAL current MPG actually is (using the computer), and then look at how small changes in driving style moves that number. Know the numbers, and track the changes.

    My local roads (A3/M25) are fully of cars accelerating nowhere, and decelerating at the last minute. They get nowhere fast and wonder why their MPG numbers are so poor. It’s simply because they fail to look ahead and drive gently, rather than aggressively. You get there just as fast – you just miss out on the joy of driving precisely one car length behind the car in front.

    Keep it simple. Watch your mpg, and try to make it bigger.

    1. Hi Mike,
      Thanks for your comments.
      The tips we published are a guide which tries to reach out to as many people as possible and taking into consideration one or many of these should help increase the MPG possible from your car. A very worthwhile tip is to read the road ahead which will reduce the amount of sudden braking necessary and acceleration, which should give you a greater MPG figure. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this!

  3. Accepted wisdom used to be that driving at 55mph was the most efficient speed. I’m going back 20+ yrs though. I’m guessing modern cars are probably geared for economy at higher speeds now, but hybrids’ CVTs are probably different again. I have a 2007 GS450h. Any idea what the optimum speed is for efficiency?

    1. Hi Matt
      Thanks for your post.
      You are right as the old fuel consumption test used to involve the vehicle being driven at 56 mph as this was felt to be the most efficient speed. However times and vehicles move forward but certain laws of physics do remain the same. The computer in your GS will always be trying to drive in the most efficient way possible regardless of the speed you are undertaking. However going back to physics, the wind resistance graph increases dramatically the faster you go so a sensible constant will be the most efficient. It is probably easier to work the optimum speed in conventional vehicles looking at the gearing ratios and weight but not so straight forward as you have a CVT. There is no optimum speed we can provide for you as this is dependant on many factors but you will notice it is possible to drive along on a motorway solely using the electric motor without the use of the petrol engine. This just reinforces the point that the car is always driving at its most efficient so it takes this problem away from you. You could experiment if you do the same route by adjusting your speed slightly to see if you notice a difference however you will also need to take into account ambient temperature and what features on the car you are using as these all can have an effect.
      Hope this helps but keep us posted on how you get on.

  4. I have just gone from a 2009 GS450h Premier to a new GS300h Premier. The two main cost that have changed are road tax, from £215 to £20 and petrol. I was astonished to see a nearly 50% increase in fuel economy, which as my driving style hadn’t changed, must be down to the car. The lowest MPG I have had is 46.4 at the point of refuelling. This includes a fair amount of “town” driving. While a smaller engine is no doubt part of the reason, I am not disappointed by the power available to me as I’m not one for racing along and accelerating hard so I don’t notice the difference.
    I’m impressed. Well done Lexus.

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