Driving a self-charging Lexus hybrid car offers many benefits, including quieter running and lower tail-pipe emissions. Our hybrid driving hints and tips will help ensure you get the very best from your car’s engine and save fuel.
These Lexus models available in the UK are available as a self-charging petrol-electric hybrid. However, whichever of these you have set your heart on, the following guide will help you maximise the vehicle’s range.
Six reasons to drive a Lexus Hybrid
It’s not just hybrids that benefit from the first seven tips – these will help you to save fuel in any type of car:
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
Save fuel: Lexus Hybrid driving advice
The following tips are for hybrids only:
- Familiarise yourself with the hybrid information display so you can monitor how much energy is being used
- Be gentle with the accelerator – press it lightly but consistently to help keep the car in EV mode
- Use ECO mode for improved efficiency – this evens out aggressive use of the throttle
- Gentle, early braking boosts regenerative braking, which allows you to use EV mode for longer periods of time
- Do not shift the gear selector into Neutral when stationary as this will stop the hybrid battery from being charged
- Consider using cruise control to maintain a steady speed
- If using climate control, recirculation mode can reduce energy use
- Maximise your use of EV mode when it is appropriate to do so
- Heavy use of ancillaries such as air conditioning, lights and windscreen wipers will increase energy consumption
Used Lexus hybrid systems: Just how economical are they?
Hybrid driving: Drive modes
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.
When you first turn on the car, the hybrid system automatically begins in the default drive mode, which automatically chooses the most efficient use of both engine and battery. However, the driver can opt to select different one of the four on-demand drive modes to suit prevailing conditions: 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). Position B introduces engine braking and can be used to help slow the vehicle, such as when descending a hill. But we do not recommend leaving the car in this mode for normal driving as it can use more fuel over time. For normal driving we recommend you move the shift lever to D.
Lexus Hybrid Drive: how it works
Save fuel: Read the road ahead
When driving your hybrid, the aim is to utilise the car’s electric power as much as possible. A way to do this in urban driving is to accelerate to your required speed and then come off the accelerator before gently easing it back on again. In many conditions, you’ll see the ‘EV’ light come on to inform you that the petrol engine is switched off and you’re maintaining momentum on electric power.
The trick is to try and maintain a constant speed, so it is important to read the road ahead. This will reduce the amount of unnecessary braking and accelerating and will therefore use less fuel. Slow and gentle braking will best utilise the regenerative braking system on the car to help keep the hybrid battery topped-up.
Other factors to consider
If the weather is cold, your car will use more fuel to warm up and reach optimum operating temperature. This means you will usually achieve better fuel economy figures in summer rather than winter, traveling on the same route. During winter months you are also more likely to use accessories such as the air conditioning system, radio, lights and windscreen wipers, all of which use electric power drawn from the battery.
For further advice on hybrid driving tips, we recommend visiting the Hypermiler website.
Please note that 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, so please adhere to the rules of the road.