Save fuel with these Lexus hybrid driving tips

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.

The basics

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:

  1. Familiarise yourself with the hybrid information display so you can monitor how much energy is being used
  2. Be gentle with the accelerator – press it lightly but consistently to help keep the car in EV mode
  3. Use ECO mode for improved efficiency – this evens out aggressive use of the throttle
  4. Gentle, early braking boosts regenerative braking, which allows you to use EV mode for longer periods of time
  5. Do not shift the gear selector into Neutral when stationary as this will stop the hybrid battery from being charged
  6. Consider using cruise control to maintain a steady speed
  7. If using climate control, recirculation mode can reduce energy use
  8. Maximise your use of EV mode when it is appropriate to do so
  9. Heavy use of ancillaries such as air conditioning, lights and windscreen wipers will increase energy consumption
save fuel

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 driving, save fuel

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.

save fuel

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.


  1. I have recently bought a NX 300H, but am a little confused with the adaptive cruise control, which only seems to be adjustable in 5mph increments. Reading the hand book it talks about type A and B having different increment settings but gives no explanation about how to change the type.
    Is there any way to reconfigure the type or reduce the incremental values to 1mph?

    1. Hello Lee,
      Thank you for getting in touch with us. We hope you are enjoying your NX.
      Could you please provide us with your reg? We can then look into this further for you.

  2. I have recently bought a Lexus nx300h takumi how far can I drive just using the ev button and how frequent can I do it the car is 18 months old the reg is LV69mxa thank you .
    kind regards
    Jeffrey Peck

    1. Hello Jeffrey,
      Thank you for your comment, and congratulations on your purchase.
      Our hybrids are designed to switch between petrol and electric power to provide the optimal fuel source for the current condition. You can ‘force’ it into EV mode, but this won’t improve your overall economy.

  3. Why does my nx300h keep telling me on start up no matter what mileage I do a day “please wait” I can sometimes be waiting for minute’s not good when going work is this normal ?!

    1. Hi Ray,

      Thanks for getting in touch. Please can you explain this further, so we can offer the best advice possible? You press the vehicle’s start button, the car turns on, but it can’t be driven? Are you able to put the vehicle in D and drive off? Please, also provide the vehicle registration.


  4. Hi There
    I just bought pre-owned NX300h first registered in Jun’18 and found via My Lexus app that my car’s power boot system were repaired in Dec’20. Although, I have 12 months warranty until Jun’22 but my worry is if the powered boot malfunctioned again say in July/Aug 22 or even Dec’22, Do I have foot the bill? or sale the car as soon as the warranty ran out.
    Kind Regards
    M Khan

    1. Hello Mohammad,
      Thank you for getting in touch with us.
      When the manufacturer’s warranty runs out, the vehicle will no longer be covered, in which event you will have to pay for repairs.

    2. Hi
      I bought CT200h 2013 advance
      Unfortunately I couldn’t connect with the multimedia my screen is just a tomtom I try to contact to Lexus to change the whole multimedia system to replace the new screen so that I can see all my car information on the screen and will be able to use the Lexus link apps to connect my multimedia. The Lexus showroom is unable to help. I just don’t want TOMTOM only if I needed or wanted this TOMTOM I could get extra and put on the car but the building multimedia system is only tomtom. Please help me to replace or install new version so I can see my car information connect the music and iPhone see the ev or normal eco mood. The cvt 2013 CT200h advanced nothing gives me where is 2012 version CT200h Lexus IS showed all the multimedia system.

      Please help. I got the car will be 3 years next July. But not enjoying my multimedia system please help me how to replace I am happy to pay

  5. Hi
    I am thinking of buying a NX300f sport. Can anyone give me any information regarding such a vehicle or advice on how lexus vehicles are in general.

    1. Hello Hussain,
      Thank you for getting in touch.
      Could you please provide us with your registration? We can then look into this for you.

  6. Hi,

    I bought a new LexusNx300h in March 2021 and I could get the MPG around 26 for urban driving. The EV car icon is not appearing often as before. As per the hybrid-driving-tips, I use the accelerator gently and not harsh breaking, still, I could not see any improvement in MPG. What should I do? kindly help

    1. Hello Raja, thank you for your comment.

      If you believe that there is an issue with your NX we would recommend getting in touch with your local Lexus Centre to allow them to take a look at it in person.


  7. Hello

    I own a GS300H and previously owned a GS450H. I have recently been touring the Yorkshire hills and struggled on occasions to find the right gear shift on steep gradients. Any tips?

    Many thanks


    1. Hello Phil,
      Thank you for getting in touch with us.
      Lower gears are best when driving up a steep hill.
      Before you change up a gear, we would advise accelerating a bit first, more so than you would on a flat road.
      Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any further questions.

  8. I have an IS300H on a 66 plate, I drive the car correctly to maximise the MPG, however I am still only getting 35MPG .
    My question is, have a got “old generation batteries “ ?

    1. Hello David,
      It is important to consider that currently whilst 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.
      Therefore, it is perfectly normal that your IS 300h may be slightly less fuel efficient in the winter.
      Please let us know if you have any further questions.

  9. Hi,
    While frequently stopping the car in between traffic and for waiting for the traffic lights, which gear position is advisable in IS 300h. What is the real usage of “N”

    1. Hello Shaheen, thank you for your comment.

      The neutral mode is not utilised with a Hybrid the same way that it is for manual petrol-fuelled vehicles. In the case of the Hybrid system, the neutral mode would not be used unless the vehicle needs to be towed or manually pushed into position. This is because regenerative braking is the element that charges the Hybrid powertrain and therefore the wheels need to be engaged in order for the automatic charging process.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *