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. Hello John, thanks for your comment.

      If there is an issue with your vehicle, please contact your Lexus Centre.


  1. My ES300h 2023 model. I’ve had it for a month and driven it almost 900 miles. However EVERY time I have pressed the EV mode button, it says its not available as the hybrid battery is low. Surely this can’t be right can it ? Yes when I look at the display it shows the battery over half full. What could the problem be? I’ve bought it because I wanted a self charging car and be able to use the EV mode to save cost. Please advise

    1. Hello Pete, thanks for your comment.

      Please may you provide a Vehicle Registration so that we can look into this.


      1. I have a 250h and I have the same message come up when I press the ev button, battery is half full though. Only had mine 4 weeks.

        1. Hi Gary,thanks for your comment.

          We do hope you are enjoying the 250h. Please consider contacting your Lexus Centre so they can check if the vehicle is performing correctly.


          Lexus UK

  2. My Lexus IS 300H Premier indicates an average of 54mpg on the dashboard indicator. This is borne out by my ‘manual’ calculation of between 46.40mpg and 57.36mpg over the last 24 months. I’m very pleased with this economy especially as it compares favourably with my previous Volvo diesel. I try to drive with economy in mind and have the car regularly serviced and the tyre pressures checked but is there any additional things that might improve matters further or am I about at the best economy figures obtainable with this car?

    1. Hello Bob, thanks for sharing this with us.

      We are so pleased that you are happy with your Lexus IS 300h.

      We would recommend following the advice in this article in order to maximise your fuel economy, however it sounds like you are doing all the right things.

      We wish you many more luxurious and economical miles.


  3. The hybrid driving advice states:

    ‘Do not shift the gear selector into Neutral when stationary as this will stop the hybrid battery from being charged’

    but our Lexus GS450H petrol engine always stops when the car is stationary thus I don’t see how it can be charging the battery in any case – can you advise please?

  4. My RX450h charges to 44 EV miles available & with my daily commute only 18miles should easily give me 2 days (36miles) of EV driving – never achieved it yet in nearly 2 years – is there a problem with my Battety ??

  5. I have replaced my es 300h this year.My previous es300h achieved on average 63mpg my new es only achieves 53mpg.It has currently done 5000 miles.
    The registration is A11 NWP

  6. I have a NX 450H+ Plug in Hybrid 2022 model. Whenever I press the heated front window button, the car instantly changes from Electric to Petrol mode. This lasts 5 – 10 minutes, before reverting back to electric mode. Is there a reason for this?

    1. Hi Howard, thanks for your comment.

      Just as with a regular combustion powertrain, the use of cabin electronics will cause the engine to work harder, this may require the petrol component to kick in if there is not sufficient charge in the Hybrid battery to facilitate this in pure EV mode. You’ll notice this more so in the winter as the vehicle is already working that bit harder to keep at temperature.


      Lexus UK

  7. Can you kindly suggest, I am owning Lexus CT200h 2016 and it shows the consumption 6.9L/100km and the full tank is 35 liters normally. Are these numbers correct or do I need to diagnose the car?
    Warmest Regards,
    Margarita, happy owner of Lexus

    1. Hi Margarita, thanks for getting in touch.

      We can only advise on UK vehicles. Please get in touch with Lexus in your area directly.


      Lexus UK

    1. Hello Joe,
      Thanks for your comment,
      As with any vehicle, turning on the heating during winter will lower the MPG.
      This effect primarily stems from how the heating system operates in most cars.
      When you turn on the heat, your car’s heating system draws thermal energy from the engine coolant, which is heated by the engine.
      As a result, the engine needs to burn more fuel to maintain its operating temperature, especially in colder weather conditions.
      The exact impact on MPG will depend on various factors, but it’s generally expected that using the heater will lead to a decrease in fuel economy.
      Please let us know if you have any further questions.

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