## Prius Speed vs MPG: Inconclusive

I had a roadtrip looming, so I figured I’d do some experimentation:

I wanted to find which highway speed would give me the best MPG.  I had some hilly areas (Louisville->Cinci) and some flat areas (Cinci->Columbus) to experiment with.      I figure after 10 miles, I’ll get an okay reading for average mpg, and I could move on, right?

Wrong.

Turns out, the relative altitude of the car makes a HUGE difference.  If I reset my trip-meter at, say, 700 ft above sea level (as measured by my cellphone GPS), then at 600ft, I might have a MPG of 62, and at 800 ft it might be 57.  Even after 15 miles.

I could have worked with this, except that every time I seemed to reset the trip meter, I never got back to that same altitude.  The road went down.  Or it went up.

Now given some fancy math I’m sure I could have calculated some numbers.  But not worth it.

Thanks to some really slow traffic, though, I did figure out that in general, the Prius wants to get about 70MPG for anything over 45 mph, with the AC on, except that wind resistance knocks that number down to about 45MPG at about 70MPH.

It seems that driving with the cruise set at 55 nets me in the low 60MPG’s.

It does not appear there is a local maximum somewhere between 50 and 60.   50 is more efficient than 60.  And that is NOT a speed I’d set my cruise control to, sorry.  I don’t want to be one of THOSE Prius drivers.

Maybe some day when I’m bored I’ll drive a loop (I264, I71, I265, I64) at 50,55,60,65 MPH and record those numbers.   I can use the straight stretch near the ford motor plant as the transition from one speed to the other.

## The Prius X-Dashboard

My car’s dashboard has.. mutated.   It grew .. stripes.    Precision stripes.

What? Why?

Well, it’s a 2010 Prius.  They added the “guide” marks to the rear backup camera starting in model year 2012.  I wanted guidelines.  So I lined the car up in our wonderful parking lot somewhat like this:

And I used some model stripe tape (Michael’s) to mark it on my rear view monitor:

Repeat on the other side, and now I have a much more precise backup camera.  And I didn’t draw on the display.

BAMF!  (the sound, not the acronym)

## Prius: So Far

I recently picked up a 2010 Toyota Prius III.  Here’s what I think about it.

# Feature Review

### Stuff I do not have on the car that I would consider in a future car

• SKS on all doors – definitely.  I might even do the home-replacement-of-door-handles to make this happen.  Maybe.
• Lumbar Support – this comes in at the Prius IV level and up.  Goes with Heated Seats most of the time.
• Auto Cruise Control – If I drove the interstate for my commute, I would use the snot out of this.  It is basically a “slow down and follow” option while you’re cruising.  (I use cruise control all the time)
• Parking Assist – I doubt I’d pay for this package, but I’d sure like to use it at least once.   It automatically steers your car into a tight spot.
• Lane Keep Assist – It watches the road, and if it finds you drifting over, it moves you back to center.  This would be good for me, as apparently my steering drifts if I’m looking around / at something else (according to my wife).
• Holy Shit Don’t Die Brakes – It watches the road, if a collision is unavoidable, it does the best it can to kick the brakes in and pre-tighten seatbelts.     There’s a warning: It might get confused if you pass somebody on a curve.
• Power Seat Adjustment – Its a simple thing.  Its no big deal.  But its nice.  And its also only in the advanced trim levels.

# Summary

I like this car.   I had a slight case of buyer’s remorse on the options I didn’t get, but that’s fading pretty quickly.

# Planned Modifications

 WeatherTech Floor Mats and Cargo Mats – at some point. http://www.weathertech.com/product-education-center/floorliner-digitalfit/gallery/ Antlers – when I find them.  They are somewhere in the basement. (not a picture of my car, but close) I checked the basement.  Not found.  Maybe next year! Upgraded NAV DVD if I can find one for under \$50.  (Not having the Westport road exit is annoying) Separate Satellite Radio System (maybe) That maybe is growing smaller and smaller.  I think it might be replaced with a Pandora One subscription.