10 tips for maximising your hybrid’s fuel economy

Driving a Toyota hybrid is relaxing and wonderfully straightforward. But for those of you who are keen to supercharge your economy and keep the pennies in your pocket, there are a number of ways you can adapt your driving style and hit dizzying mpg heights. We’ve rounded-up 10 top tips for maximising your hybrid’s fuel economy.

1. Observe the car’s energy monitor


Doing so will enable you to see when you’re using petrol, and what situations allow you to run on electric and/or charge the battery.

2. Be light on the throttle


A light but consistent press will help to keep the car in EV mode. Stick to 70mph on the motorway to prevent unnecessary use of fuel.

3. Develop an acceleration and braking rhythm


In urban driving, accelerate to your required speed and then ease off the throttle, before gently easing on again.  This sequence will help you to utilise your car’s battery.

4. Know your driving modes

Hybrid driving modes

Toyota hybrids have up to three drive modes – EV, ECO and Power. EV Mode encourages the car to be powered solely by the battery at low speeds – use when driving around town. ECO Mode reduces air conditioning output and dampens harsh acceleration – use for motorway cruising. Power Mode uses the battery to help boost acceleration along with the use of the engine – use when you need to make swift progress, for example when pulling out of a busy junction.

5. Brake in good time

Brake lights

Gentle, early braking boosts the regenerative abilities of the car’s brakes. This helps EV mode to operate for longer periods.

6. Think about your gears

Hybrid gearstick

When in stop-start traffic, do not select ‘N’ neutral when stationary, as electricity will not be generated and the hybrid battery will discharge. Use ‘B’ when approaching roundabouts or descending from steep inclines to increase engine braking and ‘D’ for flat roads and ascents.

7. Use cruise control

Head up

Keep the revs constant on the motorway by enabling your hybrid’s Cruise Control to maintain a constant speed.

8. Consider your use of ancillaries

Prius Plus

Using climate control, lights and wipers will increase fuel consumption. Address this by selecting the re-circulate mode for climate control, and using the lights and wipers as conditions dictate.

9. Read the road ahead

Auris road
If you know what’s in front of you, you’ll avoid unnecessary braking and accelerating and will use less fuel.

10. Coast

Prius plug in hill

Take your foot off of the accelerator when driving downhill and allow the electric motor to kick-in. Cover the brake to avoid speeding or losing control of your vehicle.

Where next?
10 reasons to #LoveHybrid
8 things you didn’t know about hybrid
Toyota hybrid driving – so simple we’ll let a kid explain!
#LoveHybrid? These owners do
How does hybrid work?
Hybrid in numbers infographic

Further information about our six-strong range of hybrid vehicles is available on the Toyota UK website. 

By Eliott Farr


  1. I love my hybrid only downfall is that it’s very quiet but it’s a very great car no faults whatsoever

  2. Hi Theresa
    Thanks for your past and we appreciate your feedback. Interestingly we often find that the quiet drive is cited as a reason why owners choose hybrid.

  3. Hi
    I’ve just bought a Toyota Auris Exel Hybrid Estate. I’ve taken two motorway trips and using crusise control only average 46mph on both ocassions.

    Can you advise if this is to be expected? I was expecting much higher MPG.

    1. Hi there,
      Thanks for getting in touch. We hope you’re enjoying your Auris.
      MPG figures are mandated and controlled by EU legislation, and monitored by authorities in each EU member state. Though they are often referred to as ‘manufacturer figures’, the strict EU test procedure ensures parity across different makes and models.
      Unfortunately, we’re unable to say exactly what you should be achieving as it’s heavily dependent on your driving style and where you’re driving etc. Many drivers find that their car’s fuel consumption in the real-world doesn’t reach the figures quoted by the manufacturer and this is to be expected. This is to be expected, for the very nature of the EU test with its specific parameters is designed to eliminate the variables that can affect fuel consumption, such as individual driving style, weather and road conditions. Introduce those variables into the equation and it’s unlikely that the EU test figures will be matched.
      Hope this helps.

  4. This blog advises “use ‘B’ when approaching roundabouts”. Could you check with your technical team whether this is correct as a way to improve fuel economy please?

    I’ve read elsewhere that b-mode does not increase regen braking energy to help recharge the battery – instead it simply uses the engine to provide some additional ‘engine braking’. Useful when going down hills but of no benefit elsewhere. Am I right that gentle use of the brake pedal achieves deceleration using regen-only braking without applying the mechanical brakes?

    1. Hi Duncan,
      Thanks for getting in touch. After speaking with our Technical team we can confirm that because “B” mode causes additional engine braking, you are achieving better fuel economy. However the motors will naturally provide a braking force and recover energy when you take foot off the accelerator – so applying the mechanical brakes doesn’t recover the energy. Hope this helps.

      1. So just to be clear, using the brake pedal only applies mechanical braking –
        it does not activate regenerative braking (even if only applied gently)?

        And using “B-mode” does increase regenerative braking to help recharge the battery?

      2. So how does using b-mode when approaching a roundabout help improve fuel economy? If I just brake gently with the brake pedal then surely that maximises regen-braking energy to the battery?

      3. Hi Duncan,
        We apologise for any confusion, we meant fuel economy is improved using the regenerative braking as this will charge the hybrid battery, meaning increased availability of EV mode driving too. Therefore, the more gently you brake, the motors will also be acting and recovering the energy. Hope this helps.

  5. Hi

    Does using airconditon consume more petrol with a hybrid yaris or does the ac system consume only from battery power?

    1. Hi Michael,
      Thanks for getting in touch. The air conditioning compressor on a Yaris is driven via an electric motor. This is supplied by the inverter with converter assembly and unlike most conventional petrol vehicles, it is not driven by a belt attached to the engine crankshaft pulley.
      For this reason, the air conditioning system is active when the engine is not running and the vehicle is in EV mode. It will also mean that there is no additional load on the engine when it is running, so it will in fact mean that fuel consumption is improved further on a hybrid vehicle!
      Hope this helps.

  6. Why does the mpg fall off by 12 mpg during cold weather? I regularly used to get 52 mpg around town and now lucky to get 40 mpg. I’ve been advised by my service agent that this is normal. Unfortunately my reduction in mpg has only occurred since car had 40,000 mile service and is not subject to seasonal variation as this has happened since service in November 2018. Only the service agent has topped up the engine oil so I do not accept previous Toyota response that the wrong engine oil has been used. Had no help except advised to seek a second opinion from another service agent or wrong engine oil has been used from previous replies from Toyota “First Face Customer service. I would have expected a reply from technical department on this question.

    1. Hi Anthony,

      Thanks for getting in touch. We’re sorry for the inconvenience this has been causing you, but we can assure you our customer relations team have liaised with our technical experts to discuss the cause of the fall in mpg in your car.

      We can only reiterate what our customer relations team have advised you.

      If you wish to get a second opinion, we’d suggest visiting an alternative Toyota centre. On the other hand, you can choose to contact the Motor Ombudsman if you still want to take things further.


  7. Hi, I got my first Hybrid car which is a 2012 Toyota Auris. So far it’s really great. When I bought the car it was 48 mpg, but then it went up to 50 mpg on the open road. The mpg hasn’t dropped since. The mileage is almost 100,000 miles, which worrys me, how long do the batterys last before it’s time to either change them or the car? Also should you use power mode on the motorway/open road to get up to a good momentum or keep it on the motorway/open road? I generally get around 56 to 57 mpg even in power mode! I haven’t got to that magic 70 mpg yet though.

    1. Hi Mark,

      Thanks for getting in touch. We’re glad to hear you’re enjoying your Auris so much! Our Hybrid batteries are designed and engineered to last, which is why every Toyota Hybrid vehicle from new comes with a 5-year 100,000 mile Toyota warranty, which – with an annual hybrid service can extend the cover on the battery for up to 15 years.

      In your case, for more specific advice regarding your car we would recommend having the battery checked over at your nearest Toyota. They are best equipped to carry out an assessment and make any necessary recommendations. You can find your nearest dealer’s contact details here: https://www.toyota.co.uk/forms-v2/forms?tab=pane-dealer

      Finally, power mode is purely designed to boost the car’s acceleration. For example, when joining a motorway we’d recommend using it to use more of the engines power to get to your desired speed sooner. Once you hit the desired speed there is no need to stay in power mode.


  8. Hi guys,
    a stupid question for ye, do you have to take your foot off the accellerator
    when you change between modes like in a car with a gearstick?

    1. Hi,

      Are you referring to the drive modes, like Eco, Normal and Power? If so, no, you don’t have to take your foot off the accelerator.

      Hope that helps!

  9. Hi. We’ve got a 6 month old 21 plate New Yaris.
    For some reason during the last week it has become more difficult to get the car to switch to EV mode and keep it there.
    Before that I’d just lift off the gas, the car would switch, and I’d gently apply the gas. This meant the car ran on electric around town a lot of the time and on the hybrid power schematic the blue battery level was rarely above half.
    Now however, the battery is showing full or nearly full and I’ve tried the same method to getting the car to switch to EV, but it doesn’t work so well.
    Even with constant speed on level roads with very light throttle applications the car does not always want to switch.
    Temp today was 25 Degrees C, a/c was on with fan on level 3.
    Can your tech people advise whether I should get the car checked, because the situation I have has changed and fuel consumption, although still good has dropped.


    1. Hi Ian,
      Thanks for your comment and congratulations on your new Yaris!
      If you feel something is wrong with your Yaris, please contact your nearest Toyota Centre. They will be best placed to assist you further.

  10. Hi, I have a Prius plus seven seater and it’s only 2 years old. My problem is when I start my car it makes a “thud” noise and this comes and goes, not always! Also having the car on eco mode switched on when I start my car have any effect on the car? Or should I drive for a while before turning on eco mode? As I sometimes think that the eco mode is the reason my car makes a thud noise on start up?

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