Toyota at the MPG Marathon 2009: results

The MPG Marathon came to a finish yesterday evening with some very significant results achieved by the Toyota vehicles.

James Sutherland and Richard Hill in the Yaris came in triumphant in second place for overall mpg, achieving 86.8 – a 16.78% improvement on the official combined figure.

Andrew Pickering and Tracy in the iQ achieved an overall mpg of 78.69, an impressive 19.8% improvement on the official combined figure.

The Prius also broke the 80mpg mark with Andrew Andersz and Richard Seymour achieving an overall figure of 84.05, a 16.09% improvement on the official combined figure.

The iQ and Yaris figures show just how efficient Toyota Optimal Drive can be, while the performance of the Prius was significantly better than that of the old model, highlighting the capabilities of Hybrid Synergy Drive. This shows especially well when you consider that the route was not overly hybrid friendly, with mimimal urban routes and a high number of A roads.

A parting word from our drivers:

“Overall we had a great time competing over the last two days and are pleased to be able to have taken part this important event. It highlights what can be achieved with a little more focus on how to drive economically.”


Full results can be downloaded now from the MPG Marathon website.


  1. These MPG marathon results are an embarassment for Toyota. My SEAT Ecomotive averages 80-90mpg in everyday use (umerous cold starts, commuter traffic, mixed loads, etc) – yes, I have the fuel receipts to prove it. And Toyota is only half-marathon compared with the Peugoet 308 that recently averaged 126mpg on a trip around Britain. It’s a disgrace that the lightweight IQ, Aygo, Yaris and Auris can’t better these figures, even in a showcase event. Catch up or stick to the 10k fun-run!

    1. Hi Peter,

      Sorry for the delayed response; the MPG Marathon organisers only published the results yesterday. Aygo and Auris were not actually part of this year’s event; the results achieved by Yaris, Prius and iQ, however, are (we think) especially good considering that they were competing with the lightweight SMART diesel (Prius is a full-sized D-segment family car). The SMARTs, however, were inconsistent: their other entry not only failed to achieve its official mpg figure, but it underachieved by the widest margin of any car entered. It’s also worth pointing out that the Peugeot 308 achieved 73.25mpg – way below the consistent Toyotas.

      The SEAT Ibiza Ecomotive also failed to achieve its official figure as our participants noted on the day, though this result has been omitted from the results list for what the organisers describe to me as technical reasons.

      I believe anyone can enter the Marathon, so by all means take Toyota on in 2010!

  2. I have just got my new T3 and am surprised that the mileage range when I fill right up only displays 485 miles.
    When I used the first tankful I got 440 miles from 33 litres and then I filled up with just the last bar showing. So I could only get 33 litres into the tank from this point. Is this normal, is so, why does it not display a more realistic range? We are told it should do up to 700 miles per tankful! How many litres are left in the car when the last bar disappears?
    Any helpful comments Toyota?

    1. Peter, the display when you fill up is related to your computed consumption over a certain period prior to the fill up. The Prius, more than any car I’ve owned, varies its consumption according to how you drive it. I’ve seen 88mpg when driving very gently, and 34mpg driven briskly in power mode.

      Like all cars, the fuel gauge and trip computer have their peculiarities. I usually reset Trip A on filling up. I find that for the first half a tank, the fuel consumption readout, miles covered, and miles left to fillup readout all tally nicely, but thereafter the miles left to fillup display shows fewer miles than I would expect. The display reaches Zero, and the car starts to beep at me rather insistently, so I fill up and find that the tank only takes 38 or 39 litres, suggesting that there was 6 or 7 litres left in its 45l tank, and I could therefore have driven on to Trip A’s displayed consumption multiplied by almost ten gallons.

      At least one of Toyota’s adverts has headlined “700 miles on a tank” but that’s only if you are brave enough to ignore the beeps and zero miles left display for about 90 miles.

      1. Thanks Pete – pretty much what I expected. I just think Toyota should have made the ‘miles left in the tank’ a bit more accurate. A safety margin of ca.75 miles seems somewhat excessive!

  3. Hi again Peter,

    Pete G is right. All I’d add is that Toyota has no official statistics as to the amount of petrol left in your tank or how far you can drive once you reach the last bar. Of course, this figure is dependent on what mpg you are achieving.

  4. Thank you for all the detail! Yet yet another superb posting, undoubtedly the key reason why my partner and I arrive to all your web log quite often…

  5. Please help I get 43mpg average on my 59plate Mondeo Estate I am thnking of getting a Prius but require real MPG figures for Motorway Urban and combined as I do 35k a year and I do not want to get burnt again with maufacturers unrealistick MPG claims PS I drive like miss Daisy to get 43 in the Ford

  6. Hi Stephen,

    The official figures for the Prius are:

    Motorway / extra urban:
    15″ wheels: 76.4mpg
    17″ wheels: 74.3mpg

    Urban / combined:
    15″ wheels: 72.4mpg
    17″ wheels: 70.6mpg

    These figures were obtained under test conditions – but that’s not to say that they are just ‘claims’, nor that they are impossible to achieve, as this contributor can testify! The actual mpg figures you achieve depend on a whole host of factors, ranging from tyre wear to air conditioning usage. Check out this discussion, for example.

    I hope that helps, but if you have any more questions, please get back to us. Thanks.

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