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Discussion Starter #1
Hello everyone, just wanted to ask if anyone has noticed their driving style has changed since buying the RAV4 hybrid. I started out driving it like I drive a car, even tried out sport mode recently for a few days to see if I would stay in that mode. At the end of everything, I'm stuck in eco mode and driving slower (the speed limit) than I did with my car. Last 2 fuel ups I've averaged 37.42 and 38.85 MPG. Obviously gasoline is cheaper and I do not have to do this, but I only get to work a few minutes earlier if I am driving faster. I'll see just how long I can continue this test, but just wondered if anyone changed their driving style since they bought their hybrid.
 

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hi corsair... after we got our 2013 xle 4.4 i constantly drove on eco. this definitely gave me high gas mileage between 27 and 29 mpg combined (mostly drove hway). got bored after several months of driving on eco. switched to normal mode and enjoyed our rav a lot better but mileage dropped to highest of 25mpg combined. when i said combined, i drove from our home to work took both side street and hway. but now noticing the drop, i switched back to eco. this time with a twist. i drive eco when i'm on side street and normal when im on the freeway (but sometimes i coast to eco when im not in a hurry and get 33mpg). as for sport, haven't used it yet since we got the car.
 

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i put mine in eco when i drove it off the lot and haven't even tried any of the other modes yet. figure why bother? one of the reasons i bought this car was for the mpg. as for driving style, i'm trying to take off slower, coast more and start braking earlier when approaching a light to help with the regenerative braking. no idea if any of this is making much of a difference though.
 

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Yes I've changed considerably my way of driving to make the hybrid drive more efficent. I' m always in normal mode and I try to keep the level of battery charge as high as possible .
 

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Not too much, as I settle in. I had a Prius, and developed the habits of avoiding fast starts, and minimizing brake use, when possible. I keep the RAV4 Hybrid, in default mode, but it really is much more fun to punch it
 

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I leave it in ECO Mode and for the most part drive the car like I drive our other cars. I do enjoy trying to keep the car in EV Mode though, its is fun to do this and sometimes all it takes is letting off on the accelerator slightly. I have had the car stay in the EV mode up to about 43 mph. I am rapidly getting used to this car and really enjoy driving it. When I drive my Tacoma I find myself letting off the accelerator and then remembering what I am driving, no EV Mode and the engine keeps running at stop signs! Hybrids are awesome, it will be interesting to see what new technology develops in the future.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Hello everyone thank you for your responses! It was interesting to read about everyone's style of driving. For myself and considering the amount of driving that I do (approaching 14,000 miles already), it might be worth it to continue driving economically for the long term. My wife is the most surprised as she could not see me driving any differently than the rabbit on steroids style I have had, but it seems a bit more practical considering how efficient this car can be.
 

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I would say, for me, it does change my driving style from previous gas-only vehicles. I start in Eco mode most of the time, unless I have traffic behind me. Then I use Sport to start off, until I reach "cruising" speed, then back to Eco. I've only had a few fill-ups but find it challenging to better my previous mpg.

I previously owned a Honda Insight, but it had no pickup whatsoever. I find the instant torque of the RAV4 Hybrid especially satisfying, as you definitely have adequate acceleration when you need it.
 

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.... Then I use Sport to start off, until I reach "cruising" speed, then back to Eco. ...
Once you are at cruising speed, does in matter if you're in Eco, Normal or Sport mode? I don't have a Hybrid. Just wondering how the RAV4 behaves in this case.
 

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Not a real technical answer, but it appears as though Sport Mode enables immediate throttle response; basically you press the accelerator lightly and it reacts very quickly, unlike Eco mode, which takes significant pedal pressure to accelerate.

But once you get to a desired "cruise" speed and hold it at that speed, I don't think it matters if you're in Sport or Eco, when you're backing off acceleration to cruise. But in either mode, hard acceleration will impact mpg, so I mainly drive with a light pedal. Hope that helps a bit.
 

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I brake more often instead of coasting when approaching a red light because the former charges the battery more. I also try to use ev mode on city streets from a stand still when there are no cars behind me.

I also tried to turn the ac on while the electronics are on but it only blows ambient air, haha.
 

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"I also tried to turn the ac on while the electronics are on but it only blows ambient air, haha.[/QUOTE]

For me, not using this great air conditioner is a step too far. I have not used ECO mode very often, but I am trying to master the art of making regular guy mode, be very stingy. I did read that, foregoing AC, is worth 2-3 mpg.
 

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"I also tried to turn the ac on while the electronics are on but it only blows ambient air, haha.
For me, not using this great air conditioner is a step too far. I have not used ECO mode very often, but I am trying to master the art of making regular guy mode, be very stingy. I did read that, foregoing AC, is worth 2-3 mpg.[/QUOTE]

Sorry, what I meant was turning the a/c on while the gasoline engine was shut off, i.e. the car wasn't running. I guess I should just keep the car running as it will cycle between using the hybrid battery and the gasoline engine while in idle and the a/c on.
 

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For me, not using this great air conditioner is a step too far. I have not used ECO mode very often, but I am trying to master the art of making regular guy mode, be very stingy. I did read that, foregoing AC, is worth 2-3 mpg.
Sorry, what I meant was turning the a/c on while the gasoline engine was shut off, i.e. the car wasn't running. I guess I should just keep the car running as it will cycle between using the hybrid battery and the gasoline engine while in idle and the a/c on.[/QUOTE]

The AC does run, with the gas engine off, by battery, but I know what you mean. Fortunately, it accomplishes all these adjustments and changes, without my needing to think much about it.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
It has been in mostly the 90's in this area for weeks so I have to run the AC. Usually not so much in the mornings. I tried driving with the roof open, but fuel efficiency suffers and it is just better to use the AC. As noted, the AC is awesome in this RAV4. I have the temperature set to 75 and only need to turn the fan on speed 1 or 2. I'm still tinkering though to try to find the best balance of comfort and efficiency.
 

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my driving has definitely changed for two reasons:
1. I'm not accustomed to driving this size vehicle. My previous vehicle was a 2500 lb corolla
2. I always drive with the guage below or at "Hybrid ECO" mode. The manual pointed this out for maximum fuel efficiency.
 

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my driving has definitely changed for two reasons:
1. I'm not accustomed to driving this size vehicle. My previous vehicle was a 2500 lb corolla
2. I always drive with the guage below or at "Hybrid ECO" mode. The manual pointed this out for maximum fuel efficiency.
Do you have other vehicles tailgating you, as a result of staying in ECO? People are dam impatient. At times, I have people honk, when I slow (with blinker on), to turn off the road into my complex, which is a 70° right turn.
 

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I my opinion many drivers do not like hybrid vehicles like the Prius, because of the way some people drive them. Trying to achieve the best fuel economy is one thing, but holding up traffic is another. When there are vehicles behind me I am aware of that, and drive respectfully. On the highway I use the right lane and consider the lanes to the left for passing only. If someone else wants to speed or is in a hurry I am not going to be in the way, that only creates problems, like "road rage". I can certainly understand the frustration of being stuck behind someone that could care less about everyone else on the road simply to feel good about great mileage. All that said, it is fun, when traffic allows to try to keep the RAV in EV and use the regenerative system as much as possible, but not at the expense of others.
 

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I my opinion many drivers do not like hybrid vehicles like the Prius, because of the way some people drive them. Trying to achieve the best fuel economy is one thing, but holding up traffic is another. When there are vehicles behind me I am aware of that, and drive respectfully. On the highway I use the right lane and consider the lanes to the left for passing only. If someone else wants to speed or is in a hurry I am not going to be in the way, that only creates problems, like "road rage". I can certainly understand the frustration of being stuck behind someone that could care less about everyone else on the road simply to feel good about great mileage. All that said, it is fun, when traffic allows to try to keep the RAV in EV and use the regenerative system as much as possible, but not at the expense of others.
I definitely felt, the lack of respect, when driving my Prius, even though I was never a hyper miler. It was an attitude, which had nothing to do with my speed. At first, I thought it was just coincidence, but after 8 years, I am certain. I usually drive a little over the speed limit, and many times had people cut in front of me, to than just slow down. Yes, I know there are people who drive as if they are the only one on the road, but I can tell you, many of these people are driving big expensive cars, with Mercedes Benz most frequently coming to mind, in my experience. I do believe, people who tailgate, regardless of how slow the vehicle in front of them is accelerating, at take off, or moving at cruising speed, are the worst offenders. It is a form of agression, leading to escalation, and often, very unfortunate outcomes. When I get behind someone who is driving way below the speed limit, I do the opposite, I back off completely. First, and most importantly, it reduces my frustration, and second, it takes away the passive aggressive control game, many of these people are wanting to play. Of course, some of these people are truly just being more cautious. Now, in my much more comfortable RAV4 Hybrid, I can just enjoy the little extra time it takes me to get there.
 
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