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If anyone reads these, here's an update. It's not exactly a year, but I've had the car long enough (read: through winter) that I can comment on what I didn't know before. Gas savings vs. used non-hybrid equivalent is easy to make up for, as I said earlier. Hybrid buyers should be aware that MPG drops through the floor in the winter, even if you do not run the heater (which, if on, forces the engine to idle instead of shutting off). I avoided using the heater due to the seat-heat--still returned only 20MPG city in the winter. Granted, short trips meant the engine never warmed up. Once the warm weather returned, efficiency did as well. Mixed city-highway nets 30MPG (on the readout) with careful driving. Yes, even up to 65MPH is okay! The key is pulse-and-glide; that is, set the small readout to the battery-wheel. Once the engine is warmed up to the shutoff point (60 degrees or warmer and normal driving will result in it almost never idling), once you've gotten up to speed let up on the gas until the battery-wheel shows neither acceleration nor regeneration. Up to 40MPH, the engine stays completely off. Under the right conditions, this can be exploited to the point of 35MPG (measured at the pump). Be warned that pulse-and-glide reglects battery regcharging solely to regenerative braking, so be careful with the A/C, sound system, and creeping along on battery alone. If the battery depletes, you WILL get 5MPG as the engine idles to recharge it.Report it
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