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Toyota Service
Toyota Service, Lexus and Toyota expert
Category: Lexus
Satisfied Customers: 4597
Experience:  30 + years of experience; Multiple Award Winning Svc Mgr; Just Answer Customer's Choice Award Winner
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My 2013 Lexus RX450h with 35000 miles gets a consistent 20mpg

Customer Question

My 2013 Lexus RX450h with 35000 miles gets a consistent 20mpg city and 24mph highway. The dealership checked everything out and told me that those numbers are completely normal. I have NEVER been able to get that sucker above 25mph even with the most light footed driving.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Lexus
Expert:  Toyota Service replied 1 year ago.
Hello. Welcome to Just Answer. With all due respect, you do not achieve maximum gas mileage by light throttle application. Better than advertised MPG reading are only obtained when the HV battery is the sole means of propulsion.
In order to get high MPG ratings, you need to be using the HV battery for power. This is best achieved in stop/start bumper-to-bumper city traffic, where the HV battery will be the prominent means of propulsion. If you drive strictly highway-type driving, at sustained speeds, 20 and 24 are indeed normal. This driving causes the vehicle to act like any other non-hybrid vehicle, ie you are using the gas engine as the primary means of propulsion.
If you have terrain that has elevation changes, your numbers are correct. If you travel on nothing but flat roads, and have city driving included, I would expect you to see at least 24 and 28..not much better than that.
This is a problem we see in the shops....the salespeople mis-represent the hybrid vehicles when they sell them. The HV system works very well when it is in an environment that best suits the HV system being prominent. In my area, we have significant elevation changes. All of our hybrid vehicles do not deliver dramatic MPG ratings because of this. Wehn going up a hill, the engine is doing all the work. The HV system comes into play to help accelerate up the inclines, it does not maximize MPG on hard acceleration, it simply assists the rather small engine to maintain a decent speed.
The RX450h is a very sophisticated vehicle, with the best computer circuitry available. If you had any kind of problem, you would have lights illuminated on the dash. The HV system is heavily monitored. Even a slight problem would be detected and you would be notified.
One thing you can do to increase you mileage would be to investigate replacement of your tires with a some that have a 'low rolling resistance', or 'LRR' for short.... The Bridgestone "ECOPIA" tire is a low rolling resistance tire.
If you have all-season tires fitted to this vehicle, expect your MPG to go down a bit. "Winter" tires will actually reduce MPG even further.
A lot of people do not know that the resistance of the tires moving on the highway can be lessened. When this is done, MPG does come up. This is why the HV vehicles are fitted with LRR tires from the factory...to assist with the MPG numbers.
I have a feeling that my input here may not be what you want to hear, but, this is the most honest and accurate answer I can provide you; this is our job here at Just Answer. We provide the best technical assistance...sometimes, the best answer is not the answer that is wanted though.
If you have any questions, please feel free to reply.
Thanks for choosing Just Answer. A positive rating would be greatly appreciated. Have a good holiday weekend
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

When I first purchased the vehicle and got poor mileage I was told that it would improve after a few thousand miles because there was a "break in period". When that didnt work I was told that the tires were under inflated (they were at 35), now they're at 40. When that didn't work they installed these fins on the rear spoiler. When that didn't work I was told that 19city/24highway for this car is NORMAL. That contradicts what you are telling me since I get better mileage on the highway than in city. After having spoken with other 450 owners they have all agreed that their vehicles get the same poor gas mileage and they are very unhappy with it

Expert:  Toyota Service replied 1 year ago.
It is true that the EPA numbers are skewed. I have customers who are happy and are delivering the mileage is described. Perhaps you have an underlying problem like brake calipers that are a bit too tight. Also, use 89 octane fuel and do NOT use E-85 fuel.

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