Life with the HS250h

Discussion in 'Toyota' started by kgenaidy, Dec 22, 2009.

  1. kgenaidy

    kgenaidy Well-Known Member

    It was suggested to start a single thread on "life" with the Lexus HS250h. A great idea ... and so here we are.

    Well, the HS250h just crossed over 3000 miles and was able to get 44.68 mpg for 310 miles using E10. It was a little bit warmer ... so the mileage bounced back a bit.

    The S3 to S4 "revelations":

    In a previous thread, I commented about the ICE not wanting to shut off about 25-30 minutes into the commute. It finally dawned on me ... that this is the HSD S3-S4 stage transition to full hybrid mode. Figured out I can "force" it into S4 after about 12-15 minutes by getting the ICE to restart at a stop by gently "taping" the gas pedal with the brake engaged. If the ICE runs for 7-10 seconds and then shuts off ... the transition to S4 is complete. So ... my new moto is ... force S4 as soon as possible. It is SOOOO much easier to drive for FE when in S4.

    It also seemed that when computer decides it's time to transition between S3-S4 ... the ICE will stay running while moving ... and not switch to ev mode while trying to P&G. I had noticed this behavior and was previously at a loss to explain it ... I thought it was just my driving.

    May you all have safe and happy Holidays! Until next time ...
  2. SentraSE-R

    SentraSE-R Pishtaco

    What's your overall mileage average for the 3000 miles? I'm assuming the 44.68 mpg for 310 miles is your best tank. How were you driving it to get 44.68 mpg?
  3. kgenaidy

    kgenaidy Well-Known Member

    Overall, through last fill (2912 miles) is 44.71 mpg. Best tank is 46.24 for 344 miles ... worst tank 43.37 for 285 miles. Current tank will probably end up around 44.5 mpg. Best tank had some weekend short stop and go errands that cost about 2 mpg. So far all miles have been "commute" miles. All miles have been since 10/17/2009.

    I would characterize the commute driving as 60% city/ 40% highway. It is 32 miles each way (about 1 hour) in the DFW area. On the highway portion ... I use CC set to about 57 mph through what I would describe as "rolling" elevation changes (long rolling hills). The highway portion is my ... "take a break" time.

    I'm guessing I'm getting about 40mpg on the highway and 46-48 mpg in the city. The city portion of the drives get to deal w/all the warm-up losses. Previous tank I filled on the way home about 10 miles from the house w/car warm ... and avg mpg showed 59.4 mpg (probable actual about 56 mpg) when I pulled in the garage. This is the only "segment" mpg I've ever checked.

    I use P&G quite a bit for the urban portion of the drive. As terrain and traffic allow ... SHM and Warp Stealth get used on the highway portion. I'm still taking a mpg hit on the 41-50mph portions of the drive ... but it's starting to improve ... but the light bulb hasn't went on yet for me. For the last 3/4 mile ... I'm able to use EV to improve the mpg's.

    I haven't done a "pure" highway drive yet ... when I do ... I've set my expectations that it will be somewhere between 38-42 mpg.
  4. echoman

    echoman Well-Known Member

    I wish there where more hybrid exclusive luxury cars out there. Luxury cars almost always have bad mileage but I think they could benefit huge with this type of option.

    Go job achieveing these numbers!

    Even though it is based on the new prius, is must be hard to achieve anything close to those mileage numbers.
  5. butch1962

    butch1962 New Member

    I don't think the mileage figures I see here are at all typical, and would mislead someone wondering whether or not to buy a 250h. In a city commute your techniques will cause road rage at rush hour and may in fact be dangerous (IMHO). If one drives responsibly and keeps up in traffic, there is just no way to get the numbers much higher than the stick 34/35 mpg, except perhaps at a stead 70 mpg highway, where I get 38.

    I hope I am wrong about this!
  6. kgenaidy

    kgenaidy Well-Known Member

    Let's see ...

    I agree with you ... my sense is also that the mileage I have recorded is non-standard. This is a shame ... because the vehicle is capable ... however ... it is all dependent on the driver. There are some members that would almost certainly get even better fuel economy. I also believe the majority of owners will get worse mileage.

    I live in the Dallas/Fort Worth area which definitely IS a metropolitan area. I also have a 32 mile commute each way during rush hour. While I may not accelerate as fast as most ... I do drive at the posted speed limit in the city portion of my commute.

    My hope is that the information from these posts has been helpful to some. Each individual can weigh the value and relevance for themselves.

    What are your suggestions for getting better fuel economy?
  7. Right Lane Cruiser

    Right Lane Cruiser Penguin of Notagascar

    I'm not sure where you live, Butch... but where I am rush hour causes traffic to be anything but "rushed." It is challenging to make your way through it but when done properly it smooths traffic flow and improves fuel economy noticeably. My Elantra often returned 57mpg and sometimes better when I had a mostly highway commute home during "rush hour" a couple of years ago. Many of the techniques I use are either easier or built into the HS205h.

    When done properly, hypermiling not only increases your mileage... it also does it with a minimum of disturbance to surrounding traffic. We don't advocate becoming an "obstacle on the road" here and will tell you right up front that safety comes first.

    Hypermiling is as much an art as a science -- you have to be constantly adaptive and flexible in your technique to extract the maximum distance from every drop while still remaining safe and predictable on the road for other drivers. Try implementing techniques little by little and you'll find there are more opportunities for this than you first suspected. In most cases, way more than you suspected.
  8. kgenaidy

    kgenaidy Well-Known Member

    Happy New Year!

    Sean ... very well put!

    For 2009, the HS250h was able to get 44.6 mpg over 3140 miles.

    I am positive that w/out the hypermiling techniques I've learned on CleanMPG... the fuel economy would have been quite a bit less. The HS250h left to it's own devices ... will run the engine much more then if pulse and glide (P&G) is used.

    Once this last week I ended up caught in the S3-S4 transition while trying to P&G. With the traffic flow, I ended up having to travel w/the engine running for a couple of miles before a traffic light allowed for the 7-10 seconds to complete the S4 transition. In that couple of miles ... there was a definite mpg hit.

    The car's doing great and is meeting my expectations.

    I'm also convinced ... I don't fit the typical "Lexus owner" mindset and demographics. For that ... I'm thankful.

    May you all have a safe the happy new year! Until next time ...
  9. kgenaidy

    kgenaidy Well-Known Member

    HS Date 2010-01-09, A touch of winter:

    _Mileage went down this week to 41.84 mpg for 299 miles. 2010 mpg is at 42.99.

    _This week was my first experience with the HS250 in icy conditions. I found it to be predictable and behave as I expected. The stock Toyo tires don't have the best grip on ice and break loose easier then I would have liked either accelerating or braking. However, it was quite manageable when driving appropriate for the conditions. If I lived in a climate that had more snow/ice ... I would definitely invest in winter tires (and maybe rims) that had better traction.

    _On other boards ... I have observed HS owners are getting 30 to 35 mpg and not that happy with their fuel economy. I've been trying to figure out why that is. The obvious answer is not setting the vehicle up appropriately and not learning and using hypermiling techniques. My sense and observation is that the HS250 has a fairly subtle or small window that is the difference between "sub to epa" and "better then epa" fuel economy. I'd be curious to know what y'all think about this.

    Until next time ... stay safe and warm
  10. Jess

    Jess Well-Known Member


    I enjoy reading your experiences with this car. I can imagine when Spring and Summer come around, you'll find you get better mileage than you did before Winter.
    I find Winter pushes your hypermiling techniques to the max, so you come out of it, a more efficient driver.

  11. echoman

    echoman Well-Known Member

    No offence, but Iv seen a few Lexus HS250h and I cant help thinking that this car reminds me of a Prius I. Something about the profile, I just think Prius I. :rolleyes:
  12. butch1962

    butch1962 New Member

    I have driven my 250h 3,000 miles now, and a Prius it is not. It is bigger, roomier, much faster, smoother riding, less reliable, and driven normally gets nowhere near its rated mpg except in warm weather, driven like a geezer from Florida, and on relatively flat roads; it doesn't come near the Prius' mileage. It runs on 87 octane, the only Lexus that does. It is an odd blend of Lexus, technology, and pseudo-frugality. I am seriously considering selling it, I am so disappointed.
  13. echoman

    echoman Well-Known Member

    No its not a prius by any means. But its the profile of the car that makes me think that. From the first time i saw a pic of it, thats what it looks like to me. Its to bad, it seems its not living up to its lexus namesake.
  14. kgenaidy

    kgenaidy Well-Known Member

    HS Date 2010.01.10, Identity Crisis (or "What am I")?:

    I have been thinking the HS250h may be going through a hybrid "identity crisis".

    Until the HS, I understand all the Lexus hybrids were "performance" hybrids. The HS is the first attempt at a fuel efficiency hybrid. The engineers tried to satisfy both sides (performance vs efficiency) ... and satisfied neither. Their cousins, the TCH and Prius have set high standards.

    I try to drive for fuel efficiency. The HS left to it's own devices ... tends to make choices that keep it from getting better than epa fuel economy ... and often worse than epa. I have been able to get better than epa ... however ... it requires the use of hypermiling techniques, knowing the HS behavior tendencies, and how to adjust them for higher fuel economy. Even in "Eco" mode ... there is a small sweet spot that is the difference between ok and great mileage. Hopefully with time and software updates, this will improve.

    Frankly ... if the HS250 had been my first hybrid, I didn't know about this site, hadn't learned hypermiling techniques, and didn't have a Scanguage ... I probably would be disappointed with the vehicle.

    I haven't driven a TCH, Prius(s), or FFH ... so I have no basis for direct comparison. Just some thoughts.
  15. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Butch1962:

    ___The Prius' passenger capacity is actually larger than the HS by ~ 3.5 cu. ft. And it does have more rear seat leg room. The one item the HS has all over the Prius is noise attenuation and low NVH when the road gets rough. The Prius falls apart when there are any bumps or undulations involved as in marbles rolling around in a tin can.

    ___About the HS' FE... I have no idea how the Toyota engineers calibrated the HS to best the EPA by 1 more mpg vs. the TCH but they did. Unfortunately on the highway, the HS suffers badly. There is simply no reasonble SHM band to work with and nothing that I can see helping out much. I believe he losses occur thanks to the larger wheel and tire choice but nobody is going to purchase a $35K + HS and downgrade to lesser and lighter wheels and lower RRc tires.

    ___Kgenaidy, the RXh is not really a performance hybrid either. With a 30 mpg combined rating, it really is something given the FSP 6 installed. Especially around town. I have not driven one on the highway but maybe someday... The rest of the hybrid lineup is below par as far as CleanMPG is concerned.

    ___Good Luck

  16. kgenaidy

    kgenaidy Well-Known Member

    HS Date 2010.01.20, A little warmth goes a long way:

    _The HS250 just crossed over 4000 miles.

    _It's been a bit warmer this week ... so mileage improved to 46.61 mpg for 379 miles. 2010 ytd is now 44.19 mpg.

    _I've finally figured out how to invoke and use warp stealth (WS). I'm not able to use it much ... but there are 2 or 3 times per commute where it works quite nicely on some 45-60mph downhill glides. You get into and use WS over 40 mph by backing off the accelerator to no more then zero to 2 "ticks" above the charge line. The instant fuel economy should also be "pegged" at 90mpg. If you have a Scanguage ... IGN will be 5 and rpm's slightly below or above 1000rpm.

    Until next time ...
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2010
  17. Right Lane Cruiser

    Right Lane Cruiser Penguin of Notagascar

    What is the ignition value in this mode?
  18. kgenaidy

    kgenaidy Well-Known Member

    yup ... you're right ... I realized on the drive home ... that I really meant IGN = 5. (I have edited the previous post and changed LOD to IGN).

    I figured (humor) I'd get caught before I could fix it.
  19. kgenaidy

    kgenaidy Well-Known Member

    HS Date 2010.01.30, The window of opportunity:

    _The HS250 just crossed over 4500 miles.

    _It looked like this "tank" was going to be a good one. Right up to the last 2 days with heavy rain and cooler temps. That cost at least 2 mpg. It wasn't much fun just watching the drop. Ended up with 45.18 mpg for 504 miles. 2010 ytd is 44.5 mpg over 1592 miles.

    _The HS is starting to break in more. I've noticed with pulse and glide (P&G) that I'm able to stay in the glide longer and with less effort.

    _I've been thinking a bit about the HS window(s) of opportunity and the difference between average fuel economy and exceeding it. "Just driving" the HS seems to yield epa results at best.

    I'm starting to think of the HS with 3 different windows:

    Window 1 ... 0 to 40 mph: This is the biggest window of opportunity for FE. Using P&G as much as possible gives pretty good results. Unless you get caught in the computer thinking it's time to do the S3-S4 transition. During this time the ICE won't shut off and you have to resort to a pseudo shm or warp stealth. Eventually the computer will decide EV is available again ... but it takes a while. I get caught in this once or twice a week due to the traffic pattern. At the earliest opportunity I'll stop and force the S3-S4 transition. Once in S4 ... the HSD behavior is again predictable and manageable. The HS is predicable in each stage from S1 to S4. It only turns unpredictable when caught in the S3-S4 transition while moving.

    Window 2 ... 41 to 50 mph: This is a smaller window that seems to be ever shifting and not very predictable. It's about 50-50 on me being able to get into a reasonable mpg range. Over time it's slowly improving.

    Window 3 ... above 50 mph: This window is small and fleeting. I use warp stealth where it makes sense on downhill portions. It's difficult to impossible to hold SHM for any extended period of time. So mostly I just set the cruise control and "live with it". Usually this is in the 38-42 mpg range.

    Until next time ... stay warm and safe!
  20. Right Lane Cruiser

    Right Lane Cruiser Penguin of Notagascar

    Sounds like you are really starting to get a handle on the way the HS250h works, Ken! I'll bet you'll be very happy once it warms up a bit more. :)

Share This Page