Posted by: UrbanGreenGirl | January 22, 2009

The Toyota Prius proves not so fuel efficient afterall

Toyota Hybrid vs BMW 520d

A test conducted by The Sunday Times in England proved that a BMW 520d diesel is more fuel efficient than the Toyota Prius hybrid, on a race from London to Geneva, 560miles.  They covered about 200 miles of highways, 200 miles of B roads (windy, mountainous conditions) and 100 miles of urban settings.

In fact, the drive is only 460 miles to Geneva, but they drove an extra 100 miles to give the Toyota Prius some advantage in urban settings.

The results were surprising! The BMW 520d had done the entire trip on 49 litres and averaged more than 50 mpg whereas the Toyota Prius Hybrid averaged only 48.1 mpg.  I should note that Toyota claims that the official fuel consumption for the Prius is 65.7 mpg.

You would think with all the hoopla surrounding the benefits of the Toyota Prius that it would still manage to be more fuel efficient in highway driving than a midsize car.

However, to the Toyota Prius’s defense, it’s main purpose is for city driving where fuel consumption is at it’s highest. Not to mention, this is the type of condition that most of us drive in on a regular basis. We all know that you get more mpg in highway driving as you’re not stopping and going every 5 minutes, so frankly, for the Toyota Prius to have been beaten by less than 2 mpg, it’s really not, in my opinion, that big of a deal.


  1. Yes, diesel cars are pretty much always much more efficient than their gasoline cousins, and the Prius’s real advantage is when the electric motor is doing all the work (in the city, stop and go traffic, etc). On freeways and hills/mountains, the Prius is no better than any other gasoline driven auto because it is utilizing the gas engine. Nice article!

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