Driving a self-charging Lexus hybrid car offers many benefits, including quieter running and lower tail-pipe emissions. Our hybrid driving hints and tips will help ensure you get the very best from your car’s engine and improve its fuel economy.
Eight of the ten distinct Lexus models available in the UK is available as a self-charging petrol-electric hybrid. But whichever of these you have set your heart on, the following guide will help you maximise the vehicle’s range.
Lexus Hybrid driving advice:
- Familiarise yourself with the hybrid information display so you can monitor how much energy is being used.
- Be gentle with the accelerator – press it lightly but consistently to help keep the car in EV mode.
- Use ECO mode for improved efficiency – this evens out aggressive use of the throttle.
- Gentle, early braking boosts regenerative braking, which allows you to use EV mode for longer periods of time.
- Do not shift the gear selector into Neutral when stationary as this will stop the hybrid battery from being charged.
- Consider using cruise control to maintain a steady speed.
- If using climate control, recirculation mode can reduce energy use.
- Maximise your use of EV mode when it is appropriate to do so.
- Heavy use of ancillaries such as air conditioning, lights and windscreen wipers will increase energy consumption.
Read more: Lexus and the performance of hybrid
When you first turn on the car, the hybrid system automatically begins in the default drive mode, which automatically chooses the most efficient use of both engine and battery. However, the driver can opt to select different one of these four on-demand drive modes to suit prevailing conditions:
- EV – encourages the car to be powered solely by the battery when city driving
- Eco – evens out harsh accelerator inputs and reduces the output of the climate control system
- Normal – the default drive setting for everyday motoring
- Sport – draws additional power from the battery to help boost acceleration
The shift lever offers four positions: R (Reverse), N (neutral), B (engine braking) and D (drive). Position B introduces engine braking and can be used to help slow the vehicle, such as when descending a hill. But we do not recommend leaving the car in this mode for normal driving as it can use more fuel over time. For normal driving we recommend you move the shift lever to D.
Read more: How does Lexus Hybrid Drive work?
Read the road ahead:
When driving your hybrid, the aim is to utilise the car’s electric power as much as possible. A way to do this in urban driving is to accelerate to your required speed and then come off the accelerator before gently easing it back on again. In many conditions, you’ll see the ‘EV’ light come on to inform you that the petrol engine is switched off and you’re maintaining momentum on electric power.
The trick is to try and maintain a constant speed, so it is important to read the road ahead. This will reduce the amount of unnecessary braking and accelerating and will therefore use less fuel. Slow and gentle braking will best utilise the regenerative braking system on the car to help keep the hybrid battery topped-up.
Other factors to consider:
If the weather is cold, your car will use more fuel to warm up and reach optimum operating temperature. This means you will usually achieve better fuel economy figures in summer rather than winter, traveling on the same route. During winter months you are also more likely to use accessories such as the air conditioning system, radio, lights and windscreen wipers, all of which use electric power drawn from the battery.
Please note that these hybrid driving tips are published as a general guide on how to get the best fuel economy from your Lexus hybrid. Lexus encourages and supports safe driving at all times, so please adhere to the rules of the road.
Read more: Perfect partners: E-CVT and hybrid