While hypermilers can spend extra hours mastering the art of coaxing ever-high fuel economy out of the 2011 Prius, the rest of us can enjoy excellent fuel economy numbers without really trying. Officially, the Prius is rated at 51 mpg city, 48 highway, but TheCarConnection.com's experts teased 69.5 mpg with judicious use of the gas and the Prius' new battery-only EV driving mode; expect numbers approaching or exceeding the EPA ratings in most types of driving. A hefty lead foot will drop the Prius into the high 30-mpg range, but a light touch, a mindful eye on the "Eco" driving mode indicators, and use of the new EV mode—which allows a mile of pure-electric driving with a well-charged battery pack—will help any driver extract more than 50 mpg in city driving.
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