Nearly 312 miles into my trip Tuesday (Nov. 27) from Sacramento to Los Angeles en route to the Los Angeles Auto Show in my 2013 Toyota Prius c weekly driver I stopped for gas. It was about 10 miles before the beginning of the gnarly, always aggressive ascent over the Grapevine, North to South, on Interstate 5.
The Prius had fared well for more than five hours, but the major task of driving to Los Angeles was just a few minutes away. The car may or may not have needed a break, but I certainly did.
The new Prius has a handy set of dashboard driving functions accessible on the steering wheel buttons. In addition to the standard setting, which displays time driven, mileage range and percentage of electric-only miles driven, there’s a setting for fuel economy.
In exact numbers, my trip so far was 311.8 miles, I’d averaged 43.2 mpg and the fuel cost was $26.49. For most of the way, I had the the cruise control at 73 mph. After my first stop early Tuesday morning, after about two hours, I’d driven 118.7 miles, averaged 42.9 mpg and with a fuel cost of $10.16. The EPA rates the Prius c at 50 mpg (city) and 46 mpg (highway).
I filled the tank with 7.6 gallons at a cost of $32.00 and off I went to encounter the omnipresent 18-wheelers and omnipresent California Highway Patrol on the Grapevine.
Article Last Updated: July 28, 2023.
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A sports, travel and business journalist for more than 45 years, James has written the new car review column The Weekly Driver since 2004.
In addition to this site, James writes a Sunday automotive column for The San Jose Mercury and East Bay Times in Walnut Creek, Calif., and a monthly auto review column for Gulfshore Business, a magazine in Southwest Florida.
An author and contributor to many newspapers, magazines and online publications, James has co-hosted The Weekly Driver Podcast since 2017.