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Toyota Camry Real World MPG

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  • dremdrem Posts: 24
    Whoa! I recemtly got back from another trip to PA and tuned in on the board to see couple dozen new messages.

    Phd, just for your info, the trip up was 509 miles consuming 14.3 gallons for a 35.6 mpg trip. Returning was 505 miles consuming 14.5 gallons for a 34.8 mpg trip. Both were non-stop trips at a cruise of 72 for the majority of the drive. I had some good rain for a couple hours coming back.

    Despite the fact that this is 'impossible' for this to occur, this is ALWAYS the situation with my 4 cyl AT Camry. I have never had worse than 32 mpg on an equivalent highway trip and that ONE instance was fighting a 20mph head wind for 2 hours. Otherwise it is 35-37 mpg nearly 100% of the time.

    My longest trip recently was a trip to Ocala FL. 540 miles using 15.0 gallons for a 36.0 mpg trip.

    In a couple weeks I may take a trip to PA, again. This time I will not fill up until I feel I am running excessively low on fuel. In this case you will likely experience a Camry with a 600+ mile run...but still getting ~36 mpg.

    So believe what you want. Stay long and wrong for as long as you want. I will continue to enjoy the benefits of a high MPG Camry.

    Regards!

    Drem
  • samiam_68samiam_68 Posts: 775
    Really. Cars stalling out with under 1.5-2 gallons. I can't use 18 gallons (or, according to you, 17 gallons). Is that so? Yes, there is a way. I do it all the time; every time, recently. That's right, high 17+ to low 18+. Did 18+ two tanks ago; did high 17 after that. I've used up a bunch of gas, but I never stalled, and never ran out. Not once. Not in 44,000+ miles.

    Folks - I think we have found PHD's problem!!!! He runs his tank dry and sucks up all the dirt and crud on the bottom right into the engine and fuel system. This in turn totally screws up his emission system causing his car to run rich, thus resulting in such poor MPG.

    Oh, and from any Toyota (or any other manufacturer's) owner's manual: "DO NOT DRIVE THE CAR FOR LONG PERIODS OF TIME AFTER THE LOW FUEL INDICATOR LIGHT IS ON. REFUEL AS SOON AS POSSIBLE".
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    Yeah, I thought running the tank almost dry was bad for today's cars with their sophisticated computer and emission controls plus fuel injection. Don't you risk having the "check engine" light come on under such conditions also?

    As I said before, I've never put more than 16+ gallons in either Camry, but my son did one fill up showing 17.30 gallons!
  • phd86phd86 Posts: 110
    in response to #494:

    Quote: "Folks - I think we have found PHD's problem!!!! He runs his tank dry and sucks up all the dirt and crud on the bottom right into the engine and fuel system. This in turn totally screws up his emission system causing his car to run rich, thus resulting in such poor MPG.

    Oh, and from any Toyota (or any other manufacturer's) owner's manual: "DO NOT DRIVE THE CAR FOR LONG PERIODS OF TIME AFTER THE LOW FUEL INDICATOR LIGHT IS ON. REFUEL AS SOON AS POSSIBLE". " Unquote.

    Hello! McFly! what do you think there is between a fuel tank and an injection system. That shiny metal thing. Yeah. Its called a "fuel filter". If you have any proof of any kind, in any reference or study, that running a car low on gas causes a hint of damage or adverse change in fuel economy, then post it. You must have some study that proves that doing so makes a car "run rich". Well, where is it? If you can't respond, I'll post that in the category of more misleading webchat. Not that anyone believed you in the first place; I sure didn't.

    And, oh, does this latest theory mean you have you given up on your previous theory that it is impossible to run a car below 1.5-2 gallons?

    And oh again, your citation to the owner's manual (i.e., "DO NOT DRIVE THE CAR FOR LONG PERIODS OF TIME AFTER THE LOW FUEL INDICATOR LIGHT IS ON...". )

    ....is simply not what the owner's manual says....

    It's not there. At all. I have it in front of me.

    It says the following (in entirety, page 115, 2004 owner's manual, toyota camry):

    "The light comes on when the fuel level in the tank becomes nearly empty. Fill up the tank as soon as possible.

    On inclines or curves, due to the movement of fuel in the tank, the low fuel level warning light may come on earlier than usual"
  • mcdawggmcdawgg Posts: 1,668
    Great post. I will be very happy (but not surprised) to see you hit that impossible 600+ miles per tank.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    We all need to drop the sarcasm. And we all need to stop picking apart each others' posts.

    As I said just a few posts ago, the purpose of this discussion is for everyone to report the mileage they are seeing. Feel free to believe what's posted or not, but we need to stop going after each other.
  • Mileage on the camry, whether it be 2004, 2005, 2006, or 2007, all in the automatic transmission - get ~26-28 mpg in freeway driving. Not more. Not 29, and not 30 mpg, and not 35 mpg. Not in the "real world" which this subforum is supposed to be about.

    Sorry PhD but you are wrong. I also owned a 2005 LE with auto, 33mpg at high speed, 35-36 mpg at low speeds, driving between Denver and Ocean City. The 33 mpg was on a sprint through Wyoming, and I just couldn't keep it under 90.

    I also owned a 94 LE with auto and V6. 3 adults, 1 kid, back east speeds and it was good for 31-32 mpg.

    So as a point of fact, EVERY Camry I've ever owned has done better than 30mpg on the highway, stick or auto.

    Why does this bother you so much?
  • lmacmillmacmil Posts: 1,756
    "A Camry will easily get 30 mpg - even a V-6, even with an automatic."

    That's a bit of a stretch unless you're driving 55mph. At normal highway speeds (70 +/- 5mph), I have never gotten better than 28.5 on a single tank on my 2005 3.3 liter. I averaged 27.5 mpg on a 2500 mile trip using premium and mid-grade. On regular, I rarely break 26 mpg.

    I do agree that low 30s is easily attainable with a 4 cyl.
  • Would 30 mpg be possible as a top end? Maybe, rarely. But is it possible as an average "real world mpg" for freeway driving. No. What do you think you are dealing with? It's a fuel-based machine.

    I just did it for 4600 miles. So not only is it possible, its EXPECTED. I'm betting I can do better if I kept the speed down to say 60-65mph as well.

    I would also mention that this mileage was for the entire trip, in other words, fill up at pump, drive 4600 miles keeping track of every gallon, come back to same pump, fill up tank, divide TOTAL mileage by TOTAL gallons. No issues with outliers, error per tank doesn't matter, rather than a max error of 2gal/18gal on a misfill ( 11% ) you have at most 2gal/130gal ( 1.5% ). All your fillup issues simply go away.

    As I stated previously, this is Camry #3, the other 2 were auto's, and the 2005 was nearly as good as my 07. Better looking too. So, in this crazy world, 100% of the Camrys I have owned do THE IMPOSSSIBLE!!!! Its great to be exceptional.. :shades:
  • I do agree that 30 mpg is an outlier - on the low end. If you only get 30 mpg on the highway with a 4-cyl Camry something is wrong.

    You got that right. I tried a half tank at 90+ once just to see what would happen in my 05, 32-33mpg. ( 2 adults, 2 kids, 3 days vacation gear, no A/C )

    To be perfectly honest, the stick doesn't seem to return that much noticablely better mileage on the highway than the 05 auto. Both 2AZ-FE motors. I get a fair amount better around town ( 26/manual versus 24/auto ) but so far I can't claim that the stick has been a guarenteed extra 1-2-3 highway mpg.
  • I do agree that low 30s is easily attainable with a 4 cyl.

    I would go further, and say that if you CAN'T get low-30's with a Camry 4cylinder ( OEM, well maintained, <80mph cruising ), something is wrong with it.
  • 08 V6 LE Auto bought Oct 27 in Maryland. On drive back to Colorado at speed limit in each state I got no lower than 28.5 mpg and as high as 30.3. Was surprised that on jaunt across Kansas fighting a 35 mph crosswind/headwind, it still got over 29 mpg. Power is awesome, especially in the midwest at low elevation. I'm impressed!
  • phd86phd86 Posts: 110
    I get 26-28 mpg pure freeway on my 2004 AT, and tested each subsequent year since for mpg. The 2005-2007 AT did get a little lower mpg on pure freeway, despite their 5 speed transmission. The 2007 got the worst mpg (under 25 mpg)for pure freeway, and that was a case in which I made consecutive long road trips with my 2004 on the same route (which got within the 26-28 mpg already mentioned).

    I was annoyed by the bright night-time radio display, which made me wonder how many people complained (after they bought the car), and whether Toyota had offered any sort of fix for it. I'm not sure what was up with this; perhaps an artefact of the attempt to brighten up the display for sunny day driving (or with sunglasses, which the 2004-2006 displays were nearly impossible to read). All in all, one would have thought they would have had a consumer test drive of the redesigned car at night, before mass-producing it with this display. In any case, this is one thing that consumers should consider before the purchase. It's a show-stopper for me.

    Overall, not a very safe nor economical mpg vehicle. Although Boston doesn't have to wait till next year anymore, Toyota does.
  • "The 2007 got the worst mpg (under 25 mpg)for pure freeway, and that was a case in which I made consecutive long road trips with my 2004 on the same route (which got within the 26-28 mpg already mentioned)."

    This is really unfortunate. Any chance of something mechanical being wrong with it? Dirt in the wheel bearings, clogged intake, blown O2 sensor? Aftermarket air filter? Any chance your average travel speed is like 110mph? I realize that sounds silly, but a number of us are having pretty decent luck with the things, snaring 32-35mpg without even really trying hard.

    For goodness sake, my around town, purely commuting tank was 26 mpg. To date, in 9000 miles, its the only data point I have for around town, I bought the car for trips, not commuting.

    If I got 26 mpg on the highway I'd be pretty steamed at Toyota as well.
  • phd86phd86 Posts: 110
    "This is really unfortunate. Any chance of something mechanical being wrong with it? Dirt in the wheel bearings, clogged intake, blown O2 sensor? Aftermarket air filter? Any chance your average travel speed is like 110mph?"

    No chance at all of that. It was an older rental from the dealer. ~at least 8,000 miles on it. Average speed was right on 65 mph. No wind.

    I've tested enough of these cars to know what to expect. For those who follow my posts, I think all the cars get pretty much the same; what varies is how accurately and consistently different people track their mileage.

    It should be interesting, at least to me, to see what I come up with on the 2008.

    To reiterate - you don't have to believe me, or anyone else - take the car out as a rental for a nice long trip before you buy it for fuel economy. If it flunks your standards, it will be alot cheaper to return and not buy than trade it in on a hybrid.
  • "This is really unfortunate. Any chance of something mechanical being wrong with it?"

    "No. I've tested enough of these cars to know what to expect. For those who follow my posts, I think all the cars get pretty much the same; what varies is how accurately and consistently different people track their mileage."


    I have no beef with the basic concept that some people really don't know how to calculate mileage, and you'll have to take my word for this, but I ain't them.

    Back in the old days, I would use a pulloff on the TransCanadian highway to change the oil on my truck just because the odo had rolled over another 3000 miles. When it was -20F outside. And while I'm not quite that anal anymore, I am rather particular about my fuel mileage. To me, a 26 mpg Camry is broken.


    To reiterate - you don't have to believe me, or anyone else - take the car out as a rental for a nice long trip before you buy it for fuel economy. If it flunks your standards, it will be alot cheaper to return and not buy than trade it in on a hybrid.

    You know, in some million mles of driving the only machine I've ever been disappointed in was the wife's 2001 Mazda MPV. On that thing, I got EXACTLY what the EPA sticker said. I can usually whoop the EPA by at least a few %, sometimes as much as 10%. But not that van.

    But 26mpg on a Camry on the highway? Man, I would be steamed. Both of my 4.6L V8 Mustang GT's would do 28-29mpg on the highway, if I couldn't beat that with most any Camry I'd be writing letters, start an internet forum to complain, throwing rocks through dealers windows, the whole enchilada.
  • mcdawggmcdawgg Posts: 1,668
    Just filled up, 415.2 miles, 13.32 gallons = 31.17 mpg. This is at the same pump, '07 Camry 5 speed manual. Normal commute is part city (35%) the rest is 2 lane highway with traffic lights. I still had plenty of fuel left, but the gas price dropped today, so I filled up. I am satisfied with my results.
  • phd86phd86 Posts: 110
    Just filled up:

    457 miles, 16.9 gallons = 27.0 mpg. 85% + freeway. This is the same pump, 04 Camry AT. I don't do hardly any commute driving, as I live 3 miles from work, and have two cars that I alternate. The rest is constant speed (65 mph, maximum use of cruise control) interstate or two lane highway with minimal traffic lights or stop lights. I did not have plenty of fuel left, but the low fuel indicator had been on for a little while, the gas price went up 13 cents since my last fillup, so I filled up. I am satisfied with my calculation, although it is only a single fill up calculation and subject to variation due to differences in fill level upon fill-up.
  • mcdawggmcdawgg Posts: 1,668
    Just a note, the fill-up prior to the one on 11/8 was on 10/25, and the average was 30.51 mpg (451.5 miles, 14.8 gallons).

    My commutes are 38 miles round trip, and I seldom have any trips under 4 miles. If I did, it would drop my MPG due to start-up inefficiencies.
  • I am incredibly steamed at my Toyota. I own a 2007 4cyl automatic SE. On a pure highway trip, with my kids in the back, not exceeding 80 mph I got 22 mpg. And that is the best i have ever gotten. Normal average is 19 mpg. I have been tracking it ever since i bought the car 18 months ago. I have taken it in 5 times. My car is "capable of achieving the mileage stated." The dealer cannot achieve it but the car is supposedly capable. I have no idea what to do. I have had 2 toyota's previously. Prior to seeing this thread I thought i was the only one. However my case appears to be worse. I live in sunny california so not too hot not to cold. Not very hilly, not super flat. Highway trip was san diego to phoenix.

    Ugh. :cry: :mad:
  • mcdawggmcdawgg Posts: 1,668
    Filled up today due to the likely price increase for the holiday weekend. 29.47 mpg, (294.1 miles, 9.98 gallons). I expected it to be down from my normal commute average, because I got stuck in a traffic jam due to an accident (14 minutes to go 1.5 miles) and I got sent on a Taco Bell run for lunch (10 minutes to go 100 ft.).

    If you are keeping track, this is my third fill-up that I reported the details, and the mpg has been very consistent (29.47, 30.51, 31.17).

    I know someone at work who has an 07 SE automatic - I'll ask about her mpg.
  • dremdrem Posts: 24
    Just filled up after a road trip. Four adults, one overnight cold start, 85% highway with cruise at 72mph. 443 miles using 13.2 gallons = 33.6mpg. 2004 4cyl auto.

    Doriep, 30+ mpg should be absolutely expected on the road. I don't drive 80mph, but I get (on both the 1999 and 2004 4cyl autos) 40mpg at 65 cruise and 36mpg at 72mph cruise. I would suspect another 13% loss or ~31.3 mpg if I drove at 80 mph cruise over 72mph...

    Tire type, tire pressure, wheel alignment, oxygen sensor, and especially ethanol content of the gasoline can all effect mileage. But with only 20-22 on the highway under cruise control, something is definitely different with the engine/car/fuel setup. Your car cannot possibly be requiring 35% more energy to roll down the highway than mine.

    Drem
  • dudleyrdudleyr Posts: 3,456
    aha! That is the problem. Three miles from workk means the engine is never warm and is proably getting about 10 mpg. That will bring down the average real fast.
  • lmacmillmacmil Posts: 1,756
    Try a highway trip at 70 mph and see what happens. That should get you another 5 mpg. Still low for a 4 cyl though.
  • phd86phd86 Posts: 110
    As I've said (and several others):

    The 2007 is not as efficient as the prior style (2002-2006), which wasn't anything to write home about either. But it's a bigger boat, and a more powerful engine.

    I think you could probably pull 24-25 mpg or even a little bit more if you slowed down to 65, turned off the A/C, pumped the tires to 40 psi, and did pancake flat driving like me in Sacramento. The other issue you are having is that you are tracking every single tankful and odometer reading like a hawk, possibly even doing running averages and so forth. Most of the time, you'll see people posting their best mileage on one tank. They also have this habit of running it some short distance, like 200-400 miles, and then refilling up to the first click. Then saying, "look at me - I got 200 miles on 5 gallons! I get 40 mpg!" Problem is, they actually used 8 gallons, and got 25 mpg. Don't believe or disbelieve me, just try it some time. The 5 gallons is what they put into the car. After the first click, see how much gas you can put in the tank. For some reason, the gas tank neck on the recent camry backs up and causes premature shutoff with a whole lot of room left in the tank. 3 gallons of empty space is not "topping off".

    Just think about it. If this car (and by "this" I mean an AT, not MT) really got 35 mpg, wouldn't you think someone would be able to run it 600+ miles on a tankful? (that would be 17.1 gallons, with plenty of gas left over). Yet nobody ever has come close - not even as an extreme outlier. Not 35 mpg (630 miles), not 32 mpg (600 miles), not 30 mpg (555 miles). So it would unreasonable to expect 30+ mpg under normal circumstances as an average.

    There's also some notion (see earlier post/response to samian) out there that there is a "dead pool" in the bottom of a gas tank that you can't use the last bit of gas. Nope. You can use all the gas in a gas tank. And when its empty, there is no gas in it. I would bet you that an 18.5 gallon tank, when empty - does indeed hold 18.5 gallons of gas (I tested this on my older camry, albeit unintentionally).

    The other thing misleading about the camry is the gas gage reading. I too can pull 200 miles in the first 1/4 of the tank, using the gas gage. But do you think I used a 1/4 of 18.5 gallons? Not. The first 1/4 of the tank, on the gas gage, is something like 8 gallons. I swear to you, I have put in 11+ gallons into this car with the gas gage at half full. The first time it happened, it made me look under the car for leaks (there were none), but its just the gas gage.

    Oh, by the way, I made a slight error in my last report, it was 447 miles for 17.0 gallons. That's 26.3 mpg. It is a spot measure. It is what it is.

    My car is also capable of getting the mileage stated. I stated that it gets 26-28 mpg on pure freeway, and that's what it gets.
  • mcdawggmcdawgg Posts: 1,668
    "The 2007 is not as efficient as the prior style (2002-2006), which wasn't anything to write home about either. But it's a bigger boat, and a more powerful engine."

    Guess what, it is NOT a more powerful engine. The I4 in the '07-08 is the same engine as was used in the 2002-2006. The weight may be slightly more for the 07-08, but not by much, because the length is the same, but the width is up one inch. If I have time, I will look up the weights and the coefficient of drags.

    I will continue to monitor every tank, and fill up at the same pump, with about the same commute. I have now reported 3 in a row - (29.47, 30.51, 31.17). Very consistent, and even if there were "3 gallons of empty space", it would be the same for every fill up, so it would not matter, since I use the same pump and quit pumping after the automatic shut-off.

    Just a note on MPG variability: my Corolla will get about 37mpg on my commute, but when my wife drives it on her commute, it gets only about 25mpg. The difference? Lots of short trips (4 miles or less).

    Someone else care to comment about the alleged "3 gallons of empty space"?

    Happy Thanksgiving!
  • "I am incredibly steamed at my Toyota. I own a 2007 4cyl automatic SE. On a pure highway trip, with my kids in the back, not exceeding 80 mph I got 22 mpg. And that is the best i have ever gotten."

    I'd be incredibly steamed as well. I get 26mpg around town.
  • Just think about it. If this car (and by "this" I mean an AT, not MT) really got 35 mpg, wouldn't you think someone would be able to run it 600+ miles on a tankful? (that would be 17.1 gallons, with plenty of gas left over). Yet nobody ever has come close - not even as an extreme outlier. Not 35 mpg (630 miles), not 32 mpg (600 miles), not 30 mpg (555 miles). So it would unreasonable to expect 30+ mpg under normal circumstances as an average.

    PhD, you keep saying stuff like this and it simply isn't true. My 05 AT with the same engine as my 07 (2AZ-FE) got nearly identical mileage on trips. At high speeds loaded and A/C I could get 33 easy, and at slow eastern speeds I could crack 35, SAME AS ON MY 5SP MANUAL 07. I think if I ever drove the 07 slowly (60-65) for a tank of gas, the Manual would beat the Auto, but that is NOT what is causing the difference between my documented 35+ highway trips and your admittedly poor results.

    Your experience with AT's in Camrys simply isn't typical, and there are lots of others around who know this, and know it WITHOUT trying to run the tank dry in the middle of nowhere.
  • igrigr Posts: 17
    It looks to me that one of the major "arguments" here is about how much gas is actually pumped into the tank. Most of the people seem to be filling tank "full", driving, then taking odometer reading and dividing it by tank capacity.
    I may not understand something, but for calculation to be accurate you have to divide mileage by actual gallons used, not tank total capacity. Why not to take actual reading from the pump after fill-up, write it down together with odometer reading and do your math next time you fill you tank again. That's what I personally do. The only difference - I do not wait till tank is "empty" (this condition is not accurate enough for me), I always do my math when fuel gauge indicator reaches exactly at 1/4 mark. If I have to fill gas before I reach 1/4, I just keep adding amount of fuel to my last record and wait till my indicator reaches 1/4 mark.
    So far my mpg for 2004 Camry 4 Cyl. AT, 31 PSI, Mineral Engine Oil are much closer to PHD86 numbers than to people claiming more than 30 MPG on highway. My best highway reading so far is 29 mpg. Average is 28 mpg.
    The other good thing when discussing mpg for city would be to post the population of the city. It gives better understanding how heavy traffic might be and may explain the difference between city mpg for the same cars, driven in different traffic conditions.
    I live in Toronto, about 2.5 million people and my best summer city was 22 mpg so far. My average is about 20-21 mpg.
  • "It looks to me that one of the major "arguments" here is about how much gas is actually pumped into the tank."

    IGR, I don't think your concept is one of the major arguments. I believe PhD, and you, when you both say that your cars get crappier than expected results. Lets face it, calculating fuel mileage is easy, and as many people CAN'T be doing it wrong as get bad results for fuel mileage. It would mean that a large minority of the Camry owning community are incompetent when dividing one number by another, and with calculators, I just can't believe thats the reason for the wide variations, between models, where certain drivers always get worse results, and others always get better results.

    There has to be something else going on here, driving habits, quality of gasoline, mechanical, SOMETHING which explains the difference.

    I have come to EXPECT my Camrys to get 30+, period, hands down, no trouble, loaded and moving fast, V6 or I4, auto or stick. If I got the mileage you and PhD get I would be steamed and throwing banana's at my dealership when they couldn't find something wrong with my car.

    I think its unfortunate we can't get this figured out....its a decent car, and it really should get, at the LEAST, the highway mileage as stated on the sticker for EVERYONE. I mean really, 65mph roadtrips as long as you aren't climbing a huge mountain somewhere shouldn't by themselves have enough variation to cause these differences.
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