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Toyota Camry Hybrid

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  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    Normally $500. At the moment we do not have any firm deposits because we do not have firm pricing. We do have an 'interest list' about 10-20 deep. I will enquire tomorrow though.
  • I have been waiting to buy a TCH 4-cyl. I test drove a '07 TC 4-cyl XLE two days ago and actually was disappointed with a few things. I currently drive a Gen 3 (1993) Camry 4-cyl. The 07 has a lot less visibility and less glass. The height of front windows (bottom of sill to top) is noticeably less than my '93 and the rear visibility was substantially worse. I am 5'4". I cranked the seat height up the way I like it which helped a little - the driver seat adjustments are nice (the passenger seat has no height adjustments :( I had just little room above my head (car had a sunroof which I won't get). I did like the telescoping steering wheel. The other thing was that on a curving uphill freeway entrance I gunned it and it actually felt a little more sluggish than my '93! The sales guy said that wasn't possible. So I started to doubt my own judgment. The car has a VERY different feel from my '93 - less road feel and sort of more Le Sabre-like. So maybe I was feeling more isolation from the road rather than less acceleration power? I guess I will have to just go drive one again - this experience has actually made me wonder if the TCH will really be the right car for me. I want a very quiet comfortable ride (#1), reliability, good mileage, all the safety features including traction control, and I prefer Japanese cars. I really wish I could drive TCH 4-cyl now. Isn't it supposed to have a little more power than the TC 4-cyl?
  • mary99mary99 Posts: 65
    Interesting. I just posted on the 2007 Camry forum that I just drove an 02 XLE 4-cyl and the 07, and the 2002 felt like it had a lot more power.

    I think the TCH is supposed to be similar in power to the 6 cyl.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    TCH is rated at ~192 hp which is about the same as the 3.0L V6 in camry's during the last 10 yrs.

    The 2.4L ICE is rated in the high 150's hp. There is a significant difference ( subject to be tested ).

    I think, annie & mary, what you might be sensing is the normal 'stiffness' in a brand new vehicle as the engine gets broken in. Normally it's at 1000 mi, then 5000 mi and again ~ 20000 mi. This engine is the same as the last gen with slightly tweaked hp. This Gen6 is about 150 lbs heavier than that last 2002 model.

    However if it wasnt told to you beforehand this new Gen6 has added electronic throttle control ( ETC-i ) and a 5 spd electronic transmission.

    What this means is that there is no mechanical linkage to the throttle and in the shifting. By your input on the pedal in conjunction with he sensors in the vehicle, the various computers sense what combination of fuel, air timing and gear that you will need for the specific condition you are in; i.e. City, Highway, flat, hilly, mountains, sealevel or Rockies.

    This does have somewhat of a disconnected sense in that the 'bumps and grinds' that used to occur in mechanical autos is being replaced by 'whirrs and hums' if you will of the modern electronic auto. Overall this system is simpler ( less parts ) and easier to maintain. For example in your 1993 Camry there was a distributor, rotor and sparkplug wiring. In 1998 this was eliminated on all Toyota's in favor of an induction coil on each spark plug.

    I'm not a techie at all but even I understand that this entire mechanical system - the distributor and rotors - is no longer there. The vehicles are simpler.
  • cooldad24cooldad24 Posts: 162
    I am also consider to buy TCH and saving cost is one of the reason. No, I don't drive a lot like some one and have minivan for long trips. So main usage is in the city with mixed highway and local for commuting. AS the tendancy of gas price increasing, the advantage of high gas mileage is more obvious. Plus unstable status in mideast, the gas supply could even in restriction. I forsee the gas price will soon break $3.00/g and even $3.50 in SF Bay area. Plus I can drive in Carpool lane with TCH, a plus when occasional need in a hurry.

    Accleration is very subjective and should consider driving environment and need, and there is no absolute answer. But for most driving condition as I observed, 10-12 0-60 is needed and used. I am more concern about hp/lb number which really help in passing and up hill driving. Unless drag racing or frequently changing lanes for passing slower than you drive cars, you don't need so much power. However, at very rare occasion such as followed by bad guys or suspected criminal, fast acceleration will help to get rid of the follower at least till you got safer crowdy place.

    AS to CR's April issue about the Hybrid vs gas, there are some assumptios that will greatly affect the outcomes. First of all, they use $2.50/g price. In SF bay area, it's higher than this so the gas saved is more than it list. Of cause, in the area gas is cheaper, the saving is less.
    Second, the depreciation price is based on less than 5 years with limited survey samples. Used car buyer don't feel comfortable to buy hybrid due to insufficient reliability records and the worry of battery replacement cost. Some even think they need to be plugged to charge the electric engine (don't laugh, it's true). This could change in the futures since the last 3 years' records shown they have been very reliable(because they are all made by Japanese Auto companies?) For whom, like me, keep the vehicle more than 10 years, might want to add the new battery cost into the overall cost though, which could cost $2,000 to $3,000.
    Third, they list the maintenance cost higher since owner don't trust individual garage can service the Hybrid so prefer Dealer doing it, which usually cost more. Actually they suggest the individual gerage can do it since is gas engine power system need the maintenance most. In long term, as long as the population of hybrid increase, individual garage have to learn how to service hybrid to stay in business.
    Last, CR fail to mention if the compared gas versions are equipped comparible. According to the price they quote, they are not. In general, with same level of features and options, the hybrid is $1,500-$2,000 higher according to more than one resources from car magazine or on-line articles as I researched. I appreciate CR's comment as unbias but not absolutely convicing all the time nor suit for everyone. They lean on reliability, practicality, and safety. Performance, style and driving feel are not their emphasis.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,046
    Plus I can drive in Carpool lane with TCH,

    To get the HOV sticker in CA the hybrid has to get an EPA combined 45 MPG. The TCH will not qualify as the law is now written. Better get a Prius very soon if that is important to you.
  • michealsmicheals Posts: 27
    Perhaps you can shed on the light on something I have heard about Toyota engines. I have heard from several others that Toyota engines are made deliberately "tight" to be precise and the engine has to loosen up a bit. Have you heard anything about this or is it an urban legend?
  • cooldad24cooldad24 Posts: 162
    You are right. I thought it is 40mpg and it's not true.
  • cooldad24cooldad24 Posts: 162
    I suspect it's the combination of gas padel tightness and the "feel" of acceleration. The former could due to electrical throttle compare to mechanical one in older models. And the feel of accleration could be more relax in the newer model due to better isolation, lower wind noise and CD. The 5 speed AT is more refine than the old AT-4 that doesn't sound and feel working hard enough. The test result shown it get at least 1 sec faster 0-60. The 93 has 125hp vs 160hp (158 in new calculation) in 2004 and later.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    When I bought my first Camry back in 1989 the dealer told me then that I could expect the vehicle to 'loosen' up at 5000 mi and be quicker/smoother. Then again at 20000 mi. I'd never had a Toyota before so I was skeptical. It was never a rocket but it was smoother after 5000 mi.

    From what I understand this is pretty common in a lot of vehicles that after the initial breakin period the whole machine is smoother and more responsive. This makes sense to me from a novice's point of view.

    In test driving thousands of Toyota's new and used I'd have to say that those with the maintenance done properly are actually significantly smoother and quicker than any new off-the-truck similar model. '...with the maintenance done properly..' is the key phrase.
  • Thanks for the explanations. What you said makes sense. I will pay more attention to the sudden acceleration issue in my next test drive. Your explanation about how the engine has changed also might explain another thing I noticed - very different sounds compared to my Gen3 Camry. The '07 TC had a high pitched whirring sound at idle and low speeds (didn't notice it at higher speeds).

    So I briefly reviewed all the other options for a new four-door sedan meeting my criteria (very quiet ride, comfortable for a 5'4" woman, reliable, loaded with safety features, traction control, 4-cylinder, preferably a Japanese manufacturer, preferably a hybrid but good mileage alone might be OK). I re-reviewed the Corrolla, HA, HAH, Mazdas, and Altima which meet some criteria, and VERY briefly looked at Lexus and Acura just long enough to get sticker shock again. I briefly wondered if I should have just gotten an '06 TC but that's a moot issue now. I came full circle back to '07 TCH 4-cyl.
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 3,812
    "To get the HOV sticker in CA the hybrid has to get an EPA combined 45 MPG. The TCH will not qualify as the law is now written. Better get a Prius very soon if that is important to you."

    Not to mention that they are only issuing 75000 of the decals, so the HOV deal will run out this year, probably before summer.
  • Everybody makes decisions in different ways and using different criteria. For me this next car purchase (hopefully a TCH in May or June) will be the result of some rational thinking and some emotional response. Actually more emotion than rationality. (I don't really want to admit that.)

    The rational side:
    - I only considered cars w/ high reliability track records
    - mid-size sedan meets my personal transportation needs better than smaller car; also safety needs (larger car size)
    - I want a car with decent fuel efficiency, loosely defined by me as "more fuel efficient than most cars on the road" but not exactly data-based.
    - I prefer a more comfortable ride than good road feedback.
    - I prefer the feel of the Japanese cars I have driven to the feel of German (Jetta, Passat), Volvo, Saab, & various American cars [I travel and rent cars a lot and try for variety]. I have never driven a Hundai or Kia.
    - I have a tendency to drive too fast and need a car that doesn't enable that by making it utterly delightful

    The emotional side:
    - A "luxury" car (e.g. Acura, Lexus, Infiniti) seems excessive for my personal values.
    - On the other hand, I want my creature comforts for my sore back; I like a spacious seat and decent right armrest (like the sliding one on the XLE), so I don't want a smaller or too-spartan car.
    - I prefer to fit in rather than stand out
    - I have some identity caught up in the car I drive, and Camry says to me "a choice no one would question", "practical", "good financial choices" which seem like acceptable projections at this point in my life [my sports car days are over]
    - the TC seems to represent a good balance for me between "cheap" / "self-denial" and "self-indulgent"
    - I cannot bring myself to buy an American car
    - I just plain want a hybrid - it fits my values as an environmental scientist and also as a soul who wants to leave a better planet for our children. This is not a decision based on cost.
    - I REALLY like the fact that Toyota made a 4-cylinder Hybrid aimed at greater FE as opposed to Hondas approach to create a higher powered car using hybrid technology and also to only offer it in a 6-cyl. (The Prius is too weird looking for me and the ride is not as quiet or comfortable as the TC.)
    - I like the fact that Toyota is doing what Detroit isn't: increasing fuel efficiency ahead of the regulators and expanding the number of FE car options, and I want to reward that with my business.
    - I just plain want a new car even though I know it loses $3K the minute you drive off the lot. I've been driving a '93 TC 4-cyl LE for 14 years now.
    - I like cars that stick with a generation/style for a few years rather than constant tinkering (e.g. Altima, RAV)

    So....I haven't captured it all but these are some of my personal reasons for wanting a TCH.

    Please be kind.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    This is one of the most cogent and honest posts I've ever seen here about what it is that causes each of us to buy. With minor modifications substitute the name of any vehicle.

    Very very nicely done.
  • klunkmanklunkman Posts: 71
    - I just plain want a hybrid - it fits my values as an environmental scientist and also as a soul who wants to leave a better planet for our children. This is not a decision based on cost.

    Brilliant! That's exactly why anyone should buy a hybrid. Anyone who gets into the cost factor by analyzing and overanalyzing the money saved on gasoline is a fool, in my opinion.
  • klunkmanklunkman Posts: 71
    I am a stoopider(sic) person for having read this post.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,046
    I REALLY like the fact that Toyota made a 4-cylinder Hybrid aimed at greater FE as opposed to Hondas approach to create a higher powered car using hybrid technology

    I think that was a very smart move on the part of Toyota. Why would anyone treat a post like yours unkindly? It was well thought out and a meaningful insight into the mind of an environmentalist. I would even consider a TCH other than the hybrid hoopla that keeps the prices too high.
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    I REALLY like the fact that Toyota made a 4-cylinder Hybrid aimed at greater FE as opposed to Hondas approach to create a higher powered car using hybrid technology and also to only offer it in a 6-cyl.

    That doesn't bode well with me. Has Toyota given up on six cylinder engines? Besides, why didn't Toyota use I-4 in Highlander and RX hybrids? What is wrong with getting better fuel economy regardless of the engine choice?

    Having a very narrow perspective of hybrid technology has been the issue all along, largely from naysayers. But here it comes from the other side of the spectrum!
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    Has Toyota given up on six cylinder engines? Besides, why didn't Toyota use I-4 in Highlander and RX hybrids? What is wrong with getting better fuel economy regardless of the engine choice?

    I dont believe that they have given up on them at all; e.g. the new Lexus. It is a matter of finding buyers for them though. The Toyota brand is not a power-searching one, the Lexus brand is. The 400h is well placed and should sell regularly.

    The HH should be mated to the 2.4L IMO. It would sell much better. The buyers next year should have two V6 choices, the 3.5L 268 hp ICE and the 2.4L 192 hp HSD. Why wasn't the HH linked to the 2.4L from the start? The Lexus model was the point of this 'hybrid' step that is to show that linked with a V6 a hybrid would give phenomenal FE for a 'V8 equivalent' SUV. This was always Lexus' play. The HH was a tagalong, since they are essentially the same vehicle. It also increased volume and reduced costs on that line. It also allowed Toyota to gauge the reaction in two different buying segments. I think the market has spoken - correctly.

    The only caveat is that it is much more efficient ( less costly ) from a production point of view to make both the 'Yota and Lexus vehicles the same.

    Next Highlander iteration is 6 years... a diesel or diesel/hybrid.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,046
    What is wrong with getting better fuel economy regardless of the engine choice?

    Nothing wrong with it. Just seems to be reaching the point of diminishing returns. The car makers seem to be able to squeeze more HP from their engines. They just are not getting much better mileage. Why does a family sedan need a V6 with 250+ HP? My 3 ton Suburban only had 235 HP. Which was enough to haul 8 people and tow a decent sized trailer.
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    So, do you have an idea how much a family sedan needs? Is 150 HP enough? Hey, I'm a person who thinks it is, but as is apparent, even TCH needs to be advertised as having "V6 performance". Do we really need that? Why not just make it even more fuel economical and stick to a lower output?
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,046
    I'm with you. I have driven a 4C Camry and found it more than powerful enough. You can also get it with equal emissions rating to the Prius so no gain from the clean air aspect of a hybrid. With the TCH you may gain 2-3 MPG and give up almost half of your trunk. Will that be a deal breaker for the hybrid Camry. I know it was much talked about with the Accord hybrid. That and the no spare tire to gain a bit of trunk space. We shall see. I think a smaller engine and 45 MPG combined would have gotten more attention with the buying public. I think where Toyota is cutting cost is by using smaller motors and smaller batteries in the TCH. You will not get the stealth range that the Prius gets.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    If you've been in Toyota's long enough you know that 150+ hp is all you need at any time. Here is the problem, a huge portion of the population believes that 4c engines belong only in lawnmowers. Nothing smaller than a V6 will ever be considered.

    We can discuss and argue here. However in trying to sell a vehicle to a potential customer one should never argue - ever. If the customer wants/demands a V6 then that's what he will buy.
    Ditto SUV's, trucks, used vehicles, etc. A large manufacturer has to make as many options available as possible.

    Now give a potential buyer choices and that's a winning formula.
    268 hp ICE 27 mpg combined
    192 hp HSD 38 mpg combined
    158 hp ICE 29 mpg combined

    110 hp HSD 48 mpg combined

    The choices are all yours.
  • JBaumgartJBaumgart Posts: 890
    Toyota is certainly covering all bases with the new Camry, from the basic 4 cylindar for those on a tighter budget, the hybrid who are willing to pay more now, either for its even better fuel economy or because they just want to be green, to the V6 for those who place a greater value on performance at the expense of some fuel economy. And by offering their different trim lines throughout the model range, the market is further expanded from the very basic to the near luxury class, at which point the Lexus ES takes over. Being able to appeal to such a wide spectrum of tastes for its best selling model seems like a really smart strategy to me.

    The question that you raise, which is a valid one I think, is why Toyota didn't focus even more on fuel economy with its hybrid option, like getting the performance of a regular 4 cylinder out of an engine that would provide the fuel economy of say a 2 cylinder, if such a thing existed. My guess is that Toyota realized that they already have the "green niche" (those who value the environment and/or fuel economy above all else) pretty well covered with the hugely successful Prius, which itself can be purchased all the way from quite basic to pretty well loaded with NAV, leather, etc. The traditional Camry buyer, who does the math and pays closer attention to the value/cost equation (practical) isn't going to pay the going extra premium now to add the hybrid technology unless there is more of a tangible benefit, above and beyond what they would get with the cheaper 4 cylinder model. This added benefit which can be immediately felt and appreciated comes in the way of added performance while still being able to achieve even better fuel economy than the regular 4 cylindar. I think this will attract a much wider potential audience to the hybrid than if they had just focused on fuel economy alone. If anything the knock on the Camry from many is that the car has been a little boring, or at least didn't provide much in the way of driving excitement for those who want something a little more rewarding to drive, and if they had made the Camry Hybrid so that it put out say only 120 HP it certainly wouldn't have helped on that score, even it would have gotten 55-60 mpg, which may not have been possible anyway given the car's size and weight. But being able to achieve 40+ mpg while still delivering 190+HP is pretty exciting in a vehicle of this class. At least it's gotten my attention more than it would have if it was designed as just a larger, sedan-styled version of the Prius.

    My 2 cents!
  • w9cww9cw Posts: 888
    Many, perhaps most, Americans relate a 4-cylinder engine as cheap, underpowered, and unreliable for the long-haul. This perception is based on years of relatively unsophisticated 4-cylinder engines produced by Detroit. We, here, know differently. A good Inline-4 can outlast most any engine designs, and with the engine management systems and technology of today, a 4-cylinder can produce excellent HP, torque, and fuel economy.

    I much prefer an I4 to a V6. Why? Ease of maintenace and cost of maintenance . . . an I4 is much easier to work on than a V6 any day, thus labor costs for routine service items on a V6 are always more expensive. Toyota's I4 is plenty smooth and powerful enough for me.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,046
    192 hp HSD 38 mpg combined

    Has the EPA put their stamp on that 38 MPG combined yet? It is hard to imagine that the TCH will best the 4C by much out on the highway.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    Nope, that is solely my estimate based on the other HSD hybrids as reported on Greenhybrid. Actually the 192 hp is in Toyota's literature now ( still unpublished ) but the EPA values have to be certified. I believe that the EPA 'combined' number is expected to fall right on 40.

    IMO 36-38 mpg is realistic to consider, possibly slightly higher, as always YMMV.

    In general it's pretty consistent with all the HSD vehicles. As compared to a similarly-sized ICE vehicle,
    the HSD vehicle offers ~50% better FE in the city as does the ICE;
    the HSD vehicle offers ~20% better FE on the Hwy than does the ICE;
    The HSD vehicle offers ~30% better FE overall than it's ICE sibling.

    Actually because my driving demands are unique it's the small Hwy differential in FE that pushed me toward the Prius last year rather than wait for the TCH this year. I am very very satisfied with the 'normal' 4c performance of the Prius and 46-48 mpg rather than opt for the V6 performance of the TCH and get only 36-38 mpg....for the same price or less. And I love Camry's, especially this one - the best ever.
  • bobflbobfl Posts: 19
    Went to local (South Florida)Toyota dealer to drive the 2007 4 cyl. It was a very nice car and I'm sire the TCH will be much better but I was turned off by extra market adjustment of +$1495 and administrative add on of +$299. Kinda kills any chance of getting any type of payback for buying a hybrid. That money could buy 718 gallons of fuel at $2.50 per gallon and would take you 24,398 miles at 34 mpg in a Honda Accord 4cyl or standard Camry 4cyl if you could buy on at MSRP.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,046
    I was turned off by extra market adjustment of +$1495 and administrative add on of +$299.

    Was that on the non hybrid Camry?
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 3,812
    "Why wasn't the HH linked to the 2.4L from the start?"

    I suspect because the heavy weight of the HH would have put fuel economy into the dump with that setup. Don't believe for a second that Toyota didn't think about trying out the I4, and probably actually produced a prototype of that version. There is only so much you can do with 2.1 tons of metal with a very large, not-so-aerodynamic cross section...
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