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Toyota Camry Hybrid



  • michealsmicheals Posts: 27
    Good points Peter. We all want others to hold to our opinion (and in general find evidence that supports our our opinion). Driving indeed is scary this days. I tried to avoid rush hour traffic most of the time by staying late at work or leaving early. People are just too aggressive and don't pay much attention anymore.

    Hopefully, people who are interested in the TCH will be able to test drive them on the dealer lots. If they do, Toyota will sell a bunch of them IMO. It will be a great balance of size and peformance (including fuel economy) for the mass market. The price seeems to be reasonable as well, basically a 4c camry plus $2K
  • michealsmicheals Posts: 27
    My apologies to you midcow, as one of my replies did say you were full of it. My intention was to say that you were full of it only in this particular matter. It was not my intention for it to be seen as a possible personal attack.
  • I'm on the waitlist with a deposit for the upcoming Camry Hybrid, and the sales manager at the dealer told me today that 2 weeks ago he found out they won't be here until September or October. The salesman there was clueless as to the specs and features on the hybrid, so I have my doubts about their general knowledge level. Please tell me that he's wrong on this one too!
  • peraltaperalta Posts: 94
    If a 2.4L Prius exists, it would have many advantages over the TCH such as:

    1. Better Fuel economy due to lighter weight.
    2. Quicker acceleration
    3. More aerodynamic
    4. More distinct apprearance (a blessing or an annoyance depending on your taste)
    5. Larger cargo volume with true fold-down rear seats.
    6. Likely less expensive than TCH for the same level of equipment.
    7. Tighter turning radius
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    Well we just had a training on the new '07 this past Tuesday. The Toyota rep said to expect them in early May. I'd find another dealer.

    Here is a likely scenario. Auto dealers do not get paid on what they 'might' sell in the future, they get paid on what they sell today on the spot. Taking 'future' orders is a courtesy only, it generates no revenue this month and that's all the owner and Toyota care about.

    What this leads to is that for special vehicles like the Prius and TCH those dealers who don't make the effort to market them lose out when they do arrive since no one comes in to buy them. In Toyota's world that dealer wont get his 'normal' share. A store has to sell in order to get new ones. Those that sell vehicles quicker get more; those that sell slower get less.

    Final consideration which I've mentioned here before. Initially all the vehicles will come from Japan at the rate of 4000 units a month. There are 1700 stores in the US and Canada. Thus on 'average' a typical store should expect to get 2-3 per month. However.... there are mega stores like Longo Toyota, Laurel CarMax, Kendall and others that are 5-10 times larger than average and are located in intense hybrid interest territory such as LA, DC and Boston. These stores will get 10 times as many TCH's as a normal store. Thus a store in a low hybrid-interest area may not get their normal allotment for several months while the Mega stores suck up all the hybrids. I believe this is what your local guy is telling you.

    Where are you located, btw. I might be able to direct you.
  • any info what the price is going to be
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    no 'official' word, just my speculation.. see prior posts on this thread. IMO $27K to $32K
  • Thanks for the info. That's pretty short-sighted in my view, and doesn't inspire a lot of confidence in how they will deal with me when the car finally arrives. I'm in Charlotte, NC, and I'm happy to drive (or even fly/drive) if I can get quicker availability and a better deal. Any recommendations on another dealership would be greatly appreciated!
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    NC and south is controlled by SET. They have their own ordering patterns.

    I live on the other end of the state..OBX... and travel up to SE VA everyday to work. If you're interested I will keep you informed. Since we are the largest in CAT outside of the DC area, then we get somewhat more than than a normal share....

    In regard to the Prius I've told customers, as far away as Niagara Falls, Charlottesville, Pensacola and NY to put a deposit locally, if that dealer is reputable, and one with us. Whichever store delivers first earns your business. I've never lost one of these multiple deposit situations ( 4 or 5 ). You get your deposit back of course if we don't deliver it to you.
  • What deposit does your dealership require, and how deep is the waitlist for the TCH?

    Thanks -
  • 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: 28,850
    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.
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