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Toyota Camry Hybrid MPG-Real World Numbers



  • Sluggish? well, if you floor it it goes. But are you buying this for the acceleration or the economy? For most driving I have no problem with the acceleration, and I came from a Lexus LS400 which was quicker but I seldom ever used the power.

    Handling is good. But it is not a sports sedan.

    Road noise is very good.

    I am getting 40.5 mpg, mostly highway. However with more city miles you might get 32 mpg. I typically go 560 to 580 miles before filling up. I fill up with about 14 to 15 gallons.

    There is a tax credit of $2600 but you have to have the car by the end of this month. After that it falls to $1300 for the next 6 months, then $675 for the 6 months after that, if I recall correctly.

    I like the car a lot.
  • You are very fortunate to have escaped your accident without injury - the Pilot is an excellent vehicle and I can understand your wife's reluctance to step down to a sedan. Certainly moving from an SUV to a sedan will require some adjustment, but the car is hardly small and its loaded with airbags and vehicle stability and safety systems. Though its not particularly speedy, the TCH is no sluggard either (many equate its power and torque to that of a 6 cylinder). As for the interior, if you are patient you can find one nicely tricked out, some reviewers have commented on the car's "Lexus like" qualities (if thats important to you). But lets face it, these are subjective factors and not everyone (your wife?) will agree with me. Now, about your questions.

    Most everyone here likes (loves) their TCH. Keep reading the threads in this forum and at as well. We all bought our cars with the understanding that there would be tradeoffs, and that a smallish trunk was one of the most significant.

    The TCH performs like a well-made, well-designed mid-sized family car. Its not a roadster, but again, we have accepted that tradeoff in return for excellent fuel economy, a high level of comfort and some of the most advanced safety features on the road today.

    The TCH does take some getting used to. The brakes are, well, sensitive, because they regenerate energy that is transferred to the traction (driving) battery. The CVT transmission is very smooth, you will notice this difference immediately. Like many of us, you may feel a slight shudder when you pull away from a stop light as the electric motor gives way to the gasoline engine for more power. The push-button start is a hoot and the car is very quiet. Open your window at a stop light on a cool summer night and you can hear things that in any other car an idling gasoline engine would otherwise obscure.

    As to the tax "incentives." You are referring to a one-time, $2,600 tax credit (not a deduction, but an actual reduction in your federal income taxes. However, credit will fall to $1,300 after September 30, and will be halved again at the end of the year. So, if you are serious about the TCH, and want to save some money, you've only got a few days to convince your wife. A test drive could answer many of your questions (if you havent done so already). Then, your "only" problem will be finding a dealer with one for sale. Good luck!
  • Good info. I thought the interior seemed well put together. What do you think. It seemed of good quality. We are looking at the leather. I do know that the avalon has some sort of gel filled which my wife feels is more comfortable but I had no problem with the comfort of the model I tested.

    As far as the economy. The salesman told us that it would get it's better fuel economy in town verses the highway. Me and my wife kind of looked at each other. I think he was full of something. He also said that if it ran out of gas, you could run quite a while on just the generator. I could maybe see that on a flat if you were say going across Kansas but not sure.

    This tax credit. How does it work? Do you get it back as cash on the next tax return or do you just lower your taxable income by 2600? If you get it back as cash (on top of the child tax credit that we already get for 4 kids), I think I better go snap it up.

    I was also wondering if the 4 cylinder is the same one as in the standard 4 cylinder camry. It kind of sounds like it may not even be a toyota engine which is part of the appeal of buying a toyota car to begin with. Adam
  • tsytsy Posts: 1,551
    Glad you're ok- all these safety devices are great and I'm glad they worked for you, but I always hope they're never used!

    We have a Pilot and a TCH- and while the TCH takes some getting used to, it's by no means slower than the Pilot and much more comfortable and quiet. The build quality is pretty good- about equivalent to the Honda. There are some minor squeaks that seem to be easily fixed.

    Your salesperson is correct, it's EPA is better city than highway, although I find it does better on the highway than in the city. I typically get less than EPA on my commute (lots of hills) and I find I'm averaging about 36mpg.

    Someone purposefully ran out of gas and drove a mile or so without gas- but it's not recommended and I'm not sure it's really a selling point!

    The 4 cylinder internal combustion engine (ICE) is a modified Toyota engine- don't worry, no Ford engines here! ;)

    Good luck- as others have mentioned- you only have about a week to get the full tax credit!

  • Your salesman is somewhat uninformed about the TCH, which (regrettably)is not unusual. Based on the experiences of members of this forum and others, the best mileage is achieved when the TCH is driven at consistent a 40 - 50 mph - which implies neither highway nor stop-and-go city traffic. Having said that, the EPA projects slightly better city mileage than highway.

    You cannot, I repeat, cannot run your TCH off the traction battery for any extended period of driving. The battery is not designed for this and will discharge quickly.

    The tax credit is essentially an on-the-spot refund. You deduct your $2,600, on your return, from your total taxes owed.

    The internal combustion engine (ICE) is not the same as that found on the four cylinder Camrys. Its a 145 hp, Toyota-made, Atkinson cycle engine designed to work together with the 45 hp electric motor. You can read more about it in the postings here, or go to the hybrid site run by the Union of Concerned Scientists for a better explanation than I could ever provide.
  • newcarsnewcars Posts: 103
    As others have written, the tax credit is a $2,600 tax credit. Think of it as a $2,600 "cash" rebate you will get when you file and get your tax returns back. However, also as others have written, it is cut in half at the end of this month.

    However, if you are in the Washington, DC area, my local dealer that I can pick up my fully-loaded TCH, silver, today, Friday, 22 September 2006. I really like hybrids and I really love $2,600 tax credits but I don't particularly like the way Camrys drive.

    If some one wants to make me a quick offer, they can have it.
  • To add to what the others have said: the Liquicell leather is added by the distributor and in my opinion it is inferior to the factory installed leather which comes with certain packages only. If I had it to do over again I would get the better leather. The Liquicell makes hardly any difference in comfort. I had the original factory leather in an XLE V6 07 Camry, and it felt fine to me in my hour long commute. If it is factory installed you get a power passenger front seat, and manual adjustments if it is distributor installed.

    I get better on the highway than the city: about 41 to 42 mpg highway, 32 to 35 city. You cannot run the car empty of gas. If the traction battery is run down too low it will be damaged.
  • psepse Posts: 14
    Are you kidding me? Why would someone make you an offer on a car you don't own? If you don't like it let someone else buy the vehicle who will appreciate it. :mad:
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 3,719
    "Anyways, we thought it would be a good time to step down in payments and step up in fuel economy."

    A short list of vehicles for a former Pilot owner, all with lower payments and better MPG than the Pilot. (Approximately in the order I would pick).

    The 2007 CR-V. It's not a hybrid, but you would probably get around 21 in town / 27 highway (real world MPG, not EPA). Top of the line is around 28K with Nav. And it's a Honda.

    There is also the Highlander Hybrid, but they are over 30K. The Saturn Vue hybrid is due out soon (23K), and there is also the Ford Escape (27K, but I take it you don't like Fords!).

    These vehicles all have good MPG, and between 25 and 35 Cu Ft of cargo room with the rear seat up, about twice that with the rear seats down. The Camry hybird is limited on cargo space in the trunk, around 8 - 10 CU ft, as I recall (I'm sure someone will jump in with the precise numbers). I'm not sure what your cargo needs are, but it is a big change in functionality from a large SUV to a midsize sedan. You should be sure that you can live with the smaller capacities in your daily and weekend chores.

    The other thing to remember is that Hybrids do not get their best MPG if the vehicle is used for short trips in town - the motor has to warm up for full efficiency. They still do better than comparable gas-only vehicles, but they do not achieve their highest numbers in this situation.

    Good luck on your search.
  • ck90211ck90211 Posts: 129
    Adam, I have a 06 Pilot, and am getting a 07 Prius (hard choice between that and a TCH) next week. Pilot is a great riding, great handling SUV. In my opinion even better than any of the Toyota's SUV's (at least for paved road use). But best mileage you can get from a EX-L (with VCM, variable cylinder management system, that turns off 3 cylinders to save gas), is mabye 17 city, 25 highway. Not bad for a SUV, but in a TCH, you are going to double that easily in the city. And in a Prius, you may even triple that. So that $ 100 gas bill is going to become $ 50, or $33.

    Safety of course is invaluable. Pilot is ranked very high (that is why we got it). But so is Camry. So I wouldn't fear too badly, especially since it has curtain bags to protect collisions with SUV's.

    Excluding gas $, I don't think you are going to save money going from a Pilot to a TCH, because Honda has some awesome leases or fiance deals for trucks. last Oct I leased my Pilot EX-L for $ 289+tax/month, nothing down, 42 months, 12000 miles/year. I don't think TCH will ever get that cheap until the next model changeover.

    So why am I buying a Prius (or TCH)? Because I want to have a car that will let me have an active lifestyle (and kids schedules) without dreading over gas costs, pollutions, and traffic (I get to use HOV lanes in CA). So what I bought is TIME and FREEDOM (of the mind), something that are also invaluable. Hope to see you in a TCH/hybrid soon. CK
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 3,719
    "Because I want to have a car that will let me have an active lifestyle (and kids schedules) without dreading over gas costs, pollutions, and traffic (I get to use HOV lanes in CA)."

    Unless the Governator and assembly come up with extensions, there are no more HOV stickers available in CA. It was limited to 75K vehicles.

    At least, I haven't heard of any increase. :cry:
  • newcarsnewcars Posts: 103
    I'm not asking for money -- although, admittedly, as I reread my original post I can see where I might have gave that impression -- but if someone want's my allocation, they can have it. Being honest, I love hybrids (and the tax credit) but I don't like the way Camrys drive. I think they are boring.
  • Typical slimmy car salesman, always trying to take advantage of a situation lol :mad:
  • My TCH is consistently overstating speed by 2.5 to 3MPH and I assume overstating the odometer reading as well. If I average 25 or 30MPH, that equals a %10 error. The dealer told me the data is taken from the 4 ABS wheel sensors, then averaged & displayed and that Toyota considers up to a 4MPH error acceptable. Since my other autos are perfectly accurate, as measured by a hand-held GPS, I find the %10 error unacceptable. When I compute actual mileage, it will include the error and when I am ready to sell the car, it will show %10 more miles than I have actually driven. I took my hand-held GPS and drove another TCH with the same resulting error.

    Is anyone else dealing with this issue.
  • jbolltjbollt Posts: 734
    Is anyone else dealing with this issue.

    YUP! I have the same 3mph overstate, as measured many times by the roadside radar so thoughtfully placed my my local authorities...

    To my surprise, I drove 20 measured miles on the highway, and the odometer read 19.7 miles, which seems to be 1.5% LOW..I am not happy about this either, but I doubt there is anything that can be done.... :(
  • wvgasguywvgasguy Posts: 1,405
    Here are comments I have posted on the "other" hybrid forum.
    The thread was to discuss what size of tires would correct the error. problem is there is error in the speedo and the odomoter but they are divergent (see explaination below)

    Using my Garmin iQueM5 finally on a trip I found that in 198 miles (by GPS reading) of driving my odometer read 195.1.

    Also driving at 70 mph (by my speedometer) my Garmin was reading in the range of 68.5 mph.

    The Speedometer reads too HIGH. To solve the speedometer error you would have to have a taller tire/wheel combo which would register a slower speed than the OEM's at the same speed, since it takes less rotations of the tire to correct the "too fast" speedometer reading.

    However, since the odometer reads LOW you would need a shorter tire/wheel combo to increase the number of rotations per mile over the OEM's to correct the error.

    The speedo error is reasonable and it keeps you under the speed limit and is a decently close margin of error. However the odometer error is factored into the FE readings and thus we probably are off by 1.5% (too high) on actual FE calculations. (Still it's pretty close too_not as bad as 5% as some have guessed at)

    All in all both were pretty close. But a simple tire/wheel change can't solve both problems since the errors diverge as you make changes.
  • jbolltjbollt Posts: 734
    However the odometer error is factored into the FE readings and thus we probably are off by 1.5% (too high) on actual FE calculations

    wvgasguy, please don't loose any more sleep over this, but I believe that our FE calcs would be lower (too low) than actual, not higher....we are actually going more miles than indicated...right? More miles, same fuel usage...more mpg??? I could be all wet, altho it's been pretty dry around here...we could use some of the wet stuff you were getting here in the desert.

    Please correct me if I AM all wet.
  • newcarsnewcars Posts: 103
    Just for the record, I ended up taking delivery on my Camry Hybrid after all and you know what, it really doesn't drive that bad. I think the extra weight of the battery (situated inside the wheelbase) actually helps the car. It is much more connected to the road than any other Camry I've driven.

    Now please don't get me wrong. I still would not do any switchbacks like I would with a BMW 3-series. However, I actually think this car is on par with most passenger sedans out there. But also being honest, if I didn't get the full tax credit I would probably have waited for the new Nissan Altima Hybrid coming out early next year in order to do a comparison test.
  • newcarsnewcars Posts: 103
    Just a clarification on the tax credit that you get with purchasing a hybrid car. You do not get any money back with purchase of a hybrid. You only get to reduce your Federal taxes up to the maximum allowed: which is $2,600 for the TCH until Sunday, October 1, 2006, and then goes down to $1,300 for six months after that.

    For example, since I took delivery on my TCH before October 1st, if otherwise I would owe Uncle Sam, say, $3,000 when I file my taxes for this year, I could claim the full $2,600 credit for the TCH and only pay $400. However, if I only owe $2000 otherwise, I can only claim $2,000 of the $2,600 credit and pay nothing. I would not get a $600 refund!

    There is a way, sort of, around this. You can increase the number of exemptions on your W4. You would get more in your paycheck and, owing more taxes for the year, you could claim more of the tax credit on your income taxes. However, it is tricky and I am definitely not recommending that anyone do that.

    I confess that I was confused about this point, too (and am a little disappointed). And as I am not a tax attorney or accountant, PLEASE SEE YOUR TAX ADVISOR FOR ALL INFORMATION. :cry: :mad:
  • wvgasguywvgasguy Posts: 1,405
    There is a way, sort of, around this. You can increase the number of exemptions on your W4. You would get more in your paycheck and, owing more taxes for the year, you could claim more of the tax credit on your income taxes. However, it is tricky and I am definitely not recommending that anyone do that.

    It's not that complicated. "Holding" back on the W4 simply delays what you eventually owe. It does not define your final taxes simply the witholding rate. If you've already paid in say $30,000 in Federal taxes and you did your return and found that you still owed $2000, then you would recieve a "refund" of $600. In your case if you only paid $2000 then unless you have an AMT issue you should get it all back reguardless if it's already been witheld or not.
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