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Toyota Camry Hybrid MPG-Real World Numbers

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Comments

  • acco20acco20 Posts: 208
    where do you find the overall lifetime FE. I have the nav. system. Thanx.
  • Learn to drive Gully and MPG will pick up drastically!!!! :shades: :shades: :shades:
  • redcamryredcamry Posts: 17
    Okay, I am in Southeastern PA. Anyone getting very good mileage? I am not. Advice please.
  • wvgasguywvgasguy Posts: 1,405
    where do you find the overall lifetime FE. I have the nav. system. Thanx.

    Unfortunately, if you've ever reset your Nav to zero you've lost it on the computer. However I've kept detailed data on this to ultimately prove to myself I made a good decision. I not only track (on an excel spreadsheet) current and lifetime FE based on gallons used, but I also track what the computer would show on lifetime by keeping track of the computer reading each fill up and backing into a theoritical gallons used (assuming the computer was correct) and calculate what the computer lifetime average would be. One other calculation I make is a "corrected" FE based on a milage odometer correction due to the error in the odometer as found by using a GPS unit.

    This may sound complicated but it's not. After setting up the spreadsheet to do automatic calculations all I enter is current data and the spreadsheet spits out al the extra calculations.

    What I've found is that the manual calculation is on the low end, the computer readout is on the high end and the odometer corrected FE reading is almost in the middle.

    Bottom line is the computer overstates the FE on the high side, and a manual calculation, assumed by most to be more precise, understates the FE due to the odometer error.
  • wvgasguywvgasguy Posts: 1,405
    Okay, I am in Southeastern PA. Anyone getting very good mileage?

    Philly or rural? I live in a rural area of WV and I believe that helps some. However while traveling this week I was in Baltimore, DC, and over to the coast and back in some heavy traffic. I was able to maintain 39+ on that part of my trip.
  • jjyangjjyang Posts: 42
    I can understand your frustration, but the posted mileage was assigned by the EPA not Toyota. This may not help much, but the EPA has adjusted their EPA numbers to fit the present day driving condition. The average is now 34, which means both of your mpgs (27 &32) falls very much in that range.

    Having said that, I am not one to settle for average. I would be so depressed if the my mpg ever drop that low. The TCH is definitely capable of getting 40+ mpg but short drives from a cold start is a little tough. I have noticed that my engine wont back down unless I have driven 1.5 mile at speed 25-40 mph and that's with ambient temp around 75. If the engine refuse to back down even with the battery gauge at mid level, there are two things that I do. If I am in a 25mph zone, I pull over and park it for a few sec. Usually the mpg pin drops and I start it up again but slowly. If I am in a 40 mph zone, I gun it to 42+ mph for a few sec and then hope that the pin drops to E. THat has worked so far.

    Just out of curiosity, how many traffic stops are there in your 7 mile trip. What level is your battery indicator in at the start and end of your trip?

    Also, that you still have 3 gallon even though the gauge is at E is normal. Mine is that way too.
  • jjyangjjyang Posts: 42
    Sure, I would be glad to help out. I am 35 min north of Philly. If you are interested, we can exchange specific detail through our carspace.com accounts.
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 3,784
    "On the downhills..."

    That one sentence explains your MPG. The HSD was conserving fuel on those downhill grades.
  • redcamryredcamry Posts: 17
    How do we do that? Exchange info on our carspace accts?
  • jjyangjjyang Posts: 42
    There should be a "My Carspace" on the menu that is directly below the top banner of this page. Clicking that will get you to your carspace page with a "mailbox" link on the top right box. That will get you to a page with links to compose mail, text messages, etc. Check your inbox. There should be a test message from me.
  • wvgasguywvgasguy Posts: 1,405
    The HSD was conserving fuel on those downhill grades.
    That's the beauty of it, but you'll never save enough going downhill to make up for the real steep grades found in the mountains. Nothing's flat (even Arizona)and that's why you can get incredible milage with pulse and glide techniques. Good FE on slight slopes and outstanding FE on slight down slopes.
  • bobflbobfl Posts: 19
    Hi Gully, I have had my TCH for 14 months and just under 12,000 miles. My best tank so far was 44.5 (indicated) I have found that the display is about 1.5 MPG high. Even considering that 43 is not bad. I live in South Florida in the winter and only average about 37 to 38 (actual) down there. When my wife drives it the mileage drops considerably. So my conclusion is that where you drive is important and how you drive is even more important. I try to never let my wife drive because she ruins my tank averages. I try to accelerate with the traffic and lift off to go electric as often as I can. It appears that the AC drops mileage two or three mpg.

    Good luck improving mileage

    Bob
  • Can you shop for a new wife?

    :)
  • wvgasguywvgasguy Posts: 1,405
    Can you shop for a new wife?
    Lot's of people do, but I wouldn't recommend taking her with you when you're looking
  • negativenegative Posts: 107
    I rented a Camry Hybrid from Alamo at Portland airport on 8/17 and put 1700 miles on it the next ten days. The route (through Bend, OR, Crater Lake, Redding CA, Arcata, CA, and up the Oregon coast) was mostly on mountainous, curvy roads, sometimes stuck behind trucks or campers at 50 - 55 MPH, with a few stretches on I-5 at 70 - 80 MPH. The car had about 10,000 miles on the odometer at the start of the trip.

    I averaged 36.3 MPG. I'm not sure what my '97 Camry 4 or my '06 Hyundai Sonata 4 would have averaged on that trip, since I live in southeastern PA and have never driven that route before. However, I doubt they would have averaged more than the upper 20s.

    The car was surprisingly powerful when the pedal was floored, and I would certainly consider one for my next car. A few concerns, however:

    1) trunk space. Somehow the batteries are going to have to be shrunk or relocated for this car to become more popular.

    2) lack of pre-set "shift" points. On cars with automatic transmissions, on hills I am used to downshifting manually for a bit of engine braking without hitting the brake pedal. The braking provided by the "B" setting on the TCH is much too severe. I believe Nissan has a full range of shift points on its CVTs.

    3) some engine knock at times. It wasn't my car, so I wasn't about to buy premium gas for it.

    4) I still wanted to know what the engine was up to and would have appreciated a tachometer in addition to the MPG meter.

    5) engine start button sometimes got confused and couldn't sense the key fob.

    Overall, however, I was impressed.

    I haven't been following this thread. I'm sure these issues have been addressed before. Just my two cents.
  • wvgasguywvgasguy Posts: 1,405
    On cars with automatic transmissions, on hills I am used to downshifting manually for a bit of engine braking without hitting the brake pedal
    It's the braking on downhills that charge the battery. That's a key benefit of the hybrid. Above 12mph, normal braking is not done with the hydraulic brake system so your "engine braking" preference is just that, a preference and is not something to be missed on the hybrid.

    I still wanted to know what the engine was up to and would have appreciated a tachometer.
    Pretty meaningless information. The RPM's are controlled and with the combination of battery assist the reading of a tach would probably never make sence to someone unfamiliar with the hybrid. Many times crusing at 80mph on flat interstate my engine is at idle. A lot of times under 42mph my engine is not even running. (However, I understand that it may be turning over so reading the rpm's with no fuel consumption is sort of meaningless too)

    Some of your concerns are not a concern once you understand the way the system works
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    negative says, 1) trunk space. Somehow the batteries are going to have to be shrunk or relocated for this car to become more popular.

    I have taken several long (1500+ miles) trips since I bought my 2007 TCH in June 2006, and with proper planning and logistical arrangement, I have never had a problem getting everything for four people into the trunk.

    I have packed it so well that once my Grandmother, after seeing the half room of stuff I unpacked from that trunk and then viewing the empty trunk, commented "I can't believe you got all that stuff in that trunk."

    It's deceptively larger than it looks.

    Honestly speaking, I don't think that a smallish trunk size should be the deciding factor in a new car purchase. That shopper is not seeing the entire vehicle but is looking at one minor shortcoming which can be easily overcome with some good planning.

    PS. Getting 35.4 MPG in mine lifetime so far almost 20,000 miles.
  • negativenegative Posts: 107
    your "engine braking" preference is just that, a preference and is not something to be missed on the hybrid.

    You may not miss it. I do.

    Pretty meaningless information.

    Engine speed indicates how hard the engine is working and how much strain it is under. If it were meaningless, no car with an automatic transmission would have a tachometer.
  • negativenegative Posts: 107
    Honestly speaking, I don't think that a smallish trunk size should be the deciding factor in a new car purchase.

    Larsb, you might be right, considering that the ice caps are melting. But if you look at the consumer reviews on Edmunds for the TCH, many buyers have criticized the trunk size. If buyers have found fault with this feature, it undoubtedly has turned off prospective buyers, too.

    I am not saying you can't live with it, and it's good you've found a "workaround." I just think that for this hybrid to gain wider acceptance in the marketplace as a substitute for a conventionally powered car, Toyota should consider increasing the trunk size. Transmission shift points are probably something most people wouldn't think about as part of a purchase decision. But the trunk is.
  • talmy1talmy1 Posts: 55
    Quote: "lack of pre-set "shift" points. I believe Nissan has a full range of shift points on its CVTs."

    The Nissan Altima Hybrid has the same powertrain design. The eCVT in the TCH and NAH have only one "gear" -- only one ratio and it never changes. The electric traction motor provides the torque at low speeds and the ICE provides the torque at high speeds (only the electric motor can produce torque at 0 RPM to start moving).

    Quote: On cars with automatic transmissions, on hills I am used to downshifting manually for a bit of engine braking without hitting the brake pedal. The braking provided by the "B" setting on the TCH is much too severe.

    You want to use the regenerative braking (done automatically by the brake pedal) since that recharges the battery and the energy is recovered. Engine braking is lost energy. The only reason to use "B" is on extremely long downgrades where the battery is fully charged and the car has to use its hydraulic brakes. You get control of the braking by pressing on the gas -- this reduces the engine braking (the engine slows the harder you press as long as it is still braking).

    You always need to keep in mind that the gas pedal is not connected to the ICE throttle. The ICE is only controlled by the engine computer. That takes getting used to.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Most of those criticizing it are doing it from a "looking into the empty trunk" perspective.

    Your opinion as an owner changes once you pack it nice and full a couple of times and realize how much stuff it can really hold.

    Might it be designed a little bigger in the future? Sure. But do it because people are not buying the car unless the trunk is bigger? I seriously doubt that as a reason for not buying a car.

    If you are a person who needs to pack huge amounts of stuff around all the time, you are probably shopping for something larger than a 5-passenger sedan. Maybe a hatchback. Or a Ford Escape.

    For a normal 4-person family, using the car for long trips? That trunk is fine.
  • wvgasguywvgasguy Posts: 1,405
    Engine speed indicates how hard the engine is working and how much strain it is under. If it were meaningless, no car with an automatic transmission would have a tachometer.

    Thanks for the lesson. Not wanting to argue, but...after 30,000 miles in a hybrid, I've not found a situation where I can strain the engine. The Power Splitting Device (sorry it doesn't really have a transmission) working with the engine and the electric motor pretty well keeps things in line. Flooring a ICE only automatic may indeed strain the engine, especially if you're manually going through the gears or engine braking. Typically though I'm pretty sure I read where the hybrid system will not allow the engine to go over 4500RPM's in a TCH. I've floored mine (it does make a lot of noise like most 4cyl's indicating some strain on the engine) and I've had it over 100 mph without any detectable strain. I've cruised at "idle" at 90mph as well allowing the battery to provide the power to maintain speed.

    If it wasn't for electronic limiters yes I could blow the guts out of an ICE only car (came close to it a couple of times).

    That's conventional thinking and this is no conventional car.

    As far as engine braking goes, I'd hate to follow someone that is not using their brake lights to slow their car. Additionally it provides little benefit for the hybrid driver and negates one of the most important features of the system, regenerative braking.

    Maybe I'm doing it wrong, but at 38.2mpg over 30,600 miles, I'll stay with what works.
  • lzclzc Posts: 483
    >>If it were meaningless, no car with an automatic transmission would have a tachometer.

    I suppose a tach in an automatic might more easily signal a problem if the rpms looked out of whack. Otherwise, it has little value. It's there mostly because (male) drivers want to see one.
  • newcarsnewcars Posts: 103
    Glad you enjoyed your Toyota Camry Hybrid rental. It is a great car. Allow me to make a few quick comments:

    1) The trunk is definitely smaller than most people would expect with a sedan and, believe it or not, I would agree with you that this may cost a few sales. However, I also agree with larsb that the trunk is much more useful than it would seem. I personally have never had a problem with the size of the trunk. Indeed, in practice, I would think that these days most (not all but most) people who buy a TCH also have an SUV or truck or whatever for when they have a lot of "things" to haul.

    2) I think you are right in that the CVT in the TCH and the one Altima uses are different (although the Altima Hybrid does use the drivetrain of the TCH) but you should only try to "engine brake" with a hybrid, any hybrid, under the most extreme circumstances. Braking is used to recharge the battery in the hybrid. You state it is your preference and I can respect that but I would say it is a preference that you should give up if you ever get a hybrid. I just hope that is not a deal-killer for you.

    3) I have about 15,000 on my TCH, regularly put "Regular" in it and have never experienced any knock. The one thing I will scan think of is that Toyota recommends 87-octane but there are a few gas stations that sell 85-octane. Since yours was a rental car, it is possible that someone put in the 85-octane gas; indeed, it is even possible that the rental place you picked up the car uses 85-octane gas for their fleet.

    4) I like tachometers, too, and my heart is with you on this one but I must agree with the others. Tachometers are pretty useless with modern automatics. The engine electronics keep it from overworking except under the most extreme circumstances and when the engine is overworking, you can hear and "sense" it; making the tachometer a bit superfluous. (That goes for most cars these days, not just the TCH.) But I agree, it still would be "cool" to have one.

    5) Probably a problem with it being an "abused" rental. In almost (three weeks short of) a year and 15,000 miles of ownership, I have never had this problem.

    I am glad you liked your TCH experience, all-in-all, and hope you decide to join the "Hybrid Club." I am extremely satisfied with my TCH and think it is the best car I have ever owned. The only thing I would add for you is, since you live in Pennsylvania (and evidently like Nissan's CVT better than Toyota's), give the Altima Hybrid a try. You might like it even better than the TCH.
  • "...since you live in Pennsylvania (and evidently like Nissan's CVT better than Toyota's), give the Altima Hybrid a try..."

    I agree but you will need to visit NJ or NY Nissan dealers instead.
  • I take your other points concerns (trunk size, etc), but on this one, I don't think wv was being snarky, he was literally referring to the system.

    RPMS ARE meaningless on this particular car on a way that they are not in a non-hybrid. Because the hybrid system uses both engine power and battery power, simply tracking the number of revolutions doesn't tell you much of anything. The car is constantly adjusting itself, so you'd likely see wide, constant variances of the needle much more so than in a normal car. I suspect that Toyota figured that buyers would be somewhat perplexed to see one of their gauges flipping out when they were driving at a constant speed, even though that's really what happens because the engine will essentially start shutting itself down and letting the battery assist.

    There IS a display showing you where you power is coming from, and in models with the nav system you get a much more complete picture. It took me a while to adjust to life without a tach, too, but when I understood the system I realized that the MPG meter is really measuring the same thing--how hard the car is working.
  • newcarsnewcars Posts: 103
    My bad. For some reason I was thinking that Pennsylvania adheres to California's emission's standard and thus would have the Altima Hybrid, too. My mistake.
  • No apologies necessary. I could only wish PA conforms to the CA standard, I would have gotten 10yr/150K warranty on the battery instead. I found out about this only after reading about it in the manual. There is apparently a clause in fine print that requires the car to be i) bought in one of those states, ii) registered and driven in those states in order to qualify for the emission warranty which includes the battery. Irrespective, I would have bought the TCH in NJ if I had known.
  • Hi,
    I bought my TCH in Pennsylvania. What warranty do we have on the battery?
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