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Toyota Camry Hybrid MPG-Real World Numbers

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  • I bought a 2007 Toyota Camry Hybrid last June with advertized mileage of 40city/38hwy. The car has only gotten 24-28 mpg's,and rarely hits 30 mpg's, in summer or in winter.
    Dealer says "That's about right." Is anyone else having this low MPG with the Toyota Camry Hybrid?
  • I have written before, but the official MPG rating is now 33/34, and Consumer Reports recently reported 28 town, ca 34 road, which is precisely what I get. But....I am in the northeast and was getting 26-28 in short trips around town (10-15 mins) and it warmed for a few days to about 60 and the mileage immediately improved to 30-32 in town, and I got 34-38 on the highway. The key to the town mileage is how long your trips are; you will see in the trip info mileage monitor that the first 8-10 mins is always in ramp-up, warm-up mode, with mileage slowly creeping up from 5 mpg to about 30-35 mpg. If you only drive for 10 mins, you will only get the lowest part of that range. If you only stop for a short while, and start the car while warm, you can get decent mileage even in short trips. And uphill grades will also markedly reduce mileage. I can get 40+ going the 7 miles to my office, a gentle downhill, and 20-25 coming back. So the temperature, the length of your trips, the grades you are driving at, your fuel and driving all will affect mileage, which indeed bottoms out in the low 20's and for me tops out in the high 30s.

    That said, I don't understand those who say they get in the high 30s or 40+ w/o even trying. The distributions on greenhybrid.com have no resemblance to my experience; the reports on this site do.

    Macolyte
  • I wonder what kind of mileage Prius owners get when their car is cold and they only drive a few miles to work? That would be interesting to know. It's strange that although the car is larger than the Prius and the gas engine is more powerful, Toyota chose to put a less-powerful electric motor in the Camry. Wouldn't it make sense to have a more powerful electric powertrain? If they had done that, I'm sure the mileage in the Camry would be consistently better. But maybe they purposely decided to make sure it would be at least 10 mpg lower than the Prius, since that car is the "darling" of the hybrids.

    Anyway, in cold weather I am also getting as low as 24 mpg and as high as 29, but most of the time since November it has been around 26-27. From March - October, I averaged about 32 mpg.

    To really see "eye-popping" numbers in city driving with the Camry, you need to drive at least 10 miles on each trip. Once the car gets warmed up (after 2-4 miles), then it starts working much more efficiently. Also, if you're driving on the highway and averaging around 60-65 mph, you can easily get 40 mpg or more unless you're going uphill. At 75-80 mph I only get around 34-35 mpg.

    So the car still has the best mileage of any midsize car currently available, but the people who say they are always getting in the high 30's are either lying, or they are driving many miles for each trip, so their cars are running very efficiently.

    I know it's not my car either, because I just leased a 2008 Camry Hybrid for my wife (I have a 2007), and she is getting the same mileage as I do in the cold weather so far.
  • lzclzc Posts: 483
    >>I don't understand those who say they get in the high 30s or 40+ w/o even trying.

    The answer probably lies in your comment that temperature, length of trips, grades, and driving habits determine mileage. After moving from the city (Oregon) to rural California, my mileage improved 3-4 mpg, to 38-40. I doubt my driving style changed much, but the temperature, length of avg trip, distance between stoplights, etc changed a lot.

    Every time I drive into the congested SF Bay Area, the mileage drops.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    ALL gasoline-powered cars with catalytic converters lose MPG in cold weather. Hybrids are even more susceptible because the hybrid drive system does not become fully functional until the engine reaches peak operating temps.

    Short drives in cold weather is a killer for ALL cars. But people notice it more in hybrids because they care more about and pay more attention to the MPG a hybrid gets.

    My best tank ever in my 2007 TCH was 44.7 MPG, and that was at 75-80 miles per hour and a packed car. The caveat: I had a 25 miles per hour wind at my back. My best tank under normal circumstances is 40.6 and the worst is 29.6. My cumulative since I bought the car is 35.1 MPG, and that is with about 80% "city"miles and most of the trips short in length, i.e. less than 12 miles and less than 20 minutes. I could do much better if I had a 45-mile highway commute on a clear highway. The car generally gets around 40 MPG in those circumstances.

    Something else that hurts people in the winter is that they do not keep their tires at optimum PSI. The cold weather saps the air levels in your tires, and you need to check them more often than in the summer. The low tires will deplete your MPG quickly.

    People who live in areas where the road is frequently covered with snow, ice, slush, or rain will also suffer MPG losses, as the car needs more engine power to push the vehicle through the extra road friction that situation.

    And, as a small percentage of the "general population" are liars, there are also a small number of hybrid owners who "fib on the high side" about their cars. No avoiding that. But there are FAR FAR more who tell the truth, like I do and others I know for sure do also.

    Always remember that the circumstances which control miles per gallon achievements vary wildly, and "your mileage may vary" is a good slogan to remember.
  • We now have 19000 miles on my wife's 2007 TCH. She has been average 35 - 36 MPG. Most of her driving is to and from work, 8 miles one way with all in town driving with multiple stops and gos. We are in Louisiana with mostly flat terrain but a great number of stop signs and lights. Our temperatures have been mostly lows of middle 30s and highs around 60. Our best tank average was around 37.5 with our worst around 30.

    I did get to drive for a few days last week on a new tank of gas. I average closed to 40 on the instrument cluster. The instrument cluster always reports about 1.5 MPG more than calculating the tank by hand. I always drive her car more as a game to get the better gas mileage, so I think my average on a full tank would be close to 38.5. After about 4 days of driving, my son needed the car for the evening as his was in the shop. It came back with the instrument cluster reading around 32.3 MPG. Knowing his driving habits, he probable took off fairly quick and stopped quick.

    Overall we have been extremely happy with our TCH. Our only problem has been the back brakes needing to be replaced, which was under warranty due to a bulletin being issued by Toyota.
  • wvgasguywvgasguy Posts: 1,405
    Sounds like you're actually doing fairly well at 35.1 That's probably off by at least 0.6mpg if you're doing a long hand calculation.

    My neighbor has a Prius and I've always wanted to borrow it just to see what it could do in my hands. They don't really take the time to understand it.
  • I always calculate my mileage and go by that number. For me, the car usually reports 1 mpg better than what I calculate.

    By the way, has anybody tried increasing their tire pressure to improve mileage? I am curious what a higher but still safe level would be for all 4 tires.
  • wvgasguywvgasguy Posts: 1,405
    By the way, has anybody tried increasing their tire pressure to improve mileage? I am curious what a higher but still safe level would be for all 4 tires.

    Big debates on that on GreenHybrid. I was on the minority opinion.I do try to go with 36 cold and have not noticed any negative impact on ride and handling. I don't think it will make a measurable difference and could be dangerous for the people reporting 42 to 50 psig.

    I always calculate my mileage and go by that number. For me, the car usually reports 1 mpg better than what I calculate.

    That's about right. But with the speedo error you actually drive more miles than what it registers so in fact you are getting better milage than what a hand calculation will give you. In earlier threads I've documented data and results. It is not an issue that can easily be resolved by changing tire/wheel diameter as one would think . While you could indeed change the height by going to a taller tire and correcting the odometer, it would throw off the speedometer reading even further. I don't know that anyone wants to drive around with a speedo that is about 6mph off.

    You're probably getting closer to 35.6mpg (rather than 35.1) which all things considered is only 6.7% less than 38mpg. Not bad and certainly 225% better than most people probably getting 16 mpg. At $3.20/gallon gas it's a substantial savings over the 16 but it's just pennies a day difference in 35.6 and 38. Only the totally obsessed (like myself) gives a rats hindend worrying about a few pennies per day.
  • plknjplknj Posts: 121
    First let me say that I have become a little OCD about getting great gas mileage, if I had not become obsessed with this my mpg's would be in the low 30's at best. Coasting and not turning on the air or heat has become a way of life (I do break from this occasionally).

    Doing all of the above as well as driving 50 miles each way to and from work gets me 38 to 40 mpg... if I only did short drives the mileage would at best be in the 35 area.

    After my accident the mileage dropped to around 35 mpg's and after a service visit it went back up to the 38 to 40 range. Today I asked what they did and they said all they did was run a service check on the system. They do not know what exactly happened, but think that running a system check may have corrected or reset something. Not a great answer, or the one I was expecting, but an answer.
  • wvgasguywvgasguy Posts: 1,405
    I am OCD but even my brain tells me on a 100 mile trip in the heat that saving 70 cents on gas (the difference in 35 and 38mpg at 3.10/gal) is not worth it. Where my OCD controls me is that I strive to get the 38 with the AC on ;)

    I've experimented several times when I read comments the last two summers and I have not been able to prove to myself that running AC on ECO mode hurts my milage to any measurable amount.
  • Got our 2008 TCH about 2 weeks ago. So far, we're getting 35.6 mpg in NJ. The majority of the miles are driven on the Garden State parkway by my wife. Last night, I took the car to the dealer to pick up the new plates for her. On the way back I stopped to fill up. I reset the consumption button right after the fill up. This moved my average to the best number ... and zeroed out the average. I figured I'd see what I could do on the way home, which was only about 3 miles. I was quite pleased with 42.1 mpg as I pulled into the driveway.

    In the short time we've had the car, I've seen what the car *can* get as far as mpg, and I'm very happy with the car in general.
  • plknjplknj Posts: 121
    My first rule is to NEVER be uncomfortable:-) I only cheat when I can... waking up to below 30 temperature is definitely not the time to skimp on the heat. Stay well down there.
  • tfaytfay Posts: 1
    Hello Everyone.

    First, thanks for all the great insight into the hybrid world. I am now looking to pruchase a TCH and am trying to forecast how it will perform in my circumstance.

    I live in West Texas and have a 140 mile round trip commute. Flat, straight, two lane, little traffic, two stop signs, 75 mph speed limit. Under typical conditions (i.e., 70 degrees), what is everyone's forecast on mpg?

    My wife drives an SUV and would be using the car on weekends, so I know I'll gain a lot there. I'm an engineer and realize real world performance will vary with temp a other factors (we get a lot of wind!). But your input would be appreciated.

    Tom
  • golfnut5golfnut5 Posts: 202
    Tom,

    Based on your description of your drive, my bet is you will get 38-40 mpg.
  • wvgasguywvgasguy Posts: 1,405
    The only thing that would hurt you in West Texas might be driving 75 instead of 65 but I'm still guessing 40+. When I visited there on business at Sonora I found that even on two lanes in West Texas people pulled over to the side to let you pass so you seldom need to brake and slow down. (so you won't get much regen from the brakes)
  • My wife has a 2008 TCH and her mileage dropped from about 33mpg when it was 45 degrees F, to about 24 mpg when it gets below 0 dgrees F. I have a 2008 Prius. My wife and I bought our cars the first week of Nov. 2007. It was 45 degrees F. My mileage was about 46.5 mpg. At 20 degrees F, my mpg is about 42. At 0 degrees F, my mileage is about 39 mpg. And lately it's been about -15 to -20 F in the mornings and my mpg has dropped to about 34 mpg. We live in NW Minn. I drive about 1100 miles/week, whereas my wife drives about 200 miles/week. I like the cold MN winters but my Prius hates it! I've taped about 2/3 of the lower grill off on my Prius and I pumped the tires up to about 42 psi.
  • I love every single thing about my new Toyota Camry Hybrid. Extremely comfortable, responsive, quick and luxurious.......except for the gas mileage. I traded in my Toyota 4-Runner and get better mileage but after having the car for 2 weeks now I expected better gas mileage.
    Now, it is very cold in Indiana right now and I may have dropped a heavy foot a few times to feel the acceleration but the best average on mpg I have received is 28 mpg on the first tank and the last tank was only 23.8?? What's up with that? :mad: I always let the car warm up before I drive and it's a lot of city, no more than 45 mph. Could there be something wrong with the Hybrid system? I'm a little frustrated and would love some advice if anyone has it.
  • plknjplknj Posts: 121
    If you let the car warm up... by the time you get in the car the mpg's will have dropped a bit. My car took a few thousand miles before it started getting great mpg's (30 up to 38/40). One technique is to get the car up to or a little over the limit and then take your foot off the accelerator (see previous posts) and don't forget to coast.
  • tsytsy Posts: 1,551
    If you let the car sit there while it warms up, you are getting '0' mpg. It's better for mileage to at least be driving slowly while it's warming up- if you can handle the cold. ;) It's a trade off, mileage for comfort. But averaging in 0mpg can really hurt your overall calculated mileage.

    Also, it does take time to break the car in (like the other person was saying). It will do much better when the weather warms up. Certainly a lot better than your 4runner.

    tom
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