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Toyota Camry Hybrid MPG-Real World Numbers

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Comments

  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 3,798
    "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.
  • newcarsnewcars Posts: 103
    If I misunderstand you, wvgasguy, then my apologies. But I think we are talking about different scenarios.

    To take up where you left off, if I already paid $30,000 in Federal taxes and did my return and found that (before I calculate in the $2,600 TCH tax credit) I still owed $2,000; I could use $2,000 of the TCH tax credit and owe nothing. But please note, I would NOT receive a $600 refund.

    And as you note, this does not take into account any AMT considerations.

    The thing I am trying to highlight is that you do not get any "refund" with the TCH tax credit. For example, if before I calculate in the TCH tax credit, I would get a refund of even just $1, then I would not get ANYTHING from the TCH tax credit. Nothing, nada.

    That's something I did not initially understand with about the TCH tax credit. And, being honest, I think it is a popular misconception. In truth, the TCH tax credit will never add to a refund; it can only be used to lower (or cancel) Federal income taxes owed.

    On a personal note, I usually end up owing money to Uncle Sam and I have increased my exemptions on my W4 now that I purchased my TCH (before September 30, 2006). However, my caveat is that I don't want people [thinking they are] doing what I did, increase their W4 exemption to something outrageous, and then being surprised when they owe Uncle Sam several thousands of dollars even with the full TCH tax credit.

    Like I cautioned before, consult your tax advisor.
  • if I already paid $30,000 in Federal taxes and did my return and found that (before I calculate in the $2,600 TCH tax credit) I still owed $2,000; I could use $2,000 of the TCH tax credit and owe nothing. But please note, I would NOT receive a $600 refund.

    Actually, you would. It's not a $2600 credit off what you still owe come April 15 (using $2600 and April 15 for simplicity). It's $2600 off your total tax owed for 2006, period, regardless of whether it's paid through withholding throughout the year or whether it's paid at the time you file your federal return.

    Under your scenario, I wouldn't get any credit at all - even if I pay $30,000 in federal income tax - since I always get a refund since I always have too much withheld during the year. But I WILL get the $2600 credit; I'll just get a bigger refund.

    The hybrid credit is against your entire federal income tax liability for the year, not how much you still owe come April 15th. If your entire federal income tax liability for 2006 is $2000, then you're right, you won't get $600 back. You could only claim the credit up to $2000, the amount of federal income tax paid/owed. If you'd already paid the $2000, you'd get $2000 back, the amount of the credit. If your entire federal income tax liability for 2006 is $30,000 and even if you owe them nothing else come April 15th, you will be eligible for the full $2600 credit (assuming you purchased prior to Oct 1 and aren't subject to AMT, blah blah blah)

    (Disclaimer: No, I'm not a tax advisor and don't pretend to be one. Go talk to your own tax advisor. I'm an individual taxpayer trying to figure this stuff out and explaining my interpretation as I go along. :confuse: )
  • Does not matter if you had withholding, paid estimated taxes for 2006 etc, etc. The bottom line is that $2600 will be taken off your federal tax bill. If you have to pay extra taxes on April 15th it will be $2600 less. If you have already paid your taxes in full, it will be a $2600 refund.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Not correct. It's a "non-refundable" credit. See this page:

    http://www.nysscpa.org/sound_advice/money_9.11.06.htm

    To get back on topic, my current tank on my TCH is 40.4 MPG.
  • jbolltjbollt Posts: 734
    larsb, you said: "Not correct. It's a "non-refundable" credit. See this page:"

    http://www.nysscpa.org/sound_advice/money_9.11.06.htm


    With all due respect, I believe that you have interrupted it wrong. The "non refundable credit" part means that you can't get back more than your total fed tax obligation for the year. It HAS NOTHING TO DO with withholding. If your final tax obligation is $2,800 for 2006 (before considering the TCH purchase), and you bought the TCH prior to 10/1/2006, you would then have a tax obliation of $200. $28,00-$2,600=$200.

    The withholding is just a forced savings acct. If you had $3000 withheld in this example, with a final tax oblgation of $200,you would be getting a refund of $2,800 back.

    There were some cases in prior years (earned income credit, for example), where a family would earn a credit for low income, and actually get more $ back then what they had witheld. Basicaly had a NEGATIVE owed tax. Or the feds owed them money. This is actualy a form of "welfare".

    I am NOT a tax expert, but I truly believe I understand this correctly. I hope this helps.

    I am having my worst mpg on this current tank, 35.8mpg so far, due to many very short trips 1-2 miles, and constant use of A/C. My old car would have gotten only 18 in these conditions. Loving the TCH!!!
  • newcarsnewcars Posts: 103
    I hope you're right but I think you are wrong. Here is the relevant section of the link:

    UNDERSTAND THE FINE PRINT

    The new tax break is a nonrefundable credit. This means the credit can reduce your regular income tax liability to zero, but it won’t produce a tax refund. So if you purchase a hybrid that comes with a tax credit of $2,200, and your tax bill is $2,000, you’ll lose $200 of the tax value of the credit. The excess credit cannot be carried over to another year.

    If you are eligible for multiple tax credits, there are special ordering rules that determine which credit to take first. The hybrid tax credit is taken last after all other tax credits have been taken.


    We can let the readers decide for themselves. However, as I said from the beginning, consult your tax advisor (and not the people who post on this forum, one way or the other :blush:).
  • newcarsnewcars Posts: 103
    Since I can't modify my orginal post, I'll have to post this separate one. I am going to talk to my tax advisor and get a definitive answer. In fairness, I found this on the web:

    Get the Planning Ahead for the Hybrid Car Tax Credit

    This seems to support jbollt and gc77584. But I have also read and heard that the hybrid tax credit cannot be used to increase a refund under any circumstances. That's why on all the literature on the hybrid tax credit, it always states: The hybrid tax credit is taken last after all other tax credits have been taken. It's taken last because it (unlike most other tax credits) cannot be used to increase a refund.

    Either way, I think a lot of hybrid car owners are going to be surprised come tax time. It's things like these that keep tax accountants in business and the IRS busy.

    But back on topic (sort of), for me, this may all be moot. With only 50 miles on it; my brand new TCH will not start. Fortunately, this happened while I was back at the dealership but if they cannot fix the problem and give me a satisfactory explaination on how it happened and why it will never happen again, I am returning the piece of sh*t.

    And yes, I am furious that my brand new car with only about 50 miles on it will not start.
  • It seems pretty typical for a TCH driver to apply all kinds of efforts to maximize MPG. The displays also give an additional advantage of letting you try and maximize electric motor usage.

    Any one have an idea on how much the great gas milage is related to the car, and how much is solely attributable to these efforts?

    I've got to believe that between easier acceleration, reducing highway speeds a bit, etc., I probably would have picked up about 5mpg. My first tank with my TCH, I think I averaged about 37mpg paying minimal attention to any efforts. Since then, I pretty consistantly average 41 with mixed highway/city but mostly highway miles.
  • wvgasguywvgasguy Posts: 1,405
    UNDERSTAND THE FINE PRINT

    The new tax break is a nonrefundable credit. This means the credit can reduce your regular income tax liability to zero, but it won’t produce a tax refund. So if you purchase a hybrid that comes with a tax credit of $2,200, and your tax bill is $2,000, you’ll lose $200 of the tax value of the credit. The excess credit cannot be carried over to another year.


    That's the quote from the link. It does not support your argument. It's not that complicated. There is no "penalty" just because you paid in early! Your total tax liability is calculated on 2006 income. Doesn't matter at what rate you paid witholdings into the system, your liability is your liability. A tax credit goes against that liability on the bottom line. Even in the example the guy is talking about someone who only paid in $2000. The point is YOU CAN'T GET BACK MONEY YOU DIDN'T PAY IN.

    That’s because a tax credit directly cuts your tax bill, reducing the tax you owe, dollar-for-dollar. However, the credit is nonrefundable. This means that the credit can reduce your regular income tax liability to zero, but it won’t produce a tax refund.

    If reducing your tax liability to zero then the credit will give you back all you paid in. If not it will simply means you get a refund up to the $2600, depending on how much you might still owe in April. However it is not a rebate, meaning they won't give you money back you have not paid in just because you buy a hybrid.

    The article should not have used the "refund" word in the last sentence because it is confusing. However reading the above two quotes from the article it is not difficult to see what the credit will do.

    This may indeed be confusing for some who have never figured their own taxes out, but the government is not in some plot to try and cheat liberals out of their money by tricking them to buy hybrids.
  • wvgasguywvgasguy Posts: 1,405
    Any one have an idea on how much the great gas milage is related to the car, and how much is solely attributable to these efforts?

    I'll find that 36.5 is pretty easy (car driven "normal"), my wife gets about 37.5 and I have the average up to 39.5 (which means I average around 40.5)
  • keitha3keitha3 Posts: 124
    Of course, I went into a panic hearing this discussion today, so much so that I contacted the IRS for clarification. According to the agent I spoke with, wvgasguy is correct.

    Unless there was a misunderstanding, I was told that there is no penalty because you overpaid early, that, so long as you had been taxed at least $2600 during the current tax year, you'd get the full tax credit.

    The hypothetical I posed was as follows: Suppose I had a $10,000 tax liability for the current tax year, but had $11,000 withheld by my employer. Normally, that would entail a refund of $1000. If I otherwise qualified for the hybrid tax credit to the tune of $2600, would my refund check now be $3600, to which he answered affirmatively.

    I followed that up by asking, "So, then, there is no penalty because you overpaid early?" Again, the answer was an affirmative.

    I've heard of a lot of misinformation being given out by the IRS, but, if what I heard was accurate, and I tend to believe it was, then we should feel relieved.

    I'm still hoping someone chimes in who has actually addressed the issue to a tax preparer who is competent on the matter.

    Anyway, I finally became a member of this site to post what I heard from the IRS.
  • I think the average person in the real world can save about 5 to 10% on his mileage if he is somewhat cautious about acceleration, looking ahead and coasting. Some have extraordinary techniques which might increase mileage by much more.

    In my case being careful but not really slow, and keeping the cruise control on at highway speeds has given me 40.6 mpg in my TCH. I drive a lot, mainly on the highway at 65 mph, so my mileage is higher just because of that fact, not my good vs bad habits.
  • newcarsnewcars Posts: 103
    Actually, in more research I have come to the same conclusion. Sorry for the confusion and my misunderstanding.

    Although, to be honest, I wouldn't mind so much if it was a government conspiracy to cheat liberals out of their money by tricking them into buying hybrids since I am definitely not a liberal. ;)
  • I have gotten over 40 actual mpg on the highway (60-70 mph) until I put on a bike rack and add a bike. Then the mileage drops to 32-33 actual mpg. This is based on several trips taken with and without the bike over the first 5,000 miles I have owned the Camry Hybrid.
    By the way, I have been keeping the record on each fill-up and I find that the car's computer is estimating mpg at a cumulative average approx 4% higher than the correct calculation shows.
    Any similar experiences?
  • wvgasguywvgasguy Posts: 1,405
    By the way, I have been keeping the record on each fill-up and I find that the car's computer is estimating mpg at a cumulative average approx 4% higher than the correct calculation shows.
    Any similar experiences?


    There are some threads on the speedo and odometer errors. My current averages over 12,900 miles are:
    38.78 mpg calculated by hand
    39.36 mpg with a 1.5% correction due to odometer error
    39.76 mpg calculated by TCH computer.


    There is a 2 to 3 mph error on the speedo at 70 mph but that does not impact the FE calculation. The odometer however is 1.5% off by comparisons by several people using their GPS. Taking that correction into consideration my manual calculation is closer to the Indicated than before but I am still off a few tenths. However the Indicated is probably closer to the actual than the manual calculation due to the odometer error.

    (BTY this "old engineer" will be 53 in dec)
  • Well sir, I can tell you this.. As a former PILOT owner (and advocate), I took the plunge with the TCH sight unseen. I ordered it on April 8 when the announcement was fresh. Not one to look at or drive anywhere. I did drive a Camry LE and I liked it. I was just informed well by the two forums that I participate in on the TCH. This one and GreenHybrid.com
    Through these forums, I was willing to chance it and mine arrived on June 3. Bear in mind, that I had the $2,600 tax credit as an incentive, but despite that, I probably still would have done it. I did love the Pilot! It was so roomy and literally could haul anything including full sheets of plywood and large furniture items. Once brought an entire outdoor patio set from Minnesota to Indiana which consisted of a six foot table, 4 rocking swivel chairs, umbrella and stand and still had room for a lot more.
    GONE are those days!!.. However, with the fuel economy and comfort and QUIET we receive with the TCH, we are extremely pleased and still glad we did it.
    We recently took a 5,000 mile trip out west and had no problems or issues with the TCH and did it on 135 gallons of gas or an avg. of 36.2 for the entire trip. Just thought you would like to know from a former PILOT owner. Nothing against the PILOT. It is a fine automobile. If I could of, I would have kept it. I may get another one someday but for now, we are saving gas, dollars and have a nice ride too. :)
  • Just a few more words from ANOTHER pilot owner... and we still have ours, BUT I have passed the Pilot on to my husband. He borrows my TCH once a week,and drives it to work, and I can say... I never realized how stiff the steering was in the Pilot, until now. I miss my TCH every minute, and am excited to get it back every time! We really love the TCH. We also own a '99 camry, which we passed on to our daughter, and we would admit that the interior integrity is MUCH better in the 99 than on the 07 TCH.

    The only thing that I like in driving the Pilot again, is that i can put groceries in the very back, and they are air conditioned on the trip home! If you don't demand all that hauling room, go for the TCH... I have NOT regretted it!
  • scsilvscsilv Posts: 3
    I have a question about the calculated MPG per tank.

    On my first tank, on which was driven 515 miles, I refilled with 14.2 gallons. That's 36.3 MPG, which is what the TCH had estimated. Great. After applying a few more pulse and glides, and getting to 38.1 MPG on the TCH readout, I refilled at 519 miles, with 14.9 gallons. That is 34.8 MPG by my calculator.

    Is the TCH averaging each minute of driving to reach its estimate? Could that explain this discrepancy?

    Other questions:
    1) How come it's so difficult to get good MPG in the first few minutes of driving? The ECO gauge always starts below 25 MPG for the first few minutes, and then creeps up. The longer the drive, the better the mileage is, almost uniformly. Is ignition responsible for this?

    2) Does the refill light come on early in all Camrys? I let the fuel gauge get well past the E bar on the last tank, drove 50-60 miles after the pump light went on, and still didn't fill up with 15 gallons. I suppose I could cruise near 600 miles on a tank, but not if I had to look at the pump light for 150 of them.

    3) I drive thirty miles to work, all but one of them highway, in flat eastern Michigan. Traffic is usually not too bad, so I almost always use cruise control, at 65-75 MPH. (Somehow cruise control seems more fuel conserving.) In the month I have driven the TCH, I routinely average 39-41 MPG going to work, and 35-37 going the same route home. The elevation difference between home and work is, at most, 50 feet. This makes no sense to me. What would explain this?
  • wvgasguywvgasguy Posts: 1,405
    1) How come it's so difficult to get good MPG in the first few minutes of driving? The ECO gauge always starts below 25 MPG for the first few minutes, and then creeps up. The longer the drive, the better the mileage is, almost uniformly. Is ignition responsible for this?

    The ICE always kicks on after about 7 seconds. I understand this is to heat up the cat converter to give us the "clean green" machine effect. Clean air actually costs you FE. There are some threads explaining this in detail. Mine usually runs about 2 minutes. I live on a hill and it's disappointing to see less than 20 mog on the gage when I'm basically coasting down hill. However it icks up quickly (I seldom drive less than 5 miles)

    2) Does the refill light come on early in all Camrys? I let the fuel gauge get well past the E bar on the last tank, drove 50-60 miles after the pump light went on, and still didn't fill up with 15 gallons. I suppose I could cruise near 600 miles on a tank, but not if I had to look at the pump light for 150 of them.

    All Camry's or TCH's? As for TCH's yes. More threads on this as well. Experience (from people that ran their tanks dry to prove it)shows that when the computer says the range is "0" miles, you will still have almost 3 gallons of gas. That's >100 miles after you hit empty. It takes a change of mind to quit filling at a quarter of a tank (since you now have about 250 miles left when it hits 1/4.

    3) I drive thirty miles to work, all but one of them highway, in flat eastern Michigan. Traffic is usually not too bad, so I almost always use cruise control, at 65-75 MPH. (Somehow cruise control seems more fuel conserving.) In the month I have driven the TCH, I routinely average 39-41 MPG going to work, and 35-37 going the same route home. The elevation difference between home and work is, at most, 50 feet. This makes no sense to me. What would explain this?

    Even if it's 50 feet, it's uphill. I'd rather go up a steep hill quickly and coast a long way down as to go up a long gradual grade. On the WV interstates I have found what seems to be fairly flat ground and will be averaging an instant 45mpg. With just a slight increase in grade (or when the battery needs charged) I see the FE drop significantly. Fortunately for every up there is a down. Enjoy driving to work at 75 and driving home at 65 and you might be able to achieve the same results.
  • wvgasguywvgasguy Posts: 1,405
    Loaned the TCH to my son for a day for a trip. Typical kid, can't tell him anything he doesn't already know. I asked him when he got home how it did. He was proud to have gotten 32.7mpg. I about choked (I'm averaging 39.5+ over 13,500 miles). He didn't think he had done badly; I was expecting him at about 36 but not 32.7!

    He drove it like many other newbe's and at 75 mph in hilly country that's probably not all that bad. I drive at 65 to 70 (slowing some on grades) and get 41 on that same 250 mile round trip drive.
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