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New Toyota Camry Hybrid Owners - Give Us Your Report

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  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    As an owner of a TCH, and the previous owner of an HCH, let me assure anyone out there that hybrids are "fun to drive."

    Most of the "fun" for me comes from using the car to reduce my gas consumption. That's VERY fun.

    If you want a hybrid car to "drive fast" then buy a GS450h or an Accord Hybrid.
  • When brake at high speed or low speed, I hear a "wheew" noise before the TCH comes to a stop. I hear it every time I apply the break. The noise is loudest just before the TCH comes to a full stop.

    Anyone has experienced this?
  • alp8alp8 Posts: 656
    well, I drove an Accord Hybrid, today

    are you telling me that the Camry Hybrid is LESS fun to drive than the Accord? (ignoring the fun of reading the NAV screen to see your energy savings/consumption)

    I liked the drive of the Accord, but I didn't think it was that much better than my Sebring convertible.

    damn, I wish Acura made a hybrid

    :-(

    I will try to drive the TCH this week, and I really hope I like it. I don't need to toss it around corners, but I don't want to feel like I am driving a damned Taurus!! (or a 4-cylinder Camry - and I know it will feel better than that)

    Is the interior of the Camry Hybrid "nicer" than the Accord? I wanted to really like the Accord, but I came away a bit flat. :-(

    Maybe that's how I'd feel driving ANYTHING that is going to get 30+ mpg.......
  • Its your brakes. Its perfectly normal (in the TCH) and part of the car's "charm."
  • With all due respect for Mr. Ghosen and Nissan Motors, they've come up short in overall quality lately, even more so when they try to rush a new car to market. I had an Infiniti (Nissan product) that was fundamentally sound but plagued by all sorts of relatively minor, but annoying electrical, mechanical and software-related problems. I know the new Camry hasnt been a slam-dunk either, but I think I'd wait awhile before commiting to the new Altima hybrid.
  • wvgasguywvgasguy Posts: 1,405
    I had a 2000 Maxima, a 2003 350 Z and an Infiniti FX45.

    The maxima had rotor problems (turn at 10,000, replace at 20,000) I traded it. The Z had alignment problems and went through tires at 6000 miles I traded it. I loved the FX45 but it always had a slight shimmy that I couldn't get rid of and I blamed it on the 20" wheels. Traded it for the TCH.

    Nissan makes a sporty car but their quality left me wanting more.

    I even dumped their stock I owned as I figured these issues would hurt them eventually
  • newcarsnewcars Posts: 103
    For the record, I definitely don't disagree that the quality standards of Nissan (and Infiniti) are not quite the match of Toyota (and Lexus). I was simply stating that if alp8 finds the Toyota Camry Hybrid to boring, then if he can wait he may want to take a look at the Nissan Altima Hybrid. His choice, that's all.
  • Approaching 300 miles on my JP nonav TCH today (delivery last Thursday). And with a 1/2 tank of gas remaining - all after normal city/highway driving! (I find that amazing, because my other vehicle is an '05 Sequoia).
    More comments from other drivers, too - parked at a gas station, grocery store and work, folks near the car have said they really like the color and want to know about how it drives and the hybrid system. They're amazed, too, when I silently pull away! I'm looking forward to a 500 mile round trip in a few weeks to visit grandchildren - and not stopping to get gas!
  • alp8alp8 Posts: 656
    I was next to a red TCH yesterday, and I rolled down my window to chat with the guy. He just got it and loves it.

    I planned to drive one today, but work is too hectic. It will have to wait for next week.

    Is the interior of the non-NAV the same as the interior With nav (other than the screen, of course)??? I want a NAV but the local dealer only has a non-NAV in stock. I assume they both drive the same.

    any differences that will make my experience testing it worse in the non-NAV?

    I just drove an Accord Hybrid. What was Honda thinking, not putting energy info into the NAV system screen? I think that is a big [non-permissible content removed]. The energy readouts on the Accord H are tiny.
  • terry92270terry92270 Posts: 1,247
    With the Navigation Option (Option Combo "C", MSRP $3,900), you get:

    50 State Emissions (FE)

    - Comfort & Convenience Package Includes: Heated Front Seats and Outside Mirrors. (CQ)

    - Moonroof Package includes: Power Tilt/Slide Moonroof w/Sliding Sunshade, Dual Illuminated Visor Vanity Mirrors w/Dimmer Control & Rear Personal Reading Lights (SR)

    - Sport Leather-Trimmed Seats & Door Trim w/Integrated Armrests & Dual Front & Rear Map Pockets[15] (LA)

    - Voice-Activated DVD Navigation System[15] w/JBL® AM/FM 4-Disc In-Dash CD Changer w/Satellite Radio Capability[7], MP3/WMA Playback Capability, Aux Audio Jack, Hands-Free Phone Capability Via Bluetooth®[8] Wireless Technology, 8 Speakers in 6 Locations and FM Diversity Reception (NV)

    Well worth it, I might add...so how it will effect your test drive depends upon how much you like leather seats and upgraded sound. ;)
  • alp8alp8 Posts: 656
    sorry if I wasn't clear: If I buy, I would buy the NAV version

    but I can only see and drive the non-NAV right now.

    so I wanted to know if the interior LOOK was significantly different, such that I'd walk away thinking the Camry interior is crummy looking

    It sounds like there are some visual differences (other than the Nav screen itself) that are different if you get the nav version: door trim and arm rests, I guess
  • wvgasguywvgasguy Posts: 1,405
    I just drove an Accord Hybrid. What was Honda thinking, not putting energy info into the NAV system screen? I think that is a big [non-permissible content removed]. The energy readouts on the Accord H are tiny

    I have not seen the HAH but I understand that the ICE never kicks off and that the battery boost is much smaller with their V6 system. That might be why there is not much info on the energy part as other than not lead footing it there is probably not much you can do (such as pulse and glide, EV mode driving, etc..) that you need to monitor. Just let the car do it's job and drive?
  • I can't answer your questions because the dealer didn't have a nav version to drive - about the only test drive I did was a normal '07 LE. And my impression after driving both is that the TCH is far quieter. Besides, the JP TCH I now own was the only one the dealer had coming in that wasn't sold before the end of September. Another reason I purchased Toyota over Honda is the dealer location - Toyota is only 4 miles away vs. 35 for a Honda store - makes service much more convenient. Good luck with your purchase...whichever hybrid model you chose, you'll be helping the environment as well as saving fuel.
  • terry92270terry92270 Posts: 1,247
    "It sounds like there are some visual differences (other than the Nav screen itself) that are different if you get the nav version: door trim and arm rests, I guess"

    Yes, I knew exactly what you were saying, which is why I pasted in the exact differences, trim-wise, in the NAV package.

    I beleive the seat coverings, seat-back map pockets, door trim and all of that signifigantly changes the visual appeal.... ;)
  • alp8alp8 Posts: 656
    well, not to lead us down the Honda versus Toyota comparo rathole.....yes, the ICE appears to kick off in the HAH, as I felt a little shudder when I pulled into a left-turn lane and waited to turn. I HOPE that was the ICE turning off!!!

    :-)

    I would buy the HAH if it was a step closer to being an Acura. I would like a bit of plush inside, or a bit of nifty, I guess. The HAH didn't give me that. I think the HAH is about as cool of a car as you can get that gets 30 mpg.
  • Before my no-nav, loaded, TCH, I had a 1996 Avalon (definitely NOT sporty). The TCH has sportier front springs and shocks, however it understeers quite a bit. But Toyota forgot to take care of the rear. It barely stays in control riding 2 people, but becomes seriously undersprung and underdamped when carrying 5 (not even with luggage).

    I have Michelins on it and they are designed for fuel economy and durability - I hope my next set (Nokian NRHi ?) will give a grip that approaches the Avalon's. I am seriously planning to replace rear springs and shocks, just waiting to what is offered on the market.

    Aside from the compromised speakers, the overbright radio console, the suspension and the unavailability (yet) of Thule roof rack kits, I love my TCH.
  • Funny, I just got a Red Camry Hybrid...I was about to post about how cool it was that the other day, someone rolled his window down to ask me about it, and how fun it was to drive a car that someone else would be that interested in.

    Alp8, you weren't driving on Carman Ave. in East Meadow when this happened, were you?

    I LOVE this car. Mileage is nice, and it's improving as I'm learning the subtleties of the engine. I like the look, no longer the fuddy-duddy car Camrys once were. I probably would have gotten a regular Camry if the Hybrid wasn't available. They thought of lots of little things.

    I do lots of local driving, so I appreciate the fact that the car does particularly well in that setting. And I like the feedback it gives. Pickup is good. Better than the four, but not as good as the six on my dad's 2005 Camry. Certainly better than the four on the Passat I just gave up.

    Mostly, I like that I'm lowering the nation's dependence on oil, and I'm spewing less junk into the air.
  • wvgasguywvgasguy Posts: 1,405
    how fun it was to drive a car that someone else would be that interested in.

    I had a friend call me from a dealership asking me to look up a price on a used car for him. They were having an "invatory reduction sale" and were real busy. After looking up and giving him the price I decided to drop down to see how he was doing. After I talked to him and was getting ready to leave one of the salespersons approached me. I told him I was just there to see a friend. He said "oh no, I just wanted to ask you how do you like the hybrid?" He proceded to ask me a lot of questions. I'm guessing I am the only person he knows that when he asked what kind of milage I was getting I was able to tell him my overall milage average to the nearest hundredth of a mpg.
  • alp8alp8 Posts: 656
    nope - I was in Palo Alto, on the Page Mill offramp off 280
  • That's only 3,000 miles apart! It's like we're related or something!
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