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New Toyota Camry Hybrid Owners - Give Us Your Report

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Comments

  • voxlocusvoxlocus Posts: 7
    Ah. Glad to know comparing the two isn't so strange!

    I really do like the CR-V and the front seats are great. Though I didn't find the back seat as good, and as we have a child still at home, the back seat mattered. Plus my wife already has and loves her Subaru Forester, so it seemed a good idea to do what you've done, and have one of each type vehicle.

    My Honda noise experiences (2001 Odyssey van and 2006 Civic EX) have NOT been good. The 2001 Odyssey van was a disaster everyone in my family hated. Took a loss on it 3 months after purchase and bought a Caravan. Fortunately, the "loaded" Caravan cost so much less than the Odyssey, it was a wash.

    The '06 Civic is a fine little car, but after a 100 mile trip I frequently have to make for business, I was exhausted by noise and the driver's seat which almost but didn't quite fit. (Diet, Vox!) That after lining all the floors/doors with hushmat and changing the tires to the ones Consumer Reports said are the quietest.

    Thus when it came time to coin flip, I read evereyone's comments (like yours, Camry, quieter) and went that way.

    As to your "gas alas," well, I guess you could have bought a CR-V EX-L Nav and paid more than I paid for my Camry, but there's a lotta' CR-V models which cost enough less to make the MPG savings in the TCH meaningless, though it is nice to burn less hydrocarbons for good ole' mama earth.

    And, compliments to Honda, the CR-Vs all come with ALL the safety gear including stability control. One clincher for the Hybrid is it cost LESS than the only (hyperloaded) 4 cylinder I could find with stability control within several states . . .
  • lzclzc Posts: 483
    I've never understood why Honda has been slow to deal the problem of noise. My '98 Accord was noisy. I test drove an '06 CR-V and new Civic. Both were too noisy. The new CR-V model is much better.

    Buying the hybrid version was the only way I could get a Camry with stability control and without a moonroof in the northwest region. I'm quite pleased with how it turned out, although the Camry's auto climate control system is automated to the point of inflexibility. Even with the auto featured turned off, it will sometimes override driver settings. But that's a small complaint in an otherwise excellent car.
  • voxlocusvoxlocus Posts: 7
    I was "told" that Honda doesn't do so much with sound isolation because it raises the weight of cars and decreases mileage and performance. I've also read reviews of the Acura RDX (a CR-V on steroids) which certainly make one ill-disposed to drive a skateboard while enduring whine---for $10k more than the nicest CR-V. A pretty high price for 0 to 60 in 1.5 sec. less, not to mention the terrible reported MPG for the RDX. Not to mention, again, the noise . . .

    Interesting that you wanted the stability control and no sunroof. Before giving my Civic to my daughter we looked at Nissan Versas, econo-cars which are quieter. There's no stability control. Anti-lock brakes are a $250 option. There's lots of Versas around with expensive sunroofs, fancy steros and Bluetooth, nice as Bluetooth is. But try to find one with anti-lock brakes. Maybe NOT having the cell phone glued to your ear is safer than brakes which keep you from skidding into the car in front of you you were too busy gabbing to notice. Why not both?

    I don't know about the NW, but down here in Okiehoma, we live under the thumb of Gulf States Toyota, a regional distributor. MANY if not MOST of their cars have $350 wax jobs and $1300 "extra value packages." I waxed the new car myself, and put the $4 door edge protectors on. My insurance covers towing, but I do need to drop by the auto parts store and get some "wheel locks" for $16. That's about $1650 saved by driving to Missouri, outside the Gulf States region! Who wants to "start" negotiating a car purchase $1650 of distributor "pack" in the hole?
  • wvgasguywvgasguy Posts: 1,405
    we live under the thumb of Gulf States Toyota

    Living in an area that's not under this thumb, nor the SET finger, it's hard to believe Toyota (and consumers) put up with the fees and add ons. People need to vote with their wallet. I like my Toyota but it has to be somewhat price competitive. My 4Runner is a little more than a domestic, but the resale is as well. However if I had to tack on an additional grand or two I would not have bought it. (There was nothing comparable in the domestics for my TCH)

    I can't imagine how many Toyota's would be sold in the US if these two regions did not operate like they do.
  • stalnakerstalnaker Posts: 72
    Where can you get $4 door edge guards? Are they designed to match the color of your Camry? One of my passengers recently opened the back passenger door and hit a metal garbage can, causing a small paint chip on the edge (not that noticeable but it really pissed me off). I have some touch-up paint, but am trying to learn the best way to apply it so the repair isn't noticeable. I would prefer to avoid this type of damage in the future.
  • voxlocusvoxlocus Posts: 7
    I picked mine up at the nearby auto parts store, 2 pair @ like $4 each, $8 total. They're TrimBrite CLEAR (transparent) door edge guards. They have an adhesive inside the U shaped plastic guard. I Googled them and found this link: http://www.autobarn.net/dooredmol.html

    But you can probably just walk into whatever car parts store is near you. I think I was at AutoZone, but honestly, didn't pay any attention to the store name.

    The TRICK is to have the car really clean and press the door edge guards on when it is quite warm, over 65 F for sure. Over time, they may get dirty --- but at $8 when you want new, go for it.

    I had to trim mine some because of all the creases in the Camry sheet metal.

    I tried to post pictures, embed pictures, link to pictures. All very confusing. It seems there are some pictures in a CarSpace Picture Album entitled " Clear Door Edge "

    Wish I knew how to get them here!
  • johnchaujohnchau Posts: 2
    Keith,

    Congratlations! Would you mind tell me how much you paid for the TCH on the ground (price with tax & Admin fees). I plan to have a TCH as well. But I still some concerns about the cold weather like ON affect the battery and the mileages. Would you please tell me something about it. Thanks!

    John Chau
  • petlpetl Posts: 610
    John, I purchased a fully loaded TCH in January from Cornwall Toyota (didn't want to deal with the large dealerships in Ottawa). I wouldn't worry about the cold weather effects on the battery. Toyota has not replaced one yet and they've been selling hybrids in different climates for over ten years. Actually, an added benefit with the TCH electric motor is that the vehicle warms up quicker.

    As with any vehicle, cold weather will affect mileage. However, compared to my 2002 4cyl XLE (which I traded) mileage improved by approx. 30% in city driving. On the coldest days, combined fuel consumption was between 35 and 38 MPG's. My last 2 fill-ups returned 43 and 42 MPG's.

    With the $2,000.00 provincial tax rebate and the new $1,500.00 federal tax rebate choosing the TCH is no brainer (unless you need the additional trunk space). Particularly with the added features the TCH has over an LE. This is my fourth Camry. The TCH is the quietest, smoothest, most solid and luxurious to date (touch wood). It's a technological marvel. Unless, there aren't too many available (thanks to the rebates) you should be able to negotiate between $1,000.00 and $1,500.00 off MSRP.

    Good luck
  • johnchaujohnchau Posts: 2
    Keith, Thanks for your great info.
  • pgnycpgnyc Posts: 5
    Hi !
    Looking to buy a camry hybrid and i have questions:

    how many smartkey did you get ?

    how do you handle with parking valet ????

    thanks
    Pascal
  • wvgasguywvgasguy Posts: 1,405
    I received 2 smart keys with the TCH. As for the valet (I've never use them) is the issue with giving them the smart key or the fact that they may get out of your car and leave it on? There are some humorous stories on that.
  • swvswv Posts: 7
    I love my TCH. Have over 6000 miles on it now, and as the weather warms up I'm getting better mileage. You can find me on greenhybrid.com, where I am keeping a log of miles driven and gas used. See Cheery Cherry TCH. My total mpg thus far comes out to 36.3, but in this warmer weather I'm getting closer to 40 lately. Yesterday while driving for half hour on level roads ( a rarity in our area) I was getting around 50 mpg.

    As for the keys, I tried to get my dealer to throw in more than two keys, but they are costly, so that didn't fly. I received two. The good news about the TCH is that at least the version I have, it is well nigh impossible to lock oneself out of the car. The car refuses to lock when the key is inside, and you have turned it off and are trying to lock it, at least thus far in my experience.

    As for the valet question, the salesman showed me how you can slide one part of the key out of the rest of it, so you can give it to someone in valet parking. I've only once had a valet park another car of mine, so do not expect to even use the valet key part of the key. It is funny though...I am so trained now to just walk near my car and expect it to unlock that I found myself doing it to our nonhybrid car a Honda Accord.

    Best wishes with your purchase!
    swvsings
  • jbolltjbollt Posts: 734
    "...As for the valet question, the salesman showed me how you can slide one part of the key out of the rest of it, so you can give it to someone in valet parking...."

    Actually, if I read what you have written the correct way, it will not work. They will have the metal key, and can open the door, but will not be able to start the car, if the FOB is not inside the car. I think you just give them the FOB, and instructions how to start the car, but by now, I bet most vallet services have seen the smart key system on the various car models it comes with, and are fully aware how to use it.
  • bolillobolillo Posts: 4
    I recently traded in a '96 Camry with 193K miles on it for a TCH and I absolutely love it. I'm one of these drivers who maximizes the mpg and I'm averaging around 44 right now (in Central Texas). Granted, after driving a '96 for so many years I'm easily impressed, but here is what I like best:

    1. The great mpg, complete with all the gauges I need to help keep it high
    2. The silence of the interior while driving...fantastic
    3. Handling. I'm not an expert in this but I feel 100% in control of this vehicle
    4. Luxury amenities like 6-disc changer, motorized seat adjustment, self-adjusting rearview mirror. I bought a basic model (with only sound-proofing kit and floor mats as upgrades) but I feel like I'm driving a luxury car

    Here is what I would love to see improved (and this is all small stuff):
    1. Trunk space. I've taken several trips over the past few years that filled the '96 Camry with stuff; the TCH definitely doesn't have that space
    2. Extendable visors or double visors for when you're driving into the sun, but constantly making turns. This requires you to constantly duck your head or swivel the visor every time you turn...very annoying
    3. Windshield wiper settings with more options than just slow, medium and fast
    4. Being able to always turn the A/C or heater on in Eco mode. If I turn on Eco mode, then turn the car off, when I get back into the car and turn on the A/C again the Eco mode is off. With the Eco button being out of the way (right next to the 'Open Gas Tank' button) I usually forget to press it again.
    5. If I hit the button to turn the windshield defroster on, it turns off the 'Recirculate Air Only' light. Fine. But if the fan is off I can't turn the windshield defroster off to get the recirculate air going again. You'd think I could just press the latter and that would be it, right? Actually, I have to turn the fan on to be able to turn off the windshield defroster. I don't use the A/C in during my morning commute unless I have to defrost the windshield so this happens quite often. The less I'm fooling around with buttons while I'm driving the better.
    6. The way the windshield slopes I sometimes have a difficult time seeing cars coming from the right or left at intersections or when I'm making turns. For some reason the visibility was much better in my '96 but I'm getting used to it. Same with the blind spot too, actually.

    Anyway, I really wanted to get a high mpg car and was pleasantly surprised to find I love the TCH. I never expected to buy another Camry after having driven one for so long but it's a totally different car. I test drove an Accord Hybrid (not great mpg) and an Altima for kicks and didn't feel comfortable in either. Now if you could just make a Highlander Hybrid that gets this kind of gas mileage my wife could get one...we're hopefully a few years from replacing her Explorer so hopefully by then there will be better options for hybrid SUVs.
  • stalnakerstalnaker Posts: 72
    Sound-proofing kit? Toyota makes this as an option? If so, please tell me how to find this and what it costs to have installed.

    Thanks!
  • tomqtomq Posts: 10
    Question to anyone on W Wipers. It is a 3 speed but no intermittent setting for a light drizzle?

    Picking mine tch up this week, hopefully.

    Thanks. Tom
  • jbolltjbollt Posts: 734
    It DOES have a variable intermittent setting.
  • tomqtomq Posts: 10
    Awwwright. All I need. Wheeeeeee, near 70 and still like my toys.............. Can't wait till I drive it home........ Thanks ............Tom

    Intermittent and 3 speeds. Never stop me from a trip. CVT, hybrid, increasing mpg............. new techie stuff to learn............. WOOOOPEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • bolillobolillo Posts: 4
    It was called the 'Vehicle Shield Package', $349
    Includes:
    Lusterizing Sealant
    Sound Shield
    Sealant Cleaner
    Rental Car Assistance

    The sound shield is some sort of undercoating sprayed underneath the car. I didn't pick the option; it just happened to be on the car that I got the best price for.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Oh, you guys !! LOL !! ROTFLMTO !!!

    "Soundproof Spray"

    That's a good one !! That dealer oughta get points from Toyota just for sheer creativity !!!

    LOL !!! LOL !!!!
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