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New Toyota Camry Hybrid Owners - Give Us Your Report

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  • Picked up my 2009 TCH a week ago Saturday and have been loving it ever since. I went for the "stripped" model. No sunroof (need the headroom and didn't really care for it last time I had it in a car), no leather (don't really want to spend the money for it), and no NAV (couldn't care less about it). Even without those, it still has more features than any vehicle I've ever driven. Love the Bluetooth, and very pleased with the mileage so far of 36-39mpg (depending on whether it's me or my wife driving).

    Quick note to all on the body-side moldings. My dealer pushed them at me for $350 (along with the $499 paint protection, 3M coating over the leading edges, extend warranty, pre-paid maintenance, tire coverage, GAP insurance, credit life, and credit disability). Save your money. I used to be a car salesman, and I can tell you pretty confidently that NOTHING that the dealer offers you at closing is a good deal.

    If you do a quick check on the internet, you can find the BSM's for about $100, and installation is pretty simple and should take about half an hour.
  • gmyatkogmyatko Posts: 8
    Best of luck w/ your new Camry. I got to tell you, since having NAV, I LOVE not having to pull maps out.
    Greg
  • plknjplknj Posts: 121
    Hi... not when turning the car off... only to turn it on.
  • tchappytchappy Posts: 2
    Hi...this is my first Forum of any kind. Just thought I'd toss in some +'s for our Camry Hybrid. We have about 20K miles now and really love the car...very quiet! and handles nicely. At first it seemed we had to consult the manual for some simple tasks, eg., turning it on/off correctly, successfully locking it the first couple of times, etc. It was as if it was smarter than we were until we read the manual. I guess we think a device should be so well constructed that a thick manual shouldn't be that necessary. We miss the trunk space taken up by the battery.

    As for FE, we have just returned from a 4K driving trip with combined average of about 40-42 (45 at one time) mpg. I have to say that my average is better than my wife's only because I think I 'coast and glide' a lot more and use softer acceleration. Also I tend to believe that it's better not to use the speed control when climbing steep hills...on a freeway for example...any comments? My wife says that I have to stop noticing the wind direction when we set out...am I over the edge? One thing we both appreciate is city driving, usually 40mph or less, when the gas engine is off much of the time.
    Hope this helps

    Overall, the Camry was a perfect fit for the two of us. I'm already wondering how the '09 will be different?
  • Thanks again "plknj"... I tried it as you suggested and it works....
    Am glad that I bought it last week.. specially with the gas prices zooming up the way they've been... I'm averaging 38.5 now and enjoying every minute of it..
  • plknjplknj Posts: 121
    Love the car too... I think it's the best hybrid out there. Do you have the Nav and if you do... does it work? The one on my '07 is useless... have my Garmin. Would love it if Toyota would issue an update.

    Don't mind driving a little slower and getting over 38 mpg's... gas just went up .16 a gallon in 5 days!!! Enjoy, it's a great car.
  • tchappytchappy Posts: 2
    Just adding some comments after an oil change and tire rotation at the dealer...I was told they were surprised to see less tire wear than normal for a vehicle with less than 25K miles. My Camry has about 22K. He said that around 22K miles he starts suggesting to customers to think about a new set of tires. I said, "less than 25K miles and I should be thinking about new tires?" He then said something about the tires that come with a Camry are 'sticky' and wear quickly. When I told him that 10K of my miles were long distance driving, he said that was the reason my tires look so good yet. He added that city driving with a lot of stopping and turning wears tires out more quickly. But really, thinking new tires with less than 30K miles??

    What are reactions from other owners with original tires for the Camry.

    Any suggestions for choice of tires for the Camry Hybrid?
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    If you are happy with your MPG and your handling with the OEM tires, then buy the same tires again.

    They are low-rolling-resistance tires, and they will provide the best compromise of handling and miles per gallon.

    If you want better handling, you will have to suffer lower MPG.
  • lzclzc Posts: 483
    Some owners here have reported needing to replace OEM tires at around 30K, I believe. I'm not there yet. But I've yet to get service at a dealer and not have them talk up some service or product I ought to think about buying. It's how they're trained.

    I skeptical that Toyota would put sticky, i.e., more rolling resistance, tires on a car designed for high gas mileage. That may be their excuse for why they don't last as long as people expect. All JMO.
  • Many thanks to Edmunds.com and to the posters on this forum for the wealth of information and advice that got me comfortable with my 09 TCH decision.

    Special thanks for the Edmunds.com "confessions of a car salesman" report. The slick foreign dealership described in that report fit my dealership and buying experience exactly!

    Had my choice of cars equipped as I wanted with Bridgestones or Michelins. Picked a silver car with the Michelins, sunroof, nav and leather.

    Paid a few hundred over "invoice"

    I'm smiling every time I pass a gas station. This thing uses half as much gas as any other car I've had.

    Jack
  • I got an 08 TCH 2 weeks ago and have the Bridgestones unfortunately. Check out "www.tirerack.com" The Michelin MXV4 S8 and Bridgestone Potenza's are OEM tires on the TCH... The former is better than the latter, though I neither of them would be my choice if I was purchasing a replacement. Goodyear Assurance Trippletread and the Hydroege both get great (last long time, and get great dry, wet, snow traction) reviews... Matter of fact, unless something better comes along when I need tires, I'll get one of those two. Prices are also comparable.
  • I got the one with Upgrade package and Sunroof (no Nav or leather)... My 08 was the last one on the lot and the manager gave me a great deal.. I didn't want to dish out the $2500-$3000 extra for the nav and Leather on the 09.. Besides, I've got Verizon with GPS and can use it anytime to navigate.

    Like you, I've been enjoying the MPG too... I'm averaging 37-38 so far with a few trips hitting 40... It's great to get over 150 miles for a 1/4 of a tank. Over the weekend I drove my wife's 02 Volvo S80 and used some of the "TCH" driving style.. amazingly, my MPG's went from 20 in town to 25... Reckon I'm developing new/helpful habits with the TCH.

    Enjoy.
  • jcihakjcihak Posts: 60
    My wife just traded her '06 Pilot for an '08 Camry hybrid. The price was great - with the $1000 rebate it was less than a Prius would have been. My wife has been getting about 35mpg - all city stop/go. I tried her commute yesterday though and got 43mpg with lots of red lights. I am very impressed.

    The car is much better than I expected. The tech is great - it paired with both our cell phones and the Nav is better than I thought (I also have a Civic with Nav and a portable Nav to compare to). I only wish headroom with the sunroof was better. I'm 6'0" and my head touches the headliner.

    As far as tires go, all the OEMs I've had on new cars (NOT on SUVs though) needed replacement within 30k. They have all head low treadwear ratings to prove it. The Michelins on the Camry have a 440 treadwear which is better than your average OEM though.

    I can have replaced the OEMs on my last Civic and Accord with Goodyear Tripletreads. Their handling is very, very noticeably better than any the OEM tires. I love them. However, I think I may have lost almost 1 mpg with the Tripletreads too. Given their 740 wear rating they should last a long time and hope they make up for the mileage.
  • wvgasguywvgasguy Posts: 1,405
    I'm at 46,000 miles and starting my third set of tires. The first two were the originals and a replacement of same Bridgestones. The third set though I paid extra to get the Michellin's. I am in a tires for life program :D and didn't have to pay for the first replacement so I didn't complain. However the Bridgestones got noisy and I just didnt' want them anymore so for $138 extra the dealer installed Michellin. I'll be curious to see how many sets of tires I go through on this car before I trade it.

    BTY, I rotate at 5,000 miles and align annually in the program. The tires wore evenly, but just wore out quickly (and completely) at about 22,500 miles. Totally unacceptable for non-performance tires in my opinion. Just glad I wasn't paying for them.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    WHY, may I ask, does this particular car chew through tires like it obviously does? Is there THAT much extra weight up front?
  • wvgasguywvgasguy Posts: 1,405
    I have no idea, but I would think the car is not that much differently balanced (weight distribution wise) than a V6 model. My daughters Corola was just as bad. I'm hoping the Michellin's will help. Should know in a year ;)

    One problem I'm sure are the "V" rated tires. Why does a car like this need V rated tires. Surely as many of these as Toyota makes they could have gottten a tire developed specifically for the camry that had a long tread wear life.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Assuming the alignment is correct, there is no reason, nor any explanation for this excessive tire wear. I have to assume therefore, that alignment is indeed the problem, and the caster, camber or alignment in general is not correct on these cars.
  • wvgasguywvgasguy Posts: 1,405
    I did have an alignment problem when the car was delivered but immediately corrected that. The tires wore evenly with no cupping, feathering or edge wear. Nothing unusual at all.

    My Nissan 2003Z did indeed have an uncorrectable alignment problem that caused me to replace the tires at 15000 miles (unbearable noise though after 10,000 miles). I got rid of it and will not get another first year model of a complete remake.
  • sadasada Posts: 1
    We are considering buying a 2009 camry hybrid and I just wanted to ask a few questions.

    Have you had any problems with the electric motor or battery system?

    Is it worth the extra money you paid for the hybrid?

    Would you buy another

    Are there any special maintenance cost you have encountered?

    Thanks for all you help.
  • plknjplknj Posts: 121
    You should be very happy with the Michellin's. Mine came with the car and I probably have another few thousand miles left on them (just had them checked) and that's at 35,000+ with rotating them with every oil change. These tires have lasted longer than any of my other tires have on my past cars.
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