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New Toyota Camry Hybrid Owners - Give Us Your Report

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  • I have purchased my third Camry. My last was a 2010 Hybrid and now the 2012 Camry Hybrid XLE. I enjoy the changes Toyota has made to acceleration, handling and many refinements. The car is great in general, but the dealer refuses to check into an issue with the heat.

    My 2010 was exceptional for the way it delivered heat to the cabin. The engine was warm before we got 5 minutes or so on the road. The 2012 Hybrid takes about 20 minutes to heat the cabin and is much slower to get to fully warm. The engine seems to heat a bit slower also, by the gauge.

    I don't think my dealer is knowledgeable about how the car heats. How do I find a dealer who is more up on such problems?
  • Where do you live?
  • 8079dan8079dan Posts: 6
    edited January 2013
    Oregon. I would drive 500 miles to get my heater working. It has been 40 degrees lately and not much warmer in the car for the first 30 minutes (Eco switch off). When the ECO switch is on, I seem to get better mileage, but almost no heat after warm-up.
  • OK. I live in Virginia. This is not right, I'd find another Toyota dealer and make them fix it under warranty.
  • I am impressed with my 2012 Camry Hybrid in many ways. It is in general a fantastic car. I only wish the dealers would work with me, as a buyer of 6 new cars, to make the car do what I request at the time of purchase.
    -
    Typically, I want all the features of the auto I am trading, plus the new features. I was told the 2012 Camry Hybrid was a totally rebuilt, new model, so I should have tested the demonstrator more carefully. My car has a very poor navigation operating system. It also has a poor heater compared to the 2010 Hybrid Camry I owned.
    -
    My concern is with the dealers. I have yet to have a rattle or squeak repaired by a new car dealer. My friends tell me that to get such repairs, you need to take the car to a non-warranty service and pay for it.
    -
    When I took the car in for heater service for the third time to the second dealer, they refused to open the hood and claimed the car was new, so it ws not defective, even though it heated much slower and less than any other car. I am aware this is NOT a weak point in this model.
    -
    Thanks for the comments. I will wear a good coat in this car and take my 2012 Tacoma for a ride when I need heat. Both vehicles are fast. I think the Camry is fun to drive. :)
  • I just bought a new Camry XLE Hybrid 2013. I found the same acceleration problem. If I accelerate from a stop, the car makes click feeling. I also tried another new Camry Hybrid, I got the same feeling. But I also tried Prius and Lexus ES Hybrid, I didn't get the click feeling. I went to dealer twice, they just told me all the hybrid cars have the same problem. That is not true. I hope Toyota will recall for this problem.
  • 8079dan8079dan Posts: 6
    terrywhite,

    try using the "braking" position of the shift for a few lights.

    If you find it no longer hesitates or "clicks" you may be talking about the way the engine is shut off during stops at lights. It saves gas doing this and restarts instantly when power is required.

    The engine is not shut off in the braking position, but uses the same gear ratios otherwise. There is a slight difference in how fast the instant start works during the changes in gas that takes place in season changes.

    We are told not to overuse the braking position. I like the feature in stop and go traffic, since it slows the car as soon as I release the gas.
  • Have you called Toyota customer service directly about this problem yet? I would. I do not have any clicking with my 2012 TCH XLE and am very happy with it!
  • Just a note, I recently took my 2012 TCH XLE in for its first oil change and I was told by the dealership that the new TCH only needs an oil change every 10,000 miles and I confirmed this with Toyota customer service as well just to be sure! I consider this a plus!
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,828
    A reporter is interested in talking with someone who bought a hybrid within the past year. If that describes you, please email PR@edmunds.com no later than Wednesday, July 3, 2013 with the make, model, month of purchase and a few lines about your experience.
    Thanks,

    MODERATOR
    Need help navigating? kirstie_h@edmunds.com - or send a private message by clicking on my name.
    Share your vehicle reviews

  • I went to Toyota dealor twice. They told me all the hybrids have this issue. So I tried another new Camry XLE Hybrid 2013, it makes the same click feeling. But I tried Lexus ES Hybrid and Prius, they don't make this click feeling.
  • 8079dan

    Thanks! I will try this. The Toyota dealor technicans never told me like this.
  • Sorry I couldn't try this because it takes too long to start my car. I only tried to put the shift to "N" position when waiting for the traffice lights. But I still feel "clicks" when accelerating.
  • applegator

    From Joon's original email, you can find Joon also has this issue. Have you paid attention on your food when accelerating from a complete stop?
  • I bought a Camry XLE Hybird 2013 and have the same hesitation feeling when accelerating from a complete stop. Can we ask Toyota to fix it? Because I also tried Lexus ES Hybrid and Prius, they didn't make this feeling.
  • karljkarlj Posts: 1
    Picked mine up last night (here in Aus the XLE is the HL) 2nd hand 2012 model demonstrator with 10500kms on it in metallic black.
    -Not my first choice in colour but at $12K short of normal asking money for a new one the price was right.
    SO in comparison to our pair of (soon to be sold) V70T5 volvo's (MY01). I noted the following.
    Volvo's not punchy off the line but go hard as boost comes on say 25mph....
    Hybrid is not as punchy as i'd expect with theoretically 105kW and 270nm available instantly from the electric part of the drivetrain.
    Carpets are rubbish and floor mats are a sick joke in comparison to the Volvo. Sat nav not exactly intuitive.
    Digital radio is great, pulling contacts from phone etc and phone experience is awesome vs Volvo SIM card in dash which these days is cumbersome as you either need to divert phone or use it for outgoing calls only and of course you have 2 phone numbers!
    Seats are a long way behind the volvo and although trimmed in leather, thats where it ends, they are not very compliant nor are they supportive.
    range of adjustment is OK but again i was disappointed in the lack of even the least bit of contour to stop you falling out of the seats when conrnering.

    Steering wheel controls i'll get used to over time i guess.
    Yet to explore the limits of its handling or do any fuel consumption tests.
    I did fill it up with premium fuel and I'm curious to know if this does increase the mileage / improve performance or if i should just use regular.

    This morning wife drove it to shops and is happy and if it costs as much to run in broken bits as our last camry ($0 in 5 years in over and above maint)
    then I will be better off than the Volvos (both aftermarket LPG injected) which despite being cheap on fuel, seem to have continuous BS stuff going wrong like spring seats every ~25 thousand miles which i do myself these days and the ever present threat the Auto will fail which is worth almost as much as the whole car. 3rd radiator in <2years despite using genuine bits and replacing hoses etc, cam seals =2nd set of belts in 50 thousand miles, coil packs, oxy sensors ......list is never ending!

    BRING ON CHEAP MOTORING!
  • 105f2dc105f2dc Posts: 5
    We are shopping for a replacement for our V6 (2003) for my wife and me. Most of our trips are short (grocery, shopping) together. I have a 50 mile daily (both ways) commute to work and drive a Mazda Pro. We are looking for a long term car that will serve what the V6 does (our main car for trips and whenever we ride together). I had my wife drive both the TCH and the TAH yesterday. I did not since I wanted her to be happy with the car when she drives it alone.

    Either would suit her fine she says. However I noticed that the Avalon did not make the hybrid braking noise when we decelerated towards a light whereas the Camry did. Plus the Avalon seemed to be much quieter.

    Anyone here who decided for the Camry against the Avalon for some technical reason other than personal preference, I would like to hear from you. Also I did not notice what mode we were driving in on our test drives but I read that turning ECO on will lower the A/C output significantly. My wife likes to run the air at 75 or less in our V6. I on the other hand hardly every use A/C when I'm driving alone.

    Also we need all the features the XLE has and the TCH apparently leaves out Homelink on the LE model.
  • 8079dan8079dan Posts: 6
    Hi 102f2dc,

    I decided on the Camry mostly due to price and did not test the Avalon carefully.

    On a trip, we recently pulled of at a rest stop with two 2013 TCH. They looked at mine and said "nice car" reflecting they liked theirs also. We talked about pros and cons and all liked the quiet operation of the car.

    I think the Avalon will have even less road noise. Their cars do not have the navigation I have. They made the right choice as mine is only good to get you to a city or address. It is far behind the Garmin GPS offered by Pioneer as aftermarket unit.

    Both cars you are looking at are special.

    When picking the car you are buying, test extensively as the dealers will not address any minor issues, such as noises, mileage, paint defects, rough running, heater, or road noise.

    The car is great, but the dealers are not responsive.
  • 105f2dc105f2dc Posts: 5
    dan, thanks, may I ask you about comfort items like air, heat.. Our V6 usually has heat within a mile of start. Our winters here in SC are not that cold but we do have quite a few 20-30F days in Jan and Feb and the Camry responds well. So too with air (and we do have a lot more hot days). Do you find the CH lacking in this area - getting heat and A/C working quickly? Also the leather seats on the new hybrids seem to be a little more stiffer, the V6 seats are 'cushier'. I can echo what you said about dealers, I don't trust ours. My cars are serviced by a retired mechanic, he can't handle the tech of a hybrid though. Thanks for your input.
  • texasestexases Posts: 5,515
    I'd pick a real hot day for a test drive, see how the a/c does. The a/c in my MKZ hybrid is OK in Dallas, but not as good as that in my prior ES300. I'll make sure I test that carefully the next time...
  • 8079dan8079dan Posts: 6
    edited July 2013
    Hi 105f2dc,

    I am unhappy with quick availability of air conditioning on my 2012 Camry Hybrid, but the heat is less than half what I expect and not there as quick as it should be, compared to anything. On longer trips it is less a problem as the heat seems to stay in the car.

    A long test drive on the right day would help determine your tolerance.

    My 2010 Camry Hybrid did not have this issue. My other cars are not a problem for me.

    Toyota Customer Experience brushed me off, saying it is operating as designed. Since they ran no tests, it is obvious they know something about the model.

    Other than a very poor imitaion of a navigation system, the car is just great.
  • 105f2dc105f2dc Posts: 5
    Good tip, thanks. My wife is the finicky one here. These are the kinds of things that never get mentioned in reviews. After the new car honeymoon, one tends to focus on these things. I will have to check this out before I decide. The V6 does a great job.
  • I put a .jpeg pic on my USB at the top directory level and tried to import it as the startup picture.
    The 2013 Hybried Nav system did not see it. USB input on the Nav works great but will not pull up (find) my .jpeg even though my lap top displays it fine from USB.
    Asked the experts at Toyota and they said - Call Toyota...

    To all you Techno Geeks, what's up with that?
  • Here is my report on this car. As an Engineer, I rang this car out 10 ways from Sunday before releasing it to the Wife. I love this thing. The Software on this Gen is awesome. What is this now, the 6th generation for their Hybrid?
    Real Problems found - Zero. After going thru the 300 plus pages in the Nav manual alone, my head was spinning, but I got it now. The expanded voice vocabalary in the Nav is dead on. "Go Home" and the Nav takes off.
    News Flash - The wife still has no clue why she now starts the "System" instead of the "Car"... I'm a tech manual writer and I can't believe how well written the Hybrid manual and Nav manual are written.
    End Review
  • Take it to arbitration. Last time I did that, Toyota ended up taking the car back under the Lemon law. Know your rights....
    Fix it or eat it, I think the word was to the dealer. It's been a while!
  • Yes, that is a plus - Since the engine is actually running less, I would have thought that to be true. But, I do question the practice of leaving this car out in the cold winter elements where you can get moisture build up in the oil that may get burned out but leave unwanted by-products like an acid, or so I have been told. This is an on-going argument which I take neither side.
    But it would mean to me that you still need to change the oil once a year if driven under 10,000 a year and parked out on the street.
    Note: I refuse to keep a high-tech automobile like this out on the street as most probably agree. If you plan to keep this vehicle, I'd keep it in the garage. If it's a lease, you know what that generally means.
    50 bucks a whack to change the oil in these machines isn't exactly hay either.
    Does the term "Coming or Going" mean anything here?
  • Picked mine up last week after seeing the regional leasing offer of $189/mo on the LE with $3369 due (plus dealer fees, license, etc.) Local dealer was already aggressively pricing the Camry Hybrids, so thought I'd take a look and see what they could do on an XLE.

    Car I settled on is an XLE with Convenience Package, full carpeted mat kit (including trunk mat), door edge guards, rear bumper protector, alarm and remote start. (Not an options list I'd personally order!) MSRP was just over $30K.

    I was able to pick it up for $260/mo (plus local sales tax = $285) with a total of $1250 out of pocket.

    36 month lease with 12,000 miles per year.
  • We also test drove both the TCH and TAH when we were looking for a new car earlier this year. We really liked the TAH but decided it just wasn't worth $8,400 more than the TCH. The two technical reasons where we preferred the TCH were the TAH is quite a few inches longer and would barely fit in our garage and the touch controls. We found in driving the TAH you could very easily hit the wrong button just by trying to brace your hand while operating the controls (like on a bumpy road). We drove both for a few days and weren't sure we'd find a way to use the touch controls without accidentally hitting the wrong button.
  • vehiculavehicula Posts: 27
    We lease a 2011 TCH and love it. When our lease ends in 2014, we would seriously consider another TCH. We saw a 2013 at a car show and one thing about it really bugged us: the battery vents were located on the left and right sides of the rear seat. They looked ugly and felt uncomfortable when our arms rested against them. They also seemed perfectly positioned to receive dust, snow, leaves and whatever else might come in through the rear doors. Big turn off.

    For anyone who owns or leases a 2014 TCH, or has spent some time in one: Where are the battery vents in the 2014 model, and how do you feel about their location?
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