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Changes You'd Like To See in the Toyota Camry Hybrid

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Comments

  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    Since the new HH has them I'm going to go out on a very strong limb and say that soon both the Prius and the TCH will both have an EV button and an ECON button.
  • mrpatmrpat Posts: 24
    My 96 Volvo handles much better. Has anyone found a source of improvements, stabilizer bars etc..?
  • acdiiacdii Posts: 753
    Other than a couple ones others posted, mirrors and such, a big improvement that would make this car great is 3 inches of interior width. If you have two car seats in the back, the third person is squeezed in tight, 3 inches would make it more comfortable. We have two little ones and a teenager who is quickly reaching the outer limits in being able to fit. This was one of the major reasons I dumped the prius.
  • We just got a 09 TCH, loaded with every option except Sirrus, and were quite disappointed in the lack of adjustments within the drivers electric seat and none except forward and back in the passenger seat. No lumbar, no tilt, no height and it is not available as any kind of option.We can not get fog lights added as an option either. The front bumper is the same as the Camry XLE with fog lights, but it has it to be on the light stalk which I am now going to try and find a fog light that will fit the XLE bumper bezels and have a separate on dash, on off switch. Toyota parts wants over $140 per fog light and that is only for the bulb and housing, ridiculous!
    To make matters worse, we went in on 1/29 because of the $1500 Toyota rebate on the Camry, no mention of it not being available on the Camry Hybrid. We were originally looking at a loaded RED V-6 XLE, which was sold by the time we got thru driving and filling everything out. So then we went and drove the Hybrid and since most of my wifes driving is in town and we live in a small city off I-35 it made since to get the better mileage with the Hybrid. Now we are once again coming down on the comp. screen showing the monies needed, the $1500 rebate is showing on the screen and I asked to make sure he had deducted the rebate when he says oh you cannot get the rebate on the Hybrid. I say what, since when? The rebate program specifically excludes the hybrid. Plus the is the last one in Red and my wife has wanted a red car for years now. Her last car was bought in '94, a loaded Suburban which we are going to sell ourselves. So here we are walk out or buy and maybe we cannot get another red Camry for quite awhile as Toyota is closing plants etc. So we go ahead and buy. then what happens the very next week Feb 09, they continue the $1500 rebate and do not exclude the Hybrid Camry! i call to see if there is someway to return the car and re buy it to get the rebate and they say no papers have already gone to the State of Texas! So now i feel like we really got screwed. Not to mention the Finance guy wouldn't even show us the Toyota long term warranty but sold us a 5 yr one with old republic for $2,500 that only covered 75,000 miles and we can extend it to a 7 year by coming up with another $1,400 within the next year. I canceled that after being on this site and have since bought a Toyota Platinum warranty.
    WOW what a hassle all this has been. I have never had so much buyers remorse as this purchase! Oh I also am now cancelleing the gap coverage since we put down $13,000 plus they are now applying the $2,500 refund for the warranty cancellation off the rear of the financed aggreement. Now we will have another $477 coming off the rear end so that is almost $3,000 plus the $13,000 for a total of $16,000 leaving a balance financed of about $20,000 off a $33,000 car. So I see no need for Gap coverage as Toyotas hold their value and the note is going down every month we own it.
  • acdiiacdii Posts: 753
    Not to rub it in, but this is a good example of Impulse buying. Hate to say it, but the dealer saw you coming. What you want to do now is find a different Toyota dealership, and go to them for any service you need. Right now, the demand for a Hybrid is low, you could have gotten the car for much less than MSRP with the right negotiating. One thing though, since you have a Hybrid, take good care of it, keep it clean and reap the rewards down the line when you get rid of it. If Toyota has a passenger seat in the XLE that does what you want, find one and install it, and look around, you should be able to find fogs for this car. The Camry I have is so much nicer than the Prius I had, I enjoy driving it, and between the XLE V6 and this, I prefer this, it has just about as much power as the V6, can really tear [non-permissible content removed] when you push it, and the resale is much higher than an equal cost or higher XLE. Enjoy it, they are nice cars.
  • I don't know much about hybrid. I drive about 20K miles a year.

    I am trying to be economical. Now, I am not comparing KIA Sephia to Mercedes S Class. Just a Camry Hybrid to Camry LE.

    I am trying to understand why one would get Hybrid over regular LE.

    Just from MPG and its pay back it doesn't make sense.

    Let's say there's about 10 mile difference in gas milage.

    a. 20,000 miles/25 mpg (Camry) = 800 gallons x $2.50 = $2,000
    b. 20,000 miles/35 mpg (Cam. Hybd) = 571.43 gallons x $2.50 = $1,428

    So close to $600 difference.

    Price difference between LE and Hybrid is around $6,000+ (not to mention discount on LE vs. hardly any on Hybrid.

    So if the gas price stays the same, it would take 10 yr. or 200K miles to pay itself.
    If gas is up to $5.00 per gallon, then 5 yr. & 100K miles.

    Is this all worth it?

    Better ride? Better luxury? Better Performance?
    Or worse? Reliability? Winding noise?

    I am asking because I don't know.

    Let's not talk about green. This might be a poor attitude but in order to work, all nations need to work together. To me, it would like people of all nations are in a same enclosed conference room (planet earth). Americans and Europeans and few Asian nations are abide by it. Meanwhile, people from other parts of the world are chain smoking. Quality of the air?
  • cdn_tchcdn_tch Posts: 194
    Depending on where you buy, the base equipment list on the Hybrid can be substantially higher than on an LE. When you have both cars equally equipped the price difference is less. In my case, the final price difference was $2K and I got a 2K rebate from the provincial gov't so for me it was a wash.

    From a car perspective, it is still a Camry. Except for some cosmetic differences there is nothing different on the car. It just has a different powertrain and 5 cu.ft. of batteries in the trunk.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Well, first of all, comparing an LE to a hybrid is the wrong comparison.

    The hybrid is most comparable to the XLE.

    I got a base hybrid for $26K.

    To get an LE up to that level of features would put it around $27K. I just "built" an LE on the Toyota site to $27,119 with comparable hybrid features.

    You get more car with the hybrid than the LE. Thus, you pay more. But you spend less on gas. And you get higher resale value. And you get to drive past a lot more gas stations. :)
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    Price difference between LE and Hybrid is around $6,000+ (not to mention discount on LE vs. hardly any on Hybrid.

    Up to this point your analysis was accurate. But then you made two huge mistakes here.

    The price difference isn't $6000+ and you ignored extra features on the TCH. BTW both vehicles have the same rebates and the same discounts, so you can apply them or you can ignore them it doesn't make any difference.

    Then you missed one of the key components of the pricing difference...resale values.

    Another key issue that almost everyone makes an error about is forecasting for themselves what they think the price of fuel will be down the road. So the first variable you have to determine is how long are you expecting to keep the vehicle and then how many miles will you drive per year ( you noted 20K per year ).

    We ignore any green issues because that's just a personal perspective..so we'll just discuss the money issues using only the MSRPs.

    2010 Camry LE ( steel wheels, keyless entry, no SR, w/ VSC standard now ).. $22800
    2010 TCH base model ( steel whls, SKS, dual auto climate, no SR, w/ VSC ).. $26500
    That's a $3700 difference in price base model to base model. However as larsb noted above the TCH is more equivalent to the 4cyl XLE Camry not the LE. But we'll continue for general interest the LE to base TCH.

    Now here's the key personal variable...how long do you really expect to keep the vehicle? 3 yrs? 5 yrs? 10 yrs? Only you can answer that. We'll complete the equation after your response.
  • acdiiacdii Posts: 753
    Another key element everyone overlooks, and this is important. The base or XLE 4 cylinder had LESS power than the hybrid, LESS torque as well, so for a closer apple to apple you really need to compare it against the V6 models, the HP and Torque ratings are much closer to the V6 than to the I4. Now when you compare this way, the pricing is much better.

    Wow just looked at the 2010 specs, the V6 has more power now than 2009 did.

    Anyhow, the HP rating of the hybrid is 187 HP, and 337 lb-ft of torque
    HP of the I4 is 169 and torque 167. an optional I4 is 176 HP and 171 lb-ft.
    V6 is 268 HP and 248 lb-ft.

    The HP and torque of the hybrid with a full charge is instant, you get full HP and torque, the others need to build the power up to its peak of 6000 RPM.

    Another interesting thing, the build your camry doesn't list Hybrids, but the XLE model which is pretty close in features with the base I4 is $27,325. My '09 listed at $28,325, and it has a jbl sound system and XM radio, in addition to more power.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    Yes you are exactly right. There is always a premium in all US vehicles for ones with more power over ones with less power. It has value to the owners.
  • bankattybankatty Posts: 1
    A laptop would fit very nicely into a docking station in the indentation on top of the dash where the clock is located. Get rid of all of the computer modules and let the laptop control everything. When you leave the car, take the laptop and use it for work. No need to buy a security system, downloads of software updates are a breeze, you can have a built in GPS and phone, clock, even video emergency service via Sprint and Skype. Besides, the laptop costs less than all of those computer modules scattered around the car.
  • cdn_tchcdn_tch Posts: 194
    Yes the Hybrid has more power than the I4, but I don't think it is a valid reason to compare the TCH with a V6. The TCH is much closer to the I4 than to the V6, and many who are looking at the TCH accept the HP that it has and the few ponies that the I4 is missing is not that huge of a difference.

    To me the 2 cars to compare are a TCH vs. an I4, but they should be as equally equiped as possible for a fair apples to apples comparison.

    If the OP is just looking at the cheapest Camry that he/she can get calculating in the gas mileage, then it gets to be a tougher comparison where they have to include the cost of any options they WOULD buy but are included in the TCH.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    It's not compared to the V6 or the I4...it's a 'tweener'...it's more than an I4 and less than the V6. Since it's more than the I4 it shouldn't have the same price as an I4.

    As to the last paragraph that just can't be a valid comparo either. The least expensive Camry for basic transportation is a 1996 or 1997 with 150,000 miles or so ( just as valid as comparing a strippie new Camry to a relatively loaded TCH ). Or, to be more realistic compare a one year old TCH vs a new basic LE. Now there is a valid comparo. The one year old TCH will blow away the new basic LE.
  • acdiiacdii Posts: 753
    It's not compared to the V6 or the I4...it's a 'tweener'...it's more than an I4 and less than the V6. Since it's more than the I4 it shouldn't have the same price as an I4.

    Ah that my friend seems to be the best way to put it. I also like your comparisons! :D

    I did find it interesting that you cant build your own TCH on the toyota site. What is the base price of the TCH now?
  • cdn_tchcdn_tch Posts: 194
    ...As to the last paragraph that just can't be a valid comparo either. The least expensive Camry for basic transportation is a 1996 or 1997 with 150,000 miles or so ( just as valid as comparing a strippie new Camry to a relatively loaded TCH )...

    When comparing different cars, what constitutes a valid comparison? The OP is comparing a new LE vs. a new TCH, so my comments and comparisons were replying only to that scenario.

    Also, while you are correct on the "tweener" comment that it is more expensive to get more HP, it still does not help the OP in making a decision. While there is a cost, is there enough value *to the buyer* to be willing to pay for it.

    When we were buying our TCH, the HP difference between the I4 and the TCH was not considered at all. I was willing to live with the lower power output of the I4 and didn't need the extra HP. I chose the TCH over the I4 on other points. Everyone has different priorities or must haves in their new car purchase and they need to make those decisions within their own 'value for money' equation.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    I have a feeling that the new 2010's are not out yet. Verrry Interesting, hmmmmm

    Maybe there are some changes in the wind. We've received a lot of ICE Camry's but we haven't received any 2010 TCH's yet and they can't be spec'd on the Toyota site. Why??
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    This was obviously premature and incorrect information:

    March 2009 delivery date for 2010 Camry hybrid - say wha?

    Shortly after their official premiere at the Detroit Motor Show in January, Toyota announced pricing for the updated 2010 Camry and Camry Hybrid midsize sedans that will begin arriving at dealers in March 2009. The gasoline model's base MSRP will range from $19,395 for the Camry sedan with a new six-speed manual transmission to $29,045 for a fully equipped XLE with a six-speed automatic transmission. The Camry Hybrid carries a price tag of $26,150. Overall, the Camry's MSRP represents an overall increase of $281 or 1.2 percent over the 2009 MY.

    2010 Toyota Camry and Camry Hybrid The most significant change on the 2010 Camry concerns the introduction of a new 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine for the standard, LE and XLE grades with 169-horsepower that can be combined with a six-speed manual transmission (excluding XLE) or a six-speed automatic transmission with sequential shift. Furthermore, the SE grade gets additional tuning and 179-horsepower, 21 more than its predecessor.

    Toyota claims that fuel economy is improved with EPA fuel economy estimates of 33 mpg highway, 22 mpg city and 26 mpg combined for the 2.5-liter four cylinder engine with the six-speed manual transmission.


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  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    Of course one could compare any two vehicles...even a bicycle... which is also a valid choice depending on conditions. But if one is willing to compare unequals like a basic LE and a TCH then why not compare a basic new LE to a slightly used TCH where the price is the same?

    I'd buy a 1 or 2 y.o. TCH in a heartbeat rather than buy a basic LE Camry. To me that's a no brainer; same cost, more features, more power, far better fuel economy.
  • lzclzc Posts: 483
    Yep, at today's gas prices, the higher priced TCH will not pay for itself with gas savings. My 2007 TCH cost about $7,000 more than a base Camry (but Fed & state tax credits returned $3,000 of that).

    After adding up the accessories standard to the TCH but additional cost on the base model, the hybrid system alone was roughly $1,800. Of course, if you don't want those goodies, then they're just an extra cost with little extra benefit. If you do, then the price gap is something less than your $6,000.

    Pushing the "peddle to the metal" will cause both power sources to kick-in. The TCH will merge faster on a freeway than the I4 engine Camry. The TCH drives like a heavier car, which it is. It feels front heavy to me, but the weight distribution is actually better than the base Camry (batteries in the trunk).

    On a cost efficiency basis, I think the TCH choice is hard to argue. One has to want something more than the best car for the fewest dollars spent. Good luck.
  • Okay. I understand about Hybrid being more like XLE than LE. So from that perspective you guys made a good buy.

    But for me, I am looking for reliable mid-size family sedan at a reasonalbe price and low cost to own. That is why I am looking for good gas mileage.

    It doesn't make sense to me to paying thousands of dollars more upfront for options that I don't necessariry need to save 5-10 mpg.

    You can buy 09 Camry LE for around $17K.

    Air (summer), power windows (toll booth), and power locks (standard nowadays) are options I want. Everything else, to some yes, but to me, it's not worth it.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    OK then here's a better solution.

    Get a Certified Preowned Camry Hybrid for $20000 ( instead of $26000 ) and get all the features of an XLE and get far better fuel economy and get a better warranty.

    DING!!
  • acdiiacdii Posts: 753
    If you are looking for a good Mid size sedan, check out the Ford Fusion. Compared to the Camry, hands down a better car(sorry Toyota). From the reviews so far on the 2010 Fusion, looks like every one who has one loves it. I sat in a 2010 Fusion Sport edition, and OMG what a huge difference between the ford and Toyota, made my Camry feel cheap.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    Yep this is the normal 'advancement' of the model lineup. The new Fusion now is the hottest vehicle in the segment for a lot of reasons. Soon the others will also have updated models out in the next year or two and they will leapfrong the Fusion. Then in 5 yrs the Fusion will leap over the others again.
    Rinse, Wash, Repeat.
  • ctlctl Posts: 123
    Anyone knows if and when the new 2.5 engine will make it to the camry hybrid?
  • brunnegdbrunnegd Posts: 5
    I have had my 09 TCH for two weeks, so I am still learning, but here are a few comments.
    1. Ability to disable the auto door locks. This was almost a deal breaker. But I am already tired of having to push the unlock button everytime I shift out of P.
    2. Control of the fuel consumption readout. It only reads miles per tank, which is not what I am interested in. Ability to reset when desired would be more useful.
    3. Finer control on the intermittent wiper settings. one per 3 seconds is too fast. A min of one per 10 sec would be much better, with about 6 total settings.
  • acdiiacdii Posts: 753
    The doors do unlock when you put it in park. Do you really want your doors unlocked while driving around? That feature was added to prevent carjackings.
  • Doors locking and unlocking should be under the control of the driver. Same as auto headlights: Turning them on, or off, or allowing the car to do so is again up to the driver.
  • 1. Add the blizzard pearl color (white mica in it - nicer than flat white)
    2. Window tinting for privacy (and sun protection, and keeping the car cool and protected) would be VERY welcome.
    3. Offer a better standard sound system/screen as standard (especially given that the Accord has an 8" screen as standard now)
    4. The emergency hand brake went away for a parking foot brake (much prefer the hand brake)
    5. The leather seats in my 2002 Camry SE are wider and more comfortable than the new Camry Hybrid's - though possibly for weight/fuel/savings.
    It has a gorgeous dash and very attractive instrument panel with soothing colors. They've done a lot of things right.
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