Toyota Camry Real World MPG

Karen_SKaren_S Member Posts: 5,092
This topic is for Camry owners to post their actual MPG. Please be sure to include if it's automatic/manual, 2.4/4cyl, 3.0/6cyl, or 3.33/6cyl.

"Real World" Fuel Economy vs. EPA Estimates


  • andrelaplumeandrelaplume Member Posts: 934
    2002 4Cyl automatic Camry, 30K miles, all required service has been performed by Toyota. Pure City (this means average speeds of 25 - 40 mph with many stops over a 10 mile or so trip to work with me alone in the car and no a/c on), I get 17.5mpg. I used to get better!

    Pure Highway, 55 -65 mph w/air on, wife and kids, 26 mph.

    ** I used to get 19mpg or so city, it seems that since my 30k service it has degraded (or my driving habits have).

    ***The lower the fuel level before I fill up the worse the mileage....this never made sense to me because you are dividing miles by gallons...I got into a routine of filling up at or just below a quarter tank when I switched jobs, coincidently (?) around the time I had my 30K service done as well. I consistently got/get 17.5 mpg. Interestingly, at a little under 1/2 half tank I filled up yesterday and it came out to 20 mpg!

    If someone can explain a mechanical reason why filling up before the tank gets to less than 1/4 full yields better mileage, I'd love to hear it!
  • lmacmillmacmil Member Posts: 1,758
    3.3 liter. Only one highway tank so far which was 27.5 mpg. That was at only 1000 miles on the odo and included 40 min of stop & go so I expect better. Around town 19-20 so far.

    I think one needs about 3 consecutive tanks of highway driving to get a true mileage number. Will post again when I have that data.
  • westsidewestside Member Posts: 7
    I purchased the car with 28k miles on it, and have put 2k on it. Over 1600 miles of measurement the average mpg was 19.5. The pure highway mpg was about 34, pure city about 14. I drive about 75% city miles, many short trips.

    Overall this car is very good: no mechanical failures, roomy, loaded with features, smooth, fairly quiet, and adequately powerful.
  • leob1leob1 Member Posts: 153
    I drive the car about 19 miles each way to and from work. About 6 miles of it is city driving. I park in a large parking garage about 2-4 stories underground. The frwy part does include some bumper to bumper traffic congestion enroute to work, but not the entire way.

    I have measured 30 mpg on the first 2 tanks with no occupants and some ac and defroster use on reg unleaded. Those tanks were with an odometer reading below 1000 miles during breakin. I do not top off my tank. A few times I drove at a higher rate on the way home of course.

    My guess is 34-35 mpg in strictly hwy driving, similar to the EPA estimate. Oh, on one tank I refueled after the fuel light had just come on and it took about 15.5 gallons to fill it back up. I am very happy with this car.
  • lunarmistlunarmist Member Posts: 41
    I've been averaging about 33 mpg. That's approximately 85 % highway and 15% city. Also very happy with the fuel economy. It has 4000 miles.
  • ezshift5ezshift5 Member Posts: 858 5/2000: 76k odo: 25-28 town; 30-33 HWY....

    ..would do it again (but V-6 Toyota's require an AT)

    .....guess I'm stuck in a time warp........... :confuse: best, ez......
  • motownusamotownusa Member Posts: 836
    I commute about 15 miles each way to and from work which involves about 65/35 highway/city driving. City average is typically between 20 to 23 mpg depending on traffic situation. On the highway I get anywhere from 27 to 30 mpg, again depending on traffic, if the AC is on or not etc. EPA states 21/29 so I am quite pleased with the numbers.
  • geezer55geezer55 Member Posts: 1
    2002 automatic/2.4/4cyl, 31,000 miles; Castrol SynthBlend 5W30 (change myself), upper range tire inflation pressure. I have generally gotten roughly 24-26 city 32-34 highway driving more-or-less like a maniac - like everyone else. For this most recent business trip, I decided to drive just under the speed limit (65 in KY and OH) to see what would happen (No AC, mid-range 89 octane gas): 46.3 going, 44.1 return! The second number is probably closer to being accurate as the tank was probably a bit over-filled initially. I tried to be careful to get a comparable refill on the return trip.

    It's well-known that gas engines operate most efficiently in the 30-50 MPH range (probably maxed in the low 40's just as it slips into overdrive) and that gas consumption starts to increase markedly at higher speeds. Another factor which might affect this would be frequent lane and speed changes for passing - I was in the right lane at a constant speed for almost the entire trip (did pass a few other vehicles, though). Took 30 minutes longer to get to my destination. I don't expect anyone else to do this - but if more people did, what might happen to our fuel import/trade imbalance problems?

    Regardless, I don't think I'll be needing that Prius after all...
  • andrelaplumeandrelaplume Member Posts: 934
    your right I don't!
  • westsidewestside Member Posts: 7
  • lmacmillmacmil Member Posts: 1,758
    The link doesn't work.
  • westsidewestside Member Posts: 7
    The link may have expired, here is an alternative.
  • lmacmillmacmil Member Posts: 1,758
    That one works. The Toyota V6 doesn't fare too well compared to the competition. I'm really surprised the Nissan V6 got better mileage.
  • hank2hank2 Member Posts: 76
    I have a 2004 4Cyl SE Auto with about 15K mi. I drive about 300 miles per week, roughly 30 miles each way at ~ 65 MPH on cruise control. I was getting about 24 MPG when I bought the car new last year, and it has been inching upward to the current 30 MPG.

    Based on other postings, I may be able to get 33 - 35 MPG by next year .... However, I don't think I'll get 40 MPG :-)

    I have an unproven hypothesis that starting the car has a noticeable effect on mileage. It is not logical or provable. In other words, if I drive 15 miles, pick up some coffee, then drive the other 15 miles ... and I do this everyday. I feel like I get hit for 2 MPG, which seems like a lot ... but, again I can't prove it and don't intend to try to reproduce it. Otherwise, I'm sticking with 30 MPG.

    - hank2
  • lmacmillmacmil Member Posts: 1,758
    "I have an unproven hypothesis that starting the car has a noticeable effect on mileage."

    You'll get your best mileage in steady state cruising. It's not the starting per se, it's the slowing down, stopping, speeding up again in the middle of your 30 mile trip that will reduce your mileage vs the 30 mile straight shot. Probably not 2 mpg though.
  • lmacmillmacmil Member Posts: 1,758
    My son just returned from a 900 mile round trip which was mostly highway driving. I was a little disappointed that the car only averaged 26 mpg. I suspect he drives around 75 mph if traffic permits.

    Overall mileage for 3200 miles is now at 23.2. Best guess is that's about 40% highway/60% city.
  • chevymalibuchevymalibu Member Posts: 129
    I drove my 2004 exl 4 cyl accord on all highway for about 600 miles and got 40-41MPG with two occupants and luggage. Once at my destination, I drove a little city and then back highway home. Overall got 36MPG which is awesome. The tach was slightly higher than the camry 2005 LE I test drove. I really believe the camry will beat the accord (by 5% maybe) in overall mileage. I drove 70-80mph for the highway with the AC on. That reason is why I'm going to buy a LE camry in the next day or two.
  • lmacmillmacmil Member Posts: 1,758
    Please tell me you're not going to trade a 2004 Accord for a 2005 Camry just because you think you're going to get better the 36 mpg ;)
  • 210delray210delray Member Posts: 4,721
    as in "I really believe" the camry will beat the accord.

    I have a new 2005 4-cylinder, and the best I've done so far on the highway is 31 mpg. And I don't drive above 70.
  • 210delray210delray Member Posts: 4,721
    ...that I have a 2005 Camry 4-cylinder, if that wasn't clear from the last post. My 2004 Camry, with one fewer gear in the tranny, gave better mileage on the highway -- 35 to 38 mpg. As I noted before, I really need to take the 2005 on a long uninterrupted interstate-only trip to see what it can do. But so far, I've been disappointed at 4000+ miles.
  • fredvhfredvh Member Posts: 857
    What model year are these various vehicles in the "Consumer Reports" story?
  • 210delray210delray Member Posts: 4,721
    They will not necessarily be 2005 models, but correspond to the last time CR tested the cars. But mileage results still should be similar (if not identical) to 2005 models, in cases where the car is still produced.
  • tradscotttradscott Member Posts: 108
    The reason that cars get better gas mileage at lower speeds is not attritable to the engine. It is much more dependant on the transmission and the outside air. The amount of energy that the engine produces which is used to offset the wind resistance grows with the square of the car's velocity.

    Basically, your energy losses to wind resistance will be twice as much at 80mph than it is at 40mph. A similar thing happens to the losses in the driveline and tires. The losses in the engine will be the same at the two speeds assuming that the RPMs are the same. This will depend on the gearing of the transmission.

    Generally a car will get its best gas mileage while going slow (low RPMs) in its tallest gear. As you speed up, you waste more energy bucking the wind and moving the fluids in the car around faster.

    Now, you could design a car with super tall gears so that you're going 80MPH at low RPMs, but this wouldn't solve the problem since at higher speeds you're wasting almost all of the energy produced by the engine pushing the outside air. The most effective way to improve your mileage at higher speeds is to improve the aerodynamics of the vehicle.
  • maddgoomaddgoo Member Posts: 7
    Just traded off a 2003 Camry XLE 4cyl, 2.4, 4AT with 24K miles. Average mileage overall for mixed freeway and city driving was normally between 29 and 30 mpg over the life of the car a "AS INDICATED BY THE COMPUTER MILEAGE READOUT" on the dash. Other than being a rattle trap :cry: it was a decent car. Just purchased a new 05 Camry XLE V6, so that is likely to drop a touch with the larger 3.0 engine. hope it doesn't rattle as much as the old one or the next purchase will be a Honda or Nissan.
  • phd86phd86 Member Posts: 110
    mpg-% freeway (by miles driven, not time, rounded to 5%)
    20-50, 25-70, 23-70, 25-80, 26-85, 33-90, 26-75, 22-70, 25-80, 24-80, 22-50, 27-75, 22-60, 22-80, 24-50, 25-80, 24-50, 21-75, 25-60, 17-05, 17-05, 18-20, 21-20, 21-60, 27-80

    I will keep you all posted after I bring it back to the dealer (for the second time) and update you as to what if anything was done and if it was effective.


  • gardner5236gardner5236 Member Posts: 20
    Straight highway I get 36MPG and a combination of city and highway I usually get 26MPG. On one trip I went 640 miles on a tank. The needle was below the E line. Just drive safely and don't race everywhere and you'll notice an instant jump in your MPG.
  • haefrhaefr Member Posts: 600
    So true! It amazes me the number of people bellyaching about the high price of gas, but fail to exercise anything approaching common sense with their driving habits. I stay in the far right line on freeways cruising at 70 mph and still get flipped off by other drivers who have two or three additional lanes to roar around on. (yeah - southern California...)
  • leob1leob1 Member Posts: 153
    Mostly city driving mixed with a little bit of HWY. I get 26-27mpg with the 5 sp...light foot too.

    An article I just read said to fill up early in the morning or late at night. Interesting, they say the fuel is "denser" and you actually get more for your money getting it in colder temps. The pumps measure by volume, not weight. Every little tip matters as high as the prices are going!
  • haefrhaefr Member Posts: 600
    "An article I just read said to fill up early in the morning or late at night."

    Nothing new - I heard that in the mid-fifties in grammar school. While true, it's also true that as the day wears on and wamrs up, that denser gasoline that fit so well in the tank when cold, expands and has to go somewhere. (Not a problem is you're on a long drive and have a chance to use the additional gas before it expands, but if you just drive to work and park in the sunlight on a warm day...) Used to be, it just vented as vapor out the gas cap, but since that's no longer an option, courtesy of environmental concerns, it is vented to the charcoal canister. If overpressurized, the result is poor engine starting and poor drivability - sometimes requiring replacement of pricey emissions control components if they're over-saturated with raw gas. Sometimes the harder you try for efficiency, the behinder you get. ;)
  • roadturtleroadturtle Member Posts: 6
    My first month of 90 % city driving. First tank 26 mpg. Second tank 23 mpg. So far so good. :)
  • ezshift5ezshift5 Member Posts: 858
    ...5-spd manual. Between the two Californias - using I-5 - 32 has been the usual number since 5/2000. Lately, another white coupe - with one more gear to offer - has been seen in my garage.

    Using the approach noted in previous posts - slowing to 65 - MPG has indeed climbed above 32 on the newer coupe. Hard looks, flip-offs and abrupt cut-ins nonwithstanding, it's a sign of the times................

    best, ez.
  • 210delray210delray Member Posts: 4,721
    Drive to and from Pittsburgh from central Virginia, on interstates and 2-lane back roads, max 70 mph (permitted in West Virginia): 31 mpg to Pgh, and 32 mpg on return trip (filled up 80 miles from home).

    On a stretch of I-70 in western MD on the way home, I had the cruise set at 65 mph in the right lane, and a steady parade of vehicles, almost nose to tail, passed on by in the left lane going at least 80.
  • haefrhaefr Member Posts: 600
    "...a steady parade of vehicles, almost nose to tail, passed on by in the left lane going at least 80."

    The morons were probably in a hurry to get to the next filling station before they ran out of gas. ;)
  • guillguill Member Posts: 94
    Purchased my Camry about 2 months ago. Great car, 3rd Camry I've owned. Previously had a 92 and a 89.

    Just filled up today;
    - 265 Miles
    - 14 Gallons
    - 18.93 mpg

    99% city driving, currently have 1300 miles on the car. Best mileage to date was 27.5, mix of 50/50 city/hwy driving.

    Hopefully mileage will improve as car breaks in. I drove it very carefully first 1000 miles, just as the manual directed. Still drive it easy as I baby my cars to try and make them last a long time.
  • lmacmillmacmil Member Posts: 1,758
    You can't get a realistic picture of the mileage on one tankful. Keep track for 4 or 5 tankfuls and see what it is. FWIW, I'm getting 18-20 around town with my 3.3 liter V6 so I would expect the 4 to do at least low 20s.
  • guillguill Member Posts: 94
    I have checked the mileage every time I've filled up ... which has probably been only 5-6 fillups since purchase. Mileage in city has consistently been between 18-20 mpg. I live in DC so probably some of most severe city driving conditions ... couple that with many short trips (less than 2 miles) and I don't really expect to see EPA on most of my city driving. Hopefully mileage will improve to at least 20+ on average.
  • dmtuckerdmtucker Member Posts: 1
    Well I'm pretty disappointed in my Camry's fuel economy after a year and 12,000 miles. Not evan as good as the 97 Taurus V6 it replaced. Same drivers (both prudent), same routes, here are the results:
    Mixed suburban driving: 24 ______24
    Steady highway, speed limit 31 ______28

    So we went from a smooth, quiet, quick (more torque) V6 to a surprisingly noisy, buzzy 4, and buy more gas! Doesn't seem right, considering the Toyota reputation.

    And the engine noise surprises me - this is the loaded model, so I would expect it to be quieter. I don't remember either of the Honda Civics I used to own making as much buzz.

    BTW, in an earlier post, a guy stated he was getting XX mpg over the life of his Camry, as reported by his in-dash trip meter. If his meter is as optimistic as mine, no wonder his figures look so good. Gas mileage has to be figured at fill up time, with a calculator. My trip meter shows I'm averaging around 30 mpg ,which is a joke.
  • guillguill Member Posts: 94
    - 297 Miles
    - 13.78 Gallons
    - 21.55 mpg

    Approximately 90/10 city/highway miles. Was off a bit on last reported total mileage, currently have 1632 miles on car. Best mileage to date was 27.5, mix of 50/50 city/hwy driving.

    Plan on changing the oil in a week or two. Will run new oil to 5000 miles, change again, and then stick with 5000 mile/6 month interval.
  • toyotatoystoyotatoys Member Posts: 118
    My 06 4-Cyl SE has now 2200 miles and I consistently got about 26-28 actual miles on mixed driving (about 50/50 highway/city). The mileage is calculated based on trip-meter readings divided by the no. of gallons during refills. I have not yet gone on all highway driving.
  • guillguill Member Posts: 94
    - 314 Miles
    - 15.98 Gallons
    - 19.65 mpg

    Approximately 95/5 city/highway miles.

    Changed the oil at 1820 miles; Mobil 7500 semi-synthetic 5w-30 and a WIX 51396 oil filter.
  • davidlucasdavidlucas Member Posts: 5
    23 mpg. local/freeway: 50/50.
  • lmacmillmacmil Member Posts: 1,758
    Maybe my V6 mileage isn't so bad after all. I averaged over 22 mpg for the first 4000 miles with a 60/40 city/highway mix.
  • haefrhaefr Member Posts: 600
    Urban driving is a fuel mileage killer - near constant throttle changes and zero mpg while stopped at traffic lights Add to that the fact that the fact that the torque converter is maximally "slipping" since each startup necessitates accelerating the entire mass of the car and passenger(s) from dead stop inertia. You'll find out just how efficient that Toyota V6 can be when you run a several hundred mile trip at 70-75mph over relatively level terrain. Expect a pleasant surprise once the engine is allowed to loaf in overdrive at around 2,500 RPM at a near constant throttle opening and the transmission's torque converter is mechanically locked to crankshaft speed at constant speeds above 40 mph. Add to that the efficiency of only needing to maintain the car's momentum.
  • hondaconvert1hondaconvert1 Member Posts: 60
    I am getting above 30-31 MPG 70% city 30% highway driving with less than 4k miles in my ODO and I still have the original oil since vehicle purchase. As an FYI, I do believe the original oil has special additives to break the engine... so keep it and change it with no fear at 5000 miles or less.
  • guillguill Member Posts: 94
    - 289.4 Miles
    - 13.15 Gallons
    - 22.00 mpg

    Approximately 95/5 city/highway miles.

    Total miles on car; 2235. Mileage seems to be improving as the engine breaks-in.
  • haefrhaefr Member Posts: 600
    There was a time - 40 years ago and earlier - when a special light viscosity oil (around "10" viscosity) was used to aid break-in of new engines, and was intended to be changed out to "30" viscosity motor oil no later than at the completion of the first 500 miles. But that was a time when computer numeric controlled machining wasn't even a pipe dream yet. Now with CNC machining and micropolishing of billets in combined steps at one machining stage, the unprecedented sample-to-sample precision elliminates the need for specialized break-in oils. (There's still final run-in "seating" taking place between sliding parts, but no where nearly the amount of wear metals are generated as were previously.) What is special during factory assembly is the use of high-molybdenum content assembly lubes at key bearing locations to minimize initial startup stress until oil pressure builds to supply oil to these areas. Honda is known to practice this technique, though I'd be surprised to have it verified they're alone in it. These goos quickly dissolve in the engine oil and provide added general protection during break-in - which most auto manufacturers indicate is adequately accomplished by 500 or 600 miles. (Hyundai and Kia recommend 55 mph reduced highway speeds for a full 1,200 miles. Trust me, it was torture.) The actual factory-fill oil is the same 5W-30 (or 5W-20 as used in some makes) API "SM"/ILSAC "GF-4" oil you can buy over the counter under various blender names. Though not identical, all motor oils meeting those industry standards are equivalent in use over the recommended oil change intervals. Since these are multi-viscosity motor oils, they easily meet the needs of cold and hot weather driving conditions in most circumstances without the need to change viscosity "weights" seasonally. The combination of high molybdenum content assembly goo and modern standard motor oils allow running the factory fill motor oil the full normal oil change. But, though considerably reduced from times past, wear metals are still highest during the first 500 - 600 miles. If you intend to keep the car a long while, the smart money is to "treat" your new ride to its first oil and filter change at about 600 miles. Though the engine builders make every reasonable effort to thoroughly rinse machined parts, some crud inevitably remains behind. The oil filter simply doesn't catch all the leftover factory flashings, sand-cast grit, and initial wear metals. I admit to some anality in the matter, but I'd rather get this crap out of circulation (literally!) sooner rather than later. Really, folks, what's ONE extra oil and filter change (less expense than one fuel fill-up) in the life of the car's overall expenses?
  • guillguill Member Posts: 94
    Very well stated haefr. This is exactly why I decided to change my Toyota's factory fill early at 1800 miles. Not quite as early as you recommend, but still earlier than the 5000 miles recommended by Toyota.
  • davidlucasdavidlucas Member Posts: 5
    I have been taking records of the gas and milage ever since I bought this vehicle 3 weeks ago. The latest gas milage is 24.76 mpg. The thing is, the trip computer shows a 28.8 mpg. Is the manufacturer playing a trick here?
  • dudleyrdudleyr Member Posts: 3,469
    Do you reset the trip computer when you put in gas? If you even wait for a few miles it will throw the reading off. My toyota computer seems spot on - sometimes a shade lower than my calcs, and sometimes a shade higher.
  • lmacmillmacmil Member Posts: 1,758
    My wife's Highlander trip computer is almost always exactly 1 mpg more than my calculations.
Sign In or Register to comment.