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Toyota Camry Real World MPG



  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    Of those that reported a series, only one party reported as much as 28 mpg (all others lower), that was in the 2004 4-speed; he got reduced mileage in a newer 2005 5-speed automatic he bought subsequently. As I recall, he lives in a rural area with little, if any true, city driving. He reported ~30+ mpg once in a series of two tankfuls at 100% freeway.

    Sounds like you're talking about me. Actually I got ~35 mpg on freeway trips with two fillups on the '04 Camry 4-cylinder, 4-speed auto. So far, I haven't gotten better than 31-32 mpg on long trips with the '05 4-cyl. 5-speed auto.

    But now, I've got some continuous long-trip data (cross-country) on the '04 Camry using the traditional trip meter divided by gallons used method. Keep in mind that the car was fairly heavily loaded this time, with 3 adults, a full trunk, and additional cargo in the left rear seat and floor. The car sagged somewhat in the rear, to the point that a few oncoming drivers "flashed" us at night because our low-beams were aimed upward somewhat.

    We traveled mainly off the interstates, on 2-lane roads, some nearly deserted. Speed limits are quite high in the West (65 mph in most states and 70 in Nevada). Temps were mild in LA, but very cold in the West, moderate in Missouri and Illinois, colder again in Indiana, Ohio, and West Virginia. We did not drive straight through, but stopped in national parks and small towns along the way (and drove around in these).

    23.6 mpg: 289 miles in L.A. traffic + a side trip to northern San Diego County.
    26.7 mpg: 379 miles, L.A. traffic, plus L.A. to Bishop, east central CA.
    29.2 mpg: 316 miles, to Ely, eastern NV.
    32.4 mpg: 403 miles, to Green River, eastern UT.
    30.3 mpg: 429 miles, to Salida, east of the Rockies in CO.
    31.2 mpg: 476 miles, to Spearville, western KS.
    28.5 mpg: 409 miles, to Kansas City, MO.
    35.5 mpg: 547 miles, to Spencer, western IN
    25.5 mpg: 130 miles, to Bloomington and Indianapolis, IN, including driving in Indy on Christmas day.
    31.1 mpg: 485 miles, Indianapolis to Elkins, north central WV.

    Average for entire trip: 29.8 mpg (3865 miles, 129.6 gallons)

    Average excluding first tank (LA traffic): 30.5 mpg (3575 miles, 117.4 gallons)

    I haven't yet refilled the tank after arriving home in central VA yesterday.

    So it seems to me with a lighter load, warmer temps, and continuous driving (no slowing to look at parks and towns), you should be able to do at least a few mpg better.
  • guillguill Posts: 94
    "I did an extensive search of all of the posts of MPG on this website and found that those who boasted 30+ mpg invariably did so based on a single tankful (which I attribute to an incomplete fillup) instead of a series (continuous fillups and odometer records) or a "computer" readout, with some providing so little data that I wondered if it wasn't just a "guess". ...

    My guess is you will do NO MORE than 17 and 26 in the long term, which your 21.5 on a 60/40 would put you right in the middle."


    Perhaps your theory will be correct, however I submit that the few accounts (of fuel mileage) you've located on this website don't accurately represent a normal population. Respectfully, I'm a bit skeptical of any conclusions drawn from some anecdotal accounts without conducting a more complete analysis.

    Consumer Reports did conduct some mpg tests under controlled conditions. They averaged 24 mpg overall and averaged 34 mpg highway. Test vehicle was a 2005 Toyota Camry 2.4 4-cyl 5-spd auto.

    BTW, what did you get your doctoral in?
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    Well, my report may be "anecdotal," but it's as good as it gets with respect to record keeping and trying to fill the tank to the same amount each time. I let the automatic shutoff do its thing and then add about 25-35 cents more.

    Of course, not all gas pumps are the same, and I don't want to take the risk of gas spilling out onto the car (or me). But most importantly, my long trip averaged out the mileage by using multiple tankfuls, a criticism of Phd before that so many people had based their mileage on 1 or 2 tanks.

    Based on what I got, I think Consumer Reports is right on the money, considering they don't run with a load or at higher altitudes like I did.

    I think Phd has a real problem with his car, based on his posts, but I don't know how you get Toyota to acknowledge it, what with the plethora of variants that affect gas mileage.
  • guillguill Posts: 94
    "Well, my report may be "anecdotal," but it's as good as it gets with respect to record keeping and trying to fill the tank to the same amount each time. I let the automatic shutoff do its thing and then add about 25-35 cents more"

    210delray, I intended no offence by describing the reports (including yours) regarding observed Camry MPG as anecdotal. I was referring to the common definition of anecdotal, i.e. based on or consisting of reports or observations of usually unscientific observers .

    Again, no offence intended. Actually I find real-world observations very valuable, quite often they can be the more accurate results.

    "I think Phd has a real problem with his car, based on his posts, but I don't know how you get Toyota to acknowledge it, what with the plethora of variants that affect gas mileage."

    Yeah, tough one here. Previous to my Camry I owned a Honda Odyssey and visited a forum very similar to this one. We also had a poster who insisted Odyssey's weren't capable of achieving EPA estimates, though many of us actually exceeded the EPA's estimates on a consistent basis.
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    Thanks, I didn't really take it as an offense in the first place, and I have a science background. I know you were directing your comments primarily to Phd.

    On my cars in general, I've been able to at least equal the EPA's city rating and exceed the highway rating. However, this has NOT been the case with my 2005 Camry on the highway (the car not used for the cross-country trip).
  • Hey we've got an 04 Camry with the 2.4VVT engine tied to an automatic. We are pretty modeate drivers and we are only getting 19 or 20 mpg in town and only 25-27mpg on the hwy. Is this the norm or should I be calling the dealership?
  • guillguill Posts: 94
    No science background here, just some experience in stats. My overall point was, though I do place a significant value on the testimonies of all who post here, the different driving conditions that we all experience makes it difficult to reach any definitive conclusions regarding the ability of the Camry to attain EPA mileage estimates.

    How many miles do you have on your 05 Camry? The reason I ask is that the general school of thought seems to be that gas mileage improves after a car "breaks in." This typically seems to occur somewhere between 5000 and 10000 miles. I'm not mechanically inept, however I'm not certain of the explanation behind this phenomenon.
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    I now have just under 8600 miles on the '05 Camry. I'm not sure if the "break in" theory is all that valid with today's cars.

    Anyway, for what it's worth, the '04 Camry on its initial long trip (central Va to NYC and back) got 35 mpg, averaged over 2 tankfuls. The trip started at only 1020 miles, with 2 adults and light luggage. EPA ratings for the '04 car are 23 city and 32 highway.
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    It's on the low side, but good luck trying to convince your Toyota dealer that something's amiss. You know the old saw, "your mileage may vary," and vary it does, depending on how and where you drive (speed, traffic, temperature, load, and on and on).

    See the "Toyota Camry Owners: MPG-Real World Numbers" thread for more information:

    /direct/view/.ef7f8e9/66!make=Toyota&model=Camry&ed_mak- - - eindex=.ef7f8e9
  • haefrhaefr Posts: 600
    That is very nice fuel consumption. Congratulations.
  • guillguill Posts: 94
    - 300.1 Miles
    - 15.15 Gallons
    - 19.8 mpg

    100% city miles

    Total miles on car; 2854
  • I purchased my 2006 Camry LE 4 cylinder in November. And with my 70/30 hwy/city drive, I get 23.5 MPG, which is 1/2 MPG worse than what I use to get in my 1996 Lexus ES300, with 170K miles for the exact same drive. I am disappointed with Camry. My car also jerks shifting from gear to gear. I had toyota's regional office send a marketing person and dealer technician review, and they just said this is normal.
  • lmacmillmacmil Posts: 1,758
    Patrick Bedard took an RX330H on the same two-way 13.7 mile freeway trip and used the trip computer (resetting it on the fly) to measure mileage at 40-80 mph in 10 mph increments. Don't have the mag in front of me but I think the mileage ranged from about 49 mpg at 40 mph to 26 mpg at 80.

    Regardless of the absolute accuracy of the trip computer (the one on my Highlander consistently reads about 1 mpg higher than actual), I would assume it's pretty consistent. The point of the column was that driving habits SIGNIFICANTLY influence gas mileage (I doubt that anyone would disagree with that). He also took issue with the anecdotal data that pretty much everyone relies on.

    What I found most interesting is that there was a 5 mpg or more drop for every 10 mph speed increase. Maybe the 26 mpg in my SE-V6 at 75+ mph isn't so bad after all :)
  • phd86phd86 Posts: 110

    yes - I was referring to you as being what appears to be the absolute top end of the fuel economy range reported on this website.

    All I can ad with reference to load factor, temperature, and continuous driving, is that I have no other people or significant luggage in the car, the outside temperature (for distance trips) is mainly 60-90 (central california valley), and there is no significant traffic or stops on the freeway reports.

    Overall, the reports indicate we are dealing with a vehicle that yields a long term average of somewhere in the range of 26-31 mpg on the freeway, probably biased towards the lower end of that range. But not 33-34 mpg.
  • guillguill Posts: 94

    I'm curious as to what your thoughts are regarding my response to your reply--message #60.

    Again, I'm a bit skeptical of any conclusions drawn from some anecdotal accounts without conducting a more complete analysis.

    I suggest you examine some credible reports before categorically determining that the Camry isn't capable of achieving EPA mpg estimates.

    As I stated in my reply, Consumer Reports did conduct some mpg tests under controlled conditions. They averaged 24 mpg overall and averaged 34 mpg highway. The test vehicle was a 2005 Toyota Camry 2.4 4-cyl 5-spd auto. I believe this test is much more credible than a few reports of tests conducted under unknown conditions.

    I would be interested in the details of your study ... how many reports did you locate on this site, did you ensure the reports were categorized by same type vehicle/engine/transmission, did you group results according to region of country to account for differences in test conditions--such as elevation above sea level, etc, etc.
  • haefrhaefr Posts: 600
    guill, I support your skepticism. EPA highway fuel economy estimates are NOT hard to beat at freeway speeds with a steady foot or cruise control engaged over reasonably level terrain with a fully run-in motor (5,000 accumulated miles or more). 30+ mpg in a mid-size car is reasonable even with a V6 motor under those conditions.
  • guillguill Posts: 94
    haefr, Thanks for the support. I certainly don't believe that EPA estimates are perfect, in fact I'm looking forward to the revised and hopefully more accurate EPA mpg estimates after the EPA modifies their testing procedures. However, I do believe one can achieve gas mileage very close to current EPA estimates in most cars sold today.

    I've been able to better EPA estimates in most vehicles I've owned and matched their estimates in the remaining vehicles.

    I would still like to hear a response back from phd ... interesting that he would offer a critique of my post yet choose not to respond to my rebuttal.
  • guillguill Posts: 94
    - 365.2 Miles
    - 16.00 Gallons
    - 22.8 mpg

    95/5 city/highway miles

    Total miles on car--3219
  • bjw1bjw1 Posts: 152
    hello all, I just purchased a 06 camry and traded in my tacoma, that was getting 17.5 mpg in city, and on my first tank on the camry I got 24.3 with just 20 miles of highway driving, 334 miles on 13.7 gallons, with the tacoma I would get about 100 miles less on the same amount of gas, so if i can get 24 city and just 30 on highway thats a big increase for me at least.
  • guillguill Posts: 94
    bjw1, Achieving EPA city mpg estimates with a brand new car is great. Congratulations on your purchase, I'm sure you'll enjoy the car.
  • tuffytuffy Posts: 63
    Definitely contact your dealer as something is wrong. I currently own a 2005 XLE 2.4L 4 cylinder and regularly get 26 to 28 mpg in town and 36 to 40 mph on the road. Our 99 2.2L Camry got similar mileage all the time too. We drive the speed limit but accelerate and brake very gingerly so we try to max out mileage. However, everyone I talk with who has the 4 cylinder gets well into the 20s in town and low 30s (MPG) in highway driving!
  • I've had the 2004 4-cyl 4A Camry LE for a year now and put 6000 miles on it. My average mileage remains 19.5. I've taken a few highway trips, and measured above 30, even at 80 mph. Driving short trips before the car warms up really drops the mileage, which is most of my driving. Darn those ULEV emissions controls. I find that fuel mileage in this car is determined largely by the route driven, driving style only varies mileage by about 10 percent at most. The good thing is that I use an overall average of less than 1 gallon of gas per day due to a short commute.

    About the reports of the 2004 4-cyl Camry getting better highway mileage than the 2005 4-cyl Camry. Maybe the fuel consumption is not determined solely by the engine rpm. Maybe the VVT-i and fuel injection vary the fuel-air mixture and valve timing, so that the higher-geared 5-speed auto in the 2005 uses a richer fuel-air ratio in order to produce enough torque/HP at the highway rpm to keep the car moving, while the 4-speed auto in the 2004 with virtually the same engine running at a higher rpm for a fixed speed uses a leaner fuel-air ratio because it is higher up in the torque/HP curve. This is pure speculation.
  • phd86phd86 Posts: 110

    Here's my response to your request to respond to my response to you (your post #63, after my post #60).

    This all has to do with what has been reported as to mileage on the toyota camry in the recent vintage. So I evaluated what others had been saying on this website. Guill wanted to know what my educational background was, and what I actually did. Below is a summary:

    My doctoral is in environmental science, I did a master's before that, have two undergraduate degrees, and did three postdoctoral appointments since in various things (microbiology, database management, aquatic biology), before settling into government work:

    As for my analysis of the posts on this web-site, I did so via the following procedure:

    1. advanced search for mpg and mileage in text for the toyota forum.

    2. identified unique contributers (24, excluding myself)
    which met the screening criteria of

    4 cylinder

    camry 2002-2005

    automatic (could verify most, but not all)

    A smaller number of posters had 6-cylinder cars, which were excluded.

    3. I recorded the estimates, then assigned one of several codes based on the discussion. This is just what was reported. If a poster began with a guess or spot-check and later followed up with a continuous record, he was deemed continuous and his guesses were excluded.

    a) guess - the post indicated that they did not calculate mileage. Looked for words such as "gets about", or "I estimate", or "seems to get", or in the range of 26-28.

    b) spot-check - posts in this category indicated that they did 1 to 3 tanks (at most). This was either explicit in the post or implicit (i.e. "I rented a camry for the weekend and drove a total of [500-1,000] miles".

    c) continuous - these posts had evidence that the person continuously recorded gas receipts. The poster stated averages and maxima and minima, calculated to the decimal point, and/or provided a list of miles and fuel purchased.

    The results are as follows:

    12 out of 24 unique posts were pure guesses. There was no evidence that the car owners calculated anything and mostly evidence that they did not.

    6 out of 24 unique posts measured mpg on single tankfuls to a maximum of 3 tanks. In 2 of 6 posts, the car was rented. The other 4 posts were the first tank driven on the car, except for one post in which the owner drove 200 miles city followed by 200 miles freeway, filling up between them.

    6 out of 24 unique posts appeared to record fuel consumption continuously (some of these may not have, and several others may have, but I could not determine that).

    Of interest, here is a summary of those particular posts:

    210delray #7926 - 05 LE - 26 mpg freeway
    210delray #7432 - 04 LE - 26.9 mpg (supecedes msg #7926)
    hank2 #7653 - 04 LE - 26, then 28 mpg, max 29 mpg, all hwy
    slimwolf #7351 - 05 LE - 26.7 mpg, "mixed"
    moomoo #7349 - "yet to exceed" 19 mpg (this is included because of the ease in determining 20 mpg, and his post indicated he was preparing for arbitration and lemon law proceedings, indicating he kept records)
    carzzz #7326 - 05 LE (?) - 23-24 mpg

    I have excluded my own car from the analysis as it may be perceived as bias. I also excluded toyotaken's response #7781, who works for the carmaker, is reporting here-say from his customers, and, in any event - the numbers were so extraordinarily high("in the low 40's to about 45 mpg")as to bring significant pause to question them. Insofar as my response to the Consumer Reports test, that test indicated a city mileage of 16 mpg, similar to what I get. I've tested three other rental camrys and I swear to you, if anyone relies on them to get 34 miles per gallon, even pure freeway, they are gonna be walking a long ways with a gas can. Maybe sometime in the lifetime of the car, once or twice, but my experience, and posters like hank2 #7653, suggest somewhere below 30 mpg is a realistic performance expectation for highway for this car.

    It was interesting to compare some posts in which the poster selectively reported higher numbers when they get them (e.g., miserymule's #6079 guesstimate "gets about 32 mpg on the highway", or Ian721's #7096 29 mpg based on under 10 gallons consumption).

    Last, I noted with interest, wayne7777's #7374 mixed mileage of 19 mpg, as it comes from California (where I live). I categorized him as a guess although I'll bet he's watching it like a hawk. Several other posters, including myself, wondered about the potential effect of PZEV status and potential loss of efficiency.

    My conclusion is there's alot of "hopers" and "optimists" that in real life like to smile when they have reason to and ignore reality the rest of the time.

    My apologies for the tardy reply. Lengthy flu/cold/bronchitus syndrome that limited my afterwork leisure on the net.
  • dudleyrdudleyr Posts: 3,469
    That is a lot of effort, but the fact remains that predicting/measuring the mpg of a vehicle by a few posts on the internet cannot be done. There are too many variable in how people drive and how they measure.

    Look at Consumer reports for actual measured mileage - far more accurate than a typical owner can do. They splice in a very accurate fuel gauge and drive the vehicle on real roads with a 5th wheel to determine distance. Get your car warmed up, fill it with gas, drive several hundred miles on a level road without the A/C, and without a head wind at 65 mph and you will get what CR gets (assuming the vehicle is functioning properly). Drive just a few miles in town and the mileage drops rapidly.

    In my experience the two biggest factors in mpg that people rarely take into account are wind speed and engine temperature (of course there are others like driving speed, tire inflation, tire type, a/c use, engine tune, vehicle load, speed consistancy, elevation change, elevation, humidity, temperature, barometric pressure, precipitation, road surface etc).

    Mpg on my Integra varies from well under 20 in the winter, when it never warms up and just goes short distances, to well over 40 (up to 45) on long trips with a tailwind. If I was the complaining type I would post on these boards how bad my mileage is. If I was the bragging type I would post how good it is. Same vehicle, but mileage can be viewed different ways.
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    210delray #7926 - 05 LE - 26 mpg freeway
    210delray #7432 - 04 LE - 26.9 mpg (supecedes msg #7926)

    Both my '04 and '05 Camry LE 4's get better mileage than that on the freeway.

    I'll try to summarize to not bore everyone else.

    '04 LE 4 cyl 4A:
    Overall mileage from 19 miles (new, with a full tank of gas) to 15,802 miles:
    27.3 mpg (15,783 miles, 578.84 gallons)

    Best 3 highway mileage readings in that period (with 2 consecutive tankfuls):
    35.5 mpg (709.5 miles, 20.01 gallons) mostly freeway
    34.9 mpg (815.1 miles, 23.37 gallons) mostly freeway
    30.4 mpg (686.9 miles, 22.62 gallons) mostly divided highway w/ traffic lights.

    Worst 3 city (small town in our case) mileage readings in that period (single tankful, but at least 10 gallons added):
    22.4 mpg (234.6 miles, 10.47 gallons)
    23.1 mpg (267.1 miles, 11.54 gallons)
    23.1 mpg (241.0 miles, 10.45 gallons)

    Since filling up the car in LA and driving back with my wife and son to central VA and then around the area (he didn't keep records when he had the car):
    Overall mileage from 28,751 to 34,012 miles (filled up today):
    28.6 mpg (5261 miles, 184.08 gallons)

    The trip itself (LA to central VA):
    30.3 mpg (3767 miles, 124.32 gallons, 10 consecutive tankfuls) mostly 2-lane roads, 3 people, full trunk, cold temps a good deal of the way, and high altitudes in NV, UT, and CO. Also stopping and touring in towns and national parks along the way.

    Since he's been back home with us and by far the main driver of the car:
    25.3 mpg (1203.3 miles, 47.54 gallons, 3 consecutive tanks) mixed city/highway driving, he's more aggressive than my wife and me.

    I'll do the '05 Camry 4 cyl 5A in a later post. Only 9400 miles on it so far, and it doesn't do quite as well, but still from about 21 mpg around town to 32 mpg on the highway.
  • guillguill Posts: 94
    I couldn't have stated it better than this post by dudleyr;

    That is a lot of effort, but the fact remains that predicting/measuring the mpg of a vehicle by a few posts on the internet cannot be done. There are too many variable in how people drive and how they measure.

    Look at Consumer reports for actual measured mileage - far more accurate than a typical owner can do.

    I commend your efforts, certainly was no easy task. However the fact remains that your analysis offers little concrete evidence due to the many inconsistencies in data gathering. I agree with dudleyr that the Consumer Reports test is a more accurate assessment of Camry fuel usage.
  • guillguill Posts: 94
    - 299 Miles
    - 13.63 Gallons
    - 21.98 mpg

    90/10 city/highway miles

    Total miles on car--3519
  • falcon2, you seem to have 2 complaints. The transmission shifting behavior in newer Toyotas with the 5 speed automatic transmission is bothersome to some people.
    Look in the transmission section of the forum and see the ES300 transmission problem forum and the Toyota/Lexus transaxle delay fourm sions!make=CATS&model=Transmission

    As far as your mileage, the driver variable is very important like Imacmil said in post #72. You may be stepping harder on the gas pedal now that you have a 4 cylinder car to make it accelerate like your prior 6 cylinder car.

    Your 70% hwy driving doesn't tell me that much. If your are driving 65 mph, your 4 cylinder vehicle should do better in mileage than the 6 cylinder. If you are driving 75mph+, I would expect the two cars to get similar mileage.

    Also, were you using premium fuel with the Lexus (which can take advantage of that) and regular unleaded with the Camry? That could also make a difference.

    Hope this helps you in your quest towards feeling satisfied with the car or helping you decide to dump the car.
  • If you live in a place where there is a big swing in temperature from winter to summer, you will notice lower fuel economy in the winter time.
    If you use fuel with 10% ethanol blended in, you will notice lower fuel economy.
    I like the way the Europeans report highway mileage since they tell you what the consumption is at 100kmh (62mph) and then at 120kmh (75mph). There is a significant drop at higher speed.
  • sigt1sigt1 Posts: 66
    seems like im getting about 20 in the winter; not much better than when i had the mustang gt... jeez =/
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