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Toyota Camry Hybrid MPG-Real World Numbers



  • xcelxcel Posts: 1,025
    Hi All:

    Not bad for the first time behind the wheel, 5 adults in the car, ~ 200 #’s of stuff in the trunk, less then 1,000 miles on the odo, and a RT (parking lot to parking lot) segment. That was from Miller Park towards downtown and back again last Sunday at the Madison and Milwaukee Hybrid Group’s - Annual Brewer’s Game get together. The right driver with the right commute is going to do some serious damage to the EPA estimates in this thing!

    Those of you that own one have a very nice automobile sans the un-ergonomic instrumentation :(


    Good Luck

    Wayne R. Gerdes
  • ggav73ggav73 Posts: 31
    Thank you for your report, very useful indeed, and interesting at the same time.
  • tsytsy Posts: 1,551
    Hey, thanks for doing that. It's really interesting. If you re-do your mpg calculations based on a tank capacity of 17.1- you get 35.85, or essentially 36mpg as the computer says.

    Perhaps the 2 mpg discrepency between the computer vs calculated by the pumps is actually an error on the pump side. So we are all paying even more for gas than we thought! :mad:

    The fuel management computers are pretty accurate and it always bothered me that they were off to varying degrees. Perhaps they are better than I thought!

    Thanks again for your experiment. Very nicely done!

  • bmgoodmanbmgoodman Posts: 102
    Your 17.8 gal COULD be accurate, but I would call the agency that regulates the gas pumps in your state. In VA, it is the VA Dept of Agriculture. Tell them you pumped in nearly a gallon more than your car's tank capacity. They may send someone to check the pump, and they may report back to you what they found.
  • wvgasguywvgasguy Posts: 1,405
    Does anyone know if the "rated" capacity of a fuel tank includes the filler tube? Since it is recommended you not top off and fill to the cap, I'm guessing the filler tube is not included in the calculation, thus 17.1 is probably accurate and the rest would be in the nozzel.
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaPosts: 31,432
    The filler tube is not part of the gas tank volume. In the Passat you could get 2 gallons in the filler tube. It is a long one. So that 17.8 is probably right on. Good experiment, to know just what you have left when the indicator says empty.
  • bmgoodmanbmgoodman Posts: 102
    1 U.S. gallon = 231 cu in.
    The .7 gallon discrepancy, then, would be .7*231 = 161.7 cu in.

    Assuming the filler neck is a cylinder, its volume is:

    Pi * radius squared * height. So, 161.7 / Pi gives us the radius squared times height, 51.47.

    Let's assume the filler neck is 3" in diameter, which actually seems large to me. That gives us a radius of 1.5".

    So, 51.47 / 1.5^2 = 22.876 inches as the height of the filler neck. That also seems high to me.

    I'll grant you that I have not tried to account for the volume of gas needed in the fuel line from the tank to the engine. Maybe the .7 can be explained by that.

    On the whole, I think gas pumps may not be inspected frequently enough and small errors in the gas companies' favor could add up to a big windfall over the course of a year. Do I think it's deliberate? NO. But I think they only have incentive to recalibrate pumps IF they determine they are LOSING gas to "generous" pumps. If the inaccuracy works in their favor, and isn't so large as to attract scrutiny, why would they want to investigate?

    Just my $.02.
  • nageshrnageshr Posts: 2
    Hi, Did you do any oil change so far? When is the first oil change due with TCH. I have 1125 miles. The manual says service for every 5000 miles or six months. Anyone had service before 5000 miles? The dealer gave me a coupon for free oil change after 1000 miles. Thinking whether to use it now at 1126 or at 5000 miles?

  • r_nashr_nash Posts: 33
    I've had my TCH a week now and decided to fill up yesterday at half a tank. I calculated 41.7 mpg after 327 miles, the computer showed 40.8 mpg. Amazing!

    My driving is mostly freeway (80%) with some rush hour stop and go in the afternoon. My old F150 got 14 mpg driving the same route. What a difference!
  • bnewinsbnewins Posts: 25
    My dealer said to change oil at 1000 to 1500 miles, thus the free first oil change.

    Same on all their new toyotas.
  • I’ve seen several comments regarding mileage with respect to air conditioners and opened or closed windows. My understanding is that the aerodynamics of the car favors having the windows closed and the decreased drag offsets any power expended by the air conditioners. I would guess this would especially be the case for highway travel where you’d have greater air resistance and the gas engine would produce excess electrical power.

    Anyway, I’ve been on the fence as to whether to buy the Camry Hybrid or a Volkswagen TDI, but today we’re in a Red Ozone alert and I think that might be the tipping point. That and the decision of my employee to rebate $3,000 for the purchase of a new hybrid.

    But if someone could help me, I’ve read a couple of reviews (could be the same disgruntled poster) complaining of lunging at highway speeds – caused by backing off the accelerator which causes the gas engine to shut down, and then when the driver compensates, the gas engine kicks back in and the car lurches. Has anyone noticed this or is this just another internet urban legend?

    Also, how is the car at 70-80 mph? I know that’s past the sweet spot but there’s a lot to be said for not being run over!

  • r_nashr_nash Posts: 33
    Standard Chimp asks about "reviews complaining of lunging at highway speeds". I've put 500 miles on my new Camry Hybrid and have been very pleased with how smooth the drivetrain and ride is. I've never felt any thing close to lunging or lurching.

    If you coast down a grade on the freeway with your foot off the gas, then very slightly touch the gas, sometimes you can feel the electric traction motor switch from regen to providing power. It is a very subtle change, simply a switch from the car holding it's speed coasting to a gentle increase in speed. Any thing more than a very slight touch simply brings on the power smoothly. I would hardly call it a "lurch". You can change the info display to see if the traction motor is providing power or regen, and if the ICE is providing power.

    Several times I've been suprised to find myself doing 80. The car is so quiet that there is little difference in sensation between 65 and 80. Test drive one on the freeway if you get a chance - I think you will be pleased.
  • droid13droid13 Posts: 29
    I’ve read a couple of reviews (could be the same disgruntled poster) complaining of lunging at highway speeds

    What I've found is that on the highway the engine rpm will alter up or down a lot more than on a car where the engine is directly responsible for driving the wheels. Hearing this can be a bit unsettling at first because it could almost be described as sounding like a regular automatic tranny slipping. Of course, in this car the engine is computer controlled and mainly running the generator so there isn't any relevent speed to rpm correlation (propably why this car has no tach, Toyota probably figured they'd get too many complaints about weird stuff happening with the engine). My gut feel at this time is that this lurching issue is an auditory perception issue. Your brain hears something and associates it to a familiar situation, and can convince itself that it's feeling the same thing even though the car continues to ride steady. Time will tell...
  • bnewinsbnewins Posts: 25
    The TCH is so quiet and smooth that if you pay close attention you might notice subtle changes. This car is the wave of the future. I couldn't be more pleased.

    BTW, I find 70 mph plenty fast enough. Just let all those left laners go like hell. Someone has to start slowing down. Besides you will pass them when they stop for gas. :P
  • first off I am not an owner but a salesmen for toyota, toyota has a few teams out driving the all new camry and stopping in dealerships and explaining their experience,

    Like most new toyota dealers mine is no different we dont have the cars in stock but have more then most area dealers coming in, as a salesperson it is hard to really get to know the camry hybrid without alot of research and feed back from people that are actually driving them.

    Now the two guys that were at my dealership said that they didnt get their best gas mileage on the first second or third tank full but with over 5000 miles under their belt of city and highway driving they learned many things about gas mileage and had some really good advice on achieving the best mileage possible.

    First air conditioning and climate control is ALL electric which means when used properly you will actually acheive better mileage then cruising with the windows down. All toyota hybrids have an economy setting for the climate control. When seated in a driving position it is located on the lower left of the dash. almost under the dash actually, next to the trunk release. By engaging this feature you allow the computer to supply a steady flow of electricity to the climate control, allowing the computer to not have SPIKES in power required for the air conditioning to be used, There are two things with this, first you can not use the extreme tempature LO for air HI for heat, you must turn it at least one degree of these settings, for maximum cooling set the climate control to 65 degrees and you will see that the ECO light in the middle of the climate display will be lit up. now turn it to the LOW setting and you will see it shuts off the ECONOMY system. this will increase your gas mileage and allow you to use all the features of the car.

    Next you have to remember that this is a very smart car, like chocolate and vanilla people drive differently, there is a learning curve required by the car and yourself, drive the car like you normally would, it is a car for enjoyment, enjoy it, the car will learn how you drive compute these facts and you will see the gas mileage increase as you and the car learn how each other operate.

    If you have any questions regarding your new toyota camry feel free to drop me a line if I dont know the answer I will surely be happy to get it for you

    in closing remember there are many ways to increase mileage ratings, using cruise control and maintaining a speed of 55 are some of the best when traveling on the highway.

    Enjoy your new toyota
    John C
  • bnewinsbnewins Posts: 25
    Thanks John. Great post. I was wondering about how the ECO setting worked.
  • my pleasure, just remember to turn the settings up or down one degree and the ECO button will do everything else for you. this is really a great feature that wasnt explained in detail when I received the salesmans information packet on the hybrid, when the two gentleman stopped by the dealership I came in on my day off to learn more about this truely amazing car.
  • Everyone, thanks, I appreciate all of you taking the time to respond.

    And to "newins", the left laners are going 90!

    Standard Chimpanzee
  • wvgasguywvgasguy Posts: 1,405
    Has anyone noticed this or is this just another internet urban legend?

    It's NOT a problem

    Also, how is the car at 70-80 mph?

    FE suffers some, but the power is there! Especially if you're comparing it to a VW TDI. I traded in from an Infiniti FX45 with 315 HP and I am more than satisfied with the acceleration of the TCH.
  • wvgasguywvgasguy Posts: 1,405
    There are some interesting posts on as well as a milage database (I'm currently at 38.4mpg)
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    From my own 650 mi initial drive through the beautiful states of VA, WV and KY over the Appalachians I was shocked to arrive at destination showing 39 mpg right out of the box.

    It seems to me that Toyota may have implemented the new EPA testing criteria in advance of the 2008 MY date. Whereas the other HSD vehicles got close to EPA values with some effort, this TCH gets there with little or no effort.

    It sure does put to rest the argumentation that 'hybrids never get close to their EPA numbers'.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    This is false. Right out of Toyota's manual you only have to do the first maintenance at 5000 miles.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    For those who haven't read the many posts on the Hybrid Highlander forum and the Toyota Camry hybrid forum you might want to look at the following posts to assist you.

    Hybrid Highlander forum:
    Post #2890 by cdtrap

    Toyota Camry Hybrid forum::
    Posts #843 and #848
  • bakaronibakaroni Posts: 10
    So I drive a '02 VW Passat (5-speed). I've been using a lot of tricks to get the most mileage out of my car and its on-board trip display has helped me figure out what driving habits to cut out and what to encourage. The mileage varies from time to time (mostly due to the temperature, I think). For my daily commute, which is in the San Francisco Bay Area, about 20 miles of highway and about 5 miles of city driving, I normally get 31-34 mpg in winter and 36+ in summer. Yesterday, on my commute home from work I got 40.3 mpg, which is the best or second best I've got since I've owned this car.

    In the meantime, I have the option of buying a new TCH in early July. But with the kind of mileage I'm getting out of my VW, even assuming I beat the TCH's mpg rating, I would probably get no more than 10 more mpg than with the VW. So it doesn't make economic sense then to go with the TCH. However, are there other reasons one should consider? Like, is the TCH a much cleaner burning vehicle?
  • droid13droid13 Posts: 29
    So I drive a '02 VW Passat

    The TCH will be significantly cleaner. It carries the best rating possible for a gas powered vehicle (I believe it's something like 90% cleaner than the average 2003 model year car). The atkinson cycle engine burns fuel much more efficiency, I imagine the catalytic converter is more efficient, and the car has evaporative control. Even opening the fuel door for refueling is computer controlled. You press a button on the dash and the computer evaluates the pressure inside the fuel tank. It does something which the manual does not say for certain before opening what I imagine is some kind of pressure lock valve, then the fuel door opens for use.

    Aside from that, certainly the TCH is just one of many ways to achieve good fuel economy and it's not the cheapest way either, but it's hard to beat it on the "this is really cool" factor.
  • bnewinsbnewins Posts: 25
    Ok. That is probably correct. Again, my dealer recommended the first oil change at 1000 to 1500 miles. the 2006 Prius Hybrid manual reccommends an oil change at 1000 miles. Not sure why it would be done on the Prius and not the Camry Hybrid, but to be prudent I am going to change the oil at 1000-1200 miles.
  • sptx89sptx89 Posts: 3
    Thanks for the explanation on the ECO feature. I have been to several dealerships and they couldn't explain it. The summers in Texas are brutal. Can you engage the ECO feature all the time in this Texas heat. Will this improve your MPG. If you can't, when is the best time to use it.

  • houtex1houtex1 Posts: 82
    So far the eco setting has worked fine for me in Houston. There was only one time when I felt the air wasn't coooling enough and I undid the eco setting and it still took a while to cool off. I think that was my 2nd or 3rd day owning the car and I was not very familiar with everything and it's possible that it was user error. I haven't encountered a situation like that again. We'll see when August rolls around :)
  • sptx89sptx89 Posts: 3
    Thanks for responding. From a fellow Houstonian, you know what it's like here. I should be getting my TCH next week. As you stated earlier, August will be the real test on the AC.
  • ggav73ggav73 Posts: 31
    I just came back from a trip at Outer Banks, NC. I live in Chicago. I drove 2611 miles and overall for this trip the mileage was 39.4, cruise control speed on highway 75 mph, mountains and plains roads, 5 tanks of gas. I noticed a 39.5-40.5 mpg around 65-70 mph, 43 while driving on the island. Overall, very satisfied with this car. Took a picture at Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, but parking lot was full and is not as nice as the previous one posted at greenhybrid at same location. (Parking lot was full).
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