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Toyota Camry Hybrid MPG-Real World Numbers



  • tnltnltnltnl Posts: 9
    I am thinking about getting a TCH.
    Someone in a forum suggested that a Camry 6 cylinder only would get 1 or 2 miles less then a TCH, is this accurate?
    Also, how much power does the TCH have when loaded with passengers? I am wondering about passing power, etc.?
  • sgoodmansgoodman Posts: 14
    Not true, although it depends on the season and length of trips. In the winter, on short trips (10-15 minutes) around town, my TCH got only around 24 MPG. Now that it is warmer it gets 31 MPG overall average. On the highway it is easy to get 36-38, and many get more. I don't think the 6-cyl Camry comes close to that. There are, however, a number of nonhybrid cars out there that can get >30 MPG.

    The TCH does not have the passing power of the 6-cyl Camry, but it is pretty good if you want to floor it. You tend to be so conscious of fuel consumption, though, that there is much less temptation to floor it than in a non-hybrid. But if you really need to move, the TCH does pretty well.
  • wvgasguywvgasguy Posts: 1,405
    Remember too that sgoodman's results may not be typical. Depending on where you live, how you drive, etc. I just drove my TCH to work this AM, mostly on the interstate at 65 mph and got 41 mpg. Yesterday on a mixed interstate, town and rural drive I averaged 41 for about 80 miles. Interstate driving is not even the sweet spot for my TCH, It really shines on rural 2 lane roads.

    My lifetime FE after 51,000 miles is 37.3 mpg. I've never gotten less than 32 on a tank (and that was extreem weather and fast driving).

    Some may suggest their 6cy or even any other car where the EPA advertises a high hwy FE claim, do as well as a TCH, but unless someone tracks their FE all the time, they probably don't have a clue about what their car is really doing.
  • loves2readloves2read Posts: 47
    have had our 09 TCH for little over a month--have driven over 1K mainly short distance (under 5 mi) on city streets with red lights--not stop and go driving on freeways under the battery and has 4 or 5 distrance runs on freeways--but I am not a commuter--retired now--and don't really need to drive long distances to do my daily living....I knew when I decided to buy a TCH that I would probably not get the super efficiency that some people post about because my routes are different...

    have put in 3 tanks of gas and have been getting with the math about 33.2 to 33.8 as the avg mpg....
    when we stop the car and check the mpg readout--we get many EXCELLENT showing over 35 mpg--so I keep expecting to get a better MPG when I do the math...

    I am not super disappointed since I realize that much of my driving routes do not take advantage of the strengths of the hybrid system---but I do try to maximize my battery use and just the coasting effect (which my husband says works in any car--not just a hybrid)...I have had some concerns about what my MPG dial is doing when I compare it with the little icon showing battery/gas engine/wheels on the center console because they seem to be at cross purposes at times--but people said that is normal---trust the car's system--so I am trying to do that...

    the only consolation is that I know we would not gave gotten numbers even this good if we had bought a 4 cyl XLS top of the line (which IS what we would have bought)...or a 6 cyl Accord and I know that my friend who bought a new 09 6 cyl Camry --and does basically the exact same type of driving I do --is getting way less than we are--under 20 for sure...

    it just seems like I have enough of those uphill starts from the light and hitting reds vs greens to make an impact and doing errands in my area there is no way NOT to have shorter distances which eat up the MPG
    I am starting to find streets to use that don't have so many lights or stop signs

    We are using this car when we go out together in the evenings and on weekends which we definitely did not do when I had my PT Cruiser--so I know my husband appreciates it vs using his Tahoe...
    just hope I can learn as I go on how to maximize the hybrid's strengths...
  • grggrg Posts: 15
    I have had my TCH 21 months, and I don't understand how the new owners are seeing such low mileage. I have a 2007, and I average 38 mpg in the spring and fall.
    If I use the air conditioner on eco, I get a little worse mileage. The worse mileage is in the winter when I use the heat/defroster. But I never get let than 32 mpg for a tank of gas. Hills aren't an issue because what goes up must go down, no? I agree that there is a definite style of driving, and one has to hope for 2 lanes so the acceleration people can pass on the left. I eventually get up to the speed limit, but it is slower. I find the whole process a positive relaxing experience. As far as tips goes, there is a basic "thrust and glide" approach that should be engaged to maximize the use of the electric engine. It can be searched for through this website.
  • wvgasguywvgasguy Posts: 1,405
    I live in the hills and granted it is not an equal exchange of energy between the ups and downs. But what I notice a lot is when I'm going uphill and getting say 20 mpg, my excess power is still charging the battery if I'm not pushing the car. Then when I crest over the hill I have a full charge and my gage will drop to 60. If I am then in an area with rolling hills or mild grades the battery power added to the idle engin will propel me with an FE rating still above 40.

    My one tank of 32 mpg was on an interstate driving at 80 to 85 for about 3.5 hours in a cold (less than 40 degree) rain. rain usually costs me the most pain, but wind and cold add as well. Idon't live in a large metropolitan area with numerous stop and go situations and I must assume those getting 24 have those situations. I have driven in every other situation and can't get below 35 unless I intentionally push hard. Even spending a weekend inside the loop at Baltimore I was able to get 39. Not every redlight was an uphill start.

    I do have to make an effort though to not be in the fast lane, do fast starts, and all the other things I did in the past.
  • mz3smz3s Posts: 17
    With all the mileage posts here i'm just not convinced a hybrid is the way to go. Better mileage and all is great, but why should I have to sacrifice my driving style to get the numbers? I'm not a hypermiler, but not a nut either. I don't see the benefit of adding complexity to my car, paying more for it, and having to putt putt it everywhere pissing off other drivers for the extra mileage. And its not that much given that i drive normally.
  • redmazda3redmazda3 Posts: 28
    From your name it looks like you own a Mazda 3s. My wife and I own a 2007 TCH and a 2004 Mazda 3 Hatchback. She drives her TCH as if it is a regular gas engine car. There are times, when I am behind her in my car, that I have trouble keeping pace with her starts and she goes just as fast around corners as I do in my Mazda. She drives the TCH about 90% of the time. Her commute is about 8 miles of stop and start driving and she still manages to get around 36 mpg. So without really trying to get excellent gas mileage, she still gets really good gas mileage. When I drive the TCH, I can generally squeeze a couple of extra mpgs out of the car. We love driving both cars.
  • mz3smz3s Posts: 17
    good for you guys, glad you two are happy with your cars, assuming you like your MZ3. your wife's camry is delivering as advertised.

    my issue is whether its all worth it. they make weird popping noises. For me, no.

    Thanks for an honest post. it's certainly better than hearing people getting that mileage figure and complaining. and with the "on this one occasion on the luckiest day of my life when i found a blank check and a four leaf clover... oh yeah... going down the hill with the engine shut off I got a billion skillion mpg. those stories are kinda cool though. it keeps my own imagination in check.
  • shazam3shazam3 Posts: 13
    "If I use the air conditioner on eco, I get a little worse mileage."

    Hmm?!? That's odd. I thought I read on the manual that if you use the AC on ECO it uses less power therefore you get improved fuel efficiency.
    I'll try driving without ECO to see if I get better FE like you are experiencing.
  • snaab93se1snaab93se1 Posts: 69
    Just curious....what other cars are you considering? Love my TCH but I got it in Feb when they were not in demand. If I was buying now ...not sure it would be the premium they are asking over MSRP. Only difference in driving it verses a normal gas engine is a slight shudder when starting and a slight whine when stopping...both of which are not annoying to me and I am annoyed easily. Must give kudos to the A/C as yesterday it was 115 and today was 111 and had no problems cooling the car with no tinted windows....did decrease the mileage but no more than any other car.
  • wvgasguywvgasguy Posts: 1,405
    they make weird popping noises

  • wvgasguywvgasguy Posts: 1,405
    Better mileage and all is great, but why should I have to sacrifice my driving style to get the numbers? Even without changing your "style" I'll bet the TCH is significantly better OVERALL than your Mazda.

    I'm not a hypermiler, but not a nut either. I don't see the benefit of adding complexity to my car, paying more for it, and having to putt putt it everywhere pissing off other drivers for the extra mileage. And its not that much given that i drive normally. If other drivers get "ticked" at me because I've decided to start obeying the law (speed limit) well that's something I'll just have to live with. As for benefit, saving thousands of dollars is a benefit. For me, I can afford to drive a gas hog, but why waste money when I can use that money elsewhere more wisely.

    The US attitude will be forced to change, soon I believe. It won't make a lot of people happy but it will happen.
  • miser_manmiser_man Posts: 5
    I am the new owner of a 09 TCH and after 1,600kms I have already beat the dealer posted mileage of 5.7 l/100km (50 mpg). I couldn't be happier! The 4WD Tundra I returned to the dealer averaged 16.5 mpg on average, so a 2/3 reduction in my gas bill will save me roughly $450/month! I went through many posts on this site in the days up to buying the car, and learned about P+G, and regen braking, so it came fairly easy once I was behind the wheel. I drive on primarily flat land, with a couple of hills each day (live in the Niagara escarpment in Ontario, Canada).

    I have noticed that my regen component varies wildly from day to day on the same altitude change, and wonder if anyone has a good idea of the best regen technique? Do I coast down the hill (about 2km long at 6% grade), riding the brakes to keep my speed at the limit, or should I take a back road down the same hill that is much steeper and requires severe brake riding?
  • sgoodmansgoodman Posts: 14
    Delighted that you are happy, and your new mileage is good, but not as good as you report. 5.7 liters/100 KM corresponds to 1.5 gallons/60 miles = 40 MPG, which is what you should get on the open road. The dealer rating is 34 MPG highway. 50 MPG is what a few hypermilers claim, but 38-43 is what most normal folks achieve. But that's good.
  • cdn_tchcdn_tch Posts: 194
    5.7l/100km = 49.5 mpg (imperial) = 41.2 mpg (US)

    1 gal (US) = 3.785l
    1 gal (Imp) = 4.54l

    Standards are wonderful! So many to choose from :-)
  • sgoodmansgoodman Posts: 14
    Hmmm. Looks like US standards get us less every day! :)
  • miser_manmiser_man Posts: 5
    Yah I said I lived in Canada, so I of coursewas talking Imperial gallons. But don't feel too bad about your US standards: we are paying $1.34 per litre; about $5.09 a US gallon, so you may get 20 % less in your gallon, but you sure have cheaper gas than we do!

    Does anyone know anything about the throttle algorithm that determines when the gas engine should start. Toyota could sure improve this car by giving the driver some different modes to choose from: how about a sport/econo switch on the dash to vary the travel on the accelerator before the ICE kicks in. I find that its really tempermental; I would like to be able to just push it down and have the battery run me up to its max speed (assuming its safe to do so).
  • grggrg Posts: 15
    Hey wvgasguy,
    I remember when I first got my TCH nearly 2 years ago, I who live in Colorado, was comparing my mileage with your in West Virginia. Now, the recent posts show much lower mileage. Are the newer TCH's engineered differently and getting worse mileage?
  • lazarbeamlazarbeam Posts: 1
    I am also a 2007 Hybrid Camry owner driving in South Florida that has always gotten between 34.4 and 37.6 MPG for the first 14,000 miles. This is not true with the last 4 tanks of gas. I now get around 29.2 MPG. I took the vehicle to Toyota and they say all is well, must be the Ethanol Blend. How can a 10% Ethanol blend cause a 17% reduction in MPG? This does not make sense. I would be better off with a 90% sized Gallon of real Gas.
    I am still investigating the problem.
  • quixotic1quixotic1 Posts: 23
    I went back to the dealer in Coral Springs and had my 25k oil change.

    They showed me my air filter was terribly dirty and suggested I get the fuel injectors cleaned. I was dubious but allowed them to do the work. $200 for both. Presto! My mileage went back up while driving to NC. 40 mpg going 80 plus on ethanol blend. I am in NC now where they are not adding ethanol yet and the mileage seems consistent. I will give my report when I get back to the land of ethanol (S. Fl.)

    You can change the air filter yourself I believe. Try that & see if it helps. :)
  • wvgasguywvgasguy Posts: 1,405
    Are the newer TCH's engineered differently and getting worse mileage?

    They should be the same. My guess is that the early buyers were those of us who were obsessed ;o) and the later buyers are made up of a large group of people that want better gas milage now that prices are higher and don't necessarily want to change their driving habits. Not true for all of them but for a lot of them because they say so in these postings.

    I had to drive a lot more this past winter, my wife now drives the TCH daily for 50 to 80 miles. My lifetime FE is now standing at 37.3, mostly from what I can see is due to her driving the majority of miles. I can generally do 2 mpg better than her.

    Thus where I get 37 to 39, she gets 35 to 37. I'm guessing most drivers are like her, they make some changes but are not willing to "lear" the system, they just want to drive. That's OK, but it can and will cost you a couple of mpg's. It's not a lot of money or gas so why worry.

    The EPA ratings simply reflect a new testing mode and there is no difference in the car. Where as I could meet the EPA numbers before, I simply exceed them now. They are just a relative base for judging against other cars so as long as I know what "type" of driver I am I should be able to exceed EPA now by 10 to 15% no matter what I drive because of the way I drive.
  • loves2readloves2read Posts: 47
    so of of what a driver can get relative to MPG efficiency in a TCH seems to me to be related to where they are driving and what type of driving they need to do...
    this is RELATIVE--not FIXED--the only way to truly compare MPG efficience is to drive exactly the same course in the same conditions as another drive--once with the same TCH and once with a different one really--
    and compare the MPG figures....
    a person who lives in one part of the county with a different physical configuration of routes and also different temperature means is going to have different numbers than I will...
    it is not comparing apples to oranges but maybe Gala to Granny Smith or Delicious to Yellow Delicious
    frankly when there is no way to actually validate claims it is ephemeral to certain extent...
  • inincubusinincubus Posts: 11
    This may sound irrelevent to this thread but,
    As an owner of 2007 TCH, don't worry about your mpg number at all.

    I used to average around 33 mpg until after 6 month of driving.
    Nearly 2 years later, i get 39.2 mpg
    The fuel efficiency will get better as you drive around.
    Also, if you care so much about it, your driving habbits and style will change, resulting a better mpg.

    I hope this helps, I just don't want some of you to worry too much like i did.
  • wvgasguywvgasguy Posts: 1,405
    this is RELATIVE--not FIXED--the only way to truly compare MPG efficience is to drive exactly the same course in the same conditions as another drive--once with the same TCH and once with a different one really--

    It is a relative comparison.

    My opinion, for what its worth, is that you should know what your FE was on your previous vehicle as compared to the EPA and you'll do about the same on your TCH. Of course with the TCH you have the opportunity to then well exceed that figure if you indeed change your driving habits (you can do that too on your old vehicle).

    On just about every vehicle I've had in the last 10 years I averaged just over the low number on EPA FE postings. However I am averaging 37+ over 50,000 miles on the TCH. Just below no the old EPA rating but well above the new ratings.

    I've got several friends that are still telling me their car gets 35 mpg. No way. I know what they drive and while they may have a trip or two where they do that there is no way they get that good. A lot of people don't know how badly their vehicle truly is overall and then when they get in a TCH and only get 34 to 35 they are disappointed. It's hard to prove anything to these folk. Be informed.
  • loves2readloves2read Posts: 47
    yesterday I went to eat with my friend who bought a new 09 V6 Camry about a month before we got our TCH--she is not very gadget adept and I was doing her blueetooth connection for the 3rd time--and showed her how to toggle between the screens on her electronic display---
    her AVG gas mpg is one of those--it showed 17.9 I think --or maybe 17.6--when she saw it, she went "OHHHH"--meaning that is all I am getting????
    so I could tell she was disappointed since even the V6 is supposed to get more than that in town where she does most of her driving...
    but she is not a very gas-conscious driver--she speeds and then brakes instead of coasting up to the light--she jumps on the gas going away from lights--
    so I knew she was not trying to maximize the POTENTIAL for better mileage...
    she had an Avalon before and would have bought another but the new one is so much longer than the one she traded in--it would not really fit that well in her garage...
    we took trip from DFW to San Antonio and the New Braunfels area last week--drove I-35 through Waco and Austin so it was mainly freeway non-stop getting there and coming back--
    we averaged almost 40 mpg coming back and had about 38 going--don't know if there was a head-wind/tail-wind situation since I thought the hills would have cancelled each other out...
    in-town the mpg dropped of course but still we did pretty well--
    and we are hoping that giving the car that long of a drive will help with the breakin since mostly I have been doing short trips in town and not seeing much above 33 as an AVG....still glad I got it--
    was a little noisy on the road--the tires are the Bridgestones and they are noisy--but the car drove well--had passing kick when we needed it--and my husband was pretty happy--
    we also got a full set of golf clubs, a rolling duffle bag, a carry-on size bag and items like a blender, golf shoes, and some food stuff in the trunk--we had more space than we throught for actual storage--but the dropdown for the battery vents can be a little tricky as well for storing taller stuff...
  • sgoodmansgoodman Posts: 14
    I have an 08 TCH, and often don't get the mileage reported here. The 3 most important determinants of my mileage are:

    1.) Length of trip: For the first 6-8 mins, I see a characteristic stair-step appearance on the MPG monitor, increasing from about 10 to 30. If the trip is <10 mins I will typically not exceed roughly 25-30 MPG, and I need about 12-15 mins for the trip average to exceed 30.

    2.) Temperature: In summer, I am getting overall mileage ca 32 MPG (w/lots of short trips). In winter (15-35 deg), I got 24-28 (on short trip city driving).

    3.) Hills: Going to work, a lot downhill - 38-40 MPG over 7 miles. Coming back, 30ish, 24 in winter.

    When I first got the car in the early winter, I was a bit angry and disappointed - thought I got a lemon. Now I see that EPA "around town" #s may be high for short trips, and the "highway" #s low, as we can get 38-40 effortlessly on long trips. I know there are many on this forum who get much better around town (but I wonder about the length of their trips), but it is impt for those who don't to know they are not alone.

  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Your experiences are not unusual. But this is not a TCH problem. You do not have a lemon. (Low mileage does not constitute a lemon anyway.)

    ALL fossil-fuel-powered cars (non-hybrids, diesels too) have lower MPG at the beginning of a trip, before the engine reaches optimal operating temps. The best mileage occurs after then engine is warmed up.

    If all or most of your trips are short, you will consistently see far below EPA averages in ANY vehicle. It seems worse in a hybrid only because the expectations are higher.

    In the cold months, using the heater hurts your MPG.. In the summer, using the A/C affects MPG a lot also.

    You will get the best MPG in your TCH while in moderate temps, using no climate controls inside.

    The average combined (City/Hwy) MPG for a large group of TCHs is between 34 mpg and 37 mpg overall. People with short commutes are the lowest.

    The absolute worse performers combine these scenarios:

    1. Live in a place with very cold winters.
    2. Have a short commute.
    3. Use the A/C a lot in the summer.

    That combination will assure that you get lower than EPA averages in ANY vehicle. In a hybrid, it will SEEM worse because you expect better. But it's no different than any other similar car would do.
  • sgoodmansgoodman Posts: 14
    Thanks. Absolutely right. Macolyte.
  • wvgasguywvgasguy Posts: 1,405
    My "town" and short trips are different than most. I have no problem at all getting 40+ mpg on a 4 mile trip into town with a cold engine. However with that said, I don't commute so lots of times when I make this trip it's with a car that had previously had a longer drive and the battery is in the GREEN charge area. Additionally, I live on a hill and while I always lose a tenth getting up to go home, when I leave I can coast and ride my brakes for about 1/4 mile before I hit the road into town. The engine will run for that first start up anyway so I'm getting to add milage to the warmup without using a lot of gas to drive the wheels. Once I do that, if there is little traffic I can go about 50 mph and get 45+ mpg with little effort.

    I believe for many it's an issue of several back to back short trips commuting day after day rather than just short trips in general.
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