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New Toyota Camry Hybrid Owners - Give Us Your Report



  • gmyatkogmyatko Posts: 8
    There is a warning in the manual not to place anything on top of the vent on the rear deck beind the center rear passenger. It says this can overheat the battery.
  • texastchtexastch Posts: 1
    I just got my TCH yesterday. So far it is averaging just over 36mpg. Am going to take it on a road trip this weekend. I will report back after that. So far I am very pleased with how it drives and rides. :)
  • mikecmikec Posts: 40
    Well,I got myself a TCH. Here's my mini-report:

    Overall, nice car. Still on first tank; getting 33 mpg. (about 12 mpg than I was getting). I did a fair amount of research, so I knew what I was getting into.

    I am coming from another great car, an Accord (2003-2007 version).

    Pluses (compared to my Accord, which is a high bar in the first place):
    - MPG, MPG, MPG
    - Quieter, smoother ride, less vibration, and power is decent (coming from a V6 I was concerned, but it's all good)
    - Stereo is very good
    - Looks like a Lexus, but costs a lot less ;-)
    - Roomy drivers' area, even for tall people)
    - DC adapter layout is good; AUX input and pass-through hole are nice
    - Climate control very good
    - DRL (Daylight running lights; can be turned on or off, which is nice)
    - Navigiation/computer has lots and lot options.
    - Adjustable lumbar support (an air bladder, not a bar)
    - Bluetooth integration
    - Satellite radio integration

    Negs. (These are very minor nits by me; compared to the things I liked in the Accord, which set the bar high):
    - Plastic dash/trim seems slightly lower quality than Honda
    - Leather seems slightly lower qualitythan Honda (seat is not as "snug", so that may play into it.
    - Door ergonomics could be improved (arm rest is to small/short)
    - Mirror adjustment switch position could be improved
    - No auto up on driver window (but has auto down).
    - Navigation has lots and lots of options (learing curve)

    Overall, I am very pleased. This is a lot of car for the money. Being able to drive a full size sedan (my mobile "leather sofa") and get such good gas mileage is awesome. Sure, people say you can do it with the regular 4 cylinder, but in my experience, it is noiser, and there is more variation in the mileage.

    Another big thumbs up.
  • For 2010, a regular 4 will be the new 2.7L engine with a 6 speed auto. any expert out there can estimates the MPG incease compare with current 2.4L + 5 spd? It will have an estimated 185HP, so very similar to a 2009 Hybrid performance wise. I doubt the Hybrid will be changed for 2010.

    Current 2.4L is 21/31, conservatively a 10% increase for 2.7L+ 6spd would be 23/34, match the highway mileage # of Hybrid?

    Is it is good idea to get a Hybrid now, or to wait a year and pay less for a improved regular 4?
  • mikecmikec Posts: 40
    I thought about this too, but I bought this year because of fuel, maintenance cost and trade-in value change, based on my current vehicle (which was V6).

    I ran my numbers, and it was about $4,000 cheaper to buy this year than wait.

    So basically, it was "I can buy this year's Hybrid model (2009, fully loaded) for ~$24,000, (minus trade-in was ~$13,000), or I can wait a year, and pay ~$29,000 (minus trade-in ~$20,000 for the 2010 Hybid model (which may or may not have new body styling and other features.)

    The answer was pretty obvious for me. (I assumed a small price increase by Toyota, and assumed no unexpected out-of-warranty repairs on my current vehicle.)

    Now, comparing the regular Camry 4 cyl. vs the Hybrid, I think the answer might be different, as depending on trim level, there can be a big difference. And while the Hybrid fuel economy will beat the 4 cyl., it won't be as dramatic (and therefore less cost differential.) So it is always "cheaper" to ge the regular 4 cyl. over the Hybrid when looking over just one one year.

    You need to decide how much you can afford, and the costs. I would run them over 5 years and see what you come up with. A lot is preference; I would not by the base model of a new car, because to me, it I am going to go new, I want to fully enjoy it, and want all the toys and comforts.(which I know if they weren't there, would bother me over the 5 years).
  • s60leasers60leaser Posts: 53
    I too am trying to decide between a Hybrid or a regular 4cyl(either LE or XLE).
    Where can you get a "2009 fully loaded Hybrid at $24000"?
    I have been looking for a Hybrid ( or LE or XLE)with Leather, VS (std on Hybrid) CQ and UP options-Cant get a number close to that!

    Thanks for the help, in advance.
  • gmyatkogmyatko Posts: 8
    I bought my loaded '07 Camry hybrid on Ebay from a private party. It had 19k miles on it. They loved it. They even sent a dozen people to their dealership to buy the same car. They sold it because they had a second child and were going to buy a Highlander Hybrid.

    Anyway, mine was $25k with 19k miles on it. Hopefully like other Toyota's this would be "break-in" miles. No taxes no other charges, period. It was the ONLY Hybrid I could find in the US used at the time, so I felt pretty lucky. I've owned it for a year, and couldn't be happier. It has a heck of a lot of giddy-up for getting on a highway. I'm told it is comparable to an '06 3.3liter Camry. It certainly feels like a 6 second 0-60 kind of car. Not that I drive it like that, but sometimes when you need it....

    So that's my take on it. Maybe look around for a slightly used.
  • Hybrid is not so easy to adopt to new engine so there are always some delay. To make the new 2.7L into Hybrid will at least take a few years. So the MPG difference between 2010 regular I4+6sp and Hybrid+CVT will be relatively small for a couple of years and HP being the same. At the same time, I am also waiting for the next high MPG Prius, which should come next Summer. By that time, the next RXh might be available as well.

    Trade off is, I need to keep driving my 18mpg V6 for another 12~15 months (12k/year).
  • jaxs1jaxs1 Posts: 2,697
    Would any of the bikes on this page fit in the trunk after being folded?

    I don't know the dimensions of the trunk's interior. The listed cargo volume of 10.6 cu doesn't answer that question.
  • lzclzc Posts: 483
    Minimum trunk dimensions are roughly 45Wx27Dx20H.
  • jaxs1jaxs1 Posts: 2,697
    The largest bike on that page for riders up to 6'6" says "Folded Size: 41” x 28” x 12”," but I would think it would still fit, but just not lay completely flat.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Just add a little hitch to the car and get a bike carrier that attaches via hitch. Then you can use any bike you want.

    My 2007 TCH has a hitch I got at U-Haul. Works great for small stuff.
  • jaxs1jaxs1 Posts: 2,697
    I thought of that, but I heard that any trailer hitches will void your warranty because towing is not allowed.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Just because you have a hitch does not mean you have towed something.

    I have attached three different items to my hitch and none of them have been a "towed item with wheels on the ground."

    Using a bike carrier, a Segway hauler, or a cargo platform is not considered towing.
  • gmyatkogmyatko Posts: 8
    Can't say for 100%. I've had a regular 55cm road bicycle with both wheels off and placed on top of the frame with a blanket, and that all fit. The issue may be the handlebars, but if you are handy just a little, you can easily pull the bars with the cables attached and then it really should fit ok.

    The other thing I have is a class one trailer hitch on my camry hybrid. I put a bike rack on that, and have had as many as 4 (light) road bikes on it, or 3 mountain bikes. When I put heavy mountain bikes on, I put the wheels in the trunk. The bike rack is super easily removable.

    If you would like more information on the bike rack thing, let me know, gmyatko at
  • jaxs1jaxs1 Posts: 2,697
    Someone posted that the owners manual says that even just the act of installing a trailer hitch on a Camry Hybrid is prohibited.
  • lzclzc Posts: 483
    On the subject of towing, the owner's manual says:

    "Towing Capacity: Toyota does not recommend towing a trailer with your vehicle. It is not designed for trailer towing."

    And then this:

    "Toyota also does not recommend the installation of a tow hitch or the use of a tow hitch carrier for a wheelchair, scooter, bicycle, etc. Your Toyota is not designed for trailer towing or for use of tow hitch mounted carriers."
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    I think the "you can/will void the warranty if you add a hitch" thing is just an Urban Myth, perpetuated by the wimpiest and most paranoid among us.

    First of all: How could Toyota PROVE that you EVER towed anything? Even scrapes on the interior of the hitch connection could be explained away:

    "I bought the hitch used."

    or if you got the car used:

    "It was on there when I got the car."

    (Just my opinion.) I bet any good lawyer could get your warranty restored if Toyota ever tried to void it because you merely had a hitch installed.

    Wonder if it's ever really come up in a hybrid car warranty action? Anyone know?
  • jaxs1jaxs1 Posts: 2,697
    Since they are concerned even with carrying carriers for wheelchairs, bicycles and scooters, maybe the underside of the bumper is different than on a non-Hybrid Camry and body damage may occur even from the mount even if you're not towing anything of any significant weight.
    I have heard there are some Hybrid components in that rear area.
    Maybe the underbody or bumper is just more easily damaged on the Hybrid.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Well, I can tell you I have had about 180 pounds on my hitch and nothing back there is "worse for wear."

    Have been to the dealer several times and no one has mentioned anything about the hitch.

    The U-Haul guy had no problems installing it, and nothing in the hybrid system was affected during the install.
  • lzclzc Posts: 483
    >>I bet any good lawyer could get your warranty restored if Toyota ever tried to void it . . . .

    Yep, probably so. But at what cost?

    Most likely, of course, the issue won't come up, especially if a little common sense is used. But, at the risk of sounding wimpy and paranoid, why not just buy a car designed to do what you want, rather than force it to do something it wasn't intended to do? :)
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    I'm not giving anyone else advice on how to use their car.

    On my 2007 TCH, I needed to haul a Segway, and now I need to haul a bike. When I go to Texas in June, I'm going to need to haul a little cargo platform.

    It is what it is.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    (Just my opinion.) I bet any good lawyer could get your warranty restored if Toyota ever tried to void it because you merely had a hitch installed.

    If there's a hint of a hitch installed on that hybrid - I bet NOT. I've seen them stonewall for much much less.
  • wvgasguywvgasguy Posts: 1,405
    "I bought the hitch used." or if you got the car used: "It was on there when I got the car."
    If it was an issue then I don't think these arguments would hold watter. However Toyota says "recommends" it does not say prohibts./ Recommends sounds like a suggestion, not a rule. If they had followed it uop with comments on voiding the warranty then they might have an argument but a recommendation (same way with oil changes, tire pressures etc) is not a finite requirement in my opinion (for what that's worth ;) ).
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    However Toyota says "recommends" it does not say prohibts./ Recommends sounds like a suggestion, not a rule.

    Have you forgotten how Toyota denied the existence of the "sludge" scandal in their engines for nearly a year? Then blamed everything from independent shops changing the oil with the wrong type, to negligence on the part of the owner for not changing it soon enough, or at all. If the car hadn't been to the dealer and logged into the Oasis for every oil change, they denied coverage on a froze up engine for a long long time before they finally admitted there could be design problem.

    If I see a hitch on a Hybrid Camry - I'm going to assume the car was abused, and bet I could pretty easily avoid a claim that way. The burden would be on the owner to prove they did not abuse the car by pulling too much weight with it.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    That would be easy. In the absence of any proof I towed anything, the court would side with me instead of "$40 Billion In the Bank Toyota."

    Being that I don't own anything "towable" nor could a review of my bank records turn up anything that said I owned or rented anything towable, I'm sitting pretty.

    This is kinda silly anyway. No one has ever heard of any hybrid car getting "de-warrantied" because of towing. Talking about it is a solution looking for a problem.
  • mikecmikec Posts: 40
    Allow me to clarify; the "2009 Fully Loaded Hybrid for $24K" - this basically included the opportunity costs, fuel cost, maintenance cost, lower trade-in on current car, etc.

    I will provide this as a rough summary which helped me make my decision (I'm excluding taxes, title, licence from this scenario to keep it simple):

    If I bought now:
    Camry Hybrid (fully loaded) : $28,000
    Minus Trade-in/Sales of old car :$12,000
    Net on vehicle: $16,000
    Minus avoided maintenace: $2,000 (was near a big maint interval in terms of miles)
    Minus avoided fuel cost: $1,500 (minimum)
    Plus refund on extended warranty: $250
    Plus Camry Maint for a year:$250

    Overall net cost: $12,500

    If I bought a year later (estimate):
    Camry Hybrid (loaded): $29,000 (could be higher or lower)
    Minus Trade-In/Sale of old car: $9,000 (could be higher, but the trend pointed to this)
    Net on vehicle: $20,000
    Plus additional maint: $2,000
    Plus additional fuel cost:$1,500 (minimum)
    Minus refund on extended warranty: $50
    Minus Camry maint (which I would not have since I didn't buy the car in the previous year): $250

    Overall net cost: $23,200

    So basically, it was $11,000 "cheaper" for me to buy now, than wait a year.

    You can look at what you pay for a car as one factor - I took a more wholistic approach to determine my oppotunity cost.

    So bascially, I am driving a new car for $12.5K, and, as Larry David would say "prettay, prettay, prettay" happy about the decision.
  • talmy1talmy1 Posts: 55
    You are counting items twice in a way that makes the difference greater. Looking just at expenses and assuming cars held for same period:

    Buy now:
    Net on vehicle $16000
    New maintenance $250
    Lost future value trading new hybrid that is a year older $3000
    Additional maintenance of new hybrid held a year longer $2000
    Overall net cost 21,250

    Buy in a year:
    Net on vehicle $20000
    Maintenance of old car $2000
    Additional fuel cost $1500
    Additional extended warranty cost on old car $200
    Overall net cost $23,700
  • mikecmikec Posts: 40
    Your numbers do not make sense. There is no double counting. (although I should have been clearer that the Camry maint. and refund on Warranty cancel each other out in the "buy now" scenario; the net number is still correct.

    Each transaction would need to be viewed as discrete events and compared.

    The future value of the hybrid resale or maintenace have no relevance in the buy now vs one year later scenario. It's the opporunity cost of purchasing the Camry now, not selling it in the furture. Not only are they not relevant, your estimates for furture maint and resale are incorrect (becuase you assume them to be the same as my current vehicle.)
  • talmy1talmy1 Posts: 55
    You are showing the difference in cost between buying this year (let's call it A) and next (lets call it B), so you are looking at B-A. If you add an expense, say X, to B and also subtract it from A, then the difference in cost is B+X-(A-X) or B + 2X - A, so the cost is factored in twice. You've done this on several items which make a purchase this year more favorable than it actually is.

    As a separate matter, I tried to take into account that by buying now you end up with a hybrid that is a year older, so will at any point in time have more depreciation and presumably more maintenance cost. Hard to say what those exact values are, and I just plugged in the same numbers as for your current car, but it still should be part of the equation.
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