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New Toyota Camry Hybrid Owners - Give Us Your Report



  • Picked up my 2009 TCH a week ago Saturday and have been loving it ever since. I went for the "stripped" model. No sunroof (need the headroom and didn't really care for it last time I had it in a car), no leather (don't really want to spend the money for it), and no NAV (couldn't care less about it). Even without those, it still has more features than any vehicle I've ever driven. Love the Bluetooth, and very pleased with the mileage so far of 36-39mpg (depending on whether it's me or my wife driving).

    Quick note to all on the body-side moldings. My dealer pushed them at me for $350 (along with the $499 paint protection, 3M coating over the leading edges, extend warranty, pre-paid maintenance, tire coverage, GAP insurance, credit life, and credit disability). Save your money. I used to be a car salesman, and I can tell you pretty confidently that NOTHING that the dealer offers you at closing is a good deal.

    If you do a quick check on the internet, you can find the BSM's for about $100, and installation is pretty simple and should take about half an hour.
  • gmyatkogmyatko Posts: 8
    Best of luck w/ your new Camry. I got to tell you, since having NAV, I LOVE not having to pull maps out.
  • plknjplknj Posts: 121
    Hi... not when turning the car off... only to turn it on.
  • tchappytchappy Posts: 2
    Hi...this is my first Forum of any kind. Just thought I'd toss in some +'s for our Camry Hybrid. We have about 20K miles now and really love the car...very quiet! and handles nicely. At first it seemed we had to consult the manual for some simple tasks, eg., turning it on/off correctly, successfully locking it the first couple of times, etc. It was as if it was smarter than we were until we read the manual. I guess we think a device should be so well constructed that a thick manual shouldn't be that necessary. We miss the trunk space taken up by the battery.

    As for FE, we have just returned from a 4K driving trip with combined average of about 40-42 (45 at one time) mpg. I have to say that my average is better than my wife's only because I think I 'coast and glide' a lot more and use softer acceleration. Also I tend to believe that it's better not to use the speed control when climbing steep hills...on a freeway for example...any comments? My wife says that I have to stop noticing the wind direction when we set I over the edge? One thing we both appreciate is city driving, usually 40mph or less, when the gas engine is off much of the time.
    Hope this helps

    Overall, the Camry was a perfect fit for the two of us. I'm already wondering how the '09 will be different?
  • Thanks again "plknj"... I tried it as you suggested and it works....
    Am glad that I bought it last week.. specially with the gas prices zooming up the way they've been... I'm averaging 38.5 now and enjoying every minute of it..
  • plknjplknj Posts: 121
    Love the car too... I think it's the best hybrid out there. Do you have the Nav and if you do... does it work? The one on my '07 is useless... have my Garmin. Would love it if Toyota would issue an update.

    Don't mind driving a little slower and getting over 38 mpg's... gas just went up .16 a gallon in 5 days!!! Enjoy, it's a great car.
  • tchappytchappy Posts: 2
    Just adding some comments after an oil change and tire rotation at the dealer...I was told they were surprised to see less tire wear than normal for a vehicle with less than 25K miles. My Camry has about 22K. He said that around 22K miles he starts suggesting to customers to think about a new set of tires. I said, "less than 25K miles and I should be thinking about new tires?" He then said something about the tires that come with a Camry are 'sticky' and wear quickly. When I told him that 10K of my miles were long distance driving, he said that was the reason my tires look so good yet. He added that city driving with a lot of stopping and turning wears tires out more quickly. But really, thinking new tires with less than 30K miles??

    What are reactions from other owners with original tires for the Camry.

    Any suggestions for choice of tires for the Camry Hybrid?
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    If you are happy with your MPG and your handling with the OEM tires, then buy the same tires again.

    They are low-rolling-resistance tires, and they will provide the best compromise of handling and miles per gallon.

    If you want better handling, you will have to suffer lower MPG.
  • lzclzc Posts: 483
    Some owners here have reported needing to replace OEM tires at around 30K, I believe. I'm not there yet. But I've yet to get service at a dealer and not have them talk up some service or product I ought to think about buying. It's how they're trained.

    I skeptical that Toyota would put sticky, i.e., more rolling resistance, tires on a car designed for high gas mileage. That may be their excuse for why they don't last as long as people expect. All JMO.
  • Many thanks to and to the posters on this forum for the wealth of information and advice that got me comfortable with my 09 TCH decision.

    Special thanks for the "confessions of a car salesman" report. The slick foreign dealership described in that report fit my dealership and buying experience exactly!

    Had my choice of cars equipped as I wanted with Bridgestones or Michelins. Picked a silver car with the Michelins, sunroof, nav and leather.

    Paid a few hundred over "invoice"

    I'm smiling every time I pass a gas station. This thing uses half as much gas as any other car I've had.

  • I got an 08 TCH 2 weeks ago and have the Bridgestones unfortunately. Check out "" The Michelin MXV4 S8 and Bridgestone Potenza's are OEM tires on the TCH... The former is better than the latter, though I neither of them would be my choice if I was purchasing a replacement. Goodyear Assurance Trippletread and the Hydroege both get great (last long time, and get great dry, wet, snow traction) reviews... Matter of fact, unless something better comes along when I need tires, I'll get one of those two. Prices are also comparable.
  • I got the one with Upgrade package and Sunroof (no Nav or leather)... My 08 was the last one on the lot and the manager gave me a great deal.. I didn't want to dish out the $2500-$3000 extra for the nav and Leather on the 09.. Besides, I've got Verizon with GPS and can use it anytime to navigate.

    Like you, I've been enjoying the MPG too... I'm averaging 37-38 so far with a few trips hitting 40... It's great to get over 150 miles for a 1/4 of a tank. Over the weekend I drove my wife's 02 Volvo S80 and used some of the "TCH" driving style.. amazingly, my MPG's went from 20 in town to 25... Reckon I'm developing new/helpful habits with the TCH.

  • jcihakjcihak Posts: 60
    My wife just traded her '06 Pilot for an '08 Camry hybrid. The price was great - with the $1000 rebate it was less than a Prius would have been. My wife has been getting about 35mpg - all city stop/go. I tried her commute yesterday though and got 43mpg with lots of red lights. I am very impressed.

    The car is much better than I expected. The tech is great - it paired with both our cell phones and the Nav is better than I thought (I also have a Civic with Nav and a portable Nav to compare to). I only wish headroom with the sunroof was better. I'm 6'0" and my head touches the headliner.

    As far as tires go, all the OEMs I've had on new cars (NOT on SUVs though) needed replacement within 30k. They have all head low treadwear ratings to prove it. The Michelins on the Camry have a 440 treadwear which is better than your average OEM though.

    I can have replaced the OEMs on my last Civic and Accord with Goodyear Tripletreads. Their handling is very, very noticeably better than any the OEM tires. I love them. However, I think I may have lost almost 1 mpg with the Tripletreads too. Given their 740 wear rating they should last a long time and hope they make up for the mileage.
  • wvgasguywvgasguy Posts: 1,405
    I'm at 46,000 miles and starting my third set of tires. The first two were the originals and a replacement of same Bridgestones. The third set though I paid extra to get the Michellin's. I am in a tires for life program :D and didn't have to pay for the first replacement so I didn't complain. However the Bridgestones got noisy and I just didnt' want them anymore so for $138 extra the dealer installed Michellin. I'll be curious to see how many sets of tires I go through on this car before I trade it.

    BTY, I rotate at 5,000 miles and align annually in the program. The tires wore evenly, but just wore out quickly (and completely) at about 22,500 miles. Totally unacceptable for non-performance tires in my opinion. Just glad I wasn't paying for them.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    WHY, may I ask, does this particular car chew through tires like it obviously does? Is there THAT much extra weight up front?
  • wvgasguywvgasguy Posts: 1,405
    I have no idea, but I would think the car is not that much differently balanced (weight distribution wise) than a V6 model. My daughters Corola was just as bad. I'm hoping the Michellin's will help. Should know in a year ;)

    One problem I'm sure are the "V" rated tires. Why does a car like this need V rated tires. Surely as many of these as Toyota makes they could have gottten a tire developed specifically for the camry that had a long tread wear life.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Assuming the alignment is correct, there is no reason, nor any explanation for this excessive tire wear. I have to assume therefore, that alignment is indeed the problem, and the caster, camber or alignment in general is not correct on these cars.
  • wvgasguywvgasguy Posts: 1,405
    I did have an alignment problem when the car was delivered but immediately corrected that. The tires wore evenly with no cupping, feathering or edge wear. Nothing unusual at all.

    My Nissan 2003Z did indeed have an uncorrectable alignment problem that caused me to replace the tires at 15000 miles (unbearable noise though after 10,000 miles). I got rid of it and will not get another first year model of a complete remake.
  • sadasada Posts: 1
    We are considering buying a 2009 camry hybrid and I just wanted to ask a few questions.

    Have you had any problems with the electric motor or battery system?

    Is it worth the extra money you paid for the hybrid?

    Would you buy another

    Are there any special maintenance cost you have encountered?

    Thanks for all you help.
  • plknjplknj Posts: 121
    You should be very happy with the Michellin's. Mine came with the car and I probably have another few thousand miles left on them (just had them checked) and that's at 35,000+ with rotating them with every oil change. These tires have lasted longer than any of my other tires have on my past cars.
  • lzclzc Posts: 483
    1. Problems? None. Thy hybrid system performs as advertised.

    2. Worth extra money? Personally, yes. But, to be fair, it depends on factors that differ with all of us. The price difference between a fully equipped Camry and TCH is modest. It's more in a base LX model, which can be had for thousands less. Any tax credits in your state? How long will you keep the car and how high will gas prices go, etc? Expect about 10 extra mpg. I figure savings of $350-400 per year at $3.50/gal. (Gas in the SF Bay Area was $3.90 today!)

    3. Yes, I'd buy another.

    4. No extra maintenance costs so far. Eventually, the hybrid coolant will need replacing (10 years, I think). The standard battery is non-standard. I'll probably need to buy it from Toyota, but it should last longer than most batteries. In short, nothing major. The warranty on hybrid components is longer than the standard guarantee.

    Bottom line, the TCH has exceeded my expectations. Good luck.
  • jhs70jhs70 Posts: 213
    Hi all, has anyone done their own oil change with the TCH? Just wondering if it's a straight up job, or if there is anything unusual about it. What's the best oil filter? Is there a drain plug gasket? What brand of oil do you recommend, or doesn't it matter (outside of 5w-20 or whatever it is...)?. Simple stuff, I know, but I'd appreciate hearing you all's opinions.


    BTW, just to throw my 2 cents into the argument, when I drive the TCH (it's really my wife's vehicle), I can easily get 38-39 in the city and 42-43 on trips. No lie. I love this vehicle, esp with $4 gas just over the horizon :mad: . My wife gets about 35 in the city, which is where she drives 95% of the time.
  • Sounds like a good reason to move.
  • babs967babs967 Posts: 1
    ok, I got quoted 24,809 + tax,tags-etc for a 2009 TCH only upgrade was carpet mats ($199.00)-I don't think that was a fair price so I declined-just wanted opinions-do you think I did right by not accepting? The dealer was in the supply/demand mode. I figured I would just try another dealer, to see what they had to offer. Oh also I am looking to get two cars so I thought they would make a better deal and they still only offered this. Any thoughts?
  • lzclzc Posts: 483 is offering 2009 TCH's for $24,173. If you're near Maryland, you might print the listing and use it as a bargaining chip.
  • golfnut5golfnut5 Posts: 202
    I bought my 2008 TCH from Fitzmall in PA, $3,000 off MSRP. Best deal in Mid Atlantic states. :)
  • I'm purchasing the 2009 TCH in a week. I'm very excited after I finally made the decision to go w/Camry vs. Prius-tough call when it comes to cargo room in prius vs. sedan style w/sunroof! I debated forever! Still am tonight! Chick thing I guess:)

    After reviewing your messages and pricing tips, I'm concerned I'm getting a jacked up price? My car is loaded w/leather, nav, sunroof, b/t, etc. and is priced at $33,$$$ (something) and they brought it down to $31,300. Checking out the website provided (fitsway) by other blogger...I didn't see anything over a msrp of $31, $$$? Should my car start at $31,$$$ then get the discount? This salesman has spent 5 hours with me showing me all three hybrids, test drives..etc

    Also, I read how the car salesman said to skip everything that the dealership is going to try to sell me at closing next week? Can anyone share additional tips for me? What to buy and what to pass on? Please? I'm worried now about the salesman throwing and trying to convince me of buying more stuff!

    Thanks for your help! It is greatly appreciated and needed.
    Traci :confuse:
  • First of are right...the highest you will find a sticker price will be in the low $31,000 range. The $33000 price you are being given has $2000 of dealer add ons....just say you don't want any of them and you will not pay for them. You should not have to pay sticker price for this car....if you look on the forums you will see most have been selling for around $28000 for a fully loaded 2009 and $27000 for a fully loaded 2007.
    Do not buy any of the added extras they try to sell you...they are overpriced and you'll probably regret it. They will prey on you and make you think you are making a mistake by not buying everything they have to offer....just say NO NO NO.
    If they are not willing to deal with you will see how quickly they will fold and work with you. Remember there are other car dealers with other cars that would be happy to sell one to you.
    I have a 2008 Camry Hybrid for about 3 months now., car I have ever gotten....and the last few cars I have driven were BMW, Lexus and Mercedes.
    As long as you can live with the trunk size you'll love the car...2800 miles so far and averaging just over 38 mpg.
    Just beware of the high pressure to buy...I would suggest taking along someone with you so you are not alone. Hope this helps and if you have any other questions....feel free to ask
  • jaymkjaymk Posts: 86
    I completely agree. Make sure take somebody else with you as they are definitely going to use the pressure tactics.
    There are quite a few dealerships in OK city if you are in the city, like Bob howard, Huddiburg, Fowler to name some. If you would like to have the complete list just go to the toyota website and put your zip code in the dealer search box.
    Good Luck
  • lzclzc Posts: 483
    The above advice is all good. I would add that deciding what is a reasonable price to pay before going in to buy is a good way to go, and then stick to it. Be prepared to leave if the dealer is playing games with you. Some won't. A few are reforming their ways. is a good place to get an idea on a fair price. I've also emailed dealers in the region. Tell them what you want, listing optional equipment. Most should respond. Dealers today are hungrier than when the TCH came out and MSRP was the going price.

    Some people obsess about price. They'll fight and claw for that last $200 savings. It isn't worth it in my opinion. You'll turn the experience into a war. If the sales rep has provided good service, he deserves to earn a living. But you don't need to pay off the balance on his boat loan!

    Yep, skip the "special" coatings, dealer financing, ascent trims, etc., and shop around for an extended warranty if you want one. They're available from by email from dealers who sell for less.

    Good luck.
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