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New Toyota Camry Hybrid Owners - Give Us Your Report



  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    are you the same owner who had the "self-accelerating" Civic Hybrid?
  • primo2primo2 Posts: 31
    not the same...but i have been thinking about that...i notice a slight increase when i am coasting on E and then the ICE kicks's slight but still noticable...i hope he gets help with his problem
  • maxamiga1maxamiga1 Posts: 2
    Congrats to those who decided to go Hybrid!!

    So many posts about gas mileage... and no post about performance.

    It looks to me that the total HP is significantly less than 200hp but the car's weight is near 4,000lbs. How does that work for you folks? Do you feel a lack of power during passing in hwy? How do you come off of a red light?

    I own both a Prius 145hp on a 2,700lbs vehicle and a Lexus 400h 268hp on a ~4,000lbs vehicle. Both do very well in quick acceleration.

    Please report the dynamic performance of the car.

    It seems, from the data, that the Prius would outperform the TCH in both gas mileage and dynamic performance. The TCH does carry the "brandname" or better model name.

  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    WELL, since the TCH is a "hybrid" and the goal is to "save fuel", I usually come off a light as SLOW as the surrounding traffic will allow me to !!

    I have merged onto freeway ramps at full throttle, and the TCH is FULLY CAPABLE of doing what you need in that area. There is no performance deficit that I notice at all.

    A 3600 pound car, getting 35-42 MPG. It's an amazing car.
  • Any time I have actually NEEDED it, my TCH has provided more than adequate matter whether it was passing on the highway, or avoiding the stupidity of others. I was a fairly aggressive driver of a 2000 Honda Accord Coupe VTEC V6 before, but have really changed since driving the TCH. I switch my dashboard to standard odometer setting (I'll try not to peek) on my next fill-up and drive a full tank in my old mode....I'll post the results when I'm done with that tank.

  • primo2primo2 Posts: 31
    driving the grade between So Cal and NV...the TCH has all the power for passing i need...and still get 41 mpg on the drive with the a/c going all the way
  • jbolltjbollt Posts: 734
    I've been home for all of 5 minutes, gotta program the home link, so I can get in the garage, but I will report back very soon... WAY COOL CAR! Paid MSRP loaded desesrt sand.
  • pandcpandc Posts: 13
    i have the same car.... desert sand , loaded, leather,nav...
    got mine june 10th....let me know if you have any questions...congratulations
  • clfrunclfrun Posts: 11
    It is amazing how my thinking has changed since picking up the TCH on July 13. I drove a VW Phaeton (22/16), which is a true luxury car with a 335 HP V-8 engine prior to the TCH. I never drove much past 7 MPH over the speed limit anywhere, but I was one of the first to get to the speed I needed! (I know that is bad, but true)

    I drove just a few miles around the city over the next few days after picking up the car. I had to go to Detroit on business. On the way back I filled up. I got 36.96 (OK, 37!) on the first tank. It is truly amazing how 'addictive' that ECO meter has become...I look at it every time I shut it down.

    I noticed one owner said he had his windows tinted. Is that for personal comfort or does that help the cooling of the vehicle, which favorably impacts miles per gallon?

  • kc_rustykc_rusty Posts: 32
    My wife and I are located in the Overland Park Kansas area and put a deposit down on a loaded Mica TCH on the 24 of June. -- Told the salesman no black, red or white or green cars. Was told 4-6 weeks that turned into 8-10 real quick. The salesman called two days agoo and stated a deal fell thru due to the death of the original purchaser and wanted to know if I would lke a car next Saturday - only issue - it was WHITE. Went and looked at a white XLE and decided it wasn't that bad after all, but it sure is bright :shades: So we agreed to buy the car. I feel real sorry about the way the car came into play, but this wasn't something I could control. So we'll see if the car actually shows up next weekend. Great salesman to deal with. No pressure and $500 off msrp. and no dealer installed options, only a $290 processing fee.

    I have a question for you guys in the know, I was reading the manual (from Tundra Solutions) and it staed you can program the remote to de-select mirrow and seat positing. So it begs me to ask - if I can de-delect the feature - how do I select the option. :confuse:

    I test drove a 1972 Toyota Cressida (which listed for $27000 in 1972) and it had the memory mirror and seat option.

    Just wondering ....

  • wvgasguywvgasguy Posts: 1,405
    I test drove a 1972 Toyota Cressida (which listed for $27000 in 1972) and it had the memory mirror and seat option.

    I assume you meant $2700?
  • kc_rustykc_rusty Posts: 32
    No - you read it correct the first time - $27,000 -- Toyota doesn't import the Cressada anymore - but it was their top of the line . My daughter needed a car in 1997 or 8 and this unit still had the original window sticker with it. Today I believe its called the Crown line, which isn't imported. I know I'm old but I remember this one - but it might have been an 79 not an 72
  • wvgasguywvgasguy Posts: 1,405
    No - you read it correct the first time - $27,000

    Then perhaps the 1972 was incorrect. I could have bought a Rolls for that price back then.
  • mharris813mharris813 Posts: 20
    We picked up our Barcelona Red TCH, (candy apple, I call it) on July 13th. I have loved it from day one.

    I did have to re-read to reassure myself that the stutter off the start was in fact a nature of the beast, but other than that... it is awesome!

    I have always know the reasons that people get the mileage that they do, jackrabbit starts, over-accelleration, and racing... but having that instant guage showing mpg is awesome. Even my teenagers took to the concept immediately.

    We have the NAV system, and I also find the trip computer screen to be "entertainment". We strive to collect little regenerative cars, and an Excellent on the ECO screen when we shut down. It is addictive. My husband says it sounds like a video game.

    We just came back from a short weekend to the lake, and were pleased to get 36.7mpg with HIM driving, his "almost normal" habits. His old '99 Camry was getting 24-26 mpg on its better days, so this is a real thrill to get much better than the old TC.

    We are truly in love with the NAV system. I could not imagine now, not having it. We went to look at a home for sale when we got home last night 45 miles away, and with not knowing the area, typed in the address. The 3 routes option is nice, letting us choose the way we'd like to go, and getting us there without incident. Coming back, the NAV, (I call her Lucy...) sent us on a road we'd never heard of, and turned out to be a great route, and avoided heavy traffic on the road we would have chosen otherwise.

    We also love the "hacking" option allowing us to enter addresses while driving, (passenger, of course)... THIS is a great thing to know!

    I do wish that the steering controls for the stereo volume and channel change were up and down, not left to right... hard to do for smaller hands. Also, I truly wish that memory seats and mirrors were included. This is a big oversight. One final option, that should be included... ACTUAL satellite receiver. Not just OPTIONAL... this is crummy to advertise it, but not included the receiver, or at the very LEAST, the factory colored ANTENNAE!!!!!

    Oh, and watch out... you'll be doing 80mph before you realize, so on the performance side... it will get ya there... but for racing off the line... this is not the car.

    Overall....I LOVE MY TCH!!! :blush:
  • primo2primo2 Posts: 31
    the tinting of the windows has helped quite a bit with keeping the vehicle from getting so hot...b4 tinting...when i openned the doors, i could see the heatwaves coming out of the car...nice...and it does help with the a/c not having to work as hard for as long...i am thinking about getting a auto solar fan and see if what they claim is true...let me know if you have any other questions about the tinting
  • jbolltjbollt Posts: 734
    PRIMO2...did you tint over the thrid brake light in the rear window? I am undecided if i want to tint over it, or leave the smallpart where the 3rd brake light shines thru the glass un-tinted. Getting mine tinted tomorrow Tuesday

    Comments PRO OR CON anyone?
  • maxamiga1maxamiga1 Posts: 2
    Thanks for posts on performances. That's pretty good performances that you guys enjoy. I personally like the CVT transmission.

    For a quick comparison, if you'd divide the weight by the power:

    Prius 18+ lbs/hp 55-60mpg for $23k+
    TCH 20+ lbs/hp 40mpg for $27+k
    Rx400h 15+ lbs/hp 28-30mpg for a lot more dough...

    It's no wonder they try to sell the Lexus as a performance car, and the Prius as the economy car. The TCH fits in the middle.

    Safe Driving!
  • primo2primo2 Posts: 31
    hey Jbollt...i did tint over the third brake light...i think it looks good...and i have been told it looks good...i went with the dark tint for the rear/back windows...and did medium on the driver/passenger windows...i think i may have gone with the light for the front...but it still looks good with the medium...enjoy
  • jbolltjbollt Posts: 734
    I just read in the owners manual about a possible negative effect on the nav system after window tinting.

    Can anyone address this?

    Has anyone tinted their windows and had negative effect on the GPS???

    Have an appointment to get mine tinted today, so quick responses would be appreciated. Thanks!
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 7,741
    I posted an answer at the pther place you posted this question:

    pf_flyer, "Toyota Camry Hybrid Accessories & Modifications" #21, 25 Jul 2006 7:52 am

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  • keithlkeithl Posts: 106
    Well I have a full 3 post review on

    But the summary is as follows:

    I come for basically 14 years of V6 cars latest 4 being I30, I35, 04 TL and 06TL. Finally had it with gas prices and consumption. Decided to get a TCH, have had it 4 days now with about 400 miles on it and while Toyota has some small things they really should address, the car is very good. It is no sport sedan, but it performs as good or better as anything in its class and gets in the mid 30's MPG. The car is stone quiet under all but the heaviest accelerations and rides very smooth. It is a tad choppy over some bumps, but that may be all the extra weight being carried in the truck. The JBL sound system is superb, deep rich sound that has power throughout the volume range.

    My pet peeves are around some short cuts they took. They should do the following:

    - Dump fold down rear seat and place batteries against back seat. This would gain back trunk space and give the body some much needed regidity

    - Work on the ergonomics of the dash. The Radio tuning knob is a far reach while other less used knobs as easier to get too. The dash dimmer does not dim the radio enough and dims the dash even when the lights are not on. I want max dash brightness without lights and dim lights and radio lights at night with lights on. This is the first car I've had that acts this [non-permissible content removed] backwards way.

    - Fix the lame LCD characters in the Radio, the old style dark on silver where I can basically still see the unused characters and parts is old and lame. And what is this 10 character limit, where have Toyota engineers been last few years?

    - Add memory seats, auto up/down driver window

    - Add HID, people that are concerned about saving gas are generally saftey focused as well and HIDs make for safer driving.

    - Add or make available fog/driving lights, those lame knocks scream that the car is a [non-permissible content removed], not the LE+ that it is.

    - Center armrest should be a 2 tiered compartments instead of that lame insert that blocks getting at my stuff anyway!

    - Ditch the temp buttons on the steering wheel and my god do we need so many buttons on it any way. Take a clue fomr Acura, 2 buttons for phone, not 3. And make the buttons more responsive and tactile they feel cheap and loose.

    - The interior feels loose and not secure, maybe it is year 1 thing, but the cabin has too much flex and looseness.

    - The plastic interior door pulls are in an awkward plcae and feel like low grade cheapo plastic, not what I expect from Toyota.
  • bnewinsbnewins Posts: 25
    Keith thanks for your review. I am happy with the TCH as it is although it is a longer reach to the door pulls then I am used to. I like the trunk pass through because it allows for that occasional need to go to the hardware store for an 8 ft. 2X4 or 2X6 for some project around the house. Also my golf clubs fit perfectly, maybe someone else has a really long driver. :P
  • mharris813mharris813 Posts: 20
    I agree with most of your comments. The interior is lacking in finish integrity. For $32K, Toyota needs to step up the fit and finish quality. We feel that our '99 Camry has a better interior.

    No auto up/down on the power window.... just stupid!
  • Agree with keithl summary, add to that:

    - A more noticable alarm when you leave the car "on". It is so quiet that is easy to leave the car on. The car beeps for a number of reasons, such as leaving the sunroof open, that you don't notice that you left the the car on. Have a place to insert the "key" and turn on/off the car for those who can't handle the keyless method. My wife came out one day and found the engine running 2 hours after "turning" off the car.

    - Move the A/C Eco button near the Climate controls!
  • aaeeekgaaeeekg Posts: 16
    My loaded Desert Sand TCH has arrived. Picked it up two days ago and have been loving every minute. Can't wait for the week end so that I have the time to really learn how everything works. The golf clubs even fit in the trunk without removing the bag from my pull cart. So what else could I want?

    MPG since delivery is already >36 MPG and I'm still learning how to drive it. And of course I have had to experiment to see what kind of acelleration is really available.

    Happy as a clam. :blush:
  • I got my new Blue w/ grey leather TCH last weekend and I love it. Lagrange Toyota and Team Toyota near Atlanta were both willing to let me have it for $500 under MSRP which I took as a reasonable discount on such a hot car. I was also treated fairly on my trade.

    I just love it. It's quiet, efficient and has enough zoom to get me where I need to go. Best of all, I'm giving less of my $$ to the terrorist sponsoring nations that sell us so much oil.

    We compared this to the Lexus ES 350 (beautiful, but not the value of the TCH) for $7k more and the Accord EX-L (very nice but just not my style) for $7k less. I'm very pleased with the decision.

    I still can't figure how such smart people can't do something better with the battery pack that makes you lose half your trunk, but it's a very small concession.
  • hybridguyhybridguy Posts: 3
    Last week we traded in our 2000 Audi A6 (we felt guilty wasting gas for a little luxury) for the new TCH. Overall, we are surprised at the level of comfort our new TCH offers. Nice ride, plenty of legroom and more than enough passing power. Of course there is the add bonus that in eats about half the fuel of our Audi. We are currently averaging ~36 MPG in town and expect to do even better on the highway. I think it is fair to say that no car is perfect, however, I think Toyota has done us a service by providing a car that fills an important niche between the Prius and Honda Civic Hybrid on one end and the performance hybrids on the other. :)
  • umpire63umpire63 Posts: 19
    Took possession of my loaded Desert Sand TCH last Saturday. Traded in an '02 Avalon XLS, which I loved. The loaded TCH has about as many ameninites as the Avalon. Here are my thoughts:

    Exterior: The car looks better than I thought it would--just a very sharp color and style. It came with the spoiler, which I didn't want, but that doesn't look too bad. I hope the paint protection against chips and scratches is better than it was on my Avalon. We'll see.

    The car would also look better with bigger wheels.

    Interior: Inside the lines are clean and the colors fit well with the Desert Sand. Plenty of room in the backseat for my children and adults. Good headroom back there, as well. In most cars, my head scrapes the ceiling, but I don't even have to scrunch down in the TCH.

    Cup holders in the rear are pretty one-dimensional, a disappointment after the nice layout in my Avalon. The kids will have to make do. The cupholders in the front are great and versatile.

    The outlets in the car do not stay "live" when the car is off. That means the only time I can charge my phone is when I drive. I wish they would leave outlets live when the car is off.

    I like the arm rest, though I wish it were the sliding kind (I am not spending the $$ to have one installed!). The change drawer to the left of the steering wheel is handy.

    I like the controls on the steering wheel, and once I get used to their placement, they will be a big help. However, they feel a little loose. I hope they stand up to use over the miles, but it feels like quality is lacking here.

    I agree it needs an automatic "up" on the driver's window. I will miss this feature that my Avalon had.

    The controls on the Nav., radio, etc. are a stretch to reach. The Nav. is not intuitive at all. I really need to read the instruction manual. In addition, it is not up to date, as our home address, which has changed to a 9-1-1 address, is not available. I realize maps change all the time, but they could have at least sent one that was less than two years old. Someone mentioned the ECO controls should be placed near the other climate controls, and I agree. My wife didn't even know it was there.

    Other controls are nicely laid out and accessible.

    Plenty of storage in the front of the cabin.

    Seats: The leather isn't as slick as that in my Avalon, but feels quality, and the seats are comfortable. I

    Memory seats and mirrors! It needs them!

    It has heated seats. Love them!

    Driving Experience:

    The TCH has plenty of zip for the kind of car it is. My wife said she pushed it to 90 MPH and couldn't even tell. The ride is responsive but smooth, though the tail end does take a hard bump once in awhile. It's not as soft a ride as my Avalon, but I didn't expect it to be.

    Vision lines are pretty clear. So far I haven't noticed any bad blind spots.

    I find myself watching the MPG gauge and not paying attention to the road as much as I should!

    Takes a hard hit on the brakes to disengage the cruise control and that causes a jolt. My Avalon came out of cruise so smoothly, and this is a change. I'll have to experiment and see if I can smooth it out.

    So far we have put about 620 miles on it and have averaged just above 39 MPG. The best trip so far was 43.3 MPG over 27 miles. I seem to get a little better mileage on the highway than I do in town.

    Overall, I like the car and am glad we purchased it. I will post again when I have more miles under my belt.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    "Takes a hard hit on the brakes to disengage the cruise control and that causes a jolt. My Avalon came out of cruise so smoothly, and this is a change. I'll have to experiment and see if I can smooth it out."

    Just use the steering wheel control to cancel the cruise. Just pull the lever toward you to disengage the cruise. I use this method all the time and it's smooth and perfect.
  • jbolltjbollt Posts: 734
    For background, I have recently owned and driven (all bought new):

    -'03 Camry SE 4cyl 4spd automatic -very nice car, great mileage 23 mpg town, 32ish highway, a few minor dash rattles. Replaced with '05 Highlander in March '05 when I transferred ownership to my daughter.

    -'03 Highlander base (fairly loaded) 3.0L V6 4 spd automatic 2wd ..almost perfect vehicle except for mileage-consistent 20-22mpg town or highway, which I expected

    -'05 Highlander Limited 3.3L V6 5 speed automatic 2wd. Much nicer than our '03, due to being Limited, and the 3.3L and 5spd automatic are big improvements. 19-22mpg town and 23-25mpg highway...
    I did LOTS of research and test-driving to determine if I was going to be unhappy with the transmission, due to the reports here of severe hesitations....I put 20,000+ miles in 16 months without any issues at all.

    Someone close to me bought a Highlander Hybrid Limited in July 05, and I have had the privilege of driving it several hundred miles. WOW! If it wasn't $40k, and the fact that my Highlander was only 4 months old, I might have bought one.... anyway, if I was going to buy another car, I wanted better highway mileage, and a little quieter on the highway. HH out.

    Toyota announces the Camry Hybrid. BINGO! wait wait wait....

    July 8, I visited Precision Toyota (Tucson) who told me they had an unsold loaded Desert Sand TCH inbound due in L.A. on 7/16. I could have it for MSRP. Placed a $500 deposit, and bought the loaded Desert Sand Loaded TCH on 7/21. Traded in the 03 Highlander, got $1,000 more than ACV, based on the pros in the real-world-trade-in thread here on Edmunds.

    10 days and ~500 miles later, I am very impressed.
    I had the windows tinted with ceramic film.

    so far my impressions:

    Cons:(all minor)
    -I agree, ECO button should be near the climate controls.
    -I prefer the seat height of the Highlander, easier to get in and out for my (yikes) aging body, altho the Camry seems to be ok so far.
    -The folding rear seat back is totally stupid!
    -Would like to have had factory fog lights..even optionally.

    -Everything else!

    -First fill-up, after all around town, MANY very short 1-2 mile trips, and AC on ECO, the computer said 34.5mpg, calculating it shows 35.5mpg, but uncertain if dealer filled it all the way. (This is after spending more than 1.5 hours with it "ready" in the garage playing with the Nav's been over 100 degrees in Tucson!) Can't wait to see how high I can get the mpg on this tank!

    -Very quiet

    - plenty of power, altho I'm not likely to use it very often.

    -Great sound system, I'm using an iPod thru the aux input, and just yesterday burned a couple of mp3 CDs to try in the 4-CD changer. Awesome! Did you guys know that you can customize the audio "sound" differently in each mode? AM, FM, Disc, Aux..etc!!!

    -Tilt-telescopic steering wheel, and power driver's seat allow perfect seating position.

    -It's taking me time to get used to the smart key! Can't tell you how many times I have taken the "key" out of my pocket only to remember I don't need it!

    -I can't believe that I am driving a near luxury car (who needs a Lexus?) with the room, handling, quietness, and performance of this car, and better fuel mileage than a Civic!!!!

    (BTW, Motor Trend 9/2007 just wrote that the TCH has the 3rd highest fuel economy of any vehicle available in the US, behind the Prius and Civic hybrid) Quite an accomplishment! THANK YOU TOYOTA!
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