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New Toyota Camry Hybrid Owners - Give Us Your Report



  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    As an owner of a TCH, and the previous owner of an HCH, let me assure anyone out there that hybrids are "fun to drive."

    Most of the "fun" for me comes from using the car to reduce my gas consumption. That's VERY fun.

    If you want a hybrid car to "drive fast" then buy a GS450h or an Accord Hybrid.
  • When brake at high speed or low speed, I hear a "wheew" noise before the TCH comes to a stop. I hear it every time I apply the break. The noise is loudest just before the TCH comes to a full stop.

    Anyone has experienced this?
  • alp8alp8 Posts: 656
    well, I drove an Accord Hybrid, today

    are you telling me that the Camry Hybrid is LESS fun to drive than the Accord? (ignoring the fun of reading the NAV screen to see your energy savings/consumption)

    I liked the drive of the Accord, but I didn't think it was that much better than my Sebring convertible.

    damn, I wish Acura made a hybrid


    I will try to drive the TCH this week, and I really hope I like it. I don't need to toss it around corners, but I don't want to feel like I am driving a damned Taurus!! (or a 4-cylinder Camry - and I know it will feel better than that)

    Is the interior of the Camry Hybrid "nicer" than the Accord? I wanted to really like the Accord, but I came away a bit flat. :-(

    Maybe that's how I'd feel driving ANYTHING that is going to get 30+ mpg.......
  • Its your brakes. Its perfectly normal (in the TCH) and part of the car's "charm."
  • With all due respect for Mr. Ghosen and Nissan Motors, they've come up short in overall quality lately, even more so when they try to rush a new car to market. I had an Infiniti (Nissan product) that was fundamentally sound but plagued by all sorts of relatively minor, but annoying electrical, mechanical and software-related problems. I know the new Camry hasnt been a slam-dunk either, but I think I'd wait awhile before commiting to the new Altima hybrid.
  • wvgasguywvgasguy Posts: 1,405
    I had a 2000 Maxima, a 2003 350 Z and an Infiniti FX45.

    The maxima had rotor problems (turn at 10,000, replace at 20,000) I traded it. The Z had alignment problems and went through tires at 6000 miles I traded it. I loved the FX45 but it always had a slight shimmy that I couldn't get rid of and I blamed it on the 20" wheels. Traded it for the TCH.

    Nissan makes a sporty car but their quality left me wanting more.

    I even dumped their stock I owned as I figured these issues would hurt them eventually
  • newcarsnewcars Posts: 103
    For the record, I definitely don't disagree that the quality standards of Nissan (and Infiniti) are not quite the match of Toyota (and Lexus). I was simply stating that if alp8 finds the Toyota Camry Hybrid to boring, then if he can wait he may want to take a look at the Nissan Altima Hybrid. His choice, that's all.
  • Approaching 300 miles on my JP nonav TCH today (delivery last Thursday). And with a 1/2 tank of gas remaining - all after normal city/highway driving! (I find that amazing, because my other vehicle is an '05 Sequoia).
    More comments from other drivers, too - parked at a gas station, grocery store and work, folks near the car have said they really like the color and want to know about how it drives and the hybrid system. They're amazed, too, when I silently pull away! I'm looking forward to a 500 mile round trip in a few weeks to visit grandchildren - and not stopping to get gas!
  • alp8alp8 Posts: 656
    I was next to a red TCH yesterday, and I rolled down my window to chat with the guy. He just got it and loves it.

    I planned to drive one today, but work is too hectic. It will have to wait for next week.

    Is the interior of the non-NAV the same as the interior With nav (other than the screen, of course)??? I want a NAV but the local dealer only has a non-NAV in stock. I assume they both drive the same.

    any differences that will make my experience testing it worse in the non-NAV?

    I just drove an Accord Hybrid. What was Honda thinking, not putting energy info into the NAV system screen? I think that is a big [non-permissible content removed]. The energy readouts on the Accord H are tiny.
  • terry92270terry92270 Posts: 1,247
    With the Navigation Option (Option Combo "C", MSRP $3,900), you get:

    50 State Emissions (FE)

    - Comfort & Convenience Package Includes: Heated Front Seats and Outside Mirrors. (CQ)

    - Moonroof Package includes: Power Tilt/Slide Moonroof w/Sliding Sunshade, Dual Illuminated Visor Vanity Mirrors w/Dimmer Control & Rear Personal Reading Lights (SR)

    - Sport Leather-Trimmed Seats & Door Trim w/Integrated Armrests & Dual Front & Rear Map Pockets[15] (LA)

    - Voice-Activated DVD Navigation System[15] w/JBL® AM/FM 4-Disc In-Dash CD Changer w/Satellite Radio Capability[7], MP3/WMA Playback Capability, Aux Audio Jack, Hands-Free Phone Capability Via Bluetooth®[8] Wireless Technology, 8 Speakers in 6 Locations and FM Diversity Reception (NV)

    Well worth it, I might how it will effect your test drive depends upon how much you like leather seats and upgraded sound. ;)
  • alp8alp8 Posts: 656
    sorry if I wasn't clear: If I buy, I would buy the NAV version

    but I can only see and drive the non-NAV right now.

    so I wanted to know if the interior LOOK was significantly different, such that I'd walk away thinking the Camry interior is crummy looking

    It sounds like there are some visual differences (other than the Nav screen itself) that are different if you get the nav version: door trim and arm rests, I guess
  • wvgasguywvgasguy Posts: 1,405
    I just drove an Accord Hybrid. What was Honda thinking, not putting energy info into the NAV system screen? I think that is a big [non-permissible content removed]. The energy readouts on the Accord H are tiny

    I have not seen the HAH but I understand that the ICE never kicks off and that the battery boost is much smaller with their V6 system. That might be why there is not much info on the energy part as other than not lead footing it there is probably not much you can do (such as pulse and glide, EV mode driving, etc..) that you need to monitor. Just let the car do it's job and drive?
  • I can't answer your questions because the dealer didn't have a nav version to drive - about the only test drive I did was a normal '07 LE. And my impression after driving both is that the TCH is far quieter. Besides, the JP TCH I now own was the only one the dealer had coming in that wasn't sold before the end of September. Another reason I purchased Toyota over Honda is the dealer location - Toyota is only 4 miles away vs. 35 for a Honda store - makes service much more convenient. Good luck with your purchase...whichever hybrid model you chose, you'll be helping the environment as well as saving fuel.
  • terry92270terry92270 Posts: 1,247
    "It sounds like there are some visual differences (other than the Nav screen itself) that are different if you get the nav version: door trim and arm rests, I guess"

    Yes, I knew exactly what you were saying, which is why I pasted in the exact differences, trim-wise, in the NAV package.

    I beleive the seat coverings, seat-back map pockets, door trim and all of that signifigantly changes the visual appeal.... ;)
  • alp8alp8 Posts: 656
    well, not to lead us down the Honda versus Toyota comparo rathole.....yes, the ICE appears to kick off in the HAH, as I felt a little shudder when I pulled into a left-turn lane and waited to turn. I HOPE that was the ICE turning off!!!


    I would buy the HAH if it was a step closer to being an Acura. I would like a bit of plush inside, or a bit of nifty, I guess. The HAH didn't give me that. I think the HAH is about as cool of a car as you can get that gets 30 mpg.
  • Before my no-nav, loaded, TCH, I had a 1996 Avalon (definitely NOT sporty). The TCH has sportier front springs and shocks, however it understeers quite a bit. But Toyota forgot to take care of the rear. It barely stays in control riding 2 people, but becomes seriously undersprung and underdamped when carrying 5 (not even with luggage).

    I have Michelins on it and they are designed for fuel economy and durability - I hope my next set (Nokian NRHi ?) will give a grip that approaches the Avalon's. I am seriously planning to replace rear springs and shocks, just waiting to what is offered on the market.

    Aside from the compromised speakers, the overbright radio console, the suspension and the unavailability (yet) of Thule roof rack kits, I love my TCH.
  • Funny, I just got a Red Camry Hybrid...I was about to post about how cool it was that the other day, someone rolled his window down to ask me about it, and how fun it was to drive a car that someone else would be that interested in.

    Alp8, you weren't driving on Carman Ave. in East Meadow when this happened, were you?

    I LOVE this car. Mileage is nice, and it's improving as I'm learning the subtleties of the engine. I like the look, no longer the fuddy-duddy car Camrys once were. I probably would have gotten a regular Camry if the Hybrid wasn't available. They thought of lots of little things.

    I do lots of local driving, so I appreciate the fact that the car does particularly well in that setting. And I like the feedback it gives. Pickup is good. Better than the four, but not as good as the six on my dad's 2005 Camry. Certainly better than the four on the Passat I just gave up.

    Mostly, I like that I'm lowering the nation's dependence on oil, and I'm spewing less junk into the air.
  • wvgasguywvgasguy Posts: 1,405
    how fun it was to drive a car that someone else would be that interested in.

    I had a friend call me from a dealership asking me to look up a price on a used car for him. They were having an "invatory reduction sale" and were real busy. After looking up and giving him the price I decided to drop down to see how he was doing. After I talked to him and was getting ready to leave one of the salespersons approached me. I told him I was just there to see a friend. He said "oh no, I just wanted to ask you how do you like the hybrid?" He proceded to ask me a lot of questions. I'm guessing I am the only person he knows that when he asked what kind of milage I was getting I was able to tell him my overall milage average to the nearest hundredth of a mpg.
  • alp8alp8 Posts: 656
    nope - I was in Palo Alto, on the Page Mill offramp off 280
  • That's only 3,000 miles apart! It's like we're related or something!
  • terry92270terry92270 Posts: 1,247
    Thank God, at least your not from Marin !

  • I bought my new TCH two weeks ago tomorrow and just filled up my tank last night. I drive in the city and highways in about equal measure. My first tank would have taken me at least 575 miles, if I'd waited to fill up. I had a first tank mpg of 40.2 I can't get over how well this car does. Thanks to all who've shared their driving technique tips -- invaluable! I've always been a lead foot, but "playing against" the computer really changed things in a hurry. The car doesn't have the racey feel an Acura to be sure, but it is also a far cry from my Explorer and its 16.5 mpg. And everyone who rides with me can't believe how large it feels inside. As for the trunk, my husband got his wheeling (airline) padded golf bag into it with no trouble, and managed to also put in a full computer briefcase and a bag full of lacrosse gear. Very happy with this car to date and appreciate all the great advice.
  • wvgasguywvgasguy Posts: 1,405
    I've always been a lead foot, but "playing against" the computer really changed things in a hurry

    All my friends laugh at me. My philosophy was you can't have enough horsepower. I drove 15 over the limit everywhere and was always in a hurry. I think the computer sends out subliminal messages as I now drive 5 under the limit, sometimes take the longer (slower) route to places and am feeling less stress and am enjoying it.

    I smile though when I fill up.
  • This was a LONG trip !... 4,885 miles, 12 states, 6 national parks.. All on 134.917 gallons of gasoline!.. That is an average of 36.2 and much of it through very high mountain ranges. US550 through western colorado, Durango, Silverton, Ouray, Grand Junction, Jackson Hole then on to Yellowstone for 3 days then over two mountain ranges including the BIG HORNs much of which was over 9,000 feet !.. The car performed FLAWLESSLY through the most difficult climbs!.. Actually our best mileage days were in those mountains due to the large amount of coasting using the engine braking on steep downhill slopes.
    The total cost of the gasoline was $360.43 for 4,885 miles!.. The gas for our former car a HONDA Pilot SUV would have been twice that!.
    I couldn't have been more proud of our TCH !.. I even saw three others. One in Springfield, MO, one Jasper Pearl at Yellowstone and one Tan one on I80 in Illinois!. :)

    I will post some pictures in a few days of some of the great places the TCH (and us) visited.
    For the rest of you owners who wondered about how well it could handle mountain passes, put it out of your mind. No Problem !.
    This is my long term TEST !.. I am completely thrilled with this car after 8,400 miles. I am due for my second oil change as the 'Maintenance required' indicator is on. Incidentally, I made sure I had EXACTLY 36 PSI in all four tires prior to the trip.
    Even did some OFF ROADING in the desert!.. Pictures to follow!.

    One place I hesitated was in Palo Duro Canyon near Amarillo, Texas. Down in the canyon, there were several flash flood aroyo's. One had about a foot of water running in it. I thought.. Hmm 650 volt battery in the trunk, I don't think I want to submerge the car in a foot of water. I chickened out and left the canyon to SUV's.

    Please to give this fine report on the TCH.. The only Bad thing that happened was one small stone chip on the hood. We had no STORMS or anything to mess up our fine trip.
  • thank you WillyBill for the inspiring story...i am planning a trip from CA to South Dakota and was just a tiny bit concerned about the mountain i travel between CA and NV a couple times a month and it handles that pass just fine...but i know it's nothing compared to going through say Wyoming...i look forward to seeing the pictures of your trip...thank you once again
  • alp8alp8 Posts: 656
    I'd be interested in what options folks LOVE about their TCH. I plan to order one, and am interested if there is anything I should try to order. I do plan to go fully-loaded, and I may not have any choices.

    I guess I can say, "I want the cargo net"

  • wvgasguywvgasguy Posts: 1,405
    I'd be interested in what options folks LOVE about their TCH

    I believe even the non-nav systems have bluetooth, but I'm not sure they have the phone book and speed dial that is on the NAV. When I bought the car we had an analog cell phone (still). It was a pleasant surprise when we upgraded to a Motorola RAZR and can now use the phone hands free with speed dial.

    Leaving your key in your pocket (or purse) is retty cool as well. I would have never "ordered" this if it were an option but boy I miss it on my 4Runner. I'm always getting into it now (infrequently) and remembering I have to dig out my key!

    If you're getting a loaded one (I recommend that if it fits financially)there is not a lot to add unless you want cosmetics. After financing mine I hate to start dropping $1000 here and there in cash. But if I could have financed these I would have added the SE spoiler package, fog lights (miss them, will get when available), probably tinted glass, and 5 spoke 17" wheels.

    If you want a loaded one I would wait for it. Many are not satisfied with the aftermarket leather and with that you don't get the heated seats. Also some have even cut (urggg) holes in their roofs for aftermarket sunroofs(I think that one especially would depreciate a used car in a few years).

    There actually is not a lot you really need to add to a loaded one.

    By the way, the cargo net usually is just in the way.

    I have a titanium one (to match the 4Runner) and like it because it stays clean looking. However I would have easily taken the red or blue as they are both great colors (but would make me work harder to keep them clean). Then again the white ones on the road really look good too. I guess there is not a "bad" color available.
  • newt5newt5 Posts: 15
    I bought my Camry Hybrid in June of this year and it drove fine up until about August. Since then the center console -- just in front of the gear shift -- squeaks, and more than just a little. I've had it in the shop 3 times. My service guy indicated that there is a "kit" from Toyota to solve the problem. Just got it back from the dealership for the 3rd time and the squeak continues, worse in some ways. And he's applied the "kit!"

    I called and when he called back he indicated that they had just gotten a second Camry in for a 2nd time with the identical problem. This concerns me about Toyota's build quality. I've owned Toyotas, Subarus, and Nissans over the last 15 years and have never had a problem like this with a new car.

    Has anyone else experienced this? I did a search and found others expressing problems with squeaks, but not this specific problem.

    It's really too bad because I love the car otherwise but if the squeak can't be fixed, I'd likely trade the car in.

  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    There is an easy fix for this problem which you can do yourself.

    Go to Google and type this into the search box (include the quotes):

    "squeaking in center console"

    You will find a hybrid-related website and a huge thread with all the info you will need to repair this yourself.

    good luck.
  • I had a squeak in the centre console as well but after the mechanic applied oil to this area, the squeak has stopped and not come back. Now there is a bit of a rattle near the windshield on the RHS. I bought some anti-squeak oil and will apply it. The only other complaint is the centre console power plug that will not let go of my cell phone adapter. Other than these (I've had the car for about 6 months) I don't have any complaints. Toyota just needs to do a bit better on the interior workmanship and apply more isolation.
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