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Toyota Camry Hybrid vs Toyota Prius

beachgirl1106beachgirl1106 Member Posts: 7
I am looking at purchasing a TCH or Prius.

My new commute will be approximately 55 miles one-way, with the longest stretch of highway being 35 miles of the 55 miles.

I would really appreciate any feedback, insight, advice (price, comfort, cargo capacity, etc.) on what to consider when comparing these two vehicles.'

Thanks!
Jeannie

Comments

  • lzclzc Member Posts: 483
    Both are fine cars . . . but different.

    The TCH is just like a regular Camry that gets about 10-12 mpg more than the non-hybrid version, but otherwise has the same level of comfort and comparable (though not identical) handling as a Camry XLE.

    The Prius is unlike any other car. It's roomy, sits much lower, and is designed for maximum mpg. Check out the skinny tires. That bothers some people. The payoff is about 10-12 mpg more than the TCH.

    The Prius' hatchback style gives it a considerable edge in cargo hauling over the TCH's smallish trunk.

    I chose the TCH for reasons of comfort and handling, and general utility in all driving circumstances. If I'd wanted primarily a commute car, and gas mileage was very important, the Pruis might have been my choice.

    With both cars now in good supply at most dealers, you should be able to get a better price than early buyers. Good luck.
  • stevegozstevegoz Member Posts: 4
    Agree with Beach Girl. We chose the Camry Hybrid over the Prius two months ago because we only drive 600 or so miles in a typical month, and the Camry was only about 10 percent more expensive than the Prius. We also knew the Prius would have something of a learning curve, as it just felt more spaceship-y than the 10-year-old ride we were trading in.

    We were definitely impressed with the roominess and storage space of the Prius, and if for some reason we need to add a second car (neither the wife or I drive to work), we would certainly consider it.
  • wvgasguywvgasguy Member Posts: 1,405
    The Prius is funky looky. That can be a pro or a con. To me it's a con. I have a TCH, however if you are going to drive 110 miles every day I believe it comes down to comfort and economy. I don't know your financial situation but that extra 10 mpg may be significant for 25,000 miles per year commuting (plus personal use). However that's a lot of miles to be uncomfortable too. I'd recommend test driving a Prius and not just around the block. Drive it not to see what you like but focus on what you don't. That's what will bug you the most on the second day of ownership.
  • mfreeman1943mfreeman1943 Member Posts: 6
    I am a happy TCH driver. What I'd like to add is that a key trade-off is lower fuel consumption in the Prius vs better acceleration in the Camry. I just got back from a 4000 km trip in the Western US and really appreciated the ability to cruise up hills without slowing down.

    Here in BC, Toyota lists the TCH at $32,000 (Can.) and the Prius with 'B' package (which gives you the many of the same features as the TCH, such as better sound system, bluetooth, smart key, etc. - lists at $35,360. The only thing the Prius had that the Camry didn't was foglights. Also, I don't believe the Prius had stability or traction control.

    For me, it's an easy choice.
    - Mike Freeman -
  • jbolltjbollt Member Posts: 736
    "...The only thing the Prius had that the Camry didn't was foglights. Also, I don't believe the Prius had stability or traction control. "

    And just to add to this, a moonroof is not available on the Prius, for those who enjoy it, that is a dealbreaker.
  • wvgasguywvgasguy Member Posts: 1,405
    Here in BC, Toyota lists the TCH at $32,000 (Can.) and the Prius with 'B' package - lists at $35,360.

    That's weird, the TCH I bought in may 06 was absolutely loaded and MSRP was under 31,000. I just checked Edmunds.com and a loaded Prius in the states is only $27,865 or about $3000 less than a comparable TCH, not $3000 more as per your posting. I've seen Prius's advertised lately for a couple of thousand off so I assume that's around $25,500 for a loaded one. With the exchange rate that should be no more than $30,000 Canadian I would have thought.

    If folks are paying that much for a Prius then I can see where some of the auto mag writters might be right in saying that the cost of going green may not be justified.
  • beachgirl1106beachgirl1106 Member Posts: 7
    I would really be interested in hearing people's opinions about how the vehicles drive in high-wind (think Interstate) driving and rain/snow conditions.

    I live in Central Jersey where we see all four seasons and definitely need to take this into consideration.

    Thanks for all of the great information I have received so far! It is greatly appreciated.

    Jeannie
  • pathstar1pathstar1 Member Posts: 1,015
    In Canada the package "B" Prius has everything except Nav and backup camera. Leather isn't offered in Canada. It has VSC and all Prius' have traction control.

    Comparing apples to apples, the "B" package Camry Hybrid is $35,000+ and the "B" package Prius is $34,000+. Pretty much the same price.

    The Prius will return better fuel economy, has more cargo room, and is a little more adaptable, being a "hatchback".

    The Camry has more comfort (like an adjustable drivers seat!), more luxury options. The "B" package has leather seats and the sun-roof.

    Oh, and yes Americans, we Canadians are being "ripped off" price wise compared to what you pay. Compared to the rest of the world, not so much.
  • lzclzc Member Posts: 483
    Vehicle stability control is standard on the TCH, optional on the Prius. Tire size and vehicle weight would give the nod to the TCH in foul weather driving, I'd think.
  • mfreeman1943mfreeman1943 Member Posts: 6
    One point: to compare apples to apples, you must compare the Prius with B package to the TCH without B package; the TCH B package in Canada is moonroof + leather seats, neither of which you get with the Prius.
    - mike -
  • pathstar1pathstar1 Member Posts: 1,015
    That is correct and I pointed that out in my response. However, it's difficult to compare the two (Prius package B and Camry base) as there are so many other differences as well. If you do compare these two, the Prius is more expensive.

    I purchased a Prius package B because it is more flexible and gets better mileage. If I had wanted more comfort and luxury I would have purchased the Camry package B. They are both nice cars and the choice was difficult.
  • caazcaaz Member Posts: 209
    Next year there wont be a prius...or camry...and there will be a new smaller 3rd hybrid...they will call them Hybrid A B & C...or something plain wrapper similar to that....they'll drop both the prius & camry badge off the current cars...
  • smr36smr36 Member Posts: 59
    "Next year there wont be a prius...or camry...and there will be a new smaller 3rd hybrid.."

    I don't intend to be rude, but what is your source for this information?
  • regal1945regal1945 Member Posts: 25
    Another one blowing smoke!!!! :D
  • stevegozstevegoz Member Posts: 4
    That's funny; most industry experts report that Toyota is working to develop a hybrid version of every one of its production models. [Think they'll also make a non-hybrid Prius??? :) ]
  • quixotic1quixotic1 Member Posts: 23
    I took a hard look at both of these cars. Drove them both. Have 2 friends with loaded Priuses and got their opinions too. (Both said buy a Prius). After driving both cars I chose the Camry Hybrid 50th Anniversary. Here's why. Although my friends in So Fl. have been getting a little over 50mpg around town in their Prius, on the highway it's been more like 44.5 mpg. These are great #s but these people also drive 5 miles under the speed limit and do all they can to get the best mileage. I, on the other hand, do not drive under the speed limit (usually a few mph over). I also want a trunk because I haul my golf clubs wherever I go and don't want to listen to them clanking around behind me. I also like power seats (heated), and a moonroof. Prius does not offer these features. When I test drove the two cars side by side at the dealer (for over 20 miles each), I noticed that the Prius' seat was not as comfortable for me and there was considerably more road noise in the Prius. Especially from the front wheels. The crash tests are better on the Camry too. I bought the Camry and have about 1300 miles on her. I am seeing mpg improvement since new. Today I took a 250 mile trip and averaged 41.1. mpg! This was with 3 adults, 1 dog, 2 sets of golf clubs and some luggage. For me, the TCH is the clear winner. I am extremely happy with this car.
  • gmacjrgmacjr Member Posts: 1
    Hello beachcirl1, I am the owner of an 05 Prius and an 07 Camry, both hybrids. I average about 45 mpg on the prius and about 35 mpg on the camry. I have had no problems with either one. I have about 35K on the prius and 15K on the camry. Both cars were built for economy and they deliver. They both have very good pick up and handle very well at highway speeds. I highly recommend both cars. However, the Camry looks and feel like most pure gas cars. It depends on whether you want to look "green" or want be "green" and not look "green" I was looking for economy because it pains me to pay the high gas prices.
  • emgremgr Member Posts: 109
    Does the Camry use the insulated storage bottle to hold hot coolant like the Prius?
  • stevedebistevedebi LAMember Posts: 4,098
    "Does the Camry use the insulated storage bottle to hold hot coolant like the Prius?"

    Hmmm, good question. The Highlander Hybrid doesn't have the system.
  • talmy1talmy1 Member Posts: 55
    The Camry does not. It also doesn't have the bladder in the gas tank.
  • davidg1davidg1 Member Posts: 8
    i am wondering how you got all that into the camry trunk?? there is actually less room in it than the prius my wife has a 2007 prius with heated front seats. my son bought the prius over the camry hybrid, in part, because more room for stuff in the prius
  • brookslakebrookslake Member Posts: 1
    I had a 2005 Prius that I put 56,000 miles on before I sold it. I did not feel comfortable in the car for two reasons, and two reason only. The first being in high winds, I felt that the car was not solid on the ground and was getting blown around a lot. The second issue, I live in a snow state, and if I was taking off from a stop, and the tires would slip, the traction system worked by shutting off all the power and then adding it back in. This would scare the you know what out of me. I now have a 2007 Camry Hybrid, day and night difference. The Camry is solid, the traction control works extremely well. Got 45 mpg with the Prius, and getting 35 with the Camry. I will give up the 10 mpg to feel safe.
  • cesarzcesarz Member Posts: 1
    Try: http://www.greencarcongress.com/2007/05/reports_toyotas.html

    This is what is going to happen: The Camry Hybrid dissapears, the current Prius becomes Prius B, a smaller Yaris-size Prius A appears, and a larger Camry-size Prius C appears.

    From many sources (too many to list), the Prius B will be turbocharged (increased performance), goes to Lithium-Ion batteries, becomes plug-in (but just 7 mile range in full electric) and gets up to 100 mpg. Really.

    Hybrid versions of other Toyota / Lexus models will continue.
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaMember Posts: 31,450
    I would not expect a PHEV before 2011. They will need a good replacement for the Camry hybrid before dumping it. That could be a mistake. Not everyone likes the styling of the Prius. I guess we hide and watch.
  • lzclzc Member Posts: 483
    The article cited is 8 months old and the quote that the lithium-ion batteries are ready "any time" is not true, if it ever was. Toyota has had to postpone their use because of fire hazard.

    I didn't ready anything that suggested the TCH would be dropped. As hybrids gain in popularity, which they will, the number of models will likely increase. Few automakers drop a model that's selling well.
  • wvgasguywvgasguy Member Posts: 1,405
    Why drop it? I thought I saw where Toyota planned for every vehicle in the lineup to have a hybrid option by 2011. I'm waiting on the Sequoia with a diesel hybrid system. Hope they are listening. I'll put money down now.
  • hihostevohihostevo Member Posts: 59
    Let me lay out my case.

    As most of you know the '09 Camry Hybrid is already on the street and Toyota has a pretty attractive Lease Deal available on it (36 months with a money factor of .00141), works out to about 3.35 percent.

    I would either be getting a package #6 Prius or a loaded Camry.

    The '08 Prius while doing great is a "bit long in the tooth" and it's replacement is "expected" by most of the Prius faithful.

    My wife likes the "heavier" feel of the Camry as she feels it is a "more secure" ride. However my wife is a Real Estate Agent as well as a Grandmother. She puts on a lot of miles running clients around (especially in this market) and the hatchback of the Prius is much more functional for the "stuff" she hauls around for the GrandKids.

    What she really wants is another Honda Pilot, but one that gets 35mpg! As we all know that is not possible I would appreciate your input and suggestions.

    Thank you in advance :-)
  • hihostevohihostevo Member Posts: 59
    The reason I did not jump on the Highlander Hybrid is due to the premium being charged for the Hybrid technology on the Highlander... in other words the $6,000 extra you have to pay for the Hybrid would take too many years just to break even to make it a responsible purchase... at least in my opinion which tends to be of value only to myself.... ;)

    If any of you folks that own the Prius or Camry Hybrid are Real Estate Agents, I would be very interested in your experiences vis a vie that occupation!
  • acdiiacdii Member Posts: 753
    I had an '07 Prius, got 65 MPG on the highway doing 65 MPH, hated the car, loved the MPG. Winter driving absolutely sucked in it, and I am not one to buy new tires to replace new tires. I put 24K and change on it and traded it in on a Hyundai Veracruz, I needed the room for people, not cargo. I picked up a new 09 Camry Hybrid last thursday for a little over invoice and love it, so much better than the Prius. As far as trunk room, I had a few things in there and stuck in a 50 pound bag of dog food, 2 40 pound bags of cat food, and 5 20 pound bags of cat litter, and a 6th bag on the back seat floor. Overall weight was 330 pounds and the car handled it quite well, and still got 35 MPG on a very windy day.

    Speaking of wind, if you really want to compare the two cars, test drive both on a windy day with cross winds, you will find the prius can get knocked around quite well, while the Camry feels secure and hardly moves.
  • hihostevohihostevo Member Posts: 59
    Thanks for the Reply acdii................

    My wife decided to go for the mileage and we bought the '08 Prius on Saturday.

    As we had to travel to find a "deal" we drove it home 680 miles and I did notice the car moved a bit when the large trucks would zoom by the opposite direction on a two-lane highway.

    Perhaps my wife will change her mind as time goes on... but she felt the ability of the hatchback to swallow more items, unusually shaped items, and the fact that she can lower the back seats one at a time or together made the decision for her.

    Personally I think the her daughter telling her the Camry looked like an "old person's car," may have also held some sway! :-) (although we have seven grand-kids we try and pretend like we are still in our 20's...)

    So hopefully my wife and her Real Estate Clients will both like the Prius!
  • acdiiacdii Member Posts: 753
    If you don't have car seats, then you have enough room for 3 in the back. I have two little ones and a teener, so the Prius quickly ran out of room when the youngest graduated to a full size seat, too quickly I might add. Overall the Prius is a great car for most people, I on the other hand like a solid car, I grew up driving rear wheel drive large cars, My favorite was our old 1979 Ford LTD wagon. I put 300K on it before age took it away. The Camry I am liking it more and more each time I drive it, more power to get up and go and the traction control doesn't put us in jeopardy if the road has loose gravel or sand on it. I live out in farm country and drive 43 miles each way to work, most roads are beat up 55MPH lanes with no lines on them, and trying to get onto route 20 in the morning, sometimes you need the juice to get out and up to speed quickly, the Prius has had to make us wait for a large enough opening in traffic so as not to cause an accident. Once the car is moving, it gets up to speed quick enough, but turning out onto the road with the pedal halfway to the floor causes the TC to kick in, and when that kicks in you go no where fast.

    Whats funny is you mention a grandma car, my mom smashed her Grand Marquis a week or so ago and asked me to find her a grandma car. I did, a 2007 Lincoln Town Car. She loves it! Now that is a real estate sales car for sure! :) It would be save for the price of gassing it up! I got her a sweet deal on that one too, with 18200 on it she paid well under current retail, and got it for the price I could have gotten on a brand new Grand Marquis Palm Beach. OTD of a little over $26K. It is top of the line too! :shades:
  • stevedebistevedebi LAMember Posts: 4,098
    "Perhaps my wife will change her mind as time goes on... but she felt the ability of the hatchback to swallow more items, unusually shaped items, and the fact that she can lower the back seats one at a time or together made the decision for her. "

    Sorry I didn't see your post sooner. She could have gone for a Ford Escape Hybrid, which is rated at 34 MPG in the city. That is decent for an SUV, and the driver and passengers sit high up, which would be an advantage when cruising to view real estate.
  • hihostevohihostevo Member Posts: 59
    We considered that, but Consumer Reports did not have much good to say about the Escape ... although my wife surely likes the sitting up high perch!
  • suzemcsuzemc Member Posts: 3
    any one out there who has small children- needing room for 3 in the back- one in a regular car seat, one in a booster and one not needing either?
  • hihostevohihostevo Member Posts: 59
    Well just a quick update in case anyone still reads this thread...

    My wife put 55,000 miles on our '08 Prius then we traded it in on a '10 Prius and put another 55,000 miles on that car.

    As they have made a significant change to the Camry's MPG we thought we would give it a try. So we traded our '10 Prius IV in on a Hybrid Camry. To get the color my wife wanted (White) our only choices was a base model and one with every know option... guess which one we took. Trade in amount was too good to pass up so we are now driving a loaded White Hybrid Camry.

    Interestingly enough the MPG reported on the cars computer is actually less than I calculate by filling up to the same amount on a level surface, then repeating the process and doing the simple math. Computer is reporting that we are averaging 42 - 43 mpg, while the math says 45.

    We have only owned the car for about 10 days and already have over 1000 miles on it!

    The car handles quite well and as you might expect as a much heavier vehicle it is more stable on the highway. So far we have been able to fit everything into the trunk and single fold down rear seat that we used to cram into the Prius, but the Prius is set up better for unusually shaped items with its hatchback design.

    The way my wife drives I figure it will probably cost us an extra $300 a year in fuel, but so far it seems to be a reasonable trade-off.

    As far as how the Prius worked as a Real Estate Vehicle for those of you that might be interested it was terrific! As you would expect the gas mileage made showing property (running people all over town) much less painful, but what I was surprised at was that no one... I mean no one no matter what their financial status felt demeaned by being chauffeured around town in the Prius. It she had clients that were very well to do they were impressed that my wife was taking a "green" approach to her business while folks at the other end of the spectrum simply thought the car was cool-looking.

    We had selected the IV model with the solar roof, which turned out to be fantastic here in Las Vegas. We would have bought the new Prius V when it came out, but they did not offer a solar roof option and you could only get the "smart-key" system (on all doors) on the top model 5 of the Prius V... which also gave you those stupid (my humble opinion please forgive if you disagree) acrylic panels which cannot be opened and simply cook the interior here in Vegas.

    If this thread survives we will post back later, but like the guy who jumped off the 100 story building was heard to say as he passed the 90th floor... "so far so good!"
  • ctlctl Member Posts: 129
    Thanks for providing a valuable review! My wife is thinking about a new Prius (she drives a 2003 I-4 Camry now), but her drive to work is around 46 miles round-trip and all highway, hilly at that too (need power to climb), so to me a Camry hybrid seems better -> more powerful for hills, safer (being longer and heavier), close in MPG.

    Trying to persuade her to Camry, although I know Prius has way more "hybrid appeal" to her. Will be great if you can give me your takes on this... thanks!
  • bobw3bobw3 Member Posts: 2,989
    A hybrid gets the best MPG at 35-50mph type driving where the batter can be used, engine shuts off at stoplights, etc. For straight highway driving , especially with hills the gas engine will be pretty much running the entire time (except on steep downhills). What sort of MPG was she getting with the 2003 Camry I-V?
  • oz_22151oz_22151 Member Posts: 7
    We looked at both Prius V and Camry Hybrid.

    In the end, we went with Camry Hybrid XLE. So glad with decision, been 3 weeks since we took delivery of car.

    When you need it, Camry has the muscle. Been averaging 38 MPG, now 2nd tank of gas but I am lead footed.

    I seem to get better MPG while on highway than city however, wierd.

    I paid $30K exactly for XLE model, fully loaded to the brim.

    Refused every add-on they offered in Finance.

    5 year @ 2.49% with credit union.
  • ctlctl Member Posts: 129
    The 2003 I4 averaged around 29-30MPG (80/20 highway/city, she is on 80MPH normally :)). With the new 2012 2.5 I4, I would guess around 33MPG? hybrid I read is around 40MPG. Camry being more powerful, quieter and safer so far does not out-weight the Prius factor...
  • bobw3bobw3 Member Posts: 2,989
    She'd probably get at least in the mid 40's MPG with the Prius with that sort of driving, so let's say 45mpg for the Prius, vs upper 30s MPG with the Camry Hybrid vs lower 30s MPG with the regular Camry. At 15,000 miles of driving at $4.00/gal, that would be $1,333, $1,579 or $1,818. If space is an issue, you'll find the Camry's truck (especially the hybrid) isn't nearly as spacious as the Prius. As far as cost, the Camry will be the cheapest, followed by the Prius, then the Prius Hybrid.
    Bottom line is to have her test drive them all and see which she likes. The Camry Hybrid seems to run about $3,000 more than a non-hybrid Camry, so it will take about 10 years to make up the difference in gas savings. The Prius comes in-between the two Camrys, so she'll make up the price difference in the Prius over the regular Camry in a few years.

    http://www.cars.com/go/compare/selectTrims.jsp?&myids=13502,12937,13469&selected- =3
  • ctlctl Member Posts: 129
    Thanks bobw3, very good analysis! If to own the car for 10+ years, looks like the two Camrys would cost about the same, then the hybrid being more powerful would be my choice! except, doesn't hybrids require you to do extra maintenance and/or needing to go in to dealers for it?

    That said, from your numbers I guess Prius is the cost king among them! So Camry wins in passenger space, size (safety), power, quietness (not sure how much), but Prius wins in overall cost and the intangible hybrid appeal...
  • hihostevohihostevo Member Posts: 59
    Good analysis Bobw3, but I think she would actually do a bit better than what you are calculating if she purchased a gen. 3 Prius. We have owned 3 Prius's ('05, 08, 10) that we have put a lot of miles on driving back and forth from Las Vegas to Northern Utah. This section of I-15 is has a lot of mountain driving and the speed limit is 75 - 80. Our gen 2 Prius's average in the mid- 40's, but our gen 3 normally averaged 50. There were some trips where the average mpg would drop to 47 - 48, but on those either we got some summer blend fuel, or I was pushing the speed pretty hard.

    You can put more in the Prius than the TCH, but I believe you can carry more in the TCH with 4 people in the car. Our '12 TCH normally does about 38-40 mpg on the above trip. Just driving around town we normally average around 44 and if I am careful around town I can get over 50. The TCH is a bigger heavier car and more comfortable to drive on long trips, but there are times when I think fondly of the 52+ mpg we were getting on our gen 3 Prius.

    I agree that the payback time on the TCH is going to be much longer than it would be on the Prius. I was looking forward to purchasing the Plug-in version of the Prius, but was disappointed that it only gets 13 miles on the battery. It is still a great car for folks in Calif that can use it to get access to the HOV lanes, but for the majority of us I think it was a "swing and a miss" by Toyota.

    IMHO of course!
  • brianricbrianric Member Posts: 2
    I owned a 2010 Prius for a total of four months and took a $6,000 hit in the pocket book to get rid of it. There are way to many blind spots on the car. I came close to totaling it four times. I was so scared after the fourth time I started hating the Prius. Traded the Prius on a 2010 Honda CR-V, which I still have. Bought a 2012 Toyota Camry Hybrid XLE last February and love the car. I'm averaging 39.5 mpg, with a mix of one, five, 15, and 30 mile trips. I just took it up from New Jersey to Massachusetts where I averaged 43.3 mpg. I drive normal, and will use all 200 hp when coming onto the on-ramp on the NJTP. I got it fully loaded with the HD Navigation Package, JBL Stereo, moon roof (which I didn't want), leather seats, just to get Blind Spot Monitoring and backup camera. The only option I wanted that wasn't available was adaptive cruise control, which is available on the top of the line Prius.

    I love my TCH and will keep it until the wheels fall off or become to expensive to maintain. For those who are considering a hybrid and can wait, take a look at the 2013 Ford Fusion Hybrid. From the looks of it it is rated at 47 mpg.
  • catalina56catalina56 Member Posts: 18
    I am looking at the same care, fully loaded in Phoenix, Arizona. Would you mind sharing what you paid for this car without TT&L? Many thanks

    catalina56
  • brianricbrianric Member Posts: 2
    $33,000 fully loaded.
  • razzledazzle1razzledazzle1 Member Posts: 2
    I have owned the 2007 Prius II for almost 6 years. I gave it to my husband and we bought a camry hybrid LE yesterday for $24,524 after rebate and before TTL. I loved and still love the Prius but I got really tired of the wimpiness accelerating from a stop. I drove the TCH a few months ago and couldn't get it out of my head. I originally wanted an XLE but looked at the features and realized I didn't NEED to spend an extra $5,000 to get the ones over the LE model. I'm very happy so far and am excited about my new car and my husband is excited about the Prius. (Prius has 120k on it and going strong!)
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