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Toyota Camry Hybrid vs Toyota Prius

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.'



  • lzclzc 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 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 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.
  • 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 Posts: 737
    "...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 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 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.
  • 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.

  • pathstar1pathstar1 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 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.
  • 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 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 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 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 Posts: 25
    Another one blowing smoke!!!! :D
  • stevegozstevegoz 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 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 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 Posts: 109
    Does the Camry use the insulated storage bottle to hold hot coolant like the Prius?
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 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 Posts: 55
    The Camry does not. It also doesn't have the bladder in the gas tank.
  • 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
  • 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 Posts: 1

    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, NevadaPosts: 31,432
    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 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 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 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 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 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 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!
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