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Toyota Camry Hybrid, Car Buying, Sedan
#350 of 646 2007 Toyota Camry Hybrid poor fuel economy
Jan 14, 2008 (7:35 am)
Last June, I bought a new 2007 Toyota Camry Hybrid at Dunning Toyota in Ann Arbor, MI. Salesman said the car would get
40 city/38 hwy mpg's, but the car consistently gets between 24-28
mpg's. The service dept. said nothing was wrong with the car and
gave many excuses why the car really wouldn't get 40/38 mpg's.(weather, wind, road conditions, AC or heater used, my driving, etc.). For 2008 models, TCH mpg's were revised downward to 33/34. I think I was defrauded about this car since all reports had
been so glowing. Dealer will not refund your money without a fight or arbitration.
#351 of 646 Re: 2007 Toyota Camry Hybrid poor fuel economy [defrauded]
Jan 14, 2008 (7:57 am)
I bought my 2007 TCH last February, so I have had it almost a year. My overall mileage in that year (calculated) is about 31 mpg. In the warmer months in Indiana (March - October), I was able to average around 32-33 mpg most of the time. But in the winter months, I'm getting around 26-27 mpg. The cold weather has made a huge difference for me. It's probably because I have a lot of trips of 4 miles in one direction (when I drive to or from my office), and the car really doesn't have a chance to warm up, especially on a cold day. I'm still very happy with the vehicle, but a little disappointed in the mileage I have been getting.
#352 of 646 Re: 2007 Toyota Camry Hybrid poor fuel economy [defrauded]
Jan 14, 2008 (8:10 am)
The salesman shouldn't be making any promises. The service department's "excuses" are right on -- the mileage you get depends on many things. It's certainly possible to get over 40 mpg but it takes long trips at moderate speeds or at least warm weather with the AC off. You didn't say what your driving consists of, but I know I wouldn't be breaking 25mpg if I only used the car on commutes to work (3 miles away) in the winter, for instance.
Conventional cars are the same, but the effect of driving cold, using the air conditioner, etc., are magnified in vehicles that get good mileage to begin with because of the peculiarities of measuring in mpg rather than gallons per mile. Chances are you weren't getting the EPA mileage with your old car either. We rarely did.
#353 of 646 Re: 2007 Toyota Camry Hybrid poor fuel economy [defrauded]
Jan 14, 2008 (9:15 am)
Salesman said the car would get 40 city/38 hwy mpg's, but the car consistently gets between 24-28 mpg's.
The salesperson shoud have simply stated the EPA ratings. The EPA revised them recently as they did all vehicles. I hate to say it but if you're averaging 24 to 28 mpg you are not trying hard. Should you have to? No, but if you want to maximize the FE of a hybrid there are at least a few minimal changes to driving habits that is expected. Maybe a hybrid isn't for you. Little things add up but if one eliminates jack rabbit starts, drives within the speed limits and anticipates traffic to flow smoothly I don't see how to get less than 36 in good weather. There have been a few other posters complain that there is something wrong with their car. I've always wished I could drive them once and see for myself, but I'm guessing it's not the car.
The cold weather will affect you but even in Michigan you have decent spring and summers I would think. My FE isn't impacted until it starts getting below 50F. Driving conservatively is not for everyone. I believe though the expectation is that one who buys a hybrid is willing to give up old habits for the gain in FE that can be achieved.
It would be interesting, if you kept accurate records on your last ride, to compare it to EPA ratings.
#354 of 646 Re: 2007 Toyota Camry Hybrid poor fuel economy [talmy1]
Jan 14, 2008 (9:18 am)
It's certainly possible to get over 40 mpg but it takes long trips at moderate speeds
I'm not sure what constitutes a "long trip" but I have no problem obtaining 40+ on the trip computer on my 4 mile drive into town with a cold engine. Yes there are a lot of factors involved, but it doesn't take what I would call a "long" trip.
#355 of 646 Back-up Camera recommendations?
Jan 14, 2008 (2:29 pm)
We have the 2007 TCH with navigation system, etc. The back-up camera was not available (to our knowledge) but now we find it would be very useful due. Does anyone have any recommendations to retrofit the TCH -- brand, where to do it, best pricing, how well they work, etc. Any information would be appreciated. Ida and Mike
#356 of 646 Re: Back-up Camera recommendations? [boulderblonde]
Jan 14, 2008 (6:27 pm)
My dealer offered me an after-market backup cam that could be seen on the nav screen. The price was around $700 if I remember correctly. Hope this helps.
#357 of 646 EPA estimates
Jan 16, 2008 (4:21 pm)
The EPA estimates were too high for every single car on the market, including the TCH, and were universally revised downward as a result. You were a victim of fraud only to the extent that the EPA's methodology was flawed across the board. It was a fairly open secret that EPA estimates were poor measures. Check every other car on the market, if you can find the historical data, and you'll see that there was a change.
On the other hand, an honest salesman (OK, a salesman who doesn't lie all the time) would have told you not to expect 40/38.
#358 of 646 Re: EPA estimates [jeffois]
Jan 17, 2008 (9:11 am)
However if you actually drive like the EPA did in those tests you can get 38/40. many of us do. The new tests I believe are more "realistic" for the average driver. Thus with a little effort (which you wouldn't normally do with an ICE only car) you can exceed the EPA significantly on the TCH.
The hard thing for many to remember is to think about % rather than numbers of mpg. A 15% increase if you're getting 15mpg is only 2.25 mpg increase. With a TCH a 15% increase (or decrease) at 38 mpg is 5.7mpg. The number looks so big but the same things that cause an ICE only car to drop 15% in a lot of cases is the same things that causes a hybrid to drop 15% as well. When I've been averaging 38 mpg and drop to 35 on a high speed drive on 4 lane in the cold, that's pretty good performance.
What I like about the TCH is that if gas gets extreemly high and everybody slows down I can still change my habits and get 38 to 40 and drive 600+ miles on a tank (if I have to). In my Infinity I could make those same shifts in driving and only get 17.5 and less than 375 miles on my tank. I remember the lines during the oil embargo. I wouldn't travel to visit the parents not knowing if I could get back home. A 600+ mile tank is freedom.
We're not back there yet, but on any given day we could be one day away from the same scenario. The world could give a hoot about our need for oil. I'm surprised they don't make it tougher on us considering the folks with the oil basically don't like us and they really are under no obligation to do fair trade with us.
#359 of 646 Re: EPA estimates [wvgasguy]
Jan 17, 2008 (9:26 am)
I still can't believe that you live in (cold) West Virginia and you get that kind of mileage. I'm from West Virginia, so I'm quite familiar with what the weather is like there! Do you keep your TCH in a heated garage, warm it up before you leave the garage, keep the heater turned off while you're driving, and only take fairly long (10 miles or more) trips on mostly level ground? That's the only way I can see that you could average well over 30 mpg in winter weather. For me, I can't even get to 30 mpg when I'm running the heater most of the time (in ECO mode) and the temperature is around freezing or lower. Just not possible, no matter how I drive, unless I drive around for over 10 miles and the car is running much more efficiently. But for short trips of 4-5 miles in the cold weather, 26-27 mpg is the best I'm going to get. I have a 2007 TCH and my wife has a 2008 model that we just picked up, and she is getting the same mileage as me. We both know all of the tricks as to how to drive the car, so it's not because our cars are defective or we don't know what we're doing. It's just a combination of factors: The weather, the terrain, and how far you drive on an average trip.
The TCH has a lot of potential, but it's best-realized when the weather is warm. In the spring/summer I'm sure I'll be back up to around 32 mpg on average.