Last post on Jan 27, 2013 at 2:14 PM
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Toyota Camry Hybrid, Car Buying, Sedan
#596 of 646 Camry Hybrid XLE Brief Review
Jan 16, 2012 (2:31 pm)
Just took delivery of my 2012 Hybrid XLE. This brief review is based on an extensive drive in another XLE Hybrid that I had use of, and now my own.
Coming from a 2011 Prius, which was a good hybrid, this 2012 Camry Hybrid is in another league. Much more refined, nicer interior, powerful, yet efficient. The acceleration and power is excellent, and I feel much more confident in merging into traffic. This car is no slouch. The transition from electric to gas power is almost completely unnoticed. Very good use of all electric in slow, and stop and go driving. 40 mpg in mixed driving, and its 35 degrees outside. The car feels smooth and is quite at 70 mph.
The fit and finish is very nice, with a solid feel. The seat support is improved from previous models (We own a few Prius' & Camry's as company cars). I'm not yet thrilled with the leather seating option, as the suede inserts are a bit odd initially, but it does provide a nice feel, as opposed to an all leather "slippery-feel". The interior materials and execution are a very nice improvement. The Entune seems a bit busy, but I'm not a high tech guy. It was easy to link with my iPhone 4, and has lots of great features, which I likely will not use, but those that like this stuff will get use from it. Navigation screen is clear, and seems fairly simple to use. I like the placement of storage, and instruments are clear and intuitive, with several options with 2 screens to see what is going on. Climate control is simple to use, and effective. Heated seats worked well, but I wish they were ventilated as well.
Overall, I'm impressed with this vehicle, and certainly it's efficient use of fuel. I've owned many Toyota's, Honda's, BMW's, and others over the years, so for the overall package, a daily driver, I believe this car is a winner.
#597 of 646 Re: Camry Hybrid XLE Brief Review [luckyme1]
Jan 21, 2012 (1:44 pm)
I had a 2009 TCH and liked it very much, but traded it a year ago with the bad winter we had here in New England for a Toyota Venza AWD (4cyl) which averages 25 mpg.My only complaint was the poor trade-in value. The better mileage for 2012 is a compelling reason to consider a 2012 TCH, however I would also look at the 2012 Camry 4 cyl. which has a 25/35 rating and the engine in it is a winner. So if you average 30 mpg with a regular Camry and 40 mpg with the Hybrid, you have to drive a bunch of miles to make up the difference. That and despite the logical reasons that Hybrids make more sense, the market continues to be limited, and therefore, more costly to the buyer. either way you cannot loose with a Toyota.
#598 of 646 Awesome Mileage & Driving Experience
Jan 21, 2012 (8:28 pm)
Bought a new 2012 TCH XLE last weekend and am averaging 48mpg so far in mixed city/highway driving. I've used just over a quarter of a tank in roughly 300 miles of driving. It is virtually impossible not to get the advertised mileage if you use the ECO DRIVE mode. The weather in Boston has been cold and I've kept the heat set at 70 degrees on the "AUTO" setting with the AC off. I can't believe how quickly this car heats up. Using the re-directed exhaust gases to heat the engine block is ingenious and really works!
I have to say, the EV Mode really works as well! I've been able to coast along in slow traffic for at least 1.2 - 2 miles at a time; and, the battery reaches full charge quickly if you let the regenerative brakes do their job and glide to a stop when possible.
Considering I am achieving this sort of mileage during the break in period, I can't wait to see what I can achieve later!
I really love the quality and value built into this car. The ride quality is excellent and the Navigation and Audio System is beyond superb!
P.S. This car is fine in Snow too, despite past posts. I got a chance to drive my new TCH in fairly deep snow (4-5 inches) on an untreated and unplowed road. The TCH handled it very well, you just have to drive this car like any other front wheel drive car in this sort of road condition.
I couldn't be happier so far!
#599 of 646 My experience with 2007 Camry Hybrid bought new
Feb 12, 2012 (8:40 am)
I bought this car new in July of 2006. It now has 90,600 miles on it. I commute about an hour and ten minutes each way. Most of the commute is interstate highway. I live in the Denver area. I have religiously taken the car to the dealer for oil changes and other servicing. I am pleased to report I get consistently in warmer weather around 44 MPG. In cold weather about 41. This is the nicest, most sophisticated car I have ever owned. The sound system (a JBL disc-changer) has incredible sound. At about 62K miles the water pump failed on the car. To their credit, the dealer was embarrassed by this and ate the labor. Repairs were about $215. At about 79K miles something unusual happened: the hybrid battery failed. The dealer had not seen this before and had to send to Kansas City for a new one. Toyota ate the entire cost of the new battery and I was offered a loaner for 3 days. I had the transmission serviced at 90K miles. The drivers seat developed a worn place on it where it supports my upper back and the center console armrest developed an unsightly but small tear. I do change air filters and the cabin air filter myself. The car handles very well. I drive it conservatively, but I do drive the speed limit on the interstates and out in the country, that is set at 75 mph. I plan to drive the car as long as possible. I hope to pay it off early in May.
#600 of 646 considering a purchase of xle camry hybrid
Feb 19, 2012 (12:40 pm)
I am in the learning process here..I owned a 2012 camry and felt the overall look of the car was good but thought it was uncomfortable to sit in for long periods of time..Im of an average build and constantly had a backache from the seat..also drove the prius..I but too cramped..I'm on the road alot..with Toyota announcing a new design, comfort and with the fuel efficiency this vehicle seems to be an option..I drove one yesterday and it is definitely more quiet..still a bit cheesy..on the interior..the seat seems comfortable but am still on the fence..is there any info on the redesign of the comfort of the seats? yes, Im a bit obsessed here on the comfort on the seat as I can be on the road for 12 hrs a day..comfort and fuel efficiency is my priority..
anyone with suggestions..
#601 of 646 Re: considering a purchase of xle camry hybrid [gidgeto]
Feb 19, 2012 (8:35 pm)
You'll just need to take a very long test drive, seat comfort is very individual.
#602 of 646 2012 TCH XLE - First Impressions
Mar 14, 2012 (10:53 pm)
I bought a new TCH XLE (Convenience Package and Display Audio w/ Nav and Entune options) last weekend and have driven 135 miles so far and here are my first impressions. This car is my first hybrid and is by far the most luxurious and loaded car I have owned up to now; my other car is a 2005 Accord EX. So far the car has been great and I give it a 9 out of 10. The hybrid system works great switching effortlessly between the gas engine and the electric motor and there is plenty of power when needed. On my 50 mile round trip commute (80% highway and 20% local) I averaged about 45MPG on two different trips. The morning part of the commute is stop and go traffic for about half of way and the night commute I drive about 60-65 MPH. I'm very impressed with these numbers, although I feel I can do a bit better as I further learn all the quirks and tricks of driving a hybrid vehicle ("feathering" anyone?).
I really like the display audio system with Navi and Entune. It does not have the JBL speakers, but the stereo is fine for my needs. I spent some time reading the manual and learning to operate the stereo, phone, energy consumption display, navi and Entune. Quite a lot of functions in such little box. I have an Iphone 4S and had no trouble pairing both the music and phone to the car system using Bluetooth. Unfortunately, the connection to the internet, which is needed to access Entune, apparently can only be done currently through the use of a USB cable from the Camry to Iphone. My understanding is that with Android phones this is not an issue. I also understand from reading a different forum that Toyota is working on a firmware to resolve this issue. Is anybody else on this forum having similar issues with the Iphone?
One other thing I noticed in the Energy Monitor screen under the Fuel Consumption (the screen that graphically shows when the car is being powered by the engine, motor or the battery is being charged) is that the battery level indicator on the right hand side never quite get to completely full even after 135 miles. The best I was able to get still shows two empty squares (about 70-75% charged). Is this normal or the battery charge icon somehow needs to be re-calibrated? Is anybody else having the same problem? I hope that it will eventually show fully charged.
One final thing I noticed that I wanted to get other people's view is that when I push the accelerator from a complete stop, the car vibrates / hesitates just enough to be noticeable as it starts moving. I'm thinking that this may be normal; perhaps the electric motor is so quiet while the car is stopped that the slightiest acceleration and movement will cause us to notice this small vibration, but I'm not sure. I noticed this a little bit when I was test driving the car last week and drove another Camry hybrid to be sure. I thought there was a small vibration with that car as well, but somehow appeared to be a little less, and I thought it would go away as I drove my car a few more miles.
Other than these relatively minor things, the car has been absolutely a delight to drive. Even the cosmic gray mica color matches the car very well and makes it look more upscale and expensive.
#603 of 646 Re: 2012 TCH XLE - First Impressions [joon]
Mar 15, 2012 (8:25 am)
joon says, "I thought there was a small vibration with that car as well, but somehow appeared to be a little less, and I thought it would go away as I drove my car a few more miles. "
It won't go away, but your perception of it being a problem WILL go away.
#604 of 646 Re: 2012 TCH XLE - First Impressions [larsb]
Mar 20, 2012 (2:42 am)
Just got my new 2012 XLE TCH. LOVE IT so far! Just want to tell Joon that I am having the same issues with the I-phone 4 internet integration. Hoping that they come up with a fix. I don't mind tethering my phone to the USB on long trips, as it keeps the battery charged...but in short trips to work, it is kind of a pain. I'm also waiting for the promised Iheart Radio ap. It doesn't show up on my display at all.
#605 of 646 Re: 2012 TCH XLE - First Impressions [guillenrocks]
Mar 20, 2012 (9:53 pm)
Congrats on your new new TCH. I contacted Toyota about not being able to connect to Entune via Bluetooth and they confirmed this is the case with the basic Display Audio w/ Nav and Entune system, although with the higher end Premium HDD w/ Nav, Entune and JBL system one is able to do so. I specifically asked twice if they were working on a fix, but they did not answer, so I'm assuming no fix is on the way. Below are a couple of excerpts from Toyota's reply:
"To connect your iPhone to the vehicle and ensure internet connectivity you will need to utilize the USB cable that came with the phone. This is specific to utilizing the Entune system and specific to the software on the iPhone; you can still pair your phone to the Bluetooth system for hands-free calling.
As noted above this is an issue with the iPhone's Apple iOS operating system, neither the Android nor Blackberry operating system have this issue. Toyota provides the capability but it is up to the phone manufacturer to decide to take advantage of these features. One plus is that with your phone connected through the USB cord, it will stay fully charged."
"The reason the iPhone requires the use of the USB cable is due to the internal design of the iPhone. When connected via Bluetooth to the audio/navigation system on your Camry, the data flow is not fast enough. The upgraded HDD navigation system that is available as an option on some Camry grades is better able to compensate for the data flow capacity design of the iPhone and the USB cable is not needed.
Going forward there will continue to be different head units that offer different levels of performance."
Although this is a bit disappointing, I don't think it is a major deal for me. I'm very happy with the car otherwise. BTW, do you also notice this little hesitation I described in my original post, when you accelerate from a dead stop, a little bit like the car wants to stall? I know it won't stall but the feeling is still there. Thanks.