Last post on Aug 28, 2013 at 10:31 AM
You are in the Toyota Camry Hybrid
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Toyota Camry Hybrid, Car Buying, Sedan
#68 of 670 10 day report
Aug 01, 2006 (8:33 pm)
For background, I have recently owned and driven (all bought new):
-'03 Camry SE 4cyl 4spd automatic -very nice car, great mileage 23 mpg town, 32ish highway, a few minor dash rattles. Replaced with '05 Highlander in March '05 when I transferred ownership to my daughter.
-'03 Highlander base (fairly loaded) 3.0L V6 4 spd automatic 2wd ..almost perfect vehicle except for mileage-consistent 20-22mpg town or highway, which I expected
-'05 Highlander Limited 3.3L V6 5 speed automatic 2wd. Much nicer than our '03, due to being Limited, and the 3.3L and 5spd automatic are big improvements. 19-22mpg town and 23-25mpg highway...
I did LOTS of research and test-driving to determine if I was going to be unhappy with the transmission, due to the reports here of severe hesitations....I put 20,000+ miles in 16 months without any issues at all.
Someone close to me bought a Highlander Hybrid Limited in July 05, and I have had the privilege of driving it several hundred miles. WOW! If it wasn't $40k, and the fact that my Highlander was only 4 months old, I might have bought one.... anyway, if I was going to buy another car, I wanted better highway mileage, and a little quieter on the highway. HH out.
Toyota announces the Camry Hybrid. BINGO! wait wait wait....
July 8, I visited Precision Toyota (Tucson) who told me they had an unsold loaded Desert Sand TCH inbound due in L.A. on 7/16. I could have it for MSRP. Placed a $500 deposit, and bought the loaded Desert Sand Loaded TCH on 7/21. Traded in the 03 Highlander, got $1,000 more than ACV, based on the pros in the real-world-trade-in thread here on Edmunds.
10 days and ~500 miles later, I am very impressed.
I had the windows tinted with ceramic film.
so far my impressions:
-I agree, ECO button should be near the climate controls.
-I prefer the seat height of the Highlander, easier to get in and out for my (yikes) aging body, altho the Camry seems to be ok so far.
-The folding rear seat back is totally stupid!
-Would like to have had factory fog lights..even optionally.
-First fill-up, after all around town, MANY very short 1-2 mile trips, and AC on ECO, the computer said 34.5mpg, calculating it shows 35.5mpg, but uncertain if dealer filled it all the way. (This is after spending more than 1.5 hours with it "ready" in the garage playing with the Nav etc..it's been over 100 degrees in Tucson!) Can't wait to see how high I can get the mpg on this tank!
- plenty of power, altho I'm not likely to use it very often.
-Great sound system, I'm using an iPod thru the aux input, and just yesterday burned a couple of mp3 CDs to try in the 4-CD changer. Awesome! Did you guys know that you can customize the audio "sound" differently in each mode? AM, FM, Disc, Aux..etc!!!
-Tilt-telescopic steering wheel, and power driver's seat allow perfect seating position.
-It's taking me time to get used to the smart key! Can't tell you how many times I have taken the "key" out of my pocket only to remember I don't need it!
-I can't believe that I am driving a near luxury car (who needs a Lexus?) with the room, handling, quietness, and performance of this car, and better fuel mileage than a Civic!!!!
(BTW, Motor Trend 9/2007 just wrote that the TCH has the 3rd highest fuel economy of any vehicle available in the US, behind the Prius and Civic hybrid) Quite an accomplishment! THANK YOU TOYOTA!
#69 of 670 My MPG Sucks
Aug 02, 2006 (10:24 am)
My New Camry Hybrid has 2500 miles and MPG has dropped steadily. Started out near 40, then 35 now after six weeks, 30.9 MPG in mixed driving conditions. I'm doing everything except watch where I'm going to maximaize my MPG. ECO air, slow early, maximize coast, no rapid acceleration, etc. I took it to a local dealer, ( I went out of state to buy it) their service representative stated 33 - 44 is the acceptable range. I say " I'm under 32 for the last 300 miles". They smile and say, "everyhthing is working properly". I'd like to drive it onto their showroom floor without opening any showroom doors.
#70 of 670 Re: My MPG Sucks [ottom]
Aug 02, 2006 (11:14 am)
Just curious, if you have a NAV system and can reset the trip average then pick a spot where you know it should yield maximum FE results and check it out for 10 miles or so. If it's still able to get 40+ then it's probably not the car and is more of a matter of where you are driving and the terrain and other environmental issues.
#71 of 670 Re: My MPG Sucks [ottom]
Aug 02, 2006 (11:46 am)
Let's delve into your issues one at a time:
1. Have you checked the air in your tires? Lower pressures add rolling resistance and friction. Make sure they are at LEAST 32 and preferably higher.
2. Have you been in weather which requires A/C at "LO" for long periods? A/C at "LO" means the "ECO Mode" of the A/C is turned off, meaning the hybrid battery is not powering your compressor, but instead the gas engine is powering it. Check that.
3. When you say "mixed driving" what specifically do you mean? How much is hwy/city? Do you have a short commute or take a lot of short trips?
4. In city driving, how often do you intentionally manipulate the accelerator to "force" the car to go into EV mode under 42 MPH? I use that trick all the time.
5. Have you checked the oil? You may be low or high, either of which can lower MPG.
6. a good test: Make sure ECO mode is on, then after a fillup of the gas tank, with a warmed up car, get out on a highway and cruise about 62-65 MPH on a fairly level road for about 10 miles. You should average 42-45 MPG on a run like that. Then get on a city run which has few stops and set the cruise at about 34 MPH. The car should switch to EV mode a LOT under that scenario - charged battery from the hwy run, warm engine.
Let us know. There's really nothing anyone has reported that has caused a TCH to produce lower MPG over time. Most tanks fluctuate up and down based on circumstances of the driving patterns.
My tanks have been 35.5, 36.7, 35.9, 39.5, 35.1, 36.4, 40.6, 34.7.
Others have seen: 35.7, 36.9, 41.7, 36.8, 35.5, 39.3 etc.
#73 of 670 EV Mode
Aug 03, 2006 (9:23 pm)
How do I intentionally manipulate the accelerator to "force" the car to go into EV mode under 42 MPH? I've not learned that trick. Seems like I'm never in EV mode.
#74 of 670 Re: EV Mode [ottom]
Aug 04, 2006 (7:01 am)
OH, OK, sorry, I guess I didn't come with the correct answer on that one.....
Make sure the A/C is in ECO mode and you have plenty of battery charge, based on your battery display level, and that the A/C is set mid-70s. It will go into EV mode with the A/C in the 60s too, but it's much more likely to go in the 70s.
Once the car is warmed up, and you are on a flat road with little interference in front of you, (for testing, then you can do this in traffic later) get the car up to about 38 mph.
Then release pressure on the accelerator just enough that you see the instant MPG go way up, to near 60. Then SLIGHTLY press the accelerator again with just a TINY bit of pressure. That should (assuming warm car/battery charge/ECO mode) cause the car to kick down into EV mode.
If that does not do it, try the same thing at lower speed, maybe 34 mph.
If that does not do it, leave the A/C fan on but press the A/C button to OFF and try it again.
If the car does not go into EV mode under any of these circumstances, hastily deliver your car to the dealer because something is wrong with the HSD system.
Good Luck !!!
#75 of 670 Jasper Pearl
Aug 04, 2006 (8:33 am)
I picked up my fully loaded Jasper Pearl TCH July 29th. I love the way the colour changes in the sun. Thanks to this Forum. A posting from another TCH owner had seen this on a lot at
Naniamo Toyota. I phoned them and put a deposit on over the phone. Even though I had to take a ferry over to get it. It was well worth the exrta expence. This dealership is family owned and a great bunch of well informed and happy people. I love this car. I have 700 km and still on the first tank. I ordered the window visors from weathertech.com as they are far supiorior to the stick on ones. Also ordered an aftermarket Navigation system as it is not available yet as an option in Canada. I think it has to get certification. I could not order the side moldings for Jasper Pearl in Canada. So I ordered them from http://www.toyotapartsstore.com
I will be on holidays soon and can't wait to get the TCH out on the highway.
Aug 04, 2006 (9:57 am)
One note to those who might not have the car and be aware---the windows DO have an auto "down" feature, but do not have an auto "up."
GM vehicles (or at least my GM vehicles) are the same way for, I imagine, the same reason. They consider it to be a safety issue--essentially, they don't want people to get their hands caught as the window is going up. They are aware of situations in which people have engaged the "auto up" either accidentally or mindlessly while their hands were on the top of the window while it was in the down position.
Personally, I really don't care--I'm glad to have the auto down, and I can live without auto up. Hardly worth quibbling about.
#77 of 670 Re: Windows [mfletou1]
Aug 04, 2006 (10:11 am)
I think Toyota adds auto-up in higher model lines, as my Highlander Limited has auto-up on the driver's window, but my TCH doesn't..it's convienent to have, but no biggy for me either.