107 of 188 people found this review helpful
Which Hybrid to choose....
By basictek on
2014 Toyota Camry Hybrid XLE 4dr Sedan (2.5L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)
So I did tons of research that included the new fusion, sonata/optima, new accord, and toyota's own lexus/avalon. I would have preferred a kewler/sportier fusion but the slow and unproven hybrid system turned me off, the sonata/optima are lacking in mileage, reliability, build quality, and more (my last car was 2011 sonata SE). The avalon.Lexus charge too much for the exact same engine plus better styling, more standard features, and roomier interior (which the camry is plenty big enough). This left only the new accord, which has quite a few new features never before tried on a hybrid, and a price tag about 5K more. If I had more to spend I probably would have gone this route...
The acceleration, smooth quiet ride, excellent handling for camry or hybrid, Toyota's hybrid track record (75% of all hybrids sold in US), reliability, well laid out dash with good technology features (a2dp bluetooth
for streaming music apps, nav, and music from my droid), USB integration, storage and drink holders everywhere, very large comfortable cabin including back seats (no hump in middle). I really like the climate control, the hybrid readouts help me actually become a better driver and get outstanding mileage between 30 MPG (very aggressive driving) to 56MPG with eco and EV modes engaged cruising around 40 MPH at the airport). 2012 has improved the Camry looks a little too.
Find a way to offer folding seats like other mid sized cars (like Fusion) slant the glove box so everything doesn't fall out when opened, make the front seats grip better like the SE, offer seat memory standard on XLE, sport mode (that disables EV and eco and can maybe speed up the CVT a bit would be nice). Keep working on improving the exterior styling.
My next Camry (owned a 92 and now a 99 I have had for 15 years) WILL be a Camry Hybrid. The ROI (Based on a user like me who tends to keep a car for much longer than most) is there.
Cutting $600-$800 a year on fuel alone justifies it (Assume 10 years @$700 a year based on current fuel prices of $3.35 per gallon) and you are saving $7K off a car that costs about 22K or less in my area. No brainer.
Also, they are using what is arguably their 2006 version of that 4 cylinder...tried and true although it's newer. The underpinnings of their 4 cylinder go back to the 92. If you open the hood, you would recognize most of it, instantly. Why mess with success. It has MORE than proven itself.
Kia? You must be joking. Same for Hyundai although they are improving dramatically. The Honda? Nope, transmissions and finicky tuning despite their better MPG.
If you are going to flip a car every 4 years, or less, the Honda gets the nod as even that accord should easily last that long and the MPG matters.
If you are going to KEEP the car, the Toyota wins hands down. The AC is ALWAYS superior to the other cars (Very very strong...a BIG deal in the south as you use it 9 months out of the year). The transmissions are smoooooooooooth and reliable.
Toyota has earned a reputation. Key emphasis on "earned". Overtime they have been the right choice and I've owned a few Hondas and Nissans.
Their mpg will be tweaked and improved over time but, for now, I can live with 40mpg overall while my 99 gas burner gets roughly 24/city and 30hwy....roughly 25mbps overall....15mpg is a NICE improvement.
Buy the Toyota anything...you won't be sorry. Why buy misery?
I recently read consumer reports 2014 where the Camry Hybrid was on the most reliable and least expensive to own list. After reading the report I'm really glad the Honda Accord was not yet available in my area (the civic is among the least reliable hybrids and getting worse each year) Ford and Hyundai are below average reliability especially their hybrids.
I'm surprised by all the unhelpful responses to my review, must be people justifying the fords, hyundais, and Kias they bought or the extra $15,000 they spent on a few extra features and big L in their dash. anyway I stand by everything in my review and this car is extremely refined and quick for a hybrid. I heard the SE is now available so i would recommend if you can get the SE hybrid go for it. Much better appearance, seats, handling, similar features and cost as the XLE. I wish it was available when I bought. I still drive really fast and averaging about 35 MPG after about 6 months now. That's about 15 better than my previous Hyundai Sonata SE
which was about 20. I drive about 40/60 highway/city.
OK while I was initially impressed with the Camry Hybrid, and I still think it's much better than competitors, I have rolled a bunch of negative equity and traded it in. A few things that bothered me. 1) I got 2014 not 2014.5 and no backup camera, I really wanted this. 2) the handling of this car just isn't very good and I'm a hard driver. 3) The acceleration while seeming oi at first was not as good as it seems, the noise when hitting it hard, combined with a drop off of power at higher speeds left me feeling inadequate (to note a lot of this started after my wife got a g37 that I drove a lot) 4) My gas mileage was dropping to about 32 this mostly due to my driving style. To get the most out of a hybrid you MUST accelerate medium to slow, or else moderate acceleration will kill your mileage more so than normal gas cars. 5) the electric whirring sound while cool in the beginning began to get on my nerves over the last 2 years. No more back to normal car sound for me. 6) It's a boring bland looking car, and while I don't need exciting, it helps to like your car if you are impressed with how it looks. I know this now as I traded for the new 2015 Camry XSE v6 (will review in a month or so). It's been a long time since I was so impressed with a car.