An outstanding vehicle that deserves consideration
written on 07-10-2016
This is my first hybrid. I choose it because I am 6'-3" tall, 250 lbs and although I like small cars, I have a long commute and wanted something comfortable to drive. I can honestly say I am always impressed when I drive this car. I drive 170 miles a day so the miles add up quickly. I consistently achieve between 38 and 40 MPG. I have kept gas receipts since new and have now mastered how to achieve that mileage daily. The hybrid system is fantastic. The system engages frequently until 40 mph and then it is gas only above 40 to 45 mph. So in town driving increases gas mileage above 40 mpg. Traffic jams are a breeze as the system regenerated upon braking. The electric AC compressor is fantastic (there is no fan belt) so running the AC in electric only mode is unnoticeable and does not suck up all the juice. Eco mode reduces the amount of electricity consumed and I use it all the time. It helps increase the mileage. It cycles the AC a little slower but I live in Texas where it is really, really hot. The system works great. I now have over 37,000 miles on the car and I have not had one issue! Not even a squeak or rattle. Only regular oil changes and frequent tire rotation as you should do on any car. Now to the meat and potatoes....the battery. I have read many posts but I know when the time comes (and it will) to change the battery, I am not worried. Toyota has so many of these cars on the road (including tons of taxis:Chicago) that a battery swap is a 2 hour ordeal. Check you tube and you will see how simple it really is. Secondary battery (non-toyota) manufacturers (Dorman Products) are refurbishing the packs and the general cost is under $2,300 now with a core exchange. A handy homeowner can do this themselves. Many hybrid shops have now popped up in major cities that now offer quick replacement or battery diagnostic services. Additionally, major retailers such as Napa Auto Parts and others can order you the pack which as of 2016 is between $1,800 and $2,300. Think about this...I have taken many cars to the shop for repairs (which I could not do myself) and walked out with a $1,500 bill. Going to Toyota and asking for a new battery pack is just plain STUPID! A $0.59 screw at Auto Zone costs $7.50 at Toyota! Any reputable mechanic can do this simple battery swap. Also, I have read some posts about the brakes. Regenerative brakes work different than regular brakes. Simply put, an additional "zone" is built into the pedal. The first 1/4" push on the pedal is for the regenerative process. The other 3/4 is for regular braking. Any hybrid has this system. Getting used to it takes a day or two. After that, it becomes intuitive. The brakes on my car are excellent. When the time comes to brake, they grab hard and stop the car well. The rest of the car is standard Toyota Camry stuff. You can read about that on the regular Camry reviews. I am absolutely thrilled with this car. I bought it at the right price and time (November) so I have already recouped some of my investment. I would definitely buy another one now that I understand how they truly work. And they are also FAST. The electric motor kicks in when needed for extra power such as up a highway ramp and such. This is probably the most underrated "sleeper" car in existence because Toyota wants to sell you a Prius. Do yourself a favor. Pick the Camry over the Prius. Larger, safer car. More comfortable. Easier battery swap. I'll give up the extra 8 mpg for that any day.
Look the dayI bought this car I test drove an Avalon nice fast. But it was out of my range went to the used car side. I wanted a sunroof so I test drove a 2012 regular Camry XLE 40k on it it was beat up a tad I could tell looking at the radio pushed it acceleration sucked. But before I drove the regular Camry this pretty blue caught my eye. So there was a white le and then that pretty blue one the white one was a standard white. I really did have my heart set on the hybrid so I go to the pretty blue one it was a hybrid no sunroof but I looked at the mileage just a 2014 certified pre-owned with just under 13k. I couldn't pass it up. I jumped in the car and test drove it. Now mind u I test drove a regular Avalon first and I don't mean like a granny. I pushed it hard. So back to the test drive of the now my pretty blue 2014 Camry Hybrid LE. I got I started driving ummm ok then I hit the gas pedal. Whoosh I was amazed comparing the pickup to the 2012 Camry XLE and the now my 14 hybrid. Night and day mind u I drove the regular Avalon 2015/16 first. I was impressed with the pickup mind u I was ready to walk before I drove this car. I was hooked, no sunroof ok, but certified pre-owned 13k mi. Clean interior a couple of minor nicks teeny tiny the put touch up paint on it. So I bought it, also I'm 56 an old muscle car lover. This car is plenty quick pretty blue chicks dig that. I threw some custom 16" wheels on it didn't want to give up mpg for looks. Now the gas mileage if u drive it right and this is in the summer with the A/C I have gotten averaged 41/42 mpg if I just get a little fun in now and again 38mpg. I was driving early one Sunday morn opened it up shweet. U can drive it on battery up to 50mph here is the trick to getting in in hybrid mode. From a stop accelerate get to just above the speed u want to be let off the gas for a bit and when u see the tire symbol recharging the batt. Press the gas ever so lightly then it will keep the speed u like and run off the batt. Can't wait to see what I get when the weather gets cooler. Now the handling, this thing handles nicely handles curves well turns if need be on a dime. It's not Euro like Porsche handling but u can handle curves well at a pretty good rate of speed. Comfort for me and I'm a tad over 6'1 185 medium to large frame man. For me it's comfortable I Ike the way I can put my head on the head rest and it gives great support. Stereo and mind I this is the base level stereo. I listen to all types of music mainly smooth jazz. I consider myself a pseudo audio file. Stereo is superb I hear sound detail is exceptional. I can't attest to reliability as of yet because of low miles. But I'm not worried because of the Camry reputation. Look this is a 14 gal tank from completely full to that last little notch right before the E I have gotten 535 on a tank of gas. Bottom line like French Fry said choosing this over a Prius especially if you are a big guy is a no brainer jump on it don't hesitate. Also I would urge those considering a 2016/17 XLE LE regular Camry take a step down if need be and get the hybrid I think you will be a lot happier with the pickup and the gas mileage. Yeah I wish I had the sunroof but I'm more than happy with what I got and the price I paid. Lastly I always leave my car in ECO mode and HV mode
Just bought the 2014 Camry Hybrid with al options. Or most of them. Feels like an electric car, has good acceleration. Very good electronics, including Entune package. Very good gas mileage. Many features, Not cheap, it is expensive. I really can't say quality if great, until some time passes. The little engine and electronic motor perform very well for a small engine. Stiff riding, no sporty feel. Not great in cornering. Compared to our old Camry, it is stiff riding, our old Camry rode much more cushy. Seats are stiff, not as comfortable as they should be.
I find little reason to purchase cars like a Camry, Accord, or Civic or Corolla for any other reason but for commuting. They're applicances to achieve a goal of getting from A to B on a regular basis. Why people judge these cars for their roadholding or acceleration numbers is silly, or level of luxury appointments and usage of top shelf materials. I got the car for commuting and it accomplishes that for me with ease, no flash or gust. I've been able to achieve better mpg than what's posted. I could have gotten a Prius or Insight for better mpg's but wanted more comfort and room, and also something that at least resembles a car. It rides comfortably. For the purpose of a commuter car, I can't really flaw the lack of a sporty feel. Compared to its rival, the Accord, I have to say I like the steering feel and more taut suspension in my girlfriend's '15 Accord after driving my Camry. Not a dealbreak for me. On the Camry, I'm not a fan of the lack of steering feel. I hate the brakes (although I'm not sure if this is a hybrid thing or not. but I hate the brake feel). Hard to explain how it feels, for me at least, but it's my biggest gripe. I'm content with driving knowing I'm not spending a ton on gas and I'm not worrying about the car breaking no matter how many miles I pile on. I'm fine blending in with the thousands and thousands of other Camry's on the road. I'm not one to like attention. This car serves a purpose just like a washing machine or refrigerator, and nothing more nor less.
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...