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Camry 8th Gen - Hybrid (2018+) Toyota Camry Hybrid Discussion for years 2018+.

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post #31 of 35 Old 12-27-2018, 02:59 PM
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I have a 2018 Hybrid SE. MSRP was close to 33k and I bought it last december so its one year old.

I have roughly 13,500 miles on it.

Overall thoughts:

Like the car, my first hybrid ever. The breaks are grabby, but I prefer grabby brakes vs brakes that are stiff and require a lot of pressure. I had a Camry 2017 SE NON hybrid previously, and i didn't like those brakes at all. I feel that toyota's brakes differ from everyone else in how they feel. The hybrid brakes are much more pleasant in my experience.

Originally when i first got the car, i drove it in eco mode only. Although it promotes efficiency, the car is a little bit sluggish. I now leave the car in "normal" mode and feel that its good for every day traffic. If I really need a quicker more responsive car, I switch it to sport mode which is great.

I do get the advertised gas mileage 44 / 47, but the cold weather can bring these numbers down a little.

Entune is horrible - but that's fine. I use bluetooth for spotify and navigation on my smart phone.

The car is a bit low, so be careful parking it or the front bumper might scrape on curbs.

Remote start is tied to Toyota connect, so if your subscription expires, you wont be able to remote start your car with key fob.
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post #32 of 35 Old 12-27-2018, 06:14 PM
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Hybrid brakes are set so that 80% of braking is done via regenerative braking and, anything above that demand, engages hydraulics.
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post #33 of 35 Old 03-05-2019, 06:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TX_Jax View Post
No, you cannot get the Premium Dynamic Navigation System on the 2018 Camry Hybrid XLE. ONLY on the 6-cylinder XLE and XSE cars. I DID special order my Camry, and was researched all myself. I certainly was not going to take no, but I had to.

There is even a YouTube from a dealer that specifically States you MUST get a 6-cylinder to get the dynamic navigation system.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6dG21GADS7k
This was a crazy 2018 marketing decision (onboard nav for a V6 but not the top of the line Camry Hybrid XLE). I noted this to my dealer and then online in various places that I hoped Toyota would see. Whatever actually happened, you can get the onboard (dynamic) navigation in the 2019 Hybrid XLE. I have one sitting in my driveway that I bought last Wednesday. I did this after a 3400 mile "test drive" in my son's 2018 Hybrid XLE, where we used Google Maps on a Samsung phone in a cupholder mount. In both cases, we don't use Entune at all. I had a 2015 Camry Hybrid XLE and the 2019 Nav software is definitely improved and has more usability and features. I prefer it to Google Maps, but I can also see how some would like Google Maps as well or better - it's simpler to learn and use. So 2020 will hopefully repeat the 2019 availability of the onboard nav and add Android Auto to give people choice.

Back to the original question: up until last Wednesday, my 2015 Camry Hybrid XLE was the best car I ever owned for my needs. My son's 2018 CHXLE was the superior car except Toyota provided Entune 3.0/Scout Pilot instead of the 2015's onboard navigation. I bought the 2018 in spite of this because of the vastly improved safety features which I wanted my son to have as a relatively inexperienced driver. As a phone-centric youngster, my son was fine about using Google Maps in a mount, as was I on the recent 3,400 mile drive. But he did admit yesterday that the 2019 onboard nav system is nice. So now, with the nav system and adaptive headlights being the only real differences I care about between the 2018 and 2019, the 2019 is the best car I've ever owned. I ignore Entune because it really doesn't bring anything to the table that the nav system, HD radio for traffic and weather and the Sirius XM system don't already provide. I don't need the car as a hotspot because I'm on the Verizon system anyway.

What I appreciate beyond daily driving, somewhat in order from most to least:
1. It's a decent-sized sedan and I love the gas mileage. I thought very seriously about the LE but had just a few things that were in the XLE only.
2. The mpg increase comes from two engines and the battery, which means more horsepower than a non-hybrid Camry. Again, a big plus. It's fun trying to learn the battery/gas cycle, but when I want acceleration, it's there.
3. The Heads Up Display. I quickly became addicted to having my speed, speed limit, lane tracking, and cruise control info on the windshield. After going through a driving rainstorm in Florida and (recently) rain for a whole day and sleet the next day, it was VERY comforting to be able to watch the road like a hawk while always knowing exactly how fast I was going. The HUD information is repeated elsewhere, too. But it is simultaneously cool and a major safety feature to me, though I don't think Toyota really markets it that way.
4. The overall comfort - not a luxury car, but my family and I spent 12 hours in it in one day recently and we were all fine with the ride and the seats and climate control. If you need plush, this isn't it. But I like the interior.
5. The safety features together are really impressive, and much more intuitive and unobtrusive than I expected. I was prepared to hate the dynamic cruise control. But they have really nailed it from my point of view. I recommend literally playing with the safety features somewhere if you can so you don't flinch if the car squawks at you in an emergency. Braking fast was recommended only twice in some 3800 miles of driving, but on point at those two times. My wife and son love the Bird's Eye camera, and it's growing on me as well.
6. This suite of safety features was why we got the 2018 and I expected to turn a lot of the features off. I have ended up leaving them all on because they work well for me. I've done lots of software development and Toyota has done a solid job with the details of cruise control and the like.
7. It's nice to have the full-size trunk back. The 2015 Camry Hybrid gave up a few cubic feet to the battery.
8. Others will want and/or like things I haven't mentioned, like CarPlay and Alexa. I considered getting an LE, buying a cheap iPhone, adding a line to my Verizon account and then using the phone just for navigation in the car. Would still have been a fair bit cheaper than the Nav package. But the Nav package had other things I wanted.

I identified two major issues with the 2018 to the dealer and Toyota: no onboard nav, and a smaller gas tank than the 2015. Even with the better mileage, my 2015 could go farther on one tank than the 2018 XLE, but not by much. A 2018/19 LE might have a longer range than the 2015 XLE. Ultimately, this range thing feels pertinent only on trips of 450 miles at a shot or more. During normal use, you visit the gas station less often in the hybrid models, and that turns out to be another feature you may appreciate. I think it would be nice if Toyota added a gallon to the tank size next year, but it's not a showstopper or even noticeable unless you came from a hybrid with a bigger tank.

Bottom line: unless there are unexpected mechanical issues in these cars, I fully expect this XLE with nav to be the best car I've owned to date. It's loaded with features, though, so your satisfaction will vary depending with how much you really appreciate those features vs the money they cost you. I'm happy with the balance. But again, the LE almost got me with the better mileage and cheaper price vs the higher-end options like the HUD and the onboard Nav system.

To me, it is nice to be able to have the fully functional car without having to use my phone every time I drive. I don't take or make phone calls in the car, so I can't speak to that. But while driving my son's car, I did get notices of incoming calls and text messages, and I could see the car was actively monitoring for me. In that car, I had the phone doing Google Maps, so the car was also connected to the phone.

Last edited by tagull; 03-05-2019 at 10:26 PM.
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post #34 of 35 Old 03-21-2019, 10:27 AM
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Consider the older vehicles - the 2017-18 Avalon Hybrid and Camry. I have a 2015 Tuna, and the 2016 Camry (gave to a friend), and the 2018 Avalon. I had zero problems maintenance-wise.

Sadly, while I loved all the bells and whistles on the Avalon, I did not love it as much as I loved my original Camry. I love the new Camry - but hate the Infotainment.

I let the dealer maintain my vehicles because they can read the computer. It is not expensive, either.
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post #35 of 35 Old 05-11-2019, 07:16 AM
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I bought a 2019 Camry Hybrid LE in January and so far it has been flawless. I have only put about 3K on it so I can`t say much about long term. The mpg has been as good or better than advertised. I've seen 56.4 mpg over one of my short trips. When checking the mileage at fill ups the worst has been 49.6 and the best over 52. I was surprised at how driving through the mountains of NC and TN did not affect the mph much if any. I watch the screen that shows where the power is coming from a lot and can see the car uses the battery and electric motor every chance it gets. There are times I am cruising at 60 mph and the gas engine is not even on. I had a 2017 XSE 4 cylinder that was fine except for the harsh ride and this LE's suspension and 16 inch tires provide an excellent ride. It took a while to get use to the new sounds and sensations that come from a hybrid, but the longer I have it the more I like it. The standard sound system is better than the so called JBL upgrade the 2017 had. If I had to pick something to improve it would be road noise. It is not bad but if it were quieter it could rival some luxury cars' ride quality. I love the radar cruise control which not only keeps a safe distance but can also be used to pass slower cars, just don't forget your blinker or the car will fuss at you and try to pull you back into your lane. So far no buyers remorse here.
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