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Discussion Starter #1
Hello ladies and gents, I apologize for this will be a long winded post.

________
TL;DR: Prius and Camry Hybrids seem to to lost their way, no longer a good commuter car?


So, after the worst luck with my wife's 7th Gen Civic, then our failed 2 week ownership of a 3rd Gen Prius liftback... I said screw it and was about to pull the trigger on a 2019 Camry Hybrid LE (Maybe a 2019 Avalon XLE) for myself and a 2019 Prius Two Eco, 2019 Prius C or another Camry Hybrid LE for my wife.

However, after little to no discussion on the vehicle on PriusChat, I decided to google search and here I am... But now I want to pack up everything and walk away, after 1 week on and off the phone, several hours per weekend and multiple test drives with 4 dealerships spanning over a 100 mile radius.

Is it me, or this car just isn't what I thought Toyota would be about? I've owned a LS400 in the past and now drive an Infiniti Q50S, one of the major complaints (not mechanical issues, that's for another time...) is the horribly bad infotainment. In the Q50, Bluetooth was buggy, nothing really every worked and the screens would go out or randomly reboot.

Oil changes, what the? I'm not a rookie holding a wrench, not exactly an ASE certified tech (got an AS in Automotive Tech), but you place a turbo kit and bottom end rebuild kit in front of me and give me a couple weekends and i'll build you a motor. However, for a daily driver (I drive 1000 miles a week...), I want something simple now (bye bye Q50S).

The Prius, I need a special oil filter wrench for that... Not bad, but I possibly face EGR clogging issues and have to install an OCC on a brand new car to help fix that...? I don't know about that... I'd have to install it well enough to be undetected in a visual inspection (California sigh).

Then the Camry, over at the ICE section, it's just multiple issues one after the other and now i'm looking at oil specs and it requires 0w16... I thought it was weird throwing 0w40 in my Corrado back in the early 2000s, but this one takes the cake... As a certified Amsoil dealer, I don't think I want to touch 0w16, but that's another story for another time as well.

I loved the test drive I had with the Toyota Camry Hybrid LE. It felt like I was driving a European car again, or something more upscale. I was EXCITED to see a 52 MPG rated Camry... But everywhere I go, I see 36-40. 40 isn't bad, but when I was always told of Toyota under-rating their fuel economy, and seeing that with the 3rd Gen Prius we had for 2 weeks (we were getting around 50-53 highway) I expected no less with the Camry.

Again, i'm very sorry for the long post. I just want to know, does your Camry Hybrid deliver what you wanted? I have always wanted luxury, comfort, a not so common car on the road, and mostly speed. But i'm dropping all that and going for something somewhat simple and "frugal", and seeing multiple, "This is my last Toyota." threads isn't very welcoming...

Is this car really reliable? Easy to work on? I'm trying to avoid gambling a 90s econobox for 1000/mi a week here and with that mileage, a new car warranty isn't attractive to me (Again, 2017 Infiniti Q50S with 56,000 miles here. Warranty ends in 4 weeks/4,000 miles.).

Oil and tire changes for the first 100,000 miles doesn't seem to fit the bill like I thought it would. For either the 4th Gen Prius, or the Camry Hybrid... And I really wanted to convert to two 50MPG cars (diesel is out of the question, thanks Prop 6).

*exhales*

Please point me in a good direction.
 

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Please keep a few things in mind:
1 - The majority of owners don't seek out online forums
2 - People who participate in online forums are often enthusiasts, who may be extremely "picky" and who may negatively compare a new vehicle to others they have experience with, and claim "problems" that are actually design features
3 - People who participate in online forums are often those who encounter a problem and have trouble getting the dealership to resolve it
4 - There are a LOT of "drive-by" new "members" who will drop in and post a thread about a non-existent problem. That "seed" sprouts as others share a real or imagined comparable issues.

This means that what you see online (here, Yelp, etc...) is going to be overwhelmingly negative.
These are good cars, and the probability of encountering serious problems is very small.

I had no hesitation in upgrading my '08 Tacoma to a '16 Corolla, or my wife's '04 Rav4 for a '15 Rav4... and I will not hesitate to replace my Corolla with a hybrid Camry in a couple of years.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
You're very right and I failed to mention this in my original post... Forum posts are like 5% of the whole community with the issues posted being the smaller percentage in that 5%, especially in such a largely produced vehicle like the Camry and Prius...

I just can't gamble having two potential ticking time bombs with the amount of driving I do, but then neither can anyone else in the economy car segment really...

Complicated oil changes, EGR/Headgasket issues, Atikinson motors with huge oil consumption... Just to name a couple of the bigger things I keep reading about.
 

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Hello ladies and gents, I apologize for this will be a long winded post.
You are a smart person, Tokaido.

I went 2007 Camry Hybrid -> 2016 Avalon Hybrid -> 2018 Camry Hybrid. I am a die-hard Toyota owner, but for the first time, I will check out other makes the next time.

I BEGGED for the upgraded, integrated nav system [Premium Dynamic Navigation System], due to what I had read here. They said they could not make it happen on the Hybrid Camry.

This is my review - 2018 Camry XLE all bells and whistles.
___________________________________________

I abhor the "navigation system" in the 2018 Camry! It RUINS the Toyota experience! If I had known how bad that system and the Entune 3.0 was, I WOULD NOT HAVE BOUGHT THIS CAR!

First, upon linking to the system, it downloaded almost ONE Gigabit of Data! I don't use my phone for data, and that cost me another $15 on top of my phone bill!

The Scout GPS system takes FOREVER to load, and will not show a map when you are driving around. You HAVE to put in a destination! I tried - really, tried very hard - to learn the system and give it a fair shake, but the hare-brained good-idea fairy that came up with the Entune and Scout GPS should be FIRED!

In my small town, I live a whole 4 miles from the park where the farmers' market is held. I have a choice - take a two lane state highway, or take the two-lane roads through the city. I told the scout GPS to route me home. The highway is a little longer with a 45mph speed limit. The through-town is 35mph and shorter. With the old Toyota system, if I chose to NOT go the way the GPS directed, it would quickly recalculate and map the short route. NOT the Scout GPS! That stupidly designed, illogical subroutine tried to route me back to the State Route at *every* left turn I could have possibly made! It would not stop until I was within a mile of my home! The route it was recommending was NOT shorter NOR quicker, but it would not give up.

Every second you are in the car, it wants to use your data plan. Furthermore, it does not want to navigate unless you PLUG IN THE PHONE WITH A WIRE! What kind of convoluted, half-brained, inconvenience is that? To enter in your destination takes darned near ten minutes!

To add insult to injury, you are completely out of luck if you are in a rural area, where the mountains cut off cell service regularly!. You completely lose all navigation. Unlike Google maps, where you can download a local map to your phone, you simply are lost without help with the Scout GPS.

I **ordered** this car specially - I BEGGED the dealer to get me the upgraded built in navigation system, but Toyota DOES NOT OFFER IT ON THE top-of-the-line Camry. How could you do this to your loyal customer base, Toyota? Prior to this, I would not even shop for a different make, but all bets are off. You blew it.

Oh, yeah - after three years, you LOSE your subscription and have to pay for Scout! I would not give two red cents for this mangled excuse for a navigation system.

This system is the most illogical, DANGEROUS, instantiation of "Infotainment" I've ever run into - and since I traveled for work and rented a lot of cars, I have a lot to compare it to!

First, I had a 2006 Camry Hybrid, then the Avalon 2016. I compare to those. If I had a text message come in, I would simply tap in the vicinity of the notification in the center of the screen. I didn't have to take my eyes off the road. Tap, and the message is read to me. No problem. With the Entune 3.0, the bell tolls, and the message receipt flashes so fast you almost cannot see it. Then you have to press "Phone", then "messages", then the message in the list. Yes, you have to take your eyes off the road and traffic to do so! The hare-brained good-idea fairy engineer and the approving bosses that came up with the Entune 3.0 should be SHOT, then FIRED!

In spite of the home screen, you really cannot easily change the mode or channels from the steering wheel as you could in the older models. For example, in XM, the menu keeps defaulting to the XM "replay" instead of the presets. Yes, you take your eyes off the road to go to press Audio, select the XM presets, and then the channel you have preset.

Why in God's Name would ANYONE want to drive and try to control their car with a smart phone or a convoluted reverse-logic UNSAFE system like the Entune 3.0? Just how long should one be comfortable taking their eyes off the road to run down the rabbit hole of menus?

Furthermore, the Entune wants you to download countless apps that are quite happy on your phone, thank you so very much! Yelp? Seriously, I do not want people on the road using Yelp for *anything*. "Hang up and Drive!"

And yet again, all of these attention-grabbing (you know, taking your attention from the road) 'features' cost you in your data plan. If you are in a big city, you might have it a little easier, but those of us that go Toyota because of its [former] safety and reliability because we drive long distances in desert, rural areas, will not enjoy that luxury.

I happily call the engineers names, because I am one. Whatever pointy-haired boss approved the "requirements" to which they designed has ruined the Toyota experience.

NOTICE TO TOYOTA: I'm looking at other makes, because of the "Infotainment" center.

Otherwise - I love the car, the handling, the power, the economy, the ride, and everything else. I would not have bought it had I known how crappy the "Infotainment" was. It is just too in-your-face.
 

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Just to name a couple of the bigger things I keep reading about.
Consider the older vehicles - the 2016-17 Avalon Hybrid and Camry. I have a 2011 Tunda, and the 2007 Camry (gave to a friend), and the 2016 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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upgraded built in navigation system, but Toyota DOES NOT OFFER IT ON THE top-of-the-line Camry. How could you do this to your loyal customer base, Toyota?
This is incorrect.
The Entune Premium with App suite and Navigation is available for both the ICE and hybrid models.
It is a $2600 option for the Hybrid XLE and ICE XLE and V6 XSE, $1700 option for the ICE XSE 4-cylinder.


Your local dealership may not have any in stock, but it IS available from Toyota.
 

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This is incorrect.
The Entune Premium with App suite and Navigation is available for both the ICE and hybrid models.
It is a $2600 option for the Hybrid XLE and ICE XLE and V6 XSE, $1700 option for the ICE XSE 4-cylinder.


Your local dealership may not have any in stock, but it IS available from Toyota.
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.

 

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I have owned my 2018 SE Hybrid for about two months. put 2000 miles on it so far. Entune is awful, no bs. It feels very clunky and all the apps are basically pointless now. It will play movies off my thumb drive when in park. Which is another thing that chaps my ass. I am OCD enough to make sure all 600gb of the music in my Itunes has album art, car will only show album art when in park. So stupid.... Scout is awful, I still just use google maps on my phone. 80%+ of my 2k miles have been in city. Highest dash mpg has ever read was 42.6, so disappointing but just 2mpg off sticker I believe. Hopefully when I go on a longer trip I can get it closer to advertised 47. So overall at the 2 month mark I am a little disappointed. It does drive smooth and is super quiet interior-wise, I just wish I had researched Entune more. Also I wish all of us 2018 owners would contact our dealers and demand a Carplay update for 2018's. But I know this wont happen. Of note is that last day and a half my phone shows as "USB device not recognised" when connected to usb port but will connect fine thru bluetooth. But you have to connect thru usb to have voice commands for audio player. Overall my score 60 days in is 6.5 out of 10
 

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Discussion Starter #10
You are a smart person, Tokaido.

I went 2007 Camry Hybrid -> 2016 Avalon Hybrid -> 2018 Camry Hybrid. I am a die-hard Toyota owner, but for the first time, I will check out other makes the next time.

I BEGGED for the upgraded, integrated nav system [Premium Dynamic Navigation System], due to what I had read here. They said they could not make it happen on the Hybrid Camry.

This is my review - 2018 Camry XLE all bells and whistles.
The more I hear this, the more and more I believe how stupid I really am... And I hear this A LOT... sigh... It's literally became the worst sarcasm pointed at me ever haha... Oh well.

As for the Infotainment.... Read following reply.


I have owned my 2018 SE Hybrid for about two months. put 2000 miles on it so far. Entune is awful, no bs. It feels very clunky and all the apps are basically pointless now. It will play movies off my thumb drive when in park. Which is another thing that chaps my ass. I am OCD enough to make sure all 600gb of the music in my Itunes has album art, car will only show album art when in park. So stupid.... Scout is awful, I still just use google maps on my phone. 80%+ of my 2k miles have been in city. Highest dash mpg has ever read was 42.6, so disappointing but just 2mpg off sticker I believe. Hopefully when I go on a longer trip I can get it closer to advertised 47. So overall at the 2 month mark I am a little disappointed. It does drive smooth and is super quiet interior-wise, I just wish I had researched Entune more. Also I wish all of us 2018 owners would contact our dealers and demand a Carplay update for 2018's. But I know this wont happen. Of note is that last day and a half my phone shows as "USB device not recognised" when connected to usb port but will connect fine thru bluetooth. But you have to connect thru usb to have voice commands for audio player. Overall my score 60 days in is 6.5 out of 10
I have heard NOTHING but insanely negative reviews about Entune 3.0 since I started looking at the HyCam.... It's literally deja vu for me. It's one of the most bashed features in the Infiniti world starting in 2014. It was revised in 2016, but has still been a laughing stock of uselessness... None of the apps work, no ability to add any apps, the phone app is a complete joke and doesn't even load up for 99% of the owners. I personally never had any issues with it till the last couple weeks... I play music via bluetooth and the only info I get on my screen is the play time of the track, or how long the track has been playing. It has never shown how long the track is to begin with, album art is not available unless you have the base model sound system (which sounds worse than the audio system in my wife's blown up 7th Gen Civic). But now the artist and song title has magically disappeared... On all 3 of my screens, the Navigation screen, the Infotainment screen, and the dash screen between my gauges. All I see is a little music note symbol now...

But at least my navigation works... Flawless-ish. I only use it to see what the next road is, it always tells me the upcoming intersection or exit flawlessly. I never liked how mobile GPS "visually" or "measures" out the turn you need to take next. The arrow on Waze or Google Maps... I don't know how many times I tried to trust the damned thing and ended up in a neighborhood, or the driveway to a market center because the arrow looked like it says TURN NOW... I never really cared for how it would count down the distance in feet as if 500' and below was easily trackable travelling 60 MPH in the city... If I have to slow down for my next turn, I need to do in a manner-able fashion, not 1/4 mile prior otherwise some goon will rear-end me trying to accomplish the same thing I am for the next intersection ahead...

However it seems "navigation" in the HyCam has failed, somehow... I didn't think that was even possible...

I don't mind the car piggy-backing off my data as I have unlimited data (although I get stupid close to the data cap throttling every phone company has started to do after 30GB of data usage.). I was actually wondering if this was possible and had this conversation with my wife on the test drive this past Friday.

Oh and the hardwire connection sounds extremely bad... Like... 2005, insert cassette tape with audio cable and connect to your phone bad... Hell, phones are being phased out of the headphone jack making that impossible haha. Just made me realize I will have a hell of a time trying to listen to music in my VW Corrado project car that I refuse to install an aftermarket HU in for the sake of OEM styling... If that car ever gets running again.

Anyways... I think i'll check the car out more and try the infotainment for myself this coming weekend, this is usually something I wouldn't care to check, but if it's this bad... Wow.
 

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TL;DR: The pushed forward headrest is a factor to consider if you're wanting this as a commuter car.

I mean, entune 3.0 was a small footnote in the grand scheme of reasons why I purchased the Camry Hybrid LE 2018. I have 50,000 miles/80,000 kilometres after 11 months and my reasons were:
-New TNGA design
-New Atkinson Cycle 2.5L 4cyl motor high efficiency 0w16
-New eCVT transmission (not a CVT)
-Minimal maintenance
-High fuel efficiency
-Styling
-Wide popularity so one can go to a junker and find common parts easier than something like a Prius Prime (which I wish I had as an option but it wasn't out at the time of my purchase)
-More dealers so it was easier to make a deal happen in my favor over someone like Honda who wouldn't budge less than MSRP anywhere

Things I've come to enjoy over the time that I never thought of:
-Filters are cheap
-Replacing the cabin air filter is super easy
-Replacing the air filter is super easy
-I can buy comma.ai to do some semi-autonomous driving if I wanted
-I can add in an aftermarket car starter that keeps the range of my factory fob but you hit lock 3 times and the car starts (takeover does not exist though so the car will power off after the door has been opened)
-Customization possibilities, I can go to a junkyard and pull so many parts on my base LE to improve things if I wanted to

Things I have come to not like:
-Honda's have 4 way lumbar, up down and Camry does not (just in/out), I'd love this feature so much as someone who does a lot of driving
-Lack of Apple CarPlay (only on 2019 Camry's)
-Windshields cost a lot of money because its a new generation vehicle, I don't wanna know what a Prius Prime goes for it's an even less common design
-Active safety headrest pushes your neck forward in awkward position (noticeable on long drives), you gotta readjust the seat to minimize the problem
-I am readjusting my seat often because of that headrest
-There's a stupid spot on the hood directly ahead of the driver that when the sun's up or anything a high intensity glare reflects back into the drivers field of vision. I almost wanna put a matte strip or something down to make it go away.
-LDA is not reliable, do not count on it to save you every time. Perhaps its different for TSS 2.0 which rolled out on the 2019's
-When it gets cold (under 5 degrees celsius), MPG's are gonna suffer you'll go from 53MPG's average in summer/fall to 38-45MPG's in the winter. The MPG penalty is true of any vehicle when it gets cold. I bought mine at the end of December, buyers remorse was growing day after day until things warmed up and I came to see how good they can be.
-I came to this forum to chat and enjoy the features of my new Camry maybe see what new cool things I can do, the whiners stick out like a sore thumb. PriusChat is poppin off everyday about cool stuff they're doing with their cars, you come here and it's a ... less than stellar comparison but it's the biggest forum we got as Camry owners. There's one guy on PriusChat repping the 18 Camry Hybrid LE and he does a great job but sometimes it feels like he's talking to an echo chamber being in a different kind of company.

The car's been reliable so far and I enjoy the gas savings compared to my 2004 F150 that gets 14MPG on a good day. The math for me in Alberta on that and my Camry? I can't even say because you wouldn't believe it but suffice to say the fuel savings alone are insane. Gas has been $1.25 a liter here or close to $5 a US Gallon in Alberta for a long time. It's come down this past month but before that it's always been high.

I'm not sure where it goes after this, do I drive it till the wheels fall off for 10 years (ow, my neck thinking of that headrest), trade in for a Prius Prime and get even more insane MPG at the cost of 1" lower ground clearance and possible more expensive repairs due to being less common on the road, or do I trade in for a RAV4 Hybrid 2019 TNGA which also has great MPG but might have a better headrest, more comfort and for me enough capability and efficiency to be worth the loss? I don't know but right now I'm happy to drive the Camry because it's got power, it's got efficiency, it's got (to me) maintenance simplicity, it's got space and I haven't been to the dealer for many stupid things (just one but I don't wanna mention it because it never happened again).

There's two kinds of Camry's, the kind that have timing belts (v6) and the kind that have timing chains (v4). The belts will require routine scheduled maintenance, the chains don't. Just throwing that out there I don't know why but it's gonna cost more if you drive a lot and are running a v6.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
TL;DR: The pushed forward headrest is a factor to consider if you're wanting this as a commuter car.

I mean, entune 3.0 was a small footnote in the grand scheme of reasons why I purchased the Camry Hybrid LE 2018. I have 50,000 miles/80,000 kilometres after 11 months and my reasons were:
-New TNGA design
-New Atkinson Cycle 2.5L 4cyl motor high efficiency 0w16
-New eCVT transmission (not a CVT)
-Minimal maintenance
-High fuel efficiency
-Styling
-Wide popularity so one can go to a junker and find common parts easier than something like a Prius Prime (which I wish I had as an option but it wasn't out at the time of my purchase)
-More dealers so it was easier to make a deal happen in my favor over someone like Honda who wouldn't budge less than MSRP anywhere

Things I've come to enjoy over the time that I never thought of:
-Filters are cheap
-Replacing the cabin air filter is super easy
-Replacing the air filter is super easy
-I can buy comma.ai to do some semi-autonomous driving if I wanted
-I can add in an aftermarket car starter that keeps the range of my factory fob but you hit lock 3 times and the car starts (takeover does not exist though so the car will power off after the door has been opened)
-Customization possibilities, I can go to a junkyard and pull so many parts on my base LE to improve things if I wanted to

Things I have come to not like:
-Honda's have 4 way lumbar, up down and Camry does not (just in/out), I'd love this feature so much as someone who does a lot of driving
-Lack of Apple CarPlay (only on 2019 Camry's)
-Windshields cost a lot of money because its a new generation vehicle, I don't wanna know what a Prius Prime goes for it's an even less common design
-Active safety headrest pushes your neck forward in awkward position (noticeable on long drives), you gotta readjust the seat to minimize the problem
-I am readjusting my seat often because of that headrest
-There's a stupid spot on the hood directly ahead of the driver that when the sun's up or anything a high intensity glare reflects back into the drivers field of vision. I almost wanna put a matte strip or something down to make it go away.
-LDA is not reliable, do not count on it to save you every time. Perhaps its different for TSS 2.0 which rolled out on the 2019's
-When it gets cold (under 5 degrees celsius), MPG's are gonna suffer you'll go from 53MPG's average in summer/fall to 38-45MPG's in the winter. The MPG penalty is true of any vehicle when it gets cold. I bought mine at the end of December, buyers remorse was growing day after day until things warmed up and I came to see how good they can be.
-I came to this forum to chat and enjoy the features of my new Camry maybe see what new cool things I can do, the whiners stick out like a sore thumb. PriusChat is poppin off everyday about cool stuff they're doing with their cars, you come here and it's a ... less than stellar comparison but it's the biggest forum we got as Camry owners. There's one guy on PriusChat repping the 18 Camry Hybrid LE and he does a great job but sometimes it feels like he's talking to an echo chamber being in a different kind of company.

The car's been reliable so far and I enjoy the gas savings compared to my 2004 F150 that gets 14MPG on a good day. The math for me in Alberta on that and my Camry? I can't even say because you wouldn't believe it but suffice to say the fuel savings alone are insane. Gas has been $1.25 a liter here or close to $5 a US Gallon in Alberta for a long time. It's come down this past month but before that it's always been high.

I'm not sure where it goes after this, do I drive it till the wheels fall off for 10 years (ow, my neck thinking of that headrest), trade in for a Prius Prime and get even more insane MPG at the cost of 1" lower ground clearance and possible more expensive repairs due to being less common on the road, or do I trade in for a RAV4 Hybrid 2019 TNGA which also has great MPG but might have a better headrest, more comfort and for me enough capability and efficiency to be worth the loss? I don't know but right now I'm happy to drive the Camry because it's got power, it's got efficiency, it's got (to me) maintenance simplicity, it's got space and I haven't been to the dealer for many stupid things (just one but I don't wanna mention it because it never happened again).

There's two kinds of Camry's, the kind that have timing belts (v6) and the kind that have timing chains (v4). The belts will require routine scheduled maintenance, the chains don't. Just throwing that out there I don't know why but it's gonna cost more if you drive a lot and are running a v6.
Thank you for your detailed review, it's great to see another 50K commuter with this car! You sound very optimistic which is good to hear.

I'll start from the top I guess with my input and concerns.

The Atkinson motor is actually one of the bigger reasons that pushes me away from this vehicle. I don't know much about them, other than they consume oil by design... To us, the idea that we drive so much, we spend almost 4x more than the average consumer on maintenance. Oil consumption was never one of things for me and I dread the idea of placing an OCC in a brand new vehicle, especially in a badly regulated state like where I am in California. It makes passing my smog tests that much of a hassle... Moreso on visual, so I hope I can find a place to hide it and still be easily accessible. That is, if the car needs it.

Minimal maintenance? Man I sure do hope so.

Apple/Android infotainment... I don't see that available on the 2019s... Even when I test drove one, it was Entune 3.0 and the sales rep said only Avalons got it.

Not too worried about the windshield price as my deductible is only $50... Cracked the windshield on my Infiniti (was less than a year old, got a factory one for $50 hehe).

The headrest isn't too big of an issue for myself or my wife... I've installed neck pads in all our past vehicles, I can't drive without one, always uncomfortable without. Here's a pic of them I found online. I've seen some really expensive high-end neck pads for VIP-Style cars from back when I was in the LS400 and i've used many different types in friend's vehicles, but these $1.50 for a pair at Daiso (Japanese Market, sadly none in your area) have been the best ones i've used.



As for the glare, are your windows tinted? This is usually the first thing I do on a car, and I go pretty dark with LLumar Formula One Pinnacle Ceramic 15% sides and 30% windshield. Hopefully that would solve it.

I noticed the TSS on my test drive, the first time I noticed it was the audible beeeeeeeep! I just blurted out, "What in the hell just happened? Why is it beeping?" the second time I noticed it, the wheel got stiffer towards in the opposing lane while I was driving through a canyon. I wish I had noticed the automatic high beams, I would have loved to test that out as I live in the desert and it gets dark. REAL dark.

As for fuel economy, in my experience, I have always noticed worse fuel economy in the colder climates. Where I live it gets anywhere from -2.22*C to 54*C. No typos. Obviously those are the extremes i've seen but here's the ranges in my area...

Spring/Fall: 15.55 to 24.44 C
Summer: 25 to 48.89 (Highest I seen was 53.88)
Winter: 4.22 to 21.11 (Lowest I seen was -2.22)

I'm thinking PriusChat might start branching out more, they do have the other vehicles section, but I'm sure those sections will have to expand more as hybrid tech becomes more common on many platforms. So hopefully you'll get a little more happier there haha.

I don't know how you guys do it with fuel... Here in California, I spend about $800/mo in fuel and I can barely stay alive. Literally. That was with my wife using my car when I wasn't, and even then I was still spending roughly $675/mo in fuel. We're looking at the possibility of getting two 2019 Camry Hybrid LE's (Maybe I'll get a XLE) and the combined fuel usage is roughly $550/mo. So that helps quite a bit.

As for the V6... My current car is a 3.0 twin turbo V6, so I know what you mean... haha, it doesn't do too bad at 28-32MPG. But it sure does a hell of a lot better than my old LS400 with a V8 which got about 18-23MPG.

As for the Prius Prime... I actually wanted one of those before I got the car I currently have, but my wants got the best of me and spoiled me quite a lot. Gladly, the Camry has some added tech and features to fill the void the Q50S had spoiled me with. For as much driving as we do, i'm not really sure if the Prius Prime would benefit me any more than the Camry would as most of the benefit would be lost for me with all the highway driving that I do.

Again, thank you for your perspective!
 

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Thank you! I will be getting a neck pillow immediately never thought of that honestly, such a simple thing too that has the potential to make all the difference.

Oil consumption I have high hopes it will not begin burning oil these motors have direct and multiport injection so are supposed to be quite efficient handling recirculation. The Hybrid Camry’s power train is actually made in Japan and imported to USA (my news is 1 year old now) because the factories didn’t have the necessary tooling to make them at the time. The Japanese do not have the 8 speed auto transmission, it’s all Hybrid out there and a testament to their reliability for how common they must be (I am assuming on being common).

Coming from a 2015 Jetta TDI (Diesel) I am already appreciating the difference in costs of upkeep.

Apple/Android infotainment: Far as I am aware just Apple Car Play is now available on the 19’s however Android does not make the list. If you have an iPhone it will require wiring into the USB outlet to use it.

In regards to the glare/hood reflection I found more details here: 2018 HyCam amateur review and ongoing blog
There’s an attachment there that although someone’s taking the picture from outside, that same reflection is present from inside the drivers cabin.

I should have been more clear what direction the glare came from my apologies. You’ve done your research on tints!

Actually, I went out of my way to get LLumar Formula One Pinnacle Ceramic it was quite the journey and I remain happy with it. One thing to keep in mind is that the windows are already tinted somewhat from the factory so the tint applied may be stronger than expected. I got I think… 60/40 (slightly lighter on the front sides) I can’t remember honestly it wasn’t anywhere around the 30’s though as that’s so dark. I don’t want to struggle with seeing through my back window in the dark so it was a factor but then again it doesn’t get as sunny/hot here as it does there either.

I wanted to get 90% on my windshield but at this time I am relieved I didn’t, it’s like $500 to do it and since my glass is done and has to be replaced (dragging my feet on it due to costs) I wouldn’t be thrilled to have it redone.

For TSS High Beams, it’s not a perfect system but I appreciate having it. On the roads where you can see many miles ahead it doesn’t dim if they’re pretty far away although the other drivers oncoming shut their brights off when they see you. This leads to awkward scenarios but the only way to override it is shutting off brights until they pass then turning it back on. Has happened enough that I am used to it. No idea if TSS 2.0 on the 19’s has improved the behaviour but I do know TSS 2.0 on the 19’s has a function that helps even more now to keep one in between the lanes than the 18’s did.

Before I say this next part, I appreciate your measurements in Celsius I know your typical point of reference is in Fahrenheit and it means a lot to see that you did that work. I know it’s not something one does often.

54C (129F)!!! That’s unbelievably hot didn’t know California could get that high, taking a guess it’s the side of California closest to the equator? If your coldest winter temps are really just under 5C (41F) at coldest, you may keep excellent fuel efficiency year round I don’t know. Is it even necessary to use Winter Blend fuel if it only gets that cold? If they don’t use winter blend fuel and you’re not letting the car warm up very long I can’t imagine much of a difference in the numbers from fall to winter at least.

We average 20-34C (68F-93F) in summer, 10-20C (50F-68F) in fall and anywhere from -40C to 5C (41F) in the winters up here but most typically -20C (-4F) average far as I would ballpark it.

I asked the guys at PriusChat if they could make the Cam Hybrid section more prominent or easier to find once but there was not much movement on it at the time about 8-10/mo ago.

That combined number at $550/mo is what its all about! I did the quick calc again and my truck works out to 19k a year or about $1,600/mo in fuel costs assuming avg fuel cost of $1.25, the truck gets 14MPG all the time (it won’t, especially in the winter and not in the city). A cost like that, you multiply it to three years and arrive at $56k in fuel. That’s a whole lotta going to work to just stay on the road. Realistically the trucks MPG will average 9 with our weather taken into account but I’m not doing the calculations on that.

Math on my Camry Hybrid LE assuming 53MPG average (too high but still…) is $5k/yr or $416/mo and $15k over three years to achieve the same 270,000KM (168k miles) distance. Things get better as gas prices fall of course.

28-32MPG v6 is pretty good for what it is considering even mid-2000’s Mazda 3’s can’t get that on a good day from what I’ve seen.

Likewise appreciate your perspective and taking the time to compose such a detailed response!
 

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Toyota web site says otherwise....
This is the 4-cylinder XSE build page
cb -- Hybrid. What part of "Hybrid" don't you understand.

The 6-cylinder XSE and XLE offers the Dynamic Nav. NOT the 4-cyclinder.

The HYBRID models do not get that choice. I called every Toyota dealer in two States, and they all said the same thing.

Enough said on this.
 

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I'll start from the top I guess with my input and concerns.
Minimal maintenance? Man I sure do hope so.
I agree with minimal maintenance. The car is well designed and I've not had any problem.

I noticed the TSS on my test drive, the first time I noticed it was the audible beeeeeeeep! I just blurted out, "What in the hell just happened? Why is it beeping?" the second time I noticed it, the wheel got stiffer towards in the opposing lane while I was driving through a canyon.
*I* like it, now that I am used to it. On the other hand, I am not one to need it.

I wish I had noticed the automatic high beams, I would have loved to test that out as I live in the desert and it gets dark. REAL dark.
I also live in the desert, and I LOVE this feature. The car's reaction time is much faster than mine.

Tokaido;13897994As for fuel economy said:
I live in ~30F (0C) to 100f. I don't see that much of a hit for economy but it happens. If I drive wisely, the car economy is fabulous. If I need power . . . well, I pay for it!

The Camry Hybrid *CAR* is awesome. I love it in every way. Entune . . . grrrrr
 

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The HYBRID models do not get that choice. I called every Toyota dealer in two States, and they all said the same thing.
That may have been the case for your 2018, but it is no longer the case for the 2019 Hybrid XLE. OP is considering a new model, not a 2018.
We owe it to him to provide accurate information.

 

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TL;DR: The pushed forward headrest is a factor to consider if you're wanting this as a commuter car.
The headrest in my Corolla used to bug the snot out of me.
I'm 6'3", and with the seatback in a comfortable position, the headrest was right on the edge of occasionally bumping me.
I popped the release and lifted it a couple of inches above the highest stop and it's fine.
The headrest is also a frequent complaint about the Rav4... they must have changed it after 2015 because my wife's Rav doesn't bother me.
 

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That may have been the case for your 2018, but it is no longer the case for the 2019 Hybrid XLE. OP is considering a new model, not a 2018.
We owe it to him to provide accurate information.]
Damn, I should have waited for the 2019 models :surprise:
 

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We have a 2018 Hybrid SE that we bought last November and have put a little over 15k mi on it. I really wanted to like this car, but after owning it a year I wouldn't recommend it to anyone for three reasons:

1) As has already been mentioned, Entune is completely terrible.

2) As has also already been mentioned, the headrests are terribly uncomfortable (not to mention the passenger's left knee constantly hitting the center console if they're anywhere close to tall)

3) This may just be isolated to a few units, and we own one of the unlucky ones, but the brakes are grabby to the point that I feel the car is unsafe to drive in stop-go traffic. You can check the other thread on this if you want more info, but I've taken it back to the dealer as well as called customer service and no one will admit that anything is wrong. These brakes don't work like any other car I've ever driven and they make stop-go in slow traffic miserable.

Hope it helps. Sounds like you've taken multiple test drives, and if none of these issues have shown up or bothered you then go ahead. We did just get back from a 250 mile trip and averaged 50.3 mpg, so it's not all bad.
 

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I must drive with a permanent stoop I guess, I had not noticed any problems with the head restraints (hmm, unless they were installed backwards :grin:).

I love the car overall, except for the grabby brakes which I don't think *any* dealer has figured out yet (on the hybrids). I have to warn my passengers to prepare for whiplash when backing out of a parking spot on a slight incline.

I tolerate Entune as a whole (hey the radio works), but I loathe Scout navigation. With a passion.

I rented a Mazda 6 recently, and it was so nice to just jump in the car, and there was a map displayed on the screen (presuming I left the car in that mode). I could see the names of upcoming streets easily (something that Google Maps on a phone isn't good for). But I sorely missed the bird's eye view I have in the Camry.
 
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