"Great performance AND fuel economy"5.0 starson by IllustratedSermons
Pros: 38-40 MPG AVERAGE with comfort for four people.
Cons: Trunk space a bit small due to battery.
Summary: After reading a number of reviews that complained about the fuel economy of the Camry, I decided to share my experience. I've driven about 1400 miles, and can say objectively that it doesn't do as well on it's first tank of gas, and high city mileages require getting to know the vehicle better than a typical test drive experience.
This is my favorite car ever. I enjoy great performance, and when I was shopping, I was comparing this car to the Honda Accord hybrid. I was told by the salesman that the Camry Hybrid would perform more like the Camry 4 cylinder, but I think it's more like the V6 in acceleration. The combined horsepower of the two engines really does make a difference when you need to pass or accelerate quickly. I liked the Accord's performance, and test drove it two different times before deciding that it's average fuel economy would likely NOT reach its stated 34-36 MPG, but the Camry would. In reality, I was wrong about the Camry, as it has exceeded expectations on the highway. So far, I've been getting closer to 45 mpg with typical highway driving, but more like 38 around town (It's hard to know for sure, because unlike the Accord, the Camry trip meter only records to around 40 MPG for individual trips.)
So far my tank averages are running 38-40 MPG as advertized, but the first tank was only 34.5 MPG. I have learned that it is more difficult to get the higher mileages around town, and I can understand why many are frustrated with this vehicle because it seems to do lousy in city driving. It's a matter of learning how to drive the car to get the mileages. When the battery for the electric engine is charged well, I have found you can drive a couple of miles at up to 35 miles per hour completely on battery, or you can drive the same distance at the same approximate speed getting 20 MPG or less. The trick is to quickly accelerate to 35, and set the cruise. (You'll never find a quieter ride!) If you don't want the gas engine to kick in at all, you have to start VERY slowly, and gradually build up to 35 or so.
I can't tell that the fuel economy suffers at different highway speeds. Whether running 50 or 70, I still get over 40 MPG as long as the speed is constant (not a lot of passing/braking, etc.)
I like everything about this car as far as comfort and performance is concerned. I ordered one with nearly all options, including nav system, but since I think the wood grain look in the premium package looks cheap, and preferred not to have it, I discovered that getting the car without that option cost the sliding arm rest being dropped as well. YUK! I complained to my dealer, and they added a sliding arm rest for NO CHARGE! Toyota really is big on customer service and satisfaction.
If I didn't drive 40k miles per year, I probably wouldn't buy this car, but since I do, and carry one or more passengers rather often as well, I expect it will be economical in the long run. I have been driving a Chevy Impala before this. I really like the Impala for trunk space and passenger room, but with gas prices the way they are now, I think over time the Camry will be better for my needs. It's not as quick as the Honda, but certainly above average performance with unusually good fuel economy.