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Camry vs Prius as a family car

Discussion in 'Toyota Hybrids' started by Chtucker, Oct 17, 2011.

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  1. Chtucker

    Chtucker New Member

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    I cant decide, if you can't tell.

    We are downsizing considerably from a 1994 Land Cruiser. We don't need 4wd here in Seattle and we do have a 2007 FJ Cruiser if needed.

    What are the pros/cons for a family of 4 with two year old twins?
  2. xs650

    xs650 Senior Member

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    Personal taste aside....

    From a practical standpoint, if you have 4 people or less, then the Prius is a good choice. The Camry has the edge for 5. Neither is a bad choice if you like the car.
  3. spiderman

    spiderman wretched

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    Our family of four has had both, a 97 Camry and now 10 Prius. Seating arrangement is the same... however the Prius has a little more headroom in back. I don't know about the 12 Camry but if I were to do it again, I would go with the Prius. Same passenger room but much better fuel economy plus more cargo room.
  4. V8Cobrakid

    V8Cobrakid Green Handyman

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    a lot more cargo room and such with the prius... this is why my brother is willing to sell off this F450 for a prius. he can still haul things.. and fit lumber.. or load up the guys and go wherever he wants with minimal fuel usage.

    i test drove a few camry's... great cars.. but they are bigger.. feel bigger.. and as sporty as it is... a prius is kinda more fun to drive in a "non adrenaline" provoking way.
  5. cyclopathic

    cyclopathic Senior Member

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    IMHO you'd be better with Prius. Prius has slightly less interior room which shouldn't be a problem with your kids (we regularly fit 3 teens in the back), but double cargo space for those twin strollers. Cheaper and better MPG too. But don't take my word, take your family + stuff, go to dealer and check it out good luck
  6. usbseawolf2000

    usbseawolf2000 HSD PhD

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    You are rightsizing. Why not just test drive both and see them in person. If you prefer more cargo capabilities and more MPG, Prius is the way to go.
  7. Skoorbmax

    Skoorbmax Senior Member

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    Camry is more comfortable for passengers and probably drivers, too, but obviously much worse on gas and I think functional capacity (cargo) of the Prius is better.
  8. Roadburner440

    Roadburner440 Member

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    I would say test drive both and see which you like. My uncle had a 09' Camry for a couple years before we got out 11' Prius. Camry is a bigger car, but the Prius has plenty of room in the back seat as well. We have 2 kids as well, and our mother in law fits in the back seat with both of them (she isn't a small lady). Granted our kids have out grown car seats. Just depends on which car you like.. I would of originally never considered the Prius but after test driving the Yaris, Camry, etc we wound up buying one. Land Cruiser to Prius is quite a move. To think I thought we made a big tansition going from the Magnum to the Prius.
  9. fotomoto

    fotomoto Senior Member

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    We have two kids and traded in a Nissan Quest on the Prius but... our kids are much older. Don't know how much traveling you do but a dedicated DVD system (headphones for them while the front passengers can still listen to radio/sat/cd) is a godsend on trips of anything longer than 30 minutes. :rockon:
  10. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

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    We stuffed a 36" TUBE tv into our Prius over the weekend, on it's way to the recycler. It was about 42" wide, weighed well over 100 lbs in my estimation. Put it in face down and there was a bulge out on the back that just snugged under the top of the hatch.

    My son and I were just able to handle it. Of course when we got to the recyler's, there was a diminutive lady that took charge of it, in the parking lot. Tipped it onto a dolly and single handedly ran it up a ramp. :redface:
  11. AtoyotA

    AtoyotA Junior Member

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    I assume you are talking about the Camry Hybrid vs. a Prius. You might want to take a very close look at the Prius v when they become available in November sometime. It just might be the answer for you. More room than the Prius, but smaller than the Camry.

    I was originally very impressed with the Camry Hybrid, but now I am leaning to a Prius v.
  12. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North Staff Member

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    Well if you have a lot of stuff to carry, the Prius is a better choice since you do have the flexibility of a hatchback. If you need both cargo and passenger room, the Prius v is another choice too and it's great for families. You can slide the back seats fore/aft to adjust for cargo and passenger space (as well as bring the kids closer to mummy and daddy in the front).

    The Camry Hybrid is a great car too if you prefer a bit more power and give up a bit of trunk space (though the new TCH has a good size trunk). I would say a TCH is better suited to teens when you do need the extra head and legroom
  13. cwerdna

    cwerdna Senior Member

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    Chtucker: can you clarify what Camry you're looking at, a 4 cylinder, V6 or hybrid? How much is price and "payback period" for the "hybrid premium", a consideration, if any?

    You do know that the redesigned 2012 Camry should be available soon, if not now, right?. The '12 HyCam has numerous improvements over the previous gen such as a larger trunk, more power (200 hp now instead of 187), better mileage (41 mpg combined instead of 33) AND a lower starting price.

    That said, all Camrys will get worse mileage than a regular Prius and have less cargo flexibility since they're not of hatchback design. The HyCam and V6 Camry should feel like rockets compared to the Prius.
  14. Chtucker

    Chtucker New Member

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    Should have been more clear. Hybrid Camry and the kids are two at the end of this month.

    Whatever we buy will hopefully last awhile. The 1994 Land Cruiser has 360,000 miles. Oh how I wish cash for clunkers was back.

    I am also torn about a 2011 vs a 2012 prius. I hate that in two months my value will drop like a rock. I don't PLAN on selling, but I always like to be prepared.

    Right now the tandem stroller is a monster. We struggled all summer to get a cooler, the stroller, tent with all the other camping doodads into the FJ. On the other hand what we will be saving in gas would pay for motel rooms:eek:

    Having a 18mpg FJ and a 13mpg Land Cruiser hurt, but they are both paid for. We never considered a car until now. We were living in a rural mountain town in Colorado.

    We haven't looked at a Camry since 2007, it looked like a cushy Buick inside. I was hoping that 2012 are a little more sporty inside.
  15. cwerdna

    cwerdna Senior Member

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    Wow, tough call, we had discussion of 2011 vs. 2012 Prius at http://priuschat.com/forums/gen-iii-2010-prius-main-forum/98912-2011-2012-a.html#post1401821.

    I briefly drove the '12 HyCam. at Green Drive Expo last month. I had a loaner HyCam in 08 (http://priuschat.com/forums/toyota-...-impressions-after-driving-hycam-62-miles.htm). One problem (still) w/the HyCam is that you only get a small trunk pass thru for large items. But, if you're taking two kids along, most of the rear seas obviously has to stay up.

    Prius v will give more cargo room and has rear seats that slide forward and back. It also is slightly larger dimensionally than the regular Prius. http://priuschat.com/forums/prius-v-main-forum/94501-prius-v-spec-comparisons.html has a table comparing dimensions. You'll need to right click, save down the PNG and view it in something else to make it legible.

    It is a bit disappointing that the Prius v w/much less power (and no doubt slower) has almost the same mileage as the '12 HyCam.
  16. Gurple42

    Gurple42 New Member

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    Interesting, last weekend our local dealer was advertising a new 11 HyCam for 1k LESS than a new 11 Prius2. Were I in the market I would have jumped all over that one.:focus:
  17. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North Staff Member

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    Well wouldn't that rule out the Camry if you can't get stuff into the FJC?

    Try out a Prius v. It has 36 cubes with the seats up but it may struggle if it's loaded up with heavy equipment up a mountainside if you plan on taking trips across the rockies. The Camry will fare better fully loaded but it has less trunk space.
  18. Chtucker

    Chtucker New Member

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    Yes and no, We are obviously thinking about how we travel, we won't need the schoolbus sized off road stroller forever. Valco Baby: Strollers

    I was more thinking of the future of soccer, band anything else they get into.
  19. cyclopathic

    cyclopathic Senior Member

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    strollers are only temporary; you'd be done with them in a bit. Your FJ should cover all your wilderness calls from that point on.

    2012 vs 2011 is a tough call. Really depends on which trim you are buying (2,3,4) and what type of deals you can get. Here is summary of changes it is up to you if it worth extra. Exclusive: 2012 MY Prius - Changes and Additions | PriusChat

    With respect to re-sale you sound like a type who keeps cars, and 8 years down the road diff btw '11 and '12 will be a couple hundred at best.
  20. barcelona11

    barcelona11 New Member

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    We have 2 children, 10 and 12 years old. I drive them to sports, school, week-long overnight camp, etc. with any and all gear in comfort and with more than enough room.They love the techy nature of the car. You can see the kind of gas mileage I enjoy!

    One of the main considerations for our family is safety ratings, which hasn't been mentioned in this thread. The Prius has the maximum available crash ratings in all categories. Side-curtain air bags are important to me due to a wreck that I was involved in (fortunately, without the kids).

    I am loving the cargo space - I have hauled everything from manure and boards to bunches of groceries and large boxes easily in the back. Love the fold-down seats when kids are not riding along. I drove an Avalon previously - it has a great trunk, but the Prius is way more adaptable to odd-shaped cargo. I like the hidden storage for security, so I don't miss the trunk.

    I was showing my car recently to a mom with a Tahoe, and she was sad that she had bought the Tahoe without looking at the Prius when she saw how much space we have. (She listens to some comedian who talks about it being tiny). We have looked at the Camry in the past but didn't this time around, once we had researched and driven the Prius.

    Test drive both, with car seats (and without toddlers), sit in the back seat yourself, and continue to do the thinking about what you will carry cargo-wise. Good luck!
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