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Camry Hybrid LE for a day vs. Prius liftback Three

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Main Forum' started by cycledrum, Feb 20, 2013.

  1. cycledrum

    cycledrum PSOCSOASP

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    I rented a 2013 Toyota Camry Hybrid LE for a day from Fremont Toyota Rent a Car for $43 with tax (I got a $5 discount). The car had low miles, 1,400 total. Could also rent the car for only 2 hours for $10. Good way to get an extended test drive or just check it out for fun.

    * Cam Hy LE is the base model with fabric, mechanical adjust driver's seat, steel wheels with plastic covers, dual zone climate control, nice touchscreen, bluetooth handsfree, USB port, no backup camera, no nav, the sound system quality didn't hold a candle to JBL in my 2011 Prius, but this Camry had basic audio system. Have to get $34,900 Camry XLE hybrid with top package to get JBL.

    * I filled up and refilled on 3.336 gal 87 octane after 155.9 mi for 46.7 MPG average*. The gage read 43.5 as I recall. Very good mpgs. I had 36 psi all around on Michelin Energy Saver tires. 40s to 50s F dry weather in suburban city, 65 MPH freeways and 55 (?) MPH highway with hills along Hwy 1.

    * short, 1 mile trips to store with cold engine would bring mpgs down. This car was warmed up, except for a couple half hour or so stops.

    * Camry Hybrid LE is definitely more 'fun to drive' than Prius. It has more power (200 HP total) and corners quite a bit better. Camry has 'dual link' independent rear suspension while Prius has torsion beam rear suspension and this is likely why Camry feels more 'planted' in corners. It's more 'grounded to the ground' like the lady declares in the commercial. :) Camry hybrid also feels like it has a lower center of gravity than Prius which also helps handling.

    * Chews up freeway miles more effortlessly than Prius. Handles bumps better on highway with 16" wheels and larger tires.

    * Although the driver's seating and controls are laid out fairly well in Camry, the seat bottom at least for me is a bit short. I have very long legs (like 35" inseam) so I can make a fist, put it by the front of seat bottom and there is still room between my fist and back of my knee. That's makes a lot of my thighs hang over the front edge of seat bottom which is less than great. Not really the car's fault, but it brings the comfort level down.

    * The offset steering wheel is a little odd, but no big deal. See thread under 'Toyota hybrids > OMG, Cam Hy screwed up' for photo of wheel placed about 2" right of seat. Yeah, have to live down my intitial reaction to this, but not going to change the thread. Wrote to toyota and they called back to acknowledge.

    * Power leather seat would help it feel more comrfortable, but still it's the same size seat as the fabric. People with more normal sized legs should feel just fine in Camry. I tried one with power leather seat, and it is seems very good.

    * the hybrid system works very well. It's smooth and the car has more power and pickup than Prius. When just touching gas from a stop, the ICE comes on immediately instead of the having to give more gas pedal for it to come on in Prius.

    * I liked the more conventional dash and gage layout. The armrests felt really good, and I like the larger-than-Prius steering wheel.

    * Sometimes I put a road bicycle in back of my Prius. With Camry, would need trunk bike rack or hitch / carrier. It must cost more than the $60 I spent to have the rear hatch window tinted. Pretty hard to reach and clean back there too.

    * Cam Hy trunk is a couple cubic feet smaller than regular Camry, but it's still pretty decent size.

    * Overall, it's a nice car, and wow the fuel economy is really good. I got well over 40 mpgs average and that's a fair tradeoff for a car that has quite a bit more power and better handling than Prius. It also costs only about $2k more than Prius Two, so it's a good deal. It should continue to be Toyota's #2 selling hybrid.


    camera 394.jpg
    Guage reads 43.3 mpgs and 550 something miles range. This is after car was fully warmed up (30 miles).
    Left gauge moves between Eco (middle), Pwr (high) and Regen (Low) zones while driving. Rightmost analog gauge shows average fuel economy.

    camera 393.jpg
     
    alekska, Tideland Prius and Sergiospl like this.
  2. cycledrum

    cycledrum PSOCSOASP

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    I thought the Hybrid LE has a power driver's seat, but no, it's mechanical adjust. The regular LE has power seat. It looks so much more like a normal car inside - conventional type gauges seen through steering wheel. I have to say I like the way it looks inside. The glovebox is a fair amount smaller than Prius and there is no upper glove box, but it has door map pockets and the center console storage bin underneath the armrest is big.

    How does it drive? It's faster than a Prius, that's for sure :) From a stop it seemed that as soon as I take my foot off the brake, the gas engine comes on, like in a Honda IMA hybrid, but that is not the case. If I take off very slowly, it will EV up to moderate speed. Give it some 'go pedal' and the gas engine seems to come on more quickly than in Prius. It's all very smooth though.

    Camry Hybrid cruises quite a bit better than Prius. It's mostly quieter, even on rough, gritty freeway pavement. The brakes are good. Got to test them during rush hour commute where traffic goes from 55 to 0 in one lane while the others keep going, Argh.

    Ride quality of the Camry is better than my 2011 Prius. Camry feels more composed everywhere and it goes around corners better. This car has 205/65-16 Michelin Energy Savers. Larger tires must help the ride quality. Ah, this car has 'dual link' independent rear suspension. Better than Prius' torsion beam rear.

    Window sticker of this car is in the glovebox and the bottom line price w/ carpet mats is $27,160. Mine was $25,480 in Nov. 2011.
     
  3. cycledrum

    cycledrum PSOCSOASP

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    This Cam Hy LE has mechanical adjust fabric seats. They're alright, but nothing like the loaded Avalon hybrid I sat in with power leather trimmed seat. I guess a well built power adjust seat with leather or good faux leather is required for a luxury feel.

    This car definitely goes around corners better than Prius. If that is due to the 'independent' type rear suspension, I say .... make the 4th Gen Prius have independent rear suspension (but, I believe that cuts into rear wheel well room).

    From stop lights, the gas engine definitely comes on quicker in the Cam Hy. Seems like as soon as I let off the brake or touch the go pedal, gas engine comes on. Have to give much more pedal before Prius gas engine comes on.

    Would I be all hot to upgrade to this Cam Hy LE next year. Don't think so.

    btw, the JBL stock sound system in my 2011 is a good bit better than the basic sound in this Cam Hy LE.
     
  4. F8L

    F8L Protecting Habitat & AG Lands

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    I drove around in a 2012 Camry for a couple days and agree that they ride and handle better than the Prius. Road noise is also lower which I really liked. I did not care for the regular car looks though. The HyCam is basically the same. I was pretty amazed at the 36mpg I was getting out of the regular 4cyl. I think it was an LE.
     
  5. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    how did the off center steering wheel feel?
     
    cycledrum likes this.
  6. co_prius_3

    co_prius_3 Member

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    Does the 2013 LE hybrid have alloy wheels? I think the 2012 didn't.
     
  7. cycledrum

    cycledrum PSOCSOASP

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    There is more off than that. I wouldn't consider buying the car. See 1st post.
     
  8. cycledrum

    cycledrum PSOCSOASP

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    2013 Cam Hy LE has steel wheels with plastic covers
     
  9. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    they took a different tack with the gen II. they offer competitive pricing on the le, but, to get what we got on our 08 for $27,000., you have to move upto the lxe $34,000. of course, you get a lot more for that as well.
     
  10. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    your first post is very positive.:cool:
     
  11. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    your second post was complimentary.:)
     
  12. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    i can't find anything negative in your third post.(n)
     
  13. cycledrum

    cycledrum PSOCSOASP

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    Check it again, I edited it while you posted this.
     
  14. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    that's better. btw, you do get power and leather in the lxe.
     
  15. Sergiospl

    Sergiospl Senior Member

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  16. cycledrum

    cycledrum PSOCSOASP

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    "* Unfortunately, the seating and foot pedals, steering wheel layout was a mess for me - It seems like the gas, brake, and left dead pedals are all too far to the left relative to the driver's seat. The steering wheel is offset to the right, but I'm not sitting on it, so it's actually not as annoying as the seat and pedals layout. Also, the center console was a bit too far to the right. I like to rest my right leg on the console near the gas pedal, but it wasn't very doable.

    * The left dead pedal was sort of small. A power adjust driver's seat would have helped for more thigh support, but doubt I'll be trying one soon. Too many other things off. "
     
  17. cycledrum

    cycledrum PSOCSOASP

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    power fabric seat in base XLE. Leather / ultrasuede is in top package would puts you up near $35k.
     
  18. Sergiospl

    Sergiospl Senior Member

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  19. cycledrum

    cycledrum PSOCSOASP

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    I changed the first post a bunch. The root of the seat issue for is the seat bottom is too short. Not the car's fault. I just have super long legs where a bunch of my thighs hang over front edge of seat bottom. Got more than a fist width between front of seat bottom and back of my knee. Pretty sure Prius seat bottom is even a tad longer than this gen Camry.

    Power and leather seat always feels better to me, but i wouldn't buy one unless it's a big, long seat. Only seats I've seen that have extendable seat bottoms are BMW sport seats.
     
  20. sprtent

    sprtent Member

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    Lexus has them now. Pic below is from a 2013 GS350. It is powered. I think Lexus design it much better than BMW.
     

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    cycledrum likes this.