Has Toyota lost its way?

Discussion in 'Newbie Forum' started by Butaketsu, Dec 2, 2018.

  1. Butaketsu

    Butaketsu Junior Member

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

    First, I want to thank everyone that has helped me so far. Especially in my previous thread here:

    50K miles a year, is the Prius right for me? | PriusChat

    The wife and I had a used 3rd Gen Prius Liftback, it was great on fuel, but we ended up bringing it back to the dealership due to some bank issues (not credit related).

    Anyways, i'm on the hunt for two brand new cars now, first a car for my wife this month and then trading my car in next month. I was going to settle with two Toyotas but... Lets get to it, this is mostly a cross post from Toyota Nation, so it's mostly about the Camry Hybrid LE, but I mention the 4th Gen Prius.
    ________
    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, for it seems Toyota isn't the half a million mile car it used to be...
     
  2. Zythryn

    Zythryn Senior Member

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    Please keep in mind, you will always get a disproportionate number of complaints on forums.
    Those with complaints are 10 times as likely to post as those without complaints.

    As for easy to work on, I don’t know, so I’ll pass on that ;)
     
  3. Butaketsu

    Butaketsu Junior Member

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    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.
     
  4. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    both great cars with bad infotainment. but hycam may be getting car play?

    still worth buying in my opinion. we have 2012 plug in and 2013 hycam. both have been fabulous, and i can't see better cars for the next purchase.

    i don't really care about maintenance difficulty because there is so little

    but if you are going to keep them a couple hundred thousand miles, please link a car forum where there aren't any problems, i might rethink our next
     
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  5. padroo

    padroo Senior Member

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    Have you ever considered Kia or Hyundai with their 100,000 warranty.
     
  6. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    that's when things start to go bad on toyotas
     
  7. royrose

    royrose Senior Member

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    Consumers Reports just published results of their annual reliability survey. Top 4 brands: Lexus, Toyota, Mazda, Subaru. Of the top 10 models, 7 were Toyota products (2 Lexus, 5 Toyota). Of those, 3 were Prius variants: Prius, Prius Prime, and Prius c.

    Of course, CR subscribers are probably typical in not keeping their vehicles a very long time or racking up many miles, so the survey says little if anything about reliability beyond 200,000.

    Toyota may have lost their way in making many questionable design decisions (I think so) but I think that a new Toyota is as likely as any other brand to be reliable, maybe more so. After all, there is a risk with any brand.
     
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  8. Butaketsu

    Butaketsu Junior Member

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    I looked at the Ioniq on Friday... It wasn't bad, wasn't great, the price was better than any Toyota Hybrid, but the materials in the interior has me questioning longevity, although the same can be said for the G4 Prius SofTex steering wheel... And then there's the windshield issues being paper thin and cracking like eggshells. The lifetime battery warranty was attractive, but that's one thing I expect to replace with the Prius...

    The Ioniq also has a dual-clutch trans... Sounds like one hell of an expensive fix and doesn't make sense for stop-and-go traffic, why the used this is beyond me.

    Still up in the air about it...
     
  9. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

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    Nope. 64 mm inside face-to-face, and 14 flutes, nothing complicated. There's some talk here about a special oil filter socket that extends down onto the intermittent stiffeners, but it's not necessary. I've been doing oil changes with similarly dimensioned Honda oil filters, for decades, with a Honda socket. It works fine on Toyota. Also just got the oil filter for our son's new Mazda: same.

    I suspect it'd be fine with 0W20.

    As far as Toyota "losing their way", I'm not impressed with their latest styling exercises, outside or in, loath the move to touch-screen controls at the expense of ergonomic manual controls, and I think the car is groaning under the weight of the infotainment dreck, so: yes.
     
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  10. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    Note that the 52mpg on the Camry Hybrid is only for the latest LE version (and that’s the city mpg rating, right?). The SE and XLE are rated at 46 mpg combined. That’s above the 40 mpg combined of the 2nd gen Camry Hybrid (2012-20-17).

    We have a Camry Hybrid owner here who’s doing an ongoing blog. As far as I know, he’s routinely getting above 50mpg in the summer. Here’s his thread.

    2018 HyCam amateur review and ongoing blog | PriusChat

    After reading is initial post, skip a few pages until you see his posts on tank mpgs.

    The EGR issued seem to be associated with the Gen 3. Someone mentioned that Toyota made some changes in the Gen 4 to reduce the chances of clogging.
     
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  11. JimboPalmer

    JimboPalmer Tsar of all the Rushers

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    First, Prius is supposedly Latin for leading the way. Each generation tends to have ideas that work, and ones that don't work.
    Toyota makes other hybrids for those not wishing to live on the cutting edge. That is a choice you need to make. Toyota makes commuter cars that are hybrids. They will not have all the quirky tricks that a Prius has, but will be more mainstream in style and reliability.

    Second, there seems to be an issue with 2010 and perhaps 2011 Prius 1.8l engines and head gaskets. Outside of those years there are very few complaints. (time will tell if 2012 is just too new) No more than usual for Gen 1, Gen 2, Gen 3 after 2011, Prius c, Prius v or Gen 4. Right now this is a Gen 3 issue, perhaps an early Gen 3 issue.

    You seem upset that Motor Oil has improved since the 1970s. 10w-40 was a huge leap for it's day but that day was long ago. A modern engine will be designed for a modern oil. The 2018 Honda Fit and Accord Hybrid use 0w-16 as well. You seem to be similarly upset that your 1970's oil filter wrench is not ideal for 2010s cars. Toyota adopted Honda's design because it worked well, this not some strange Toyota invention.
     
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  12. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    you're crazy if you think it isn't going to affect 12's and 13's, they just don't have the fleet mileage yet.

    only saving grace for priuschatters is that they now know to head off the problem.

    other owners won't be so fortunate
     
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  13. Butaketsu

    Butaketsu Junior Member

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    Interesting... I wonder why that one member had some crazy issues, to the point he was using a jack stand handle and stripping things. That just didn't sound fun whatsoever haha.

    51/53 and 52 combined For the 2019 HyCam LE, which is what i'm looking at purchasing. Read through the thread, lots of variables don't match up with my area in SoCal, but if I can get 45MPG going 80-85mph the whole way, i'd be pretty happy. The speed limit in California 65, but... Flow of traffic trumps the posted speed limit and well... Lane 1 with no traffic is 90-95. Lane 2 is 85, Lane 3 is 75-80 and Lane 4 is 65 (semis are supposed to go 55, but...). That's with people staying in their lanes and going with the flow... A lot of times it's just people swerving around going past people going 75 in Lanes 1, 2, 3 and 4. It's just all a mess here... I try to stick to 75 when it's just me on the road and then if there's at least 15 cars within 50 yards of me, I try to go their speed, usually 80-85, but I still get many people flying and weaving past me in lane 3, which is where I generally stay.

    We had a Gen 3 for 2 weeks, it was a 2015. I ordered a OCC for it everything and was getting ready to install at the next oil change, but we turned it back in. I read of people with 2013-2015s having the issue. The fix with the Gen 4, which uses the same motor, was that they relocated the EGR pipe to post-cat. One mention of someone possibly having a blown HG on their Gen 4, but there's little to no evidence backing it... Yet.



    Quite the opposite. As an Authorized dealer for Amsoil, I have a little more knowledge in my motor oils than the average consumer. Hence why I believe a 25,000 OCI (normal service) or 15,000 OCI (severe service) is normal with a Group IV PAO or Group V . What doesn't make sense to me is the change to 0w16. This oil is practically like water and doesn't have a wide adoption yet, 0w20 just barely became a gold standard in the auto world in the last half of the decade, 5w30 was the market standard for pretty much 2 decades in North America, why the sudden change from 0w20 to 0w16? If there's anything that i'm bitter about, it's that Amsoil only carries 0w16 in the OE line which is a Group III and not a Group IV PAO, hopefully this will change.

    If 0w16 has been widely used outside of North America for so long, why haven't we just skipped 0w20 and went straight to 0w16 is beyond me...
     
  14. SFO

    SFO Senior Member

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    Though I've seen some crazy Gen4 MPGs posted, it would be amazing if you (or anyone) can get 45MPG while sustaining 80-85mph :cool:
     
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  15. JimboPalmer

    JimboPalmer Tsar of all the Rushers

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    I drive at semi speed with the semis, so no one over takes me without running over an 18 wheeler.

    However, the freeways in MS are 2 lanes each way and Semis dominate. YMMV, but I would not be trying for MPG in the left lanes.

    I have not seen a speed to MPG graph for Gen 4; but above 80, Gen 3 MPG fell markedly. (Gen 2 MPG fell around 65)
     
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  16. Butaketsu

    Butaketsu Junior Member

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    Somehow my wife was constantly getting 53... We shared the car for the two weeks we had it and every time I got in, the trip computer went from 47, which is what I always got going around 75, to 53.x. I asked her everyday and even right now... "Babe, how fast did you drive when you weren't stuck in grid lock?" and her reply is always the same, "Uhhhhmmmm, 75 to 85, usually towards the upper half of 85..."

    It boggles my mind because I try and exercise hypermiling anywhere I can... Yet she just hops in and drives... My Infiniti for example is rated for 29 highway 23 combined. I get about 27 combined, but here she is, getting 32mpg...
     
  17. JimboPalmer

    JimboPalmer Tsar of all the Rushers

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    But she admits to going 75 at times. Very steady driving habits yield MUCH better MPG than playing with the accelerator, I use Cruise Control but others have issues when there are hills. (My area lacks hills)
     
  18. Butaketsu

    Butaketsu Junior Member

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    I tried that myself... Not exactly semi-speeds (they go about 65mph here even though it states 55 for them) but i'll go 70. I pushed around 47-49. However I never stayed in lane 4 as I was playing leap frog too much... I found going 70-75 in Lane 3 was much easier. I just hated being the frog getting leaped, which happened every few minutes on my 1.5 hour commutes. Which is the very reason why I like the Hybrid Camry, although I have a feeling the power isn't so much there to give the car they ability to cruise at higher speeds, but moreso there to deliver the same experience in a less drag-coefficient and more "upscale" vehicle.
     
  19. JimboPalmer

    JimboPalmer Tsar of all the Rushers

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    I have never owned a Camry, the one I rented years ago got 33 MPG the way I drove it, not at all bad for a non-hybrid. But without aerodynamics and with more sound deadening weight, you are going to lose some MPG, even if the powertrain is excellent.
     
  20. Butaketsu

    Butaketsu Junior Member

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    Yeah, our commute is not forgiving whatsoever... It's a series of two very large inclines and declines, flat roads between and smaller inclines and declines.

    Actually, here's a good video showing the rough part of our commute!



    - Start at 1:22 is the first incline which ends at 1:50. Take note of Prius in Lane 2 at 1:55, they catch up at 2:48 in Lane 1 haha!
    - First big decline at 2:55. Prius taking advantage of it for sure haha.
    - 3:35 is the second big incline. You gain massive speed on the way home going down this incline.
    - 4:10 is where the scavenging for the incline occurs as the next big decline occurs.
    - 4:22 take note of the bottom of the incline. It goes into this crazy weird incline that you do not notice when on it. But this is the fuel killer, your momentum plummets at the bottom which occurs right at 4:30 and then you keep climbing to 4:50.
    - The decline starting at 4:50 doesn't scavenge much if any fuel and feels more like a flat surface.
    - 5:05 the climb returns.
    - 6:05 you're now in San Diego and going south is mostly a decline going towards Mexico. At this point, my commute is only an hour in and I have 30 minutes till I reach my work.

    The drive home is relatively identical, but the decline that begins at 4:22 has two small declines on the northbound side and then turns into a vastly larger incline than the decline it is going South.

    Either way, take note of how everyone drives here... It's a battlefield. Sigh.
     
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