I hope I'm just being impatient, since I just bought the TCH a week ago and haven't used the first tank of gas yet. But a lot of y'all talk about 40+ mpg, and I have yet to see this in my travels. Tell me some of the things that make it happen.
The consensus of several testing organizations ( consumers reports, road and track, etc. ) suggest that the real world mileage of the Camry Hybrid is 33-34 combined highway/city under 2001 conditions. In my experience over the last 7000 miles, 33mpg in the city is easy, 34-35 if I am gentle on the accelerator and use "relax the accelerator" to kick in electric mode more frequently; 37-38mpg on the highway at 70mph, 5-10% less when it gets below 40 degrees outside.
The pre-2008 CAFE test standards are notorious for underestimating gas mileage significantly for several reasons: very low acceleration rates, 50mph top speeds in the highway section, no use of A/C, no operation at cold air temperatures, and the thing that is a noticeable part of some hybrid's apparently ability to have higher city gas mileage than highway mileage - 18 minutes of idling. The 2008 CAFE standards will show much more realistic gas mileages for both conventional and hybrid cars.
Take heart, even though you're getting only 34mpg combined, the equivalent conventional Camry (the V-6, not the 4-cylinder ) will get only 22mpg combined at best.
I bought Camry Hybrid in January and I just made my first 5k miles.
The average MPG I calculated over the last 3 and a half months is 34.6.
However, I found that the MPG depends not only on driving condition but also on the brand and the type of gas I use. I had 10 refils so far: Chevron=3, Shell=3, Exxon=4. Most of my driving is to and from work, which is around 70-80 miles on HWs.
I usually drive with the trafic, which is max 70-75 mph on HWs. Gas with higher octane number makes better MPG, but as all we know it costs more. Thus, I also calculated MP$ (miles per dollar), which actually makes more sense to me than just MPG. I live in San Diego, so the absolute numbers I am showing for MP$ are valid for San Diego, ranking can be used globaly. Please note, that the pool of collected data is relatively small at the moment, so the results can be used only as indicators. I will try to provide similar stats after I make another 5k miles.
If somebody has similar stats to share with others, it would be appreciated.
(Note: for stats guys, the MP$ error, shown in Table below, is calculated as a ratio between Standard deviation and the average value.
My TCH is 7 months old, but my mileage is only 3600, so maybe I'm just hitting break-in. My daily commute is only about 2 1/2 miles - not enough to even register a reading on the dashboard monitor.
I did see a big drop in my readings (when I drove far enough to get a reading) over the winter. But the last few days its been in the low 70's and on each of 2 short trips - around 15 miles combined street/highway - I got readings of 40 +.
The trip info avg overall is 29.9 and since my previous car was a mini-van getting 14 to 16, I'm pretty happy to be getting near 30! Everything is relative.
I have owned my TCH for almost a year now, over 25,000kms and consistently see readings in the 6.2 L/100km range. On a trip this weekend managed 5.5 L/100km average over 410 km. I am not driving like I'm 80 nor am I driving like I'm 20. If you don't adjust your driving habits don't expect the technology to save you.