Dan's review of the TCH

Discussion in 'Toyota Camry Hybrid' started by Dan, Jun 27, 2008.

  1. Dan

    Dan KiloTanked in post 153451

    Hey all, I may get a TCH to review for a few days. This will be my official thread to trash all this stuff out till I'm ready to post my review.

    Plus I get to be the first post!

  2. Right Lane Cruiser

    Right Lane Cruiser Penguin of Notagascar

    Now this is cool! I can't wait to see what you can wring out of one of those, Dan! :D
  3. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Dan:

    ___This is going to be fun to watch from the sidelines :)

    ___Good Luck

  4. Dan

    Dan KiloTanked in post 153451


    Picking up the TCH in the morning.... ;). After all that [post="114748"]XGauge Work[/post], I'm gonna have to get out of my Prius for a few weeks :(

  5. Dan

    Dan KiloTanked in post 153451

    Got the Camry... Full tank of gas too ;)

  6. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Dan:

    ___S1 through S4 temps if you can pull them IG18 is going to be a lot of fun of course. Also, inflate the tires to MAX sidewall. If you have some Mobil1 5W-20 or 0W-20, swap it out.

    ___Before you fill up, can you force charge her to 80% and drive until she's done around 45% for an AER number. Before you fill up for the review calibration tank and final tank that is ;) Comments on current draw vs. your Prius on a similar route. Steady state cruise FE with maybe 56% SoC at 50, 55, 60 and 65 mph while DWL on a relatively flat section of road over maybe 3 to 5 miles would be nice as well. Trying to come up with a Steady state number at 40 and below is darn near impossible. Your wife's thoughts on the TCH’s limited trunk space. VSC transition during some higher speed chicanes in an empty parking lot somewhere. I thought the Corolla XRS's VSC was way to limiting given the low profile 17” performance tires and such but I wonder if the Camry is also held to a real low YAW or lateral accel rate just like the Prius and Corolla's so equipped are?

    ___From the sounds of it, you have yourself setup for one heck of a fun week :D

    ___Good Luck

  7. Dan

    Dan KiloTanked in post 153451

    OK, baseline over lunch was 65.4 MPG. That was after S1 warm up so it's expected to be high. I gave my wife a clinic and she's pulling 50's out of it now (55.5 at last check). The drive is almost a perfect combo of the Prius and the FEH. Regen is surprisingly weak (lots of mass) and assist is pretty puny. The good news is that some of [post="114748"]the new gauges[/post] work in the Camry as well. The "gps" gauge is real helpful and I find the ICE lights at about 20%. For the Prius the ICE lights at about 25%. The RPM -vs- LOD values are similar, but with a 2.4L, 1600 rpm and 82% LOD is pretty peppy. I'm retraining myself to sharper jerk for accelerations.

    More later....

  8. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Dan:

    ___The real story is Shannon pulling 55 from it as that is news! Is she ready to take on all comers at the HF2008 FE Challenge in it ;)

    ___Good Luck

  9. Dan

    Dan KiloTanked in post 153451

    Few more points in my running train of thought.

    • The AC is MUCH beefier, so running it eats battery like candy.
    • Pulse at 1600 RPM seem right (IGN 18). This puts the "MPG" needle at 10 at slow speeds 20 at higher speeds. Easiest just to hold pedal position at 30% for pulse and you'll be in good shape.
    • Glides can be performed just like the Prius. Hold pedal position between 7% and 10% and the ICE will cut out. Without a pedal position sensor, this is pretty hard to find.
    • The battery seems to gravitate towards a higher SOC than I'm used to, but this may because the PSD is throwing more HP to the MG sets.
    • At 4 bars or more, EV is easy to hold. Just park the pedal position at about 15%. 20% will light the ICE so you have to be touchy.
    • The gas pedal is a bit more spongy than the Prius. Harder to feel if it's not gauged.

  10. psyshack

    psyshack He who posts articles

    I really like this car ALOT!!!!! Only draw back is Yota Thug dealers. I feel I need a body condom and a butt plate in place to walk on a dealers lot. Then a shower is required once I live thru it.

    Would like to see one put thru its paces on your daily grind. :)
  11. philmcneal

    philmcneal Has it been 10 years? Wow

    lol i drove one today, but with no EV BUTTON its a piece compared to my prius!

    Its a nice ride though, but honestly the prius just beats it in every aspect EXCEPT shoulder support for the passengers in the back when you squeeze 3 back there lol.

    and i dunno the fuel economy gauge and the dash, I think the prius is just better if it had the same luxury appointments :)

    sometimes the engine idles and its close to the ev mode indicator, however, i still feel the engine idling... i dunno i just feel i have less control on what the engine does rather than the control i have over my prius with the ev button i guess.

    Im curious to know what a highlander hybrid 08 model with a hypermiler can come up with, let alone trying to find a two mode guy as well!
  12. swhoutx035

    swhoutx035 Casual Hypermiler

    Uhhh, but it doesn't and you can't purchase a prius with the same creature comforts for any price... so your argument is just dumb...

    And I don't know what benchmarks your using when you say the prius beats the camry in every way. It gets better fuel economy, but the prius is essentially an econo-box - the camry isn't. It wouldn't appear your too concerned about the fuel economy aspect of the prius however from looking at your FE stats in yor signature - so what gives with dumping on the camry?

    The prius and the camry are two different cars for two different markets. If you want to be a gear head and run your car as a golf cart - go ahead. Not everyone wants to.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 7, 2008
  13. msantos

    msantos Eco Accelerometrist

    Lets keep it nice and avoid the personal jabs or insults, shall we ?


  14. seftonm

    seftonm Veteran Staff Member

    Hi Phil, I got a chance to try hypermiling a 2008 Highlander Hybrid a month or two ago. I ended up with 5.6L/100km over 9km in the city. That was only something like my 3rd time driving a Toyota hybrid and my first attempt at hypermiling one, so I'm certain an experienced driver could pull out much more from it than what I managed.
  15. Dan

    Dan KiloTanked in post 153451

    OK... SHM update on the highway.... It is certainly squirly. Anyway... the numbers are Pulse at RPM/IGN/TPS of 1280/20/22 and glide at 1120/18/18. This yielded highway numbers of 50.3, 51.0 and 53.2. It's very hard though... You can't be on an incline for a glide... have to be downhill. Grade of the road makes a big difference. Also, if you ever pop the RPM above 1350, you have to go back to a low 1100 for about 5 seconds for things to reset. GPS (gas pedal gauge) is really required.

    Pulse at GPS of 25.0, to enter a glide drop GPS to 10.0, once IGN drops below 19, you can slowly step GPS (in 0.5 increments) till your at TPS of 18 or 19 and IGN still at 18. Highest GPS I've seen in a glide was 20.0. The MPG dial is a hoot in SHM... I've seen it bounce from 40 to 60 with no change in RPM at all... really wild. Definitely follows IGN though.

    Running the numbers... 50 MPG on the highway in a TCH is the same feat as 70 MPG in a Prius on the highway.

  16. philmcneal

    philmcneal Has it been 10 years? Wow

    so you wanna play eh...

    depends if your justification for driving a sedan over a hatchback, but that's all i see besides the badge "CAMRY" and the faster 0-60 time I can garrentee you a prius owner will carry more cargo than a camry person anyday. And you can almost get the same creature comforts, your just lacking the plasmacluster ion air filter, heated seats (unless the prius leather seats has a heat option), softer cushier ride, sunroof, ya da yada and of course mileage. 50 MPG compared to 70 mpg indicated by Dan's test is quite a benchmark... depends what your priorities are. But if your at this web site, you should already know what they are...

    here in Canada the two cars are very priced similarity (so close they the two doesn't affect your budget if you were to pick one over the other)
    i wouldn't say its a pure eco box, i hate it when they compare it to the corolla when its bigger in dimensions in every aspect. If you look at the numbers closely you'll notice the Camry may have more leg room and shoulder room but the prius eeks close with far more cargo room.

    if your willing to give up some power, cargo and the look of a sedan, I just think a camry hybrid over a prius with similar price ranges (like i said here in Canada... ) the prius is just the better choice for value (c'mon epically at this site too). Unless you feel the name "Camry" and a sedan profile is extremely important to you... I'm sure many Europeans will digress that idea, however, you will probably give me "UH DO WE LIVE IN EUROPE IDIOT!?! attitude.". At least I'm positive their government is making better choices than what the North American government is doing... no offense that includes Canada... IMO

    I think the market is interested in having cheaper transportation, even if it results to driving like a golf cart :)

    hey seftonm thanks for the review, 40 mpg US+++ for a 7 passenger suv? smack me!
  17. swhoutx035

    swhoutx035 Casual Hypermiler

    If you had started with that point of view in your original post that would have been fine. You however went to make a judgement call about a sedan versus a hatchback and specifically call a very fine sedan "a piece" because it wasn't like you're beloved hatchback- but then went on to lament how you wish your hatchback was more like the camry??? If I were interested in hauling cargo, I wouldn't have chosen a sedan.

    I have no doubt those results were from some pretty extreme hypermiling techniques... I've ridden in both a prius and a camry (my own as a matter of fact) with Dan as an occupant and as a driver. His techniques are not every day methods. Those techniques, if employed, will get you better gas mileage no matter what type of car, ICE or hybrid, you drive. I however, as well as a large number of drivers, am never going to be as proficient as Dan and a few of the others on this site, nor would I consider doing everything that is required to get those extreme results.

    I know what my priorities are, they're stated in my signature. I am interested in getting the best mileage I can while still maintaining a level of comfort and enjoyment from my drive.

    Again, I'd like to point out that either you're not keeping your mileage in the DB up to date or you aren't putting many of the "priorities" or techniques discussed on this forum into practice. I would think that someone who visits this site often would at least get the EPA average for their hybrid vehicle. It doesn't matter if your car has the ability to get 70+ miles per gallon if you aren't able to achieve it in real world every day practice.

    It has been pointed out in many posts that if you are only looking at the total bottom line in ownership costs and FE, that hybrids (of any make) don't return the same overall value as other less expensive ICE cars with good overall FE. One's choice to drive a hybrid often has motivations that go beyond the bottom line cost of ownership (like not invading other countries for oil, or funding terrorism, or reducing greenhouse gasses). If you hate comparisons between a prius and a corolla you should appreciate that folks who prefer a sedan hate it when folks compare the camry to a prius.

    Again, if you're only arguing auto price as a method for determing value, we'd all be better off hypermiling a Yaris or a Versa. If one were " willing to give up some power, cargo and the look of a sedan", there are a lot of alternatives to what we could drive.

    I only brought this up because you were complaining that the camry didn't come with an EV button. That isn't an issue for most of us, even those who drive a prius, because at least down here, the prius doesn't come with them either - you have to spend money to have them added aftermarket - something not that many folks have done. I for one would love to have an all electric automobile.

    EDIT: My apologies to Dan for getting this thread so far off topic.
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2008
  18. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Phil and Swhoutx:

    ___Can you guys let Dan complete this blog and write-up a review please? SOB already.

    ___Phil, this is no place to snipe at the TCH as it is indeed an excellent ride and far more comfortable than a Prius by a long shot. If it was meant to get 60 + mpg on the highway, it would not do the 0 to 60 dance 2-seconds faster than the Prius.

    ___Swh, using advanced X-Gauge techniques to pull 50 from the Camry on the highway was probably Dan just showing you what is available from it with the advanced instrumentation. The Corolla with the Camry motor would pull 50 at 50 and that is with a stick running up around 2,300 R’s and with a Cd of .31! The Accord can pull 52 – 55 mpg at 50 just driving it although I have never drive a TCH in anything other than a stop light to stop light mess of a RT in downtown Milwaukee :( Another item… The Prius can only be bested by the Fit and the Yaris in terms of TCO (the Fit and Yaris are minimalist at best by comparison to the Prius of course) as it even beats the Corolla and Civic over any given 5-year period including the financing on the larger up front costs! I have not done the analysis on the TCH but in the case of the Prius, it really does shine in terms of both FE and TCO vs. just about everything!

    ___I just spoke with Dan and he is in a drive with a journalist in the TCH as I type. The journalist is pulling 45.x + mpg from the TCH as well :)

    ___Good Luck

  19. Dan

    Dan KiloTanked in post 153451

    OK... back to the review....

    A few more observation.
    1. Warm up happens fast... real fast. The larger engine gets you to operating temperature in a fraction of the normal (Prius) time.
    2. All the grief over being able to EV and deadband glide in the Camry can be resolved with the "gps" XGauge. EV happens at 10-15% and deadband glide happens at 7-9%.
    3. Even at 70 psi, the Camry is significantly quieter than the Prius. With a bit of practice you can catch the lunge of the engine cut though.
    4. SHM is a great way to get you through warm-up. Park it at IGN=20 and tool around at 40 MPG while warming up.
    5. The fully optioned Camry seats seem more comfy than the fully optioned Prius seats.
    6. SOC seems kinda picky. You can do alot less in the Camry at 48% SOC than you can in the Prius at 48% SOC. In many cases it looks like ICE-off fails outright a low SOC, so keeping the pack up is imperative.
    7. AC is absolutely murderous on SOC. Much thirstier than the Prius in this regard.
    8. The upper end MPGs seem about 10% above what seems capable in the FEH. Even though these are almost a dead heat via EPA, I think the Camry would win.
    9. DSG does work ;), but eats SOC like candy if you go through S1 twice.
    10. Building charge in S1 is difficult. S1 creep is usually a net loss on SOC.
    11. Interior space is similar, but the Camry seems (and is) larger across. This lends a nice effect in the cabin and feels like your getting a bit more space than you actually do.
    12. Uncalibrated SGIIx seems to under report MPG by about 6%. This is a bit higher than I expected and can't quite put my finger on it.
    13. There are some intangibles with the Camry that many people just like. If you ever encounter some one that starts a sentence with "I like the Prius... but..." the TCH may likely be the answer. Think I sold my Dad on one over the 4th.

    As for commute data, here's my runs so far:
    1. Drive in Monday with 1 pink bar to start = 13.3 mi @ 55.56 mpg
    2. Drive home Monday with good 6 bars = 13.3mi @ 65.97
    3. Drive in Tuesday with 4 bars SOC = 13.3mi @ 61.36 mpg

  20. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Dan:

    ___Great findings and the TCH’s FE numbers are impressive as hell! Are they coming in about 2/3 that of your Prius this time of year? I am doing the 46 vs. 34 numbers here and if so, the TCH appears to be holding a slightly higher % above the EPA than the Prius on the 08 specs.

    ___Also, did you do the top off to top off calc vs. the FCD yet? The Prius-I and II (base) were running about 5 and 3 over report during those drives and review vs. actual whereas the Prius Touring was almost dead on across the country for CBS?

    ___Good Luck


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