Update on the Camry

I’d been driving the new Camry the same way I drove the Corolla, accelerating very slowly in an attempt to save gas. On the Corolla, it worked very well, sometimes giving me close to 50% more miles on a tank, but on the Camry it seemed to be hurting the mileage… instead of the nearly 700 mile range it’s rated at, it looked like I was barely going to make 500, about 70% of the expected amount.

Apparently there’s a trick to getting the best gas mileage out of a Toyota hybrid, involving getting up to speed at a normal rate, taking your foot entirely off the gas pedal, then applying a very tiny bit of pressure to it to let the electric motor keep you there. It seems to work best in the city, where the speed limits are 40MPH or less; at higher speeds, the electric motor can’t supply enough power alone.

Because I wasn’t aware of this at first, I’m treating this first tank of gas as a learning period. I’ll start measuring it in earnest when I fill it up again.

I have to say, I’ve disovered that the “moon roof” is FAR better than I thought it would be. You get all the cooling advantages of an open window, but with much less outside noise. I presume that in the summer, when the car has been sitting in the sun for a while, it will be better at cooling it off too… at worst, it’ll be an additional opening placed right where the heat gathers.

We’ll be taking “Alice” (as GoddessJ has designated the Camry) on her first long trip tomorrow, a couple hundred miles or so. Highway driving all the way. We’ll see how she handles that, but I expect she’ll do pretty well.


  1. Congrats on your delivery! I drove a Toyota Prius hybrid for a year a long time ago (it was a company car), and I found that after a while you do learn how to get the best mileage out of it. I’d give it more than one tank, though. You’ll keep getting better as time goes on. And, yes, AC will kill your mileage, as it drains the electric battery very quickly.

    • I don’t know, a tank of gas in that thing lasts a long time! 🙂

      A mutual friend of ours, who I shall refer to as “P” here, has an early Honda Insight Hybrid, and it sounds like they’ve made great strides in fuel efficiency between that and our Camry. For example, I’m sure he gets better mileage (I didn’t ask him about that), but at a high cost, like a 400lb weight limit max (for driver, passenger, and cargo)… he’s pretty thin, but he and I together would barely fit under that, and I’m not much over the standard weight for my height. Forget a third occupant, if you could even find a place to put him; even your average ten-year-old might put it over the limit. I’ll take our Camry’s somewhat lower gas mileage and full amenities, thanks.

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