Monday, June 16, 2008

Mixed experience test driving hybrids

We test drove both the Toyota Camry Hybrid and the Toyota Prius Hybrid.

Our experiences were mixed.

The Camry certainly seemed like a very nice car, with decent pick-up, it did not have the performance of a higher end 6 cyl. all gasoline model.

We've been considering a hybrid as a commuting car - something we would drive to work on weekdays and for parents only longer distance drives on weekends.

Although either car would do, we found the hybrids didn't have enough pick-up / acceleration for our tastes and driving styles - which have lots of highway driving.


Slow acceleration. Large backlog - perhaps 6 months until delivery. Rear seat headrests a bit uncomfortable - but possibly survivable. Front windshield / dashboard angle makes it difficult to position a third party navigation system (by suction cup on the window) - especially when the electrical outlet is far below the dashboard -almost near the front passenger's feet - this makes it difficult to connect or unattractive to have wires running across the cabin. Plus: does provide detailed usage information for economy driving and battery consumption - neat, but found that I ignored it after a while when I rented a similar model.

Camry Hybrid:

In general a very nice car. Comparable to other Camry's and Honda Acord's. Navigation system was hard to use. No off screen button to zoom in/out that other cars have (honda/acura/lexus). Trunk space diminished due to battery. Head unit does not provide as much driving / battery use information as Prius. Still acceleration a bit lacking.

At the end of the day we were left wondering if it made sense to change our car from our current higher end SUV. I'll post on the decision.

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