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Pros And Cons Of Toyota Prius Vs Camry Hybrid

If you are familiar with the The Toyota Prius, you may also be interested in other hybrid models that Toyota offers. Here are a few pros and cons of the best selling Toyota Camry Hybrid vs the best selling Toyota Prius.

My Toyota Prius and I are almost inseparable. Not sure how socially acceptable this is but hear me out. I have to drive quite a lot from one side of Washington State to the other, so I get some serious seat time.

Before I had my Prius though I owned several (and still drive two) Toyota Camry cars. I have loved every generation of Camry that I have owned, they have been really solid, reliable vehicles. As our family grew, our needs have shifted for a family wagon, and also a daily driver for me. We sold the Toyota Highlander we had in favor of a minivan, and I ended up fixing the Prius to use as the commuter car.

2007 Red Toyota Prius

Since owning the Prius, I had to do some surgery to get it back into good operating condition, and learned quite a lot during that time working on it. I have never regretted spending time fixing the Prius, and it really took me back to working on the Camry cars that I would find that had been neglected.

I often have wondered now if I could have the sedan that made me fall in love with Toyota and the amazing features of my Prius all wrapped up in one. After thinking this through, I came up with a few things that helped me understand whether the Camry Hybrid or the Prius will be right for me. Owning a Prius put to rest quite a few myths I had about the car.

The Fuel Economy Showdown

For this particular example, I am going to compare a second generation Prius to a first generation Camry hybrid. Reason being is the technology was advanced enough at that time to have both vehicles be pretty darn similar in all areas. Battery modules were the same, the Toyota Hybrid System was pretty darn similar and reliable between both models, so overall they really are great comparisons.

toyota prius heads up display fuel gaugeThe Prius is for sure going to win this one, but the question is by how much? Taking a look at the EPA stats, the Camry comes in a solid 40 MPG city. For a larger vehicle that is now 12 years old, that is actually quite good.

Prius does knock it out of the park though at 48 MPG city. An 8 mpg difference is quite a difference overall considering how many more miles you can go on less fuel.

Prius wins in this arena. No contest.

Comfort Level

This is really where the Camry will dominate the Prius for sure. When it comes to comfort, Camry has this down pat. All my Camry vehicles I have owned have always had really comfortable seats, and a best selling sedan should. The long hauls are where I wish Prius would have stepped up their game. Especially for a vehicle that really has changed the world. Not to mention how many of the things are on the road, this is one place I am sure Taxi drivers and delivery personnel would love to have an improvement.

The sound level in Camry is also far superior. The meatier car has more sound deadening properties than the Prius, and again a larger car really should. I never used to really care about sound until I started having kids, now it seems it is all I can think about when purchasing a car that all my family can ride in.

For this round Camry dominates Prius without question.

Cost Of Ownership

Here is where I think both cars are pretty darn equal. When it comes to maintenance, the Toyota Hybrid System (THS) is so similar between the cars that maintenance costs are virtually the same. Cooling system services are at the same interval, transmission fluid is the same. Though capacities differ, it really is not by much.

The hybrid batteries are also nearly identical. The Camry has a 245V battery with 32 modules and the Prius has 201V with 28 modules. Both modules are the exact same and can be interchanged. When searching for a refurbished battery both the Prius and the Camry are about the same price.

Overall, you will spend more in fuel costs between the two cars, but the Prius will (or should be) overall cheaper to own.


My Pros for the Camry are that it is larger, quieter, and is a far more comfortable ride. The cons are the fuel economy and the slight amount more that it costs to maintain it.

The Pros for the Prius are obviously fuel economy and for its size, versatility which I did not really talk about in the above text.

When it comes right down to it, you need to decide what you want more, comfort or fuel economy. If you like me and getting older, there really is no question what I am going to want to own soon.

I hope that you have enjoyed reading about Toyota Camry Hybrid vs Toyota Prius. Check out my other story Why the first generation Prius is better than either generation Nissan Leaf.

See you in the next story where I am discussing why the Toyota Prius AWD-e is the best one yet and why car enthusiasts and average car guys loathe the Toyota Prius. Also read my latest story where I discussing one study that shows you should only use top tier gasoline in your Toyota Prius.

Also Watch New tech means more MPG from your Toyota Prius and Click to Subscribe to Torque News Youtube Channel for Daily Toyota Prius and Automotive News.

Peter Neilson is an automotive consultant specializing in electric cars and hybrid battery technologies. He is an automotive technology instructor at Columbia Basin College. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Automotive Service Technology from Weber State University. Peter is also an Adjunct Instructor of automotive technology at Columbia Basin College. Peter can be reached on Linkedin and you can tweet him at The_hybrid_guy on Twitter.


ed (not verified)    May 2, 2020 - 11:17AM

I agree with the Prius seat. If you spend that much time on the road, get a roll of self adhesive roof foil repair tape (useal) from home depot. Take the driver's door panel off, carefully peel the plastic back. From the inside of the door, knock on the outer door skin. Where it makes the most noise, stick a 3x3" square. Knock again and put on another 3x3. Do 3-4 squares. This damps the resonance. Then, cut patches to cover the inner door skin holes (not bolt holes). Make sure to cut 1/4" larger than the hole to give the adhesive something to hold on to. When you are done, all of the inner door skin holes should be covered. Replace the plastic moisture barrier and the door panel. It takes about 30 minutes. The order of highest noise from the driver's seat is 1. Driver's door 2. passenger door 3. rear hatch 4. rear passenger door 5. rear driver side door 6. rear cargo walls 7. cargo floor. 8. under hood. You will get a big benefit by just doing 1 and 2.

Also, if you are considering the new Prius. Rent one for a week first. It has adaptive cruise. Even in its least sensitive mode, it backs off over and over again until you are doing 40 on the highway. There is no way to draft. I found myself overriding it every few minutes. You cannot shut off adaptive so it is almost useless. I could not use it on a snowy day and again on a slushy day because the distance sensor gets blocked. When that happens, you have no cruise control. It was a non-starter for me