2012 Toyota Camry Hybrid
- Vital Stats
$34,990 - $41,490
A few weeks ago, my AutoChic colleague Kristen had the opportunity to test drive the new 2012 Toyota Camry Hybrid on a race track in Melbourne. She put the sedan through its paces with extreme speed, rapid braking, and fast cornering – probably the most exciting thing to happen to the staid Camry in a long time!
Though the “white-goods-on-wheels” Camry didn’t quite corner like it was on rails, it did put on a pretty impressive show for a family sedan. Me? I got to test drive the Camry Hybrid HL in its natural environment – the safe suburban streets of Sydney complete with a baby seat strapped in the back…
Style & Drive
Okay, so maybe I’m giving the Camry a bit of a hard time, but you’ve got to admit, it’s not the most exciting car out there. Once I got over the fact that the Camry is the chameleon of cars, I started to grow remarkably fond of the sedan. It is roomy, comfortable, easy to park, attractive on the inside, and incredibly fuel efficient. It’s also a stealth machine. Turn it on and it sounds like the Prius – shhhhhh.
Both the Camry H ($34,990) and the HL ($41,490) come equipped with a 2.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine which is connected to an electric traction motor. The combined power of the engine and the electric motor pack a surprisingly powerful punch for a Hybrid car. The car handles hills and corners well, is impressively quiet, and is super smooth to drive. The interior has had a makeover and it’s a great improvement. Modern clean lines and user-friendly interfaces abound. The HL boasts a premium 5.1-channel surround sound 10-speaker JBL audio system which features digital radio, live traffic updates, a 7-inch touch screen, satellite navigation, and a rear view camera with a back-guide monitor that helps you parallel park. Audio systems in both Camry H and Camry HL are USB, iPod and Bluetooth-friendly.
The Toyota Camry Hybrid was awarded a five-star safety rating from ANCAP. Safety features include seven airbags -- driver, front passenger, front side, curtain and driver’s knee airbags, seatbelt warning indicators for all five seatbelts, Hill-start Assist Control (HAC), stability control, traction control, and anti-skid braking system with electronic brake-force distribution and brake assist - all integrated through the electronically controlled brake system. A reversing camera comes standard on every Camry Hybrid and the HL also has rear-parking sensors.
The best new addition to the Camry’s slew of safety features? A blind spot monitor (BSM) on the driver’s and passenger-side mirrors which lights up with a little orange car icon whenever a car enters the Camry’s blind spot. Pretty cool huh?
Fuel consumption: 5.2L/100km
CO2 emission: 121g/km
Describe the car in 3 words
Efficient, Stealthy, Powerful
What are the best things about this car?
The fuel economy is impressive, and the blind spot monitor is a brilliant addition.
What are the downsides of this car?
Though perfectly presentable, fuel efficient, and economically viable, the Camry Hybrid is still a bit of a JABS (Just Another Boring Sedan).
What kind of petrol does it use?
Yes. It’s environmentally friendly, family friendly, and is really easy to drive.
If personified, who would this car be?