Toyota Hybrid Camry Car Review
- Vital Stats
$36,990 - $39,990
Unleaded + hybrid
The Hybrid Camry is one of Toyota's two new hybrid family cars. Both this and the Luxury model are the first locally-built family-sized cars (i.e. five-seaters) to use the whole cornucopia of Toyota's hybrid technologies that until now were only found in the Prius. This includes the automaker's Hybrid Synergy Drive System (petrol and electric engines), electric power steering, electronic brake control, stop-start technology, electric braking and electric air-conditioning.
These changes to the Camry mean that the two hybrids now have the honour of being the most powerful and most efficient models in the current range. Not to mention the most advanced sedans on the Aussie market...
The base model Hybrid Camry starts from $36,990.
Style & drive
You would think being a hybrid, this Camry would be clunkier than other models in the range but - due to more stiffness in the front and rear - it's actually more powerful, more agile and quieter at cruise.
Firstly, the electronic power steering requires less energy than traditional hydraulic systems. Then with the electric motor complementing the petrol engine and near 50:50 front-to-rear weight distribution (thanks to a boot-mounted battery pack), the Hybrid Camry is a rather smooth and quiet ride.
But you're not buying a hybrid for its steering or handling; you're buying one because you're conscious about guzzling fuel. In that regard, expect to use around 6 litres of unleaded petrol per 100km, making it 32% more fuel efficient than a regular Camry. When driven slowly, the Hybrid Camry switches from petrol to battery power. The trip computer offers a number of fuel-saving notifications and an eco-driving graph.
One crucial downer is that there's no EV (Electronic Vehicle) switch so you can't actually operate the car on battery power alone for more than a short distance.
The Hybrid may be the best in the Camry range but that doesn't mean the interior's any better than the traditional Camry. There's more than enough leg room for five adults. Boot space, however, is hindered by the placement of the battery pack. Aesthetically, there's nothing special about this model but, like we said, you're buying it for practical reasons.
Safety equipment in the Toyota Hybrid Camry includes Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management (VDIM), Electronic Stability Control, ABS braking with Emergency Brake Assist and Electronic Brake Force Distribution. There are front, side and curtain airbags.
ANCAP has given the 2011 model a safety rating of 5 stars.
Fuel consumption 6L/100km and C02 emissions 142grams/km.
Describe the car in 3 words
Well-equipped, sprightly, frugal.
What are the best things about this car?
It's an affordable, fuel-efficient car that will even win over those looking for just a conventional family sedan.
What are the downsides of this car?
An ANCAP rating that is one star short of 5 and no EV mode.
What kind of petrol does it use?
The eerie silence of a battery-powered car does take some getting used to.
If personified, who would this car be?