Joel Helmes reviews the hybrid-version of the Toyota Camry.
Very impressive, that’s the best way to sum up the new hybrid version of the ever-popular Toyota Camry.
Firstly, the 2014 Camry is such an impressive, well thought out and well executed vehicle.
The hybrid version seamlessly provides even better fuel economy than the standard four-cylinder engine version and best of all you never feel like you’re driving a science experiment!
Actually no, the best bit is the starting price - $34,990, or just $4500 more than the petrol-only variant.
Yes, $4500 is a fair bit of money, but given the hybrid version easily returned 6.5L/100km in city driving, the initial purchase price wouldn’t take you too long to recoup.
For the record, the 2.5 litre petrol powered Toyota Camry uses a claimed 10.9L/100km.
So, with a rule of thumb of $1.50 per litre for unleaded, using the equation of an extra 4.4L/100km = $6 per 100kms!
True, the standard Camry gives you extra power and torque (133kW and 231Nm), but the petrol-electric hybrid Camry gets along with plenty of pep and boasts a more than reasonable, and quite comparable, 118kW and 213Nm.
The hybrid version also boasts a CVT, as opposed to the more traditional six-speed automatic in the petrol-only model.
Beyond all that the Camry impresses in every way.
Steering is nicely weighted, the ride is excellent, road-holding and handling surprisingly good and the brakes are excellent.
Inside the cabin you quickly notice Toyota’s famously good fit and finish.
The materials used throughout, including seat fabrics and carpets, are all top-notch.
Nothing is particularly ‘sexy’ or revolutionary; it just works, feels good and is perfectly positioned.
The gauges are clear, though a touch busy to be honest, and the driver info screen is a little dated and boring. Beyond that though the Camry interior is bland, but just about perfect!
Excellent storage areas, great visibility from the driver’s seat, excellent stereo and very good legroom front and back are some of the highlights, while standard features include:
- Clear reversing camera
- Push-button ignition
- Rear air-conditioning vents
- Dual-zone climate control
- Cruise control
- Electrically adjustable driver’s seat
The Camry boot, even with the battery pack located partially behind the back seat, is very generously sized.
Summing it up, the Camry is one of the most user-friendly, non-offensive cars you could ever come across. The hybrid version takes a sensible car and makes it almost ridiculously sensible!
With a five-star green rating and a five-star safety rating, it’s essentially a brown cardigan on wheels!
It won’t get your heart racing, but it is impressive…just don’t expect your friends to get too excited about your new car purchase!
Oh, and best of all – it’s made in Australia!
NUTS and BOLTS
Engine: 2.5 litre four-cylinder petrol engine mated to an electric motor, total output 118kW and 213Nm
Safety: Five stars
Price: From $34,990.