Dave Conole road tests and reviews the 2015 hybrid Toyota Camry.
When you say hybrid, for many people the image that pops into their heads is the Toyota Prius.
But, despite the Prius being Toyota’s first and still most popular hybrid model globally, the Toyota Camry hybrid variant has actually found more Australian buyers than any other Toyota/Lexus hybrid offering.
Proudly built in Australia, the 2015 Toyota Camry hybrid is priced from $35,490 and is available in two specification levels – H and HL.
Under the bonnet is a matchup between a 2.5 litre four-cylinder petrol engine and a high-torque electric motor, combined output comes in at 151kW and 213Nm.
The Camry captures energy under braking or when coasting and stores the electricity in the battery pack, this power is then used to move the mid-size sedan along. The end result is combined fuel economy of 5.2L/100kms; I averaged around 6.0L/100kms in my time in the Camry.
Those figures are impressive, for the record, the regular petrol-powered version of the Camry uses a claimed 7.8L/100kms on the combined cycle.
The hybrid drive system may still be a little daunting for some car buyers, but really it’s nothing to worry about. The system switches almost seamlessly between electric power and the petrol engine, the only observation I would make is that at times it seems as though the petrol engine is a little too keen to take over.
There is only one transmission available in the Camry hybrid – a CVT automatic.
As you would expect from Camry, the ride quality is a touch soft, steering is light (perhaps a touch too light), and I was a little disappointed in brake pedal feel – observing that often the brakes would grab just a little too hard on a light application.
Inside the cabin, for a technology boundary pusher, the 2015 Camry hybrid is a bit boring! Let down by some hard plastics, cheapish feeling seat covers and overly bland feeling throughout takes away some of this vehicles charm.
The centre touchscreen features a menu screen that I feel is messy and overly-complicated and I was frustrated to see that the screen defaults back to the map screen after a couple of seconds, this is regardless of whether you’re finished changing radio stations etc.
Boot space is impeded by the battery pack, located between the rear seat and the cargo area.
Sharp and attractive exterior styling, nicely designed five-spoke 17” alloys and distinctive blue-themed Toyota badge on the front completes the 2015 Toyota Camry hybrid package.
Summing it up; prices start at $35,490, but, I had the upper-spec HL version of the Toyota Camry hybrid with starting price of $41,490. Sadly, I was left disappointed.
I respect the technology underneath, but the interior quality and overall feel of the Camry hybrid on the road means it really doesn’t offer great value for money. Legendary Toyota build-quality, good fuel economy and improved exterior styling would be the highlights.
NUTS and BOLTS – 2015 Toyota Camry hybrid
Engine: 2.5 litre petrol/hybrid producing 151kW
Transmission: CVT automatic
Safety: Five stars
Price: From $35,490
Dave Conole owns and writes the independent vehicle review and news website – A Wheel Thing.
With over 15 years of automotive journalism and reviewing experience, plus front line experience in vehicle sales, Dave is proud to be aligned with Behind the Wheel.