Toyota Camry Hybrid (2010) review Toyota Camry Hybrid (2010

Posted on: November 3, 2018, by :

Both Camry Hybrid models come fitted with a six-speaker audio system that features a 4.3-inch colour LCD screen, a 3.5mm auxiliary jack, an iPod-compatible USB port, Bluetooth hands-free, six-CD stacker and reversing camera; its similar to the unit fitted to the Rukus Build 2. Steering wheel audio controls are handy, especially as they are lit at night.

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Part ofthe Priussuccess is that, being a hybrid-only car, its obvious to all and sundry that you care about the environment and how much fuel your car consumes. To help people pick a hybrid Camry from a regular one, Toyota has fitted it with blue-tinted headlights, clear tail-light lenses, lovely satin chrome finishes on the boot and grille, and a rash of Hybrid badges.

Toyota Camry Hybrid (2010) review: Toyota Camry Hybrid (2010)

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The most obvious change, though, is the unique front bumper and grille, which not only imbues it with the best looks in the Camry family, but also, its claimed, improves aerodynamic efficiency and therefore fuel economy. Standard exterior features across all Camry Hybrids include projector headlights (steerable xenon lights are, sadly, not on the agenda), chromed fog lights, LED tail-lights and 16-inch alloy wheels.

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If the changes outside are subtle, theyre even more so inside. Theres hybrid-branded scuff plates and an Optitron-lit instrument pack that eschews the tachometer in favour of a giant instant fuel consumption gauge. With its pale blue backlighting and wannabe-metal silver paint the dashboard is pretty avant garde for a Camry, although the concave area on top that houses the digital clock can reflect horribly on the windscreen in strong daylight.

Anyone whos used a recent portable nav device will like niceties such as 3D view, text-to-speech and lane guidance. Bluetooth hands-free comes through nice and clear via the drivers side speakers, but voice control is limited to pre-recorded voice tags for phone book entries.

Braking smoothly takes a bit of extra concentration as the regenerative braking system can be a bit too aggressive at times. And unlike other Toyota and Lexus hybrids weve driven, theres a slight judder when the petrol motor starts at low speeds.

If you can live with the small boot and hampered load space, and do without visceral driving thrills, the Camry Hybrid rewards patient drivers with good fuel economy and large car space.

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As with other Camrys theres ample space for five occupants, although utility is hampered by the hybrid drivetrains battery pack that resides in the cars boot. Not only does it reduce boot space significantly, it also prevents drivers from carrying large items as it blocks much of the aperture afforded by the 60/40 split-folding rear seats. Also residing in the boot — well, underneath it actually — is a full-size spare wheel and the cars 12V battery.

We consciously split our time with the car into two driving modes: lead foot and super-eco warrior. Liberating each of the 140 kilowatts at every chance and driving with a measure of elan that most Camry Hybrids will rarely see, the car gulped dino-juice at a rate of 12.2L/100km. On the flip-side when we accelerated gently and maximised time spent on cruise, the brakes and running solely on electric power, the Hybrid cut its intake to just 5.2L/100km; on some trips our fuel consumption was as low as 4.3L/100km.

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There are two Camry Hybrid trim levels, starting at AU$36,990 for the base-level Camry Hybrid. The AU$7k price hike over the entry-level petrol-only Camry Altise is due primarily to extra equipment — according to reports, the price premium for the hybrid drivetrain itself is only around AU$2k.

Most wont want to drive as slowly and as patiently as we did, so fuel consumption should be somewhere between the official figure of 6L/100km and what we achieved on the highway (8L/100km).

Step up to the AU$39,990 Luxury model and youll enjoy leather seats, power adjustments for the front seats (but theres no memory or heating/cooling option), rain-sensing wipers and an auto-dimming rear-view mirror. The option pack for this model features an electric tilt-and-slide sunroof, as well as sat nav and eight-speaker stereo, for AU$4500.

The hybrid drivetrain comprises of an electric motor, a nickel-metal hydride battery pack and a version of the standard Camrys 2.4-litre engine thats been tuned for fuel efficiency. Together they give Camry Hybrid drivers a total of 140kW of power at their disposal; more than the normal Camrys 117kW and the V6 Aurions 200kW.

The Bad…at the expense of a USB port and two CDs. Optional sat nav system beginning to feel old school. Not for lead foots, spirited drivers. Battery pack robs boot space, utility.

Editors note: The review below was conducted on theLuxury versionof the Camry Hybrid, which has more features but an indentical drivetrain to the standard Camry Hybrid.

The option pack, available for both variants and fitted to our review vehicle, is a series of wins and losses. On the plus side theres a sat nav system, extra speakers and a 7-inch touchscreen interface, but in the demerit ledger is loss of the standard systems USB port and two discs from the CD stacker.

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Upping the speaker count to eight, including a subwoofer and two dual-cone speakers, improves sound quality considerably, although it falls short of being ear-poppingly brilliant. The sat nav system is the same AVN DVD-based unit that does duty in various Toyotas and Lexuses, and its beginning to show its age, as screen resolution is low and the menus convoluted.

The 140kW hybrid drivetrain provides plenty of acceleration when required, but the drone from the petrol engine as the continuously variable transmission holds optimum revs when you put the pedal to the metal, which discourages spirited driving yet further.

With relaxed driving yielding the best economy its unsurprising that the Camry Hybrid has been set-up to blot out road zits and speed humps rather than tackle Mount Panorama. The power steering is light at parking speeds, and resolutely filters all communication between the tyres and the steering wheel.

The Bottom LineIf you can live with the small boot and hampered load space, and do without visceral driving thrills, the Camry Hybrid rewards patient drivers with good fuel economy and large car space.

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The GoodExtra power, better fuel economy. Lovely instruments. Plenty of passenger space. Plush ride. Option pack brings better sound.

In addition to the hybrid gear, the Camry Hybrid features stability control, reversing camera and rear-parking sensors, Optitron instrument lighting, dual-zone air-con with rear-seat vents, keyless entry and start, cruise control, power windows, auto-headlights. The AU$3000 option pack contains an eight-speaker stereo and sat nav.

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