Toyota’s Camry Hybrid mid-size sedan has been available since 2006, and is currently available in its second generation configuration as a 2012 model. Such a car was delivered to my house last week for testing, and it was loaded to the tune of $34,547.00, M.S.R.P. The base price of $27,400.00 for the XLE model had as additions the blind spot monitor ($500), safety connect package ($450), leather package ($1,160), premium navigation/electronic package ($2,600), moon roof ($915), and wheel locks ($67). It came in “cosmic gray mica” paint and the leather seating was a light gray in color. It’s a five passenger sedan with a decent sized rear passenger compartment and a 13.1 cubic foot trunk. It comfortably seats five adults.
I drove the Camry quite a bit this last week, both to Ft. Collins and to Denver, and gradually grew pretty accustomed to the CVT transmission setup in the car. CVT stands for continuously variable transmission (no shifts), and it is coupled to a gasoline 4 cylinder, 2.5 liter motor with 156 horsepower and 156 lb. ft. of torque. Two electric motor/generators are on board to add in 141 more horsepower and 199 lb. ft. of torque. Combined power rating is 200 horsepower, and as I mentioned, it was pretty suitable for driving the somewhat big sedan. I liked the ride and handling better than last Camry I had, and styling is great front and rear, OK from the side.
Fuel economy for the hybrid has been improved for 2012, by some estimates a full 12 mpg. Ratings for the car I drove were 40City and 38Highway. The current mileage compilation for the car is displayed on a dial; not digitally. When the car was picked up I notated 38 mpg for the miles I drove it. Overall, not that bad.
I mentioned earlier the packages on board with this Camry – it was equipped like a full blown luxo sedan. Good JBL stereo, 7″ touchscreen for nav and backup, fancier dash materials for 2012, perforated leather seat inserts, blind spot monitor, satellite radio, 17″ alloys, and Bluetooth.
There is a reason the Camry is America’s best selling car, and I experienced it this week with the Hybrid. This Hybrid model with its increased economy will be chipping into Prius sales, as I see it… and into the competition’s.