5.16.2009

Toyota Camry Hybrid Review



There are some cars that make so much sense it's difficult to discuss them. You can really get by with just mentioning their name. It becomes its own concept. Like:

Toyota Camry Hybrid.



Well, there ya go, right? A family sedan with a reputation for bulletproof reliability with a hybrid engine...making it an even bigger gas-saver. End of story.

Popping the hybrid powerplant under the hood of the Camry does wonders for the gas mileage, launching it into the upper regions of the TireKicker Top 10 Fuel Savers list (EPA says 33 city/34 highway).

What's remarkable about the Camry Hybrid is that you can buy one for Prius money (give or take $500), even though the Camry is a much bigger car...seating 5 comfortably to the Prius' 4.


The base price on the Camry Hybrid I drove for a week was $25,650, which is about $1900 higher than the base price of the Prius TireKicker tested most recently. But...loaded, that Prius bottom-lined at $30,554. and the Camry with similar options (Convenience Package, Leather Package, Navigation and upgraded JBL audio system) maxed out at $30,988...a $434 difference....though the Nissan Altima Hybrid has them both beat on price.

The decision on space versus mileage is yours to make...but the fact that $30,000 ($25,000 if you can live without leather & nav and are okay with the stock audio system) can buy you a reliable, roomy family sedan with mileage in the 30s from both Toyota and Nissan is something to applaud.

UPDATE: Just had a second week in a different Camry Hybrid sedan...and if anything, I liked it more. As time and events progress, this car makes more and more sense.

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