The Motor Report (TMR) is pleased to announce Toyota’s Hybrid Camry as the ‘best buy’ passenger car of 2010 and a worthy winner of TMR’s 2010 BEST BUY Award.
Refined at the wheel, comfortable, quiet, with a drive experience well adapted for Australia’s varying road conditions – and with fastidious build quality and attention to detail – the Hybrid Camry is very sharply priced and a landmark achievement for Toyota Australia.
“Toyota’s Hybrid Camry, released February 2010, is a thoroughly consummate car and, quite simply, the standout release of the year,” The Motor Report Managing Editor Tim O’Brien said.
Of course, featuring Toyota’s proven Hybrid Synergy Drive, fuel-efficient 'green' family transport is central to its appeal.
But with the Hybrid Camry, being ‘green’ does not mean underpowered, nor that families will need to compromise on space and comfort. Its 2.4 litre Synergy Drive four-cylinder petrol engine and electric motor combination produce 140kW of power – ample, as we found, for safe overtaking on the highway and for city driving.
It is also a genuine five-seater with good access and good leg and headroom, front and rear.
In TMR's view, that it so adeptly balances a refined driver and passenger experience with the fuel efficiency advantages and the planet-friendly emissions of hybrid drive, in a conventional, roomy and appealing four-door family car package, is testament to the clarity of Toyota’s vision in providing a real alternative for Australian motorists and family car buyers.
And it does it at a family-friendly sticker price. The Hybrid Camry retails for $36,990 (plus on-road costs), the Hybrid Camry Luxury, is priced from $39,990 (plus on-road costs).
It may be priced to the family buyer on a budget, but the impression throughout is one of premium attention to detail and quality. The feel is of a much more expensive car.
While boot space is compromised by the Hybrid's battery pack, it is otherwise of ample dimensions to swallow a family’s holiday luggage, the weekly shopping or a modern pram.
And most importantly for families, with global cost pressures building on petrol and diesel prices, the 6.0 l/100km fuel efficiency of the Hybrid Camry will relieve pressure on family budgets.
There were other significant releases of 2010 worthy of mention. Kia’s very appealing Sportage underlines just how far this Korean manufacturer has come in recent years; so too Hyundai’s value-packed i45.
Suzuki’s involving Kizashi was also a contender, as was the solid-performing ‘flex-fuel’ VE Series II Commodore. Ford’s new Fiesta and Mondeo, particularly the diesel models, are appealingly priced and dynamically strong. Among small cars, Volkswagen’s Polo makes a strong case.
But there can only be one ‘best’, and that’s Toyota’s Hybrid Camry – a clear winner on so many levels and a very clear winner overall.
As we commented when reviewing the luxury spec model, “Quite simply, the Hybrid Camry Luxury represents the best sub-$40k family car buying out there.”
“It is a worthy winner of TMR’s 2010 BEST BUY Award. We confidently commend Toyota’s Hybrid Camry to Australian car buyers,” Mr O’Brien said.