2010 Toyota Camry Hybrid
2010 Toyota Camry Hybrid. Click image to enlarge

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Manufacturer’s web site
Toyota Canada

Review and photos by Paul Williams

(Note: Originally reviewed as a 2009 model, we learned soon after publication that our test car was a 2010 model. The article has been adjusted to reflect that. We appologize for any confusion this may have caused – GY/090728)

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2010 Toyota Camry Hybrid

Ottawa, Ontario – If you thought that the fuel-saving benefits of a hybrid in a conventional midsize family sedan might be priced too high for your consideration, you may be pleasantly surprised by the 2010 Toyota Camry Hybrid.

Starting at $30,900, the Camry Hybrid offers the same spacious interior, attractive interior and exterior design and comfortable ride as other Camry models, with the benefit of Toyota’s celebrated Hybrid Synergy Drive and its truly impressive fuel economy.

New standard equipment this year includes a redesigned front fascia and headlamps, power windows with auto up/down for all windows, new seating fabric, improved instrument panel backlighting, an “economy zone” gauge and USB audio input.

2009 Toyota Camry Hybrid
2010 Toyota Camry Hybrid. Click image to enlarge

Also standard on the 2010 Camry Hybrid is Vehicle Stability Control and a “smart” key system that enables you to lock/unlock the doors and start the vehicle with a push-button on the dashboard. The keyfob can stay in your pocket or purse when using the car.

Additional standard equipment includes 16-inch alloy wheels, power driver’s seat, split-folding rear seat, cruise control, garage door opener, automatic climate control, heated mirrors, special grille and LED taillights.

A Premium Package that includes power moonroof, illuminated vanity mirrors and rear reading lights takes the price to $31,790, and the Premium Package with Navigation costs $35,820 and adds leather interior, heated front seats, power passenger seat, backup camera, fog lamps and an in-dash four-disc CD player. You can also specify the leather interior separately for $1,765.

Our test vehicle, in Magnetic Gray Metallic with Ash (gray) interior was equipped with the Premium Package. Total price including $1,420 freight and delivery was $33.210.

2009 Toyota Camry Hybrid
2009 Toyota Camry Hybrid
2010 Toyota Camry Hybrid. Click image to enlarge

The Camry Hybrid delivers an equivalent of 187-horsepower from its combination of 147-hp, 2.4-litre, four-cylinder gasoline engine, and electric motor. Regular-grade fuel is recommended, and the electric motor is powered by a battery located behind the rear seat that is charged when the vehicle decelerates. Fuel consumption, city and highway, is rated at 5.7 L/100km.

The first thing you notice upon entering the Camry Hybrid is that the interior is nicely designed, and looks high quality. The centre stack is modern in presentation, but traditional in operation, with all controls easy to see and use. Pushing the start button illuminates the instruments, and the word “Ready” glows green. But there is no familiar cranking from the starter; in fact, there’s no engine sound at all.

Selecting “Drive” in the “Ready” mode enables you to silently drive away, but the engine will soon join with the electric motor as you proceed. Stopping at intersections takes you to an electric-only mode (auto-stop), as the engine shuts down to save fuel. The combination of engine and motor works seamlessly as you drive, without any special input required from the driver. You simply put the Camry Hybrid in gear, and go.

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