2009 Toyota Camry Hybrid (768)

Overview:

This week we’re looking at the Toyota Camry Hybrid 4-door sedan. It’s hard to find something wrong with one of the most popular of Toyota’s model offerings. I enjoyed the week driving the Camry once again. I looked at the first Hybrid in model year 2006 and before that I tested the non-hybrid Camry in 2002.

This 2009 model year is $600 less expensive than a nearly identical 2006 model. It is encouraging to see that the hybrid technology is coming down in price over time and thus passed on to the consumer.

There is so much more to chose from in other Hybrid’s prices have improved. In 2006 there were only two major players – Honda and Toyota.

Note:

In addition to my new vehicle reviews being on the net at www.autolove.com they are also published at The Weekend Drive – www.theweekenddrive.com where I’m the Southern California Editor. The Weekend Drive is among the most recognized automotive enthusiast websites in the world. Take a look! Go to BLOG and see my interview and tribute to auto legend Boyd Coddington.

The founder of The Week End Drive and international platform speaker, Vince Bodiford and contributor Price Cobb, international race car driver and I were partners in the newspaper business in Colorado and Texas. Both are very knowledgeable in the automotive industry. Price refers to himself as a ‘Gear Head’. Nicer people are rare.

Opinion:

If you ever had any doubt that 40% of all employees are in government jobs it becomes crystal clear when you get on the freeway on Moon Monday or any other bogus government holiday. Please don’t misunderstand, remembering historical events like landing a man on the moon is good but do we really have to give every government employee the day off? Ok, so the good news is that traffic is light; but the bad news is Socialism is upon us and government wants to take money from those with real jobs and give it to those in government jobs that add nothing to the GNP of this country. To add insult to injury they want to keep government jobs while the private sector is having to lay off. What’s that all about Mr. Obama? I think they call that income redistribution. News flash – “most Americans don’t agree with that kind of change”.

In the auto industry the Japanese are profitable while Govt. Motors, previously known as GM will make matters worse for the US and better for imports. Aren’t you just mad as hell at those arrogant (you add the expletive). Your comments are appreciated and encouraged.

Handling & Performance:

The brakes are a bit touchy and take getting used to in part because of the reverse generation feature that begins charging the batteries the moment you take your foot off the accelerator. Other than that it was a delight to drive.

Styling:

Camry is beginning to improve it’s appearance from the plain Jane look of the past. Don’t get me wrong, I’m inclined more to the girl next door and I don’t like a lot of make up, but a new dress now and then is nice. Good job Toyota.

Conveniences and comfort:

Radio and AC controls should be switched because instinctively you reach for the radio much more than the air so I continued to change the air temp instead of the radio volume. Irritating.

I always love to play with the smart cruise control that senses cars ahead. It also adds a degree of safety since it applies the brakes if you don’t pay attention. Of course that can be a double edged sword in that you begin to rely on the feature which can make you drop your guard.

Fit and Finish:

Consistently good. Camry has grown up and now little sister Corolla has moved up a notch in size and conveniences.

Cost:

Pricing is not bad at all, and when you look at fuel economy you gotta just love it.

Consumer Recommendation:

This is a great field of competitors and the midsize class is so versatile and a great choice for all non-truck uses. It’s a great sedan in class is among the top sellers for many years.

The 2010 model year is right around the corner, but for my money I like dealing on a prior year because dealers are also ready to deal to move inventory. And in this case if Camry is your choice the design difference very slight. I suspect if you look at other differences when test driving you’ll like the savings on the ’09.

$524.60 per month. Down=$3,000; Int.=7%; Term=48 months.

Recognized Competition:

Toyota Camry Hybrid $26,150, Mitsubishi Galant $21-28,000, Hyundai Sonata $19-27,000, Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid $25,555, Saturn Aura Hybrid $26,325, Pontiac G6 $19-32,000, Kia Optima $17-22,000, Mazda 6 $19-28,000, Mazda Tribute Hybrid $29-33,000, Nissan Altima Hybrid $26,650, 2010 Mercury Milan Hybrid $23-27,000 and Ford Fusion $19-28,000.

Good News:

Outstanding fuel economy, comfortable ride, lots of power and generally a smooth transition of electric / battery and gas engine power train.

Bad News:

Touchy brakes and the AC and radio controls should be reversed.

Standard Equipment:

2.4 liter 187 hp 4- cylinder engine with Hybrid Synergy Drive , electronic continuous variable transmission, electric power assist steering, 4-wheel ABS disc brakes with brake assist (regenerative), 16” steel wheels, front, side and side curtain front and rear air bags with driver knee bag, child safety tether anchors LATCH, tire pressure monitoring, engine immobilizer, smart key with push button start, climate control, audio with CD  and MP3 & 6 speakers, 60/40 split folding rear seat, tilt / telescopic steering wheel with audio controls, power windows & locks, power driver seat w/ lumbar support and cruise control.

Gas Stats:

$2.75/ Gal avg. July 17, ‘09
www.fueleconomy.gov
for more information.

33 City and 34 Highway MPG

Pricing:
MSRP $25,350.

Your comments are welcomed. My e-mail is joe@autolove.com
Copyright © 2009 – An Automotive Love Affair

Your comments are welcomed. My e-mail is joe@autolove.com
Copyright © 2014 – An Automotive Love Affair.

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