When less is better
The Camry has an entire industry resting on its tyres. So Carsguide got reacquainted with the hybrid
THIS is Australia’s remaining car manufacturing hope. Toyota’s Camry, the top-selling medium-sizer for the past 20 years, is built on the outskirts of Melbourne by about 2500 factory workers.
These are the same workers who last week won a Federal Court battle to abstain from voting on key changes to wages and conditions that Toyota says are vital to securing future investment from Japan.
Holden and Ford have useby dates for their factories, putting the spotlight on the Altona factory and its workers. Despite their best efforts, Camry sales are down 10 per cent despite the arrival of a new model last year that should still be enjoying its new-car glow.
Last month, sales dropped by 25 per cent, which is why you’re seeing the base model fourcylinder Camry in the newspaper for $26,990 drive- away, about $6000 off the full RRP. We’ve tested the Camry Hybrid that’s become a favourite among taxi fleets.
At $26,990 drive-away the regular Camry is a steal. Toyota is losing several thousands of dollars on each one it delivers.
Don’t worry, it’s making up for the loss on high-gross imports such as the HiLux ute (although its price too has come under the knife this month).
We requested a base model hybrid because that’s our favourite in the line-up. At $34,990 it’s the best value and the nicest to drive. It wasn’t available so we got a Hybrid with the works, at $41,490.
It is difficult to justify the significant price premium — despite the extra equipment such as leather seats, sunroof, satnav, digital radio and blind spot alert, among other trinkets.
It is also difficult to believe but the high-grade Camry