SWIFT FROM LIGHTS, EASY ON FUEL
day in the Camry — not only does it save fuel but the hybrid motor also acts as a generator as you slow down, recharging the battery. Slide the gear lever into B for battery and the braking becomes more aggressive, generating more charge.
Claimed fuel use is impressive: 5.2L/100km, less than some city runabouts.
Unfortunately, claimed is the operative word — we’re averaging 7.5L in our longterm test car, although most of the driving has been in peak hour, at most 30km/h.
Do that in a regular sedan and your thirst would be comfortably into the teens. If you really concentrate in the Camry, it’s pretty easy to shave that to the low sixes. everything city streets bowl up — potholes, speed humps and patchwork bitumen.
The Camry also gets away pretty swiftly from the lights thanks to the electric motor’s instant peak torque.
Not that you find yourself engaging in such unruly behaviour — you’re much more likely to be gently squeezing the throttle to preserve the fuel consumption record you set earlier in the week. The Camry will store your best figures and congratulate you if you set a new mark.
It sounds a little geeky but it becomes addictive after a while. It also demonstrates how much fuel the average driver wastes sprinting from one red light to the next.
Coasting is the order of the AS the local car industry winds down, enthusiasts are becoming misty-eyed about V8 Commodores and Falcons. Very few will be so moved by the end of the locally built Toyota Camry hybrid, which may yet go down as the best car Australia ever built.
It wouldn’t be the car nut’s first choice for a Sunday drive through a winding mountain pass but the Camry is a great companion on the daily grind.
The cabin is quieter than some luxury cars, eerily so when you’re creeping along in bumper-to-bumper traffic with only the electric motor doing the work. If you don’t like the sounds of silence, the 10-speaker audio on our Atara SL is surprisingly good for a car this price, $40,440.
The suspension copes with