Toyota’s Camry Hybrid is a Boulevard Star

By dancurranjr On March 5th, 2009

2009-toyota-camryThere are two specific occasions when you will really notice that you’re driving a hybrid vehicle. The first comes when you push the start button and roll out of your parking space almost without sound. The second comes when you stop at the gas pump and realize the last time you were there was over 500 miles back down the road.

Even though the price of gas has recently dropped back to levels we never thought we would see again a few short months ago, no one can predict when it will shoot back up again and now we’re told reducing our reliance on oil is a matter of national security. Whether you buy into that or not it’s hard to belittle 34-mpg performance.

We took the Camry Hybrid on an extended jaunt into the flatlands over the holidays and found with a mild tailwind and the long slow descent into the plains the Camry managed to hit 35.7-mpg. Coming back uphill and fighting a fierce 45 to 60-mph headwind, the rate dropped to 27.5-mpg.

When driving east from Denver, the sun setting in the west creates a sky of wispy primrose clouds dappling streaks of lavender and blue. The Toyota Camry has blazed a streak through the American auto market for years. For six years the Camry has been the top-selling sedan in America with good reason – world famous Toyota reliability plus great consumer value.

For a base price of $25,850 you get a comfortable, well-appointed and well-powered car that’s still economical and right at home on city streets or busy highways. Throw in another $5K and you’ll have features once only available in luxury cars and still pay just over $30,000. Things like heated leather seats and heated side view mirrors; alloy wheels and DVD navigation; CD changer with auxiliary input and satellite capability; smart key, compass and auto-dimming rearview mirror.

Meanwhile it scores five stars front and back, driver and passenger in crash tests and even gets four stars in rollovers. As a hybrid it ranks high in environmental friendliness.

The combination of gas and electric engines has no problem maintaining highway speeds over the long haul or with passing at high speed for that matter. It may not be as quick as the Beamers and Infinitis, but like the tortoise and the hare, the Toyota will probably breeze past them when they stop for fuel.

The 2008 Toyota Camry has so much going for it we can’t wait to see what 2009 brings – that fact may lead to deals on this year’s model. The current economic climate may be causing problems for car dealers and buyers alike, but that’s a funny thing about problems – most of them have solutions. Just keep looking around until you find one.

SOURCE: Cherry Creek News

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