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The all-new 2012 Toyota Camry Hybrid has been launched with a lower starting price, better fuel economy, more features and improved performance.

The Toyota Camry, which is the best selling mid-size car in the world, has again gone hybrid with the seventh-generation model now sporting a new 2.5-litre engine which combines with an electric motor to provide 151kW (up from 140kW) of power.

Individually the 2.5-litre petrol engine produces 118kW and 213Nm of torque, in addition to the 105kW and 270Nm of torque provided by the electric motor. The international standard for power and torque measurement doesn’t favour hybrid systems so there is no official torque figure, but given the individual figures for each power plant, we can confirm that it’s a healthy dose. The dash from 0-100km/h is now 0.9 of a second quicker at eight seconds flat.

Fuel usage has also improved to 5.2L/100km for the combined cycle (an 0.8L/100km improvement), which puts the locally produced Camry hybrid below the diesel competitors in its class. Toyota Australia is adamant that hybrid cars are not going away and as more and more of its models gain a hybrid variant, the acceptance rate will increase.

Two Toyota Camry Hybrid models will be available with prices starting from $34,990 for the entry-level Camry H (a $2000 or 5.4 per cent reduction). The high spec Camry HL comes in at $41,490, which is  $1500 more than the Camery Hybrid Luxury it replaces. Nonetheless, Toyota has jam packed it full of new features, such as blind spot monitoring system, automatic high beam assist and more. The company says the HL gets equipment gains of at least $4500 for the price rise.

The new Camry Hybrid also has a pure EV (electric vehicle) mode, which means about 2km of pure electric powered driving (so long as it’s under 45km/h). An ideal way to reduce noise and pollution in car parks or suburbia. Toyota says this advancement was made possible by improving the battery cooling systems.

From the outside a unique radiator grille and a “hybrid blue” Toyota badge can distinguish the Camry Hybrid from a standard model. The headlights also gain blue-accented extensions while the rear embraces a hybrid blue Toyota badge and the high-spec model gains a bootlid spoiler and chrome garnish.

The biggest change from the previous Camry Hybrid is felt inside, where it presents a far more refined interior package. Apart from the soft-touch padding and a much better overall ambiance, the hybrid models make use of a three-dial Optitron instrument panel with chrome-accented outer rings and metallic-blue meter gradations.

Like the petrol variant, Camry Hybrid gains a five star ANCAP safety rating thanks to seven airbags and an array of active safety features. A reversing camera with the image displayed on a 6.1-inch touchscreen comes standard.

CarAdvice is currently at the launch of the Toyota Camry Hybrid. Check back soon for a full comprehensive review. Check out the gallery for more pictures.

Toyota’s Camry H and Camry HL Hybrid specifications:

Both model grades have:

  • 151kW overall maximum power
  • 2.5-litre hybrid-specific petrol engine
  • EV drive mode
  • ECO driving indicator
  • seven SRS airbags
  • seatbelt warnings for all five seats
  • alloy wheels
  • electric driver’s seat with lumbar support
  • dual-zone auto climate control air conditioning
  • smart entry wireless door lock
  • smart start
  • acoustic windscreen
  • reversing camera
  • Hill-start assist control
  • display audio
  • Optitron instrument cluster with multi-information display
  • 300kg towing capacity
  • side indicators in the exterior mirrors, and
  • metallic/mica paint.

Camry H has 16-inch alloy wheels with Michelin tyres. A six-speaker display audio system with a 6.1-inch screen.

Camry HL has 17-inch alloy wheels with Bridgestone tyres, front fog lamps, rear lip spoiler, chrome door handles and chrome rear garnish. Interior leather accents and premium door trims, driver’s seat memory, power front passenger seat, premium steering wheel and gear-shift knob, electro-chromatic rear vision mirror and rear electric sunshade. JBL premium 10-speaker audio system with a seven-inch display screen, satellite navigation, live traffic updates and digital radio. The reversing camera on HL grade has a back-guide monitor. Rear parking sonar is also standard equipment on the HL model. Technology features on HL grade include blind spot monitor (BSM) and automatic high beam. A moonroof is available as an optional extra on Camry HL.

  • MisterZed

    Nice to see they finally ditched the tacky clear tail-lights from the current model.

  • Slick-slim87

    Gggsjfinchajdjensbbwhsbfu sorry i was going 2 write something nice about this camry but i fell asleep at the keyboard because its looks so f#*ing boring.

    • Guest

      ASasfalkjlkj  I was going to reply to your post but I fell asleep reading your boring comment.

  • Martin

    I actually think the hybrid’s front bumper looks heaps better than the non-hybrid models.

  • F1MotoGP

    If you got 2 kids and you do not towing this is very good size car with excellent fuel economy     5.7 L/100km in city and 4.9 L/100km on highway with 8 sec to 100km/h acceleration.

    • Phil

      Except that sedans aren’t very practical and this sedan has a relatively small boot.

      I can never understand why Australians think sedans make great family cars.

      How you going to fit prams/kids bikes/eskys/sports gear etc into the boot for family outings?

      • ?????????

        Lol Comment on Camry boot space for families? Even Qld police service can’t use tham as squad cars as they cannot fit the required equipment in the boot…..

        • ToyotaGuru

          Get your facts right ?????????. Qld Police have been using the outgoing model Hybrid Camry for at least the last 12 months.

  • Altezza

    I am tempted for Hybrid Luxury model. Love the interior, and the exterior is not bad at all, the front bumper is way better looking than the Atara models.

  • Guest

    Slightly better looking both inside and out.

  • KarmanM

    So how is the boot space on this one? And I hope the handbrake hasn’t gone missing as I can’t see it.

    • Sydlocal

       IIRC it now has one of those “lovely” foot operated park brakes.
      Got to love the American influence. Then again we are starting to turn into another state of the US ie using their language, losing our sense of humour/sarcasm detection etc… 😉

  • guest

    Camery? “1,500 more than the Camery Hybrid luxury”

  • Bachman Turner Overdrive

    I hope the battery is NOT in the boot of this version. The last model had a compromised boot and you also could not tow with it. I also think Toyota should extend its 8 year battery warranty to the inverter. A failed inverter out of warranty is $5K. Still looks promising… Too bad it still looks bland!

  • marc

    not bad – i am fan off eco motoring 😉 (not)… but how this car stack up against Falcon LPG? small boot space… and fuel economy in real world as tested in previous gen Camry was far from claimed… slow acceleration thru battery power negating the benefit of hybrid… so in real life just a tad better than normal camry… Falcon LPG with mammoth power w cost of corolla seems bettter

    • F1MotoGP

       Camry Hybrid boot size 421 liter, Falcon LPG 408 liter. Camry Hybrid average fuel economy 5.2 liter /100km, Falcon LPG 15.9 L/100km. At current fuel prices ULP91 at $1.439 and LPG $0.739 and 17,000 km pa Camry Hybrid fuel cost is $1,272 Falcon LPG $1,998.
      According to VFACTS, 3082 new cars sold in Australia last year were categorised as LPG-fuelled.
      Source: Carsales

      • Pri

         good figures F1MotoGP,
        The biggest advantage of Camry hybrid re boot space is that as it has a normal spare tyre under the boot floor. Unlike Falcon LPG which can have a spare tyre but it sits “inside the boot space” which decreases the usable space to half.

      • Des

        Total rubbish figures!
        If you are going to make these comparisons you MUST use accurate figures, not made up shite.
        The LPi Falcon averages 12.5 l/100km.
        The current average price of ULP is $1.55

        Whilst that still makes the Hybrid slightly cheaper, due to the recent price hikes of LPG, it’s fairly close, but the LPi Falcon is by far the better drive (and CAN tow).

      • marc

        Falcon is 12.3 LPG  so $1,545… and on $2 test it beat Corolla for the millage achieved… and the power figures are much better for “drivers car”… also real life fuel for Camry H is 6.6 = $1,614 – where Falcon is more consistent on fuel uses

      • Beakas

        My 2007 LPG Falgon EGAS wagon (factory LPG, OLD SYSTEM, not the new more efficiet LPi) recently averaged 10.8 l/100kms from Melb>Gold Coast return, all via the hilly Hume/Pacific Hwys moving at slightly above the posted limits, with about 300kgs onboard.  
        Total fuel cost was $213.00 (LPG abt $0.65l less docket discount at the time). 
        You will never do that at that cost, in any diesel or hybrid, espescially given the space, comfort and speed of the trip.
        Also note that if driving at around 90 kmh, could see this drop to about 8.5 L/100 under the same conditions.
        Any car can show a nice, low L/100 reading on the TC on a flat, smooth urban freeway. Real world figures are what count.

        • marc

           thanks Beakas… im fan of falcon lpg

        • John

           04 prius recent bne-gong-blue mts-cbr round trip 3K, average 6L/100, moderately loaded, 2 adults 2 kids luggage with a/c use all trip. E10 used on 1 leg, significantly reduced economy. comfortable trip

    • Roger

       LPG price is on the rise, currently at 90c/litre. With the 50% thermal efficiency of petrol, it currently cost $1.80/litre

      • Karl Sass

        “With the 50% thermal efficiency of petrol” lol I think you’re a little confused there. ‘Efficiency’ has more to do with the engine design, not the fuel.
        LPG has a lower energy density than petrol (about 30%), but it has a much higher octane rating, meaning it can take more ignition timing and a higher compression ratio. This allows more energy to be extracted from the fuel.
        Modern LPG systems like the LPi Falcon will use about 25% more fuel then a petrol fuelled Falcon, while an old mixer type set-up will use 50% more than an equivalent petrol fuelled car.
        If you’re using twice as much LPG, there’s something very wrong with your car. It’s a commonly held urban myth though.

  • Springvale Boi

    4.9L per 100km, big deal. The Holden Camira from the 1980’s could do 46MPG (at a constant 90km/h cruise) and do Melbourne to Sydney on 1 tank of petrol looooool

    • Robj

      So true..

    • ToyotaGuru

       Yeah but you’d have to stop at every Holden dealership along the way to get something fixed on it. :)

    • Barney

      They are discussing cars here not Holdens.

  • horsie

    Looks like a big improvement! Nice one toyota

  • Blair Waldorf.

    I think these will start selling much better now that they can tow and have a far less compromised boot. I actually found the previous Camry hybrid by far better to drive than its normal engined siblings (i drove both regularly for work), if anything the Hybrid felt (ironically) sportier than the standard model.

    • ric

       300kgs is not really towing…… My box trailer weighs about 250kgs empty!

  • Springvale Boi

    How long does the main battery last? 8yrs? 10yrs? And how much does it cost to replace it? 

    In Aus it’s common to keep cars for 10yrs, 20yrs and beyond. After 10-15yrs the car will probably be cheaper than a replacement main battery. So it’s not economical to replace the main battery by that time. This brings up the question, is there a switch some where to enable 100% petrol driven mode (by-passing the electric motor and main battery) and just depend on the 12V battery, like in a normal car? This would be good for Toyota as well since there will be 20yr, 30yr and 40yr old Toyota Hybrids on the road or as driveable vintage cars, good advertising/marketing for Toyota and good for the people on low income which own second hand hybrids and can’t afford to replace the main batteries.

    • F1MotoGP

       …..hybrid battery warranty of eight years or 160,000 kilometres (whichever occurs first).

      Source Toyota Australia

    • marc

       seems like a valid point – but this would negate hybrid in first place and go directly for non hybrid… also Toyota advises that Hybrid customer will save overall cca $2,500 over 3 years… meaning that $5k or so premium of H would take close to 6 years to break even… by saying that – “You have to keep this car for 12 years!!! to have $5k saving – to spend it for new battery 😉

    • Springvale Boi

      Just would like to add that I believe the Mazda3 Skyactiv has a switch on the dashboard to disable the Skyactive engine auto start/stop feature. That would turn it into a “normal” car. If so, that’s great. I could see at least 3 good things when the Skyactiv is on/off switchable    and so it’s switchable to “normal” cars:

      1) Sometime in the future, if you find that it chews through the 12V starter motors ($600 ea?) and the 12V batteries ($130-$300 ea), just flick the switch to turn it to a normal car to prolong the life of those parts.

      2) By-passing the complex start/stop system. Say by then you own a 7yr old Mazda3 Skyactiv and Skyactive start/stop’s playing up and doesn’t work as it should. You go to the Mazda dealer and they want thousands to fix it up. You could just flick the switch to disable the Skyactiv engine start/stop and keep on driving.

      3) In an emergency or in the outback or in situations where 0.3sec is too long to restart the engine or when the system wears out it may take longer than 0.3sec to auto restart the engine, there’s an option to switch off the engine start/stop feature.

      • Sydlocal

         Springvale Boi, the Mazda stop/start system doesn’t stress the electric starter motor as much as many other stop/start systems. The Mazda system restarts primarily by combustion. It stops the pistons in a specific position, when the “signal” is sent to restart it injects fuel directly into the required cylinder then ignites the fuel hence forcing the piston down. It then continues this on subsequent pistons bringing the engine up to idle speed. The starter motor stills assist with this process, however it isn’t drawing anywhere near the amount of amps as a conventional “starter motor only” start. This therefore causes much less stress on the battery/starter/electrical system.

        You are right though, it is good that you have the choice actually turn it off. (The position that would be selected if I had a car with start/stop!)

    • Blair Waldorf.

      Put it this way, the batteries have been known to easily last for 700,000km, and have been known to easily last 10 years. I remember when the Gen 2 Prius came out, the batteries were $8,000 plus to replace, now they’re $2,000. So as time goes by, the batteries become far cheaper to replace. Honestly, if i owned a hybrid car, i’d be more concerned with engine troubles than battery troubles…

    • F1MotoGP

      When Honda released the new Insight this is what Honda said about hybrid batteries.
      “Honda says its battery pack should be good for around 15 years of
      regular use, equating to roughly 240,000km on the odometer. For extra
      peace of mind, the battery is warranted for eight years with no
      kilometre limit.

      Should it need to be replaced outside of the warranty, a new battery
      will cost $1875. A full 98% of the old battery (a nickel-metal hydride
      unit) is recyclable.”

  • Pop

    They have always been one of the best looking cars around, and this is really a dream car for me….only problem is I had my licence taken off me a while back, and the nursing home wont allow us to drive..

  • F1MotoGP

    There is a good article on this website “Toyota Prius the Taxi champion” By Alborz Fallah | July 22nd, 2008. It is all about hybrid battery.

  • Subeylover

    Steering wheel controls look WAY too busy – they’re supposed to be basic audio controls to aid road safety such as volume and audio track control – not a full playsation/Wii control pad! Unless you can control the car from the steering controls! LOL!

  • Karl Sass

    Looks like a massive step up.
    Honestly, I can’t think of a single thing that you could tow that weighs less then 300 kgs.

    • Des

      Haven’t you seen the little trailers with the mobility scooters on them?

  • Kim.

    where are your initial impressions on the ride and handling of the hybrid?