With a body indistinguishable from a standard Camry, except for some model badges, the Camry Hybrid is subtle. Although it still offers excellent hybrid performance, it doesn't announce its green credentials to the world.
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The general aesthetics of the car are a little boring--just another midsize sedan--but Toyota brings in some unique design language, such as the front protrusion for the Toyota badge.
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The hybrid system combines a 2.4-liter gas engine with a 105-kilowatt electric motor to produce 187 horsepower. On the road, we averaged 35 mpg.
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We found the cabin of the Camry Hybrid more comfortable than that of the Prius. The seats are roomy, and a leather package adds to a feeling of quality.
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The Camry Hybrid earns an AT-PZEV emissions rating, the best a car with a gas engine can get. Along with its low smog-producing emissions, the car's high mileage figure also means low greenhouse gas emissions.
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Space in the Camry Hybrid is compromised little by the advanced drivetrain. There is still plenty of cargo room in the trunk and a full cabin.
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Toyota keeps buttons to a minimum in the cabin, relying on the touch-screen LCD for many tech functions.
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We like how the steering-wheel buttons are integrated into the spokes, and particularly appreciate the temperature button on the right spoke.
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As a hybrid, the Camry Hybrid does away with a tachometer, instead using a kilowatt meter next to the speedometer.
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The transmission, an electronic continuously variable unit, couldn't be simpler. It just has drive, reverse, and an engine braking mode.
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This power animation shows when the engine and electric motor is each being used, and when the battery is being recharged.
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The navigation system is fairly basic, but it gets the job done. It offers standard route guidance, but no advanced features, such as live traffic.
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We like this address input screen, as it is fast and easy to use, unlike some of the more complex remote systems with which you have to manipulate a separate controller.
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The Camry Hybrid includes optional Bluetooth phone support. There is an onboard phonebook, but you have to load it manually.
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The four-disc changer, hidden behind the LCD, reads MP3 CDs. Unfortunately, the changer and an auxiliary input are the only means of playing digital music.
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