Nov 21, 2011
Chris Weiss

41 MPG Toyota Camry Hybrid Hits US Dealerships


Last generation parallel hybrids may be somewhat passé in terms of green technology and brow-raising fuel economy numbers, but they still offer some of the best efficiency at the lowest prices. Take the 2012 Toyota Camry Hybrid, which began rolling into dealers this week. The car gets a combined 41 mpg and starts under $26,000.

The 2012 Camry Hybrid features an upgraded version of the Hybrid Synergy Drive powertrain. This new powertrain uses a new 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and electric motor to deliver EPA ratings of 43 mpg city and 39 mpg highway (in LE tune), up from the 31 city /35 highway of the 2011 model. The 2012 Camry Hybrid XLE is EPA-rated at 40 mpg city and 38 mpg highway.

The 2012 model also gets a new EV mode, which provides up to one mile and 25 mph of all-electric driving. Like past models, the 2012 Camry Hybrid also has an ECO mode, which optimizes certain vehicle functions to enhance efficiency. Toyota has tuned functions like the voltage control of the electric motor, regenerative braking and transaxle to increase efficiency at every corner.

The 2012 Camry Hybrid gets a strengthened body structure for improved safety. The Star Safety System that includes Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), Traction Control (TRAC), Anti-lock Brake System (ABS), Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD), and Smart Stop Technology (SST) comes standard. Available options like the Blind Spot Monitor system also enhance safety.

Inside, sound absorbing materials, acoustic glass and stronger door seals help to keep out road noise that you don’t want and improve interior noise like conversations and music. This helps to increase the value of standard features like wireless phone connectivity and USB music port, as well as options like the Entune infotainment system.

Despite the enhancements, the 2012 Camry Hybrid is cheaper than its predecessor. The LE trim starts at $25,900, $1,150 cheaper than the 2011 model, and the XLE starts at $27,400, a cut of $800 versus a similarly equipped 2011 Camry Hybrid. The XLE gets upgrades like the Display Audio system with 6.1-inch touchscreen and navigation, 17-inch wheels and chrome-surround fog lamps.

The new Camry Hybrid offers leading fuel economy for a mid-sized sedan, according to Toyota, and is competitively priced with similar hybrids.


Toyota Announces Arrival of 2012 Camry Hybrid to Dealerships

TORRANCE, Calif., Nov. 14, 2011 – Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), U.S.A., Inc. today announced that the new 2012 Camry Hybrid is arriving at Toyota dealerships across the nation. This all-new Camry Hybrid sets a new standard for efficiency, refinement and value in the mid-size hybrid sedan category.

The 2012 Camry Hybrid features an updated version of Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive powertrain that helps propel the Hybrid LE model to EPA MPG Ratings of 43 city/39 highway and a class-leading 41 mpg combined. The revised hybrid-electric powertrain, which features a newly-developed 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, also includes measures that improve electric motor-voltage control, optimize regenerative braking, and reduce parasitic losses in the transaxle. By combining the efficiency of the new hybrid-electric powertrain with reduced vehicle weight and improved aerodynamics, Toyota engineers eclipsed the efficiency of all currently available mid-size hybrid-electric sedans with the all-new Camry Hybrid.

New to the 2012 Camry Hybrid model, is an efficient EV mode that allows the driver to operate the car using the electric motor alone under certain conditions for up to one mile at speeds below 25 mph. As with the previous Camry Hybrid, the new vehicle is equipped with an ECO mode, which optimizes throttle response and air-conditioning output to help maximize fuel economy.

The new Camry Hybrid’s strengthened body structure increases the vehicle’s rigidity to help improve handling, steering, ride quality and occupant safety. The Camry’s body structure is designed to help absorb collision-impact forces and help minimize impact deformation to the passenger cabin. High-strength steel is used for B-pillar and rocker-panel reinforcements to help manage overall body deformation in the event of certain side collisions.

The new available Blind Spot Monitor uses sub-millimeter wave radar to detect vehicles in the driver’s blind spots. When the system detects a vehicle in the adjacent lane, it alerts the driver using indicators on the side mirrors. If the turn signal is on when there is a vehicle in the blind spot of the driver’s intended lane, the indicator on the corresponding mirror will flash.

Advancing the safety mission, the Camry Hybrid is also standard equipped with the Star Safety System™ that includes Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), Traction Control (TRAC), Anti-lock Brake System (ABS), Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD), and Smart Stop Technology (SST).

The 2012 Camry achieves amazingly low interior noise levels in its passenger cabin, which now offers enhanced refinement and capability. To reduce noise throughout the vehicle’s interior, sound absorbing materials were strategically positioned to help control the penetrating wind and road noise that have become more apparent as drivetrains become quieter. Engineers were particularly keen on suppressing the noises that are near the frequency of human speech to help create a more comfortable environment for conversation, and the enjoyment of the new Camry’s in-car electronics.Acoustic glass, stronger door and rocker area seals, and the application sound insulating foam in the roof, pillars, and door openings are among the noise countermeasures employed by engineers on the 2012 Camry Hybrid.

A quiet, smooth, and refined ride quality are elements that help contribute to the enjoyment of the state-of-the-art connectivity features that are available on the 2012 Camry Hybrid. Standard features include hands free phone capability, and a USB port that allows enjoyment of music from portable devices. Toyota Entune™, Toyota’s innovative new multimedia system is also available on the new Camry Hybrid. This system leverages a compatible mobile smartphone to provide fully integrated access to entertainment and information services. Toyota Entune™ engages mobile apps such as Bing™, OpenTable®, and movietickets.com along with live weather, traffic, stocks, and sports in addition to integrating music options such as iHeartRadio’s 750+ stations and Pandora® internet radio’s personalized music service. The Entune™ multimedia system can be managed by a voice recognition system that helps the driver stay focused on the road.

The 2012 Camry Hybrid is available in LE and XLE grades, and both hybrid models are available at a significantly lower MSRP than their 2011 predecessors while delivering the best MPG of any mid-size sedan. The 2012 Camry Hybrid LE starts at $25,900 which is a $1,150 decrease from the 2011 model.

The Camry Hybrid LE includes 10 airbags, projector beam headlamps, dual-zone auto A/C, Smart Key System with push button start, steering wheel with audio and Blue Logic® controls, metallic tech-grained interior trim and tone-on-tone fabric seats among its list of standard equipment.

The Camry Hybrid XLE is priced at $27,400, which is an $800 decrease from a similarly equipped 2011 Camry Hybrid model despite adding the all-new Display Audio with 6.1” touch-screen with Navigation, phone book access, and music streaming with Bluetooth® wireless technology, 17 inch alloy wheels and chrome-surround fog lamps. Upgrades available for the Camry Hybrid XLE model include Premium HDD Navigation with Entune™ and JBL® Greenedge premium sound which includes a 7-inch touch-screen offering split screen functionality, Leather-trimmed Ultrasuede® seats with heated and passenger seats, Safety Connect®, Blind Spot Monitor, and a Convenience Package that includes Integrated Backup Camera, HomeLink® Universal Transceiver, and Anti-Theft System with Alarm among other desirable optional features.

Mid-Size Hybrid Sedans

Make Model MPG Base MSRP
Toyota Camry Hybrid LE 43/39/41 $25,900
Hyundai Sonata Hybrid 40/35/37 $25,795
Kia Optima Hybrid 40/35/37 $26,500
Ford Fusion Hybrid 41/36/39 $28,700

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