Monday, September 24, 2007

2008 Toyota Camry Hybrid Review

The 2008 Toyota Camry Hybrid is a four-door, five-passenger sedan with a base price of $25,200. Equipped with a 2.4-liter I4 hybrid-engine (with variable speed automatic transmission), the Camry promises to return as much as 40 miles per gallon in town where "start and stop" driving takes maximum advantage of the hybrid technology and approximately 38 out on the road.

Largely a carry-over from 2007, the year of its introduction, the Camry offers a larger and heavier alternative to the popular Toyota Prius. The hybrid Camry has more than respectable "get up and go," making the jump from zero to sixty in 7.7 seconds. In its place in the overall Camry line, the Hybrid is the most full-featured with luxury options including a navigation system, moonroof, leather upholstery, and heated seats in the front.

The safety features are impressive including a full array of airbags (front, side-impact, curtains both front and rear, and a knee bag for the driver.) Systems are in place for monitoring tire pressure and vehicle stability and the Camry is equipped with anti-lock brakes, brake assist, and brake-force distribution.

The 2008 Camry Hybrid offers the same spacious interior as its predecessor. Expect dual zone temperature control, a quick-start system, MP3 playback, and more than adequate cargo space. (No room is sacrificed to the hybrid system's battery.) If you've driven a Camry in the past, things won't feel that different behind the wheel of the hybrid. If you like the idea of a "green" car but the Prius just looks too small, the Camry hybrid is an excellent alternative with the same great Toyota technology in place.

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