Filed under: Hybrid , Sedan , Toyota , Quick Spins Toyota offers many flavors of its refreshed 2015 Camry , but those who choose to lower their operating cost-per-mile, squeeze 500-plus miles out of each tank of fuel or run a very efficient and reliable sedan in their taxi fleets will only be interested in one: the Camry Hybrid. The exterior of the 2015 Camry Hybrid is nearly indistinguishable from its gasoline-only counterparts, with the same all-new sheetmetal and bumpers. The Hybrid is offered in LE, SE and XLE trims, meaning customers are offered base, sport or luxury configurations, respectively. While Toyota expended quite a bit of effort resculpting and improving the 2015 Camry Hybrid, one area it didn’t touch was the powertrain – it is virtually identical to last year’s model (just like the gas version). Under the hood is a 2.5-liter Atkinson cycle four-cylinder gasoline engine (156 horsepower and 156 pound-feet of torque) and an electric tractive motor (141 horsepower and 199 pound-feet of torque). Combined, and running through Toyota’s unique Hybrid Synergy Drive electronic continuously variable transmission, the two produce 200 horsepower (Toyota does not list a combined torque figure, and we’ve asked for clarification). A 1.6 kilowatt-hour nickel-metal-hydride battery, packaged behind the rear seats, provides energy storage. The test car featured here is the Camry Hybrid SE in Blue Crush Metallic, with the optional moonroof, wireless charging and Entune premium audio with navigation and app suite. Driving Notes Toyota offers several different driving modes for the Camry Hybrid. The standard mode is Drive, which incorporates hybrid/EV driving automatically.
Filed under: Sedan , Toyota , Design/Style There are many ways to describe the Toyota Camry : “comfortable,” “economical,” “affordable,” “reliable” and “dull as a bucket of mayonnaise” would all be accurate. It’s this last one that the Japanese brand is seeking to change. While we aren’t expecting it to suddenly sprout a high-revving V8, a rear-drive layout or razor-sharp handling, a report from Bloomberg suggests we should at least expect a more evocative design from one of the best-selling cars in the country. The next Camry update, due for 2015, should have a “more emotional, more impactful design,” says Kevin Hunter, head of Toyota’s US design studio. That’s according to Bloomberg, who caught up with the styling boss at this week’s Detroit Auto Show . “Camry’s taken some hits on styling, but it’s still selling well. But we need to create better design for Camry in the future.” Toyoda wants to see waku-doki in his company’s designs – heart-racing qualities Hunter is right – the world of the midsize family sedan is no longer a realm of dreary designs. Cars like the Ford Fusion and Kia Optima both feature a design presence that allows them to stand out on the road, while new competitors like the Chrysler 200 and upcoming Hyundai Sonata should make for strong competitors. It isn’t just pressure from other manufacturers that is convincing Toyota to build a more stylish Camry, though. It’s a direct order from the man in charge, Akio Toyoda .
Filed under: Car Buying , Sedan , Chevrolet , Ford , Honda , Hyundai , Mazda , Nissan , Toyota When we first saw and drove new midsize sedans like the 2013 Nissan Altima and 2013 Ford Fusion , we had a feeling the Toyota Camry would eventually see a challenge for the top sales spot, but we had no idea things would move this quickly. Automotive News is reporting that the quarter tallies still show the Camry holding a sizable lead over its competition, but the Altima did manage to outsell the Toyota by 100 units last month. While a single month of not outselling the competition might not be enough to unseat the Camry from its 11-year sales throne, it goes to show how far recent competitors in the segment have come. The four best-selling cars in the midsize segment (in order) are the Camry, Honda Accord , Altima and Fusion , with each car boasting more than 80,000 units through the first three months of the year. Both the Accord and Fusion are seeing double-digit year-over-year sales increases while the Camry and Altima have dropped somewhat. And it wasn’t just Camry that was losing ground. As we saw in the March 2013 By The Numbers post, Toyota sales as a whole were down slightly from 2012 while all of its key competitors ( Chevrolet , Ford , Honda and Nissan ) were in the green. After the top four sellers in the segment, the next closest midsizers are the Chevrolet Malibu and Hyundai Sonata , but these cars are well off the competitive pace. Although the 2014 Mazda6 isn’t expected to take too big of a bite out of the midsize market, its attractive design and available diesel engine could continue the shakeup of this once-predictable segment. Altima, Fusion shaking up midsize sedan sales race originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 09 Apr 2013 09:44:00 EST.
Filed under: Sedan , Toyota , New Car Reviews Prognosis Negative How do doctors do it? How do they tell people that their loved ones are sick, afflicted, or even terminal? Sure, it’s one thing to deliver bad news like a mechanic: “Your transmission’s fried lady, that’s gonna be three grand.” But doctors need to be sensitive to the great anguish that will accompany their diagnosis. Nobody wants to find out that their formerly healthy family member isn’t well, and a doctor’s compassion is as important as his healing hand. The way the news gets delivered is crucial to how a patient, family and friends come to accept the situation and cope with treatment and its aftermath. Can we then, get a doctor to write this review of the new Camry? Because after a week behind the wheel of the 2012 Toyota Camry SE V6, one thing is clear: This best-seller is ailing. Now, we understand that the car is a veritable institution – there are presently some 40,000 people snapping up Camrys every month. And yes, for most of the car buying public, the new midsize Toyota will continue to provide safe and suitable, if unsurprising, transportation. By our estimation, however, there are at least two, probably three, maybe even four or five other midsize sedans offering a better overall package of price, performance and personality than Toyota’s breadwinner.
Filed under: Government/Legal , Technology , Hyundai , Kia , Toyota With all the news coming out recently about the small claims lawsuit over the Honda Civic Hybrid , readers may have forgotten the name behind a long-running legal issue over Toyota’s hybrid system: Paice . The latest development is that Paice and the Abell Foundation (an investor in Paice) have sued Hyundai and Kia over the gas-electric technology used in the Optima and Sonata hybrids (pictured), which shares some parts with Paice says infringes its patents, just as it says Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive does. Read up on the details of Alex Severinsky’s story here . According to Automotive News , Paice claims that Hyundai and Kia should have known that Toyota was dealing with legal issues – especially since Paice has been contacting Hyundai about the issue – and says that the Korean automakers are infringing upon three patents that Paice owns. Toyota and Paice settled their long-looming hybrid patent infringement case in 2010 after eight years, during which time the courts routinely rejected Toyota’s request to dismiss the case. Toyota eventually paid royalties to Paice for the Prius , Highlander Hybrid and Lexus RX400h models it sold. Paice drags Hyundai, Kia into long-running hybrid patent fight with Toyota originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 21 Feb 2012 10:02:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink