While the entire 2012 Toyota Camry lineup has been redesigned for 2012, it's the Camry Hybrid that gets the most substantially redesigned powertrain. Toyota has reduced the size of the battery pack and allowed a larger trunk than before, while the Hybrid Synergy Drive system gets many of the improvements from the latest Toyota Prius—resulting in improved responsiveness, better drivability, and smoother, more reassuring braking. The Camry Hybrid also inherits the latest Prius' Eco Mode and EV Mode—the latter allowing the Hybrid to go a half-mile or more on electric power alone.
But the rest of the Camry lineup isn't so bad either for green-minded shoppers, either. All four-cylinder models are now up to 25 mpg city, 35 highway—matching or beating the base-engine Honda Accord and Hyundai Sonata. And if you opt for the V-6, ratings are up 1 mpg this year, to 21/30.
Across the lineup, the Camry clearly prioritizes comfort and interior space over sexy styling. With its soft ride, roomy interior appointments, and reputation for reliability, resale value, and other frugal factors, it's a smart choice for families looking to get the most for their money as well as go green.
Those interested in the Hybrid should find more options at the dealership, too. For the first time, for 2012, the Camry Hybrid is offered in more than one trim level; Hybrid LE models come with dual-zone automatic climate control and a SmartKey system, while the XLE gets alloy wheels and leather.
For more, see the full review of the 2012 Toyota Camry lineup over at The Car Connection.
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