by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
Journeys : RACT MNJ June July 2010
Pickles Auctions For real peace of mind, purchase an RACT roadworthy inspected vehicle. See your local paper every Saturday for over 80 vehicles. Or for a detailed listing and photographs of vehi- cles visit our website. www.pickles.com.au GOVERNMENT & FLEET VEHICLE AUCTION Fixed Price Sales Saturday 9am to 2pm and Monday 8am to 4.30pm 56 Sunderland Street, Derwent ParK 7009 Ph: (03) 6108 8444 How green is your Camry? Darren Moody drives Toyota's new Australian-built hybrid If you're one of those people who like to shout out to the world that you are doing your bit for the environment, then the new Hybrid Camry isn't for you. Unlike the built-for-purpose Prius, Camry stays with its relatively conservative styling, adding a couple of understated 'Hybrid' badges and a slightly revised front bumper and grill design. There are a couple of other subtleties, but they're not obvious. Inside, the Hybrid is very similar to its petrol-only brother -- the main change is the new dash, which provides you with instant electronic feedback on your current efforts to drive economically. It even glows more brightly if you are driving economically! Although I think it's a little gimmicky, you have the option of scrolling through many display options, including how the wheels are being powered, current battery capacity and a graph of on-going driving economy. It will even display a 'well done' message at the end of a drive if you've managed to achieve a good economy rate. If the sat-nav option is ticked, you can get all this information and more in a full colour display from the large touch- screen. The current Camry has always had a well- sorted chassis, which isn't made any worse by adding 115 extra kilogram s of battery and electric motors. The placement of the nickel metal hydride (Ni-MH) battery between the rear wheels in the boot creates a little more overall balance. The downside of the battery in the boot is a significant loss of boot space. While still roomy, as it's a family car, the extra space will be missed. Power steering is now electric rather than hydraulic. I think this is an improvement for Camry, as a little more weight and feel have been added. The air-conditioning also now r uns electric system s to reduce load on the engine. Up-front houses the 2.4 litre Camry petrol engine along with the electric motors incorporated in the Constantly Variable Transmission (CVT). With a combined power output of 140kW and approximately 30% more torque than a petrol-only model, you're propelled from a standing start at a fairly brisk rate. The CVT is well-behaved under nor m al driving condition s, but typically under heavy acceleration you get the flat constant rev ving of the engine and no gear changes. I know that's how they work, but I just haven't totally accepted their existence yet. Toyota has put significant effort into making the interior of the vehicle as quiet as possible, using a special noise-isolating acoustic windscreen and a range of sound- absorbing m aterials on the firewall to limit the transmission of engine and road noise into the cabin. You rarely hear the petrol engine cut in and it is only when you have the accelerator right dow n that the engine is heard. The only noise from the electrical side is a whir from the front wheels just as you are coming to a standstill, from the regenerative braking system. Although Camry has an impressive list of safety features, disappointingly the omission of passengers' seatbelt war ning and driver's knee airbag cost them a 5-star ANCAP Rating. This is a pu zzling situation, as the similarly-constructed 5-star Aurion has these features.Now for the important question -- how green is your Camry? The official combined cycle is 6.0 L /100km, but I didn't fare quite that well. About the city where I spent most of the time I managed 8.5 L /100km -- on a highway r un I was down to 7.2 L/100km. Not as good in real-world conditions as some of the recent diesels I've driven, but with the advantages of lower CO2 g/km from petrol engines and no diesel particulate matter, Camry just sneaks ahead. As expected there is a premium attached to the Hybrid, with the entry-level vehicle costing just under $37,000 (Prius is $40,000) as opposed to just under $30,000 for the non-hybrid entry-level version. That said, the base Hybrid is equivalent to the mid-spec Altise model so there are some extras over base specifications. So has the Federal Government's $35 million green vehicle assistance package to Toyota delivered what is was supposed to? I would say yes. Toyota would have invested significantly more than the $35 million to make this a reality. Australia is now included in a handful of countries producing hybrid vehicles, which must give confidence to the longer-term prospects for the local vehicle manufacturing industry. June / July 2010 28
April May 2010
Aug Sep 2010