Toyota Camry i-Tech Hybrid 2012 Review

August 1st, 2012 by Darren Cottingham

The top-of-the-line Toyota Camry i-Tech is a hybrid with no performance compromise. There’s not a whole lot of price difference between the Camry i-Tech and the Prius i-Tech (only a couple of grand), but while the Prius i-Tech is packed with more features (adaptive cruise control, heated seats, head-up display and a few other comfort items), the Camry focuses more on the driving experience.

A back-country drive through Tahuna, Otway and Te Aroha gave the Camry some serious Continue reading “Toyota Camry i-Tech Hybrid 2012 Review” »

Toyota Camry Atara SX vs Toyota Camry GL 2012 Review

June 27th, 2012 by Darren Cottingham

Should you go for the hotter-looking Camry Atara SX over the Camry GL and forget about the roughly seven grand more you’ll have to pony up, or is the base level GL so awesome that you couldn’t want for anything more for an executive or family sedan?

Under the bonnet the two are very similar. You do get a twin exhaust system in the SX which liberates a couple of extra kW (135 vs 133) from the 2.5-litre, 4-cylinder petrol engine, and more torque (235Nm vs 231Nm) but you won’t notice it. Toyota’s weight figures say both cars are 1465kg, but I don’t Continue reading “Toyota Camry Atara SX vs Toyota Camry GL 2012 Review” »

Toyota recalling 550,000 vehicles worldwide – 990 in NZ

November 10th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Toyota has announced that it will be recalling around 550,000 vehicles globally for a potentially faulty crank shaft pulley.

Toyota NZ has advised that just under 1,000 Toyota and Lexus vehicles are affected by the precautionary engine component recall.

Toyota New Zealand General Manager Customer Services, Spencer Morris, says the affected part is the crankshaft pulley used on the 3 litre V6 1MZ-FE engine and 3.3 litre V6 3MZ-FE engine used in some 2004/2005 Toyota Camry, Highlander, Harrier, and Estima models. This engine was also used in the Lexus RX range during the same years.

The pulley drives the belt which operates the power steering, alternator and air conditioner. In rare cases, the inner and outer pulley parts may start to separate. If left unchecked, the pulley may eventually stop driving the belt, leading to an increase in steering effort.

Drivers may first notice an unusual noise, or the illumination of the red battery charge warning light. Continue reading “Toyota recalling 550,000 vehicles worldwide – 990 in NZ” »

Toyota NZ reveals 2012 Camry range

August 29th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Toyota has revealed the all-new seventh generation Camry.  The New Zealand Camry range will feature three models including two new unique model variants named Atara.

The new Toyota Camry debuts a refreshed design with more interior space, retuned driving dynamics and a quieter ride.  Every exterior body panel on Camry is new.

A new 2.5 litre four-cylinder petrol engine delivers a 10 per cent increase in power and better fuel economy than the current model’s 2.4 litre petrol engine. The 2012 Camry will now be fitted with a six speed automatic transmission – replacing the current generation’s five-speed gearbox.

Toyota New Zealand General Manager of Sales and Operations, Steve Prangnell said “The new Camry, Atara and a new Camry Hybrid will arrive together in New Zealand dealerships in March 2012.” Continue reading “Toyota NZ reveals 2012 Camry range” »

Toyota teases 2012 Camry before official reveal

August 15th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Toyota has revealed another teaser image of its upcoming 2012 Camry sedan. The new Camry is expected to be revealed, in its entirety, in the coming weeks.

For now, fans of the sensible sedan will have to make do with the new image showing a hook-shaped tailight and what will be a high rear boot line. The Camry isn’t well known for its dynamic looks and the new model is looking to change this with a more aggressive style.

The first teaser image put the headlight on show with a honeycomb grille and recessed fog lamp. It’s certainly promising, but we will reserve judgement until the Camry’s full sheetmetal is exposed. Continue reading “Toyota teases 2012 Camry before official reveal” »

Toyota’s global hybrid sales reach three million units

March 11th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Toyota is celebrating a new milestone with global sales of it’s hybrid vehicles now reaching the three million mark.

Toyota offers 16 different hybrid models around the world in 80 different countries, and it’s about to introduce several new variations of the Prius. Toyota’s hybrid sales began in Japan in 1997 with the launch in August of the Coaster Hybrid EV. This was followed in December by Prius, with just 323 sales in that first month.

Global demand for Toyota’s hybrid vehicles is accelerating rapidly, with one million being sold in the past 18 months alone – more than one per minute.

By contrast, it took almost 10 years to sell the first one million Toyota hybrids and two years and three months to sell the second million – a milestone only reached in September 2010.

The global total of Toyota hybrid sales to the end of February was just over 3 million, which includes more than 2.1 million Prius and 210,000 Hybrid Camry.

Toyota New Zealand  executive director Paul Carroll said responding to environmental issues whilst providing a range of fun to drive vehicles for customers is a priority for the company.

He said: “Customers are increasingly turning to hybrid vehicles in the face of rising fuel costs and a desire for more sustainable low cost motoring. As the leader in hybrid technology, Toyota is well placed to meet consumer needs both now and in the future.” Continue reading “Toyota’s global hybrid sales reach three million units” »

Toyota Camry Hybrid i-Tech 2010 Review

July 23rd, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

It’s not just a hybrid drivetrain that’s arrived in NZ with the latest Toyota Camry, it’s come carrying great anticipation too. While it’s often only badge fans that eagerly await a new model, the Camry Hybrid has sparked interest from private buyers, fleet purchasers, the environmentally conscious and even interested Taxi Drivers. Why shouldn’t it be anticipated either, it’s (almost) locally produced in South Australia, has the latest in fuel saving tech and is a fresh take on an old favourite. So is this hybrid machine really worth all the fuss? Car and SUV spent a week playing an eco-friendly, fleet-buying taxi driver to find out more.

While Toyota’s Prius was always designed to be a hybrid-only vehicle, the Camry doesn’t share that luxury and small tweaks have been made to its appearance for both functional reasons and to distance it from lower-spec siblings.  The most noticeable difference comes with a unique front bumper and grille. More than just give it a reworked face the new front end provides additional cooling to the engine bay and drops the coefficient drag by six percent to just .27cd. There’s also eye-catching blue tinted headlights, ‘Hybrid’ badges all round and some classy chrome trim on the boot and front grille. Our tested top model Camry Hybrid i-Tech also features 16-inch alloy wheels, front fog lamps, LED rear lights and a rear boot spoiler as standard kit. Elsewhere it shares the same low-key but modern styling as the rest of the Camry range.

In the cabin there’s a distinct luxury feel with black leather upholstery and high-grade dark plastics. One point of interest is an all-new instrument cluster that looks fantastic and drops the traditional tachometer in favour of an instantaneous fuel consumption meter. This special meter allows the driver to gauge how economically they are driving and lets them know when the petrol engine is off and the car is regenerating energy. The central instrument panel is also of note with its cool blue illumination, silver switchgear and large control screen. This touch screen handles standard stereo functions but also gives a detailed fuel consumption graph and an energy-use display that tells everyone when the electric motor is working and when it’s recharging. The rest of the cabin is slightly uninspired but offers good visibility and comfortable seating for five adults. The leather seats are nicely soft but could use more lateral support and there are ample small storage options front and back. Boot storage however, has been compromised by the nickel metal hydride battery packs and capacity is reduced by 71-litres to 389-litres. It’s also more difficult to load longer items into the boot, but the back seat still split-folds to reveal a slim ski-port.

Continue reading “Toyota Camry Hybrid i-Tech 2010 Review” »

Hyundai Sonata vs. Toyota Camry – drag race

April 14th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Hyundai Sonata vs. Toyota Camry – drag race

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