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‘09 Camry | Toyota’s Other Hybrid

2009-toyota-camry-hybrid-photo.jpgFew things have changed in the Toyota Camry hybrid from 2008 to 2009. The sedan that has been consistently near the top of all passenger cars sold for nearly a decade made an easy transition to hybrid power in 2007 and two years later, Toyota isn’t taking any risks with this faithful car. Priced around $26,000, the ‘09 hybrid Toyota Camry is still a smart choice for anyone looking for a reliable, yet roomy sedan that gets great gas mileage.

Normally, it takes anywhere from three to ten years to recoup the extra costs of buying a hybrid car because of the premium placed on fuel-efficient vehicles. For some early-adopters of this green sedan, this catch-up period was shorter because of generous tax credits (they expired in September of 2007), but as hybrids generally become more popular and hybrid tax credits run out for other manufacturers, less people are able to take advantage. Luckily for fans of the full-size Camry, the cost difference between buying a fully-loaded standard-fuel Camry and basic hybrid Camry is negligible.

Under the hood, the Toyota Camry hybrid utilizes the same power train tech that the popular Toyota Prius hybrids use. The exterior of the car, however, is nearly identical to a standard-fuel Camry. The hybrid version of this iconic vehicle is truly the best of both worlds – style and roomy comfort like a sedan with the power and fuel efficiency of a hybrid.

The 2009 Toyota Camry hybrid includes a generous number of ”standard features” and several nice options…16-inch alloy wheels, dual-zone automatic climate control, keyless ignition, an eight-way power driver seat, a 60/40-split rear seat, cloth upholstery, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with tilt/telescoping column, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a trip computer and a six-speaker stereo with a single-CD player and auxiliary audio jack input. Other upgrades include a sunroof, leather upholstery, heated front seats, a four-way power passenger seat, a navigation system, satellite radio and a JBL sound system with a six-CD changer and Bluetooth.

If safety is a major concern (and it should be), the 2009 Toyota Camry hybrid gets very high marks. The ‘09 Toyota Camry hybrids all have front-seat side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags, a driver knee airbag, antilock brakes, stability control and traction control. In National Highway Traffic Safety Administration crash testing, the Camry Hybrid received five out of five stars in all front and side collision categories and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded the Camry its highest rating in frontal-offset and side collision protection.

By Jeff Carey

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