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January 28, 2011 • Autos, Reviews

2011 Toyota Camry Hybrid Boring, and Boring Is a Good Thing

“Boring.” That is how my spouse described the 2011 Toyota Camry Hybrid I tested recently. “The interior is boring, the ride is boring … it’s just boring.”

It is also based on one of the best-selling cars in America for more than a decade. I guess boring is what REALLY sells when it comes to passenger cars here.

The Toyota Camry has also garnered quite a few automotive accolades as well including, for the second year in a row, being ranked No. 1 on the “American-Made Index” as compiled by the editors at Cars.com. The 2010 Camry was also rated “The best mid-sized sedan” by Motor Trend and Forbes Magazine praised the Camry Hybrid by including it in “2010’s Best Cars for Commuters.”

“I know, I know … but it’s boring.”

What it is is a mid-sized sedan that offers one of the most sedate rides on the market. Trouble sleeping? Drive a Camry. It is also one of the safest and easiest to drive rides on the market and includes all of the latest technology from the automaker.

A more spirited experience can be had by opting for the V-6 gas-powered Camry, but “green-o-philes” will push the Camry Hybrid with its I-4 gas engine mated to a small electric motor for a combined 187hp rating and 31 mpg city and 35 mpg highway. The Camry Hybrid is one of the few hybrids on sale today whose fuel economy does not improve with gridlock like the Prius.

Good news for those surrendering to urbanization – Toyota has announced they are expanding the Prius line to offer more body styles and let us hope Camry Hybrid benefits from a much-needed Hybrid Synergy Drive system upgrade. Lexus borrowed the Camry Hybrid powertrain for the HS250h sedan released in 2009 and it fell flat.

The base Camry Hybrid can be had for about $26,575. Our recent tester came with such “boring” add-ons as leather package, power moonroof, voice-activated DVD navigation, JBL audio system and hands-free phone capability and music streaming via Bluetooth wireless. This adds up to about $33,150.

So the 2011 Toyota Camry Hybrid is “boring” huh? Apparently, boring is good.

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