Review: 2009 Toyota Camry Hybrid

It's been a while since I've taken my car to truly be serviced, so I had a long laundry list of items that I wanted checked and done with my car -- so while I am temporarily without my ride, I've received as a loaner car, a Toyota Camry Hybrid. From the exterior, the Camry Hybrid looks like any other late model Camry, with one big difference -- the inclusion of a silver and blue "Hybrid Synergy Drive" badge on the trunk of the vehicle.

While the Hybrid Camry still falls below Lexus standards for luxury, it's definitely a step up from the base model. Perhaps it's something in the soft-touch plastics and the leather treatment, but the Hybrid Camry definitely feels like a more upscale than the Prius (see my previous review of the Prius and the plastic steering wheel). One of the major shortcomings of the Camry hybrid however is trunk space; while it will no doubt accommodate a bag of golf clubs or my backpack (a tall order considering that sometimes my pack does not fit in the overhead bins on airplanes), it's possible that one may not be able to fit much more than that inside. the trunk.

With the Smart Key System, the need for a physical key to make contact to tart the ignition is unnecessary. The Smartkey is left in range of the sensor, and the car is able to be powered on; Unlike a regular combustion engine based car, the Camry Hybrid is on near instantly, as if you were flipping a light switch. There's not a turn of a key, nor a loud starting of the engine, the car is simply on, and silent. The car is largely silent in e-mode, under which the operation of the car sounds like a eleictric golf cart; it is this quietness of the car that one grows used to.

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