2012 Toyota Camry Hybrid unveiled

Today Toyota released most details about its redesigned-for-2012 Camry models, including the highly competent Camry Hybrid.

As the best-selling car in America for nine years straight, the line of mid-size sedans have been so competent, it’s almost a hum-drum story – unless you happen to be one who prizes their near-appliance-like functionality.

As is the case for its siblings, the Hybrid retains the same dimensions as the outgoing Camry, but sheds weight – about 220 pounds in the Hybrid’s case, the most weight reduced of them all.

The Hybrid sees improvements throughout, particularly in its all-important fuel economy ratings. The current model was dethroned as mpg champ by the Ford Fusion Hybrid and Hyundai Sonata Hybrid, but Toyota incorporated an easy fix first seen on the generation-3 Prius.

Namely, the 2012 Camry Hybrid gets a larger four-cylinder gasoline engine displacing – in the Camry’s case – 2.5 liters boasting superior power, thus allowing it to lope along more often in its optimal operating range.

Paired with Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive system, the new Camry Hybrid now promises a best-in-class 43/39-mpg fuel economy rating, with an average of 41-mpg.

This represents a comparatively massive improvement of 12 mpg in the city, beating the Sonata hybrid by 7 mpg.

The Hybrid’s gasoline-electric drivetrain is anything but anemic too, serving up 200 horsepower for respectable acceleration.

As mentioned, while the 2012 Camry models share the same basic dimensions of their predecessors, they are re-engineered throughout, sharing few parts in the chassis and interior.

On the exterior, newly sculpted lines front and back eliminate some of the bulbous humps of the old model adding up to an attractive presence. The grille is redesigned wider presenting a purposeful new face for the car.

Inside, materials and design have all been tweaked too, with most Camry models – except the entry level and LE Hybrid – getting a new display audio system in the center of the dash.

For models so equipped, the 6.1-inch display audio screen is uncluttered without too many buttons surrounding it, yet is functional while drawing the eye to it for a high-tech and useful touch.

Hybrid buyers may wish to upgrade to include it, as it can be mated with satellite radio with helpful features including XM Fuel Prices to route the driver to the lowest price gasoline.

Safety-wise, in addition to ABS brakes with over-ride system, traction control and stability control, the Camry now comes with 10 airbags, has seats designed to (further) minimize whiplash, and makes available an optional blind spot monitoring system, back-up camera, and more.

In all, Toyota has expressed a lot of enthusiasm for the significantly upgraded and fuel efficient Camry Hybrid. Given new auto sales have been driven by economical models, the company said it expects sales for the Hybrid to nearly double from 28,000 units to around 50,000.

According to the New York Times, the base 2012 LE starts at $22,500, the SE at $23,000, the XLE at $24,725, the Hybrid LE at $25,900, and the Hybrid XLE at $27,400. Destination charges are extra.

Reviewers and customers have come to expect the car to simply perform, and while not as viscerally alluring as some other models, the upgrades give it good prospects to continue on as a top seller for the tenth year in a row.

AutoGuide, NYTWheelsBlog.


  • Max Reid

    Camry Hybrid price starts at $25,900, which is $1,150 less than current model. Also its available in both LE & XLE. So Toyota has taken note of the competition from Hyundai & Kia. Lets hope the Hybrid sales increases sooner.

    http://wheels.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/08/23/toyota-says-camry-is-reinvented-for-2012/

  • Pat

    What should I do now?
    I am so please with my 2007 Camry Hybrid but the 2012 model sounds like an other big leap forward! I really love my 2007 TCH, I love my 2007 Camry, I love my 2007 Camry…….

  • Capt. Concernicus

    I like what Toyota has done with the new Camry. Especially the hybrid version. I mean a 12mpg improvement in the city mileage over the past model? That’s excellent! This is the direction that all vehicles need to be going.

    Kudos Toyota!

  • MrEnergyCzar

    Very reliable cars despite last year’s negative headlines…my first toyota went 270K with the original clutch, and my second 160K with no major issues…..

    MrEnergyCzar

  • Charles

    Congratulations to Toyota on having the first mid-size sedan to meet the 2025 CAFE standard. I guess the next will be the redesigned Fusion for 2013. Competition sure is sweet, at least for the consumer.

  • Harold Walters

    Toyota seems to always read the markets years ahead of time and have the time, the will and foresight to make what the consumer wants. They have nailed it with the new hybrid Camry. Roomy, comfortable with outstanding MPG. They plan for years in the future and are willing to put the money in the research to develope the technology. Only wish there were some far sighted people at GM, Ford and Chrysler but it seems they are always living for profit for the short term and never can see long range or are willing to put the money needed in the future technology so they always find themselves trying to catch up.—How sad!

  • Max Reid

    Some highlights.

    * Hybrid is available in 2 Trims
    * Base Hybrid trim costs $1,100 lesser to compete with Sonata-H
    * No more manual in whole Camry lineup
    * V6 is available only in 2 trims compared to 2011 models 3 trims.

    Summary : Hybrid V4 is gaining at the expense of V6.
    Great Job Toyota.

  • Capt. Concernicus

    $1,100 cheaper than the previous hybrid model? Plus, it’s getting better fuel economy. Nice!

  • Yegor

    Kudos to Toyota on great MPG!

    Toyota increased the hole between trunk and salon:
    http://pressroom.toyota.com/album_display.cfm?album_id=714&section_id=411
    http://pressroom.toyota.com/images/2012_Toyota_Camry_Hybrid_24_39609_2524_low.jpg

    Now you can put skies or a few (4,5) boards of 2×4 or one Ikea furniture box – that is nice!

    But still when a Wagon is coming???
    With the new CAFE regulations the manufactures are no longer required to meet fleet average fuel economy. Now everything is based on “footprint”. So now they do not need to produce RAV4 to compensate for Tundra – just the Tundra has to meet some certain MPG requirements. It means that the road is now open for midsize wagons!!! Up to now manufactures did not produce midsize wagons to force people to buy close in size crossovers (RAV4) to compensate for Tundras.

  • Max Reid

    Yesterday I saw a Honda Fit with 2 seats stowed behind the 2nd row seat which makes the vehicle a 7 seater. I believe we can do this in all the hatches and wagons. Has anyone seen a Prius or Insight with the 3rd row stow seats.

    This is used in many bigger wagons in the earlier years.

  • drm

    Dear Toyota,

    Please transplant 2012 Camry hybrid drive train into the Prius V body and please keep the same fuel economy. I will have mine in red exterior and fake leather interior.

    I look forward to ditch my SUV and minivan and sedan.

    Thank you very much.

  • David

    The V6 makes 168 horsepower, and 148 foot-pounds of torque? Seems like a goof here!

  • glenn kennedy

    How large is the gas tank? what is the cruising range? Does the hybrid have a sun roof as an option-if so, what is the cost?

  • Jess D

    Kudos to Toyota
    The 2012 Camry is a technical knockout. Hyundai and Ford were always benchmarking the 2007-2011 Camry even though it was already late into its product cycle. Ford’s Fusion Hybrid was always poking fun at the Camry Hybrid’s low MPG numbers. More recently Hyundai/Kia/Sonata/Optima in their 2011 models also made fun of the Camry. Now the 2012 Camry trumps the Hyundai Sonata/Kia Optima in the all important City MPG by 3 MPG and the 2012 Camry Hybrid by a whopping 8 MPG. Whats even more revealing is that Toyota did not even have to resort to Direct Injection for the 2012 Camry to get the 25 City/ 35 Hwy MPG. In the case of the 2012 Camry Hybrid, Toyota overwhelmed Hyundai/Kia’s Li-polymer Batteries with a 43 City/39 Hwy/41 Combined using the tried and true NMH Batteries. Hyundai/Kia and Ford can only cringe what a Camry Hybrid’s MPG numbers would be with a Li-Ion Battery pack like the one in the 2012 Prius PHEV?

    Aesthetically, I like this chiseled design of the 2012 Camry vs that old Jelly Bean (Old Ford Taurus) look of the Sonata and Optima which look like clones of the Mercedes design. There are many critics who don’t like the styling of the 2012 Camry, but I’m not one of them. I’ll take Function(Brilliant Engineering/Reliability/Efficiency) over Form (Aesthetics/Styling) any day of the week. I would guess the drag coefficient of this 2012 Camry is probably in the high .2′s? Kudos to Toyota!!

  • Nelson Lu

    Jess D wrote:

    “Hyundai/Kia and Ford can only cringe what a Camry Hybrid’s MPG numbers would be with a Li-Ion Battery pack like the one in the 2012 Prius PHEV?”

    The 2013 Fusion Hybrid is expected to get 48 city.

  • Jess

    One thing you forgot to mention is that the 2013 Ford Fusion is getting 48 MPG using a Li-Ion Battery pack. Rumors I heard it was to be a PHEV also. The 2012 Camry Hybrid is using a 3rd Gen NiMH Battery pack, hence the 43 MPG city. For comparisons sake a Camry Hybrid with a Li-Ion battery pack would be a more favorable comparison. For speculation purposes only, a 3rd Gen HSD in the 2010/2011 Prius gets 51 MPG city using a NiMH battery pack like the 2012 Camry Hybrid. The 4th Gen HSD (2012) PHEV Prius using a Li-Ion battery pack, preliminary estimates the mileage to be 107 MPG city. I speculate a 201X PHEV Camry Hybrid with a Li-Ion Battery pack will get 90 MPG city.

  • robert riley

    Dear 2007 camry hybrid owner; Youy do not realize what you have! I bought the 2007 camry hybrid and I was amzed at the fuel economy I was getting at 65 mph 43 mpg and if I drove at 55 mph I could get as much as 49.2 mpg regularly and the I saw the new interior improvements in the 2010 hybrid camry with wood look interior and decided to get the new 2010 and was sorely disappointed with the 2010, I was lucky to get 37 mpg with that car I was deeply angry that they had decontented the car to that extent! The new 2012 camry hybrid is more like the 2007 camry hybrid mileage which was rated at 40mpg city and 38 mpg highway, It was a great car and the new 2012′s interior is something to behold ! I have not driven the camry hybrid 2012 but, I have driven the 2012 camry le and was very pleased with the result of that ride! It has the 4 cylinder engine, the quiet and handling was was superior to the 2011 or 2010 and I will be buying the new 2012 camry hybrid again this time a keeper! Happy camper bob riley!

  • Joe Richter

    Over the last thirty years, with three exceptions, I have driven Toyotas. They keep going and going. The term “reliability” is perfectly matched to this car. Yesterday I put down a deposit on the 2012 Camry Hybrid. The technology is unbelievable compared to the 2009 Camry Hybrid I now lease.

  • nishant

    One thing you forgot to mention is that the 2013 Ford Fusion is getting 48 MPG using a Li-Ion Battery pack. Blushing Cure

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  • I B

    I just bought a Toyota Camry Hybrid not even 4 months ago and my car has spent more time at the Toyota dealership than at my house. Being that the vehicle is push button, the car has issues maintaining communication with the systems. There is issue with the vehicle fuel gauge. And sometimes the car does not even want to start. I have changed the remote battery over 3 X in the last 4 months, so I do not think that is the battery remote is the problem. Toyota now has me in arbitration phase which I have not read anything positive about it, so lets see what happens. l hope that Toyota stands by their reputation and quality of car that they claim they make and change my car out for a new Toyota Camry Hybrid.

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  • david78

    plz give some tips, How to increase fuel economy on my 93 Toyota Camry ?

  • Anonymous

    Do you need to charge the car ?

  • nisha
  • nisha