2007 Toyota Camry Hybrid Car Review
Well I just bought a 2007 Camry Hybrid “B” Package from ToyotaTown in London, Ontario. Many of you will be surprised to hear that given what you know about my automotive tastes. Do I need a fullsize family car? No, however the car is more efficient than a 2011 Toyota Corolla, and is certainly better featured. The car I’m giving up, a 2007 IS 350 has really spoiled me from a power standpoint and is trimmed better than most cars costing twice as much. Most of the luxury features, like Smart Key, Dual zone climate, and aux input are carried over.
After driving the car home overnight to give it a thorough test drive and to familiarize myself with the car’s throttle and brakes to maximize efficiency, I’m now filling up for the first time. All cars from Toyota Town include a full tank of gas so this tank is on the company. It already feels good pumping regular gas rather than the 91 Octane premium fuel required for the Lexus. Its interesting to note that usually the “requirement” for premium fuel is not an engineering specification but a regulatory issue that comes up from rating the vehicle’s fuel economy and horsepower using premium gas. When it comes to all fuel economy ratings, litterally, your mileage may vary. I’ve reset the trip A odometer to give a figure.
The Camry’s seats are still leather but the hides are not quite as soft as the IS 350s. The cooling feature and graduated seat heat settings are replaced by a simple on/off for bum warmers in the Camry. This suits me just fine as I always used the heated seats on fullblast and the switches can be left on even when you turn the car off. The seat ventilation in the Lexus was a very faint breeze and the water grey seats of the Camry should be a little cooler than the Black in the Lexus.
The order of the day was floor mats and a paint pen. The car is Titanium and had a few stone chips and other small chips over the body which I gave two coats of colour. There were a couple of locations where the paint had rubbed off a plastic component revealing the black surface underneath as well. All the fine details that go into reconditioning a car.
After forgetting the floormats at the office for the night, the cleaning staff had put them in my bosses office so I reclaimed them first thing in the morning and installed them in the car. These mats are authorized by Toyota and should keep me safe from a pedal entrapment. I removed the other floor mats heading the warnings not to install them over the top of one another. The 4 piece mat set includes 2 clips for the drivers side and go in easily covering a perfect fit under the passengers feet.
Took the car to get the windows tinted yesterday. I had 3 hours to kill so I took a walk. The weather was milder today which made it less of a chore. I’ve been working in the area of the Tint Shop for the last 4 years though I’ve never walked around the area for any period of time. It’s interesting to gain another perspective on the surroundings. The windows have fine bubbles which will dry as the film cures on the glass over the next few days. I’m looking forward to wiping the windows with a microfiber cloth to clean the streak marks.
Washed the car today. I pair particular attention to getting the bugs off the front. After shammying the car dry, I took a clay bar to the area of the paint with surface corrossion. This really cleaned things up in no time. After giving the tires a scrub I dressed them with gloss as well. The next trick is to remove all of the contaminants on the windsheild for treating with a hydrophobic rain repelling coating. This makes rainy days a breeze as well as improving the function of the wiper blades. Its even easier to remove snow and ice from the windshield but I expect I’ll reapply the coating in the fall.
One piece of spec that is often overlooked on the Camry Hybrid is the Lexus VDIM system. Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management allows the car to predict a skid before it happens by monitoring all of the vehicle’s safety systems at once.
A feature I also like in addition to the side seat, side curtain and primary front airbags, is the driver side lower leg airbag. This is a feature my Lexus IS’s had on both sides but since I’m often in the car alone, I hope it will be sufficient.
Some people have complained about squeaks and rattles but my car is very solid. Having been selling the Toyota Hybrid Synergy Drive and Lexus Hybrids for the last 4 years the novelty of the technology has worn off on me and is allowing me to appreciate the other details the Camry. It’s the number one selling family car in America and I can see why. Not only is it dependable but roomy. and comfortable. The efficiency is top notch still ranking in the top 25 most fuel efficient cars on sale in North America 4 years on. The ride quality is great and the car is easy to use.
In terms of my lows for the car, I wish the bluetooth also functioned for bluetooth streaming audio. The car’s Aux input will have work and is the same function as the Lexus IS. I also wish I could have picked the colour but the Titanium has some distinct advantages. Silvers are highly reflective and show cleaner longer. The light colour of both the interior and exterior should also contribute to a cooler cabin in the summer.
Here you can find Auto Canada’s latest review: http://www.autos.ca/auto-articles/used-vehicle-review-toyota-camry-2007-2011/2
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