Friday, November 16, 2012

House boats in kerala

I know this will be a surprise for you.Iam doing  this for free to know the whole world that we have a small land on the southern part of India know as kerala which is rated top ten destinations in world to be visited.
I just wanted to show the world that this is really a 'Gods Own Country'. Some of you might have visited kerala and this is for people who has not visited or trying to come to kerala.
If you liked this video please comment me what you feel of this place.FOR VIDEOS CLICK READ MORE ENJOY

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Best Months for Electric Car Sales october

The month of October has surprised a few as the best month ever for sales of electric and plug-in hybrid cars. What does this mean for the future of alternative energy cars, especially after this election?

Crystal ball, magic ball, tell me what the future holds for us, the economy and electric vehicles, EV, and plug-in hybrids, PHEV. Surely you don’t believe in crystal ball magic and not too many would bet on them, so how can our so-called economist predict accurately? One hint, look at the past numbers, draw a trend and keep the overall picture in mind. Sounds easy, somehow not too many experts get it right.

The Best EV, PHEV Sales Record Month of October. According to the latest figures from Pike Research, the month of October has been kind for alternative vehicle proponents. This defies the constant and poor publicity over how theoretically lithium-ion battery technology does not working. Starting with the ubiquitous Chevy Volt plug-in hybrid that reached another best-seller month with 2,961 vehicles. That is compounded on top of the January to October period where GM sold 19,309 Volts, up 286%. But on the electric vehicle side, Nissan also faired well with its best month this year, 1,579 Leafs sold, which is an increase of 86% compared with the same period last year.

Putting Numbers Into Perspective. But all these numbers are no reason to celebrate yet, after all, they are only a month’s worth and must bee seen under the harsh light of this current wobbly economy. In other words, a hiccup doesn’t mean we’re out of the woods, especially considering the uncertainties this election year’s worth of fear these “debates” instilled in the minds of many. As for Nissan, the company is still not able to meet its over-estimated target of 20,000 Leafs by the end of the year in the US with only 6,791 Leafs sold through the period of January to October, down 15.6%. As for GM, the picture isn’t as chirpy as it is painted to be. Those sales were won due to the automaker’s hefty incentives designed to boost sales for its Volt.
Ford Up. The other EV and soon PHEV player is Ford and the company faired very well so far with its C-MAX Hybrid sales. What was even more surprising was to find the C-Max Energi, the plug-in hybrid version of the C-MAX on its first month of full sales in October with 144 units out the door. The surprise here is the high level of commitment and faith the Ford clientele has with the company for a car no one has driven yet to our knowledge. Ford sold 118 Focus Electric last month also, that is up from 89 units in June, which reached the total of 346 units this year.
Toyota Prius and Friends. The Prius is always a strong sale despite the general mood of the economy but the plug-in version of the Toyota Prius must have surprised many at Toyota. About 1,900 units were sold last month beating its previous record high by 43%. Toyota, can you hear them? They are ready for the electric drive.
Here are the numbers:
Chevy Volt, 2,961 sold
Toyota Prius Plug-In, 1,889 sold
Nissan Leaf, 1,579 sold
Tesla Model S, 290-300 sold although those numbers are estimates
Ford C-Max Energi, 144 sold
Ford Focus Electric, 118 sold
Fisker Karma, 75-100 sold although those numbers are estimates
Toyota RAV4 EV, 47 sold
Mitsubishi i-MiEV, 30 sold
Honda Fit EV, 16 sold
Looking at the numbers this reminds me of a Tuareg saying, especially considering the continuous alarmist headlines from the so-called general media: “The dogs bark, but the caravan marches onward, regardless” Electric cars, hybrids and plug-in hybrids are selling. They fit the lifestyles and needs of some people. Yet some questions should be asked, such as, are those sales based on fear of an eventual Romney administration winning and cutting loans to electric car makers? See our: Romney Reiterates No Loans To Electric Vehicle Companies. Is one month enough to define a trend? We will have to wait after the election to see how well electric cars, EV, hybrids, HEV and plug-in hybrids, PHEV are selling.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Slow Plug-In Car Sales In Michigan

                                                                                                             Hybrid cars have well and truly hit the mainstream.
After years of slow sales around a decade ago, Toyota has now sold over 4 million hybrids. And Honda recently passed its first million.
But in the home of the U.S. auto industry, buyers have been slower to catch on to the concept.
According to the Detroit Free Press, research by Edmunds shows Michigan consumers are buying hybrids at a rate well below the national average.
Hybrid cars made up 3.4 percent of the new vehicle market in August.
And Michigan consumers buy 3.7 percent of all vehicles sold in the U.S.--but they've bought only 1.8 percent of all the gasoline-electric hybrids sold. Michigan also accounts for only 1.5 percent of all plug-in sales.
It's good news for hybrids in general though. That 3.4 percent figure is a whole percent higher than over the same period last year--no doubt helped by strong sales from the Prius line.
And Detroit's own Chevy Volt is continuing to out-sell its Nissan Leaf rival, once again topping its previous sales record with 2,961 units shifted in October. The Volt has now sold almost 20,000 units in 2012.
But with a bit more help from its home state, that number could be even higher. How about it, Michigan?

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Cool technology for Audi A6

Cool technology for Audi A6

We do write about cars often, but with the Singapore Grand Prix happening this weekend, we're suffering from a little bit of motoring fever.
Thus,  for 3G connectivity so that you can surf the Web, too (Warning: Not recommended while driving).we hopped into an Audi A6 hybrid--because we're trying to be environmentally friendly--which has just been introduced in Singapore.
On top of your usual run-of-the-mill Bluetooth connectivity and proximity sensors, the vehicle features an impressive range of (optional) add-ons, too. For example, Google Earth offers turn-by-turn navigation and displays more details about your destination, such as contact information.
Of course, there's a SIM card slot for 3G connectivity so that you can surf the Web, too (Warning: Not recommended while driving)
The onboard multimedia interface (MMI) navigation system has an integrated touchpad that has handwriting recognition. There's also voice control as well, so that you can search for destinations or contacts by speech, but we didn't manage to test it out.
Using a combination of sensors and cameras, the A6 hybrid is even capable of helping you to park by doing the steering (you'll still need to engage the gears and foot pedals). The night vision assistant uses thermal imaging to sense any pedestrians or animals in dark areas, highlighting and emitting warning sounds if you fail to spot them.
he vehicle runs on a parallel hybrid system, meaning that the engine runs on fuel, while the electric motor runs on batteries located in the trunk. Unlike all-electric vehicles, you don't need to charge an A6 hybrid.
Audi claims the car can reach a top speed of 238kmh, but that drops to 100kmh on electric power alone. And don't count on going too far on electric power alone either--you'll only travel up to 3km at an average speed of 60kmh.
The upside is knowing that you're doing your bit for the environment--the electric motor is able to recover energy when you decelerate. This "recuperation" ability converts the vehicle's kinetic energy into electric energy, which is then stored in the battery.

Plus, you're saving more money by consuming less petrol, with the A6 hybrid sipping a mere 6.4 liters per 100 kilometers.
In Singapore, the eco-friendly car costs S$278,150 inclusive of the certificate of entitlement (COE), about S$30,000 more than the normal saloon version. It's the first Audi hybrid to be commercially available in the city-state, although there are other models from car makers such as Lexus, Honda and Toyota already.
We also saw the Audi A1 e-tron concept car, which is scheduled for road testing in Southeast Asia in the near future. The A1 e-tron is powered by an electric motor and a Wankel engine, which kicks in when the battery supply is depleted and acts as a "range extender". Since it's a concept vehicle, you can't exactly go to a showroom and ask to take it out for a test drive, unlike the A6 hybrid.
We can tell you how it sounds like, though: Not much. The electric motor is so silent that Audi's acoustics experts have created an "e-sound" for its e-tron models. Our verdict: It lives up to its name with an audio signature straight out of the "Tron: Legacy" movie.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Toyota’s Camry Hybrid is the top car on road

Toyota’s Camry Hybrid is the top car on road

The Camry Hybrid XLE doesn’t make us feel like we’re giving up automotive civility in the name of economy.
The novelty of specialty gas-electric cars has worn off, so now we can focus on them as transportation instead of mere marvels of engineering. As well, hybrid drivetrains have been put into many everyday cars, such as this Toyota Camry, which in addition to shutting off its gas engine at stops also has an ECO mode and even an “EV” switch for electric-only operation.
But in EV mode I haven’t been able to go farther than six-tenths of a mile, and that only by creeping along a flat road at less than 25 miles per hour. As soon as the battery icon shows three-quarters empty, or a hill or traffic demands more throttle, the gas motor kicks in.
So why the EV button? The Camry Hybrid can, if conditions are right, cross a mall parking lot in dead silence, sneaking up on pedestrians along the way. Or maybe it’s to reduce exhaust fumes in urban congestion? But, at least in the cities I know, if you’re not willing to goose the throttle to close gaps and dart across intersections, you’ll be sliced, diced and left for dead. Your teenagers might thank you, though, for a car that lets them sneak silently up the driveway long past curfew.
But this isn’t driving, it’s playing computer games. I fiddle with the eco settings on this car until I’ve had enough, and then I look at the road instead of the dashboard, put my foot down and drive normally. This may be what Toyota wants, as then we discover that the TCH is a pretty decent car—better even, in some ways, than the regular version.
For starters, it’s a Camry, so it should last until heck freezes over. As befits one of America’s perpetual best-sellers, it is also handsome, spacious, comfortable, quiet, neatly screwed together and priced well. Unlike its gas-electric sibling, the Prius, a Camry Hybrid doesn’t feel like an ultralight airplane; it’s a substantial, if unexciting family sedan. Unlike the Prius, it doesn’t have an annoying backup alarm that only people inside the car can hear, or a goofy shift lever, or weird, grabby brakes. And, unlike even the 268-horsepower, 6-cylinder gas Camry, the Hybrid responds instantly to the throttle with a highly agreeable shove of electrically augmented torque.
Most of the creepy shudders, silences and dynamic deadness of other hybrids have been engineered out, so this car feels quite normal. Even the continuously variable transmission behaves like a “real” automatic. The Camry Hybrid doesn’t make us suffer in the name of saving gas.
It’s not even all that expensive. Camry Hybrid prices start at $26,750, delivery included. The upmarket XLE TCH starts at $28,160 (4-cylinder gas XLEs start at $25,535); with a backup camera, a touch screen and all sorts of connectivity features, ours stickered at $30,021—a bit less than an entry-level 6-cylinder gas Camry.
The feds rate the Camry Hybrid XLE at 40 miles per gallon in the city and 38 on the highway. (Hybrids do better at slower speeds because that’s where the electric motor can help.) The other night I drove this car on the interstate for 198 miles at computer-reported averages of 67 MPH and 35.7 MPG. Since then, I’ve racked up another 99 miles in town and on local roads, to the tune of 40.9 MPG.
The 4-cylinder gasoline Camry XLE is rated for 25 MPG in town and 35 on the highway. But on the highway, where the electrics are just tagging along for the ride, why doesn’t the gas car rate 38 MPG, same as the Hybrid? Especially since a 4-cylinder gas XLE weighs 3,245 pounds to the hybrid’s 3,441 pounds.
Maybe Toyota could create a hybrid that lets us simply undo a couple of latches and drop 200 pounds of batteries and electric motor at home before we set off on a road trip. Then we’d get 40-plus MPG in town, with electric help, and—with a lighter car—on the highway too.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Certified Used Hybrid Vehicle Program launched by toyota

Certified Used Hybrid Vehicle Program launched by toyota

In canadas history for the first time toyota is launching the Certified Used Hybrid Vehicle program.The company claims this is an expansion of their Certified Used Vehicle program,“designed to enable Canadians to buy previously-owned hybrid models with maximum confidence.”
Tony Wearing, Senior Managing Director, Toyota Canada Incsays, “Hybrids are as reliable, and as easy to own and drive, as conventional vehicles”. “So it’s natural to build on our program for certified pre-owned vehicles with this new initiative tailored to those built around Toyota’s proven hybrid technology. Add in the ability to view Toyota Dealer hybrid inventories online plus special financing rates, and it’s never been easier to shop for the right hybrid vehicle.”
Toyota certified used hybrid vehicles are treated like all other Toyota CPO vehicles, plus they undergo a special 134-point inspection, are reconditioned, and then backed by Toyota’s comprehensive warranty, including  Toyota’s eight-year/160,000 km warranty on all hybrid components.
“This new program is yet another example of why we have declared 2012 The Year of the Hybrid in Canada,” Wearing added.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Pursuit of the perfect blend: The best hybrid cars of 2012

Check out our list of some of the best hybrid vehicles out now and coming soon.
Last week we brought you our list of some of the the most fuel-efficient (non-hybrid) cars money can buy. This week we’re back to give you a look at some of the best hybrid cars out now and coming soon. Whether you’re looking for a traditional hybrid like the Toyota Prius, or have the money (not oil) to burn on a luxury laden model like the Infiniti M Hybrid, there is something here for everyone. 


Toyota Prius C

2012 Toyota Prius C
Being the baby of the family can be both a curse and a blessing, thankfully the Prius C handles the expectations placed on its shoulders by its bigger, and older, siblings the Prius Liftback (standard Prius) and Prius V. While Toyota claims the “c” stands for city, it may as well stand for cheap as well because the Prius C is the most cost effective hybrid model today with an MSRP of less than $19,000. And considering its 53 mpg in the city, 46 mpg on the highway, and 50 mpg combined, the Prius C is one of the most attractive hybrids on the market.

Toyota Prius (Liftback)

2012 Toyota Prius
What can’t we say about the Prius? Now in its third generation and enjoying a 12 year spell at the summit of hybrid vehicles, the Prius is without question the most popular hybrid on the market, selling  1.2 million units in U.S  since its introduction back  in 2000 . On top of sporting a spacious cabin with a comfortable ride, the Prius possesses the uncanny ability to forgo even modest amounts of fuel and carries an EPA rating of 51 mpg city, 48 mpg on the highway, with a combined 50 mpg.

Honda Insight

Honda Insight
Generally speaking, being first to market gives you an edge over the competition, but unfortunately the Insight has bucked that trend. And although it has long-lived in the shadow of the successful Prius (and its ever growing Prius family) the Insight provides a nice alternative to Toyota’s troupe, even if its redesign bears a striking resemblance to its Japanese rival. Nevertheless fuel economy is the name of the game here and the Insight proves its chops with 41 mpg city, 44 mpg highway, and 42 combined making it one of the more attractive 5-door hatchback hybrids on the market.

Mid Size:

Ford Fusion Hybrid

2013 Ford Fusion
While the Ford Fusion Hybrid has proven itself a perennial petrol sipper since its introduction in 2009, it’s the upcoming redesigned 2013 Fusion that has our engines rumbling. Showcasing a truly impressive physique, the 2013 Fusion Hybrid will differentiate itself from its predecessor by swapping out its previous nickel-metal hydride batteries for lighter, energy efficient lithium-ion batteries instead. The result is a dashing hybrid that is estimated to achieve 47 mpg in the city and 44 mpg on the highway. In addition, the new Fusion will come packed with some truly impressive features such as driver assistance technologies and a dynamic lane keeping system, adaptive cruise control, an integrated blind spot information system, among others. We imagine Ford’s latest version of MyFord Touch will also slither its way into the Fusion as well.

Hyundai Sonata Hybrid

Hyundai Sonata Hybrid
Stylistically speaking the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid is a real eye catcher and vividly characterizes Hyundai’s relatively new “wind swept” design language sweeping across many of its models. Nevertheless it’s not all style and no substance for the Korean automaker. On top of pleasing aesthetics, the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid delivers excellent fuel economy, netting 35 city, 40 highway, and a combined 37 mpg all on its lithium polymer battery pack, and still manages to sneak in at an equally attractive price point of $25,795.

Toyota Camry Hybrid

Toyota Camry Hybrid
For those willing to forgo flair for function, the Toyota Camry Hybrid is perhaps the best option. While not a particularly stylish set of wheels the Camry Hybrid makes up for its lack of character by offering up workmanlike fuel economy. The standard Camry has been one of the most popular vehicles in the American automaker for years now, and it seems customers are not opposed to throwing down an extra $3,000 for a hybrid model. Especially when that hybrid model can deliver 44 mpg in the city, 44 on the highway, and 44 combined. In a segment that is generally all about those numbers preceding “mpg,” the Camry is truly one to be reckoned with.


Lexus CT 200h

Lexus CT 200h
Saving the planet is not a cheap endeavor — not if that endeavor involves buying a more eco-friendly and fuel-efficient vehicle. As automakers quickly realized the willingness of the masses to spend green to go green, the not-so-long march to a premium branded hybrid was inevitable. Enter the Lexus CT200h. This stylish little entry-level premium hatchback signals the Japanese automaker’s continued effort to evolve and offer its hybrid drivetrain system in more than just its Toyota-badged vehicles. The CT200h stands out not only for its excellent fuel economy – which is estimated at 43 mpg city, 40 highway, and 42 combined – but for its dynamic handling, sporty ride, and compelling price point just south of $30,000.

Infiniti M Hybrid

Infiniti M Hybrid
While the luxury hybrid segment is still somewhat in its infancy, a moderate amount of choices exist for those willing to travel down this path. One such vehicle is the Infiniti M35h. Pairing a 3.5-liter V6 with an electric motor, the M hybrid is admittedly more fun than frugal, but despite its greater thirst for fuel the M does so with impressive efficiency, carrying an estimated 27 mpg in the city, 32 on the highway, and 29 combined.


Ford Escape Hybrid

Ford Escape Hybrid
It’s obvious that the majority of the hybrid scene is comprised of compacts and subcompacts of various ilks, but despite that reality there are those out there that require more heft and utility from their eco-minded vehicle. Enter the Ford Escape Hybrid. This fuel efficient crossover not only boasts some impressive numbers for its segment, try 34 mpg in the city, 31 mpg on the highway, and 32 combined, but also boasts a spacious tech-laden cabin and spirited road manners. The Escape hybrid may be getting a redesign for 2013, but the current crop on offer will provide a competent alternative to the diminutive hybrids frolicking about.

Toyota Prius V

Toyota Prius V
Completing our Prii trifecta is the Prius V. While technically not an SUV, we’re lumping the largest member of the Prius family in this category simply because we can; it’s our list. Regardless of classification, those needing some added flexibility with their fuel-efficiency will surely appreciate the V, which according to Toyota stands for “versatility” and not some misguided nod to what’s perhaps the worst Rocky film of all time. But we digress, and because it’s numbers we’re interested in the Prius V delivers with its EPA estimated 44 mpg city, 40 mpg highway, and 42 mpg combined rating. Add to that ample cargo space which sits at 34.3 cubic feet and balloons to 67.3 cubic feet with the rear seats down, and the Prius V encroaches on SUV-like utility.

Top Luxury/Performance pick:

Porsche Panamera S Hybrid

Porsche Panamera Hybrid
Admittedly this entry in our list is more about style, performance, and luxury than saving our wonderful Mother Earth. Chances are, if you’re up on the automotive totem pole so much so that you hardly bat an eye at the Panamera S Hybrid’s near $100,000 asking price we can’t imagine paying three, four, or even five dollars for a gallon of gas will cause you to lose much sleep at night, but the fact that Porsche has even delivered this vehicle is cause for praise. Sure upcoming legislation might have forced the company’s hand, but nevertheless in the Panamera S Hybrid we have a vehicle that few would consider turning down, even for more fuel efficient alternatives. Coincidently, Porsche’s hybrid doesn’t do too terribly in that department, delivering an EPA-estimated 22 mpg city, 30 mpg highway, and 25 mpg combined. Not bad considering its supercharged 3.0-liter V6 engine and electric motor produced 375 hp and 427 lb-ft of torque. Not bad at all.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Auto Insurance Quote: A Necessary Step Before You Buy An Insurance Policy

In our modern fast paced era, auto insurance is a necessary safeguard to ensure a trouble free relationship with your vehicle, and you must do your best to get a good auto insurance quote. It is extremely important that you grasp what is being insured and what are the conditions if any which exist in the auto insurance quote. However, you must be careful not to confuse an auto extended warranty with auto insurance, since the latter is basically nothing but a vehicle service contract.

Get the Maximum from an Auto Insurance Quote

If you are to get the full value from your auto insurance quote, you will have to understand the terms that are being offered, or else filing a claim when required becomes that much more difficult. There are a great number of insurance dealers who offer you auto insurance quote and other related issues in a very confusing manner. The prices and features that are offered from a broad number of insurance providers can be cross checked and a suitable price decided on when finalizing your auto insurance quote.

Online Auto Insurance Quotes

 Insurance Quotes Online can also be gleaned from a number of web sites that are related to affiliated issues. Some of the features that you can make use of are: 
  • Multiple insurance carriers present instant online auto insurance quotes.
  • Compare and choose auto insurance quotes and policies
  • Very simple forms have to be filled out for local agents to offer you multiple auto insurance quotes.
Time is of the essence and after the purchase of a new or second hand car you do not want to delay getting an auto insurance quote. You are at liberty to go to insurance companies which will almost immediately arrange three auto insurance quote either by telephone or email --- from a nationwide network of professionals dealing specifically with auto insurance quotes. Further, you are also at liberty to visit established sites to get a comprehensive range of auto insurance quotes. You then have the freedom to compare auto insurance quotes from over 110 companies and thus save up to 70% of your expenses online.
Promotional Auto Insurance Quotes

So far as auto insurance quotes are concerned, you will also have to remain extremely zzalert about the discounts offered or promotional offers of booklets and gifts. These are all gimmicks to beat competition of auto insurance quotes from other companies. For a good auto insurance quote approach a company that will not only understand your needs, but also provide you with services that are fast and easy. After you have accepted their auto insurance quote, the registration methods as well as the terms and conditions ought to be fairly simple - so that your time is not wasted.

After buying your auto insurance, one very important question to ask is - do you know what exactly your auto insurance quote covers and its limits and exclusions? This all must be clear before you accept an auto insurance quote. Thoroughly check out these points before finalizing the auto insurance quote of your choice ..
  • liability coverage
  • comprehensive insurance
  • your duties after an accident.

Do you always need to buy auto insurance after purchasing a vehicle? The answer is absolutely in the affirmative. Auto insurance can in no way be regarded as a luxury; it is most definitely and without any doubts a necessity. So select your auto insurance quotes with care and wisdom.

Hybrid is ultimate Toyota Camry

Imagine you're a department manager whose company vehicle budget is restricted to main players, those with decent service costs and preferably cars that look "normal" rather than flash.
You can't really get much more normal than a Camry. So normal were past models that the joke goes that you could buy a Camry only to find when you got home that you've already got one.
It's different now. The latest Camry is a sharp-looking unit for what is a classic three-box sedan, and when it goes to choosing one there's a whole raft of options, especially if you, like me, refer to the 3.5-litre Toyota Aurion, as the Camry V6. Which is what it is, with a nose and tail job to differentiate it from the 2.5-litre fours that keep the Camry name. I'm not quite sure why they just couldn't leave the nicely- proportioned Camry body alone, stuff the bigger engine under the nose anyway and have done with it, saving on body changes and of course the badge. There are badges enough as it is in the Camry range, with GL, Atara S, Atara SX and Hybrid and Hybrid i-tech variations, while the Aurion offers-up AT-X, SX-6 (say that while you're eating) and Touring versions.
I've now driven the whole of the range, and much as I love the creamy smoothness and elastic punch of the 200kW Aurion, there's too much weight up front for it to match the much-improved Camry four for poise and handling on the road. Also, while the bigger six is a quick car by any reckoning - under seven seconds to 100kmh, even in "D", - the Hybrid isn't that far behind.
There are other things I don't like about the Aurion too, like the massive boot spoilers, which give your peripheral vision the impression you're being tailgated by a light aircraft, while it obfuscates most following vehicles unless they're trucks. Quite apart from that, you're not allowed to go quickly enough to enjoy the aerodynamic benefits, while it adds so much weight on the lid that the counter springs have a job helping with boot opening, too.
The whole fleet of Camrys and Aurions we get are made in Australia, and it has to be said that the quality gains made at the Altona, Melbourne, plant through several generations of Ocker Camry are remarkable. The panel work is tightly cinched together, the paint orange-peel free and there wasn't a buzz or rattle to be found, heard or felt. There has also been a passing from brittle, hard-edged plastics on the immediately previous model to subtly-shaped, classily textured vinyls and leather-wrapped levers and wheelrims which is most welcome. Top models even have a stitched faux-hide dash top, that really adds some style too.
On the outside you might spot the badges on the car's flanks and tail, but from a passenger's point of view, the Hybrid is no different to the standard Camry, with the exception of the lack of a fold-down rear seat, although unlike the previous Hybrid Camry it does have a ski-through slot due to a change in battery and inverter packaging, and the boot gains 60 litres of volume over the old car and this goes some way to placating cab drivers whose biggest complaint about the old Camry Hybrid was its restricted load space.
There's lots of space for adults in the front and the back thanks to the reshaping of the Camry, which provides not only a light, airy cabin, but one with good rear headroom, so tall occupants out back who felt a little snug in the 2011 model, will have no problem with this year's.
In terms of safety, the Camry Hybrid has nine airbags as standard including a driver's knee airbag, while active safety reads like an alphabet soup of technical acronyms, like: Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), Traction Control (TRC) and ABS with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), and Brake Assist (BA).
On the home comfort and equipment front, the Hybrid, like every Camry takes air conditioning, a hot CD audio system, with Bluetooth handsfree and audio streaming capabilities along with Auxiliary and USB input and iPod connectivity. They also get audio and cruise controls on or close to the steering wheel and six- speakers for the sound system.
Compared with the first generation 2.4-litre Camry hybrid, the new model's petrol engine is a 2.5-litre unit that remains a super- efficient, if less than ideally torquey Atkinson-cycle unit, with its low-end performance bolstered of course by the electric part of the car's Hybrid Synergy Drive equation. A water-cooled exhaust gas recirculation system now recycles some of the engine's gaseous discharge, and allows the air/fuel ratio to be as lean as possible. The port-injected four- cylinder engine now manages to produce 118kW to the previous model's 110kW while the torque output is now 213Nm, up 24Nm.
The electric component of the Hybrid Synergy Drive system produces 105kW and 270Nm and can propel the Camry alone, as long as the 1.6kW/hr nickel-metal-hydride has sufficient charge. Working together the battery and petrol-fuelled components are restricted to producing about 150kW and the way the powertrain blends, divides and applies its power sources is uncanny.
Like the Prius models, the Camry Hybrid has Eco and EV modes, each selectable by way of a console switch, and for most commuter driving the Eco setting is fine. The car keeps pace very easily in that mode, drops into electric power when travelling slowly and sips at the tank's fuel very sparingly. The Camry can still get a good boost if you floor the throttle in this mode, if not as briskly as in the what we could call normal driving state.
The Camry's EV setting selects electric power on its own and this is ideal for a few kays' driving around town or perhaps for negotiating car parks. Be aware though of how quiet the car is in this mode, as pedestrians and cyclists can get a fright.
Left to its own devices, in "D" and allowing the Hybrid Synergy Drive to make the decisions about what combination of electric and petrol power is required, all you have to do is squeeze the throttle. Squeeze it hard and the Camry is capable of hitting 100kmh in just over seven seconds, which is not hanging about for a four-cylinder car, albeit a hybrid assisted one. It's nothing to sneeze at for a six either, and though the Camry Hybrid is ultimately slower than an Aurion, it's not by much, and with the ability to sip fuel at about half the rate I can't think who'd want the V6 sedan.
Open-road pace is surprisingly restful. A dab on the accelerator will whisk the car past slower traffic, with just a lilt of the engine note as the CVT transmission compensates for the driver's request, and once settled back to 100kmh, the Camry Hybrid is an ethereally pleasant place to sit and drive.
The Hybrid Camry, like its conventional siblings, has been on a weight-reduction programme, and ends up a useful 58kg lighter than its predecessor, at 1570kg.
There's a little more weight up front than the petrol-only car, but that appears to be nicely balanced by the battery pack, as the Camry Hybrid feels no less wieldy than the basic car, which as part of its revamp earlier this year gained a chassis of some talent. The model is also 20 per cent stiffer than its predecessor, and it shows. In fact, the tacility and accuracy of the Camry Hybrid is a delight and that's another reason I'd plump for the petrol-electric car over the nevertheless impressive 3.5-litre V6 which is more nose-heavy.
In terms of ride quality, the 17-inch rimmed Camry Hybrid is a well-damped and surprisingly competent negotiator of broken surfaces. Suspension movement is quiet and there appears to be plenty of body control, as when cornering there's little to upset passengers.
The Camry Hybrid is offered in two trim levels, the $50,990 base car and the $56,890 i-tech version. In recent months the i-tech moniker has become attached to the upper-echelon version of all Toyota hybrids and so it is with the leather and all the fruit Camry Hybrid i-tech, which with Sat-Nav and every bell and whistle leaves nothing on the must-have list.
It's possible to opt for a base $44,990 Camry, with the $48,890 Atara S and $51,490 Atara SX models making up that car's pecking-order, while fans who like the idea of a V6 Camry, can go for the Aurion - no, I don't know what it means - which goes from the $49,690 AT-X, through the $51,790 Sportivo SX6 to the all-singing and dancing $52,090 Touring model.
Thus, the Camry Hybrid i-tech is the most expensive of this family of Australian Toyotas, but irrefutably the best of them for all that money. However, the ordinary common-or-garden Camry Hybrid is not the most expensive and it undercuts the top two Aurions despite being a better, more frugal drive.
So, returning to my made-up job of department manager, I'd put in for the Camry Hybrid i-tech, with a fall-back of the straight Hybrid, which might lack the satnav and leather, but has darn near everything else and behaves on the road in an identical manner. I wouldn't care if I was bumped back to the base Hybrid - the accountant would be pleased with the fuel costs, head office with the green credentials, and as I wave goodnight to my boss in his top-spec Aurion, I'd be pleased to be going home in the better car.
I never rated hybrids, often relating the cost and the fact that you're dragging around two engines when most cars have just one to anyone who'll listen. But this car - like the recently introduced Prius C - is different. It gets rid of the hybrid novelty factor and allows its user to get on with driving the car.
Meanwhile, if you can't stretch to the Hybrid, even the GL and Atara Camrys are a pleasant enough drive, with 131 and 135kW on tap respectively. But they're not half the car the Hybrid is, probably Toyota's best current offering in New Zealand.