For 2014, Toyota isn’t doing much new with its Camry Hybrid. Why change up a good thing when it is clearly a decent seller for the Japanese auto manufacturer? The model family has done quite well, selling over 10 million units in the U.S. alone since being introduced here i 1983. It is one of the benchmark mid-size sedans on the market, and its hybrid design looks to continue the trend as time marches along.
The 2014 Toyota Camry Hybrid is rated by the EPA with 43 mpg city/39 mpg highway/41 mpg combined fuel economy. This comes courtesy of the vehicle’s hybrid drivetrain, which combines
output from the 2.5-liter Atkinson cycle four-cylinder engine and a small high-torque electric motor. The system produces a combined 200 horsepower and varies power between the gas engine and electric motor, or combines both, as needed. A 7.6-second zero-to-60 acceleration time places the Camry Hybrid’s performance between the four-cylinder and V6 models. Lower rolling resistance tires, available for the first time in 17-inch size, also help boost fuel economy.
An EV driver mode, as in previous years, lets the driver, under certain conditions, operate the hybrid solely on the electric motor for up to 1.6 miles at speeds below 25 mph. An ECO mode also optimizes throttle response and air conditioning output to help prioritize maximum fuel economy.
In pursuit of ultimate efficiency, said Toyota, “there are situations in which the gas engine in the Camry Hybrid shuts off for electric propulsion, and air conditioning and power steering systems are driven electrically.” Power can be returned to the nickel-metal-hydride battery that allows for this via regenerative braking, which converts the electric motor to a generator that captures the kinetic energy from the still-turning wheels when the brake is applied.
Another important feature for the economy minded driver is a hybrid-exclusive instrument cluster with system and fuel economy indicators to help one operate the car as efficiently as possible. Instantaneous fuel economy is shown with LEDs around the outside of the average fuel economy gauge, while the Camry Hybrid’s “Multi-Information” display graphically shows fuel economy in real time and can also show energy flow and cruising range information.