Toyota Camry becomes first locally built hybrid to win Australia’s Best Cars award

If you are a fleet manager considering investing in the procurement of fuel efficient cars for your organisation, you may be interested to find that a Toyota hybrid has just made history in the Australia's Best Cars awards.

The popular Toyota Camry was named as the Best Medium Car available for under $50,000, marking the first time an Australian built hybrid has claimed a prize in the prestigious awards.

"This award means that Australia’s motoring clubs recognise that the Camry Hybrid range delivers advances in dynamic performance, refinement and efficiency," said Toyota Australia executive director of sales and marketing Matthew Callachor in a statement released November 27.

“Chief among Camry Hybrid’s strengths is an unrivalled combination of spirited power and seamless acceleration while using substantially less fuel."

The Best Cars awards judges commemorated the latest Toyota Camry model for the significant improvements made over the last iteration, noting that it had received improved marks for design, function and on-road competency.

"In many ways, the new Camry Hybrid is the most rounded, best value vehicle of its type to hit the Australian market," wrote the judges.

The Camry received high marks for running and repair costs, fuel consumption, safety and the environment, scores which allowed it to beat out other category contenders such as the Kia Optima Si and the Volkswagen Jetta 118TSI.

It did however fall short in some areas, receiving a score of just seven out of ten for price, handling, braking and ergonomics, as well as a score of six for cost of depreciation and a five for warranty and dealer access.

Nonetheless, this latest award rounds off a successful year for the Toyota Camry, which also recently celebrated receiving the 2012 People's Choice award in the Green Cars category.