Toyota Cries Foul In Hybrid Comparo: 'Camry Bigger Than Fusion'

January 26, 2009

Long a Toyota selling point, fuel efficiency is now a sales strategy even the slow-to-follow domestics are quickly adopting. Ford pulled a huge surprise out of its pocket with the 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid, which not only beats the Camry hybrid in EPA efficiency (33/34 Camry hybrid, 41/36 Fusion hybrid), but also beat three other hybrid contenders including the Toyota Camry in Car and Driver's January issue.

Jon F. Thompson, editor of Toyota's Open Road blog, says that Toyota "respectfully and cordially" disagrees with the EPA's definition of a midsize car. He claims that a more apt comparison, based on vehicle size, would be between Toyota's Prius and the Ford Fusion hybrid (in which case the Prius would trounce the Fusion in efficiency).

2010 Ford Fusion

2010 Ford Fusion

Enlarge Photo

While EPA milage figures can be misleading, we note that Car and Driver recorded a significant 3 mpg more (34 mpg) with the Ford Fusion hybrid than they did with the Camry hybrid on an observed 300 mile loop. And as to Toyota's contention that the Camry hybrid is a significantly larger vehicle and thus should not be judged alongside the more frugal Fusion, we present you with Car and Driver's summary of interior volumes:

  • Front: Camry - 53 cu. ft, Fusion - 54 cu. ft
  • Rear: Camry - 47 cu. ft, Fusion - 46 cu. ft
  • Trunk: Camry - 11 cu. ft, Fusion - 12 cu. ft

Furthermore, Car and Driver lauded the Fusion hybrid as "a four-door with civilized room for five" and claimed that "nothing about the leather-lined test car...seemed economy-minded."

Is Toyota being a sore loser and splitting hairs, or do you think they have a valid argument?

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