More action in medium/large car range

18:07, Oct 22 2012
Toyota Camry Hybrid
Improved driving environment: All Camrys and Aurions show massive inmporvments in dash design, detailing and material choice. This is the Camry Atara S.
Toyota Camry Hybrid
Better load space: the hybrid still lags behind the standard Camry, but it is much improved over the previous hybrid Camry.
Toyota Camry Hybrid
Hybrid telltale: A couple of badges on the right side of the bootlid and others just above and behind the front wheelarches give the game away. And the fact that the car does not need to be filled-up very often.
Toyota Camry Hybrid
Toyota Camry Hybrid: It's very restraint makes it the best-looking Camry or Aurion in the line-up. Add-in the economy, low emissions and refinement and it's a no-brainer.
Toyota Camry Hybrid
Camry Hybrid: Industrial-strength cabling and Hybrid Synergy Drive plaque are the only real indications of why this Camry goes so well.

There was more action from this traditionally quiet sector this year, with a 2.0-litre turbocharged four going into both the Mondeo and Falcon, and working well in both instances.

Another possibility in the AMI NZ Autocar Car of the Year medium/large car category is Chrysler's second-generation 300C, sporting added refinement and luxury along with new drivetrains and a more polished look.

Euro design and engineering input combined well with traditional Hyundai strengths in the i40 wagon, and towards the end of the year, a comeback kid, MG, announced the first of its British-designed Chinese-built sedans, the MG6, based loosely on the MG-ZT of old.

Rounding out the medium sector is a trio of Toyotas, one an elongated example of the Prius, called the V, and a pair from Toyota Australia.

The Camry took some time to reach maturity, but this rounded, seventh-generation range compensates; even the hybrid isn't too bad to drive.

For those wedded to sixes, there's the new Aurion. And for those who like 4WD wagons, VW introduced its all-paw Alltrack Passat.

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The new Chrysler 300.
Chrysler 300: Styling changes are subtle but conspire to create a more mature and less sinister look for the car.
The new Chrysler 300.
Vastly improved: The Chrysler 300's cabin is now replete with top quality materials and sensibly chosen and organised technology.
The new Chrysler 300.
Familiar rear: The Chrysler 300's tail looks quite short, but disguises a massive boot.
Chrysler 300
Nice detail: Chrsyler should mint a watch based on its 300's dash clock.
Chrysler 300
Side-strake: The deeper crease-line rises from the front wheel-arch to the rear of the to give it more horizontal visual tension. Bootline still looks a tad stubby.
Chrysler 300
Chrysler 300: Sorting-office grille makes way for much smarter seven-vane design, while subtle chnages to the crease lines sharpen-up a seven-year-old car.
Ford Falcon EcoBoost turbocharged 2.0-litre four.
Legroom: It's one of the most capacious four-cylinder cars in the business, especially for rear passengers.
Ford Falcon EcoBoost turbocharged 2.0-litre four.
Sober cabin: Smart, but hardly flashy the Falcon's interior would be even more dull without its silver dash slivers.
Ford Falcon EcoBoost turbocharged 2.0-litre four.
Rear view: Conservative lines belie the latest Falcon's considerable technical prowess.
Ford Falcon EcoBoost turbocharged 2.0-litre four.
Ford Falcon EcoBoost: There are no signs externally that this is a four, and no clues when you drive it, either.
2012 Toyota Aurion Touring 3.5P.
2012 Toyota Aurion Touring 3.5P.
2012 Toyota Aurion Touring 3.5P.
2012 Toyota Aurion Touring 3.5P.
2012 Toyota Aurion Touring 3.5P.
2012 Toyota Aurion Touring 3.5P.
2012 Toyota Aurion Touring 3.5P.
2012 Toyota Aurion Touring 3.5P.
2012 Toyota Aurion Touring 3.5P.
2012 Toyota Aurion Touring 3.5P.
2012 Toyota Aurion Touring 3.5P.
2012 Toyota Aurion Touring 3.5P.
The new Chinese-built MG6.
The new Chinese-built MG6.
The new Chinese-built MG6.
The new Chinese-built MG6.
The new Chinese-built MG6.
The new Chinese-built MG6.
Chrysler's second-generation 300C.
BIG CAR: Chrysler's second-generation 300C.

NZ Autocar