Toyota in the US has released a hybrid Camry which seems to be the larger Prius that many people have wanted. Since it's release the Prius has been greatly desired by people who like technology and the environment. The only down-side to the Prius is that it is a small car and doesn't have as much room for baggage or passengers as you might desire.
The new Camry Hybrid has the Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) that gives the Prius it's smooth ride, the keyless start (optional), DVD navigation via a large screen, six airbags, and tire pressure monitoring.
The above review states that the test car shuddered when the engine started and made odd mechanical noises. It's not indicated in the article but I suspect that the car may have been an early production test model rather than the type of car you will get if you actually buy one. The Prius I drove did not shudder or make any odd noises (in fact hardly any noise that I could hear). Maybe if I drove a Prius in a country area I would hear some noises, but in the city (which the Prius is designed for) the Prius didn't make any
engine sounds I could here. I expect that the hybrid Camry will perform as well as the Prius in this regard.
The review describes the hybrid Camry as giving 35mpg with a driving pattern that was not the most fuel efficient, that is roughly 6.7 liters per 100Km which is more than the quoted rate for some small cars. The four-door Smart cars are advertised as using 5.8L/100Km and Diesel allows even better efficiency. But if you want the space of a Camry then 7.1L/100Km is fairly good, especially considering that you could reduce that by driving more slowly. Also we have to consider that the primary aim of the Prius design (and presumably the design of the hybrid Camry) is to protect the environment by reducing the poisonous emissions, this may reduce the fuel efficiency slightly (the aim of reducing emissions is not always compatable with the aim of reducing fuel use).
There are apparently 3.785 liters to a US gallon. A US mile has 1760 yards and a yard is apparently 0.9144m, so a US mile would be 1760*0.9144 = 1609 meters or 1.609Km.
To convert MPG (the US measurement of fuel use when based on a US mile and a US gallon) to L/100KM (the Australian way of measuring fuel use) you use the above formula (where X is the MPG rating). I included this information here because I couldn't find it anywhere else.
I was going to post this before but was side-tracked by the flash issue.
Also I've included a beard picture for day 12 (yesterday).