This is the new Toyota Camry and there's a lot more to it than meets the eye. What is that you ask? We’ll answer that question by telling you 5 things that are great about the Camry and 2 things that aren’t!
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We start with what’s most different about the new Camry and that is the engine, in fact, let’s make that engines. You see, the Camry is propelled by petrol and an electric motor.
The main source is the 2.5-litre, 4-cylinder petrol engine that makes 176bhp and 221 Nm of torque. Combined with the electric motor, the total adds up to an impressive 220bhp.
So the electric motor kicks it off by getting the car in motion or in start-stop traffic after which the petrol motor takes over. As expected, in electric mode, the Camry is eerily silent. In fact, one can only hear the engine under full bore acceleration when the CVT gearbox gets the rev-counter swinging.
Even with 220bhp, this isn’t a sports car. The engine has a nice relaxed character with a strong midrange that helps to get up to triple digit speeds with ease. Even the CVT has been set in line with a relaxed tune and does not like to be hustled with.
Yes, we know that styling is subjective but just look at it. All those cuts and creases and that sporty stance. You will agree that the Camry is quite a looker.
The new Camry is wider and lower than its predecessor and the surprisingly aggressive stance is hard to miss. Even the headlights sport a lot of details and get a triple-layer daytime running lights that are unique to this car. The 18-inch wheels, too, are brilliant to look at. Overall though, the Camry Hybrid has a well-balanced look and there is no denying that it is a big car.
Plenty of Equipment
This is a luxury car and Toyota has made sure it isn’t skimping on equipment. You get electrically adjustable front seats, a head-up display, paddle shifters, nine-speaker JBL audio system, three-zone climate control, wireless smartphone charging, electrically adjustable steering column, nine airbags, ABS, traction control and plenty more.
The Camry is made to cocoon you in comfort and the plush suspension does just that. The Camry rides in typical luxury car fashion, extremely compliant and insulated at slow speeds but wallowy over a highway, especially over dips and elongated humps. Even around town, the Camry takes in the bad surfaces very well and the cushy ride quality makes driving the Camry a very relaxing affair.
Rear seat comfort
This is the place where most of the Camry owners will spend most of their time and believe me its an extremely comfortable place to be in.
Both the seatback and the base are extremely supportive with perfect cushioning and bolstering, giving the rear bench an arm-chair like feel to it. Those at the back get treated further with an electric recline function and a touch-sensitive control panel for the audio system and AC.
Not for the spirited driver
Another reason why most owners would love spending time in the back seat is that the Camry isn’t really the car to enjoy spirited driving.
The electrically assisted steering tends to become vague off centre and does not offer too much feel. Even the suspension is just too soft and does not really inspire you to push further. With all that weight and those big dimensions, the Camry is better enjoyed cruising the highways in comfort.
Plenty of hard plastics, not visually appealing
As you can see, this is a pretty good looking dash, but look deeper and you will notice some flaws. There are hard plastics all over the dash and door pads which detract from what is otherwise a vastly improved cabin. Most of the buttons, the window switch panel and the door handles lack that sense of ultimate solidity that you get from the Germans. What’s more, the UI and fonts for the infotainment system and the MID are far from slick and appear dated.
The Camry pretty much checks all the boxes that you need from a luxury sedan. It looks great, has a big list of features and offers fantastic rear seat comfort with the hybrid powertrain being the icing on the cake. No, it’s not the most spirited car to drive out there, but if comfort is your priority the new Camry will definitely appeal to you.