Toyota Camry Performance & First Drive


Toyota Camry Overview

The Toyota Camry is a car that needs little introduction. One of the most successful sedans in the world, the flagship Toyota saloon has done rather well in the diesel-oriented Indian market as well. In fact, when the hybrid version of the Camry was launched, Toyota sold more cars than they expected and such is the demand for the efficient powerplant, that for the new Camry, Toyota has decided to go hybrid only. Of course, that is not the only talking point. The new Camry is an improvement over the older car in all respects. It’s bigger, more luxurious, better equipped, better styled, more efficient and cheaper than the outgoing car!

The Toyota Camry is now in its 8th generation and Toyota has decided to go hybrid-only with this sedan. The Camry is a super popular car worldwide and is known for its reliability and no-nonsense nature.

Toyota Camry Exterior & Style

This is the eighth generation of the Camry globally, and it’s based on the TNGA (Toyota New Global Architecture) modular platform, which uses a greater percentage of high-tensile steel. Not only is the structure lighter in weight, but its structural rigidity has been improved by around 30 percent. It is also longer and wider than the older car by 35mm and 15mm respectively, and its wheelbase has gone up by 50mm. Despite its larger dimensions, its kerb weight has gone up by just 30kg. What’s more is that it is powered by an all-new 2.5-litre petrol engine mated to a fourth-generation hybrid system, so both power output and efficiency have improved.

Toyota designs, in recent times, haven’t exactly been subtle, with some sharp cuts and creases, and bold design cues, and the new Camry isn’t an exception. Take, for instance, the oversized front grille that makes quite a statement and stands out in lighter colours. The V-shaped front grille looks quite smart and so do the headlamps with LED DRLs on the edges. The sloping roofline, confident waistline, 18-inch multi-spoke alloy mean the car has a balanced and sporty stance. The rear has rather interesting elements like an integrated spoiler and stretched-out tail-lamps with clear-lens inserts.

Toyota Camry Interior & Space

The pre-facelift Camry boasted of an interior that could teach a thing or two to the segment-dominating Europeans and the new one continues the good work. You’ll notice that the mood-lighting wears a muted blue shade that’s most relaxing, further helping the occupants leave the worries of the world outside. The buttons on the dash have been rearranged slightly, but it is still all very easy to understand. From the meter console to the hi-rez, touch-screen display in the centre – there’s a fair bit of information flowing between them. Toyota have even packed in a nifty graphic UI that displays the working of the hybrid system in real time driving conditions.

The seats out front are large and come well-bolstered. There’s full electronic controls for the backrest as well as height adjust, which means it is a piece of cake to get a real good feel in the cockpit. The steering is nice and light around town, which makes twirling, what is a fairly large car, a rather easy thing. However, it felt much too vague as the speeds built up, nothing too uncomfortable, but a tighter steering would have worked wonders here.

Things at the rear are quintessential Camry. You’re welcomed by plush upholstery that one virtually sinks into. The feeling is further heightened when you recline the rear back-rest by up-to eight degrees. A friendly warning here though – once you sink into that sofa seating, you’re going to have a mighty tough time in getting out. It really is that comfy out back. This is a car that you’ll beg to be driven around in. Toyota have kitted the car with its own climate control zone at the rear and all the leg/knee room that one could seek. We thoroughly enjoyed powering up the blind on the window screen and sinking into a cocooned world of our own. The blinds on the rear windows though, are the manual type and require you to exert some effort. Toyota’s confidence in the Camry’s rear seat comfort is so complete that they have built thick grab-rails into the back of the front seats, to aid passengers in exiting the car

Toyota Camry Engine & Gearbox

The new Camry hybrid is now powered by an all-new, 2,487cc, four-cylinder petrol engine that makes 178hp and 221Nm of torque, an improvement of 18hp and 8Nm compared to the older engine, and this one boasts a more efficient combustion system as well. In addition to the petrol engine, there’s a 245V Nickel Hydride battery pack and an all-new, fourth-generation hybrid system motor generator that’s lighter and has an output of 120hp and 202Nm (23hp and 68Nm lesser than before). In synergy though, the combined output of the hybrid system (petrol plus battery) is 218hp – an increase of 13hp. What’s also improved is its fuel efficiency, which is rated at an impressive 23.27kpl.

There’s absolutely no sound or vibration on start-up and as long as there is enough charge, it will run entirely on battery power (in EV mode) at low speeds, in complete silence. When the petrol motor fires up, the transition isn’t seamless. Cabin insulation is great and there are no vibrations to speak of, but when the four-cylinder engine kicks in, there is a bit of a surge.To know more details on Camry check Oprst

The naturally aspirated petrol motor is quite refined on its own and at town or cruising speeds, it’s barely audible. The refined nature urges the driver to adopt a relaxed, efficient driving style and, in return, it offers a serene drive experience and tall fuel economy. There’s ample power available on demand, which it delivers in a smooth, linear manner. Put your foot down to close in a gap in traffic or overtake on the highway, and responses are almost instantaneous as the electric motor provides an additional boost to the petrol.

Mated to this engine is an e-CVT which delivers the engine’s power in an effortless manner. Under hard acceleration, however, the rubber-band effect is present as the transmission holds on to the max revs as the car builds speed. And it is at such times that it gets vocal but still never to the point of being too loud or intrusive. And in ‘Sport’ using the paddles for a downshift now actually gets some engine braking.

Toyota Camry Ride & Handling

The main purpose of the Toyota Camry is to transport its passengers in utmost comfort and you bet, it does its job very nicely. The suspension has been tuned for a very plush ride, potholes or rather craters on our roads don’t bother this sedan much and in fact, it just glides over everything. The Camry feels very stable and composed throughout. Even after a really long drive in this, you won’t feel much fatigue and full marks to the suspension for that.

The steering feel is also quite sorted, light at city speeds and weighs up nicely as you increase the pace. It could’ve offered better feedback though. Body roll can be felt when you corner hard because the suspension setup is on the softer side, but compared to the last generation, the body roll is significantly lower. The brakes also work great offering a sharp bite while the tyres have good levels of grip.

Toyota Camry Safety & Security

Safety is never a bother with Toyota’s India line-up. It is but natural then that the top-spec car from the company’s range gets a whole hog of safety. Toyota gives 9 airbags, ABS with EBD, traction control, ESP and child seat anchorages as standard. It is likely that the Camry will score top marks in crash tests with so much on offer. The Camry offers world-class safety and it is right up there with the competition. Toyota’s service and reliability, as we all know, is top class too.

Toyota Camry Price in Mumbai

Toyota Camry On Road Price is 43,09,768/- and Ex-showroom Price is 36,95,000/- in Mumbai. Toyota Camry comes in 7 colours, namely Dark Brown Mica Metallic,Silver Metallic,White Pearl Crystal Shine,Grey Metallic,True Blue Mica Metallic,Attitude Black,Greyish Blue Mica Metallic. Toyota Camry comes with FWD with 2494 CC Displacement and 4 Cylinders with Maximum Power 158 bhp@5700 rpm and Peak Torque 213 Nm@4500 rpm DRIVE TRAIN FWD and reaches 100 KMPH at N/A . Toyota Camry comes with Automatic Transmission with FWD .Check for Camry price in Mumbai at Tryaldrive.

Toyota Camry Final Word

Like before, the new Toyota Camry Hybrid will appeal to the chauffeur-driven lot. It has a very comfortable and spacious backseat, a hushed cabin and a cushy suspension, all of which add to its relaxed and refined character. What also impresses is that its new construction and dynamics make it lot more confidence-inspiring and willing from behind the wheel. And while it’s still not exciting to drive per se, what it does offers is a degree of engagement that was sorely lacking in the older generation. At Rs 36.95 lakh (ex-showroom, India), this car isn’t cheap, but then it offers a lot in terms of equipment and safety kit. And then there’s the fact that this car will be far less polluting and as efficient as petrol hatchbacks, thus making a strong case for itself.

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