Toyota Camry Facelift First Look Review


Toyota Camry Overview

Let’s address the elephant in the room right at the outset. Toyota’s Camry costs Rs 36.95 lakh. Yes, it’s Rs 27,000 LESS compared to the car it replaces. But, by no stretch of imagination, can it be called affordable. On one end you’ve got the Superb from Skoda that’s throwing heavy punches and undercutting the Camry heavily on price, on the other there’s the Honda Accord that’s desirable but priced in a way that hurts your property buying decisions. Let’s not forget that the Camry faces a very credible threat from within the stable in the form of the Toyota Fortuner. We know we’re talking of apples and oranges. But if the questions on our weekly #CarDekhoFridays YouTube live session are anything to go by, buyers want bang for buck, and seldom shop from a single segment.

It’s an uphill task for the Camry, sure. We drive the latest generation of what’s a global favourite, and widely hailed as among the most reliable cars you can ever buy, to answer just one question: Should you even consider buying one?

Yes, the Rs 36.95 lakh sticker price isn’t something you’d say yes to in a heartbeat. And, admittedly, it might not immediately appeal to anyone hunting for a big badge to show off to his pals at the golf club. But Toyota’s Camry is all grown up. With the new generation, it brings a promise of amplified luxury, amplified driving experience, and if Toyota’s to be believed, amplified efficiency as well.

Toyota Camry Exteriors

The new Camry is wider and lower than its predecessor and the surprisingly aggressive stance is hard to miss. Unarguably, the most striking piece of design is upfront wherein you will find a sharply sculpted bumper with a lot of bling. On top of it are the beautifully detailed LED headlights with triple-layer daytime running lights that are unique to this car.

The 18-inch wheels, too, are brilliant to look at. Sadly, there is nothing happening at the rear – it appears dull and restrained, despite the broad LED taillights and the lip spoiler. Overall though, the Camry Hybrid has a well-balanced look and there is no denying that it is a big car. As a matter of fact, it’s the longest in its segment and its 2825mm wheelbase isn’t too far off the mighty Skoda Superb.

Toyota Camry Interiors

It comes as no surprise then that the new Camry is extremely spacious, particularly in the rear. There’s enough and more kneeroom for even the tallest adults. And the shoulder room is handsome too; excessive for two and roomy enough for three. Also, with the battery stack now placed under the rear seat, Toyota claims the boot is both bigger and more usable.For more info on Toyota Camry check Wwrdheritage

We, meanwhile, fell in love with the rear seats on the new Camry. To begin with, these are supremely comfortable. They are large, cushy and supportive and feel great to touch. And, they have electrical adjustment for the back rest.Besides that, there’s a dedicated climate control zone for the rear passengers. And the rear central armrest now gets capacitive touch operation for audio, seat-back adjustment, and climate control. Furthermore, the left rear passenger also has the option to adjust the front passenger’s seat; the perfect feature for those being chauffeur-driven.

Upfront, the dash design is refreshing. There’s a large touchscreen surrounded by aircon and shortcut buttons for the audio. And, the choice of colours and materials give the Camry’s interior an air of opulence. Additionally, the front seats, much like the ones at the back, are big, comfy, and rich to the touch. These are also electrically adjustable for reach, recline and height. And, they also have memory function, and are vented.

Other telling features include, in-built navigation, a head-up display, three-zone climate control, rear power shade and a sunroof. For safety, the Camry gets nine airbags, stability control, traction control, and tyre pressure monitoring.However, a closer examination brings up chinks in the Camry’s interior. Now, these aren’t those make-or-break type of flaws, but they do fall a little short of our expectations for the car. The power window switches, the matte black finish on the steering, the choice of fonts for both the touchscreen and the driver MID, leave a little to be desired. These lack that luxury and quality feel that Camry is selling.

Toyota Camry Transmission

Toyota is offering the Camry with a single drivetrain option. There’s a 2.5-litre petrol engine paired with an electric motor and a battery pack under that swanky body. Yes, it sounds identical to the old setup, but it’s completely new down to every single nut and bolt. At least that’s what Toyota told us. The petrol engine makes 178PS of power and 221Nm of torque. That’s a solid 18PS and 8Nm extra compared to the older engine. On the electric end of things, the system has moved from a 650V to a 245V setup. Power output from the electric motor has reduced, from 143PS to 120PS. Torque too is lower than before — 202Nm vs 270Nm. That said, the combined output of the hybrid drivetrain is higher than before at 218PS (vs 202PS).

Also, yes, the Camry has gained a negligible 30kg compared to the old car. That said, it feels ages better to drive. Much like the old Camry you first need to get used to the sheer silence when you start it up. The pin-drop silence is because the Camry starts up in EV mode. Look for the small ‘Ready’ light on the instrument cluster for your cue. Get going and it’s only the electric motor that drives the front wheel. It feels at ease pushing the car along upto 35-40kmph, under low load conditions. Prod a bit further on the throttle and the 2.5-litre petrol engine comes to life with a small gargle.

It also happens to be the only time you’ll hear the engine if you’re driving calmly. And for the most part you can’t really tell when the car is being propelled by hybrid power or on pure electricity. Driving in this manner will also see you get very close to Toyota’s claimed 23.27kmpl. The previous-generation Camry managed about 14kmpl inside the city and 18kmpl on the highway in our real-world tests. So we’ve got enough reason to believe the new Camry would be as efficient, if not more. Switch to Eco mode and it’d help you eke out even more efficiency. But bear in mind it’ll dull out throttle response a fair bit.

Switching to Sport mode makes the throttle snappier, and the petrol engine is on song more often. This is the mode to be in if you like fast-paced highway cruising. Overtaking takes nothing more than a dab of the throttle, and maintaining triple digit speeds feels like second nature to the Camry. Piecing this experience together is the e-CVT. This too feels more polished than before, responding to part-throttle inputs better. That said, you will hear the engine revving its way to glory for a second or two before you actually see progress. It still doesn’t like being hurried, and would prefer you had predictable inputs on the throttle.

Toyota Camry Driving

It goes without saying that the Camry gets up to highway speeds with ease. The effortless acceleration, in fact, goes well with the laidback, comforting nature of the car. As for the gearbox, the CVT has been tuned in line with the relaxed nature of the car. As a result, it is a little slow to react and not exactly engaging when you are up for some fun behind the wheel. The engine also becomes a little loud under hard pulls but once you are up to speed, it settles into a quiet hum, barely heard even above triple digit speeds. What’s audible though is the distant rumble from the economy-biased tyres but it’s not bothersome.

Our time with the car was mostly restricted to the wide and smooth tarmac of the Outer Ring Road, Hyderabad. Even so, we found out that it rides in the typical luxury car way – extremely compliant and insulated at slow speeds but wallowy over a highway, especially over dips and elongated humps. Meanwhile, the electrically assisted steering is surprisingly quick, too, but the sensation doesn’t last as it tends to become vague off centre. We have no gripes with the braking performance though – stopping power is strong and the pedal feel is consistent as well despite regenerative braking.

Toyota Camry Safety

To keep you safe, Toyota is offering 9 airbags on the Camry. There’s anti-lock braking, brake assist, vehicle stability control and traction control as well. You also get front and rear parking sensors that lets you park this behemoth without breaking a sweat.

Toyota Camry Cost in Ahmedabad

Toyota Camry On Road Price is 41,25,018/- and Ex-showroom Price is 36,95,000/- in Ahmedabad. 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 Ahmedabad at Tryaldrive.

Toyota Camry Final Thought

The Camry is one of its kind. It’s the only luxury sedan under 40 lakhs to come with a hybrid drivetrain. Which, was true earlier as well, sure, but the previous model lacked desirability beyond the ‘green tag. That changes with the new Camry. It’s desirable to look at, it is well-appointed on the inside, and it is fantastic when it comes to rear seat comfort. It’s also packed with features. Yes, it’s still not a car one would buy for driving pleasure. And, yes, it could do with better materials at places. But overall, it is a significant step-up from the car it replaces. And, one that is easier to recommend now.

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