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Rediff.com  » Business » Toyota Camry Hybrid looks smarter and has zing!

Toyota Camry Hybrid looks smarter and has zing!

March 05, 2018 13:12 IST

The recently launched Toyota Camry looks good, drives well, offers ridiculous levels of space and comes quite feature-loaded.

If you want a sedan that offers a good mix of performance, space and practicality while being environment-friendly, then don't look any further than the Camry.

Toyota launched the Camry in an attempt to tick all the boxes that the pre-facelift model failed to.

 

The previous model was short on equipment and thanks to the premium pricing, the car didn't sell in good numbers.

While the Camry is a popular car in global markets, it just failed to strike a chord in the Indian market.

However, with the new generation model all that is set to change as the new Camry comes across as a vastly improved car.

Looks is one of those areas, where the pre-facelifted Camry failed to impress us.

The sedan just looked too plain and boring. However, the facelifted Camry has that issue being addressed.

The car now looks smarter and has the zing in it.

There is a completely redone front fascia with new LED headlights with LED DRLs and the grille that resembles more of a Lexus than a Toyota.

The indicators have been placed at the sides of the bumper while the LED fog lights are merged into the grille.

The side profile is pretty much plain and you get 17-inch 15-spoke alloy wheels.

No substantial changes at the rear except for the transparent detailing in the tail-lights and a slightly tweaked bumper.

Interior is where the Camry will surely impress you.

The dual-tone black and beige dashboard is typical Toyota and is finished with top-notch materials.

The multi-function steering has a plethora of buttons and is wrapped in leather and the top part is finished in glossy wood.

By the way, the steering also gets an electric adjustment for tilt and telescopic adjustment.

There are generous inserts of wood and aluminium which give the cabin an upmarket feel.

You get an automatic climate control with 3-zone temperature control, touchscreen infotainment system with Bluetooth, USB, AUX and CD playback options but misses out on Android Auto and Apple CarPlay and even MirrorLink for that matter.

Also, the responses from the touchscreen aren't intuitive and there is a noticeable lag.

Comfort and under-thigh support from the front seats are just surreal.

They are big and accommodating for a person of any frame and are electrically adjustable.

The driver's seat also gets two memory functions.

Get to the rear seat and you'll immediately notice the amount, rather acres of space the Camry has to offer.

Rear seat space is and has been the Camry's forte.

There is acres of headroom, knee room and shoulder room and the rear bench also reclines up to 8-degrees so that you can just snooze while being chauffeured around.

The AC chills the cabin very quickly and the blower deserves a mention as it is uber silent even when the speed is set at maximum.

Powering the sedan is a 2.5-litre VVT-i petrol motor that is also paired with an electric motor taking the combined output from the petrol engine and electric motor to 205 PS.

Individually the petrol mill produces 160 PS while the electric motor puts out 143 PS. The powertrain comes mated to an electronically-controlled CVT gearbox.

The motor is quite free revving and acceleration is brisk. The instrument dials do not feature a tachometer and the car gets two driving modes - ECO and EV.

EV mode works only at slow speeds while ECO is best-suited for a relaxed drive to extract the best fuel-efficiency out of the vehicle.

Our drive in the hybrid mode returned us 10.9-17.3 km/l with the latter being achieved on the highway at speeds of 70-80 km/hr.

The Japanese automaker claims a figure of 19.16 km/l on the Camry Hybrid.

Ride quality in the facelifted Camry is excellent.

The sedan just glides over rough surfaces and potholes while remaining composed at high speeds.

There are hardly any bumps we felt inside the cabin.

That said, the excellent ride quality comes at the cost of handling.

The steering isn't weighty, as in, it's adequate for city speeds but on the highway, it isn't confidence-inspiring.

Softer sprung suspension and the presence of body roll makes the Camry an average handler.

However, the 17-inch Yokohama tyres are grippy and super silent (at high speeds).

On the safety front, you get nine airbags, ABS with EBD and BA, Vehicle Stability Control, Traction Control, reverse parking camera with back monitor and corner sensors, ISOFIX child seat mounts, lane change indicator and Hill Start Assist Control.

Toyota's after-sales service has been excellent across India and their cars are known for their legendary reliability.

Costs of the spare parts are also reasonable when compared to brands like say, Skoda.

The Toyota Camry Hybrid makes for a good-buy considering it as an overall package.

It looks good, drives well, offers ridiculous levels of space and comes quite feature-loaded.

However, at Rs 45.02 lakh, the sedan isn't cheap.

People ready to invest that kind of money on a car will generally look at other options as well.

You get full-size SUVs and entry-level luxury cars for that price.

That said if you do not care for the snob value and want a sedan that offers a good mix of performance, space and practicality while being environment-friendly, then don't look any further than the Camry.

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