ToyotA’s Camry is a mid-size hybrid saloon which offers zesty performance and good fuel economy along with a spacious interior and generous level of standard features.
It competes with rivals such as the Ford Mondeo and BMW 3 Series in a niche market as the rise of the SUV has resulted in a decline in saloon car sales. However, there are still a significant number of people who prefer a booted saloon and the latest Camry should attract attention.
Priced from €35,656 (£29,995), even the entry-level Camry offers great value as its standard kit includes dual-zone climate control, front and rear parking sensors, sat-nav, digital radio and Bluetooth, alloy wheels, rear privacy glass and automatic headlights.
It also has plenty of safety features including adaptive cruise control, lane departure alert, auto emergency braking and pedestrian detection, auto high-beam and hill-start assist.
My Design test model was the entry version with a 2.5-litre petrol engine and electric motor giving a total of 215 hp and mated to CVT automatic transmission. It is a smooth combination delivering slick responsive performance, with a 0-100 kph time just 8.4 seconds. Top speed is 180 kph (112 mph), emissions low at 98 g’km and average fuel economy 18.3 kpl (51.8 mpg).
In low-speed city traffic, the Camry can run on electric power only and in other situations it automatically switches between petrol and electric power to give optimum performance and maximum fuel economy.
The sculptured body shape, wide wrap-around front grille and sleek headlights give the Camry a potent stance and the cabin has a classy look with elegant design features and practical instrument and control layout. The 28 cms (seven-inch) infotainment screen is small by class standards, but is easy to operate.
Despite a sloping roofline, head and legroom in the rear of the Camry is still very good and the seating supportive and comfortable. The suspension on the car has been made more compact to create room for the electric storage batteries without compromising boot space, which at 524 litres is among the best in class. And the rear seats can be folded down to accommodate longer items.
There are signs of a revival in demand for booted saloons – especially hybrid models – so the Camry, bolstered by Toyota’s exceptional reputation for dependability, is well set to take advantage.
Facts at a glance
- Model: Toyota Camry Design
- Engine: 2.5 litre petrol/electric motor
- Transmission: CVT automatic
- Performance: 0-100 kph 8.3 seconds, top speed 180 kph (112 mph)
- Economy: 18.3 kpl (51.8 mpg)
- Emissions: 98 g/km
Model tested was UK-specification and equipment levels and prices may vary in other markets.