TOYOTA

TOYOTA CAMRY SALOON 2.5 VVT-i Hybrid Design 4dr CVT

Fuel

FuelPetrol/Electric Hybrid

Transmission

TransmissionAutomatic

Acceleration

0 - 62 mph8.3s

WLTP - CO2 (g/km)

WLTP - CO2120 g/km

Toyota's making a habit of re-introducing its best-selling nameplates into our market. First, there was the return of the Corolla and now the Camry name is back too. As before, it sits on the boot lid of a Mondeo-sized saloon but this time, there's hybrid power beneath the bonnet - and that will be this Toyota's biggest selling point.

TWIN-CAM

The Toyota Camry shares much of its engineering with its Lexus ES cousin but, as Jonathan Crouch discovers, this spacious medium-sized saloon is also very much its own car. Here's the improved version.

Ten Second Review

Toyota's making a habit of re-introducing its best-selling nameplates into our market. First, there was the return of the Corolla and now the Camry name is back too. As before, it sits on the boot lid of a Mondeo-sized saloon but this time, there's hybrid power beneath the bonnet - and that will be this Toyota's biggest selling point.

Background

You might never have heard of the Toyota Camry. Between 2004 and 2019, after all, it wasn't sold here and during that period, we missed a couple of model generations. In the US though - and in many other international markets - the Camry is big news for the Japanese brand: in America alone, over 400,000 Camrys are sold each year. It was canned in the UK just after the turn of the century because of Toyota's inability at that time to offer a diesel option. So it's a touch ironic that the demise of diesel led to its return in 2019 as a 'self charging' petrol/electric hybrid that shares most of its engineering with the more image-conscious Lexus ES. That car was updated a year on to create the model we're going to look at here.

Driving Experience

Under the bonnet sits a 2.5-litre four cylinder petrol engine aided by an electric motor powered by a battery of the 'self-charging' (ie non-Plug-in) variety. Total output is 218hp. In other words, in class terms it's just like a Ford Mondeo Hybrid. But unlike a plug-in Volkswagen Passat GTE or Kia Optima PHEV. As with those cars, you'll miss the in-gear flexibility that a diesel would give you. But that's the trade-off for saving the planet. The engine and/or the electric motor drive the front wheels via a sequential Shiftmatic auto gearbox. And of course the suspension is set up for comfort rather than for any kind of dynamic drive, though the stiffer platform of the car's GA-K chassis means it shouldn't be embarrassed if there's a need to push on round the bends. So what's the Camry experience like? Very quiet, is the answer. There's silence when first you begin and push the starter button. Silence when you ease through slow-moving rush hour traffic, the engine cutting in only above 25mph, unless you've a particularly heavy right foot. Like most hybrids, the car can trickle along powered by the battery pack only (as it is from start-off) or more usually, with a combination of both battery and engine, something you can monitor via a graphic display in the centre of the dash.

Design and Build

Visual changes to this revised model have added a bit of extra overtaking presence. The front grille and bumper have been restyled and there are new finishes for the lower grille and side ornamentation, plus restyled 17 or 18-inch alloy wheels and revised tail lamps. Otherwise, it's much as before. There's nothing especially arresting about the look of this Toyota but a slightly bigger size than the Mondeo segment norm does give it the look of a saloon from the next class up, which is no bad thing. Unlike rivals, there's no station wagon variant. Back in the Nineties, there was a Camry Estate but there are no plans for that version's return. Inside, the main change lies in the addition of a larger 9-inch 'floating' multimedia centre-dash infotainment display, including 'Apple CarPlay'/'Android Auto' smartphone-mirroring. Otherwise, apart from a restyled instrument panel finish and smarter leather upholstery, things are as they were. It's as roomy and spacious as the exterior dimensions suggest this car would be. Leather upholstery is a given, as are heated and power-adjustable seats (this is a car designed for the American market after all). There's loads of room in the back, where there's space for three adults and a superb amount of legroom. Not quite as much as is offered in a rival Skoda Superb saloon, but a lot nonetheless. You get a big 524-litre boot too, which interestingly is far bigger than this model's mechanically-identical Lexus ES cousin.

Market and Model

There's just one saloon body style and one hybrid engine option for Camry buyers, but you do get a choice of trim levels - 'Design' (which costs around £32,000) and plusher 'Excel' (which will set you back around £2,600 more). There's lots of kit included as standard, with both versions getting leather upholstery, powered seats and the 'Toyota Touch 2' 9-inch centre-screen with Go multimedia and navigation system. This incorporates DAB reception, 'Apple CarPlay'/'Android Auto', Bluetooth phone connection, audio streaming and Advanced Voice Recognition. Customers can choose from different instrument panel finishes: a black engineered wood with an organic base pattern overlaid with straight lines, and a Titanium Line pattern, a low-contrast, regular geometric pattern with a three-dimensional effect. There are also restyled 17 and 18-inch wheels, the former with "twisted-V" spokes and the later comprising paired slim and twisted spokes with contrasting bright machined and dark finishes. This improved Camry now gains the latest Toyota Safety Sense features, adding Lane Trace Assist with steering assistance to help keep the car centred in traffic lane; Intelligent Adaptive Cruise Control, which links with the Road Sign Assist to automatically bring cruising speed within the enforced limit; Emergency Steering Assist; and Intersection Turn Assistance, which recognises oncoming traffic or pedestrians crossing the road in the path of the car as it makes a turn at a junction.

Cost of Ownership

This hybrid is of the non-Plug-in kind: which is why it's so much cheaper than hybrid rivals who only offer Plug-in technology. On to the figures. A Camry manages up to 53.3mpg on the combined cycle (WLTP) and up to 120g/km of CO2 (WLTP depending on wheel size). In comparison, a Ford Mondeo 2.0 EcoBlue diesel auto model would manage 55.4mpg on the combined cycle and 132g/km of CO2. As you'd expect, to get the full benefit of the potential efficiency of this Toyota, you've got to do your part as a driver - and that means proactive use of the various modes and systems provided. To get anywhere near the figures being quoted, you'll need to keep the car locked into the 'Drive Mode Select' system's 'Eco' mode, which moderates throttle response and engine power output while tweaking the climate control. Plus you'll also need to keep a very careful eye on the Hybrid system indicator that replaces the usual rev counter on the dash, making sure that the needle stays as often as possible in either of the blue 'Eco' or 'Charge' zones. Garage visits should cost you significantly less than would be the case with a diesel rival, thanks to the low maintenance requirements built into the Hybrid Synergy Drive system. As part of this, there's no starter motor or alternator to go wrong, no drive belts to break, a maintenance-free timing chain, no particulate filter to get clogged up with diesel fumes and of course, thanks to the CVT auto gearbox, no clutch either.

Summary

The Camry's charms aren't difficult to identify. Hybrid power, obviously. You might wish it was one of those models of a plug-in persuasion, but then it would be far pricier. Aside from that, the Camry falls back on the same attributes that sold its Eighties and Nineties predecessors. Namely the fact that it offers more space for rear seat passengers and luggage than the Mondeo segment norm. Amongst saloons anyway. And it's better equipped for the money. If these advantages pique your interest, go right ahead and try this Toyota. Hybrid tax breaks will certainly reward you for doing so. Other rivals are more dynamic. But you might well feel that a Camry just makes more sense. Camry owners always have.

  • Front and rear power windows
  • Auto up and down function on all power windows
  • Time adjustment on intermittent wiper
  • Noise reduction layer on windshield
  • Rear window defogger
  • Water repellent driver and front passenger windows
  • UV-filter on driver and passenger windows
  • Anti-jam protection on power windows

  • HAC-Hill-start Assist Control
  • Electronic parking brake
  • Anti lock braking system + Electronic brake force distribution

  • Carpet mats

  • Vehicle Stability Control (VSC)
  • McPherson strut front suspension

  • Smartphone integration compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Voice recognition

  • Power assist steering
  • Rear parking sensors
  • Reversing camera
  • Front parking sensors
  • Dynamic radar cruise control
  • Multimedia switches on steering wheel
  • Lane trace assist with sway warning function
  • Telephone switch on steering wheel

  • eCall emergency call system
  • 7" TFT multi information display
  • ICS
  • Road sign assist - RSA
  • Low screen washer fluid warning
  • Navigation system

  • Body coloured door mirrors
  • Automatically retractable door mirrors
  • Electric heated door mirrors
  • Power adjustable door mirrors
  • Auto dimming electrochrome rear view mirror

  • Black centre console

  • Audio switch on steering wheel
  • 6 speakers
  • DAB digital audio broadcast
  • Toyota touch 2 multimedia System with 7" Screen display
  • Aux-in connector
  • USB connector
  • Wi-fi connectivity

  • Turn indicators in side mirrors
  • Shark fin antenna
  • Body coloured door handles

  • LED fog lights
  • LED rear combination lights
  • Automatic high beam - AHB
  • Headlight cleaners
  • LED daytime running lamp
  • Automatic headlights
  • Manual headlight levelling
  • LED headlight (low)
  • LED rear light guide
  • LED rear brake lights
  • Light remind warning with auto cut off

  • Clean air filter
  • Dual zone automatic air conditioning

  • Satin chrome interior door handles
  • Manual tilt adjustable steering wheel
  • Gear shift indicator
  • Leather shift lever
  • 3 spoke leather steering wheel
  • Leather upholstery
  • Lockable glovebox
  • Rear cupholders
  • Front cupholders x 2
  • Rear armrest
  • Front and rear door pockets
  • Manual telescopic steering wheel
  • Rear overhead assist grips
  • Front overhead assist grips
  • Rear passenger coat hooks (2)
  • Rear passenger 2.1 amp power outlet
  • Humidifying Nanoe air purifier
  • 12V connector

  • Front personal lights
  • Rear passenger personal lights
  • LED centre room light
  • Ambient lighting on rear doors
  • Front footwell lights
  • Illuminated entry system
  • Glovebox light
  • Boot light
  • Ambient lighting in front doors

  • Supplemental restraint system (SRS) airbags - 7 airbags including driver, front passenger, curtain, side and knee airbags
  • Front seatbelt reminder
  • Acoustic vehicle alerting system
  • 3x3 point rear seatbelts
  • Tyre pressure monitoring system
  • Toyota safety sense 2
  • Pre-collision system - collision avoidance braking
  • Manual on/off switch for airbag

  • Front passenger seatback pockets
  • Power reclining driver seat
  • Power reclining front passenger seat
  • Power sliding driver seat
  • Power sliding front passenger seat
  • Power adjustable lumbar support on driver seat
  • Power adjustable lumbar support on front passenger seat
  • Power height adjustable driver seat
  • Power height adjustable front passenger seat
  • Front head restraints
  • 3 rear headrests
  • Heated rear seats
  • 60/40 split folding rear seat
  • Isofix seat fixing
  • Heated driver and front passenger seats

  • Power passenger window lock
  • Child safety door lock
  • Keyless smart entry with push button start
  • Power door locks
  • Alarm immobilizer + siren + sensor + Thatcham lock

  • Driver and passenger sun visor with mirror

  • 17" 9 spoke alloy wheels

  • Temporary spare wheel

  • CO2 (g/km): 98
  • Standard Euro Emissions: EURO 6
  • CO: 0.15
  • HC: 0.019
  • NOx: 0.002
  • HC+NOx: N
  • Particles: N
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Low: 135
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Medium: 107
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - High: 107
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Extra High: 134
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb: 120
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Low - Min: 135
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Low - Max: 141
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Medium - Min: 107
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Medium - Max: 112
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - High - Min: 107
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - High - Max: 113
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Extra High - Min: 134
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Extra High - Max: 143
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb - Max: 127
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb - Min: 120

  • Cylinders - Bore (mm): 87.5
  • Cylinders - Stroke (mm): 103.5
  • CC: 2487
  • Cylinders: 4
  • Cylinder Layout: IN-LINE
  • Number of Valves: 16
  • Camshaft: DOHC
  • Fuel Delivery: MULTI POINT FUEL INJECTION
  • Catalytic Convertor: True
  • Engine Layout: FRONT TRANSVERSE
  • Compression Ratio: 14.0:1
  • Transmission: AUTO
  • Gears: 1 SPEED
  • Engine Code: A25A-FXS

  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Low: 3.9
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Medium: 8.2
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - High: 3.6
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Extra High: 5.7
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Comb: 5.3
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Low - Min: 3.9
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Low - Max: 4.2
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Medium - Min: 8.2
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Medium - Max: 8.5
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - High - Min: 3.6
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - High - Max: 3.9
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Extra High - Min: 5.7
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Extra High - Max: 5.9
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Comb - Min: 5.3
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Comb - Max: 5.6
  • EC Directive 1999/100/EC Applies: False
  • WLTP - MPG - Low: 72.4
  • WLTP - MPG - Medium: 34.4
  • WLTP - MPG - High: 78.5
  • WLTP - MPG - Extra High: 49.6
  • WLTP - MPG - Comb: 53.3
  • WLTP - MPG - Low - Min: 72.4
  • WLTP - MPG - Low - Max: 67.3
  • WLTP - MPG - Medium - Min: 34.4
  • WLTP - MPG - Medium - Max: 33.2
  • WLTP - MPG - High - Min: 78.5
  • WLTP - MPG - High - Max: 72.4
  • WLTP - MPG - Extra High - Min: 49.6
  • WLTP - MPG - Extra High - Max: 47.9
  • WLTP - MPG - Comb - Min: 53.3
  • WLTP - MPG - Comb - Max: 50.4

  • Special Edition: False
  • Special Order: False
  • Based On ID: N
  • Insurance Group 1 - 50 Effective January 07: 15A
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Years: 5
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Mileage: 100000
  • Coin Series: Design
  • Coin Description: VVT-i Hybrid
  • Generation Mark: 8
  • Alternative Fuel Qualifying: True
  • Service Interval Mileage: 10000
  • Service Interval Frequency - Months: 12
  • Timing Belt Interval Mileage: N
  • Timing Belt Interval Frequency - Months: N
  • NCAP Safety Assist %: N
  • Badge Power: 218
  • Badge Engine CC: 2.5
  • Vehicle Homologation Class: M1
  • Did at least one aspect of this vehicle's safety give cause for concern?: False

  • Engine Power - BHP: 218
  • Engine Power - PS: False
  • 0 to 60 mph (secs): False
  • 0 to 62 mph (secs): 8.3
  • Top Speed: 112
  • Engine Power - KW: 160
  • Engine Power - RPM: 5700
  • Engine Torque - LBS.FT: 163
  • Engine Torque - NM: 221
  • Engine Torque - RPM: 3600
  • Engine Torque - MKG: 22.5

  • Emissions Test Cycle: WLTP

  • Tyre Size Front: 215/55 R17
  • Wheel Style: 9 SPOKE
  • Alloys?: True
  • Space Saver?: True
  • Tyre Size Rear: 215/55 R17
  • Tyre Size Spare: SPACE SAVER
  • Wheel Type: 17" ALLOY

  • Length: 4885
  • Width: 1840
  • Wheelbase: 2825
  • Height: 1445

  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Up): 524
  • No. of Seats: 5
  • Max. Loading Weight: 505
  • Minimum Kerbweight: 1595
  • Gross Vehicle Weight: 2100
  • Fuel Tank Capacity (Litres): 50

  • Metallic paint: Included
  • Pearlescent paint: £925

  • Protection Pack - Camry: £320

  • Metallic - Galaxy black: £0
  • Metallic - Graphite: £0
  • Metallic - Tyrol silver: £0
  • Metallic - Galactic blue: £0

  • Pearl - Platinum white pearl: £925

  • Leather - Black: £0
  • Leather - Beige: £0

Whilst every effort is made to verify and ensure the accuracy of the data, the information should only be used as a guide and no purchasing decision should be made without verification of the data from either the manufacturer or franchised dealer. Our offers may be on a different model year to that represented by this data and so specification may differ accordingly.

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