All-New Toyota Camry Test Drive Review – The German Killer
We recently test drove the new Toyota Camry Hybrid in the world famous and Guinness World Record holder Ramoji Film City, Hyderabad to understand what the new car is all about?
2019 Toyota Camry Hybrid. (Image: Siddharth Safaya/ News18.com)
Think hybrid cars and the name ‘Toyota’ comes on the top of our mind. While Toyota has been selling the Camry executive sedan in the Indian market for more than 15 years now, it was in 2013 that Toyota introduced the hybrid system in the Camry. The company has now launched the new 8-generation Camry with Toyota New Global Platform and 4th-generation Hybrid-Electric system that is said to be more driver-focused, safe and frugal. We recently test drove the car in the world famous and Guinness World Record holder Ramoji Film City, Hyderabad to understand what the new car is all about? Here’s our Toyota Camry test drive review!
Toyota is currently the largest car manufacturer in the world with over 10 million annual sales, thanks to cars like Camry. Toyota has sold more than 19 million Camry till date and has been offering the sedan in India since 2002. However, these are the most exciting days for the Camry as the new 8th-generation car can compete against the best of the German vehicles as far as design is concerned. From the new bold front grille to the redesigned 18-inch alloys and prominent bonnet creases, the Camry looked its best in the Attitude Black painted Camry we drive during our test drive.
However, the highlight of the Camry for us is the stretched-out look, akin a long wheelbase car. The Camry is only 15 mm shy of 4.9 meters and has a wheelbase of 2.8 meters. These numbers make Camry at par with cars like BMW 5-Series and Audi A6. For the reference, the BMW 5-Series has a length of 4960 mm. The Mercedes-Benz E-Class LWB, on the other hand, has a length exceeding 5-meters. But then, the Toyota Camry is at least Rs 20 Lakh cheaper than any of the German big 3s.
While exteriors of the Camry are definitely eye-catching, Toyota has made sure the cabin is best in the segment. And when we talk about the Camry, we have to start with the rear seats first. The Toyota Camry was always known for its rear seat comfort and the company has managed to enhance it furthermore, thanks to the comfortable seats, loads of space and a touchscreen control pad on the armrest.
The touch controls on the armrest are quite intuitive to operate and can be used to recline the rear seats, listen to your favourite music, control the rear sunshade and adjust the temperature. The rear seat itself is very comfortable and the controlled NVH means you can doze off without much hassle during a long drive. Also, the power buttons for the front passenger seat are made accessible for the rear passengers for easy operation, a well-thought design element.
Moving to the front, the dashboard gets a completely new design that Toyota calls a Y-dashboard and looks quite unique. Rather than adding a wood trim to the cabin, which most of the manufacturers do, Toyota has added the Onyx garnish with a metallic texture to enhance the luxury. The rest of the cabin gets a beige leather upholstery with few piano black elements.
In terms of features, the Camry gets a tilt and slide moon roof, 3 zone AC, 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system with 9 speaker JBL system, a large HUD display, front ventilated seats and wireless smartphone charger among others. The analog-digital combination instrument console reads a variety of information too.
Where the Toyota Camry lacks, however, is practicality. While the cabin is enormous, there are not enough spaces to keep your stuff in. The bottle holders in the doors are also not big enough. The boot, however, is a different ball game altogether. Toyota has managed to scoop out additional space inside the boot, which is already deep and wide.
Toyota has retained the trusted 2.5-litre petrol engine that now comes with the 4th-gen hybrid system and delivers a claimed 23.27 kmpl mileage, a good 20% increase from the previous model that was rated at 19 kmpl. For a car this big, these are some very good numbers. But it’s not only about the mileage, but also about the way Toyota has enhanced driving dynamics to make the new Camry more aggressive, all thanks to the Toyota New Global Architecture.
You also get a commanding view of the road ahead thanks to the scooped out bonnet lines, and realigned ORVMs. The combined output of the Toyota Camry now stands at 218 PS and Toyota has added a Nickel metal hydride battery to the mix. You can opt for an EV mode for a purely electric drive to a certain speed. There are additional 3 modes to choose from and you will feel a visible difference every time you change a drive mode.
The initial acceleration is a bit of a dud, and there’s a lot of noise while pushing the car. But that’s the only negative we could find in the new Camry. Everything else is perfect, to say the least! The steering is nice to hold and provides good feedback, while the suspension is tuned in a way to give you a superior ride quality.
The new Toyota Camry does not shy away from the highest levels of safety and offers 9 SRS airbags, vehicle stability control, tyre pressure monitoring system, brake hold function and ABS with EBD. The new Toyota Camry was also awarded a full 5-star crash test safety rating by ASEAN NCAP.
Hybrids are the future of automobiles and Toyota knows it very well. They have a first-mover advantage in the Indian market as far as their existing vehicles are concerned. The new Toyota Camry is not just another hybrid in the market and offers almost everything that a luxury car can. Its good looking, comfortable, robust, efficient, and now driver-focused too. The problem, however, is the price tag of Rs 36.95 Lakh (ex-showroom). India as a market is a bit of brand snob and at this price tag, people tend to move upwards towards the German luxury cars. But none of the luxury cars below Rs 50 Lakh offers as much space, functionality and mileage as this new Camry.
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