Over the years, Toyota gained immense prominence and has introduced
various high-end vehicles in the Indian auto market. Camry is one of
such vehicles and is demanded for its aristocratic looks, great
performance and comfortable interiors. The sedan was first launched in
2002 and in 2015 it has seen exterior and interior upgrades
The Toyota Camry hybrid was launched for the Indian market in late
2013 and this is a mid-life update for the vehicle rather than an
overall change. The most visible update is on the front fascia where
the heavy chrome from the fog lamps has been moved to a revised front
bumper which now sits in front of a honeycomb grille.
The bumper gets a chrome bottom lip while the indicators have now
become vertically stacked units that sit below the headlights with LED
DRLs. Otherwise, all the elements including the “I’m a hybrid car”
blue shading in the Toyota logo, and chrome forehead marks have been
carried over from the previous vehicle.
There are no major changes to the side profile of the Camry hybrid
apart from the new vertically stacked indicators and the wheel design.
A change in the latter from a simple spoke design to a more
complicated arrow one has increased the premium feel of the car and
also given it slightly more sporty credentials.
Toyota appears to have done some major work on the rear of the Camry
Hybrid. The thick chrome strip that ran above the number plate holder
has now been stretched out and runs across the length of the boot. It
cuts into the tail lamps changing their layout as the reverse lamps
have now moved above the line while the brake lights sit below it. The
rear bumper remains untouched, but now the reflectors have become
larger and have moved to the base of the unit. Toyota has also added
another chrome strip at the base of bumper to bring about uniformity
in the design.
In a country where shiny is equated to rich, the addition of a
significant amount of chrome as compared to the older model is a sure
fire way to up the ante when it comes to the premium appeal of the
Camry Hybrid. It was a never a great looking car but stood out and
continues to do so due to its size, rarity and well now, the bling
Imagine what it’s like sitting on your favourite sofa – that’s how
good the Camry’s rear seat is. The deep seat base makes for excellent
thigh support and the squarish roofline makes for plenty of headroom.
The seat back is perfectly angled and there’s enough place to stretch
out. There are front-seat adjusters placed on the side of the seat, so
the rear-left passenger can easily slide it forward for more legroom.
The seats are also placed at a nice height, so it’s easy to slide in
and out of them. Toyota knows the Camry’s strong point is its rear
seat and so, has left no stone unturned to make sure this new Camry’s
seats are the best. The front seats are equally nice to sit in and
both have eight-way power adjustability.
From the driver’s seat, the Camry feels wide and that’s partly because
of the big dashboard. Interior quality is another place where the
Camry has been substantially improved. All the bits that you
experience first – the steering wheel, the gear lever and the controls
– feel rich and proper, and we like the uncluttered layout and
sufficiently big switches. The interior may not have the sheer
solidity of the Skoda Superb’s cabin, but it’s not far behind. The
stitched-leather effect for the top half of the dashboard is nice,
wood finish is quite convincing and the Playstation-like
steering-mounted controls are interesting. We did think the rear
air-con vents were a bit
cheap-looking, but that’s the only serious complaint we can level at this cabin.
The Camry’s dash strikes a nice balance between pleasing design and
functionality. We particularly liked the multi-layered dials with the
real-time fuel consumption indicator and a meter that shows you how
economically you are driving.
Storage spaces are plenty. The glovebox in particular is huge, and
there’s a big cubbyhole between the front seats. To improve cabin
space, Toyota has used thinner door pads, and this probably explains
why the door pockets are unusually narrow. The boot is much smaller
too – this new Camry gets only 484 litres of space as against the old
car’s 535 litres.
It’s pretty well equipped though. Standard features include dual-zone
climate control, keyless entry and go, fully powered front seats,
Bluetooth connectivity, parking sensors, cruise-control and a 2-DIN
touchscreen audio system with aux-in and USB ports. There are some
important features missing though — in addition to quite a few
airbags, this Camry doesn’t get a sunroof or a reverse camera.
The locally built 2.4-litre four-cylinder petrol engine was a step up
in capacity from the 2.2-litre engine of the preceding model.
It featured all-alloy construction and twin camshafts, with Toyota’s
VVTi variable valve timing system on the intake valves, and at its
twin peaks it put out 112kW (150 horsepower) and 218Nm of torque.
With 18kW and 31Nm more than the old engine it was a willing and
free-revving workhorse that delivered pretty decent performance, and
better fuel economy.
For more performance Toyota offered the 3.0-litre petrol V6, which
upped the peak power and torque to 141kW (189 horsepower) and 279Nm
respectively, giving it more zip and extra smoothness.
The gearbox options were a conventional four-speed automatic
transmission and a five-speed manual. Most buyers preferred the
automatic, so there aren’t many cars around with the manual.
Both engines were developed to run on 91-octane regular unleaded, and
can also run on E10 ethanol-blend fuel.
Toyota Camry has the capacity of breaching a speed barrier of 100 kmph
in approx. 7.8 seconds from standstill. Further, it can reach up to a
maximum speed range of 180 to 185 kmph with the help of a six-speed
automatic gearbox. The automatic hybrid variant helps the motor to
reach a speed in the range of 190 kmph to 195 kmph while accelerating
to 100 kmph in just about 9.3 seconds of start.
With the help of multi-point fuel injection supply system, the petrol
variant of this sedan delivers a decent mileage of 13 kmpl on highways
and 9.5 kmpl in city. While advanced electronic fuel injection supply
system in automatic hybrid version, the car offers 19.1 kmph on
highways and 16.3 kmpl in city. The electric variable steering wheel
is highly responsive and comes with telescopic adjustment function,
and thus it has a turning radius of 5.3 meters
SAFET AND AFTER SALES SERVICE
The Toyota Camry is loaded with a host of safety equipment that
includes four airbags (driver, front passenger and front seat sides),
ABS with EBD, Brake Assist, VSC (Vehicle Stability Control), TRC
(Traction Control), Hill Start Assist Control, reverse parking camera
with back monitor and corner sensors, impact sensing fuel cut-off,
speed sensing auto lock and smart key remind warning. The instrument
cluster also shows a visual and audio warning when the driver and
co-driver are not belted up while the car is in motion. The earlier
Camry came with just two airbags while the current one has four. The
market norm is at least six in this segment. Talking about
after-sales, Toyota really rocks in this department. The company has
constantly been recognised for its excellent service, be it anywhere
in India. Toyota parts are also priced reasonably and the vehicles are
known for their bullet-proof reliability. The only downside is the
fact that Toyota service centres are very cramped thanks to the fact
that a huge number of Innovas and Etios are being used as taxis
throughout the country.
It is difficult to rate the Camry Hybrid. On one side, it does look
quite nice in its new avatar, especially in the color that we have
here but on the other side, it does have an interior that is quite
drab and simple. Where it does offer exemplary ride comfort, it does
falter when it comes to sheer handling prowess. But there is a BIG
positive – the Camry Hybrid is one of those cars that is too far into
the future for a market like India. It does offer some really cutting
edge technology to us today…but at a cost. Just like the Mahindra
e2o then, the Camry Hybrid is certainly a car that deserves much more.
Sadly, until the government does not think straight and starts to
offer huge excise benefits and other concessions to electric and
hybrid cars, cars like the Camry Hybrid will continue to suffer.
Toyota Camry Ex Showroom Price in New Delhi ranges from 28,69,100/- (Camry 2.5 AT) to 37,22,500/- (Camry Hybrid) .Toyota Camry has 2 Variants of Petrol are available in India. 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.