Toyota Camry review
The Toyota Camry is spacious, comfortable and efficient – a safe bet for families and fleet drivers alike
The new Camry takes the place of the old Avensis in Toyota’s range, bringing a hybrid-only engine line-up and the associated low company car tax costs, reasonable economy and smooth, relaxed drive. Toyota’s big saloon majors in comfort and rides very nicely, while standard equipment is so good that you don’t need to venture beyond the entry-level model. Poor infotainment holds it back in this department, however.
Those who prioritise an exciting driving experience should look elsewhere: the Camry is pretty dull and doesn’t do anything to involve its driver. Rivals are more fun to drive, while an entry-level BMW 3 Series is better in almost every way bar standard kit and outright size.
Overall, the Camry’s good quality, decent value and hybrid powertrain keep it relevant in its class. It’s a sensible – if not exciting – choice.
Bearing a nameplate last seen in the UK around 15 years ago, the Toyota Camry is the Japanese manufacturer’s answer to large family cars like the Skoda Superb, Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport and Volkswagen Passat, but also crosses over into the territory of the BMW 3 Series, Mercedes C-Class, Audi A4 and Lexus IS. The Camry sits somewhere in the middle of the Toyota family car range, priced higher than the Corolla Saloon and Prius Hybrid but starting at a similar level to the latest RAV4 SUV.
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The Camry is a traditional saloon with four doors and a large boot underneath a separate boot lid – something of a novelty in a class that’s occupied mainly by large hatchbacks. It feels like a throwback in this regard; a car from a time when the SUV revolution hadn’t happened. It’s large, spacious and very comfortable – but not terribly exciting.
There are two Camry models to choose from: Design and Excel. Both are powered by the same 2.5-litre petrol-electric hybrid engine with a CVT gearbox; power sits at a useful 215bhp. Performance is fine for a car of this sort: 0-62mph takes 8.3 seconds.
Design models get an impressive level of standard equipment, including leather upholstery and just about every gadget you could ask for, including adaptive cruise control, sat-nav and front and rear parking sensors. Excel trim adds cross-traffic alert, blind spot monitoring, wireless phone charging and an electrically adjustable steering wheel – but we’d recommend that you stick with the standard car and save around £1,300.
Key to the Camry’s appeal is its hybrid-only engine lineup; most rivals are yet to include such technology. Toyota’s excellence in this area means the Camry is economical, emits low levels of CO2 (just 98g/km) and offers a smooth, relaxing drive: all attributes perfectly suited to its target market of fleet and business owners. A plug-in hybrid like the Toyota Prius Plug-in is a much better bet if you spend a lot of time in towns and cities, but the Camry strikes a good compromise and is at its best on the motorway.
In this review
- 1Verdict - currently readingThe Toyota Camry is spacious, comfortable and efficient – a safe bet for families and fleet drivers alike
- 2Engines, performance and driveDriving fun is pretty much absent, but the Camry is comfortable and refined
- 3MPG, CO2 and Running CostsThe Camry boasts low emissions, relatively good fuel economy and strong residual values for its class
- 4Interior, design and technologyThe Camry looks smart and is well built but poor infotainment lets it down
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot spaceBucketloads of interior and load space, but saloon boot limits the Camry’s versatility
- 6Reliability and SafetyThe Camry should prove reliable and safe. The five-year warranty is a bonus