Toyota Camry gets fresh looks and more equipment for 2021

Toyota has given the Camry an update with some styling tweaks and additional interior technology

The Toyota Camry saloon has been revised for 2021 with a handful of upgrades designed to keep it competitive with the Skoda Superb and Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport. The updated model is on sale now, priced from £32,260.

Toyota’s cosmetic revisions for the Camry are subtle, stretching to a new front bumper with a couple of extra vents, a reshaped radiator grille and some tweaked tail lights. Buyers can also choose from two new alloy wheel designs.

Styling changes in the cabin are equally minor. The Camry now gets perforated leather upholstery, in either black or beige, as well as a choice of three new instrument panel finishes in wood-effect, titanium-effect or a geometric-patterned plastic.

Toyota’s biggest change to the Camry is a new nine-inch infotainment system, mounted on top of the dashboard. It’s only available on the saloon’s range-topping Excel specification and adds Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, compatibility the old unit was lacking.

Buyers also get some extra safety equipment, such as lane-keep assist, emergency steering assist and an adaptive cruise control system, which can recognise changes to the speed limit and automatically match the car’s speed to other traffic. The car’s tyre pressure monitoring system can also now pinpoint faults with specific tyres.

The updated saloon is available in two specifications. The entry-level £32,260 Design grade comes as standard with 17-inch alloy wheels, LED headlamps, fog lamps, front and rear parking sensors, dual-zone air-conditioning and a seven-inch infotainment system with sat-nav.

Toyota’s Excel model builds on this specification with 18-inch alloy wheels, rear privacy glass, a wireless smartphone charger, keyless entry and some extra safety equipment, such as rear cross traffic alert and a blind spot monitoring system. Prices start from £34,830 for this higher-spec car.

Toyota has also added a 360-degree camera to the Camry Excel, along with paddle shifters for the steering wheel and an automatic tilt function for the door mirrors when reversing. In addition, the steering wheel now features a heating element and a memory setting to complement the car’s heated, ventilated and electrically operated seats.

Updated Toyota Camry: engine and drivetrain

Like the outgoing model, the updated Toyota Camry is only available with a single hybrid powertrain. The system comprises a 2.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine, an electric motor and a compact battery pack, for a combined output of 215bhp and 221Nm of torque.

Toyota says the powertrain will deliver a 0-62mph time of 8.3 seconds and a top speed of 111mph. More importantly, the hybrid Camry offers claimed WLTP fuel economy of between 50.4-53.2mpg, while only producing between 120 and 127g/km of CO2.

Toyota brought the Camry back to the UK market in 2019 after a 14-year hiatus – a decision which was partially motivated by the brand’s desire to give fleet customers a saloon option, as that’s one of the few markets in which the body style still sells well. Toyota was also keen to provide an improved replacement for the slow-selling Avensis.

During the car’s original launch event, a company spokesperson told Auto Express: “The Avensis, like the Carina E before it, was specifically designed for the European market. In recent years the size of the D-segment [Mondeo class] of the European car market has steadily declined, impacting Avensis sales. We’ve been closely monitoring the situation for some time and we’ve decided to cease production of the Europe-specific Avensis.”

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