In-depth reviews

Toyota Camry review - Engines, performance and drive

Driving fun is pretty much absent, but the Camry is comfortable and refined

The Toyota Camry uses the Japanese manufacturer’s TNGA mechanical underpinnings – the same basic architecture used in the Prius, RAV4 and Corolla, as well as the Lexus ES. The result is a car that handles well but falls short of offering anything in the way of thrills.

That’s not so say the Camry is bad to drive – its chassis, engine and electric motor work very well together and make relaxing progress easy. The electric motor’s torque-filling abilities mean you don’t have to rev the engine too hard – but if you need to go anywhere in a hurry, refinement dips as the revs rise. It’s a punchy unit for everyday driving.

Elsewhere, the car’s steering is accurate if not particularly engaging or communicative, while relatively sophisticated suspension (MacPherson-strut at the front and double-wishbone at the rear) makes for predictable handling. The suspension has been tuned to be very pliant, dealing with the worst that British roads can dish out. Body control has a softer edge to it, but the Camry only starts to feel wallowy if pushed towards its limits – not exactly the way it’s designed to be driven.

Generally, performance is on par with similarly priced mid-range, non-hybrid, petrol-powered rivals like the Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport 1.6 Turbo 200, but considerably better than the Skoda Superb 1.5 TSI 150.

Engines, 0-60 acceleration and top speed

There’s just one engine and gearbox combination in the Camry: a 2.5-litre petrol-electric hybrid with a continuously variable transmission (CVT). The engine produces 215bhp at 5,700rpm, along with 221Nm of torque. It remains quiet and well-isolated at normal speeds but can intrude under hard acceleration; performance is decent, but you might need a little time to get used to the unique feel of a CVT gearbox doing it’s thing.

Toyota’s is the best gearbox of this sort on sale; there’s still that familiar ‘surging’ sensation, but the driver feels more connected to the powertrain than in previous hybrid offerings from the Japanese manufacturer. 

Officially 0-62mph takes 8.3 seconds, but we clocked the Camry at 7.7 seconds. Acceleration elsewhere is adequate, facilitating safe overtaking – we clocked 30-50mph at 2.7 seconds and 50-70mph in 4 seconds. Top speed is 112mph.

Recommended

Toyota Camry review
Toyota Camry - front
Toyota Camry

Toyota Camry review

The Toyota Camry is spacious, comfortable and efficient – a safe bet for families and fleet drivers alike
4 Feb 2021

Most Popular

New Vauxhall Crossland Griffin arrives to boost SUV’s appeal
Vauxhall Crossland Griffin
Vauxhall Crossland

New Vauxhall Crossland Griffin arrives to boost SUV’s appeal

The new Vauxhall Crossland Griffin undercuts the SE on price, but adds more equipment
26 Jul 2021
New SsangYong X200 SUV previewed in teaser sketches
SsangYong X200
SsangYong

New SsangYong X200 SUV previewed in teaser sketches

New X200 SUV concept signifies radical new design direction for SsangYong
27 Jul 2021
New 2021 Kia EV6 boasts up to 328 miles of range
Kia EV6 - front
Kia EV6

New 2021 Kia EV6 boasts up to 328 miles of range

Kia reveals more specs for its bespoke electric car, with the EV6 offering long range and an 18-minute 80 per cent rapid recharge time
21 Jul 2021