In India, the Toyota brand is famous for the range of premium MPVs and SUVs. The Fortuner and the Innova are benchmarks, marketing studies and something that people try to create and relate to, but never above those two. However, the Toyota Camry is the car that receives similar attention worldwide and not in India. It’s also a sedan in a similar price range to the Fortuner, but people don’t tend to buy them more than they should.
There was a shocking moment when Toyota was selling a normal Camry and a hybrid Camry together. To his surprise, the Hybrid far outsold the normal Hybrid which forced Toyota to keep only the Hybrid ever since. The hybrid is also the talk of the town for the right reasons. A large gap between electric and ICE is easily bridged by this and can significantly reduce fuel costs and dramatically reduce emissions. How good is he in his latest avatar, we find out!
On the outside, the size of the grille is surprisingly large and along with the V-shaped look, it also matches the design of the interior dashboard. This makes it worthy of spectacularly well-made headlights. The LED DRL layout with the headlights is clearly very eye-catching. The silver color of our test car is simply stunning with the 18-inch alloy wheels adding more bling and subtly to the package. We have never seen a Toyota turn heads as much as a sports car! The build quality on the outside looks and sounds great and it scores high in crash tests like any other Toyota. The elements of the car, such as the grille, the LED lights at both ends, the length of almost 5 meters and a large wheelbase, make the Camry Hybrid the best looking mid-size sedan on the market.
Inside, the build and quality are good, as is the long list of features we’ve explained over and over again in our launch report. The dashboard design is a beautiful V-shaped unit. The various elements with an aluminum strip underneath add to the luxury quotient. You get automatic lights and wipers for backup cameras, front and rear parking sensors, and projector lamps, the car has a sunroof, wired Apple car play, and Android Auto is now here. Ambient lighting is also offered.
The instrument cluster area has navigation and all the fuel economy gauges and other bits can be seen by just pressing the rocker button on the steering wheel. The graphics and fonts chosen are a bit old school even today with the new Camry Hybrid. A fantastic sound system makes the experience quite good. Plenty of space with ample shoulder and knee room you would expect is here. Legroom and headroom continue to be adequate, but as always, this is a strict four-seater. The rear package controls the air conditioning, the rear sunshade and volume and radio control are offered via a touchscreen on the buttoned layout of the past.
The boot space is good enough for a battery to sit under the trunk. Road and wind noise inside the cabin is also well controlled thanks to surprisingly good insulation all around. Clearly much better than the previous version. Toyota has made the cabin a pleasant place and feels the very high quality of its SUVs and MPVs. The safety kit stays high with electronic stability control and nine airbags, hill hold assist, ABS and EBD, and more are standard.
All Toyota engines are smooth, free-revving and low NVH and the Camry Hybrid’s is no different. Whether in any part of the rev range. Low and mid ranges are good on the petrol which makes 218 PS and 221 Nm of torque going through the automatic E-CVT. The engine is flexible and powerful at the same time. The electric motor delivers 120 PS and 202 Nm separately. Therefore, electric motor and combustion engine numbers cannot be combined. EV mode is offered but only if the battery is sufficiently charged. The car drives a lot and therefore offers spectacular fuel economy. The throttle needs to be at 20-30% to put the car in EV mode at any given speed. Another reason for its great fuel economy.
Both eco mode and sport mode are offered which makes a big difference in their power delivery respectively. Still, 0-100 km/h in under 8 seconds is quick and it can reach 180 km/h easily, as we saw in our tests. The top end is good enough for 120 mph descents and it cruises at legal speeds and higher than that quite easily. This makes it good enough for city and highway tasks and makes driving quite comfortable thanks to precision in every driving mode. A whopping 14km/l in the city and 19km/l on the highway is what we got in our Mumbai-Pune run and those numbers sound like a car under four meters which makes it breathtaking. A 50 liter fuel tank can easily return over 600 km. Our tests with the foot a little heavy resulted in 550 km.
Ride quality is good at all speeds and it feels slightly stiffer than its previous version. We found ourselves comfortable the whole time traversing the different types of roads Mumbai has to offer. High-speed stability is surprisingly perfect considering the balance of stiffness and compliance. Body roll does exist during high-speed lane changes, but this is a confidence-inspiring car to drive at any speed.
The steering is light, precise around town, and offers just about enough feedback, making the car pretty much fun around the corners. Despite its length and weight, it remains easy to live with thanks to the clever adjustment of the steering lock-to-lock ratio. The regenerative brakes can rob him of confidence riding hard and fast despite pedal bite which is good, not great. All in all, very easy to drive car despite its size while being extremely comfortable in all corners.
2022 Toyota Camry Hybrid review, first drive
The Hybrid era has always gone from strength to strength with the arrival of the Camry Hybrid and in its latest avatar it impresses even more. With cabin quality being top-notch, the feature list is long, as is fuel economy, making the Camry Hybrid an ideal car to live in if you travel between cities a lot. Comfort and convenience, ease of use and lack of driving stress and emissions make it a guilt-free car to drive. Sure, it’s not great driving fun, but if your idea of fun is a simple, quiet ride with the occasional right-foot flex, the Camry Hybrid is a bit of a delight, too. The price may be a little higher, but remember that the value is even higher, in the short and long term.
2022 Toyota Camry review, first drive