Toyota Camry Hybrid Review

By Amithash Bhatt   |  September 13, 2013


Luxury saloons have been an integral part of fast paced cities of India these days. With increase in fuel prices and outburst in pollution levels in last few years, there has been growth in environmental concerns in the nation. The Japanese auto major, Toyota was the first company to introduce a player in hybrid segment long ago when it launched the Prius. The company once again has proven its technical expertise by bringing out the hybrid version of its super luxurious saloon the Camry. What’s more? Prius being an imported model, Camry Hybrid becomes the first hybrid car to go on production lines in India. For consumers, this package truly comes out as a fusion of the best from three worlds – comfort, power and efficiency. Having an efficient powertrain, a powerhouse which gives out 202.2 bhp, the sedan simply gets better than its petrol sibling in terms of luxury having few first-in-class features and equipment like electrically adjustable rear seat and 3-zone AC with control buttons provided on rear armrest.

Toyota offers Camry Hybrid in four elegant colour shades which are Grey Metallic, White Pearl Crystal Shine, Silver Metallic and Attitude Black. The feature loaded saloon comes out in single variant which does not compromise in any dimension.

Powertrain & Performance

The powertrain of Toyota Camry Hybrid can be called an engineering wonder because of the way it operates. There is a 2.5L Beltless petrol engine and an electric motor under the hood of this luxury saloon which work together through Hybrid Synergy Drive system. This system is capable of sensing power requirements in various driving styles and under different road conditions. It perfectly brings both motors to play whenever there is requirement for more power. The 2494 cc, in-line petrol engine uses VVT to produce 158.2 bhp @ 5700 rpm and peak torque of 213 Nm @ 4500 rpm. The motor is capable of generating 140 hp individually. Power for this motor comes from Nickel-Metal Hydride type batteries which sit in the rear of the saloon. The hybrid system has a combined output of 202.4 bhp which is much more than the petrol sibling of Camry Hybrid which carries a similar sized engine.

Such a marvellous powertrain demands for an equally sophisticated gearbox and Toyota has indeed provided it. The Camry Hybrid gets an automatic Electronically Controlled Continuously Variable Transmission (E-CVT) which has different driving modes. Suspensions and tyres are all designed keeping in mind driving comfort and better handling.

Build & Styling

Unlike other marques in the market which rely on stylish curves, Toyota has always had a unique approach to exterior design which emphasises on purpose rather than style. Standing in luxury car segment Camry Hybrid looks premium and dignified. To give it that special hybrid identity designers have come out with blue outlined Toyota logo which sits on the elegant two-strip chrome grille. Sitting on corners of front bumper, the fog lamps too are differently shaped adding to style statement. LED headlamps for front and rear fog lamps function exceptionally well while driving in different conditions. Chrome accents are carried on various parts of the car which include tailgate, exhaust tip, tail lamp and door handles. 10-spoke alloy wheels carrying wide tyres induce an authoritative personality in Camry Hybrid.

Toyota Camry is always known for the luxuriousness of its cabin and the hybrid version carries this forward in its own way. While the comfort for rear seat passengers has been the epitome of design concept, the front seats too are not let back in terms of comfort. Specific ventilations system for front seats ensures that moisture over the seating surface is dried off and makes the seats more comfortable. The luxurious seats with leather upholstery get dedicated zones in AC. Three-zone AC cools front driver seat, front passenger seat and rear seats separately delivering different comfort zones as per choice of occupants. To make it more pleasurable, the rear passengers get an armrest which has control buttons for not only AC but also for audio system and sunshades on rear windscreen. Having a hybrid powertrain the instrument cluster too required to be lot more different and informative. The instrument panel in Camry Hybrid does just that with a Combimeter which shows information like speed, fuel level and in which mode the hybrid unit is functioning at a particular instance.

Being powerful, dynamic, efficient and comfortable, Camry Hybrid has loads of safety equipment as well. Vehicle Stability Control, ABS and Traction Control being the basics which give better driving control, the saloon also features front and side airbags to provide better protection for passengers. Hill-Start Assist system and rear camera further support the safety of Camry Hybrid by assisting the driver in his driving.

Pros and Cons

  • Pros

    • 3-Zone AC
    • Hybrid Synergy Drive
    • E-CVT
  • Cons

    • Low-end Performance Can be Improved