The Camry Hybrid makes a lot of sense for a particular set of customers. You see, in this world of ever-increasing SUV popularity, there are some customers who still prefer a sedan over an SUV. Why, you ask? Well, to be honest, with their ease of ingress and egress, ride quality, and refinement, sedans like the Camry Hybrid remain among the most comfortable and refined vehicles available short of the one crore mark. Therefore, unless you’re looking for an S-Class or Lexus, or something similar, the Camry Hybrid should definitely be in your consideration set.
Now, the styling of the Camry might be a bit Toyotaesque – a euphemism for something that looks boring – but that has changed its latest avatar. The big grille up front, the large 18-inch wheels, and wide rear fenders give it great road presence. The interior might not be that radical in terms of design, but the luxury and comfort are simply fantastic. I, particularly, am a fan of its comfortable seats and excellent refinement levels. And, as you can see, it’s scored damn near perfect in term of refinement and comfort. Don’t forget, as well, that you can fly the green flag as well with that hybrid badge.
However, things began to come apart a bit for the Camry in our track test. Sure, on paper the 215bhp and boost from the electric motor seem enough, but the power-sapping CVT transmission puts a big dampener on proceedings when you start to push it. Sure, it’s efficient and comfortable, but it’s by no means exciting to drive.
The chassis behaviour, on the other hand, is very good. In fact, it’s markedly better than the previous generation, and a clear indication that Toyota is taking driving dynamics very seriously in the present day.
On the road, with its added torque thanks to the electric motor, the Camry feels quite quick and, with its rear wishbone suspension, offers excellent ride comfort. And the serene cabin is certainly an added advantage for customers.
However, the Camry does have one big problem. You see, despite the governmental push for EVs and, of late, hybrids, at present there are no subsidies on hybrids – and this means that the Camry Hybrid is priced well above ₹40 lakhs on-road, which put it bang in the middle of German luxury car territory. And this means that it’s certainly an acquired taste – evolved even, you could say.