We test drive the new Toyota Camry Hybrid and provide our first impressions of the new luxury saloon.
Toyota is all set to launch its second hybrid car in India, the all new Camry Hybrid. Unlike the Prius however, this one has a lot to offer Indian car buyers. An ideal combination between a hybrid and a spacious entry luxury saloon, the new Toyota Camry Hybrid brings customers the best of both worlds.
But what exactly is the Camry hybrid? On the outside, the Camry Hybrid comes with a few exterior changes to distinguish it from the regular Camry. It gets a completely different bumper with a wider air dam and restyled fog lamps with chrome inserts. Lower profile Yokohama dB-series tyres wrapped around larger, 17-inch wheels and there are proliferations of blue badges to help identify it as a hybrid.
The real change, however, is under the skin. Toyota’s 2AR FXE DOHC VVT-I 2.5-litre petrol unit is there (albeit slightly tweaked to accomodate the electric motor), just as on the standard Camry, but assisting it here is Toyota’s electric drive unit that is all but identical to the one found under the hood of the Prius. The electric motor however, is slightly more powerful. The total output for the hybrid system is 202bhp – 158bhp from the petrol engine and 44bhp from the electric motor. The hybrid system’s battery is nickel metal hydride and not lithium-ion, while the battery’s capacity stands at 6.5amp/hr. The battery pack itself sits behind the back seat.
There are changes to the cabin too, as Toyota smartly has focused on providing plenty of features to rear seat occupants. You get three-zone climate control (driver, front passenger, and rear passengers), cooled front seats, cruise control, and powered rear seats that recline by up to eight degrees. The rear armrest houses the controls for the recline functions and climate control for the rear. There’s a sunblind for the rear windscreen that is powered as well. And you get manual side blinds too.