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2019 Toyota Camry Hybrid - First Drive Review

2019 Toyota Camry Hybrid - First Drive Review

Snapshot: Toyota has introduced the all-new Camry Hybrid and why is it all-new, simply scroll down to know all about it.

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Toyota Camry has been in the Indian market from quite some while. Though, earlier, it couldn’t manage much Indians buyer, as diesel established models have been luring them. But, with the hybrid version into being, Toyota hit the jackpot in the premium offering. Now there is an all-new Toyota Camry hybrid that will get changes in almost every aspect. Let’s find out what exactly the new changes are and what all it has to take on other premium offerings.

 

Exterior

The new Camry hybrid is now in its eighth generation and is based on Toyota’s New Global Architecture (TNGA) platform and it is this new platform that has given many significant changes to its structure. The new version is longer by 35mm and wider by 15mm than the outgoing model along with that the wheelbase is also increased by 50mm. The new platform has not only made the structure lighter in weight but has also improved the structural rigidity of the product by 30 percent and even being larger in size, it gets an increased weight of 30kg only.

It is the smile on the new model that makes everyone have a glance at it and by smile, we mean the wide front grille. In quite a while the Toyota has been coming up with more luring designs (Lexus DNA must have played a role here). This time, it seems to all come out through the lines. The creases running through the bonnet and even the waistline that add more beauty to the design. The LED DRLs also compliment the lines and running all the way to the rear end. The rear too has been designed seamlessly, with the sleek taillamps and also the boot that gets integrated spoiler. With its balanced proportion though it is more of a luxury offering by the Japanese car maker and also have a sporty stance.

Interiors

It is not just the exterior that gets all the changes, the interior too gets many significant changes. The ones who already liked the outgoing Camry’s interior will simply fall in love with the new version. The whole dash has been redesigned with the use of good materials like the soft-touch plastics on the dash and door pads and also use of leather. In the centre, the ‘Y’ design element adds a lot more to the centre console. The tilted 8-inch touchscreen does seem futuristic but gets confusing at times and no Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. You also get a 9-speaker system by JBL, whereas the previous one had 12 speakers in it. Seating in the front will give an unhindered view ahead and this where your chauffeur will be happy about. The bonnet has been lowered by 40mm enhancing the far ahead vision and even the A-pillars have been sleeked down along with the repositioning of the side view mirrors, giving enhanced visibility and also minimizing the blind spots.

Well! If you own it, you will definitely love to be at the rear seat, but front seats are no less when it comes to comfort and support. Front seats are ventilated and are comfortable enough to hold great support for your back and under-thigh as well. And when seating at the rear, you will feel like a king with the touch controls just an inch away and recliner underneath. The knee room as well as headroom will give no feel of compromise and seating the third passenger will not make it squeezy for the other two.

If we talk about the equipment, the new Camry comes well loaded with features like leather upholstery, front ventilated seats, nine airbags, ESP, auto LED headlamps and fog lamps, electrically adjustable steering, cruise control, a 10-inch head-up display, electric reclining seats at the rear with just touch, three-zone climate control along with tyre pressure monitor. Not forgetting, the sunroof which now on offer.

Engine, gearbox and performance

The new Camry hybrid gets an all-new 2.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine that makes 17bhp with 221Nm of torque, and there is a bump in power output of about 18bhp and 8Nm when compared to the outgoing version had. Moreover, there is an all-new, hybrid system with motor generator in its fourth-generation, which is a 245V Nickel Hydride battery pack. The motor puts out 118bhp with 202Nm, which is now tuned down by 23bhp and 68Nm than the previous battery pack. This combined unit makes 216bhp and the new Camry hybrid gets an increased power 13bhp. And Toyota has also managed to increase the fuel efficiency to 23.27kmpl.You will start the car with a stun and there is no engine sound or even a mild jerky vibration, as it is the EV mode that does the work. At low speeds, the EV mode takes the charge with complete silence and soon as revs go high, the petrol engine kicks in. The cabin is silent and will keep you out of all the routine noises. But when you rev it hard when putting the Sport mode, then there is a thrumming noise that you can hear, but that said it is not a sports car. The e-CVT delivers the power in a very effortless manner. The engine is refined and you can hardly here to any noise while cruising on high way or in the city. The power delivery is more in a smooth and linear manner, and you will never feel the power going out of band, but to some extent.

Ride and Handling

The ride is smooth as it speeds up and it will actually come out a very relaxed car to be in and drive as well. Toyota has managed to get the centre of gravity more on the lower-side and even after raising the ground clearance by 20mm, though the new Camry also sits short by 20mm. This has been achieved by packing the spares more closely to the point of reference. Even the battery pack has been repositioned from boot to the lower side of the vehicle, helping in the same. So, even when you push the car through corners, there is a very minimal body roll that you will feel during the ride along with that still holds the solid confidence of its grip.

The suspension setup at the rear is a double wishbone that provides a seamless ride and it can soak all the bumps and even can easily hover the rough patches. The changes made to the new Camry hybrid does add more to the dynamics of its drive giving a relaxed and hassle \-free experience, whether drive it or be driven by a chauffeur.

Summary

The new Toyota Camry Hybrid is priced at Rs 36.95 lakh (ex-showroom) and is a great alternative to the well-established diesel luxury offerings out there in the Indian market. The TNGA platform has given the new version with many good changes - the construction is new and the driving has also improved with this and not forgetting the comfortable ride that every luxury car buyer will ask for. The interiors are unquestionable and boast of luxury. How about you also get a less polluting engine, which is a step towards the electric mobility that we will soon witness in the coming years.

Photography By: Mohd Nasir

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