By Veeno Dewan
Hard to believe the Toyota Camry is now in its 8th generation, the first coming out almost four decades ago. Its core values of comfort, space and reliability have made it one of Toyota’s top-selling sedans. The current generation wraps up the Camry in some stylish sheet metal; a veritable feast of swoops, curves, and radical styling to lift it out of the ordinary. Along with the sleek body is power, performance and a more luxurious interior. For Canada, the Camry arrives in a number of models- starting from $27,750 to $41,390 including Camry AWD, Camry Hybrid, and the performance orientated Camry TRD, and the Nightshade Edition. There is the V6 with sports tuned suspension, sports bucket seats, and racy body kits aimed at younger buyers. The Camry arrives with a base 2.5-litre four engine producing 206 horsepower, while there is also a 3.5L V6 for the XSE that develops 301 hp and 267 lb.-ft. Both engines come teamed with an eight-speed automatic transmission.
We tested the Camry hybrid model that starts at $31,290 for the LE version. We got into the higher spec Camry Hybrid XSE model that looks identical to the non-hybrid car with just a few hybrid badges to signal its green credentials. The XSE starts at $37,890 and has a number of extras.
The Camry Hybrid as tested is powered by Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive system: a retuned Atkinson Cycle version of the base 2.5L engine teamed with two motor/generators and an electronically controlled, continuously variable transmission. You can use the sport mode option for the transmission with six preselected ratios accessed through steering wheel mounted paddle shifters. The net system output for the power unit is rated at 208 hp and 163 lb.-ft. of torque. In terms of battery power, there is, depending on model either, a high-power lithium-ion battery, or a nickel metal-hydride unit located under the rear split-fold seats. Fuel efficiency is rated at KM/100l at 8.6/6.3 – city and highway.
The 2022 Camry interior has a luxurious, upscale look and a host of technology, convenience, and safety features. There are premium high-quality materials, comfortable seats, lots of occupant room front and a Lexus-like polish and panache to the cabin. Our mid- range Hybrid XSE came with equipment such as: Toyota Sport Styling, featuring Sport Front Grille, Rear Spoiler, and fascia, 19-inch Aluminium Alloy Wheels, Leatherette-trimmed Heated Front Sport Seats, Entune 3.0 Audio with 6-speakers,8-inch Display, Bluetooth®, satellite radio, and Backup Camera, and Qi-compatible wireless smartphone charging. Of note is the Toyota Safety SenseTM 2.5+ featuring standard technology equipment such as: radar and camera to provide forward collision avoidance with pedestrian detection, lane departure/keep assist, and dynamic cruise control and auto high beams. Equipment also includes Audio Plus Remote, with 9” Display Screen, featuring: Remote Connect, Service Connect, Safety Connect. Also included is Apple CarPlayTM and Android Auto. Buyer also gain 8-Way Power Adjustable Driver & Front Passenger Seats, with Leather Seat Surfaces. The XSE also has a Panoramic Glass Roof,
On the road the Camry Hybrid exhibits flawless refinement. The transition between gas and hybrid power is seamless. The new Camry is fast with brisk acceleration, however new engineering by Toyota estimates better efficiency and lower energy loss by 20 percent. Selectable driving modes such as Eco, Normal, and Sport offer different shift and throttle parameters depending on driver preference for either performance or economy. The ride and handling in the Camry is also a revelation. It has a much sportier, firmer sprung, but still has a comfortable ride. The car feels more responsive than before, thanks to a stiffer chassis, while a lower centre of gravity and the double wishbone rear suspension setup also weigh in for better cornering. Toyota’s Fuel Efficiency Rating† (L/100km) is 8.6/6.3 (City/Hwy) for the Camry which is amongst best in class for this segment. There is not a lot to complain about the new Camry. It looks great and has an interior that’s as good as an entry level Lexus in my opinion. The Camry Hybrid is a very attractive car if you are looking for an eco-friendly –family size -hybrid sedan. Well worth considering.
2022 Toyota Camry Hybrid XSE sedan
Base Priced from $37,850 plus options, freight and PDI.
Price as tested- $40,095.
More info at: ww.toyota.ca