Toyota Camry: Sporty looks or powerful performance or both?

Toyota Camry: Sporty looks or powerful performance or both?
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The Toyota Camry has always been brought just for the pure space and luxury it accords. We like the fact that this is a car which has been one of the highest selling Toyotas in the world. The generation changes of the Camry happen quite swiftly too. In about four years, a Camry generation change happens. Can you believe it? For every model year, the company also offers significant updates. A new generation Camry is due next year. It will most likely be a plug-in hybrid keeping in mind the company’s aspirations to go electric soon.

Toyota Camry

However, given that the new age V6 Camrys have the performance edge as well and are giving the Honda Accord a run for its money. Toyota designers have also ensured that the Camry looks the part. The side skirts, front splitter and luxurious interiors ensure that the car looks awesome too. Never thought that you will say something about this, didn’t you? Yeah, neither us. Jokes aside, the Camry does look very good now. Wonder how are they going to evolve the design language for the next one.

The biggest question then is, will you choose the Camry for its sporty looks or for the performance on tap? Or have the best of both worlds. Let’s find out.

Sporty looks

That grille done in tasteful chrome looks very elegant on the Camry. It is becoming sort of like a Toyota signature. The headlights are LED projectors and they look very nice as well. The illumination afforded by these pair is brilliant as well. Toyota also has got separate headlight washers for the car as well. That gaping inverted air dam may not be to everyone’s liking. It houses projector fog lights which have an unusual placement. Closer to the air dam outlines that is. Toyota gives front parking sensors and these find their way onto the front bumper. The 17-inch alloy wheels may look like a run-of-the mill stuff and the side profile too feels a bit bland. Move over to the rear and you will find the slab sided profile. A chrome bar breaks the monotony here. But again, there is only little it can do. The tail lights are again LED units and there are parking sensors at the back as well. There are four colours to choose from - white crystal pearl shine, silver metallic, gray metallic and attitude black mica. Whichever exterior colour you choose, has no relevance to the choice of upholstery in the cabin.

toyota camry rear

The cabin is a mix of leather and wood. However, the flamboyance of the outside is lost on the inside. The interior isn’t as radical as the outside. Something like how the Honda Civic does for its interior would have worked wonders. The dark and brown used for the interior brings in a kind of gloom. However, there is acres of space in the cabin. Both the front seats are electrically adjustable and the driver’s side also gets a memory function. The instrument cluster is a simple Optitron unit. We like the fact that the materials are all soft to touch and the bits and pieces of space in the cabin has been logically thought about.

toyota camry interior

There are multiple bottle holders, space to store the phones and even loose change. Tri-zone climate control with one for the rear passengers is also a boon. The back seat is truly comfortable with individual AC vents, remote control for the infotainment system, heating as well as rear blinds. The one on the rear windshield is an electrically adjustable one whereas the ones on the side are manual. Toyota has also given provision wherein the back seat passenger can slide the front passenger seat from behind. The rear seat itself adjusts for backrest incline. The cavernous boot too swallows more than 600 litres of luggage.

Performance

Toyota previously used to offer two powertrains with the Camry in Philippines. Surprisingly, the more powerful option has been shown the door now. We are talking about the 3.5-litre V6 non turbo unit. The engine used to make 277 PS of power and 350 Nm of torque. A 6-speed automatic used to send power to the front wheels. The Camry in this guise was a hoot to drive. Instant power and a top end which rivalled some German performance sedans was a given. Unfortunately, single digit fuel economy numbers spelled its doom as well as low sales.

toyota camry engine

The engine that is available even now is a 2.5-litre unit. This one too is naturally aspirated but makes 181 PS of power in the V and G trims whereas the S (Sport) gets 3 PS more. All states of tune here though have only 230 Nm of torque to play around with. A 6-speed automatic gearbox is also used here. While performance may not be scintillating, it still is enough for a top whack close to 200 kmph. Toyota says that this one will hit the ton in 10 seconds while the Sport trim will do it in 0.1s lower. The V6 in the meanwhile hits 100 kmph from standstill in just 8 seconds.
Globally, Toyota also offers the 2.5-litre engine with a hybrid powertrain. This one, as you guessed, focuses more on the efficiency part. In fact, it delivers close to 30 kmpl, a far cry from the regular motor’s 13 kmpl. The electric motor also propels the Camry on pure electric power for 25 km. The performance isn’t bad but isn’t electrifying as well. We wish Toyota offered this engine option here. It would have made sense and the running costs of the Camry will be lower too.

If you were to ask us which one will we prefer, it’s an altogether different version. Will it be just the looks and comfort or the performance, we will choose the third option. Both. After all it is the classic case of having your cake and eating it too.

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