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Toyota Camry Review: Toyota Camry Hybrid: Synergy Drive

Toyota Camry Hybrid: Synergy Drive

By Aditya Chatterjee; 26th August, 2013
Introduction

Toyota Camry Hybrid: Synergy Drive

The number of automobiles plying on roads is increasing rapidly. This has led to a rise in traffic chaos and parking issues, with even bigger issues at hand. 

Toyota Camry

Global warming is an issue which is slowly seeping in everybody’s life. The emission of greenhouse gases is truly harming the natural balance. According to estimates, 74% of overall global CO2  emissions are caused by road transport. As If global warming is not sufficient to damage the environmental cycle, there are also reports of exhausting fossil fuel sources.

Such critical situations have forced automobile manufacturers to develop alternate options to replace conventional fuel which will aid the environment. Hybrid technology is one such beneficial method which makes use of a petrol engine and an electric motor. These motors promise to be easy on maintenance with low cost of ownership. They are also as powerful as a conventional car.

Toyota Camry

Toyota is the only manufacturer in the world that manufactures hybrid vehicles in all segments. The Prius which was launched in 1997 was the first mass produced hybrid car. It is sold in 80 countries and regions and is also the inspiration behind hybrid models like the Highlander SUV and Avalon sedan.

Carrying ahead the tradition of being the pioneers, Toyota India has launched the Camry Hybrid in India which makes it the first manufacturer to produce hybrid cars in the country. The Hybrid Camry which will co-exist with the flagship model promises to be a cleaner, more powerful and easy to maintain car with a claimed fuel efficiency of 19+ kmpl. We make a quick trip to the techno savvy capital of India in Bengaluru to get our first impression report on it.

Exterior

Looks of the Camry Hybrid have been tweaked from the conventional model. Keeping the basic design language same, Toyota has added new bits on the overall design to make the Hybrid stand out from the normal version.

Toyota Camry

The headlight cluster gets a revised edition with multiple projector lamps. These lights promise to have a longer life and consume lesser power. The Blue Toyota logo on the radiator grille also symbolizes the same. The chrome single slat radiator grille makes it look very rich and premium also it scores more points when compared to the standard model. Even the front bumper gets its generous dash of chrome bling engulfing the fog lamps. Not a big fan of chrome but then it looks decent on the front face.

The Camry continues to be a visual delight to look at with its relaxed overhangs. It is 4825mm long in length and 1825mm in width. In addition the chrome lining on the running board, it also gets a sun shade protection on the window line as a standard fitment. The ORVMs have an auto memory which saves last position.

Toyota Camry

The tail light assembly as rear fog lamps embedded in them for better visibility of the approaching vehicle. It gets a chrome highlight underneath the tail lamp and the rear reflectors. It has newly designed rear tail lamps which are separated with a mild chrome line bordering the boot lid.

The Camry Hybrid looks visually better than the standard version and also with the revisited elements on the body makes it looks more premium and plush. Toyota might have delayed its Lexus launch but then we surely are getting some hints of things to expect in future.

Toyota Camry

Interior

Instrumental panel has dials engulfed in chrome rings and display the necessary information only such as distance to empty, trip meter info and the average speed along with the ECO mode signal.

Toyota Camry

There is a cruise control lever just after the steering lever, which has to be tapped and then raised or lowered to adjust the speed. One small drawback is the absence of a digital display of speed on the speedometer for adjusting the cruise control speed.

The front dashboard design is modern and the steering wheel now gets steering mounted controls to control the media, Volume and phone options. The steering wheel feels a bit smaller but is done very neatly in leather and wooden finish. Wooden finished trims flow all over the cabin in tasteful proportions.

Toyota Camry

8 way fully electrical front row seats stitched in premium quality leather and the dual tone interiors complemented with wooden trims throughout assure that this time too Toyota has kept passenger comfort as the main priority in the interior design.

Toyota Camry

The front seats also have controls mounted on their side so as to let the rear passengers adjust its position. Adding to the comfort factor are the arm rests for the front row as well as the rear row of passengers. With more than generous headroom, legroom and kneeroom, the new Camry retains its comfortable executive sedan tag.

The on board music system is decent and does not have the amazing audio quality as some of its competitors offer. The music system comes with 6 speakers with a touchscreen compatible screen as well as USB and AUX-in plug in options. The user interface of the touch screen could have been better than the one being presently used. However, the utility aspect of it is nice as it is very convenient and easy to use.

Toyota Camry

 

Performance

We had driven the conventional Camry last year and the experience was fantastic. It had its share of reactions. Leaving the minor issues, the main deal was the absence of a diesel option. Lack of a diesel motor always made the Camry suffer especially since the Skoda Superb proves to be more lucrative with more comfort value.

Toyota Camry

The New Camry Hybrid makes Toyota the first company to manufacture a hybrid vehicle in India. These points score above the competition as with the Hybrid Camry, Toyota brings in a new cleaner alternative in the market in extension to an already powerful engine.

The conventional Camry produces a peak power of 181 PS at 6000 rpm which has been increased from 168 PS of the earlier version. Also, it produces a torque of 233 Nm at 4100 rpm which is close to 9Nm more than its predecessor. The new 16 Valve DOHC Dual VVT-i engine is equipped with a 6 speed automatic transmission with sequential shift technology.

Toyota Camry

The Hybrid pushes the envelope further by raising the total power output to 205Ps. It uses a Permanent Magnet Synchronous motor to churn 650V of voltage. This motor is capable of producing torque of upto 270Nm and an output of 143 PS. Unlike other hybrids which only concentrate on making the drive more efficient this one actually makes the engine feel more powerful.

We tested the Camry Hybrid at TKM’s test track in Bangalore. This was not a long drive but a short stint with the car. Something that the Hybrid really scored was its drivability. The synchronous behavior of the electric motor punching in during deceleration was fantastic. It also makes use of regenerative braking to save in the braking energy and use it to charge the battery. The electric motor is absolutely silent and it’s a sight to see a car this big and heavy just move around without any noise using an electric motor.

Toyota Camry

The earlier issues of the Camry feeling heavy on corners is carried on this one too but then the lag felt in the earlier model is totally gone and feels all new with the electric motor. Overall performance remains same but then with a refined approach the Camry Hybrid feels better. We got an optimum fuel efficiency of 19 Kmpl.

Toyota Camry

 

Tech specs
Technical Specifications
 Make Toyota
 Model Camry
Variant Hybrid
Engine displacement (cc) 2494
Power in PS / RPM 160/5700
Torque in Nm / RPM 213/4500
Transmission E-CVT
Electric Motor Type Permanent Magnet Synchronous Motor
Max. Voltage 650V
Max. Output 143PS
Max. Torque  270Nm
Hybrid System
Total Max. Output 205PS
Total Max. Torque 270Nm
Drive Mode ECO and EV
Tyre size 215/60 R16
Brakes Front Disc
Brakes Rear Disc
Fuel Tank capacity (L) 65
Dimensions in mm
Length 4825
Width 1825
Height 1480
Wheel Base 2775
Ground clearance 160
Minimum turning radius M 5.5
Kerb Weight Kgs 1625
Features
Features Hybrid
Automatic HID Head lamps  Yes
10 Spoke 16" Alloy wheel Yes
Rear combination lamp ith LED brake light Yes
2 DIN Audio system with touch screen display Yes
Center console Box with  sliding  leather armrest Yes
Leather trip on cowl and dashboard with real stiching Yes
Leather seats Yes
8 Way power adjust driver and front passenger seats Yes
Rear AC Vents Yes
Rain sensing wipers Yes
Driver and  front Passenger airbag Yes
ABS with EBD and BA Yes
Rear seats with Power recline Yes
Front seats with ventilation System Yes
Triple Zone Automatic Climate Control Yes
Smart entry system with Start/Stop button Yes
Immobilise + Alarm Yes
Traction Control Yes
Collapsible co-passenger headrest Yes
Impact sensing Fuel Cut off Yes
Vehicle Stability Control Yes
Competition
Specifications
Toyota
Camry
Honda
Accord
Skoda
Superb Ambition
Hyundai
Sonata
Variant Hybrid 2.4 AT 2.0 TDI AT 2.5 Gdi MT
Ex showroom Price  Mumbai NA 2178999 2315171 2168066
Engine Displacement 2494 2354 1968 2359
Power in PS / RPM 205 180/6500 140/4200 201/6300
Torque in Nm / RPM 270 222/4300 320/2500 250/4200
Transmission 6/AT 5/AT 6/AT 6/MT
Tyre size 215/60 R16 215/60 R16 185/65 R15 215/55 R17
Brakes Front Disc Disc Disc Disc
Brakes Rear Disc Disc Drum Disc
Fuel Tank capacity L 65 70 60 70
Fuel Hybrid Petrol Diesel Diesel
Dimensions in mm
Length 4825 4950 4838 4820
Width 1825 1845 1817 1835
Height 1480 1475 1482 1490
Wheel Base 2775 2800 2761 2795
Ground clearance 160 155 158 155
Minimum turning radius M 5.5 5.6 5.4 5.4
Claimed Mileage Kmpl 19.16 11.8 17.2 16
Features
Headlight height adjuster Yes Yes Yes Yes
Alloy wheels Yes Yes Yes Yes
Fog lamps Yes Yes Yes Yes
2 DIN Audio system  Yes Yes Yes Yes
Leather interiors Yes Yes Yes Yes
Electrically adjustable driver seat Yes Yes Yes Yes
Rear AC Vents Yes Yes Yes Yes
Rain sensing wipers Yes Yes Yes Yes
Driver and  front Passenger airbag Yes Yes Yes Yes
Side Curtain airbag No Yes Yes Yes
Electric sunroof No Yes No No
ABS with EBD and BA Yes Yes Yes Yes
Conclusion

The Camry Hybrid is Toyota’s answer to the carbon spitting diesel engines. Lack of a diesel motor was a handicap but then instead of following the trend the company decided to come up with a cleaner and more powerful version of the existing Camry. The Hybrid Camry was recently launched at Rs.29.75 lakhs Ex-Showroom Delhi.

Toyota Camry

It will be assembled in Bidadi, Bangalore. Toyota with the Camry Hybrid becomes the first car to be assembled in India by any auto manufacturer. It is very encouraging to see automobile makers coping up with the alarming needs of nature and doing their bit to save it. Petrolheads may be a cool term but them the environment is totally losing its cool with the increase in carbon footprint.