Camry has not been on the European market for fifteen years but now it is back. It is yet to be determined if the mature appearance makes it sell as good as its predecessors.
First off, let’s talk about the brand. The company was founded in the 1800s by Sakichi Toyoda, who built looms that revolutionized the Japanese textile industry. In 1933, the company started to manufacture passenger cars and later changed its name from Toyoda to Toyota. After World War II the brand became the largest in Japan and eventually established itself both in Europe and the United States. In 2018 Toyota was the world's second-largest automobile manufacturer after Volkswagen. In third place was Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi.
The name Camry is a European phonetic interpretation of the Japanese word 'kanmuri' which means 'crown'. Originally, the name Camry was an add-on, intended for the four-door version of the Celica. The first Celica Camry entered a Japanese Toyota Corolla store in 1980. The first generation of Camry, on the other hand, appeared in 1982 when it started retailing in Japan. With 700 000 copies sold annually, the Camry holds the title of the best-selling sedan in the world. In total, 19 million units are distributed between 100 different car markets. The Camry has not been sold in Europe for 15 years, but now it is back.
“The name Camry is a European phonetic interpretation of the Japanese word 'kanmuri', which means 'crown'”
The Camry belongs to the larger sedan segment. For example, the trunk of 524 liters is actually bigger than that of a Volvo S90. The driver’s seat has a low seating position with plenty of space, even when leaving more than enough room for a passenger in the back. The design of the dash and controls is sharp, as always it comes to Japanese car brands, and with slightly different lines than we are accustomed to in Europe. There is absolutely nothing negative about that but if you’re used to a car like an Audi, BMW or Mercedes, where this type of line selection does not occur, you might need some time to adjust. The interior material choices will not be quite as high-end as the aforementioned brands, but the quality is still there, especially in the leather seats.
If you choose the premium package that costs 25 000 SEK more, you get an adjustable back seat, a sound system from JBL, sun protection curtains for side and rear panels and a heads-up display. With all these additions, the Camry actually feels quite luxurious. One major drawback, however, is that the new Camry does not support Apple CarPlay. However, Toyota themselves say that this is only a matter of time.
When it comes to driving, it takes some time to get used to the CVT-gearbox, something we have mentioned earlier here at Enliven. It is a step-less transmission, commonly seen in mopeds. Thanks to the acceleration torque, the car is changing gears steplessly. If you are not used to that, it feels like you are constantly revving the engine. When you do get used to it, however, it feels relatively harmonious and as long as you don’t floor it, the Camry will be able to get a mileage of about 0,5l/10km. In addition, the new Camry has a hybrid mode, meaning that when starting the car and while driving at low speeds, the car is silently powered by electricity.
It is yet to be determined if the new Camry becomes a bestseller. However, it will probably fit perfectly in the taxi business, where the greatest source of interest in this model will likely be.
|Toyota Camry 2,5 Hybrid
Base price: from SEK 384 900.