Toyota Camry Design

Toyota Camry, front action
Toyota Camry, side action
Toyota Camry, side static
Toyota Camry, front static
Toyota Camry, front action 2
Toyota Camry, rear action
Toyota Camry, rear static
Toyota Camry, rear seats
Toyota Camry, rear seats 2
Toyota Camry, dash detail
Toyota Camry, dashboard
Toyota Camry, engine

TOYOTA'S new big saloon is back after 15 years and might just have arrived with perfect timing.

Combining a large-ish petrol engine with useful amount of electrical power, this hybrid mix banishes any lingering thoughts of 'diesel' to produce spectacular economy.

How about 58.4mpg from a hard week's workout with 500 miles under the Camry's wheels? And this newcomer is a generously spacious car, remember.

That was the headline statistic from seven days behind the wheel of a car whose nameplate has sold well around the world since 1982 but had been missing from our roads for a decade and a half.

Toyota must reckon this eighth generation Camry has enough fire power to snatch sales from the likes of Mazda (with the Mazda6), Hyundai (i40) and Skoda (Superb) and perhaps nibble away at the nursery slopes of BMW and Audi buyers.

They've penned a shape that grabs your attention, first with the sheer size of the car, then from a front that's a riot of horizontal lines that make its width even more obvious.

Inside, there's a serious feel from lots of black leather and solidly built plastic that gives confidence this Toyota will be around for a long time - as if a five year warranty and high scoring in reliability tables weren't enough.

There are just two Camry versions on offer, differing only in the kit that comes as standard. Both share the same 2.5-litre petrol engine and self-charging electric motor and CVT automatic gearbox and both have space to spare for people and a huge (524 litres) boot with a rear seat that flops forward to make it bigger still.

Choose the less expensive Camry, the £29,995 Design version and you'll lack for little, with sat nav, dual zone air conditioning and power adjustable and heated front seats to adaptive cruise control and a fine sounding audio system, although Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are surprising omissions.

The £31,295 Excel trim level adds features like bigger alloy wheels, power adjustment for the steering wheel, auto dimming rear view mirror and smartphone self-charging tray.

Neither of them wants you to drive as though your trousers are on fire, much preferring a gentler approach to covering miles.

That way the CVT transmission stays properly mute (poked with a sharp stick, it wants to drone away a bit) and economy will provoke a delighted smile.

Less happily, bringing the Camry to a smooth halt is harder than it need be as the car regenerates its on-board battery as you slow and turns some stops into an early driving lesson rerun.

Anywhere between stopping and going fast is Camry high ground, with a smooth ride and low levels of noise in the cabin producing a car that will happily take you and your loved ones a very long way in a day without protest.

FAST FACTS

Toyota Camry Design

Price: £29,995

Mechanical: 215bhp, 2,487cc, 4cyl petrol engine and electric motor driving front wheels via automatic gearbox

Max Speed: 112mph

0-62mph: 8.3 seconds

Combined MPG: 53.3

Insurance Group: 31

C02 emissions: 98g/km

Bik rating: 23%

Warranty: 5yrs/100,000 miles

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