THE seemingly never ending demand for SUV models has not only tended to put hatchbacks in the shade but also saloons.
So to get behind the wheel of a totally new mid sized saloon in the form of the new Toyota Camry is a welcome change - especially as this car delivers on so many fronts.
The Camry is a name well known to Toyota fans as well it should be after sales of 19 million models since the first one was revealed back in 1982.
It's a name that disappeared 15 years ago but has now returned in a totally new form and with a totally new power train.
It's 2.5-litre, four cylinder engine is aided and abetted by an electric motor to make it a full blown self charging hybrid. In other words it can - unlike the numerous mild hybrid cars now on the market - run purely on electricity for limited periods.
And in the case of the Camry - which is a large car by any standards - the petrol/electric combination ensures average fuel consumption of well over 50 miles per gallon.
It's not bad on performance either, although this saloon is one of those cars designed more for comfort and easy cruising than hot hatch type motoring. The sort of car you can relax and be cosseted in - particularly on long journeys - and in that respect it excels with a whisper quiet cabin that allows you to hold a conversation without ever having to raise your voice.
Nevertheless the Camry does pack a punch and will hit 62 miles per hour in a very respectable 8.3 seconds on its way to a top speed of 112mph if you send the hybrid system gauge from the eco into the power band.
And despite being designed for comfort the low, sleek Camry is a car which still handles sharply to ensure enjoyable motoring thanks in part to a body shell which is 30 per cent more rigid than its predecessor.
And switching from normal or eco mode to sport not only adds more bite to its acceleration but gives you more precise handling, ideal for twisting or mountain roads
It's interior is smart and business like with clear crisp dials and a digital as well as traditional speedometer to ensure you don't break the speed limit should you elect to ignore the very useful licence points saving speed camera alert which flashes up on the seven-inch multi functional touch/satellite navigation screen.
The same screen gives you a sharp view of what's behind as you reverse - ideal in such a long car - although there are no rear parking sensors only front ones.
Leather upholstery and a leather covered dashboard all add to the up-market feel of the Camry which boasts limousine-like leg room for both front and rear seat occupants.
The Camry Design is packed with a wide range of safety features to protect the family including lane departure alert, adaptive cruise control and pedestrian detection although you have to step up to the slightly higher priced Excel model to get blind spot monitor and rear cross traffic alert.
And while the Camry may not have the flexibility of a hatchback when it comes to suitcases it can still swallow 524 litres of luggage in a ginormous boot.