Combine a Japanese car, a Croatian road trip and one motoring journalist to serve up this car review…
This review was written by motoring journalist and dad-of-three Tim Barnes-Clay. He test-drives the latest cars in the UK and attends new vehicle press launches across the world. Follow him on Instagram @tbarnesclay, Twitter @carwriteups or facebook.com/TimBarnesClay/.
Not everyone gets excited about cars. I get it – I mean, in the UK you can’t enjoy driving anyway. There are cameras everywhere, and now average speed cameras can ‘do’ you for going 1mph over the limit.
Yes, I know – “bah humbug” and all that. As much as I tell myself this isn’t the best country to drive in, it’s a decent place to live – and I still like cars – and motorbikes. But I had to give up two wheels when I became a dad.
Return of the Camry
Anyway, you might remember the Toyota Camry? It’s been absent from the UK for 15 years, but now it’s back – because it’s continued to sell well in other parts of the world.
The irony is, I was invited to Croatia to test drive it, but to be fair, the roads are empty there.
On the move, it’s hushed, and the Camry’s combined petrol engine and electric motor give decent performance. The steering is precise, and visibility is good, too.
Regrettably, it’s common for hybrids to let the side down regarding refinement at speed. The almost inaudible engine in the Camry means you’re hyper-aware of other noises instead. So, tyre rumble grates on you, as does wind whistle at 70mph. But you can still get on with the Camry on the motorway. You might just need to put some hard rock music on, though.
There’s enough room for five-up in the cabin, and with 524 litres of boot space, you’ll get two suitcases in – and a child’s buggy.
The Camry’s main failing is its infotainment system – it’s arthritic to use, and the touchscreen is frustratingly unresponsive. But Toyota says it’ll fit Apple CarPlay and Android Auto soon. Phew! First world worries, eh?
Fast Facts (Toyota Camry 2.5 Hybrid Auto Excel):
- Max speed: 112 mph
- 0-62 mph: 8.3 sec
- Combined mpg: 50.4
- Engine layout: 2.5-litre, four-cylinder petrol hybrid
- Max. power (PS): 218
- CO2: 101g/km
- Price: £31,295