The new form has, tragically, thumped a portion of the stuffing out of my set up Camry repartee. Until today, I had not yet had a go in the new vehicle, and in this manner it was something of a stun to understand that it doesn’t look horrible any more.
My pitiless associates, be that as it may, murmured obscurely this was as yet a Camry, only not as we’ve constantly known it.
Well. I’m getting too old to even think about dealing with change. This Camry Ascent Sport Hybrid would be advised to exhaust.
Does it represent good value for the price? What features does it come with?
The hybrid drivetrain is available on the Ascent, Ascent Sport and SL. I had the $31,990 Ascent Sport for the week.
It comes with 17-inch alloy wheels, a six-speaker stereo (with CD player!), dual-zone climate control, cloth trim, with space-saver spare wheel, electric driver’s seat, auto LED headlights, keyless entry and start, sat nav, reversing camera, active cruise control, front and rear parking sensors, an impressive safety package, power mirrors and windows. Did I mention the CD player?
The six-speaker stereo is powered from the 8.0-inch touchscreen and the software is…um…not great. Which wouldn’t matter if it had Android Auto and/or Apple CarPlay but Toyota Australia stubbornly refuses to include them. The damn Seppos get it in their Toyotas, so it’s not like it’s impossible. But our version does have a CD player. Hipsters rejoice!
Is there anything interesting about its design?
Some key changes to the design approach on the new Camry means it’s not as knock-kneed and simpering as the last, um, six or so generations. READ: Toyota Altis 2020 First Drive
To be fair, the previous one wasn’t terrible but there are actual hints of mild bravery, with an angry front-end look, some interesting surface detailing and, even what might be called a “Lexus-lite” look for the rest of it.
The new Camry is lower, has big wheel arches that the 17s struggle to fill but it has some genuine style, rather than looking like the clay modellers knocked off before lunch. The dual exhaust seemed incongruous to me, but is, in fact, a styling win.
Jokes aside, I don’t mind it at all. It’s no Supra, but it’s no mid-90s Camry, either. Yeah, I bet you don’t remember which one I’m talking about, either.
I really like the cabin. The dash design is quite something and shows some real flair. William Chergowsky told me last year that this interior was going to be more emotional and memorable. And it really is, along with Toyota’s impressive build quality. Even the volume knob feels substantial, the materials are nice but the steering wheel is… well, more of that later.
What are the key stats for the engine and transmission?
While the standard Camry packs the same 2.5-litre four-cylinder, the Hybrid’s ICE output is slightly lower, at 131kW. When paired with a hybrid motor, the total power figure is a pretty decent 160kW, but the torque figure appears to be unaffected, at 202Nm. Toyota doesn’t quote combined torque figures, because it’s tricky with the type of transmission it uses.
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The front wheels are driven by Toyota’s favoured e-CVT, with six artifical steps to make it feel like a proper auto, if you’re feeling racy.
How practical is the space inside?
The new, stretched wheelbase has meant a lot more interior space for passengers, particularly in the rear. The Camry hasn’t really been small for a very long time, but this one’s generous rear legroom is probably why it’s a smash-hit with the Uber crowd. The seats are comfortable too, if trimmed in what appears to be neoprene.
Front and rear passengers each have a pair of cupholders for a total of four, plus there’s a deep central console bin and a space under the stereo for a phone. There’s even a coin slot. Each door also has a bottle holder.
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The boot in the Ascent Sport is a voluminous 524 litres – the Ascent has a full-size spare that swallows up 30 litres of that space. The seats fold down 60/40, but the cargo volume when they are down is not readily available.