In-depth Reviews

Toyota Camry Hybrid saloon - Engines, drive & performance

The Toyota Camry has a good chassis, but the CVT powertrain means it's happiest at a leisurely pace

Carbuyer Rating

3.9 out of 5

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Owners Rating

5.0 out of 5

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Engines, drive & performance Rating

3.5 out of 5

Like the smaller Toyota Prius, the Camry is based on Toyota's new TNGA underpinnings, and like the Prius, it's better to drive than you might expect. No, it's not quite a BMW 3 Series rival, but the Camry does handle well, with precise steering and plenty of grip in corners.

Its standard suspension is also compliant enough to soak up bumps, so paired with the laid-back hybrid powertrain, the Camry is a relaxing car to drive that acquits itself well against rivals like the Volkswagen Passat and Vauxhall Insignia.

Toyota Camry Hybrid engines

A 2.5-litre petrol engine might seem an odd choice for a car focused on economical motoring, but when combined with a powerful electric motor, it allows for decent progress without too much fuss. This is especially good news considering the Camry is fitted with a CVT automatic gearbox, because they have a bad reputation with many drivers for seeing revs - and engine noise - spike every time you accelerate.

Happily this only really happens in the Camry during overtakes and when powering onto the motorway, and even then it remains quite civilised. The rest of the time, the 215bhp combined output of its petrol engine and electric motor will be enough to satisfy most drivers. You can also select a 'manual' mode that's promised to provide the feel of a more conventional gearbox, but the Camry feels happiest when driven in a more relaxed way.

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