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Road Test Review : Toyota Camry Hybrid

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Priced at Rs 41.7 lakh (ex-showroom), the Toyota Camry Hybrid positions itself as a premium executive sedan, competing with rivals such as the Skoda Superb and even encroaching into the territory of the BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe and Mercedes A-Class. While it may not boast the same level of prestige, the Camry stands out as a distinctive three-box sedan with unique features, including a hybrid powertrain and a focus on rear-seat comfort.

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The key highlight of the Camry is its powertrain. Sporting a 178bhp 2.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine, it operates as a self-charging hybrid car with a 120bhp permanent magnet synchronous motor. The combined power output reaches 218bhp, paired with an automatic CVT gearbox. The car impresses with its silent and refined operation, making it difficult to discern whether it’s running on electric power or not.

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On the highway, the Camry ensures a comfortable ride, even at slow speeds. Its pliant suspension absorbs undulations well, offering a smooth experience for passengers. Despite its low stance, the car handles speed-breakers with ease, never scraping its under-belly. While it may not excel in off-road adventures, it proves capable for cross-state drives, instilling confidence in handling diversions.

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The interior receives subtle updates, featuring a larger 9.0-inch infotainment screen and repositioned AC vents. The dashboard, center console, and armrests showcase a new trim finish, enhancing the overall appeal. Although the material quality is commendable, the design appears somewhat dated. The sedan’s low stance may pose challenges for elderly passengers compared to high-riding SUVs. However, the Camry compensates with a well-equipped interior, boasting a nine-speaker JBL audio system, touchscreen infotainment with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, cruise control, a reverse camera, electric sunroof, wireless charging pad, and a head-up display.

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The Camry’s safety features include nine airbags, ABS with EBD, ESP, and other expected elements in its class. While it may lack some high-end feel-good features found in the competition, such as a 360-degree camera, it remains a solid choice for those seeking a luxurious and efficient sedan in its segment.