At the rear, legroom is ample for adults and truly spacious for children, the seats are divided into a 60/40 configuration. The boot is generous to 524 liters, thanks to the ingenious packaging of the battery of the electric motor. When placed under the rear seats, it does not compromise luggage space and has the added advantage of lowering the centre of gravity.
The driving experience is largely enjoyable. Thanks to the hybrid capabilities, the output is as smooth as in an all-electric car and the integration between the combustion engine and the engine is perfect. A graph on the infotainment screen shows when one or both are driving the front wheels, adding useful, albeit slightly deviated, information about the economy. At slow speeds, its fun to switch to full EV mode and run quietly with the electric motor.
Cruise capabilities are such that passengers tend to fall asleep on motorways and soft A roads (always a good sign), while the journey is firm enough to allow a decent driving feeling through the well weighted direction, but soft enough to absorb the “challenges” offered by most British roads. The design-tested version runs on 17-inch wheels, so nothing extreme in size, but they were more than adequate for the task, with road and wind noise offering little to comment on.
In Normal or Eco mode, the CVT gearbox has a tendency to revolutionise slightly frantically when higher demands are made on the engine under acceleration, without offering at all the traction power it is sonically suggesting. The time of 8.3 seconds 0-62 mph tells a story here, while the limited torque must be taken into account when overtaking.
In Sport mode and with the sequential shift function activated, theres a noticeable increase in performance and its not unpleasant – but lets face it, the Camry is not willing to bother the BMW 3 Series with more engaged driver experiences. In this case, the term “sport” should be considered as a relative term.
But should we judge him too harshly for this? After all, no matter how much Toyota wants to offer a pleasant dynamic experience, how many potential buyers will consider the Camry because of its Sport mode? For most, it will be a long way to go before an agreement is reached, while the refined cruise capacity will be of much greater importance.