TIGER WOODS, Spice Girls, Lion King, Tie-dye – 2019 is the year of the comeback.
In the car world, the same can be said for Toyota.
You can get your hands on the new Toyota Camry for just under £30,000[/caption]
We have already seen the Corolla name revived, the Supra is coming back after twenty three long years and today we review the first Camry heading to these shores since 2005.
My sources tell me there is an MR2 in the pipeline too, the dinky two-seater reinvented as an all-electric sports car.
When Toyota boss Akio Toyoda promised “no more boring cars”, he meant it. The Toys are back in town.
“I’ll be your Uber Executive driver this evening Sir, please step right in and get comfortable.”
Chances are the only time you’ll get up close to the new Toyota Camry will be after hearing these words.
Toyota itself predicts just 500 sales of the big saloon this year — and four in five of those will come from the fleet car market.
So unless you’re a company car man, or an Uber driver looking to raise your game from a Prius, the Camry is going to be a rare sight.
Which is a shame because it’s got a lot going for it.
The Camry boasts a 2.5-litre petrol hybrid engine with a power of 215hp[/caption]
Powered by a self-charging 2.5-litre petrol hybrid, it’s cheap as chips to run, returning more than 50mpg — and with CO2 emissions of just 98g/km it’ll only cost £130 to tax in its first year.
It’s basically the same car as a Lexus ES — but for six grand less. The styling isn’t quite as sleek, and it doesn’t have the status of the Lexus badge.
But in terms of quality and comfort it’s well and truly on a par. While 2.5 litres and 215hp sounds like a lot, don’t expect fiery performance.
The engine screams like a banshee when you get your clog down — yes, it’s got a hateful CVT gearbox — but the roar isn’t matched by pace.
The 0-62mph time of 8.3 seconds isn’t going to trouble anyone in anything German.
But drive it sensibly and it is quiet and smooth, especially around town thanks to Toyota’s hybrid excellence.
It really is a serene place when driving modestly, with a sumptuous interior which would keep even the fussiest of fare happy in the back.
Tech is abundant — even the cheapest Design trim has adaptive cruise control, road sign assist, reversing camera and heated electric seats.
We have seen the Toyota Corolla name revived in another motor comeback[/caption]
Although some might be unhappy about the fact it doesn’t have Apple CarPlay as an option. Yet. The boot is 527 litres which is on a par with a BMW 5 Series.
For clarity, I should spell out that the Camry replaces the Avensis in the Toyota brochure. It is a tidy car which deserves to find more success than Toyota expects of it.
As we slowly move towards the day when we’ll all have to drive hybrids, there’s no harm in becoming an early adopter.
And you can always moonlight as an Uber driver at night.
TOYOTA CAMRY KEY FACTS
Engine: 2.5-litre petrol hybrid
0-62mph: 8.3 secs
Top speed: 112mph
Fuel economy: 53mpg
MOST READ IN MOTORS
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Men In Black: International
I KNOW this weekend is all about Avengers: Endgame (spoiler alert: Tony Stark swaps his Audi R8 for an electric e-tron GT) but here’s a teaser from upcoming movie Men In Black: International.
Lexus provided a fleet of cars for filming, including this RC F for agents Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson. Pure marketing gold.
By Rachel Burgess, Deputy editor of Autocar magazine
- Proof of how dramatically the car industry is changing. Ford has invested $500million in little-known start-up Rivian to help develop future electric vehicles. Rivian, which has promised an electric pick-up truck and SUV by 2021, will now also collaborate with Ford on its EV family.
- Whether you love or hate Tesla, there’s no denying Elon Musk gets things done. The Model S and Model X now offer ten per cent more range than before – 370 and 325 miles respectively. Charging times have come down, too.
- Aston Martin has just revealed the fastest convertible in its history, the 211mph DBS Superleggera Volante. At that speed, you’d get a free facelift. Roof up, wind and road noise is deadened by eight layers of insulation. Yours for £247,000.
- Porsche is developing two-door coupe and cabrio versions of the Panamera to rival the BMW 8 Series and Aston Martin Vantage, say Autocar sources. Word is that the model will be revealed next year.
- Electric Kia models will let drivers adjust performance through smartphones in years to come, including acceleration, torque and top speed. Why? As car-sharing expands, the move will let drivers use custom settings in whichever car they drive.
Reader’s car of the week
THIS increasingly rare 2001 Ford Mondeo ST200 was sent in by Norman Whitehead, from Cumbria, who says: “Biased as I am, it is surely one of the best-looking motors Ford ever bolted together.
“Yet it’s not considered worthy of ‘classic’ status. Given some of the Fords which have, why not?”
Search me, Norman. Your motor’s a proper corker.
Send me pictures of your own beloved motor, with details, to email@example.com.
I’LL be getting a hybrid soon. Is there anything I need to know that sales staff might miss out? – Steve Tutt
If it’s a pure hybrid, Steve, with no plug-in capability, you want to know what mpg you’ll get from it in the real world – not the brochure figures – and ask them what lifespan the battery pack of the car has.
If it’s a plug-in, find out the charging times for the battery via a number of methods (home socket, public charger, rapid charger etc).
I READ with interest Rob Gill’s article about Ford resolving security on its keyless cars – but why the charge? Can’t a big firm like Ford update the key fobs on all keyless cars sold in the past two years as a goodwill gesture? – Steve
You’re right, mate. On the one hand, it’s good that Ford is offering this security upgrade service to Fiesta and Focus owners, but at 65 or 72 quid respectively, plus almost an hour’s labour and testing charges, it seems like a nominal fee that Ford could easily waive.
Come on, Ford, do the right thing and offer this keyless security upgrade for free.
I’VE had an 06-plate Meriva for 12 trouble-free years but it won’t last forever. Should I stay with Vauxhall and the Crossland X, or switch to a Skoda Fabia? – Danny, West Yorks
Go for the Fabia. The Crossland X isn’t the greatest small crossover out there and it’s not a looker, either. The Fabia’s not hugely exciting but it makes clever use of interior space and VW Group powertrains are peachy.
- Send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org
What I could have bought this week
Citroen Grand C4 Picasso 1.6 BlueHDi, £15,000, Wilmoths Citroen Crayford, Kent, autotrader.co.uk
Futuristic looks outside hide an interior designed with parents in mind – with lots of clever touches to make life as a harassed mum or dad easier. There’s a smooth diesel engine, too.
SEAT Alhambra 2.0 TDI, £14,495, ATG Motor Ltd, ebay.co.uk
It might not look special from the outside but it’s vast inside and the back is accessed by a pair of brilliant sliding doors. Loads of desirable kit too, like heated leather seats and a panoramic roof, and you may be able to haggle it down to £14k.
Volkswagen Touran 2.0 TDI 150 SE L, £14,999, cargiant.co.uk
Premium badge on its conk. Three individually sliding seats in the middle row, all with Isofix fittings. Quality cabin. Car Giant will do you PCP on this Touran for £257.37 a month. Comes with satnav, 17s, climate and cruise, and the kitchen sink, too.
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