Toyota’s 2.5-litre dual VVT-i engine delivers a maximum of 181ps of power at 6,000rpm to the wheels through a six-speed automatic transmission, but what really makes the Camry sprightly is the 233Nm peak torque that comes in as early as 4,100rpm. To make things clear for our readers, torque is what gives the initial push, or pick-up in stop-and-go traffic, instead of the peak power that is usually only experienced on longer rides.
There are also the gizmos that are expected in the segment, like auto-levelling HID headlamps, rain-sending wipers, car information system and an in-dash touch-screen DVD/audio system that also offers Bluetooth connectivity for phones. While the instrument cluster is well-lit, with a premium feel, the outside gets LED lighting to liven up things.
What is interesting in the Camry is the extremely high focus on fuel efficiency. While there are multiple digital meters for fuel efficiency—one in the dash shows history of the car’s mileage as a bar diagram, while another in the instrument cluster measures it on a real-time basis—there is even a third analogue meter on the extreme right, just below the fuel indicator. This may be an industry first and some may wonder why it is needed. There is also an ‘Eco-drive’ indicator that shows how efficiently the car is being driven.
Alas, there is a downside. What is disappointing is the lack of some premium features that today are found even in a segment below. For a R24 lakh car and with only a single variant on sale, things like heated seats, sunroof, paddle (gear) shift on the steering wheel and reverse camera should have been standard features. For safety, there are only two airbags on offer, where competitors boast of six and beyond. There are also no controls for the audio system for the rear passenger—big miss considering most Camrys are likely to be chauffeur-driven.
The Camry is pitted straight against compatriot carmaker Honda’s Accord. The Accord had been the last word in the premium segment for many years, until the diesel deluge began in 2010. Till date, individual buyers looking for a petrol option tend to