Camry ZR offers fuel economy
With mid-size and large sedan sales in the doldrums, Toyota’s work to make its new generation Camry a more engaging drive even extends to the sensible efficiency of the hybrid versions.
The lower and wider, edgierlooking eighth generation Camry was launched in April with a line-up of entry-level four-cylinder and sports theme V6 versions plus a trio of hybrid models.
The price ladder starts at $35,990 and climbs to $49,490 with the new Toyota Driveaway price package wrapping warrant of fitness, registration, a full tank of fuel, the Toyota Care Service Advantage package, floor mats and the three years/100,000km warranty into the advertised prices.
The Camry Hybrid image has largely been built on taxi duty and large fleet roles but at the ZR end of the range there is a sharply styled sedan with generous interior space and a high level of specification that's pitched as a business class saloon or premium family four-door.
Over a highway journey the Camry ZR Hybrid offers an appealing blend of easy performance, roomy family sedan comfort and high efficiency. The smooth hybrid power delivery is accompanied by the ability to easily achieve fuel consumption in the range of 5-6 litres per 100km in both open road and busy city driving environments.
The Camry Hybrid powertrain combines a new 2487cc fourcylinder direct and port injected petrol engine with an electronically controlled continuously variable transmission while an 88kW electric motor and 244.8-volt nickel metalhydride battery pack provide the hybrid content.
The petrol engine develops 131kW and 250Nm of torque and the full system output is now rated at 160kW. While Toyota doesn’t quote a combined torque figure, there is up to 202Nm from the electric motor which muscles up the torque curve and means the Camry Hybrid responds eagerly at a light throttle with good uphill performance and overtaking urge.
In the ZR model the E-CVT transmission also offers paddle shifters with a six-step sequential shift function when greater control and response is required and the Camry can be driven in Eco, Normal, Sport and EV modes.
The primary hybrid advantage is