Camry ZR of­fers fuel econ­omy

Bay of Plenty Times - - FRONT PAGE - Road Test: Colin Smith Pic­tures: Ge­orge Novak

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

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