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Futuristic car

RARING TO GO Camary.   | Photo Credit: 08dmcCamry

As a child, most of us were surrounded by Ambassadors, Premier Padminis and Maruti 800s. Each one of them, outdated as they might seem today, ignited a spark in our hearts. After all, not everyone had them. Today of course, it’s commonplace to find the Mercs and the BMWs roaming around. Sure, they set your pulse racing. They always have. But we are talking about Toyota Camry.

At price point of around Rs.30 lakh (Rs.30.9 lakh ex-showroom Delhi), you can opt for a luxury sedan and not just a Toyota. The Camry is definitely not as classy as the European sedans but it does have the leather trims and chrome finishes. Some might want a better ride quality or spaciousness. This one is more spacious than the three series and the C classes that people fancy. One might wonder what good is the ride quality and luxury without adequate space for one passenger in the middle. The real wheel drives can give better performance, but the rear middle passenger has to spread his legs like a butterfly’s wings.

Expensive cars are generally very reliable. But the Camry is equally reliable if not more. And regular maintenance doesn’t cost as much. So what about the Honda Accord? Well that’s another solid contender. It has the space and the reliability of the Camry. It can also be, depending upon the configuration, significantly cheaper than the Camry. That’s a significant plus for the Honda, but we were talking about impressions. The Toyota seems to have a smoother ride. This might be subjective but it counts for me.

Hybrid version

The other nice thing about the Camry is that it comes in a hybrid version. Even if you aren’t environmentally conscious, you would be able to appreciate that the hybrids get a significant tax cut from the government. This brings the cost of the hybrids down by more than Rs.2 lakh. Add to that the extra kilometres you get by having an extra power source and you are saving some serious cash.

Another noticeable thing was how smoothly the car shifted between petrol and battery. Frankly, I didn’t even notice it. Similarly, the battery charges while braking but the drag isn’t noticeable. All this means that the hybrid version might be a better fit for most. The consumers also think likewise. Hybrids constituted 75 per cent of all Camry sales last year.

But not all is hunky dory. The hybrid, as nice as it is, takes away from one of my favourite features. It reduces the boot space. While the specs sound similar to the regular Camry, visually it seems to be a lot smaller. The other major gripe I have is the design. Toyota’s last major push came in 2007. Every design change after that has been an iterative refinement. Other manufacturers like Honda definitely seem to be giving more thought to their design.

Overall, you may or may not agree with my reasoning but I believe we can all agree that Camry Hybrid’s definitely is the car to beat.

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Printable version | Oct 21, 2020 2:14:09 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/Futuristic-car/article14555299.ece

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