Motoring

Why the Toyota Camry Hybrid is one for all seasons and reasons

Toyota Camry Hybrid

Toyota Camry Hybrid   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

The Toyota Camry Hybrid can handle everything except a free fall

Once upon a time, I remember scoffing when my uncle, who owned a Rover 2000, mentioned that the car’s biggest flaw was limited range brought upon by its lack of fuel economy. For a pre-teen taken with performance and appearances, frugality (much like reliability, or durability), had little currency. The luxurious Rover 2000 (originally the Rover SD1) that cost an astronomical sum of over ₹2 lakh in the 1980s, was a dream wagon.

Now, with all respect to the neo-romantic ideal of a ‘thing of beauty being a joy forever’, I would submit that the notion of beauty becomes less simplistic and more layered as you grow older. By no means am I suggesting that the new Toyota Camry Hybrid is not a handsome vehicle. When set side by side with its predecessor, this new luxury sedan has blossomed into a strikingly good-looking adult. Its evolution marked not just by its newly acquired good looks but with sensibilities to match, the new Camry Hybrid’s heart moves not just by the unabashed machinations of an internal combustion engine, but an electric motor that makes the car, especially for its heft and size, extraordinarily frugal.

On a reasonably long drive from Delhi to the town of Narnaul in rural Haryana, plied by roads meant more for tractors rather than low-slung sedans, the Camry not only took your columnist without complaint, but also never let the rough and tumble translate into a bumpy ride for its occupants. This is the sort of car that spares a careless driver the blushes when he completely misses a minor asphalt hill disguised as a speed-breaker. Rolls Royce likes to use the word ‘waft’ a lot when describing the ride quality of its cars. The Camry might not waft, but it sure can glide, whilst cocooning its passengers in a cockpit as safe as you’re likely to find outside a rally car.

In Narnaul, you’re told by pro golfer Digvijay Singh, who’s set up a skydiving outfit at a remote airfield, that the chances of fatality of the drive from Delhi are exponentially higher than those posed by jumping out of an air plane yoked to a parachutist. You point to the Camry’s enviable safety record and he seems nonplussed. Stats aren’t vehicle-specific are they? Not sure, I say, but pretty certain that the Camry affects the odds. The safety net, so to speak, when we plummet down from 10,000 feet up in the air, is deployed by an instructor who’s done it thousands of times, literally. As much as I love technology, I’ve never been happier about that.

Meraj Shah makes a living chronicling his experiences on the road, shooting video and writing on auto, travel and golf. When not roving the globe, he lives in Delhi with a motorcycle named Blue

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Printable version | Mar 31, 2020 7:56:33 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/motoring/one-for-all-seasons-and-reasons/article30979876.ece

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