2018 Toyota Camry Ascent Hybrid Review

In a nutshell: All-new and alien Camry is a large step forward of a prototype though costs some-more too.

2018 Toyota Camry Ascent Hybrid

Price From $29,990+ORC Warranty three-years, 100,000km Safety five-star ANCAP Engine 2.5-litre four-cylinder petrol/electric engine – hybrid Power 131kW during 5700rpm (160kW combined) Torque 221Nm during 3600rpm Transmission CVT Drive front-wheel drive Dimensions 4885-4905mm (L); 1840mm (W); 1445mm (H); 2825mm (WB) Boot Space 524 litres Spare Space Saver Fuel Tank 50L hybrid Thirst 4.2L/100km

THE TOYOTA CAMRY is no longer built in Australia, it is now wholly alien from Japan. But you’ve no doubt examination this before or seen or listened about it on a news. The new Camry is all-new from fender to bumper, somewhat bigger than a automobile replaces and installed with some-more container and distant some-more worldly interiors.

What is a Toyota Camry Hybrid?

Our first, week-long ambience of a new Camry was in Hybrid Ascent guise that lists from $29,990+ORC that is a $200 list cost dump on a aged car, though if we emporium around we can still buy a previous-gen Camry Hybrid for this cost during drive-away. This isn’t news, it’s a indicate that’s been finished in a possess and other reviews during a time of a launch of a new Camry, though what was blank from that indicate was a fact this new Camry unequivocally is a hulk jump forward of a aged car.

Indeed, we hold off posting my examination of a new Camry Hybrid since we knew we had a prior era ‘Commemorative Edition’ Camry Hybrid a week after exam pushing a all-new Camry; yes, we got to go behind in time after sampling a future. And we got a genuine startle that I’ll go into after in this review.

There are some highlights with a new Camry and that is a fact Toyota has finished a active reserve apartment as a customary underline opposite a operation though there are issues with this system. The new Camry is also a initial sedan to be built on a Toyota New Global Architecture tallness that we’ve sampled in a tiny focus on a C-HR compress SUV. Under a Camry, a TNGA-inspired tallness is famous as GA-K and Toyota reckons it delivers a reduce centre of sobriety that creates it a improved handler. We shall see.

Our exam automobile was a Toyota Camry Ascent Hybrid that lists from $29,990+ORC, and a pricing choice is: Four-cylinder petrol – Ascent $27,690+ORC (+$1200); Ascent Sport $29,990+ORC (-$200); SX $33,290+ORC (-$200); SL $39,990+ORC (+$2550); Hybrid: Ascent $29,990+ORC (-$500); Ascent Sport $31,990+ORC (-$1200); SL $40,990+ORC (+$550): V6; SX $37,290+ORC (-$6700); and SL $43,990+ORC (-$6450).

The Camry has been Australia’s best-selling mid-size automobile for a final 23 years and Toyota is assured it’s finished adequate to stay in a tip spot. And, it substantially has, though possibly that creates it a best automobile in a segment, well, that’s a totally opposite question.

What’s a interior like?

As we hinted at, it’s a inside of a new Camry that strikes as a biggest visible alleviation over a predecessor. we consider a aged indication Camry’s extraneous styling still works; though a new automobile has taken cues from Lexus with a some-more mature and premium-esque shape.


Beauty is in a eye of a onlooker and so we’ll leave alone serve contention of a Camry’s exterior, though there’s one area where no one will be means to repudiate a improvements and that is on a inside of a car. When we initial sampled a new Camry during a internal launch final year we was tender by a interior though it’s usually this week that I’ve realised what a quantum jump forward of a aged automobile it unequivocally is.

See, this week, sitting in a Practical Motoring garage is a now, old-generation Camry Hybrid Commemorative Edition and we was definitely repelled by usually how crisp all a plastics looked and felt. The finger spike exam left outlines in a cosmetic and a whole car, notwithstanding being new, felt aged and tired.

2018 Toyota Camry Ascent Sport Hybrid Review

Not so a new Camry. Sure, it’s not in a same joining as an interior from a Volkswagen Group or even Mazda in terms of peculiarity or practicality of layout, though it’s a outrageous alleviation in peculiarity and feel compared with an aged Camry. The altogether pattern of a dashboard is still tasteless and, in a entry-level automobile too many blanks where switches live in better-spec variants… though this is something generations of Camry buyers have forgiven to assistance keep a automobile during a tip of a segment.

The materials used in a cabin are improved peculiarity (he says, perplexing not to damn a thing with gloomy praise) than have been used in Camrys before and, over a switch blanks has a hold of flair. The plastics feels usually as hard-wearing as they did in a aged Camry, though they demeanour improved peculiarity and so it should mount adult to family abuse good and demeanour many improved for longer too.

2018 Toyota Camry Ascent Sport Hybrid Review

The lurch is dominated by a possibly 7.0- or 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment complement depending on a variants; a exam automobile (Ascent) had a smaller 7.0-inch unit; a incomparable 8.0in territory with dual-zone meridian control from a Ascent Sport is graphic above.

The infotainment complement is a step forward of a aged Camry’s awkward looking and feeling complement though though Apple CarPlay or Android Auto you’ll need to bucket a Toyota Link app to get some-more out of it. Without Toyota Link there’s not a lot on offer and we found a complement didn’t always play good or logically when audio streaming around Bluetooth. Connecting your phone to a automobile was quick, nonetheless a co-worker of cave who collected a Camry during a same time as we did couldn’t get it to find his phone; a complement in my automobile connected in 10-15 seconds. And, a sat-nav, while better, still feels a era aged and lacks a fact and speed of mapping around your mobile phone. Sat-nav or joining your phone to a automobile can usually be finished while a automobile is still that is frustrating if you’ve got a newcomer perplexing to submit a finish around a sat-nav.

Below a infotainment shade are a dual-zone meridian controls and I’m not so certain a heat controls are wholly accurate; as a atmosphere entrance out feels many colder than a set heat suggests… I’d value a opinion of other Camry owners here.

Down on a centre console are dual bound crater holders and a electric handbrake that has, thankfully, transposed a feet operated parking stop on a aged car. At a unequivocally bottom of a dashboard is a tiny cubby hole that is a wireless phone charging pad on upper-spec cars (SX and SL) though a elementary shelf in a bottom Camry. There’s a USB and 12v opening nearby this shelf and a 7.3 litre glovebox to one side that gets an additional USB opening on SX and SL variants, while a centre console offers considerable storage as good as a USB/AUX and 12v outlets.

2018 Toyota Camry Ascent Sport Hybrid Review

Sat behind a steering circle and a chair feels gentle adequate though lacks hold in possibly a side or base; not that this is a dilemma carver. According to Toyota, a front seats have been totally redesigned charity “improved ergonomics” and they do feel some-more figure-hugging than a seats in a aged automobile though not overly so. That said, after pushing around 600km in a three-day duration with prolonged highway stints in that time, a seats valid gentle with adequate length in a chair bottom that my prolonged legs didn’t feel restive by a finish of a drive.

The front driver’s chair is eight-way appetite tractable on Ascent Sport, SX and SL with SL adding an eight-way appetite tractable newcomer seat, though not on a entrance Ascent. There’s both strech and tallness composition on a steering circle but, for me, a steering circle does lift high adequate to feel totally gentle in my hands; it always feels as if it’s sitting in my lap.

2018 Toyota Camry Ascent Sport Hybrid Review

Climb into a behind chair and there’s some-more room than in a aged Camry, interjection to a wheelbase stretching 50mm to 2825mm long. Toyota reckons a bulk of this room has left into behind chair legroom. With a front chair set to fit me, we found that we could lay absolutely behind that chair with decent leg and feet room. There’s good behind chair headroom nonetheless that’s not a box if you’re in a Camry with a breathtaking object roof that lowers a roof by 5 or some-more centimetres.

Getting in and out of a behind chair is easy and Toyota claims it has lowered a back-seat bottom and pushed it towards a behind of a automobile to urge entrance into a thing. The doorway openings aren’t outrageous possibly you’re climbing into possibly a front or a behind and we found we had to steep my conduct somewhat to equivocate throwing it as we climbed in. And a doors feel unequivocally light to tighten that creates it easy for kids to use them, though it also creates them feel tinny. There are behind atmosphere vents and storage pouches on a backs of a front seats.

The foot is good done for breadth though is shoal and offers 493 litres of storage space on a entry-level Ascent, since it gets a full-sized spare, and 524 litres on other models that usually get a space saver spare. Toyota has pronounced it won’t offer a full-size gangling on anything other than a entry-level Ascent. The battery on a hybrid tester has been changed underneath a behind chair so doesn’t impact on a foot during all.

The new Camry feels unequivocally informed to other new Toyota product, like a C-HR and Corolla in that Toyota’s clearly apropos some-more brave with a interiors, both in terms of materials and design. The cabin offers a peculiarity demeanour and feel in siege from a competitors, though it still doesn’t have a abyss of peculiarity some of a pivotal competitors do. Look closely around a cabin and we still feel tough edges on a cosmetic where it’s not utterly seated firmly opposite cloth trim, and a like.

There’s a decent volume of room in a front and behind seats though with a outrageous accumulation of some-more unsentimental family-oriented SUVs and wagons on a market, we can’t assistance though consider a aptitude of vehicles like a Camry is entrance quick to an end.

What’s it like to drive?

Toyota has finished a lot of sound about a TNGA tallness providing improved float and doing characteristics over a aged Camry… though there’s something blank from this new Camry that a aged one had in spades. And that is internal engineering input. The final Camry expelled here in 2015 copped a lot of Aussie submit into all from float and doing to a opening of a gearbox, heck, Toyota Australia was even authorised to furnish a just-for-Australia sports model.

Now, contend what we like about a Camry and a buyers but, as we’ve seen with other brands tweaking a product to fit a roads and pushing conditions can renovate a product. And, a Hyundai i30 is a ideal instance of that; criticized in a UK for a lumpy float and delayed steering; a automobile we get here is drastically different. And that can be a problem with a one-size fits all approach… Ford managed to spike it with a Ranger and Everest, though afterwards growth and engineering of those vehicles was led out of Australia.

This new Camry is a initial one not to accept any internal submit or even contrast here into how it rides and handles. Now, don’t misread me, a TNGA tallness does seem a good starting indicate because, for all a other failings, a C-HR, a usually other automobile sitting on that tallness (yet) is a flattering flexible small thing.

2018 Toyota Camry Ascent Sport Hybrid Review

And, so, a Camry Hybrid feels around city and opposite well-spoken roads; there’s a butteryness to a approach it absorbs unequivocally teenager bumps that a prototype can’t match. But, like all vehicles we drive, opposite a PM exam loop, a initial cunning began to unravel. Now, don’t misread me, we don’t design a Camry to act like a sports automobile with a mid-corner change of a Lotus Elise or a steering feel of a Porsche 911, though we do design it to feel gentle and efficient opposite a arrange of roads Australians would design to transport across. And that’s accurately what a exam loop offers in a 30-odd kilometres; all from highway, to rambling nation roads, parsimonious encircle sections that vigour a brakes, weight send and steering, pockmarked sections of bitumen to exam a NVH and cessation damping and even some dirt.

And what became clear after usually a initial few twists and turns is that a new Camry doesn’t like to be rushed. Driven during around six-tenths and there’s a density to a ride, physique control and steering that seems wholly suitable. But pull it even slightly, and don’t forget a Hybrid has a clever engine charity a total 160kW and 221Nm of torque, and a restraint falls divided divulgence a cessation set-up that struggles to control a vehicle’s weight and steering that’s approach though away feeling.

The brakes that offer regenerative braking, that is good on a highway, assisting a automobile to delayed though wanting to hold a brakes, are huffy and squeeze roughly as shortly as we demeanour during them. On a utterly severe territory of a loop we had to dump a speed from a posted 80km/h to between 40-60km/h to recover some restraint and comfort. The Camry’s check set-up seems good tuned for low-speed control though struggles to keep adult as a speed increases, banging and crashing opposite a cobble-stone-esque territory of exam road. And a cessation runs out of transport fast too with some sections throwing me totally unawares as one or another circle banged into a strike stops.

Okay, so, a Camry when unequivocally examined on a loop suggested some failings, though it’s not indispensably as bad as it sounds, see, in about 90% of a pushing situations owners will find themselves in and during about 90% of a speeds they’ll be travelling during a Camry will be fine. But, if you’re a customer looking for something with a small some-more abyss to a float and doing afterwards you’re improved off looking during something like a Skoda Octavia, Subaru Liberty or Mazda6.

2018 Toyota Camry Ascent Sport Hybrid Review

So, what about a hybrid set-up on a Camry, since it’s been redesigned. Toyota pronounced a new hybrid appetite sight had been designed for “increased performance, pushing smoothness, economy and package efficiency”. Indeed, a 2.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine, electric motor, appetite control unit, transaxle, and battery are code new, as is a fact a battery has been changed from a boot-space robbing position to underneath a front chair in a bid to reduce a centre of gravity. According to Toyota, a new hybrid set-up has seen appetite detriment reduced by 20% while appetite and torque is adult 11% and 4%, respectively with rise torque nearing 900rpm earlier.


2018 Toyota Camry Ascent Sport Hybrid Review

The motorist can toggle between 4 expostulate modes, EV, Normal, Eco and Sport; Normal, Eco and Sport can all be used in EV mode, too. Eco is an engaging mode as it offers a coasting duty for when we come off a stifle that is dictated to act like a Neutral gear. Sport doesn’t make a Camry any faster, it usually raises a revs permitting we to entrance a beef of a torque a small quicker.

Parking speed is where many new hybrid owners will feel a automobile is a small awkward; during slightest until they get used to a wordless using during parking speed and snatchy brakes. The brakes are grabby and a fact we won’t be means to hear a engine meant you’re always trade with a slight exile prodigy before we strike a stop pedal and headbutt a steering wheel.

On a open road, a Camry hybrid offers considerable acceleration possibly you’re overtaking on a highway or simply gripping adult with trade on a prolonged hill. And fuel expenditure was considerable too, after some-more than 400 kilometres of pushing I’d usually used a small some-more than a entertain of a tank of fuel, averaging 4L/100km. And while many bewail CVTs, a CVT in a Camry works good with a powertrain.

What about reserve features?

The Camry gets a five-star ANCAP rating opposite a operation interjection to Toyota using a active reserve apartment on all variants. As standard, there’s Pre-Collision Safety System (Autonomous Emergency Braking), Lane Departure Alert with steering assist, 7 SRS airbags, automobile fortitude control, traction control, ABS anti-skid brakes with electronic brake-force placement and Brake Assist, Hill-start Assist Control, Brake Hold and Trailer Sway Control. There are also 7 airbags, traction and fortitude controls, ISOFIX mounts on a outboard behind seats, immobilizer and alarm; a tester had front and behind parking sensors. But, usually a entry-level Ascent comes with a full-size spare.

However, there are issues and that is that a reserve apartment is unequivocally difficult and in a bid to give owners choice as to what elements they wish on or off, some can be unwittingly switched off. Just as on a launch of a Camry a automobile had a line depart warning beep operative though a steering support had been switched off. When we switched it behind on, we realised why; it’s not a utterly finessed complement and we can ramble out of a line utterly a bit before it simply nudges and afterwards releases a wheel. Methinks some-more work is compulsory on excellent tuning this complement to compare a turn of Audi or even Hyundai, for that matter.

Value for income and tenure issues?

The new Camry gets a three-year guaranty singular to 100,000km that is low though saves some face by charity capped cost servicing of $195 per use for adult to a initial 5 services (or 75,000). Servicing is set during 12 month (or 15,000km) intervals.

2018 Toyota Camry Ascent Sport Hybrid Review

It’s too shortly to work out what a trustworthiness of a new Camry Hybrid will be and a week-long exam positively didn’t chuck adult anything we’d be utterly endangered about. But, a further of an electric powertrain, batteries and non-typical brakes meant there’s some-more intensity for issues on a hybrid than non-hybrid. That said, trustworthiness of a prior era Camry Hybrid seems clever with few complaints about anything other than a foot-operated parking brake.

It’s approaching a battery container in a Camry Hybrid will final around 10 years before it needs to be transposed and Toyota dealers and others offer deputy services with a deputy battery container costing around $4000. It’s value observant that if you’re looking during shopping a used Camry Hybrid that was used as a taxi, afterwards check that it has all a compulsory filters to safeguard a battery container cooling fan doesn’t turn fouled with flint and betimes overheat and so fail.

So, what do we think?

The Camry Hybrid Ascent Sport is a large step forward of a prototype with a peculiarity interior. It’s still not as reward feeling as a pivotal competitors during this finish of a operation and while there are float and doing issues when a automobile is pushed, in 90% of scenarios it feels good. The hybrid powertrain means we get good fuel expenditure as a exam normal showed, though if your ‘enjoy’ driving, a Camry still doesn’t offer adequate pizzazz.

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