Despite being hugely successful in the United States, the Toyota Camry is still something of an unknown quantity on UK shores, not least because it hasn’t been sold in Europe for the last 15 years. With its efficient hybrid propulsion system, heaving equipment list and reputation for bullet-proof reliability, it’s something a bit different compared with other large family saloons. But will British buyers take to it? Auto Trader’s Road Test Editor, Ivan Aistrop, travels to Split in Croatia to find out.

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37 thoughts on “2019 Toyota Camry first drive review”

  • debendra gurung says:

    HORSESHIT REVIEWS. The first thing to note is that this car has a unique CVT called the Direct Drive CVT. That's what sets this car apart from any other cars. We want someone with depth review on how is drives as compared to a Prius CVT. Has it done enough to circumvent the initial lag a conventional CVT has and by how much.
    This freaking car reviewers knows nothing about cars – just copy paste the same old shits. Talks about plastics and cupholders.

  • Kevin Wellwrought says:

    Autotrader charges over £50 for two weeks of advertising your car which is a rip-off. Cars do not sell fast and emails are not easy to answer. Even gumtree is better than Autotrader for buying and selling cars.

  • Toyota Camry Excel (for reference i'm coming from a Lexus IS300H 2.5l CVT Hybrid)

    I drove a demonstrator Camry Excel in the North East UK for 2 days June 2019. I concur that wind noise was noticeable on what was a very windy day, though the car didn't get blown about. I did a mixed drive from Newcastle to Wooler and back (108 mile) returning average 52mpg without really trying, I feel the lexus would have been the same. Which leads me to think that the Camry’s new engine may be more economical but the slightly extra dimensions and wheel size hold it back, or maybe the fact it only had 1700 mile on the clock!

    Overtaking from 50mph the Camry seems to pick up quicker than the Lexus. Throttle and braking control seemed very sensitive, though I become accustomed to it.

    The Good: The cabin is spacious, lots of safety tech on board and oozes data on driving economy. Love the design of the dashboard sweeping down to the drive select. No foot operated parking brake, the parking brake engages when you select ‘P and releases automatically when you pull away’. Takes speed humps nicely. Didn't notice any bad habits in the handling department. Getting in and out is easy with the auto power retracting steering wheel.

    The Bad: 18” wheel harshness over potholes. Firmer seats that took until the second day before they seemed to be ok, designed to suit the wider back, the materials stitching was not symmetrical on one seat whereas it was on the other. Centre console armrest padding was noticeably thin ooh my elbow. No paddle shift to induce engine braking. Found a vacant place for a subwoofer in the boot explaining why the sound system was lacking bass. I noticed the extra width of the Camry when passing traffic on narrow roads. Though none of the above are deal breakers.

    Conclude the Toyota Camry is a lovely car, you get plenty of car for your money, a bit too much car actually because you will struggle to fit it into Supermarket or DIY store parking space, it's a bit long.

    Getting back into the Lexus its seats felt like …the best, though the narrower cabin seemed very enclosing in comparison. A difficult choice ahead. From a company car point of view the Camry will save me and the company money. Has the latest safety tech and is spacious all round.

  • 6 minutes you call it car review?
    Get serious & take lessons from professional car reviewers at youtube.
    1 or 2 hours full detailed car test about everything..
    A car so important like the Camry.
    So poor treatment.

  • I rented an Auris with the 1,8 liter hybrid system a month ago, and the driving experience was much better, than what car reviews had led me to expect. Sure the engine revs up under hard acceleration, so it sound different from a turbo charged diesel or petrol.

    But its just a sound, and how often do you actually accelerate hard? Maybe 1% of the time or even less. The vast majority of the time, you are NOT accelerating hard, and then the CVT put the engine at low revs, and its all very relaxed and quiet. After a while you also start to adjust your driving style to avoid hard acceleration a little bit, which is probably not a bad thing at all.

    And unlike what many reviewers claim, the CVT is actually very quick to respond to throttle inputs. Last summer I drove a VW with the DSG for a few month, and while I prefer the feeling of the DSG on open roads, its clunky in stop and go traffic, and therefore the CVT of Toyota is a much better system for city driving.

    Finally there is the environmental aspect. I got 20 km/l from the Auris, which is on line with similar diesel powered compact cars. However a liter of petrol contain less energy and emit less CO2 than a liter of diesel, and then there is the whole issue of diesel emissions lets not forget.

    So as far as I am concerned, these Toyota hybrid systems are an absolutely fine intermediate solution, until you are ready for your first fully electric or plug in hybrid car. They are not that expensive to build, they dont poisen the air in our citys, and they are reliable and durable enough, that a lot of taxi drivers use them here in Sweden, where I live.

    As for the Camry not being imported to Europe for the last 15 years, this is because, Toyota decided to produce the slightly smaller Avensis for Europe instead. Production of the Avensis has been seized, so in reality this new Camry is a replacement for the Avensis although a somewhat more upmarket one.

  • LogicalVolume says:

    Hybrid models got e-CVT transmission, not CVT, these are completely different things, first get the facts – then comment, please…

  • Its funny to see that camry is not a lux car in eu, usa, or any other country, while in indonesia its an expensive car usually used by government officer or legislative member😂

  • The biggest oversight with this car is the lack of a hatchback opening boot similar to the Vauxhall Insignia. That was the reason the last version of the Avensis didn't sell very well

  • Toyota of Naperville says:

    We've tended to assume in the US that with the Camry being so popular here that it's available across the globe. Apparently not. Thanks for the update!

  • What many don't take into consideration is that Toyotas in general are generally bombproof. I'd genuinely take one of these over the equivalent BMW or Audi for that reason. If you can look past the badge on the hood, it's a very capable machine that won't burn a hole in your pocket. The price of the parts aren't nearly as expensive as it's German counterparts and it's almost a guarantee you won't need to replace many to begin with! 🙂

  • Reliability, reliability and reliability (at a level you will ever, never experience from the Germans)… And now it both looks good and drives amazingly… What's not to like??? (DOH)

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