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Monday, September 19, 2022

Review: 2022 Toyota Camry 2.5 HEV


They say familiarity breeds contempt, but the truth is that the Toyota Camry is far too ubiquitous even for that. It’s invisible. It blends into the very concrete that paves the parking lots, especially when you get one in silver or gray. It’s the perfect automotive camouflage.

But hey, should you care? Admittedly, the Camry’s not meant to stand out. Despite all of Toyota’s earnest efforts, it does little to rouse your emotions. It’s incognito—a reflection perhaps of Japanese work culture that birthed it in the first place. It’s meant for the salaryman who’s quietly on his way up the corporate ladder. For that, he wears the same black suit and steel watch (typically an entry-level Rolex) as everyone else. However, he’s also sophisticated enough to know that three-in-one coffee or a Fortuner just won’t cut it.



When it comes to the Camry, the new one still won’t be tugging any heart strings. Sure, Toyota’s done some work to re-sculpt some bits—the slimmer grille, more high-gloss black accents, and the new 18-inch alloy wheels. Yet, it’s still par for the course as far as executive sedans go. At this point, it’s expected; after all, you don’t squeeze an orange and hope for apple juice.

What it lacks in exterior pizzazz though, it more than makes up for in other aspects. For staters, there’s the interior. Unlike previous efforts which came off as far too anonymous, this cabin looks like it was actually designed by someone who cared. While it still falls short to something like the Mazda6 (let alone any Lexus model) there’s an attention to detail here that’s suggestive of luxury.



A 9-inch screen jaunts right out of the dashboard. Aside from displaying bits about the hybrid system and stuff, it also nudges this executive sedan to modernity with standard Apple CarPlay (wired) and Android Auto. Other dashboard changes have been largely dictated by the aforementioned infotainment system, but there are nice improvements to the fit and finish too.

Typical of a large sedan, passenger space in both rows is generous, and there are numerous cubbies to stash stuff up. Even better, those in the back have access not just to their own climate vents and climate zone, but flip down the center arm rest, and you’ll find that the seats offer power adjustable recline too.



Aside from reclinable rear seats, this Camry’s also pushed the envelope in terms of creature comfort features. With the exception of ventilated seats which are still MIA, it now has automatic LED headlights, rain-sensing wipers, a heads-up display, a 9-speaker JBL speaker system, wireless charger, power adjustable steering column, power adjustable seats (the driver gets a two-position memory), power rear sunshade, side rear sunshades, and the latest Toyota Safety Sense which adds automatic high beams, pre-collision emergency braking with cyclist and pedestrian detection, lane departure warning with steering assist as well as blind spot monitoring with rear automatic braking. Whew. All this for a surprisingly good P 2.4-million price tag.

The biggest change though happens under the hood. Gone is the ancient and thirsty 2.5-liter EFI engine, and in its place is Toyota’s newest engine dubbed Dynamic Force. Not only is it equipped with D-4S direct injection, but it adopts VVTi-iE—where electrically-operated actuators (as opposed to hydraulic ones) adjust and maintain intake camshaft timing for better fuel efficiency and output. Then, Toyota goes further by pairing it with their fourth-generation hybrid system as standard. The result is a combined 211 horsepower and 221 Nm of torque mated to a CVT.



Like other Toyota hybrids, the Camry now starts up using energy stored in its nickel-metal hydride battery. With no cranking sounds emanating from the engine bay, the only indicator that you’re ready to go are the words, “Ready” displayed on the instrument cluster. With a strong electric motor—88 horsepower and 202 Nm of torque—it can easily propel itself at low speeds without relying on the combustion engine. And even if the A25A-FXS engine does need to assist the electric motor, it does so in manner so quiet and smooth, it’s barely noticeable whether you are in the driver’s seat or standing next to it.

Of course, being a self-charging hybrid, the Camry still needs to be fueled up. While the interval between each full tank has been stretched considerably—16.67 km/L—it’s best to go for a fuel like Petron XCS. Its additive chemistries not only promote fuel efficiency, but it also keeps your engine protected and clean in the long run.



Underpinned by a TNGA platform, the driver feels like he’s sitting lower than the advertised 140 mm of ground clearance would suggest. This takes some getting used to, but thankfully, visibility isn’t compromised. Even so, the standard 360-degree camera and proximity sensors at all corners make easy work of any maneuvering.

The stiffer body structure also brings comfort and refinement up a notch. It still behaves like a land yacht at times—the brakes and steering are far too pillowy, but there’s now some precision to be found here. Push it a tad, and the Camry clings through corners with startling athleticism. Of course, being a big, front-wheel drive sedan, it will understeer at the limit. But let’s be real: the Camry isn’t going against the BMWs of the world. It just has to perform better than the previous Camry, or any SUV that’s been eating its market share of late. It does that, easily.



Car enthusiasts rarely light up with excitement at the mention of the Camry nameplate, but it must be remembered that specificity of experience creates a car that becomes a mirror to its owner. As such, for people who look for refinement, isolation, safety, and value, the Camry delivers in spades. Toyota didn’t need to do much to maintain its lead in a segment’s considered a sliver, but do to surprise they did. By adding standard specifications, including a new hybrid powertrain, it reinforces itself as a comfortable, dependable, low-key executive sedan that’s a thinking man’s alterative to a conventional mid-sized SUV.

2022 Toyota Camry 2.5 HEV

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Ownership 2022 Toyota Camry 2.5 HEV
Year Introduced 2018 (Refreshed: 2021)
Vehicle Classification Executive Car
Warranty 3 years / 100,000 kilometers
The Basics
Body Type 4-door sedan
Seating 5
Engine / Drive F/F
Under the Hood
Displacement (liters) 2.5
Aspiration Normally Aspirated
Fuel Delivery EFI
Layout / # of Cylinders I4
BHP @ rpm 178 @ 5,500 (211 combined)
Nm @ rpm 221 @ 3,600-5,200
Fuel / Min. Octane Gasoline / 91~
Transmission CVT
Cruise Control Yes, Adaptive
Fuel Economy @ Ave. Speed 16.67 km/L @ 17 km/h
(fueled with Petron XCS)
Dimensions and Weights
Length (mm) 4,885
Width (mm) 1,840
Height (mm) 1,445
Wheelbase (mm) 2,825
Curb Weight (kg) 1,595
Suspension and Tires
Front Suspension Independent, MacPherson Strut
Rear Suspension Independent, Double Wishbone
Front Brakes Vented Disc
Rear Brakes Disc
Parking Brake Electric, w/ Auto Hold
Tires Bridgestone Turanza T005A 235/45 R 18 W (f & r)
Wheels Alloy
Safety Features
Airbags 7
Anti-Lock Brakes (ABS) Yes, with EBD
Traction / Stability Control Yes
Parking Sensors Yes, Front & Rear
Parking Camera Yes, 360-degree
Front Seatbelts 3-pt ELR w/ pre-tensioners x 2
Rear Seatbelts 3-pt ELR x 3
ISOFIX Child Seat Anchor Yes
Other Safety Features Hill Start Assist
Tire Pressure Monitoring
Pre-Collision System
Lane Departure Alert
Lane Tracing Assist
Blind Spot Monitoring
Rear Cross Traffic Alert
Rear Cross Traffic Automatic Braking
Exterior Features
Headlights LED, w/ Auto High-beam
Fog Lamps Yes, Front (LED)
Auto Lights Yes
Rain-sensing Wipers Yes
Tailgate Electric
Interior Features
Steering Wheel Adjust Tilt/Telescopic, Electric
Steering Wheel Material Leather
Seating Adjustment (driver) Electric, 8-way, w/ Memory
Seating Adjustment (front passenger) Electric, 8-way
Seating Surface Leather
Folding Rear Seat No, Reclinable, Electric, 2-way
Sunroof Yes
Trip Computer Yes
Convenience Features
Power Steering Yes
Power Door Locks Yes
Power Windows Yes
Power Mirrors Yes, w/ Fold
Rear View Mirror Auto-dimming
Proximity Key Yes
Climate Control Yes, 3-Zone, w/ Rear Vents
Audio System Stereo
Bluetooth
USB
Smartphone Connectivity Apple CarPlay
Android Auto
# of Speakers 9, JBL
Steering Controls Yes

8 comments:

  1. My 2.0 turbo crossover diesel does 19km per liter on a regular drive. That 16.6 per liter on a hybrid does not impress me. A great mild hybrid for me should do at least 25 per liter or more.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Camry Hybrid is much heavier than your Tucson Diesel so expect huge difference in terms of fuel economy.

      Delete
    2. What do you mean regular drive? Like city? Because its impossible for a 2.0L diesel to achieve that in city.

      Delete
  2. Toyota bZ4X will be come in the Philippines 🇵🇭!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Toyota Crown, Toyota Sienta & Toyota Voxy will be first ever left hand drive.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Honda no longer sells the accord. Nissan just recently axed the altima. Ford taurus is dead.... etc. The Camry smells a bit rocky and Toyota might pull the trigger soon.
    Mid sized sedans are dead. Long live CUVs and SUVs

    ReplyDelete
  5. It still uses Ni metal hydride & not Li batteries?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not yet. The lithium-ion batteries are found in the 5th gen Toyota Hybrid system. The refreshed Corolla Cross has it already.

      https://www.carguide.ph/2021/12/2022-toyota-corolla-cross-now-boasts-of.html

      Delete

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