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Toyota upsizes its saloon car ambitions

Toyota Camry Saloon (19 on) - rated 0 out of 5
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PROS

  • Hybrid efficiency promised
  • Generous equipment levels likely
  • Should be good to drive

CONS

  • Very little confirmed at this stage

PROS

  • Hybrid efficiency promised
  • Generous equipment levels likely
  • Should be good to drive

CONS

  • Very little confirmed at this stage

Verdict

It’s time for another nameplate to be dusted off and given a new lease of life following the announcement that the Toyota Camry will return to the UK in 2019.

In truth, for many markets – North America in particular – the Camry badge didn’t disappear, as it graced the bootlids of a series of popular, large saloons, but the last ones were sold here back in 2004.

What is the 2019 Toyota Camry?

In Europe, demand for large family saloons from mainstream manufacturers has been dwindling for years, and for that reason many brands have abandoned that market segment – even Toyota won’t directly replace the Avensis.

Reintroducing the Camry is a way of circumnavigating the problem as it’s an existing model in other markets: it’s a larger car than the Avensis, so assuming that it’s priced attractively, it will appear to be a better value-for money-proposition.

Toyota Camry Saloon front dynamic

Although it’s similar in size to upmarket saloons such as the Audi A6 and BMW 5 Series, it’s competing more directly with alternatives such as the Ford Mondeo, Mazda 6 and Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport.

Hybrid power for the 2019 Toyota Camry

Toyota has almost become synonymous with hybrid technology, so it’s no surprise that from launch the Camry will be solely available in that format.

Employing the same 2.5-litre petrol engine and electric motor that will also appear in the Lexus UX and next-generation Toyota RAV4, the Japanese marque refers to it as a self-charging hybrid, indicating that it’s not a plug-in (PHEV) version.

No power or efficiency figures have yet been released.

Will there be a Toyota Camry diesel?

Given that Toyota has already confirmed its intention to stop selling diesel-engined models – Land Cruiser and commercial vehicles aside – by the end of 2018, don’t expect to be able to buy a diesel Camry.

Toyota Camry Saloon dashboard

Toyota is confident that the levels of fuel efficiency buyers of large family cars expect can be delivered from the petrol-electric hybrid system.

Is a high performance Toyota Camry GRMN in the pipeline?

Again, this is highly unlikely given that sports versions of large, mainstream saloons have fallen out of favour in recent times.

However, while it’s not impossible, it depends entirely on whether Toyota feels a hot Camry would add credence to its Gazoo Racing division. Given that wing is working on scorching versions of the upcoming Supra and other sports cars, a Camry GRMN feels like a low-priority project.

What else do we know about the 2019 Toyota Camry?

The Japanese brand is being typically coy at this early stage, but it has confirmed that the Camry will be underpinned by its TNGA modular architecture.

It’s evidently a flexible basis for many types of car, as not only is it used by the new RAV4, it’s already found underneath the C-HR and Prius models.

Toyota Camry Saloon side dynamic

Those Toyotas are acknowledged for being impressive handlers, and with confirmation that the suspension will be tuned specifically to European tastes, that bodes well for the Camry to continue in this vane.

Only a traditional four-door saloon body is expected to be offered, although previous generations of Camry have been sold in Britain in roomy five-door estate format.

How much will the 2019 Toyota Camry cost?

Again, this is under wraps for now, but Toyota would be prudent to ensure it was priced enticingly, both for private customers and for company car drivers.

Expect standard equipment to be generous, in what will undoubtedly be a small line-up of versions, with few extra-cost options available either.

Parkers will be among the first to drive the Japanese brand’s revived executive car, so check back with us soon for the full Toyota Camry Saloon review

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