Just before ending this year Toyota Qatar wanted to give us a little surprise. They handed over the keys to their brand new Toyota Camry GLE Hybrid that starts at 112,000 QR. Keep in mind, the basic non-hybrid Toyota Camry starts at 88,000 QR
Toyota changed the style of their Camry lineup in 2018. A complete overhaul from their previous design language makes this car look more aggressive and aero-dynamic. We feel the design is inspired by the old Camry and the new Avalon models which makes it a nice hybrid (pun intended).
The interior comprises of artificial wood trim and soft touch plastic panels giving it a luxurious sense and feel. Drivers will be very happy to know the steering wheel is wrapped in leather, providing extra comfort for drivers.
We are happy to report that the rear seats have a lot of legroom. Our very own sales and marketing manager, who is over 6-feet tall, had a seat in the back and felt quite comfortable, which makes it the perfect car for long distance travel as well.
Sound enthusiasts will be happy to hear that this car features a good punch, making your journey lit when the traffic outside is a hit.
The model that we drove comes with a 2.5 litre traditional gasoline engine paired with an electric hybrid engine that kicks in during city driving at around 50 km/h speed and also helps aid the gasoline engine in making the fuel consumption more efficient.
The car accelerates quickly due to having a petrol engine and an electric motor working together, which makes it quite speedy. The fuel economy on this car is no slouch either. During the time we spent in this car, the car needle barely dropped despite pushing the car quite hard in the city and on the highways. The car kicks in EV (electric vehicle) mode in stop and go traffic further ensuring that you save maximum amount of fuel.
The Toyota Camry’s 17” alloy wheels are wrapped in Michelin tyres which helps keep it silent during highway and city driving making the ride more pleasant.
The car is jam packed with features like a rear view camera, 7” infotainment screen. We could go on till you’re bored, but let’s just focus on a few of the cool features.
We don’t we need to mention how much of a blessing this is, especially when there are cars like SUVs behind you and their headlights are glaring in your eyes causing you discomfort, thus, making driving difficult.
With this mode, you not only save the environment, but also save on fuel. This mode turns the gasoline engine completely off and works for up to speeds of 50 km/h for around a distance of 30 kilometres when fully charged.
When turned on, this mode turns the engine performance down and uses the electric engine more often, which is best for city driving but no so much for highway driving as we found that highway driving requires more power.
This mode flips the vehicle dynamic and for a second you’ll forget that you’re driving a Camry. The car stiffens the suspension, fine tunes the engine response, and hardens the steering to give you that sporty car feeling.
You’ll be surprised to see the response of the reverse camera on this car. The camera almost feels like it’s a mirror, except it’s mounted in the middle of your console and it’s that fluid!
A very common feature among many cars, and it comes in handy. This means no more excuses for not using your turn signals! One touch and it blinks three times to alert other drivers that you’re changing lanes. Neat!
No more arguing with your passenger over the cabin temperature! When you’re feeling cold you can adjust your temperature individually without having to adjust your passenger’s air conditioning.
Many cars these days have infotainment screens, but Toyota is one of the few manufactures that takes it up a notch. It also features Apple Car Play and Android Auto which means you can plug in your Android or iPhone into the car’s USB port and you essentially have your screen mirrored on the infotainment system which helps you use apps like Google Maps, Waze, Phone, Music etc.
This might not sound like a huge deal, but hear us out. This car features front and a rear window defroster which means during those foggy or humid days, you’ll always have your windshield clean!
This car features the pressure monitoring for your tires, which ensures that you always have optimal air in your tyre but also get the best fuel economy while driving. But the Camry differentiates itself from the average car by featuring a sensor in the spare tire as well. Which means not only are you informed about your existing tyres, in case of an emergency where tyre swap is necessary, you also know that your spare tyre is up for the task!
We thoroughly enjoying cruising around in the Camry Hybrid, and also found some weird quirks that amused us.
Since it’s a Hybrid, it features a sound tone that’s a bit more environmentally -friendly than what we’re used to. It sounds different than other Toyota cars and gives you a hint that a Hybrid car is honking the horn.
If for some reason you miss the Hybrid badge on the car and find this car in your rearview mirror, you’ll be able to determine that it’s a Hybrid vehicle since the logo on the car features a blue outline giving visual cues that it’s a Hybrid vehicle.
While the bluetooth pairing process has never been easy, this car breaks this assumption. While driving, you cannot pair a Bluetooth device (obviously). We are all for safety, but if the car detects there’s a passenger on the seat, it should allow pairing since it could be that the passenger is most likely going to pair instead of the person driving the car.
This car features switching to EV mode while in stop and go traffic which is great for saving fuel but we found that often while switching to gasoline engine the car vibrates an unusual amount thus making it a little uncomfortable.
Wrapping up the article, we would like to mention that the 8th generation of Toyota Camry Hybrid has already won Australia's most comprehensive, prestigious and consumer-focused automotive award “Driver Car of the Year 2018” which further fuels our points about the car being the best in its class.
Call Toyota today at 8001 800 to book your test drive with the Camry Hybrid.
What do you think about the Camry Hybrid? Will this be your next Hybrid car? Let us know in our Comments section below. Like and share the article -it keeps us going!
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