Owner Review: The Go-to Choice of the Family - My Story with the Toyota Camry

Owner Review · Jul 16, 2020 08:00 PM

** This article is the personal experience of a 2016 Toyota Camry 2.5 Hybrid Luxury (XV50 Facelift) owner and does not necessarily reflect the views of WapCar. 

Facebook: JJ Chang


Toyota Camry Front

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Introduction

The Toyota Camry nameplate holds a special place in the automotive world. One of the most popular D Segment sedans best known for its comfort, space, and reliability. The Toyota Camry also happens to be one of the most favoured cars in my household. It all started back in 2003 when my dad got his first Toyota Camry (5th generation XV30). Since then there has always been at least one Camry sitting in the garage. I myself have always been a fan of D-Segment sedans for the comfort and space they can provide. Having used a variety of D-Segment sedans such as the Honda Accord, Nissan Teana, Hyundai Sonata, I still find myself settling best in a Toyota Camry.

Choosing the Toyota Camry

My previous car was a 2010 Nissan Teana 2.0 200XE Luxury. It was a decent car however in 2016 it was starting to show its age and often it would break down, leaving me stranded multiple times. I then decided it was time to look for something newer and much more reliable. With a budget of under RM 200k, I still wanted a saloon car, but needed something that is

  • spacious to haul my family in
  • has good fuel economy
  • powerful and somewhat fun to drive
  • something that was comfortable and good for long journeys as I always need to travel between KL and Penang

In August 2016, I ended up settling for the Toyota Camry 2.5 Hybrid Luxury (XV50 Facelift) in Pearl White CS, as it was spacious, comfortable, powerful, and looked great all while boasting an impressive fuel economy at the same time.

Interior Highlights

Toyota Camry Front Cabin

Starting from the inside, the Toyota Camry Hybrid features a full black leather interior with "zebra-wood" trims, and a grey headliner. The choice of materials is as expected at this price point, and the build quality is good, as expected from a Toyota. Exclusive to the hybrid model is the leather-wrapped steering wheel finished in wood trim at the top which I really like. In the centre lies a 7-inch touch screen infotainment display with built-in GPS navigation and reverse camera along with FM, AM, CD, auxiliary, USB, and Bluetooth inputs. It is connected to a 10-speaker JBL GreenEdge sound system completed with an amplifier which is cleverly hidden below the driver seat. The sound system is spectacular, supporting Dolby 5.1 surround sound. Trebles are clear and sharp, and the bass is deep. Unfortunately, the navigation is slow and outdated, and there is no support for Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, or even MirrorLink. In the centre console, there is a Qi wireless charging pad that is super convenient and useful. A nice touch is the blue ambient lighting (also only on the hybrid spec) in the front and rear footwells, inner door handles, roof, and above the window switches. It really makes the car feel very opulent and relaxing. Legroom is massive, and shoulder and headroom are beyond sufficient. At the back, there are rear and side windows blinds with the rear one being automatic, which makes the whole commute far more pleasant for rear passengers especially considering our all-year-round hot weather.

rear and side windows blinds

Rear and side windows blinds at the back

Qi Wireless Charging Pad

Qi Wireless Charging Pad

Exterior Highlights

Owner Review: The Go-to Choice of the Family - My Story with the Toyota Camry 04

The Toyota Camry Hybrid actually has a completely different front end from the pre-facelift 2.5V. The large grille with small horizontal inserts makes the Camry looks very aggressive. It also has fully automatic lights. Dual projector LED units with daytime running lights up front and LED rear combination lamps. The 17-inch dual-tone alloys look good however they look a tad too sporty for the cars overall refined, classy look. The rear chrome strips above the number plate and below the bumper make the car look very elegant in my opinion and makes the car stand out. In fact, there is nothing I would change about the exterior other than the rims.

Blue Toyota Badge

Blue Toyota Badge

Dual projector LED units with daytime running lights up

Dual projector LED units with daytime running lights up

17-inch dual-tone alloys

17-inch dual-tone alloys

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Toyota Camry rear quarter

LED rear combination lamps

LED rear combination lamps

Camry Peeves

The first thing that gets on my nerves the most about the Toyota Camry Hybrid is the lack of boot space. The boot is smallest in class because the hybrid battery packs are stored behind the rear seats in the boot. Because of this, the rear seats cannot be folded down, and often I need to store larger items in the cabin due to the lack of trunk space.

The “wood” trim does give the car a much more upscale look, but because it has a glossy finish it is an absolute fingerprint nightmare, as it covers most touchable areas such as the centre console, armrests, and dashboard bits. Although the Nissan Teana I used to have had just as much wood trim, it had a matte finish which did not attract fingerprints, nor give off as much glare as the Camry’s glossy finish.

My old car Nissan Teana

My old car Nissan Teana

The Camry Hybrid has good build quality. Everything is well put together and solid except one part, which is the interior rear-view mirror. After using the car for 2 months, the interior rear-view mirror started coming loose, so I sent the car back to the service centre to get the issue rectified. After getting the car back the rear-view mirror was securely fitted – or so I thought. A few days later the issue came back, the mirror was loose again. After a few more troublesome visits to the service centre, I gave up and just left the mirror as it is.

The infotainment system is terrible to be brutally honest. The reverse camera is of low resolution, the navigation system is super laggy, and the maps are outdated. A map update is available, however, that will cost about RM1,000 which is ridiculous in my opinion.

Low resolution reverse camera

Low resolution reverse camera

Mods

My Camry Hybrid is stock for the most part. I did add some mods and aftermarket accessories to make the car to suit my likings. The list of mods I did on the car are as follows:

  • Window Tint

The Camry Hybrid does come with Toyota Security and Solar Film Tint from the factory, but I added a layer of tint to reduce heat and add some privacy.

  • Rear Number Plate Lights

The stock bulb lights for the rear number plate from the factory were kind of dim and were in yellow, so I changed them to white LEDs which made my white Camry look less “uncle”

  • Front Camera and monitor.

Aftermarket Front Camera

Aftermarket Front Camera

Front Monitor

Front Monitor

I added a camera to the front of my Toyota Camry Hybrid which is cleverly hidden in the grille. Mostly the point was to make parking easier (as it’s a very long car) and a small monitor I placed next to the speedometer is view the front camera.

  • Folding Mirror Module 

I added a module that folds and unfolds the side mirrors upon locking and unlocking, respectively. It may seem extra, but it makes getting in and out of tight spaces when parking much easier.

  • Door Logo Light

I added a door light so when doors open the Toyota Logo projects on the floor

Fuel Economy and the Hybrid System

Toyota Camry Hybrid Display

Toyota Camry Hybrid Display

The Toyota Camry Hybrid has a 2.5 litre naturally aspirated Toyota 2AR-FSE engine mated to a CVT, combined with a hybrid system. Power delivery from a standstill is instantaneous thanks to its electric motor. As for fuel economy for city driving, I usually average around 17km per litre and 23km per litre on the highway. On a full tank of RON95, my Toyota Camry Hybrid has a range of around 900km. Road tax is RM 874 every year.

Something that puts a lot of people off from buying the hybrids, in general, is the fear that hybrid replacement batteries are expensive. Luckily, the Toyota Camry Hybrid comes with an 8-year hybrid system warranty that includes battery replacement, which really gives me a peace of mind.

Pros & Cons

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Total score: 4/5

Performance: 5/5

Quality & Features: 4/5

Space: 3/5

Ride Comfort: 4/5

Fuel Economy: 5/5

Price & Cost: 4/5

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Comments

Up to 20% higher than average trade-in price

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