The Toyota Camry has been one of the nicest – and also the top-selling and most popular – sedan in its class ever since its arrival from back in the day. What made the luxury saloon from Toyota a popular proposition in the first place is the comfort from the back seats, the ease of driving, punchy engines, and, of course, the ease of maintenance – let’s not forget about Toyota’s low maintenance costs – and the brand’s bulletproof reliability.
The current Toyota Camry received a generational upgrade very recently – early last year to be very precise – but it has not been able to garner many sales numbers, given the fact that every consumer now is putting their money on SUVs rather than sedans.
Sadly, this is the case for every other carmaker and, hence, for every budget in which a sedan is almost as equally priced as an SUV. Despite being more comfortable and packing more space than a high-riding vehicle, saloons, in the last couple of years, have failed to impress the Indian consumers. However, this is not just true for the Indian market, as sedans have, in the recent past, garnered relatively fewer sales numbers globally as opposed to SUVs. So, the SUV rage is widespread all across the globe and not just in the Indian market.
What we do know, however, is things are set to change, as the Toyota cars, once again, is deemed eligible for an update from the manufacturer side and it’s going to receive a mid-cycle update to make things that bit fresher. We just can’t wait to test the new Camry against the likes of the Skoda Superb, which, after Honda discontinued the Accord, is the only car that lies in the crosshairs of the ongoing Toyota Camry. The Skoda Superb, if I may, also received a mid-cycle update this year and we loved it so much that it became one of our ‘Best of 2020’.
In global markets, the scenario is a bit different. Globally, the eighth-generation model of the Camry made its debut in the global market only three years back. So, only after three years, Toyota has given its luxury sedan – and also its flagship sedan in the Indian market – a mid-cycle makeover.
The car you see here was given an update for the American market a while back, and, in the last month of 2020, it seems that the Japanese automaker has incorporated the changes in the European-spec model as well.
On a first look, the Toyota Camry 2021 seems very identical to the ongoing model. Look closely, however, and you’ll be able to spot a few changes like a revised front end, where Toyota has reworked the bumper of the sedan and there are some minor tweaks to the grille as well. The alloy wheels look to be the same, and the car now also gets restyled LED taillamp inserts.
On the inside, the most prominent change is the new touchscreen infotainment unit, which has grown in size and is now 9.0-inches in size. Unlike the ongoing model – where the screen sits flush with the dashboard – the face-lift gets a floating unit. Moreover, the infotainment unit now also packs Apple Carplay and Android Auto. Rest of the bits inside the cabin appear to be identical to the ongoing model, and since the Camry still has a fair bit of modern air to it, it is completely acceptable. Moreover, the materials are nice and the fit-and-finish is excellent. The Camry now also gets a ton of safety features including adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping aid, intersection assist and more.
In the powertrain department, the 2021 Camry comes powered by the same unit as the ongoing model, which is a 2.5-litre naturally aspirated motor paired to an electric motor, which in combination produces a healthy 215bhp of power and 221Nm of torque. As before, the engine comes paired to a CVT automatic transmission. So, the 2021 Camry should be more or less similar to drive than the ongoing model.In our opinion, the new Camry solves one of our biggest complaints with the older model, that would be the absence of a touchscreen infotainment system with smartphone connectivity features. A new front-end and other additions should give it an edge over its competitors when it arrives in the Indian market. Also, read the latest car comparisons, only at autoX.