Until a few years ago, those in the market for a meaningfully thrifty, viable hybrid car had no option but to buy a Toyota Prius, which we had on our long-term fleet back in June 2017. No wonder that in over two decades since the Prius’s launch, Toyota has sold more than 10 million hybrids across the world. Led ably by the Prius, the Japanese carmaker’s other hybrid models also caught on better than any similar rival could, and today Toyota owns a massive 70 per cent of the entire hybrid market share in the all-important US market. When it sought to extend its spectacular success to other mainstream models in its line-up, the Camry was an obvious favourite, as it has been America’s best-selling car for decades. Over the years, the nameplate had already achieved legendary status in terms of reliability and high residual value. Bringing a hybrid drivetrain to the equation added the all important element of fuel efficiency to it, making it an ever more irresistible choice for family car buyers.
While the Camry Hybrid has been in our market since its previous generation, it was mostly seen as part of the country’s taxi fleet. However, with the eighth generation Camry looking much better than its predecessors, the hybrid version is also expected to find favour with an increasing number of individual buyers. Powered by the trusty old 2.5-litre block, coupled with an electric motor, it claims a very ambitious 4.6 litres per 100km fuel economy figure.
As the new Camry Hybrid joins our long-term fleet, we will be testing this claim as well as every other major aspect of the car over the next four weeks.