by Seán Creedon

When Toyota announced last year that they were bringing back their much-loved Camry after a 15-year absence, it was as if they were welcoming home the proverbial prodigal son.

And while I didn’t see any ‘fatted calves’ being killed in celebration near Toyota’s headquarters on Killeen Road, that’s probably because we have so many vegetarians right now.

The Camry was re-introduced to Ireland and across Western Europe, to maintain Toyota’s presence in the saloon segment.

Fifteen years was a long time off the road and while many mature Irish drivers who previously drove the old Camry, welcomed its return, no doubt there were plenty of younger customers who were also interested in purchasing this very solid and stylish motor.

The Camry replaces the Avensis in the Toyota stable and is available as a self-charging 2.5-litre petrol hybrid.

The new Camry expands Toyota’s line-up of hybrid vehicles to eight models.

The new Camry is the eight generation of a car that has won several awards and distinctions since it first went on sale in 1982. The model is sold in more than 100 countries globally, with sales totalling over 19 million units to-date.


Naturally I got questions from some young drivers who had never seen a Camry on Irish roads before.

The first question was always the price and if it was a Hybrid? Well, being a Toyota it obviously was a Hybrid as they are now only making Hybrid versions.

The starting price is €39,750. That’s only a starting price and as with most manufacturers the higher the spec you choose, then the price will rise accordingly.

My top of the range Platinum version will cost you €42,950.

I drove a very attractive brown-coloured model. Well it looked brown to me, but receptionists know best and Mary in Toyota told me that the official colour was Platinum.

It was an automatic which certainly added to the pleasure of the drive.

And in these days of downloading music I was pleasantly surprised to find that it had a CD player.


Inside the cream leather seats provided a classy look. My Platinum version really looked luxurious and some people have described the new Camry as a cut-price Lexus.

As you may know Lexus are part of the Toyota family.

The dash had plenty of knobs for tuning the radio volume and wavelengths. I love those old fashioned knobs and they were ideal for a mature driver like me.

The touch-screens can be an irritant for older drivers, while younger drivers may like them.

There are three different driving modes, eco, normal and sport. And, as usual with Toyota, three different versions: Camry Hybrid, Sol and Platinum.


Fuel economy was very good, but of course economy always depend on how hard you drive a car and whether you drive in city traffic or on motorways.

The Camry was truly gorgeous to look at and so comfortable to travel in. All family members, who availed of a ‘lift’ in the car, enjoyed the experience. There was plenty of head and leg room for five people.

It’s a fairly long car at 4.8 metres and the boot is massive with 524 litres of space, but sadly no spare wheel, just the dreaded repair kit.

There is a huge ‘well’ in the boot, so once again the advice is the haggle for a spare wheel if buying new.