13 July 2018

Camry will return to Europe and Ireland next year

The Toyota Camry will return to the Irish market in mid-2019, after an absence of some 14 years, writes Brian Byrne.

The model, larger than the Avensis which is no longer being sold here from the end of the year, will be powered by a new 2.5 hybrid petrol engine, which offers similar economies as diesel.

It is a new generation of the car, which was originally launched as a derivative of the Toyota Celica in 1987. With 19m units sold, it is one of the Japanese company's most successful cars on a global basis.

Toyota ceased sales of the Camry in Europe in 2004 because it didn't have a diesel engine at a time when virtually all of its competition was diesel.

The new Camry is built on the same platform as underpins the current Prius and the C-HR crossover.

In an exclusive drive in a prototype in Spain on Monday I found a big car with handling characteristics that allowed it cope easily with a range of roads from twisty mountain cliffhangers to motorways.

Many staunch fans of the Camry in Europe will welcome it back. Mr Masato Katsumata, chief engineer with the Toyota Motor Corporation for the new Camry's development, said the company has endeavoured to create a car that will prompt people to say 'that's too cool to be a Camry'.