New 2015 Toyota Camry Hybrid Review: Virtuous Opulence

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Added in: Recent Launches

2015 Toyota Camry Hybrid front (2)

Ask any petrol head about where his/her loyalty lies and you’re sure to hear never ending chatter about machines which evoke the joys of driving, cars which are built with the sole purpose of delighting the person in the driver’s seat. But the sound of squealing rubber isn’t a melody to everyone’s ears, and some would rather appreciate the world outside as they stay cosseted in a cabin that nestles and caresses their passenger bones. There are cars purpose built for such a job too, and the 2015 Toyota Camry Hybrid is just that car.

Images: Suraj Viswanathan

2015 Toyota Camry Hybrid front (6)

It is back in a new avatar after a neat haircut, a shave and some new cufflinks. Since it happens to be the same soul inside, only the formal attire now changed and crisply ironed, let’s take a look if the new 2015 Toyota Camry Hybrid has what it takes to be the centre point of some water cooler gossip.

Also Read: An exhaustive review of the Camry Hybrid

Appearance

2015 Toyota Camry Hybrid grille (4)

Head on, the first thing that strikes at your planet conscious heart is that massive air dam which overshadows all other elements that have also paid a visit to an image consultant. Lined by a parabolic chrome strip, it is underscored by another dog bone like adornment of shine in the chin area. Round shaped fog lamps are also swallowed in, nestled in an angled housing.

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Accompanying the bold air dam are vertical blinkers which look pretty sassy on their own.

2015 Toyota Camry Hybrid grille (3)

Move up and you’re greeted by a strip of chrome that covers the width of the car, sitting below the bonnet’s shut line, capped by another bar that sits dead in the centre. Since the air dam decided to go bold in this updated Camry, compared to the outgoing car, the grille has shrunk in size, however, still retains the Toyota logo that loves its blue eye liner.

2015 Toyota Camry Hybrid headlamp

The headlight unit which used to run deep into the grille with a sharp edge, now gets a crest at the bottom, although the internals remain just as impressive with a twin project setup in each unit. Corolla Altis – like DRLs find their way inside this time.

2015 Toyota Camry Hybrid side (1)

Sideways, it is unmistakably a Camry, although the alloy wheels follow a fresh design pattern, the rest soldiering on unchanged.

2015 Toyota Camry Hybrid rear (2)

The rear has thankfully shed the excess chrome it had been slapped with on the outgoing model, with only two strips making the area look more sober and classy now.

2015 Toyota Camry Hybrid tail lamp

The all-LED tail-light units have been slightly redesigned, while reflectors have been repositioned in the bumper, making the rear look more elegant and less busy when compared to its predecessor.

Cabin and Features

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The Captain Planet appeal aside, the Camry’s lure is pleasingly evident once you open the door and step inside. Every nook and corner gleams with quality and the cabin has a soothing aura surrounding it.

2015 Toyota Camry Hybrid center console 2

While it is mostly unchanged from how things were on the outgoing model, the AC control panel is new with a more modern unit, and there is now a colour display that sits right in the centre of the instrument cluster.

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It displays the fancy energy monitor and all other vehicle parameters so that the driver doesn’t need to take his eyes too far off from the road.

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With two individual reclining rear seats, a ventilation function for the front chairs and an excellent climate control system, the 2015 Toyota Camry Hybrid scores high on luxury and is an opulent space that cocoons and pampers once you’re headed back home after the closing bell.

A few images which explain more about the feature packed cabin:

2015 Toyota Camry Hybrid front seats

Front chairs are supremely comfy

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They get a ventilation feature too

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Rear seats get individual power recline feature

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A massaging feature would’ve added to the five star experience

2015 Toyota Camry Hybrid transmission

Quality of materials is typical Toyota

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That steering wheel looks attractive and is a joy to hold

2015 Toyota Camry Hybrid rear AC vents

3-zone climate control has individual temperature settings even for the rear passengers

2015 Toyota Camry Hybrid push button

Notice how even the Start/Stop switch fits flush

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Both front seats are powered, although only the driver gets a lumbar support switch

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That carpet will surely attract a lot of stains if your fancy shoes manage to get some dirt inside

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Electrochromic mirror adds to the mile long feature list

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Back benchers can adjust the front passenger seat with those buttons on the backrest

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Parking brake is foot operated

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Front central armrest is also a refrigerator that runs really deep and can swallow a 1-liter bottle with ease

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So that the lip gloss goes where intended

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Rear windshield suncreen is electronically operated and goes down on its own when the gear lever is slotted in reverse

2015 Toyota Camry Hybrid infotainment screen (2)

Gadget freaks will love that screen and the information it displays

2015 Toyota Camry Hybrid door panel (3)

One for the master and one for the dame

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Both front seat backrests get grab handles for the rear passengers

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This one for that Cuban

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Oh and there’s a traction control switch too!

How does it drive?

2015 Toyota Camry Hybrid engine2015 Toyota Camry Hybrid battery

Mechanically unchanged, the 2494cc, four-cylinder 2AR FXE DOHC VVT-I, conventional petrol motor develops an identical 160 PS of power at 5700 rpm and 213 Nm of torque at 4500 rpm like it did in the outgoing model. It works in nexus with a permanent magnet synchronous motor that makes 143 PS and 270 Nm of twist, powered by a Nickel metal hydride battery pack. Shaking hands and dancing together, both power sources churn out a combined output of 205 PS.

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Once you floor the gas pedal, the spike of power leads the front to torque steer, although it is only a slight twitch on the front wheels that doesn’t require your chauffeur to be trained by Petter Solberg. Coasting along, at low speeds, the drive keeps alternating between all-electric and gasoline mode, while the batteries replenish themselves during deceleration, also taking assistance from the engine at times.

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There is an EV mode which couldn’t be tested, as we failed to charge the batteries enough, although when full of juice, in the EV mode alone, the Camry Hybrid can be driven for a maximum of 2 km. Good enough when you have to sneak into that parking lot without making any noise.There’s an ECO mode too, which reduces the air-con’s efficiency and wants your right foot to be a miser in order to maximize efficiency.

2015 Toyota Camry Hybrid action side (3)

In normal mode though, the Camry Hybrid packs a decent punch, both power sources working together to spin the front wheels as fast as they can. The e-CVT’s rubber band effect does dampen the driving experience, only slightly though, as the petrol motor starts sounding pretty booming, a glance on the speedometer making you realize that all that isn’t translating into a great deal of momentum. The steering remains feather light at all speeds with minor weight build-up.

2015 Toyota Camry Hybrid front (1)

For all its girth, the Camry Hybrid handles alright and isn’t a corner carver, but what impresses and matches the car’s persona is the stellar ride quality that overshadows one’s obsession with dynamics and makes this Toyota an object of admiration. That with an impressively quiet cabin that keeps all sorts of noises outside, you really could celebrate World Yoga Day in the backseat.

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We are rather serious with that, you see the air that you breathe inside is treated by nano technology in the air con system that releases positive ions which moisturize your skin, hair and deodorize the cabin. Quite dandy we’d say. Oh and it works!

Closing Thoughts

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If delighting yourself while in the driver’s seat is your thing, you’re better off looking at the conventional Camry or maybe another car. Don’t get us wrong, the Camry Hybrid will delight to an extent if you ever find yourself piloting it, but it is those other three thrones you’d buy this car for. What you’d also buy it for is unique hybrid wizardry working underneath your influential corporate behind, technology that is set to become the norm for all the cars that we drive in the future and which also rings the death knell for the gasoline engine. A fossil fueled partner which it works in conjunction with unassumingly right now, while hiding a dagger somewhere in one of those electric motors it will stab the combustion system with someday.

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The Camry Hybrid as of now then is a trophy car, one you can flaunt to earn respectful nods from employees who firmly believe in your “Save Our Planet” C.S.R projects. A trophy which you can be seated in and revel in the joys of being successful while knowing you’ve done your bit to save that melting iceberg somewhere at the ends of the earth.

A few more images

2015 Toyota Camry Hybrid spare wheel

Spare wheel is an alloy too. Yokohama premium rubber is specifically developed for muted performance

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One might think there are too many buttons on the wheel, but it’s easy to get used to

2015 Toyota Camry Hybrid rear view camera

Parking camera is more of a necessity in the city for a car of this size

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Little things that can make a difference

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Scuff plates shine on all four entrances

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Power, aux-in and USB sockets are neatly hidden behind a door

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Space for your MJ’s

2015 Toyota Camry Hybrid instrument console (11)

That display looks straight out of an Airbus

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For the times when you start missing those powerpoint presentations

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And then it lets you pick the colour…

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Take a good look, this is what the tachometer’s future looks like

2015 Toyota Camry Hybrid infotainment screen (6)

The Camry is better at MS Excel than you

2015 Toyota Camry Hybrid ignition key

Your key to the world of hybrids

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Controls for park assist and ORVMs

2015 Toyota Camry Hybrid boot

Boot size is pretty good and notice how even that mat has been designed to make the place look neat

Price as tested: Rs 31,92,000 (Ex-showroom, Mumbai). Inclusive of Rs 70,000 customer incentive offered by the government on hybrid vehicles.

Specifications:

minus DIMENSIONS & WEIGHT
Overall L x W x H
4850 mm x 1825 mm x 1480 mm
Wheelbase
2775 mm
Tread Front/Rear
1580 mm/1570 mm
Minimum
Turning Radius (Tyre)
5.5 m
Fuel Tank Capacity
65 litres70 litres
Seating Capacity
5-Seater
Max. Kerb Weight
1635 kg1490 kg
Gross Weight
2100 kg2000 kg
minus ENGINE
Type
2AR-FXE, 4 Cylinders In-line, Gasoline2AR-FE, 4 Cylinders In-line, Gasoline
Valve Train
16 Valve DOHC, Chain Drive with VVT-i (intake)16 Valve DOHC, Chain Drive, Dual VVT-i
Displacement
2494 cm3 (cc)
Fuel Supply System
EFI (Electronic Fuel Injection)
Max Output
118 kW (160 PS) @ 5700 rpm133 kW (181 PS) @ 6000 rpm
Max Torque
213 Nm (21.71 kg-m) @ 4500 rpm233 Nm (23.75 kg-m) @ 4100 rpm
minus MOTOR GENERATOR
Type
Permanent Magnet Synchronous Motor
Max. Voltage
650 V
Max. Output
105 kW (143 PS)
Max. Torque
270 Nm (27.52 kg-m)
minus HYBRID BATTERY
Type
Nickel-metal Hydride
Voltage (Nominal)
245 V
Number of Modules
34 modules 204 cells
Capacity
6.5 AH
minus HYBRID SYSTEM
Total Max. Output
151 kW (205 PS)
Drive Mode
ECO and EV
minus CHASSIS & TRANSMISSION
Suspension Front/Rear
MacPherson Strut with Stabilizer Bar/Dual Link with Stabilizer Bar
Brake Front/Rear
Ventilated Disc/Solid Disc
Tyres
215/55 R17 Tubeless Radials215/60 R16 Tubeless Radials
Transmission
E-CVT (Electronically – Controlled Continuously Variable Transmission)6 Speed Automatic with Sequential Shift
minus EXTERIOR FEATURES
HybridPetrol
Hybrid Exclusive Mesh Type Radiator Grille and Emblems
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Chrome Radiator Grille
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Automatic LED Headlamps with Auto Levelling and LED Clearance Lamps
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Automatic HID Headlamps with Auto Levelling, Washer and LED Clearance Lamps
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15-Spoke 17″ Alloy Wheels
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10-Spoke 16″ Alloy Wheels
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Body Coloured Outside Rear View Mirror with Side Turn Indicator, Electric Adjust, Auto Retract, Hydrocolloid, Wide View,Reverse Link and Memory
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Rear Fog Lamp
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Rear Combination Lamp with LED Brake Lights
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minus INTERIOR FEATURES
HybridPetrol
Hybrid Exclusive Optitron Combimeter with 4.2″ MID Screen
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Optitron Combimeter with 4.2″ MID Screen
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2DIN Touch-screen DVD Display Audio (with Touch Scroll), AM/FM, CD, MP3, USB, Aux-in, Bluetooth and Car Information System
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In-built Mic & Amplifier
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Multi Information Display
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Centre Console Box with Sliding Leather Armrest
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Leather Trim on Cowl & Dashboard with Real Stitching
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Front Overhead Storage Console
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Front & Rear Personal Lamps (LED + Door Linked)
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Illuminated & Lockable Glove Box
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Electro Chromic Anti-glare Inside Rear View Mirror
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Day/Night Inside Rear View Mirror
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Shift Lock System
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12V DC Power Outlet at Front & Rear Armrest
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minus SEAT & INTERIOR TRIM
HybridPetrol
Leather Seats
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8-way Power Adjust Driver Seat with Lumbar Support and Memory
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8-way Power Adjust Passenger Seat (With Easy Access Function on P. Seat Shoulder)
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Rear Seats with Power Recline
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Front P Seat Fold-Down Headrest
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Rear Headrest (3 Nos. x Height Adjustable)
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4-Spoke Leather, Silver & Wood-finish Steering Wheel
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Leather & Wood-finish Gear Knob
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Seat Back Pocket on Driver & Passenger Seat
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minus COMFORT & CONVENIENCE
HybridPetrol
Smart Entry System with Start/Stop Button
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3-Zone Automatic Climate Control
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Front Seats with Ventilation System
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Rear A/C Vents with Temperature Control
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Power Windows with Auto Up/Down and Jam Protection (All Windows)
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Rear Armrest with Audio, Rear Recline, Rear Sun Shade and AC Control Switches, Cup Holders, Storage
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Rear Power Sunshade, Rear Door Manual Sunshades
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Memory Settings for Steering Position
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Memory Settings for ORVM and Driver Seat
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ECO Meter
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ECO Meter with ECO Indicator
x
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Seat Assist Grips (Behind Driver & Front Passenger Seats)
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Cruise Control (with Cruise Setting Display on MID)
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Power Tilt/Telescopic Steering Column with Memory
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Tilt/Telescopic Steering Column
x
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Interior Illumination Package/Entry System (Fade-out Smart Room Lamp + Door Inside Handles + Footwell Lamps)
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Cross-button Shaped Audio, MID and Telephone Control Switches on Steering Wheel
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Remote Boot Release
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nanoe TM Ion Generator for Enhanced Comfort and Freshness
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Rain Sensing Wipers
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Cigarette Lighter (Front) with Illumination
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Rear Window Defogger with Timer
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Shift Position Indicator
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minus SAFETY & SECURITY
HybridPetrol
7 Airbags [Front Driver & Passenger, Front Side (Dual Chamber Design), Curtain Shield, Driver Knee Airbags]
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Anti-Lock Braking System with Electronic Brake Force Distribution and Brake Assist
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Vehicle Stability Control (with Off Switch)
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Hill Start Assist Control (with Slope Detection)
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ECB (Electronically Controlled Brake) System
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Rear Camera, Clearance & Back Sonar
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Impact Sensing Fuel Cut-off
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Speed Sensing Auto-lock
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Front 3-point ELR Seatbelt with Pre-tensioner & Force-limiter
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Smart Key Remind Warning
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Immobiliser + Alarm
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ISOFIX and Top Tether Anchor for Child Seats
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Lane Change Indicator
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“nanoeTM” and the “nanoeTM” mark are registered trademarks of Panasonic Corporation.
Camry Hybrid comes with zebra-wood finish. Camry Petrol comes with crotch-wood finish.

 

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2015 Toyota Camry Hybrid front seats
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2015 Toyota Camry Hybrid action front (4)
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2015 Toyota Camry Hybrid action front (2)
2015 Toyota Camry Hybrid India review

 

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