January 15, 2017

2016 Toyota Camry Hybrid Atara SL Review


Well-loved by many owners, the 2016 Toyota Camry Hybrid Atara SL is a middle-sized sedan able to seat five passengers with a great deal of comfort in their extra-wide seats.  This latest model has been enhanced in many ways including in size.  It also ranks in the middle when it comes to looks.  It’s not an eyesore but there’s nothing in its design to distinctly set it apart from the rest.  It’s still sleek and handsome with a more aggressive-looking though unobtrusive face.

What specs does it offer?

This Camry carries a 2.5-litre petroleum engine and an electric motor.  Considering its size, its fuel efficiency is superior compared to its other rivals, 5.2 for every 100km.  Maximum power is about 151Kw at 5,700 rpm and regarding transmission, it’s a CVT automatic with a front-wheel drive.  The safety features are excellent as well and do not lack for anything with head airbags for the front seats and side curtain airbags, a reverse camera,  adaptive cruise control, a warning when you stray off your lane and even blind spot monitoring.

How does the interior fare?

With their leather trimming, the front seats have an almost luxurious feel and this design is also matched by the steering wheel’s leather accents and well-laid out interior.  It is clear that first-rate materials were used in this car for durability and quality.  This car also has practical features such as climate control air conditioning with dual temperature and for storage and convenience, you have bottle and cup holders aplenty.

There are bottle holders on the front doors, holders for cups on the rear doors, a couple of cup holders in between the front seats, another pair of cup holders in the middle of the back seats, plus the usual storage bins and door pockets both at the front and at the back.

Despite being a mid-size sedan, the headroom and legroom are more than enough for anyone.  Boot space is massive as well.  You can store your luggage and all of your children’s school things, making it an ideal family car.  With this vehicle, your daily trips and long journeys become a truly comfortable experience.  You can adjust the seats into several positions to give you the best comfort, with the driver’s seat especially equipped with electronic adjustment.

One of its downsides, however, is the infotainment system which could do with a few more upgrades.  The standard tech like the satellite navigation system and streaming capabilities do a decent job but other competitors are already able to offer more responsive systems and more features.

How is its performance?

Being a hybrid does make a difference in this worthy vehicle.  The engine with its electric motor and nickel metal hydride battery can give you the force you need when accelerating although this vehicle is not exactly the most powerful.  It does maneuver roads and highways fairly easily and without too much trouble.  Take note that you don’t have to plug the batteries to charge them, they’re charged by the engine as you drive.

Acceleration is fluid and responds admirably as opposed to its steering performance.  In terms of handling, the Toyota Camry presents no major problems but it could still do better.  However, speed is not something you’d expect much of from this kind of vehicle.  The brakes execution is typical.

The cabin is well able to block most noise, insulation being one of its strengths, and the engine runs relatively quietly, too.  You might hear some wind and slight sounds from the larger than usual alloy wheels but nothing that can really be considered noisy or distracting.  The suspension is terrific at keeping passengers steady and comfortable inside.  Slight bumps and uneven city roads won’t jog you and are, in fact, hardly felt.

So, if you prefer a noise-free and comfortable ride with adequate speed and handling, the Camry should be among your top choices.


All in all, the 2016 Toyota Camry Hybrid Atara SL is a top-notch option for families considering something smaller and more maneuverable than an SUV for driving around urban areas.  Driving and handling are pleasant but not its forte.  It shines in its fuel economy, comfort and space in its interior and trunk.  If you’re not too picky about your car and you value efficiency over mere aesthetics, the Camry may be your dream car.

Also read: 2017 Tesla Model S 7d Review