As soon as you climb inside the Camry, you’ll find a cabin where everything feels solid and substantial, like it’ll last a lifetime, and while the various materials on display can’t live with those in an Audi
, there’s easily enough lustre on display to take the fight to the VW Passats and Skoda Superbs of this world. Overall, it feels like every inch the high-quality product.
And despite the numerous gadgets and gizmos supplied as standard, the dashboard isn’t too over-cluttered with buttons and switches, and you’ll also find that most are logically placed and clearly marked. That said, most of the functions are operated through the touchscreen system, and if we’re honest, that’s rather less successful. The convoluted menus and slow, dated graphics mean it’s not the best system you’ll ever encounter.
The seats are very supportive and there’s lots of adjustment for your driving position, although some drivers will wish their seat went a bit lower than it does. These days, most family saloons are absolutely massive, but even by the standards of the class, the Camry is a big car. Happily, that translates into plentiful interior space. There’s enough in the back for two tall adults to stretch out luxuriously, and if you need to, there’s room to squeeze in three at a push. The boot is a very competitive 524 litres, and you also get split-folding rear seats as standard that let you boost the capacity further. However, being a saloon, the loadspace isn’t as easily accessible as you get in a hatchback or estate car.
Having historically made its name in the United States, it’ll be no surprise to hear that that Camry places far more importance on ride comfort than it does on handling prowess, and it’s all the better for it. The suspension isn’t completely immune from the odd jitter at particularly low - or particularly high - speeds, but things stay pretty smooth for the majority of the time, so it’s a comfortable car in most situations. We've only driven the car on smooth European roads so far, so we still need to make absolutely sure that it copes as well with battered British surfaces, but we think the omens are pretty good.
And while handling isn’t the focus, it doesn’t do at all badly on that score, either. Find yourself in a set of bends, and the Camry does feel like a big, heavy lummox of a thing, but considering its size, it actually changes direction pretty neatly. The steering’s particularly good, because it’s really weighty and responsive.
Unfortunately, the Camry isn’t quite as quiet as it might be, because you do hear a fair bit of wind and road noise at motorway speeds, and this does betray the car’s easy-going nature just a little bit.