The Camry badge was last seen in Toyota’s British showrooms 14 years ago – although the model has enjoyed substantial sales growth in other markets since then. Toyota currently sells more than 700,000 Camrys per year.
Toyota has yet to announce specs for the Camry that will be sold in the UK, but we know it’ll be the latest version that’s based on the modular front-wheel-drive Toyota New Global Architecture platform technology, as seen on the likes of the C-HR and Prius. UK Camrys will be powered by a 2.5-litre four-cylinder petrol-electric hybrid set-up – similar, in fact, to the system that’s about to be offered on the 5-series-rivalling Lexus ES, which is the Camry’s sister vehicle.
Toyota says that the car’s ride and handling will be “specifically tuned for the European market”; that’s likely to mean a stiffer and more responsive chassis set-up than American versions.
The decision to bring the Camry to the UK can be at least partly attributed to a desire to give fleet customers a saloon option – because Toyota’s current model in that segment, the Avensis, is being killed off. A company spokesperson told Auto Express: “The Avensis, like the Carina E before it, was specifically designed for the European market. In recent years the size of the D-segment [Mondeo class] of the European car market has steadily declined, impacting Avensis sales. We’ve been closely monitoring the situation for some time and we’ve decided to cease production of the Europe-specific Avensis.”
Toyota’s production plant in Burnaston, Derbyshire, which manufactures the Avensis, will be unaffected by the switch, the firm has stated. “There will be no impact on employment,” the spokesperson said. “At the Geneva motor show earlier this year we revealed the new Auris and announced Burnaston as the production location for this model. It was well received by the media and public and is expected to sell well. Toyota Manufacturing UK is now preparing for the introduction of this third-generation Auris and is recruiting new team members.”
The Camry is expected to arrive in UK showrooms in the first half of 2019. There’s no word yet on pricing but expect it to be slightly more expensive than the Avensis, reflecting its larger size and hybrid powertrain. It could instead be targeted at Ford’s hybrid Mondeo, giving it a price of around £26,000.
Read our review of the Lexus ES – the Camry’s sister car – here…