Owner Review

2019 Toyota Camry Ascent review: The rental

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I recently hired a 2019 Camry Ascent for two weeks and it had only 1500km on the clock. I feel quite comfortable in writing a review considering I also own a 2012 Camry Hybrid H.

Good things:

  • If you have owned the previous shape Camry, this is an absolute revelation in terms of quietness and ride. It is extremely supple, and handles bumps very well. The previous Camry's ride was very jiggly whereas this is so much more settled in its composure. It also handles much better and I'd say a lot is attributed to the increase to 17-inch wheels for base models.
  • Some decent standard kit, including LED auto headlights (that are excellent and have auto high beam), not-too-aggressive lane departure alert and radar cruise only above 40km/h. Bluetooth connects quickly and the sound system, for a stock unit, absolutely craps all over the previous shape.
  • Amazing Denso air conditioning. I don't think anyone can beat Toyota for air con.
  • A very comfortable and spacious interior, excellent seats and visibility. There's plenty of storage room throughout cabin and a very big boot.
  • This was going to be a con, but the gearbox is actually very good. When you're cruising very lightly, the gearbox will change up very early, most likely in pursuit of fuel efficiency. When you need to overtake it kicks down swiftly and feels like it skips a gear. However, I was going to say that when it's cold it seems to thump into gear until it warms up.
  • The fuel economy was okayish and we averaged 9.5 litres per 100 kilometres with mostly city driving.

Not so good:

  • The engine. While it's actually quiet when you give it some stick, it's quite a vibey engine when idling or lightly accelerating. When you're at the lights, you can actually see the bonnet vibrating, which is awful. I can't understand how Dad's new (in 1997) Mercedes C200 was smoother and idled better than this. The engine is also punchy in its mid-range but lacks outright power. When loaded with five people and luggage it feels very doughy. Would be nice if we got the more powerful 4-cylinder that can be had in the United States.
  • Some very scratchy plastics. Where the ignition key slot is, there are already multiple scratches on the plastic from trying to insert the key and missing. I noticed this as soon as I picked it up.

If you're looking to buy one, I'd pay a bit more and get a hybrid or a V6. Sorry if this isn't a review as such, and is more a pro vs con, however I had the Camry for a short time and had zero emotional attachment, so I felt like this was the best way to convey my thoughts!