A look at the 2024 Toyota Camry SL Hybrid barely warrants a remark. Priced from $50,320 and sitting atop its respective line-up, it won’t stand out from the crowd in the looks department. But maybe, that’s the whole point.
It’s unassuming, and you can’t buy one. That’s because Toyota can’t keep up with demand, such is its popularity. The Camry tags a lot of stereotypes along the way though, and one has to wonder whether this latest generation can change perceptions.
Wearing sporty looking bumpers (shared with other variants), 18-inch rims and dual exhaust pipes, the range-topping Toyota sedan remains unmistakably Camry in appearance, seemingly unable to stand out as anything different.
No one will look as you cruise down the street and those we tried to point out the SL’s features to couldn’t see past the Camry nameplate. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, if you just want to blend in on the road.
The large black plastics on the front bumper are clearly fake. We did wonder if making the vents functional, or placing something useful in their place like fog lights, would help the exterior appearance.
At the end of the day though, we realise this is probably not the point, particularly for a luxury model, and the regular Camry buyer isn’t going to be too bothered about such things. They’re more focused on the fact it functions as it should and looks modern.
Our example came in a nice deep Lunar Blue, but you an opt for Glacier and Frosted White, Silver Pearl, Liquid Mercury, Blacksmith Bronze, Jasper Red and Eclipse Black. It’s refreshing to see they’re not all shades of grey.
That said though, there’s nothing that shouts “look at me” either. Those subtle 18-inch wheels feature a multi-spoke design of both silver and grey. The SX scores 19’s to reflect its sporty nature.
Both this and the SX come with a very subtle spoiler on the boot, but you would be forgiven for missing it. The inside shows attempts to create something nice, welcoming and maybe even a little interesting and unique.
The wavy line that leads from the dash to the centre console for example, while not serving any functional purpose, creates something for the eyes to follow, providing an asymmetrical dash and console arrangement that does nothing wrong.
The dark grey leather seats feel quite comfortable and there are plenty of features you might expect at the top trim level. The front seats are adjustable, with heating and ventilation. There’s a colour head-up display and a decent nine speaker JBL audio system.
Grey hues with silver highlights (as opposed to the SX’s red leather) provide an interior that is plentiful in terms of room. That’s complemented by large windows and an exclusive panoramic glass roof.
While there are some convenient storage compartments, including a sliding tray in front of the gear selector, wireless phone charging is notably missing, instead requiring a USB-A connection up front.
This is also how you can connect Apply CarPlay or Android Auto. In a head-scratching move, the rear occupants get two USB-C ports beneath the air-conditioning vents. There is a decent boot too, offering 524-litres of cargo space with the split-fold rear seats up.
The boot lid itself is extremely light and usually opens by itself on a button press from the key or inside the car. The 9-inch infotainment system is easy to use and navigate, with tactile buttons either side, and a touchscreen in the middle.
Initially, we had trouble getting Android Auto to work but this may have been due to a poor wired connection. When it does work, it’s just as you can expect. The native maps are impressive, and feature images of different junctions as you follow your route.
Driving the Camry SL Hybrid is a 2.4-litre, 4-cylinder engine putting out 160kW combined power and 221Nm of torque to the front wheels. Toyota are stalwarts in the electrically-assisted performance stakes, which lets this car sip fuel at 5.4-litres/100km (tested).
Power delivery feels smooth with plenty of go, though stepping on the accelerator never brought out a particularly sporty noise or sensation. Even so, the Camry feels good on the road, even if it is unlikely to carve up mountain passes on a regular basis.
It’s easy to drive around town, on a motorway or navigating a carpark. Notably, the car can get up to speed quickly and keep pace with others. It does not come equipped with an obsession of sitting in the right lane of a motorway, below the posted speed limit, either.
Toyota’s Safety Sense package features and includes dynamic radar cruise control, which works well alongside lane keep assist, road sign assist and blind spot monitoring, with visual and audible warnings.
Seven airbags help protect the occupants, and the Camry scored a 5-star ANCAP safety rating when it was tested a lifetime ago in 2017. It comes with a 5-year unlimited kilometre warranty, and scores capped price servicing for the same period (up to 75,000km).
All-in-all, the 2024 Toyota Camry SL Hybrid is an honest and reliable top-of-the-line family sedan that is nice to drive, has plenty of room and is comfortable for the whole family. It’s a decent offering for those looking for a car that will serve them well.
Our test vehicle was provided by Toyota Australia for review purposes.