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And the moment has finally come – the 2015 Toyota Camry has officially taken the Malaysian stage in 2.0E, 2.0G and 2.5 Hybrid variants, all locally-assembled (CKD). The considerably-updated XV50 comes back fighting with refreshed looks, an advanced new engine, added kit and a Hybrid variant for the first time, which replaces the previous 2.5 petrol.

Toyota calls this design philosophy ‘Keen Look Identity’ and ‘Under Priority’. The slim front grille topped off by a chrome slab, plus the huge trapezoidal lower intake and bordering chrome strip that wraps around the fog lamps, makes for a pretty aggressive-looking new face.

The grille inserts are diamond-effect on the Hybrid and slatted on the petrol variants, and the Hybrid sports blue Toyota logos – a Toyota hybrid hallmark. Round the back, you’ll find LED combination lamps bridged by a chrome strip, plus a reshaped rear bumper.

Let’s look at the powertrains. The 2.0E and 2.0G get a new 6AR-FSE 2.0 litre four-cylinder petrol engine with VVT-iW and D-4S direct and port injection. Making 167 PS at 6,500 rpm and 199 Nm at 4,600 rpm (17 PS and 9 Nm more than before), the motor ditches the old four-speed auto for a six-speed Super ECT unit.

The new engine is capable of switching between Otto (for power) and Atkinson (for efficiency) cycles, helping it achieve a combined ECE-rated fuel consumption of 7.2 litres per 100 km, down from 8.3 litres per 100 km previously. VVT-iW is on the intake side while regular VVT-i is on the exhaust side.

Then we have the 2.5 Hybrid, the first Toyota hybrid to be assembled in Malaysia. This brings together a 2AR-FXE 2.5 litre VVT-i four-cylinder petrol engine (160 PS at 5,700 rpm and 213 Nm at 4,500 rpm), a 143 PS/270 Nm electric motor, an eCVT gearbox and a nickel-metal hydride battery. Total system output is 205 PS, while combined fuel consumption is rated at 5.2 litres per 100 km.

Peeking through the leather-wrapped four-spoke steering wheel (wood-grain top half on Hybrid) is a re-designed, blue-backlit Optitron instrument panel with a colour multi-info display. The auto dual-zone climate controls have been updated as well, with switches and buttons replacing the previous dual-knob layout.

The gear lever base is now finished in dark grey, while the dashboard, centre console, gear knob, door cards and rear armrest are treated to Crotchwood trim (darker Zebrawood grain on Hybrid). Like all Toyota hybrids, the Hybrid variant has a blue engine start button.

No matter what variant you choose, you get auto dual-zone climate control with rear air vents, keyless entry and start, rear-seat Isofix and body-coloured front and rear parking sensors. The 2.0E kicks things off with manually-adjustable fabric seats (driver six-way, front passenger four-way), a basic radio with CD/MP3, USB and iPod functionality and six speakers.

Interiors of Camry 2.0G (left) and 2.5 Hybrid

The 2.0E is also the only variant without VSC, traction control, hill start assist and emergency stop signal, and makes do with two airbags, just like the pre-facelift 2.0E. Security and solar film is an optional extra on this variant.

Moving up to the 2.0G adds eight-way power-adjustable leather seats (with lumbar for driver, shoulder switch for front passenger), cruise control, chrome trim for the inside door handles and scuff plates, plus security and solar film as standard.

Otherwise, the 2.0G shares the same 215/60 R16 alloys, self-levelling HID projector headlamps with DRLs, twin tailpipes, trunk-through feature (boot access from rear armrest) and sound system with the 2.0E. However, the 2.0G gets VSC, traction control, hill start assist and emergency stop signal, although the airbag count is still two.

Replacing the 2.5V at the top of the previous range is the 2.5 Hybrid, which is laden with kit including automatic twin-projector LED headlamps, auto wipers, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, a new seven-inch touch-screen with navigation, Bluetooth (adds phone controls on steering wheel), Mirror Link and reverse camera, a 10-speaker JBL Green Edge Tech sound system, footwell and inside door handle illumination, a Panasonic Nanoe air ioniser and Qi wireless charging.

Other goodies exclusive to the range-topping Hybrid are Eco and EV modes, striking two-tone 215/55 R17 alloys, a collapsible front passenger headrest, a powered rear sun blind and pull-up rear side window blinds. However, there’s only one tailpipe here, and no trunk-through feature, due to the battery pack. Boot space is down too, to 421 litres compared to the petrol-only variants’ 515 litres.

The Hybrid gets seven airbags (including driver’s knee bag) and a Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross Traffic Alert, in addition to all the aforementioned safety equipment. This is a big improvement from the previous range-topping 2.5V, which had four airbags as standard.

Optional accessories include security and solar film (RM1,993, for 2.0E only, as the rest have it as standard), an Aerokit package that includes a boot spoiler (RM2,756, for 2.0E and 2.0G only), and a seven-inch DVD-AVN touch-screen (RM3,122, for 2.0E and 2.0G only). Prices here are inclusive of GST.

Available colours are Grey Metallic (new), Attitude Black, Silver Metallic, Medium Silver Metallic and White Pearl CS (additional RM848, GST inclusive). Locally-assembled (CKD) in Shah Alam, the 2015 Toyota Camry is priced at RM149,900 for the 2.0E, RM159,900 for the 2.0G and RM174,900 for the 2.5 Hybrid, OTR including insurance and GST.

In comparison, the pre-facelift XV50 was priced between RM150k and RM180k. Plus, the 2.5 Hybrid gets a lot more kit for less money than the previous 2.5V. A three-year/100,000 km standard warranty is included; on top of that, the Hybrid gets an eight-year assurance programme on the hybrid battery. See for full specifications and equipment of all variants.

The 2015 Toyota Camry will be in showrooms from tomorrow, and according to UMW Toyota president Datuk Ismet Suki, around 300 units have been booked to date. We’ve taken the Camry 2.0G and 2.5 Hybrid for a quick spin – read our drive report here.

2015 Toyota Camry brochure and official photos

2015 Toyota Camry Malaysian launch event

2015 Toyota Camry 2.0G with optional Aerokit package

2015 Toyota Camry 2.5 Hybrid