Competitors performs well against the recently launched Toyota Camry

Thursday 30 August 2012, 10:06 AM by

Toyota recently introduced a refreshed version of its premium sedan Camry in the Indian auto industry with a price range of Rs. 23.8 lacs. Placed in the D-segment, the new edition has been given a complete overhaul under the review of model introduced initially in 2002. With the launch of Camry's seventh generation model, the auto maker was able to create a buzz in the market and is expecting to drive in some decent sales volumes.

Competitors performs well against the recently launched Toyota Camry  |
Competitors performs well against the recently launched Toyota Camry

However, it must be noted that the premium sedan segment of the Indian auto industry is highly competitive and several auto makers are present in the same with their models placed in the similar price range. Brands like Volkswagen Passat, Hyundai Sonata, Honda Accord and Skoda Superb, among others, are some of the models who squares off a stiff competition against the likes of Toyota Camry.

2012 Edition Camry is incorporated with a new powertrain, which is rated fairly higher than the one assimilated within its previous generation model. Without considering specifications of all the variants, the new Camry holds the biggest 2.5 litre 4-cylinder petrol engine in the house. Mated to a 6-speed manual gearbox, the peak power produced by this engine stands close to 178 bhp at 6000 rpm with a highest torque of 233 Nm at 4100 rpm.

Considering the specifications of Honda Accord, the car comes loaded with a 2.4 litre 4-cylinder petrol engine, which has an option of 5-speed automatic as well as manual transmission system. The maximum power produced by the engine is slightly less than that of Camry as it stands around 177 bhp at 6500rpm with a maximum torque of 222 Nm at 4300 rpm. On the other hand, Volkswagen Passat has the smallest 1.8 litre 4-cylinder diesel engine in the league, which has the potential to belt out a highest power of 157 bhp with peak torque of 250 Nm. Since the engine has been mated to a 6 speed manual transmission system, the lack of acceleration is not at all felt.

Hyundai Sonata too has a 2.4 litre GDI petrol powertrain, which churns out a highest power of 198 bhp at 6300 rpm, while its maximum torque stands at 250 Nm at 4250 rpm. The 6 speed gearbox, available in both automatic as well as manual modes, makes the driving of this car a breeze. On the other hand, Skoda Superb has an option of both – petrol and diesel models, incorporating 1.8 litre engine in the former and 2.0 litre powertrain in the latter.

From the above study, the outputs of all the models seem impressive; however the fact of interest lies in the fuel efficiency delivered by them in normal driving conditions. The bandwagon is headed by the German auto maker's Passat, which runs around 18 kmpl, while Skoda Superb diesel grabbed the second spot by covering a distance of 14 kmpl. It must be noted that the petrol version of Superb and Honda Accord delivers an approximately similar mileage of 13 kmpl. Coming to the fuel efficiency of new entrant, the car just manages to deliver around 12 kmpl with Sonata being the worst at 11 kmpl.

No wonder, just fuel economy does not play a major role as the prices of these models also matters. All the aforementioned five models falls approximately in a similar price bracket, with a little difference that can be ignored. Sonata, whose mileage was the least also has the lesser price among all the contenders. The base model of the car can be purchased for a price consideration of Rs. 18.52 lacs, while its top-end variant is tagged at Rs. 20.61 lacs. The range where Sonata ends, comes the base price of Accord at Rs. 20.28 lacs with its top model offered at a price tag of Rs. 27.37 lacs. Base model of Passat and Superb diesel are priced almost same at Rs. 22.45 lacs and Rs. 22.50 lacs, respectively, while the customers have to pay a little for the top-end variant of Passat, which comes at 27.74 lacs. The top-end diesel model of Superb is currently sold for Rs. 24 lacs, whereas the price for its petrol series ranges between Rs. 18 lacs and Rs. 21.10 lacs.

From the above study, one thing is for sure that Toyota was required to do a little homework before launching its much hyped model in the Indian auto industry. It seems that the competitors are already a way ahead than the new entrant, which looks dated. Hyundai Sonata seems to be a perfect model in this segment with modern looks and a competitive price; however the car lags on the grounds of fuel efficiency. The title of clean winners can be presented to Volkswagen Passat and Skoda Suberb that are both well-priced and are considered as a perfect blend of scintillating looks with favourable output as well as decent fuel economy.

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