Toyota Camry Review: Luxurious Indulgence
With a re-designed exterior and some technical changes, Toyota has raised the ante against all the luxurious executive sedans available in India. This niche space has been dominated by the league of Skoda Superb, Honda Accord and also the recently launched Hyundai Sonata fluidic.
The all new 2.5L dual VVT-I engine substitutes the 2.4L version of the previous generation and also produces 13 bhp more. The new sedan shares the same platform but with improvised suspension quality which assures better handling.
We recently drove the all new 2012 Toyota Camry to find out more on this new offering by the Japanese auto major.
Dimensionally, the new Toyota Camry has not been changed a lot. The new design makes it look bigger and stronger. With aggressive lines on the front, the Camry now displays the new Toyota common family looks which consists of more straights than curves.
On the front face is the bold and shining chrome radiator grille. It looks muscular as the hood line has been raised. The new headlight design seems fresher with wider HID headlights which get pulled back to the side profile. Chrome has been used in good quantities which can also be seen around the fog lamps. Front bumper lines are chiseled and the lower jaw line now has a more definite profile.
Coming to the side profile and the marginal increase in the length is not that evident. The car looks very symmetrical from side as the overhang in the rear profile nearly equals to the front half. Also, there is chrome lining on the running board.
Not as flamboyant and chrome bling as the front profile, the rear is more subtle. It has newly designed rear tail lamps which are separated with a mild chrome line bordering the boot lid. In the rear profile too there are lots of power bulges throughout. Overall the 2012 Toyota Camry now feels a lot fresher, wider and bigger.
Going with the brand ideology of making cars that look big and strong, the 2012 Camry is a new addition to the same. Also, as Toyota prepares to launch its premium luxury brand Lexus in India, the company has happily dropped hints of it in the new Camry’s design.
This is the space where majority of the Camry owners would reside. Premium feel and luxurious character have always been the Camry’s strong points. The same can be seen in the new version too with oodles of legroom and headroom. Its plush feel and spacious cabin guarantees superb comfort.
8 way fully electrical front row seats stitched in premium quality leather and the dual tone interiors complemented with wooden trims throughout assure that this time too Toyota has kept passenger comfort as the main priority in the interior design. The front seats also have controls mounted on their side so as to let the rear passengers adjust its position. Adding to the comfort factor are the arm rests for the front row as well as the rear row of passengers. With more than generous headroom, legroom and kneeroom, the new Camry retains its comfortable executive sedan tag.
The front dashboard design is modern and the steering wheel now gets steering mounted controls to control the media, Volume and phone options. The steering wheel feels a bit smaller but is done very neatly in leather and wooden finish. Wooden finished trims flow all over the cabin in tasteful proportions.
Instrumental panel has dials engulfed in chrome rings and display the necessary information only such as distance to empty, trip meter info and the average speed along with the ECO mode signal. There is a cruise control lever just after the steering lever, which has to be tapped and then raised or lowered to adjust the speed. One small drawback is the absence of a digital display of speed on the speedometer for adjusting the cruise control speed.
The on board music system is decent and does not have the amazing audio quality as some of its competitors offer. The music system comes with 6 speakers with a touchscreen compatible screen as well as USB and AUX-in plug in options. The user interface of the touch screen could have been better than the one being presently used. However, the utility aspect of it is nice as it is very convenient and easy to use.
Utility wise the front dashboard has necessary provisions to hook on the cellphone and other miscellaneous articles. The utility box under the front armrest is generous and can hold up heavier articles and commodities. The front row door pockets can hold a 1L beverage bottle and other knickknacks. Rear door trim has a smaller pocket. There is also a provision to access the rear luggage space through the convenience window which opens up once the rear armrest is dropped. The new Camry can pack upto 535 liters of luggage in the boot.
With the premium quality material and an impressive finish, the new Camry closes in to justify the hefty price tag attached to it.
The main change that Toyota brought in the new Camry is the new engine which now displaces 2494cc. The new unit now produces a peak power of 181 PS at 6000 rpm which has been increased from 168 PS of the earlier version. Also, it produces a torque of 233 Nm at 4100 rpm which is close to 9Nm more than its predecessor. The new 16 Valve DOHC Dual VVT-i engine is equipped with a 6 speed automatic transmission with sequential shift technology.
The main reason that has always been plaguing the Camry in addition to the hefty price tag is the lack of a diesel engine. Toyota on the other hand unfortunately does not have anything to offer on this platform so they refined the existing engine so that it can perform better and target the petrol heads.
Primarily being a chauffeur driven car, the Camry is a rear passenger’s delight. The extremely low NVH levels are something you would enjoy a lot especially on highways. The comfortable seats, leather upholstery and the plush cabin feel leave a positive impression about the interiors of the Camry.
Street presence of this new sedan is also impressive. Boasting of bold and aggressive lines, the new Camry gets noticed easily. It has a very relaxed stance on wheels and looks very elegant when on road.
A very confident driver’s seating is the first thing that you realize once being seated and adjusting the rake and reach of the leather wrapped steering wheel. The front view visibility is very nice. Getting inside the cabin and moving out is also very easy as it has wide opening doors.
Before driving the car for real, I had seem many images of this car on the internet and was not that eager to drive it although my perception changed when I got the car in flesh. This one is wider and bigger. It looks like one of those parked under the corporate buildings and displays etiquettes. The chauffer is compelled to be at his best and a crisp daily paper is what you need as you punch your way on the Blackberry checking daily updates.
Inside, as you push the Start button, the engine offers a purr of a cat. It is so very silent. As I drove it, one thing I realized is this is not a very enthusiastic friendly engine but then a very well mannered and matured mill. It takes its own time to react after pedaling the throttle. There is no meaty response from the engine even when you shift it into the manual mode. In the manual mode, the engine behaves a tad quicker than in automatic.
The new car has some extra corners and edges and feels big too while driving it. With a car of such dimensions, you can’t just pull out near an ATM as parking it and then driving out is a task completely. Though not many will go through such hurdles as the one owning such a big petrol car won’t need frequent stops at an ATM.
This car is a treat on the highways as it behaves like an excellent commuter. The small lows are when you try and overtake which needs some serious pedal to the metal response on the accelerator. It takes a little more than the usual patience as the all new Camry does not overtake with a flick but takes some serious amount of time to react.
While cornering too, the new Camry tends to throw its weight around and is not that impressive and rightly so. Toyota did not want to make a cornering machine at all. On a positive note, the Camry behaves excellent on straight line and is much grounded. It offers a very firm ride on a straight patch. The new Camry also offers good quality braking as this one comes with an ABS (with EBD). We got a best mileage of 12 kmpl and the worst of 5 kmpl.
|Power in PS / RPM||181/6000|
|Torque in Nm / RPM||233/4100|
|Tyre size||215/60 R16|
|Fuel Tank capacity (L)||70|
|Dimensions in mm|
|Minimum turning radius M||5.7|
|Kerb Weight Kgs||1475|
|Claimed Mileage Kmpl||12|
|Automatic HID Head lamps||Yes|
|10 Spoke 16" Alloy wheel||Yes|
|Rear combination lamp ith LED brake light||Yes|
|2 DIN Audio system with touch screen display||Yes|
|Center console Box with sliding leather armrest||Yes|
|Leather trip on cowl and dashboard with real stiching||Yes|
|8 Way power adjust driver and front passenger seats||Yes|
|Rear AC Vents||Yes|
|Rain sensing wipers||Yes|
|Driver and front Passenger airbag||Yes|
|ABS with EBD and BA||Yes|
Competition All Specs
|Variant||2.5L Automatic||2.4 AT||2.0 TDI AT||2.5 Gdi MT|
|Ex showroom Price Mumbai||2380000||2178999||2315171||2168066|
|Power in PS / RPM||181/6000||180/6500||140/4200||201/6300|
|Torque in Nm / RPM||233/4100||222/4300||320/2500||250/4200|
|Tyre size||215/60 R16||215/60 R16||185/65 R15||215/55 R17|
|Fuel Tank capacity L||70||70||60||70|
|Dimensions in mm|
|Minimum turning radius M||5.7||5.6||5.4||5.4|
|Claimed Mileage Kmpl||12||11.8||17.2||16|
|Headlight height adjuster||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|2 DIN Audio system||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Electrically adjustable driver seat||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Rear AC Vents||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Rain sensing wipers||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Driver and front Passenger airbag||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Side Curtain airbag||No||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|ABS with EBD and BA||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
The Camry has been refreshed with an exterior styling upgrade as well as engine refinement. Also, Toyota has burn its fingers by importing the car in a CBU form and finally the new Camry comes in a CKD (Completely knocked down) unit along with local production. All this in an attempt to pull down the heavy price tag attached with the car.
Another reason of Toyota Camry not being popular in the premium luxury sedan is the lack of a diesel option. Among Its rivals especially the Skoda Superb which offers a better package in features comes in diesel too which makes it a better option. The Toyota Camry still has some drawbacks like absence of sunroof which has become a favorite premium feature in the country. In the safety aspect, the new Camry offers just two front airbags which is not expected from a car of this segment. If only the new Camry offered these features it would take its rivals head on.
However, the Camry cannot be turned down completely as it comes from Toyota, a brand which offers great royalty by its customers. Toyota has been known for making reliable cars of strong built quality. Consumers often vouch for the servicing standards of the same.
So, the new Camry will definitely strike a chord with the petrol friendly consumer who spends maximum time on the rear seat, someone who gives luxury and comfort more importance than the economics of running a petrol vehicle. The new Camry is definitely an improved product and a refined too. It will surely make you indulge in its luxury.