June 01, 2012

FIRST IMPRESSION: 2012 Toyota Camry !

 A lot of talks were going on before the launch of the all-new 2012 Toyota Camry. It is criticised by the public for its conservative styling and uses technology that are brought over from the previous two generation. After seeing the 2012 Toyota Camry (codenamed XV50) in person, I do agree that the Camry has gone on the safe and conservative path, but now it's more like a mini-Lexus with the ala-Lexus LS460 headlamp. Thus, it should have great presence on the road.

As a result, the seventh-generation Camry becomes a more classy car in terms of styling compared to its predecessor. It has something like the grandness of a Volkswagen Passat, just that both has simple and unadventurous styling. However, I hope Toyota will redesign the front grille in the facelift exercise because this grille looks overdone and cluttered. It should have something simpler with lesser lines and thinner hood chrome finishing. By the way, the Camry shown below is the 2.0G variant with 16-inch alloy. The 2.5V will come with 17-inch alloy.

Lomo effect on the Camry's front end. Note the headlamp washer at the front, first in the history of Malaysia's Camry. All variant comes with HID projector with auto headlamp levelling.

The rear end actually has the best view of the whole Camry's exterior. Looks solid and more upmarket than the outgoing Camry's rear end. All variant now comes with chrome finishing for the rear garnish (unlike the outgoing generation where only 2.0G and 2.4V has chrome finishing), but the 2.0E variant will make do with colour-keyed exterior door handles. 

The 2012 Camry 2.0 has a VVT-i engine which produces 148PS at 6000rpm and 190Nm of torque at 4000rpm. it is mated with a (some say 'ancient-old' but reliable 4-speed automatic transmission with Super ECT & sequencial shifter). The 2.5V however get a Dual VVT-i & ACIS engine which can churn out 181PS and 231Nm of torque at 4100rpm. That's 14PS at 6000rpm and 7Nm increase over the 2.4litre engine in the outgoing Camry.

Interior wise, 2.0E and 2.5V will get beige colour theme while the 2.0G gets black colour theme. All variant get dual zone auto climate control, optitron meters, leather wrapped-steering wheel and wood grain finishing on the dashboard, centre console, gear knob, door trim and rear armrest. The 2.0G and 2.5V has leather seats and goodies such as 8-way powered driver seat and cruise control.

Of course, the 2.5V will get the better stuff like smart entry and start system, rear sunshade, 6.1" touchscreen with DVD player, reverse camera etc.

The 2012 Toyota Camry definitely has improved on the quality of the cabin. Leather is plush and smooth, with a lot of soft touch points around the cabin. Fit and finishing is excellent, and the colour of the wood grain is darker now, an improvement over the bright wood grain found in older Toyotas. Love the stitching on the upper dashboard, classy!

 By the way, the rear leg and headroom are as generous as its predecessors. Eventhough the wheelbase (2775mm) and other exterior dimensions are generally unchanged, Toyota managed to increase the cabin space of this Camry. According to Toyota, the NVH and comfort has been improved for this seventh generation Camry, thus making it one of the best mid-sized luxury cars to be chauffered in.

Not so uncle-ish since all variant come with USB and iPod connectivity isn't it?

In the safety department, the Camry has the usual ABS, EBD, BA and Dual SRS airbags, while the 2.5V gets an additional of 2 side airbags. Only one problem though, Toyota dropped out TRC and Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) from the Camry, not even for the 2.5V. It's a shame, since a 11 years old Altis has this life saving feature while this newest Camry doesn't.

The OTR price with insurance are RM149,900 for the 2.0E, RM157,900 for the 2.0G and RM180,900 for the 2.5V. After a quick analysis, my opinion is get the 2.0G and avoid the aerokit package because the it looks like an unthoughtful, aftermarket job.

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15 Gossips:

HenRy LeE said...

hmmm... i thought it will looks exactly like the artist impression. Then it would be nice! This one... I'll say pass! :(

Kelvin 'finalkt3' Tan said...

Looks a little boxy in the front more like Volvo last time. I like the previous look more. Anyway, it's out of my budget range. LOL.


Ken Wooi said...

Looks like a transformer robot now..
Can imagine it go tzztzz tzzzzzzzzzz robot :P

But i love driving the camry, stable and... feels like uncle :P

PutraRocker said...


Nikel Khor said...

Abit disappointed with the interior design..

Anonymous said...

I love reading your review. But not this one. U sound like Toyota salesman than a real car blogger. No genuine review this time.

SiMon Har said...

Henry: haha! looks like it will only appeal to the elders...

Kelvin: it's more expensive this time... sigh

Ken: LOL! I love driving it too!

PutraRocker: :(

Nikel: Actually I think this interior looks better than the old 1 XD

Anonymous: maybe that's because I love Camry coz it's a great car, but what I said here is genuine and straight from my heart.
Yes, a lot would find this new Camry's design uncle-ish. Me too, but it also created a new feel - grandness. Take a look at Lexus LS, it's doesn't have stylish design but it appeals to those companies' top executives due to its grandness.
What I'm trying to say is that it doesn't really charmed me but it charms those who care more on their status than style.

Xue Ren said...

I like the back view of the car! stylish! :D

Vin Tsen Gan said...

This one is too boxy lah I feel, no fluidity at all. If they retained the rear of the previous version the it will be much pleasant.

Anonymous said...

Look at the arm rest, it's a plastic block.
Look at the steering, it's bulky & rough.
Look at the front bottom spot lights, the pieces are plastic painted.
The showroom unit in subang, a shame that driver side carpet is not properly wrapped under arm rest/ gear set. The whole piece is very visible.
Very disappointed with this CKD generation.

Anonymous said...

A salesman approached me. I asked him what does this car have? He said "airbags & ABS".
I laughed. Who knows car will turn & walk away.

Anonymous said...

Safety features are the worst among D segment cars.
Pay big sum to put your life in risk on the road. Joke

SiMon Har said...

Xue Ren: finally someone agreed :)

Vince: hmm... the design is still on the conservative side :(

Anonymous: aren't driver side carpet supposed to be on the floor? why is it wrapped under the arm rest??!!

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