By on August 23, 2011

The launch of a new Camry is something of a big deal in this industry, and TTAC’s global resources are standing by to provide more coverage than you could possibly hope for. Both Michael Karesh and Steve Lang will be sharing their impressions of the US launch, and Bertel is off to Tokyo tonight to cover the Japanese launch as well. I’m about to catch a plane myself for an entirely different assignment, so I’ll leave the commentary to TTAC’s Best and Brightest for now. What say you B&B? Based on these earliest impressions, will the Camry continue its dominant legacy, or is this another step in the slide from greatness that so many have been predicting for Toyota? Discuss…

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

153 Comments on “Ladies And Gentlemen, Your 2012 Toyota Camry...”


  • avatar
    jkross22

    Hey look, it’s a stretched Corolla.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      This is true. It also looks like the Avalon and 4Runner. It’s a little odd, but I don’t mind the Kabuki-makeup headlamp/grille too much. It’s not elegant, but it’s not particularly awful, either.

      It’s also nice to see that the IP is fairly straightforward. I was a bit worried after seeing the new Sienna, but it looks like they’re going to commit to simple ergonomics, even if they look fairly plain.

    • 0 avatar
      vbofw

      Strange. It looks as though a giant magnet is sucking the front end down into the ground. Unless the East Coast earthquake is throwing my sense of balance off.

      In many ways the look is irrelevant though, since the Japanese loyalists [concentrated in the Boomer generation] will buy it no matter what.

  • avatar
    MrGreenMan

    Will it have a V6?

    It reminds me of the Impala. It will probably sell fine. The snout looks less offensive than the outgoing version. They have stolen the Honda/Saturn upper-teeth look.

    It’s good to see the NASCAR CoT splitter adapted for commuter use.

    I love it when everybody knows from the shiny chrome outline: Why, yes, I did opt to purchase the up-trim level with the fog lights. What do you mean they’re always left on?

  • avatar
    threeer

    Camry will continue to march on…the new design does nothing to alienate those that are interested in such a car (which, by the sales data, indicates that quite a few people like Camry). The appliance has been updated enough to keep it out front of the pack, and will only add to the massive quantity of Camrii I see in parking lots.

    • 0 avatar
      slavuta

      Exactly. Smart move by Toyota. Improved interior will definitely find more Camry customers. If they fixed their horrendous steering this car should have no objection.
      Definitely looks like Corolla. But who cares? This car is for grand ma and my sis-in-law. Comfort, softness, large trunk for all the makeup an old lady needs…

    • 0 avatar
      Volt 230

      After its 5th yr this current model is still the best selling car in America, do you really think they’re gonna mess with it? Ditto for Corolla, even though that one is slipping.

  • avatar
    OldandSlow

    While it really does look like a stretched Corolla, it is conservative and does what a Camry does best. It ain’t a flashy refresh, but is definitely sufficient to satisfy the returning Camry buyers and some Corolla owners looking to trade up.

  • avatar
    mikey

    Its looks a lot better than the 2011.

    • 0 avatar
      Zackman

      @mikey:

      I just returned from a trip to St. Louis with my wife to visit family. My mpg on the way there was 35.44! Couldn’t believe it! A/C on, average speed was around 67 mph. The return trip netted 33.85 mpg at similar speed.

      Thought you’d like to know.

  • avatar
    cmoibenlepro

    Are those Camrys or Corollas?

  • avatar
    Scoutdude

    Not a bad looking car, the blue is a refreshing change from most Toyota color offerings. I think they may have gone a little too boy-racer with the front bumper cover, something that may not go over well with their traditional buyer.

    The cloth interior looks way to busy, and I’m not a fan of the 3rd color stripe on the seat back of either of the cloth or leather seats. Otherwise the interior looks pretty good from the pics.

    Based on looks alone since that’s all we have to go by. I’d say unless there is some significant leap in MPG it’s not going to turn the tide of the Camry’s slow sales slide, but I also don’t think it’s going to speed it up either.

    Of course how the car actually performs may change that for the better or worse.

    • 0 avatar
      Quentin

      35mpg highway for the 4cyl, 30mpg highway for the V6, 39mpg highway for the hybrid. City for the hybrid is 43.

      • 0 avatar
        mike978

        So Toyota finally better the Fusion hybrid. Will be interesting to see what the new Fusion hybrid brings next year – at least it will be styled such that you can tell it apart from the previous model.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        The current Fusion managed to look like a mild facelift of the previous Fusion in spite of being a new car.

      • 0 avatar
        PintoFan

        With the Fusion on a sharply upwards sales trajectory, I don’t think that Ford saw a reason to deviate too far from the formula. The same could be said of the Camry, except that it needed some more pizazz to save it from backsliding.

      • 0 avatar
        jimmyy

        mikey, motor trend recently tested the Fusion Hybrid and the mileage observed did not beat the equivalent Camry. Ford MPG numbers are bogus. I hope Toyota does not stoop to Ford’s level by providing bogus MPG numbers. We will find out soon when the testing begins.

        If a company does not provide accurate MPG numbers on the sticker, then don’t trust them. Dishonest people and companies should be avoided.

      • 0 avatar
        Loser

        j99/jimmyy said,
        “motor trend recently tested the Fusion Hybrid and the mileage observed did not beat the equivalent Camry”

        Is this the same Motortrend you said not to trust because they rated the Focus higher than the Civic?

        “Dishonest people and companies should be avoided”.

        This from a guy that posts under 2 names and cherry picks facts.

      • 0 avatar
        Quentin

        I really hope that these numbers are the real deal. I, too, read the Motor Trend article with the Camry hybrid and the Fusion hybrid and the numbers did not line up. Consumer Reports found the same thing with the hybrid versions of the Camry, Altima, and Fusion. They all basically got the same numbers despite huge differences in the EPA ratings.

      • 0 avatar
        NulloModo

        CJ –

        The current Fusion is more than a facelift, but not a totally new design. The engines, transmissions, and interior were all updated along with the front and rear fascias, but the basic platform underneath was mostly carryover. The completely new Fusion comes in 2013.

        Jimmy –

        Many reviews show the Fusion Hybrid’s mileage holding up to the sticker numbers. On the official EPA fuel economy site the Fusion Hybrid outperforms the Camry Hybrid from user-posted numbers. The new Camry leapfrogs the current Fusion, which is to be expected from a brand new model. The Fusion will have the chance to leap back over the Camry when the 2013s come out next year.

      • 0 avatar
        moedaman

        NulloModo
        I have a friend who’s a Ford engineer and while we didn’t talk about the Fusion hybrid, he did tell me that both the Fiesta and Focus are “gamed” for the EPA tests and don’t deliver in the “real world”. So I can’t really believe that the Fusion is any different.

    • 0 avatar
      salhany

      I’ll bet that blue is a hybird-only color. It’s similar to the blue Honda used on the Hybrid Civic, and it’s no coincidence that it’s on the hybrid 2012 Camry in these photos.

    • 0 avatar
      NulloModo

      The tri-tone interior (grey bolsters, white cushions, brown stripe) is my favorite feature of the upscale Camry interior, different strokes I guess. I like a little bit of color variation in the interior trim.

  • avatar
    SV

    It’s a bit better than the old one, which is more than can be said of Honda’s recent redesigns.

    The headlights are no longer annoyingly bulgy, the body surfacing is a bit sharper, and I think the SE has some damn nice wheels.

    The interior’s design is a bit messy but it looks like it could be of high quality.

  • avatar
    ttiguy

    The overly styled wheels on the red one are comical. They remind me of the bad old days at GM. Also am I the only one who thinks the center stack looks like a tribute to the 06-09 fusion? Bad, bad, bad all around.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      The difference vis a vis the Fusion is:
      * You can read the buttons (Ford’s ergonomics are closer to Honda’s in this regard: small, physically indistinct and with little tiny labels)
      * That era of Fusion put the controls at what felt like ankle height and right behind the shifter.

  • avatar
    KixStart

    Ti looks OK, which is all I require. I think the Hyundais Sonata is a better looking car but, were I in the market for something in this segment, my decision would be based on a combination of interior room, performance (as in “adequate or not,” not “blistering or merely hot”), cargo space, appeal of the interior (which has as much to do with feel and space as looks, pictures don’t tell the tale), price and fuel economy. Looks would break a tie.

    I’m also curious to see if Toyota re-engineered it as a 4-cylinder only. I think Hyundai made the right decision on that.

    Another point of curiosity, will it have direct injection?

    • 0 avatar
      Canuck129

      Why did Hyundai make the right decision on 4 cyl. only, when Toyota is offering both a 4 and a 6 cylinder. With slightly less HP in the V-6 it still out-accelerates the turbo 4.

      • 0 avatar
        Educator(of teachers)Dan

        It was the right decision because Hyundai could make the car lighter and more compact (hood wise) because they engineered it for 4cyl only. That was a gutsy move on Hyundai’s part.

    • 0 avatar
      Canuck129

      But the Camry and Sonata have nearly identical curb weights, and dimensions etc. It sounds more like reducing costs than being gutsy.

  • avatar
    Bimmer

    Honda called, they are happy to trade TSX headlamps for circa 2003 Camry taillights for a new Civic.

    Sides are too flat, especially where quarter panels meet rear bumper, – looks too heavy. Nose improved over current abomination. Center stack is not littered with hundred buttons, unlike current Honda products. It’s a Camry, who needs a tachometer? And what’s with gated shifter? Have they not learned anything from the crash that claimed life of CHP officer and his family, that it’s a lot easier to tap shifter in the straight line to N then thru zigzag?

    • 0 avatar

      @Bimmer: Word on the Acura influence.

      Better looking than the last model; could’ve been much worse.

      Nice that they changed the Voltron-Ultraman lovechild tail-lights.

      Something about the roofline-greenhouse outline still really wigs me out. I think I’m having cop-car flashbacks.

      Though the c-pillar is better, and their “designers” mystifyingly decided to add a little finesse/hiccup (take your pick) with a slight Pontiac G6 to the sideview-mirror line.

      Otherwise, I don’t think Da’Silva is anymore nervous than he was a few days ago.

      Taurus meets Corolla, meets TSX

    • 0 avatar
      Quentin

      My 4Runner has the zig-zag gated shifter and it is a straight push forward from drive to neutral. The side step (and another push forward) is only made when going from D to R. I would assume the Camry is the same way. I haven’t driven one in a few years (rental), so I don’t recall, though.

    • 0 avatar
      carlisimo

      I can’t stand straight-line automatic shifters! It’s too easy to go one too far, especially as it ages (at which point the lock button stops working altogether).

  • avatar
    Russycle

    Not bad, better than I was expecting. Nice to see somebody successfully bucking the curvalicious sedan trend. There seems to be a touch of Cadillac in that C pillar, in a good way.

    Is that really an analog miles-per-gallon gauge next to the fuel gauge? Replace it with a temp gauge and put a digital mpg readout over the odometer, or maybe in the speedo, no other gripes here.

  • avatar

    More evolution the revolution, but it’s a Camry so I wouldn’t expect anything too radical.
    Interior looks to be an improvement and that massive logo has been incorporated in to the grille assembly which is a big improvement IMHO.
    It will be interesting to see how it drives but I’m expecting more of the same; safe, cushy, and non-threatening.
    True, the Camry has become a punching bag and a symbol for Toyota’s “phoning it in design “, but despite that it will sell.
    Car enthusiasts-like many of those on TTAC- will probably never go for something as staid as a Camry, but the mass market is a different story.
    And yeah, it does look like a Corolla.

  • avatar
    vbofw

    …also the steering wheel is a dead-ringer for the Focus’s right down to the 5-way rocker switches. Which is a good wheel to benchmark.

    When, Toyota, will you realize the lateral “step” design in the auto tranny shifter look terrible and cheap. Who would ever like that?

  • avatar
    Rod Panhard

    It’s kind of like that TV show “The Jersey Shore.” I don’t care how many people like it or dislike it. This product is not for me.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    The 3.5 liter 268 HP V6 soliders on as the optional engine upgrade in the 2012 Camry. The manual transmission has been dropped across all models. The MPG on the V6 is up to 21/30 EPA, thanks to softer shifting and gearing changes with the 6-speed auto.

    Looks like a stretched Corolla to my eyes also, but I don’t think it is painful to look at. The steering wheel appears to ape the efforts from Ford, the layout of the interior appears to be an overall improvement.

    General Motors called and said they want the 2005 Pontiac Grand Prix rims back.

    LLN is giving the 2012 hybrid a glowing review in their first drive.

    Pricing has been slashed $200 to $2,400 depending on the trim/model. Stack ‘em deep and sell ‘em cheap has never been a recipe for fat profits. Definitely responding to price pressure from the Koreas and discounting from Detroit. The question is with a weak Yen (ya they sell ‘em in US dollars, they count the profits in Yen) if that hurts. At least the dealers no longer bear the brunt of discounting.

    It will sell – but the world has changed from 2007.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    I’m not crazy about the snout, but it generally looks fine. They won’t have much problem selling these.

    As is the case with most Japanese styling, the exterior design probably won’t age well. But along with suspension tuning, that’s still something that the Germans generally do better than anyone else.

  • avatar
    don1967

    Wow. Can’t wait to see it in beige.

  • avatar
    Quentin

    The hybrid mileage is fantastic. 43city/39highway, 200hp. While I’ll likely never own another sedan, put that drivetrain into the Lexus CT and I’ll gladly give you an extra $3k over the 1.8L hybrid setup in the CT200h. 40mpg, 200hp, and reliability in a small, premium hatch. That’d be brilliant.

    • 0 avatar
      marc

      Toyota has trademarked the name CT300h, so you can bet that’s around the corner. Right now they sell every CT200h they make, so there’s no hurry. I’d assume MY2013.

  • avatar
    Sinistermisterman

    Nothing that really excites, but nothing that really offends either. Which I guess is what the Camry is all about.
    I think Hyundai’s design direction is more exciting, but Toyota’s is far more palatable than Honda’s.

  • avatar
    Mark MacInnis

    Bo. Ring.

    I guess most constituents consider that a good thing.

    I remember back in 1991 when the 1992 Camry came out…that was revolutionary…that was HUGE…..since then….when the Camry comes out, the world says…. “Meh…!”

    • 0 avatar
      salhany

      It’s an appliance, and since the vast majority of drivers consider their cars to be appliances (and no one here does) this car is ideal for them and sells very well.

    • 0 avatar
      Jimal

      “the world says…, ‘Meh…!’”

      And buys it in droves. “Boring” is seen as “reliable”.

      • 0 avatar
        threeer

        Because, right or wrong, in this case boring is reliable (or at least the 6 various Toyota models we’ve had in the family since 1981 have been)…and which is why, for better or worse, my 67 year old mother will most likely forgo spoiling herself with her “last” car (we at one time were talking Mercedes C-class) and will move from her 2003 Corolla to a new Camry. 10 years of absolutely problem-free service is hard to argue, “boring” as it may be.

  • avatar
    NormSV650

    Autoblog has more details on the car along with their opinion which reminds me of Consumer Reports on the new Honda Civic, quite brutal. Complaints of glare from the NAV and worst simulated wood they seen. Gas mileage comes from gearing and 0w20 motor oil.

    Nothing but a reskinned Camry that reminds me of a Mitsubishi Diamante.

    • 0 avatar

      Wards has more details as well, including specs and what appear to be some well-balanced thoughts. The conclusion:

      To summarize: The ’12 Camry’s driving dynamics are up to snuff; the interior has generous soft surfaces, enough to obscure the hard plastic elements; and fuel economy is class-leading.

      But there should be more innovation. With the exception of the hybrid, the new Camry basically is a refresh of a nearly 6-year-old car.

      As I mentioned in the OP, look for lots more coverage over the next week right here at TTAC.

      • 0 avatar
        L'avventura

        See, I don’t understand what “innovation” is in this market segment. I suppose the Camry could have sported a 7-speed auto, or a turbo, dramatic whiz-bang styling, or even a plug-in hybrid variant. But it ignores the more fundamentals, more pragmatic realities, that is sought after in this market segment.

        Fancy new technology is less reliable, it takes time to get solid reliability out of part. Whiz-bamg styling also ages more rapidly. While an autojournlists like to write about new tech and Bangle-esque flame-surfaced designs, people expect these cars to survive a decade.

        Wards suggest going with a direct-injected 4-cylinder turbo like the Sonata to replace the V6, but again the V6 is reliable, powerful, and consumers have a more favorable image of six cylinder engines over four cylinders.

        ‘Innovation’ here is more pragmatic. Price, reliability, cost of ownership. As I said below, I think its very impressive, almost ‘innovative’ that Toyota is bringing out the Hybrid LE for just over $1k more then a normal Camry LE. The hybrid may become the Camry center piece this time around (compared to the small share it holds now)

        That said, it wouldn’t hurt Toyota to put at least more emotion, particularly in design, in its ‘Sport’ model of its Camry even as a marketing move.

      • 0 avatar
        APaGttH

        Change 4-cylinder to 6-cylinder, change 6-cylinder to 8-cylinder, change direct injection to variable valve timing and you have a Detroit grade point for keeping the V8, errr V6 in face of the competition buiding lighter, more efficient, smaller engines.

        The V6 weighs an extra 180 pounds and early road tests (actually out already) criticize the balance/handling of the V6 model due to it being nose heavy. Don’t shoot the messenger – but I think soldiering on with an older V6 engine is because they don’t have anything in the pipeline, YET, to respond to the growing number of direct injection 4-bangers being sold. Direct Injection is not some unproven technology, and turbo charging is vastly different from 30 years ago. Lets remember, Toyota has plenty of successful experience with turbo and superchargers and built reliable forced induction engines, during a period where forced induction and reliable didn’t belong on the same page, let alone in the same sentence.

        The stigma of, oh its a 4-cylinder is done. About 90% of Camrys sold were with the 4-banger in the previous generation, the 6 cylinder is not the engine of choice anymore.

      • 0 avatar
        L'avventura

        @APaGttH

        For the American public, the V6(and V8) still has a marketing cachet. And as you say, it only accounts for a small portion of sales overall sales, but its a Camry halo car, to give the image that the Camry is powerful. The V6 Camry exists for that cachet.

        As far as direct injection, its something that Toyota is not unfamiliar with. They’ve had DI four cylinder engines for over a decade, from the Avensis, to their V6/V8s, to even their upcoming DI boxer-4 with Subaru. Its not hard to put in, but obviously they left it out so as to move investment to other portions of the car.

        But again, the addition of DI or turbos wouldn’t make the Camry innovative. Unless its something like Mazda’s 14:1 compression ratio Sky-Active DI engine with the same DI acting as a start-stop system. Which is innovative.

        But again, the most important thing about theses cars is price relative to quality. The Camry, and its competitors, are all on near even ground from a manufacturing cost perspective, they are all made in North America. The difference is how you price it, and where you put your investments. As the mileage is impressive, as far s the press statement goes, and power is there if you want the V6, I don’t see the necessity to add direct-injection if its going to increase the price of this car (they actually reduced the price on many trims).

      • 0 avatar
        tankinbeans

        @APaGttH

        Are CVVT engines any different Honda’s Vtec or iVtec? Or is this a case of you say potato (po tay toe), I say potato (po tah toe)? I’ve read a little and it sounded like they were different, but all I really found was wikipedia’s definitions and articles.

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      Did we read the same review? I didn’t find the review that brutal, and I’m certainly no Camry fanboi.

      http://www.autoblog.com/2011/08/23/2012-toyota-camry-first-drive-review/

      It seems the more I read the more I get the impression that this is more of a complete reskin of the Gen VI Camry than an “all new” offering in the Gen VII space, sans the hybrid version. Is that a “bad” thing? Well considering how well the previous generation sold and how fond the average car buyer is of artifically flavored vanilla ice cream, I don’t think so.

      Sure isn’t for me – but it is going to sell. I do think the days of 400K units annual are over, less because of this redesign and more so because there is so much competition.

      I’ll be interested to see what happens longer term with the “transmission warmer” and the 0W20 requirement, that is some seriously thin oil.

      • 0 avatar
        L'avventura

        The platform, engine, and transmission are all new. According to Edmunds, the new Camry is 120lbs lighter then the previous version and the hybrid is 220lbs lighter. Atop that the chassis is more rigid even with the weight loss.

        http://www.insideline.com/toyota/camry/2012/2012-toyota-camry-first-drive.html

        The engine and transmission are obviously also new (new engine, and finally a 6-speed). The hybrid finally also gets a Atkinson-cycle engine like the Prius and Ford Fusion hybrid have already. The interior is also completely new.

        So its not just a re-skin. But with that said, most cars are evolutionary rather then revolutionary. Cars need to slowly build on a platform if they are to be reliable. But consumer’s perceive cosmetic change as the biggest indicator of progress between versions (the great vice of the new Civic).

      • 0 avatar
        Canuck129

        L’aventura,

        The 2011 Camry Hybrid also has atkinson cycle 2.4litre…
        The 2011 Camry also has the same 268HP V-6 and 6 speed transmission.
        The 2.5 litre 4 cyl. and 6 speed transmision are also carry overs.
        The only new drivetrain is in the Hybrid which receives the 2.5litre for 2012.
        So how are they “obviously new” for the 2012???

      • 0 avatar
        L'avventura

        @Canuk129

        According to Edmunds last years 2.4L did not use the Atkinson Cycle engine (link aboce):

        “Thank the retirement of last year’s non-Atkinson 2.4-liter engine, replaced here by a newly developed version of the 2.5-liter engine running the Atkinson cycle, a strategy that’s more efficient over the narrow rev range present in Toyota’s hybrid drive system and its CVT (continuously variable transmission).”

        The six-speed transmission is also all new according to Autoblog (link above) and updated versus the older transmission:

        “For 2012, the Camry comes equipped with an all-new six-speed automatic transmission, as well as a taller final drive ratio of 3.634 in four-cylinder models and 3.458 on V6 vehicles for improved fuel economy. In addition, the gearbox features flexible logic for torque converter lock-up that can allow the converter to provide some slip to no slip at all, depending on the situation. The driver can manipulate gear selection via a bump shifter on the console or, on SE models, by wheel-mounted paddle shifters. ”

        Yes, the the V6 and the new 2.5 AR were released this year. However let’s keep in mind they are both updated engines. The Camry launch was delayed due to the economic crisis and the recall mess, both engines were originally designed for the seventh gen. It is not the same GenVI engine that’s been around since 2006.

      • 0 avatar
        Canuck129

        The 2.4L in the 2007-2011 hybrid is a 2AZ-FXE version of the regular 2AZ-FE and it is atkinson cycle, regardless of what your source is telling you. Feel free to dig a little deeper if you wish.

        You made it sound like the previous Camry did not have a 6 speed transmission. (new engine, and finally a 6 speed) It has had a 6 speed since the ’07 model was launched in ’06. Also the V-6 is not a new one. Perhaps certain parts of the engine control have been changed, but the engine hasn’t.

        The 2.5 is the most recent engine that was designed specifically for the refresh year (MY 2009) and had nothing to do with the economic crisis.

        All that being said, all of these powertrains are easily up to the task, and in my eyes seem very competitive if not class-leading. IMO it’s nice to have the option of a V-6 if I wish. I like what they’ve done here.

      • 0 avatar
        L'avventura

        @Canuk12

        You can feel free to take Edmunds to task over the 2.4l non-Atkinson cycle engine. Its cited in the link above, its from an article on the new Camry today, and I’ve directly quoted the portion.

        Also, the new six-speed gearbox is new. Yes, the Camry did have a six-speed before, but as the Autoblog link above goes into detail, its a brand new transmission. More over, it even has rev-matching on the down-shift.

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OCN76p9P4DI&feature=player_embedded

        As I’ve stated above, all cars these days have more evolutionary updates rather then being redesigned by scratch. Meaning that new parts are slowly introduced through the model cycle so that reliability can be kept in check.

        The huge step this car has made is in the chassis, 120-220lbs weight reduction, stiffer, and its suppose to be safer. I would consider calling this car a “re-skin” of the GenVI far more disingenuous.

  • avatar
    wallstreet

    This is a plain vanilla vehicle.

  • avatar
    VanillaDude

    Look at what Grandma is going to buy!
    Woo Hoo!

    ZZZZzzzzzz…..

    In other exciting news:
    McDonalds is adding an extra pickle in every Daily Double!

  • avatar
    rocketrodeo

    Meh.

  • avatar
    Dingleberrypiez

    Interior looks way improved from the pics. Last generation was super fugly and cheap feeling; easily the worst part of the car. Wonder how this one is in person.

  • avatar
    gottacook

    Is a manual transmission being offered in non-U.S. markets?

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      I don’t think they sell this car outside North America. It’s possible it’s sold in Australia—too lasy to check—but just about everyone else gets the (smaller) Sai or Avensis instead.

      As for the MT? Well, Toyota was one of the last to offer a manual transmission in a midsize car (they dropped it for ’11, as did Honda and I think Nissan; now only Mazda and, I think, Ford offer one). I doubt this car will get one.

  • avatar

    Well, it has less of the odd bulgy, pudgy look of the current Camry, so I guess the styling can pretty much be considered a success. Exciting it is not, but that isn’t what the Camry is for.

  • avatar
    L'avventura

    Looking at the press release, what I do find particularly striking is the Camry Hybrid’s market position.

    It gets 43 mpg city and 39 mpg highway, with a combined EPA of 41 mpg. Beating the Ford Fusion Hybrid(39mpg combined) slightly. It also gets a horsepower bump to 200hp.

    Those gains are not as interesting as the fact the hybrid is going to be priced at $25,900. Much cheaper then the Fusion hybrid which is $28,600 and cheaper even then the 2011 Camry Hybrid by over a grand.

    Given the pricing, it seems that Toyota wants to move a lot more hybrid units. Currently, the Camry hybrid represents a mere ~8% of its sales, this pricing seems to indicate that Toyota wants to change that.

    The hybrid could become a major sales driver for the Camry, but it begs the question, what the point of the Prius V is. The Camry Hybrid actually gets better mileage now then the Prius V, is more powerful, priced equivalently, and arguably has more utility.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      The Camry is a normal sedan, the Prius is a hatch, and a fair bit more outré. There’s a reasonable distinction of market, there.

      I’d question the point of the Prius V (or the Prius in general) were a hybrid Matrix or Sienna to arrive

      • 0 avatar
        L'avventura

        Clearly, there is distinction between a sedan and hatch. However, in the US market the desirability of a hatch isn’t incredibly high. Though in fairness, the Prius V is clearly designed for the Japanese market first and the US market as an afterthought.

        But at the same time, the Camry Hybrid, with its reduced price and better mileage, makes the Prius V a poor value proposition in the United States. Certainly there will be some that will be attracted to the Prius V’s form factor and name, but its seems that it’ll inhabit an increasingly narrower niche.

    • 0 avatar
      gottacook

      By “Currently, the Camry hybrid represents a mere ~8% of its sales” do you mean that ~8% of Toyota hybrids manufactured are Camrys, or that ~8% of Camrys sold are hybrids? What is the statistic for whichever meaning you didn’t intend?

  • avatar
    tikki50

    hey look its the next tire commercial car! It’s way too bland for me, yuck. They did a cheap job of trying to take the cadillac design (c pillar) and incorporate that, I gotta see it for myself with my own eyes. But so far, its not going to pass, competition in this segment has been heating up and this is what Toyota brought to the party! I think it’s Toyota’s turn to be beat with the stick.

  • avatar
    Loser

    Interior looks much improved but hard to tell without seeing/touching the real deal. Don’t like those wheels at all. Looks fine otherwise.

  • avatar
    tp33

    Meh…

    Slightly better looking and yet even blander than the old one. Not as ugly as the current gen Accord, nor as boring as the new Passat, and it will likely age better then the new Sonata (which, IMO, looks better in its Kia guise).

    I don’t care for the Malibu, but I think it’s a slightly better looking car than the new Camry. So is the Fusion.

    Best looking car in this segment: Buick! (when was the last time that was true, eh?)

  • avatar
    laphoneuser

    I like it. I mean, it’s a Camry, so I wasn’t really expecting too much.

    I like it better than the outgoing model, ESPECIALLY the interior.

    Depending on how the SE trim drives, I could see putting it on my list when replacing the Jetta next year.

  • avatar
    romanjetfighter

    Oh good. The little pockets behind the front seats are vinyl and not plastic + elastic bands. My friend put an umbrella in the front seat’s back pocket and now the elastic band is stretched out and the pocket won’t close. :(

  • avatar
    npbheights

    Hopefully they won’t be as poorly built as my 2009 Corolla. I will never again darken the doorway of a Toyota showroom.

  • avatar
    gessvt

    Does Toyota really care what car enthusiasts think of their Camry? I mean, it’s the definitive Point A to B car.

    • 0 avatar
      Canuck129

      I think they care enough. The new SE has had a chassis redesign with additional welds added for handling, 18″ wheels and with will do 0-60 in the low 6′s. Paddle shifters with rev matching downshifts and seats that wrap a little tighter, and body work that is no longer ‘tacked on’, what makes you think they don’t care? And if you think they don’t, then what other under 30k midsize sedan does care?

  • avatar
    Amendment X

    Remove bangle butt? Check!

    Increase greenhouse space? Check! (it appears so – look at the way the line creases downward after the sideview mirror)

    Competitive gas mileage? Check!

    Looks like we have a winner. C-pillars are quite chunky though.

  • avatar
    jj99

    All the negativity from the Detroities is good news. Detroitites would only be happy if Toyota goofed up. But they did not. They never do.

    And, it is a big shot over the UAW bow. Lowered prices. This will hit the Detroities hard since they need to get big prices on UAW junkeets in order to get UAW feed.

    • 0 avatar
      PintoFan

      The Camry is still priced ahead of most of the American competition. Unless the sales slide of the past 4 years can be reversed, then I’m pretty sure Toyota will have “goofed up” this car pretty badly. Considering that it seems to be virtually identical to the old one, I’m not guessing that we’re going to see current trends reversed.

      • 0 avatar
        84Cressida

        Too bad for you it’s not “virtually identical” as it’s an entirely new platform that weighs less, is stronger, has 100% new sheetmetal. jj99 is right on the money. The Detroiters bashing this car are only doing so because they know it’s going to be a hit, just like always.

  • avatar
    Ian Anderson

    Meh, it’s not bad looking at all. I wouldn’t mind if there was one in my driveway (of course I wouldn’t be the one putting it there).

  • avatar
    FromaBuick6

    If I needed a new family car, this would be it, hands down. Once you get past any silly illusions that any competitor is somehow tangibly better or “cooler,” there’s no real merit of one over the other. It’s not ugly or over styled, performance and efficiency are at the front of the class, it should be very comfortable and the interior looks like a nice upgrade.

    I’ve been around Toyotas all my life. They aren’t exciting, but they do their job very well. Once you get over all the kiddie fanboy crap and realize that the kind of car you drive is absolutely irrelevant to your quality of life, owning an appliance car makes a lot sense to those of us who have priorities other than owning a “cool” car.

    The endless internet babbling about this car and the new Civic has made a lot of popular car sites pretty hard for me to stomach these days.

    • 0 avatar
      kowsnofskia

      Agree completely (despite the fact that I’d still like to own some “cool” cars someday)…the bashing of all “appliance” cars is annoying and absurd. There’s no question that overall my general “quality of life” is vastly more improved by owning a reliable, efficient car vs a “cool” one – at least at this point in my life.

    • 0 avatar
      PintoFan

      The problem with your analysis is that there are competitors building demonstrably better or equal “appliance cars” these days, and selling them at lower prices with more options. Nobody ever said that the Fusion, Malibu, or Sonata were terribly “exciting” cars (at least not in base trim), but they do offer better features and better value for the money, at an equal level of reliability. The only “kiddie fanboy crap” that I keep seeing is the insistence that Toyota can do no wrong, despite the fact that they seem to be ignoring that they are getting outcompeted from every direction in their premier segments. The exact same thing could be said for the new Civic too. It’s not good enough to build milquetoast cars anymore and sell them on reliability alone; that bridge was crossed a decade ago, and no, I don’t feel like I’m going out on a limb to say that. Especially not when the Japanese have chosen now of all times to decontent.

      • 0 avatar
        jimmyy

        You must get your reliability information from GM and Ford commercials. Try consumer reports. Toyota and Honda are light years ahead of GM and Ford in reliability.

        Plus, the V6 Camry SE will outrun and outhandle any domestic competitor.

        GM and Ford cars are for lower class buyers who don’t have the credit score to get anything better.

      • 0 avatar
        FromaBuick6

        But they aren’t demonstrably better. Strip away the flavor-of-the-month styling and overly positive press, and the Hyundai is equal to the current Camry, at best. Same uninspired handling, same so-so interior plastics. Yes the standard four has more horsepower, but its also saddled with direct injection, which is bound to be as big of pain as Honda’s timing belts. The turbo looks cool in theory, but offers no real advantage over competing V6s. And the 10 year warranty’s nice, but if dealer service is as worthless as my local Ford dealer’s, that warranty’s not worth the paper its printed on.

        The Fusion is an inferior product. Sorry. Better features? You mean like the half-baked SYNC system with its laughable dot-matrix display? Or how about the pathetically cheap plastics and fabrics? Or perhaps you were referring to the carryover 2006 bodywork and carryover 1996 Duratec engine. And the Fusion’s at the bottom of my shopping list as long as its made in Mexico while every one of its competitors is assembled by American workers.

        And don’t insult us both by claiming the unreleased, unreviewed, unpriced Malibu is somehow better.

        As far as decontenting goes, am I the only one who appreciates the irony of the domestic fanboys suddenly lambasting the Japanese for cheap interiors after decades of insisting that the PlaySkool crap GM put in every one of its cars was somehow irrelevant?

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        FromaBuick6,

        Honda hasn’t sold a 4 cylinder with a timing belt in the US market in a decade. Other than that, I agree with what you’ve written. People that insist on direct injection in this class will pay a high price for their ignorance.

      • 0 avatar
        tankinbeans

        @FromaBuick6

        Forgive my ignorance, but is the new Optima direct injected (I’m assuming it is since it keeps being brought up)? If so is that why its mileage number is practically identical to the 2.0l found in the Forte, which I currently own? I’ve tried to figure out how they would be the same given the increased size, horsepower, and likely weight over the smaller car.

        I’m still not sure why direct injection is a big deal. Sometimes I have a hard time wrapping my head around some of these mechanical aspects of different engine designs.

  • avatar
    Canuck129

    Better in every way than the 2011. Kept the looks clean, didn’t “busy it up” like some of its competitors, and a greatly improved interior that has also been kept very clean. They also kept a proper V-6 with Rev matching on the downshift!!!

  • avatar
    mikedt

    I know bland sells. But would it kill Toyota to offer an optional extra cost stick shift and suspension package for those of us that need a reliable family hauler but still want some fun,

  • avatar
    George B

    Good enough to be the 2012 car sales leader.

    I like the looks of the 2012 Camry SE better than the 2011. Fixed the nose bump, goofy tail lights, and the afterthought/tacked on lower body cladding. Passengers will be glad they kept a traditional sedan roofline. Not in love with the new SE wheels and wish they had tried to disguise the FWD front overhang a little more.

    I like the weight reduction and fuel economy improvement. Big car interior volume with economy car operating costs for the 4 cylinder models.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    I have no issues with the re-design. At least they toned down the eagle beak. The Camry will do fine, I’m sure. About the Camry – Corolla similarities – good! No different than the Impala – Chevelle big/little brother similarity in the 1960′s and off and on in later years.

    I’m waiting to see what GM does with the Impala if I’ll buy one for my next car.

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      Impy is dead car walkin’. Take your pick on year it ends but I believe 2014 is the last year for the W-Body Impala. One can only hope and dream that the Caprice PPV moves into that space to serve as the large Chevy sedan, but signs point to no.

  • avatar
    Educator(of teachers)Dan

    TOYOTA CAMRY, NOW 20% MORE “ANY-CAR” THAN BEFORE!

  • avatar
    PintoFan

    Not good enough, and it won’t reverse the volume loss unless they really start to throw money at customers. And then they’re getting into territory that they can’t possibly hope to compete with GM in. Boring is out. Features are in. Now it’s a 3-way race between Honda, Toyota, and Volkswagen to see how quickly they can flush all of their brand equity down the toilet.

    • 0 avatar
      wallstreet

      That’s old news:

      APR Offer: 0% APR for 60 months plus $1000 Subvention Cash ( up to Tier 3 credit).

    • 0 avatar
      84Cressida

      Must be why the current Camry outsells the supposedly “exciting” Malibu with less fleet sales and $$ on the hood, right? And not good enough? I guess having best in class Hybrid MPGs, a 30 MPG HWY 268 HP V6 that accelerates like a rocket, 10 standard airbags, Entune, and a cheaper MSRP than the outgoing model while still retaining high levels of standard features and improving interior quality significantly isn’t enough for someone of your high standards.

      The Toyota bashers need to get real. The Malibu, Koreans, Fusion, etc are in no way more exciting than this car, and I’d pit a Camry V6 (especially the SE) against any one of those all day at the track or the drag strip. The new Camry just improves upon a winning formula that has done Toyota well for years and the new car will continue to be the one to beat and be a major headache for the competition for the forseeable future, much to your dismay I know.

    • 0 avatar
      30-mile fetch

      How do you know it’s not good enough when it hasn’t been driven yet?

  • avatar

    nice enough interior, exterior is about as exciting as kissing your sister…

  • avatar
    stickmaster

    Hybrid looks like a very interesting car. Quite efficient and reasonably powerful.

    Still, I don’t think automakers are yet pushing the boundaries of efficiency. Why exactly should a car have 10 airbags or the same basic design that’s been around for 20 years?

    I’m waiting for the Prius killing car, sans novocaine, before trading in my V6 Accord.

  • avatar
    V16

    Toyota plays it ‘safe’. The problem is ‘safe’ isn’t good enough to
    grow share in a competitive mid size market.

  • avatar
    dwight

    Looks solid, well-built, nice riding and very safe. Just like everyone else. I wouldn’t expect anything else from Toyota, especially in their big seller. For some reason, boring works in this case.

  • avatar
    Monty

    Toyota has now made the leap over the rest of the field – this should tighten the race in the mid-size segment. Ford, GM and Honda will have to improve and evolve their respective mid-sizers to leapfrog Toyota again.

    Continuous incremental improvements have been the Toyota way – no need to change that philosophy in mid-game, eh?

    I like that the looks have been toned down from the previous generation, and based on photos only, may I add, that the interior looks to be improved also.

    It’s not a homerun from Toyota – it’s another solid double. To further the baseball analogy, teams that play “little ball” usually win series, not just games.

    The mid-size segment is only going to get better as the other competitors up their game to compete.

  • avatar
    Carzzi

    Subaru Legacy-esque tail-lamp treatment. I am all verklempt.

  • avatar
    gslippy

    IMO, the real question is whether Hyundai has anything to worry about due to the new Camry. I think not.

    But the Altima’s brief reign may be over soon.

  • avatar
    mopar4wd

    Wow looks like a Fusion and Legacy had a love child. Doesn’t look bad. But not sure it’s all that exciting.

  • avatar
    segfault

    Is this a facelift or an all-new model? Because it looks like a facelift, as does the 2012 Civic.

  • avatar
    Z71_Silvy

    Not bad. fits right in with the sea of bland/boring mid-sized sedans out there (save the Sonata).

    MPG gauge is cool though.

  • avatar
    drifter

    Camry outsells entire VW brand, it deserves more respect that it gets here .

  • avatar
    30-mile fetch

    Enthusiasts aren’t going to embrace this car, but Toyota did a number of things with it that enthusiasts should respect:

    Kept the same size as previous generation, yet it weighs less and gets better gas mileage. Improved interior materials, dash layout and front seats. Thinner A-pillars for better visibility. Continuation of very competent and competitive drivetrains rather than premature abandonment for charismatic technology.

    This isn’t an enthusiast’s vehicle, but from early reports it seems as if Toyota is taking a few steps back to the quality, reliability, and attention to detail they used to be known for. I have a hard time criticizing them for that. But we’ll see how the full reviews go.

  • avatar
    amac

    Strange. This morning, my first reaction was “Meh” but now it seems to be growing on me. Cleaner lines. Nice interior. I dunno, who expects the Camry to be exciting anyway? But what do I know? I’m drunk.

  • avatar
    Athos Nobile

    Ummm, the thing looks nice, better than the current one.

    I like the interior, mostly the beige one. The steering looks real cool with those PS3 control style buttons, and the stitching in the dash seem like something we’ll see in many new cars in the future. The shifter looks very similar to the one being employed by Chrysler currently.

    The front of the car looks like the current Corolla should have looked since the beginning. The side looks too much like the 2001-2006 one, which I never liked. The rear looks like a copy if the current Legacy… not very good. But overall, is better than the current one.

    Any news if it’s going to have a V6?

  • avatar
    Scott_314

    Since the Corolla is a long, low, attractive wedge shape especially with the sport package (though it has an untidy rear end), yes. Some photos and a review to consider: http://www.lasplash.com/publish/Vehicle_Reviews/2009_Toyota_Corolla_XRS_–_Review-Road_Test.php

    I think this is it, Toyota actually hits a homer. (Of course, the internets in their current Toyota-Honda hatefest will take longer than the general public to come back around).

    • 0 avatar
      texan01

      to me the Corolla looks to be very unfriendly for visibility, but then again the last couple Toyota’s I’ve liked have been the mid ’90s Camry, and the Supra along with the MR2.

  • avatar
    tankinbeans

    I don’t mind it as it is certainly more appealing that the current generation, but looking at that front end gives a sense of deja vu. I mean I see those headlights every morning, on my Forte. Are they using the same supplier.

    If I don’t get cut off by one driven by a poodle-haired oblivioid I’m willing to let it live. I’ve been cut off by too many people driving Camries to count.

  • avatar
    TheHammer

    Could be last hurrah for Camry. Only a matter of time before Fusion, Malibu eclipse this tired car.

  • avatar
    thebanana

    Bland and boring. Makes vanilla look exciting.

  • avatar
    olivehead

    Shockingly bland even for this market segment. It looks like it was designed by the current Honda design team. I agree that the Sonata styling may be a bit too “gimmicky”; perhaps the best styling in this segment belongs to the Optima, with some reservations.

  • avatar
    PennSt8

    Inside and out the design just doesn’t seem to flow well, and it comes across as disjointed. No thanks.

    • 0 avatar
      Canuck129

      Doesn’t flow well? That really begs the question… What vehicle, in your opinion does flow well? I don’t see a bit of “disjointedness” in this car. This car is far less “busy” than most of its competitors.

  • avatar
    Wagen

    I wonder how well the relatively low-looking lip on the front bumper is going to go over with appliance buyers when they scrape it on parking lot kerbs.

  • avatar
    Mandalorian

    I miss the old 4-spoke steering wheel.


Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Subscribe without commenting

Recent Comments

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Staff

  • Contributing Writers

  • Jack Baruth, United States
  • Brendan McAleer, Canada
  • Marcelo De Vasconcellos, Brazil
  • Vojta Dobes, Czech Republic
  • Matthias Gasnier, Australia
  • W. Christian 'Mental' Ward, Abu Dhabi
  • Mark Stevenson, Canada
  • Cameron Aubernon, United States
  • J Emerson, United States