A lot of talks were going on before the launch of the all-new 2012 Toyota Camry. It is criticized by the public for its conservative styling and uses technologies 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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Hanzo AutoBuzz
This author represents all writers that had contributed in our previous website Hanzo AutoBuzz.