Facelift 2022 Camry’s new feature makes it more Lexus than Toyota

Three years after it was first revealed at the Kuala Lumpur International Motor Show in 2018, UMW Toyota Motor has launched the 2022 facelift Toyota Camry. It’s fully imported from Thailand and like before, it’s only available in a single variant; priced from RM199,109.

On the outside, the bulk of the changes lies at the front. With a significantly redesigned front bumper, with an additional camera and some sensors for the Panoramic View Monitor, the changes to the exterior are quite subtle but in our opinion, have made the 2022 Toyota Camry more elegant than before.

Despite already a 3-year old design (in Malaysia), these minor tweaks have not only made a 2018 car look fresh in 2022 but could also offer a timeless effect in the long run.

RELATED: Find how Toyota transformed the Camry’s driving characteristic with the TNGA platform!

The new 2022 Toyota Camry gets a new 2.5-litre engine, with more power and torque at 209 hp and 253 Nm, along with a new 8-speed transmission that replaces the previous 6-speed unit. The new powertrain promises better real-world fuel efficiency, and better response and performance.

Inside is a larger touchscreen, a head-up display, less old-fashioned trims, and for the first time, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto but these, along with the new engine and transmission, still aren’t the biggest gamechanger for the new facelift Camry.

It’s what they’ve added at the back, that makes it more Lexus than Toyota – a console on the rear armrest with controls for the infotainment and rear air-con system – just like the Lexus ES we reviewed. Along with switches on the front passenger seat that allows the rear passenger to move the front seat, Toyota seems to have further raised the premium image of the Camry.

Already an overqualified family sedan, it’s now just as suitable to be a limo but that’s not all. The rear seats are now reclinable! Yes, and adjusted through the armrest console. If that doesn’t make the Camry feel Lexus-like, I don’t know what does. Weirdly enough though, in untypical Toyota fashion, they didn’t offer storage beneath the armrest.

Coming back down to earth, it’s not entirely a bed of roses. Unfortunately, the more high-tech armrest does have a downside. When it’s not used to chauffeur you to work, and instead as a family car – carrying three at the back – the passenger in the middle may not have the most comfortable ride.

That’s because the armrest doesn’t tuck in entirely, and is almost too upright for the front passenger to enjoy the plush ride and suspension of the Camry. Ooops.

It’s as the cliche saying goes, “We can’t have it all”. That being said, despite having the reclinable rear seats, Toyota said the new feature has not affected the Camry’s boot space, at a generous 493-litres.

What are your thoughts on the 2022 Toyota Camry? Are you thinking about the Passat Elegance or even the R-Line? Stay tuned for the comparison!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here