A closer look at the Toyota Camry - a no-nonsense car by Toyota

01/09/2012 - 23:45 | Toyota | Gaurav Malik

Toyota launched the 7th generation Camry in India with subtle features yet packing loads of technology. With a whole new list of features and a global fan following network of Toyota quality and trust, the new Camry will surely impress the right people.

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Don’t be fooled by its conventional looks. The aerodynamic shape now has F1 like technology to not just decrease the aerodynamic drag but even to make the car more stable at high speeds.

The front bumper sort of cuts flat and the shape of the corner is to cut through air. The small bits beside the ORVMs cause the air to make a spiral movement making the car more stable at high speeds. Even the underbody is designed to decrease the drag.

The tagline “Lead By Example” is for the prospective buyer to be able to connect with the car. The brochure shows the Camry parked in front of statues of some of the most powerful and influential people in the history of mankind.

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The overall quality and fit & finish of the car, whether it being plastic, wood, leather, metal panels, bumper is top notch and is certainly best in the segment.

Toyota skipped all the unnecessary clutter out and put clever and practical bits instead. On paper the Camry might be easily beaten by any of it competitors but when it comes to practically using the car in real life, it can scare every rival away.

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One of the clever bits with the light coming on when you slide open the mirror.

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The boot is big enough to engulf everything a family can throw at it and although it's accessible through rear seat's armrest but there's a separate lid for that as well.

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The front passenger seat gets 4-way adjustment buttons on the side for the chauffeur's convenience. Both front seats are 12-way power adjustable.

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A full size spare sits under the boot and the taillights get the LED treatment, just for clear visibility, no fancy stuff here too.

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The glove-box compartment is adequate and the push release function of the cubbyholes have been carried over from the last generation Camry. The six-speed automatic transmission will help with improving efficiency and making the drive smoother.

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The parking brake lever is placed at an appropriate distance from the brake pedal. The shapes of both boot release switch and the fuel lid release switch are an innovative touch.

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The steering mounted controls are now placed in a cross pattern to improve functionality yet being simple to use. The buttons are well spaced and big enough to be operated even with gloves on.

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The engine push-button start is 'mandatory'. The functioning of air vents is smooth and precise. The dials gets white backlight and all the important info is available here itself.

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The front automatic headlamps gets HID bulbs and individual washers. Automatic headlights and rain sensors are other a few other features in this department.

Driving impressions

We spent about 30 minutes behind the wheel of the Camry recently in Bengaluru and we were impressed by the driving qualities of this vehicle. 10/10 times the customer would be relaxing at the rear seat which gets ample amounts of knee and headroom, is appointed in leather and is equipped with a shutter to access the boot space, a dedicated air-con vent and a very supportive seat.

Toyota Camry 2.5G
The new engine is bigger, more powerful and more fuel efficient than the outgoing engine.

Toyota have installed a powerful horn for the Indian conditions and the shifted the release levers to the driver's side.

The Camry is powered by a new 2.5-litre petrol engine installed with Dual VVT-i technology. It makes 178bhp, which is 11bhp higher compared to the outgoing 2.4-liter engine. It is mated to a six-speed automatic gearbox.\

Toyota Camry rear seat and storage pockets
The rear seat is supremely supportive and plenty of storage spaces are within reach. Check out the fluffy carpeting.

The start button brings to life a hardly audible engine that revvs without any signs of vibration. The motor does get a bit audible at higher revvs, but there's nothing alarming here.

Toyota Camry dashboard
The combination of the fake wood inserts, beige plastics and leather trim slowly begin to grow on you

During our short test drive we were able to notice that the incoming Camry has a stiffer suspension setup and the steering is not all that communicative.

Toyota Camry Head-Up Display
The Head-Up Display came in useful during our brief time behind the wheel

Our verdict - This really is a no-nonsense car with no flashy stuff but you really shouldn't underestimate it by its looks.

This car, being a Toyota, stays true to its company's terms of the vehicle being more about the real-life experience than to be just about boasting a 3 digit number feature-list on the brochure. Sadly, with no diesel engine in sight means it is not going to rake in any volumes in the forseable future.

For the brochure and technical specifications, click here.

Toyota Camry Image Gallery

[can't see the image gallery above? Head over to Flickr]

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