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Thread: Just got our first '12 Camrys in...

  1. #1
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    Californian by nature, living in Teggsas.
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    Just got our first '12 Camrys in...

    I am typically not given to salivating at the prospect of driving a Camry, but the novelty factor drew me in. Not really a comprehensive review, more of a first look with a slight bent on fuel economy (I am a "mild" hypermiler )

    I'm neither here nor there on the styling, a little boxy and unimaginitive, with a dowdy roofline, however the front reminds me of Acura's recent fascias - something I didn't see in photos. The seats seem improved. As always there's plenty of room inside, though my impression is that the front feels a little more cramped, even though I can't tell that it actually is. I didn't do any hammer down testing, but the car feels quite adequate IMO, and the transmission seems to hold the higher gears just a little bit better. The trunk, disappointingly, looks smaller with more intrusive shock towers.

    Fit as always is excellent, but it's the finish where this car takes a huge leap forward - Toyota hit it out of the ballpark with the choice of materials used. Soft touch dash cap, nice fabric on the seats, and door panels with a much more expensive feel are all present. The only thing that felt cheap were the HVAC dials. I'm not wild about the look of the new interior - the previous generation's "glass face" look was IMHO very classy and understated, if boring, and the little "wave" the dash cap takes on the passenger side is just plain weird. Instrumentation is quite good, and though I miss the large dials of the previous generation, the "tucked away" gauge needles look as good as the last Camry's did, albeit just different. The big deal in instrumentation is the inclusion of an LCD touchscreen with access to a Prius-like fuel consupmtion readout. Unfortunately I couldn't tell how to let it record the entire trip, engine stops and all, but suffice it to say that it's one of the best, most powerful factory fuel economy (FE) tools you will find on any car. One screen shows your instantaneous fuel economy along with 15 minutes of fuel economy history, displayed in 1-minute average increments. The history screen shows your overall fuel economy since the last start cycle; hit the "refresh" button and you can store 4 segments plus your current segment. There is also an analog FE readout in the gauge cluster echoing the history screen's current segment FE calculations. FE seems excellent, I would guess my car wash route to have come out very close to 40mpg overall.

    The ride was on par with the last gen (very smooth and refined), but its reflexes have been sharpened, and it feels more confident in corners. Turn-in shows a shade less hesitation, and though Camry's body roll and front plow are still present, they take a back seat to its newfound reflexes. It's also quieter with a slightly heavier, but much more engaging steering feel. The steering wheel itself has a satisfying, meaty thick rim with the 10-and-2 hand contours. Braking is eminently controllable with nice pedal pressure.

    Overall, I feel this car is a VERY strong contender in the midsize sedan class - easily the best I have driven aside from the VW Passat, which is kind of in a different league anyway. Toyota's looking good again!
    Last edited by jcp123; 01-23-2012 at 08:52 PM.
    An it harm none, do as ye will

    Approximately 79% of statistics are made up.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
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    Not a fan of the Camry in terms of styling- in fact from the rear I hate it.

    I never really liked the driving dynamics of Toyotas, that was the car I learned how to drive in.

    I'm sure it's a fine car just to get around though.

  3. #3
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    Yeah, in its context, most people would be very happy with the way the car performs. I do rather like its comfort. However, the more I look at them, the less I like the styling as well.
    An it harm none, do as ye will

    Approximately 79% of statistics are made up.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    I'd have to say the styling has it looking more like a Corolla, not a good thing.
    Rented one few years ago, '09 I think, and found it competent for the Phoenix-Sedona trip. Unfortunately, I was at the time virtually incapable of driving an automatic.
    Last edited by BillK; 02-08-2012 at 03:55 AM.

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