Vince Pornelos / Dean Ang | April 26, 2012 14:42
Redefining the executive class
Toyota has just launched their 6th new model for the year with the launch of the all new 2012 Toyota Camry, following the launches of the all new Avanza and Prius C, as well as 3 refreshed models with the Innova, Yaris and Land Cruiser 200. The launch event took place today at the Sofitel Philippine Plaza.
Globally, the Camry celebrates its 30th anniversary this year. The Philippine market only got their first official Camrys back in 1996 replacing the market position of the venerable Corona (the Exsior was the last variant). During that time, the Camry nameplate was already on its 6th generation in other markets.
That particular model was followed by a more successful model in 2001, and was subsequently followed by the outgoing Camry in 2006. Toyota followed the Asian direction for the Philippine market for the 2006 to 2012 model but shared the same engineering architecture (XV40) as the Camry sold in the U.S.
The launch of the 2012-2013 Camry (XV50) marks the third generation of the Camry brand in the country.
Exterior design and dimensions
Toyota's designers have given the 2012 Camry an all new look more akin towards their upmarket brothers at Lexus. Though the 'L' brand has transitioned towards a spindle grille, the Camry does have a good dose of style similar to the L-Finesse in previous Lexus models. Character lines and creases on the bumper, hood and the side profile lend a proper sense of class and presence. The top variant gets 17-inch wheels while the midrange and low range models get 16-inch rims.
The Camry measures nearly identical as before, with only minor adjustments. The new model is slightly longer at 4825mm (old: 4806mm), slightly taller at 1470mm (old: 1460mm) and slightly wider at 1825mm (old: 1821mm). The top of the line model is also a little taller at 1480mm. Wheelbase remains virtually unchanged at 2775mm (old: 2776mm).
Interior design and features
The interior has been thoroughly redesigned, utilizing premium materials and Toyota's typical quality fit and finish. The cabin gets many modern touches, such as a sleeker, more advanced layout for the controls and buttons, with an extensive set of audio controls and other buttons on the steering wheel. The top of the line model gets all the premium appointments such as cream leather, power adjust for the seats, recline for the rear passenger, cruise control, a Nano-E 'exfoliating' air filter, a push start system and a more advanced audio system with iPod compatibility, among other things.
Powertrain and suspension
The previous generation had two engines: a 3.5 liter V6 with 277 PS (metric horsepower) and a 2.4 liter inline-4 with 170 PS. For this new generation, Toyota has retained the 3.5 liter V6 and replaced the 2.4 liter with a slightly larger 2.5 liter motor. The 2.5 liter version makes 181 PS, 11 more than the 2.4L. Both the 3.5 and 2.5 Camrys get a 6-speed automatic, both of which also have a sequential select (+/-) mode.
On paper, the suspension set up remains virtually identical to the prior version with MacPherson struts in front and dual-link struts in the back. Only a test drive will determine if there is any change into the way the new model handles on the road and -more importantly- how it drives.
Safety and security
As expected, the Camry being Toyota's flagship sedan in the country, it has been outfitted with a long list of standard safety equipment. All variants get 4-wheel disc brakes with ABS, EBD and brake assist. The top of the line model gets 4 airbags and stability control, while other versions get 2 airbags without stability assist.
For security and peace of mind, the 2.5V has transponder keyfobs for easy, key-in-your-pocket driving while the lower versions get the classic ignition keys. All variants have an alarm, siren and immobilizer.
Variants and prices
Toyota Camry 3.5Q V6: PhP2,097,000 (White Pearl)
Toyota Camry 3.5Q V6: PhP2,082,000 (Standard Colors)
Toyota Camry 2.5V: PhP1,696,000 (White Pearl)
Toyota Camry 2.5V: PhP1,681,000 (Standard Colors)
Toyota Camry 2.5G: PhP1,466,000 (White Pearl)
Toyota Camry 2.5G: PhP 1,451,000 (Standard Colors)