It was once again the number-one passenger car (based on sales) in America last year - a spot that it’s comfortably enjoyed almost every year since the late 90s - and yet, in a bold move, Toyota decided to redesign the Camry.
Turns out it was a good call. After thirty years of satisfying performance and sales, the ‘12 version continues the tradition of comfort, power, and good looks, while applying a fresh coat of paint.
This car is a champ, and I can’t see anyone knocking it off the pedestal anytime soon. Here’s what I found after a week behind the wheel…
For starters, the Camry has a bold and interesting look to it. No, it won’t turn heads, necessarily, and some will crow that it looks like other cars in the Toyota stable. I don’t get that, personally; the engineers simply know how to craft a streamlined sedan that is eye-appealing while it also delivers performance.
I drove the SE (one of a handful of trim levels) and enjoyed its well-powered V6. At the same time, that power won’t eat you alive at the pump; the Camry pulls in a respectable 25 mpg combined, even touching 30 mpg on the highway.
The handling is smooth and dependable. You often forget that you’re tooling around in a car that is base-priced at a touch over $26k. While gearheads might pine for a bit more feel from the road, I’m the guy who writes reviews for the average Joe, and trust me, you won’t feel like you’re missing anything.
The interior has had a few changes, but for the most part the Camry continues to offer functional, intuitive controls. You’ll also be happy with the roominess inside; this is truly a passenger car that can accommodate passengers. Don’t laugh at that comment: there are plenty of them out there that don’t.
Once again Toyota has a winner. Yes, the folks at GM have been busy cranking out some quality competition - which is good for everyone - but the 2012 Camry will be able to weather the blows.