As proven by its class-leading sales, the Toyota Camry is exactly what executives and professionals want in a midsize car. However, we think it wouldn’t hurt to spruce it up a little. After all, the midsize-sedan segment is more competitive now with a fresh contender from Honda, as well as a certain Top Gear COTY winner from Mazda.
This afternoon, Toyota Motor Philippines unveiled a refreshed Camry. The most prominent change--and you will immediately notice it--is the redesigned front end. It’s very reminiscent of Toyota’s own Avalon full-size sedan, a model not sold in our market. Our Camry is also similar to the Euro-market model introduced late last year. Toyota calls the face an “under-priority and keen look.” The new headlight cluster uses LED daytime running lights, making the Camry stand out even during the day. The side rocker moldings and the bottom sections of the front and rear side panels have also been upgraded.
At the back, the taillights also get the LED treatment, accompanied by a new rear bumper. With a hint of sportiness, the trunk edge now has a spoiler-like shape that supposedly helps airflow smoothly over the rear.
Inside, improvements include a new high-definition meter and multi-information display. There’s also clear blue cabin illumination that creates a classy atmosphere for night drives. This kind of lighting used to be the exclusive domain of luxury cars.
Under the hood, the same reliable 2.5-liter four-cylinder Dual VVTi and 3.5-liter V6 Dual VVTi engines can be found. All variants get a six-speed sequential automatic transmission. Safety features are also retained: ABS, EBD, brake assist, hill start assist, and vehicle stability control.
And in what is probably a sign of the Vios Cup DNA seeping into the Camry lineup, a new Camry S variant is now available. It has five-spoke 17-inch alloy wheels and dual-exhaust tailpipes with diffusers. In the cabin, there are paddle shifters for a more in-control driving feel, as well as black leather seats with red stitching to complete the sporty look.
Toyota Motor Philippines president Michinobu Sugata personally introduced the Japanese carmaker's newest model: "Since its introduction in 1996, the Camry has been very much welcomed by executives and customers with a discriminating taste for comfort and an excellent ride. With an edgier feel but still embodying every inch of luxury, this new model definitely offers more in terms of its features and even in its emotional appeal."
This Toyota midsize goodness comes in four variants:
* 3.5 V6 - P2,128,000
* 2.5 V - P1,745,000
* 2.5 S - P1,645,000
* 2.5 G - P1,511,000
We think we now have the Camry we’ve always wanted to see.
Photos by Dinzo Tabamo