New Car Round-Robin: 2012 Toyota Camry LE

Posted on 25. Aug, 2011 by in Auto News

Back in 1994, I bought a new Toyota Camry. It drove like an underpowered Mercedes with an advanced sixteen-valve four-cylinder engine. Unbelievably quiet, refined, and durable beyond compare. The Camry offered a quality time that most other car manufacturers could not even adjust the price twice.

To spread the good news throughout the country. Within eight years, had everyone in my family. Along with millions of other cars buyer a Camry or a Lexus ES300 in their garage By 2002, Toyota had the Toyota Camry has a gold standard in the U.S. market and annually decimated the rest of the best selling cars rankings. The Camry was dominant, price aggressive, ubiquitous, and even hated.

Hated it was first and. Especially by those enthusiasts who always want to offer a mainstream car that more thrills If your needs were more on the pistachios and less on the vanilla side of things, the Camry was not for you. When Jim Press, when he was still at Toyota would say. "We make the best vanilla there"

Then there was a mainstream backlash. En content and quality related recall issues have been a number of competitors to convert the possibility the Camry faithful. Not to mention those who still had the Camry connected professionally.

Toyota had been the loss of conquest. Not Toyota owners due to the outgoing generation staid styling and it is near-SUV like massiveness The recent recalls and quality problems hurt. Since 2008 Camry sales slumped, while Fusion, Sonata and Altima have all gained ground.

The Toyota Camry has a tough road ahead. Can this brand new 2012 Toyota Camry LE on a once proud tradition of outclassed the competition to wear? Or is it just one of the herd? The truth is …

Toyota is not in a dominant position. The new Camry offers a variety of virtues that satisfy the old model could not. It is still not excite.

The exterior trim is beautiful and in a manner eerily reminiscent of the 2002 -. 2006 Generation The front offers a slightly sporting pretension very in tune with today's combination of sharp creases and low cowls. Side profile is modern without bloated. The rear has the bloat removed, and to be honest … it is a nice mainstream design. Nobody will reject the Camry for its good looks.

When you get into the driver's seat, you have 2011 all functions of a beautiful vehicle about. The seats have good side bolsters. Toyota's new Entune multimedia system allows you to perform a series of commands and modern comfort. From getting movie tickets. With directions and restaurant reservations. So that you can use your mobile phone in one hand by integrating the functions of your phone and contacts with those of the Entune wireless system. Toyota will be even upgrade this system as new features are available … the system and its ease of use is commendable. Nobody will reject the Camry for its multimedia features.

The interior has many of the elements better selling Toyota models. The thin seam of the instrument panel from the happy Lexus CT200h performed while many of the controls to be derivative from other models such as the elevated RX and Highlander be. The steering wheel is nice, thick, and has a quality feel to it. To be honest, the only weak points in the interior of the wafer thin wood and aluminum accents. Together with the cheap plastic buttons that controls standard and optional surround sound system Entune system. A weakness that is shared with every modern day Camry competitor. Nobody will reject the Camry for its inner quality. It guides the medium segment.

The Toyota Camry is the line well maintained at $ 22,500 for the LE version, which is $ 200 cheaper than the previous model. The 2.5 iter 4-cylinder engine provides 178 hp along with a matching class combined 28 mpg (26 city / 35 highway). 10 airbags, a long list of vehicle safety control systems and an expected 5-star NCAP safety rating and IIHS is probably the Camry LE in its class. No one will refuse Camry based on the specifications.

The handling and suspension tuning is also at the forefront of the field. The previous model does not do Toyota any favors when it comes to attracting buyers looking for some sport in their quest came. The new model is a tour de force. It is a precision instrument to use, and a flatness in curves, that is as unexpected as it is seductive. If Toyota were the only ones with this performance on the market today, it would be 1994 all over again (though 1994 Camry SE). Nobody is on the Camry as it drives refuse. But then again …

The Camry has a lot of competition: Altima, Fusion, Optima and Sonata, to name a few. The Altima 2.5 and Fusion SE offer similar specifications to the Camry LE without the reputation of luggage is the car of choice for older people.

Are they better cars? Time will tell. But also improved with the Camry and offers fuel economy and safety than either Ford or Nissan models and comparable real world handling, the Fusion and Altima will continue to be perceived as a sporty and youthful than the Camry. Nevertheless, some people might reject the Camry for its reputation as an "older person" car. Even if the content measures up.

The Optima and Sonata have the added advantage of price and warranty. The Sonata and Optima are about $ 1800 cheaper if you look headlong into the MSRP. When you start looking at the features and benefits, the deficit narrowed significantly. But in this market, the price advantage is partly a perception. A car that seems to be the better deal can be selected on the better car.

Then there's the warranty. Toyota only subtly acknowledged the recent recall questions during the press conference. Paying more attention to the large reduction in inventory from 250,000 cars to 113,000 due to the tsunami. That's not what Camry's market share decreased from 18.8 percent in 2009 to 13.8 percent today.

The reality is that a 10 year / 100,000 mile warranty offers complete tranquility for people who are looking beyond the Camry. The Hyundai / Kia models have off some buyers who do not look like the more aero and European. On the other hand, the design was a net plus was with both vehicles sold now on its production capacity in a declining market. Yet some people who could Camry for other cars offers another European project and reject a longer warranty.

Overall, I believe the Camry LE is some people who want the "sporty" car lose leading along with all the usual virtues of a middle class limousine (high content, security, and reliability). It is inevitable to lose sales to Hyundai / Kia juggernaut, now offers a better warranty and a lower price. Who knows? It may even lose sales of the next generation Malibu? Or the Passat, which offers an authentic European reputation wrapped in an all-American design?

The Camry lose any sales in this current competitors are in a metric that is most important. The Camry is the better car? Time will tell on the long-term measure of the durability and owner satisfaction. But if you look at the overall fuel efficiency, safety, reliability and comfort of the Camry, the answer will probably be an emphatic yes.

The 2012 Camry LE should inevitably overcome, the baggage of the recent past. It's a great car. Not eliminate most mainstream buyers who are looking to the satisfaction of ownership for the next 10 + years It's a winner …. under a medium-sized segment that seems to attract more bullseyes than ever.