Review: 2012 Toyota Camry SE

Posted on 26. Aug, 2011 by in Auto News

Most driving enthusiasts have written to the entire Camry line as the poster child for dull driving appliances. But those who overcome their prejudices and took the 2007-2011 Camry SE for a spin discovered surprisingly firm suspension tuning and with the V6, a smooth, powerful engine. The most courageous even tried to spread the word. Encountering an anti-Camry diatribe, they would reply, "But what about the SE" For 2012 there is a new Camry. An earlier review concerns the general changes, and especially the non-sports, non-hybrid versions. And the SE?


The Camry SE gets a customized back outside. For 2012, the side skirts are less aggressive, but the front end is so. Especially welcome: the regular Camry, the chrome grille, the heave ho is given. The four-cylinder, five-spoke alloys look a little undersized. The V6 racier 18s more completely fill the wheel arches and look better in person than in the photos. Overall, the improvements make the Camry SE a more attractive (such things-is relatively little loss is likely to be excited), but I still prefer (though often criticized) the complex curves of the 2011.

For most Camry interior there are a choice of beige and gray. In contrast to this the SE interior only in the coolest and hottest colors (depending on whether we are taken figuratively or literally) are offered: black. (Wait for red, or even brown? Keep waiting.) Helped with the 2007-2011 Camry, the dark shadows conceal the poverty of the interior plastics. While this is less necessary with the 2012, remains the welcome effect. The front seats: But the # 1 reason for the SE trim decide. For 2012, the regular Camry, the buckets have been deprived of something like lateral support. The SE seats much bigger boosts, more closely spaced page, conveniently and effectively own cup lower body. A power lumbar support is standard, avoid the lack of lower back support for the LE. Missed: vents are only in the XLE. Fortunately, not missing: unlike last year, extend the rear seatback folds around the trunk in the SE. Apparently they feel that the revised body rigid enough was without additional bracing.

The 178-hp four-cylinder engine makes a decent job of motivating the Camry. But that makes it sound not encourage frequent exercise, so there. A poor fit for the intended character of the SE I was able to spend a few minutes with the sweet 268-horsepower V6, and want more completely check it when I get a can for a week, but for enthusiasts, it is clearly the way to go. Although unchanged since 2007, the V6 is where competitors with its power delivery to meet or exceed them (and especially the Hyundai four turbochargers). In terms of sound and feel Compared to 2011, the SE V6 curb weight from £ 63 (around 3420), but the final drive ratio is a little bigger, so the acceleration remains about the same.

Fuel consumption is up, especially with the four who now leads the segment with EPA ratings of 25 mpg city, 35 highway. The V6 21/30 does not quite reach the Sonata 2.0T 's 22/34.

A funny thing has happened with the suspension settings. For 2012, the regular Camrys get firmer suspension tuning and improved suspension geometry, so treat them with much more precision and control than ever before. At the same time, the SE has exposure to the 2007 SE (the last year I drove a) mitigated. As a result, the sport model is no longer ride borderline tough, but the handling, while slightly more tightly than the normal Camry is similar and more accurate than the previous generation SE is a less dramatic step up. With both ride and handling, most of the difference is made in the tire. Compared to the regular Camry, Michelin Energy rubber, SE Michelin Primacy tires (17s with the four, 18s with the V6) clomp loudly and firmly over tar strips while sticking much better and with less effort in hard cornering. Even with the power swing in the Camry and I do not merge completely.

Engine choice makes a big difference. The V6 adds 180 pounds, all of them in the nose, and you feel every one of them in the heavier (but just as dumb) steering. This difference is a double-edged sword. The SE V6 feels solid and less shaky, but it feels heavier and less agile. As with all 2012 Camrys is silky low-speed feel that the line has won for the last two decades much less visible, apparently. Victim to the pursuit of higher EPA numbers, better handling, or lower costs

Overall, the 2012 Toyota Camry SE is a better car than the 2011. The interior is much improved, controlled body movements and better fuel economy (Toyota's primary focus with the redesign) has improved. But, as with the regular Camry some chassis design were abandoned. The biggest problem, however, concerns the cars character. The four-cylinder SE goes about his work with admirable precision and control, but feels soulless. Add in the buzzy four, and the car is not easy with. The V6 adds a healthy dose of thrill, but in my short drive his extra bulk seemed boring driving. Although handling is usually my top priority if I have a Camry (and no other car) had the SE V6 would be an easy choice. I would make the same choice not recommend non-enthusiasts in the hybrid for more cosseting seats of SE alone interested.

But no one have a Camry. Even with its dramatic suspension tuning, the 2007-2011 SE failed by most enthusiasts prima facie rejection of the Camry break. With its less overtly sporting character of the 2012 is to do much better. Toyota should not be surprised by this rejection. We were on their active participation in NASCAR, including this year's Daytona Pace Car (what the Camry launch event brought) says. But, as Volvo has also discovered if you have a brand to practical concerns (in his case, security) to build, it is very difficult, then market performance-oriented variants. Toyota places especially the Camry as a safe, reliable, economical, "carefree" device. To then turn around and sponsor fuel-guzzling, high maintenance, potentially fatal race car is at best only a minor impact. In the worst case, car buyers confused and wonder what are Toyota and its best-selling model really.

Toyota fueled cars provided and insured along with a light lunch at a press event.

Michael Karesh operates True Delta, an online auto reliability and fuel efficiency to provide information.