Its new looks don’t kill, but that probably won’t stop the face-lifted Camry 2.0 from sensibly climbing to the top of the pile
The new Camry gets a facelift this year (we’ve already tested the 2.5-litre version) with LED daytime running lights that make it much more contemporary than its precursor. With its sleek lines and aggressive, trapezoidal front-end the ubiquitous sedan wants to remind you that it isn’t your father’s Camry, even if it really is.
What’s also new is a 6-speed automatic transmission (the old model had only four speeds) and VVT-iW (wide) equipped 2.0-litre engine, which incorporates Atkinson cycle operation at lower revs to help fuel efficiency.
Okay, so what do I see when I’m behind the wheel?
The gauges and instruments are clear and well positioned; a mix of analog and digital displays like the 4.2-inch TFT screen between the main instruments provides a good amount of information for you to scroll through. You can check in on the average fuel economy, instantaneous fuel economy, how far you’ve driven and even tyre pressure.
The infotainment interface now resembles smartphone screens. Straight forward and easy to use, the large screen navigation made fumbling less likely while multi-tasking. The ‘burl wood’ veneer is reminiscent of classic cars, while the electric blue hue from instruments evokes a futuristic atmosphere.
What about the important bit for a big sedan – passenger space?
The Camry is big enough to easily fit five well-fed adults in the back. If you find yourself running late for an important social event, there’s also enough room back for you to get out of your work clothes and into your dinner outfit without having to be a contortionist.
So far so good, what other farkles does the car have?
Unlocking the car is as simple as giving the handle a pull, as it has keyless entry as standard. There’s power-adjustable front seats, a simple leather-wrapped steering wheel with a lot of instrument control — audio, Bluetooth, cruise control, ESP and traction control, a collision sensor that alerts you of vehicles approaching from the right and left of the car, and lots of storage. There are compartments with a USB and a 12-volt outlet, a nice and roomy centre console, and a cupholder per door.
How does it match up to the 2.5-litre?
The 2.0 is pretty good considering its equipment level and new VVT-iW engine. But, and it’s quite a big ‘but’, the 2.5 is better. If you have an extra $4,000 to spend, we would recommend the 2.5 as it has a little more horsepower as well as added features like three more airbags (for a total of seven), ventilated front seats with driver’s seat position memory, a pop-up rear sunshade, auto-folding wing mirrors and 17-inch wheels.
Toyota Camry 2.0L
Engine 1,998cc,16V, inline 4
Power 164bhp at 6500rpm
Torque 199Nm at 4600rpm
Gearbox 6-speed automatic
Top Speed 187km/h
0-100kmh 10.8 seconds
Fuel efficiency 7.1L/100km
Price $161,888 with COE