The locally manufactured Toyota Camry was a popular car with fleets because – the Camry is a great car. And does everything you need a fleet car to do (size, reliability, safety, fuel efficiency, consistent resale, low maintenance costs etc). But one of the great selling points was it’s price. Toyota tweaked the price to make it more attractive to local fleets so the factory could keep pumping. So will fleets still love Camry now that its fully imported?
Toyota’s all-new Camry sedan has undergone a dramatic redesign from bumper to bumper that results in a premium, high-quality car focused on performance and technology.
The latest Camry is built on a new platform that underpins more emotional styling, new powertrains with higher power and better fuel economy, a revamped chassis that sharpens driving dynamics and advanced new safety technologies.
Eighth-generation Camry represents a new era for Toyota in Australia – the first time in 30 years that Toyota has offered a fully imported Camry range to the Australian market. The new model is produced in Japan.
Camry is the first sedan to adopt Toyota’s New Global Architecture (TNGA), which has transformed the way Toyota vehicles are designed, engineered and packaged.
TNGA enables greater freedom in design, resulting in a more athletic profile with a lower roof and bonnet, a better driving position and improved dynamics due to its lower centre of gravity and greater torsional rigidity.
Two new powertrains are offered – a redesigned hybrid system with a new direct-injection four-cylinder engine that delivers more power, flexibility and efficiency and a stunning new V6 engine with direct-injection technology and an eight-speed transmission.
There are a raft of Camry firsts: direct fuel-injection engines, fully independent rear suspension, 19-inch alloy wheels, drive mode select, LED head lamps, an electric parking brake, 10-inch head-up display and a segment-first opening panoramic roof, plus across-the-board adoption of active cruise control and a pre-collision safety system with autonomous emergency braking^^.
Toyota’s senior divisional manager sales and marketing Sean Hanley said the new range represents the largest generational change for Camry since the nameplate was introduced in 1983.
“All-new Camry builds on the car’s proven reputation for quality, durability, reliability, space, comfort and safety while injecting greater visual appeal and a fun driving experience with rapid acceleration and crisp handling,” Mr Hanley said.
“Sharp pricing adds remarkable value to an all-new Camry that looks great while offering an unprecedented level of driving enjoyment and improved fuel economy,” he said.
“New Camry has all the ingredients to continue as Australia’s best-selling mid-size car, a position it has held for the past 23 years in a row.”
Toyota has adopted new grade names: Ascent and Ascent Sport (4-cylinder petrol or hybrid), SX (4-cylinder or V6) and SL (all three powertrains).
Prices have been reduced for six of the nine new Camry variants while increases on the other three are outweighed by additional features.
For the new hybrid powertrain, with combined power output rising to 160kW, prices have been improved compared with the petrol variants and the market.
Camry SX and SL with the new 224kW, 362Nm V6 engine are just $4,000 more than their four-cylinder siblings.
Camry comes with Toyota Service Advantage at just $195 for up to the first five services – now with 12-month intervals**.
NEW HYBRID SYSTEM
Camry’s new engines, transmissions and chassis developments are all representative technologies that have evolved through TNGA.
The new hybrid system offers enhanced handling and driving performance as well as outstanding fuel efficiency – 4.5 litres/100km on the SL and 4.2 litres on the other grades, improvements of between 13.5 and more than 19 per cent^.
At its core is a new 2.5-litre, four-cylinder Dynamic Force Engine, which offers 11 per cent more power and four per cent more torque with thermal efficiency among the best engines in the world.
Innovations include VVT-iE variable valve timing. The “E” means it uses an electric motor instead of oil pressure to control variable valve timing for increased fuel efficiency with cleaner exhaust emissions.
To enhance the sporty driving experience, the CVT gives the driver access to six quick-shifting ratios for manual-like gear changes using paddle shifters on the SL or with the console-mounted shift lever.
TNGA packaging has allowed the nickel-metal hydride battery to be moved from the boot area to under the rear seat, improving boot space and positioning battery weight lower in the car.
A lighter and more compact power control unit now sits directly above the transaxle, lowering the vehicle’s centre of mass and enabling a lower bonnet.
The hybrid gains a new SPORT drive mode, along with the previous NORMAL, ECO and EV modes, delivering improved acceleration response relative to pedal input.
It also features a new Auto Glide Control system that promotes smooth and efficient coasting that helps improve fuel economy.
POWERFUL, EFFICIENT NEW V6
Performance and efficiency are also hallmarks of Camry’s newly-developed 3.5-litre direct-injection V6, which provides a formidable low-end and mid-range punch.
Its exceptional power output is up to 12 per cent above the previous 3.5-litre V6 while its efficient compression ratio helps it achieve even better fuel efficiency of 8.7 litres/100km (SL, 8.9 litres/100km for SX), an improvement of up to 6.5 per cent^.
The V6’s specially developed new VVT-iW variable valve timing system – the “W” is for “wide” adjustment range – operates on the intake to ensure high torque production at all engine speeds.
In addition to the Otto Cycle, the engine uses the Atkinson cycle where appropriate to enhance fuel economy.
Mated to the V6 is a new direct-shift, eight-speed automatic transmission with direct lock-up from second to eighth gears, sequential shifting and auto-blipping downshift control.
Camry is also offered with the proven 2.5-litre petrol four, with a more sophisticated six-speed transmission that incorporates auto-blipping on the downshifts.
DYNAMIC NEW CHASSIS
Camry’s underpinnings have also gone through generational change, delivering an unprecedented level of driving enjoyment through dynamic and spirited handling capability.
The MacPherson strut front suspension has been redesigned, remounted and given new geometry – for improved handling stability, grip and ride quality.
The new rear suspension, with separate spring and damper units, maximises luggage space and optimises stability. The geometry is all new and, combined with the calibration of the various bushings, delivers both impressive stability and high levels of ride comfort.
For the new electric power steering, the motor is now mounted on the rack housing, to help lower the vehicle’s centre of gravity. The steering column is now at a more natural angle for the driver with tilt and telescopic adjustment on all variants.
The brakes have also been improved with greater power, feel and longevity thanks to larger front and rear rotors.
Camry now has an electric parking brake plus a brake-hold function that maintains the brake fluid pressure without requiring the driver to stay on the brake pedal or apply the parking brake.
Leading-edge safety technology is standard across the range, including a pre-collision safety system, autonomous emergency braking and lane departure alert with steering assist. All-speed active cruise control, auto high beam and reversing camera are also standard^^.
The SL adds blind-spot monitor and rear cross-traffic alert^^, rain-sensing wipers and electro-chromatic interior rear-view mirror while the three higher grades have front and rear clearance sensors.
All models are equipped seven airbags and a comprehensive range of electronic safety features including Hill-start Assist Control^^ and a sway-warning system.
NEW FEATURES FOR EACH GRADE
Ascent now has the advanced safety features, an upgraded multimedia system, seven-inch display audio with Toyota Link# connected mobility, Optitron instruments, 4.2-inch multi-information display, power lumbar adjustment on the driver’s seat and LED head lamps.
The recommended retail price of $27,690* represents an increase of just $1,200 with the added safety spec alone more than accounting for the increase.
Ascent is also offered as a hybrid with additional features including dual-zone air-conditioning, keyless entry and ignition, a drive mode select function – and a sub-$30,000* price that is $500 less than the superseded model.
The new hybrid system delivers fuel economy as low as 4.2 litres/100km^ – a better figure than the second-generation Prius sold in Australia until mid-2009.
Ascent Sport, distinguished by its sports bumper and side skirts, features an 8-inch display screen, satellite navigation##, a 7-inch multi-information display, premium steering wheel and gear shifter, clearance sonars, power driver’s seat adjustment, dual-zone air and keyless entry and ignition.
The 4-cylinder petrol price represents a reduction of $200* and the hybrid price is down by $1,200* compared with the previous generation’s equivalent models.
Camry’s sporty SX sedan is fitted with the new 19-inch wheels, sports suspension, leather-accented sports seats, paddle shifters and wireless phone charger. The $33,290* 4-cylinder price is $200 lower than its equivalent predecessor.
At the top of the range, the SL is even more comprehensively equipped than before with a 10-inch head-up display, electro-chromatic rear-view mirror, paddle shifters for both petrol and hybrid, rain-sensing wipers, ventilated leather-accented seats and power-operated front seats and steering column adjustment. It is also gains blind-spot monitor and rear-cross traffic alert.
SL prices also take into account that the moonroof on hybrid and the opening panoramic roof on petrol models are standard. A moonroof was previously optional.
Camry SX and SL are also offered with the new direct-injection V6 engine and eight-speed direct-shift automatic transmission for just $4,000* more than the variants equipped with the four-cylinder petrol engine.
EMOTIONAL NEW STYLING
The front design for the new Camry features two-piece grilles with contrasting personalities – premium refinement for Ascent, and a more aggressive, sportier look for Ascent Sport, SX and SL.
The bonnet is lower and, together with the grille and Toyota emblem, they blend seamlessly into the A-pillar, producing a stance that is more aggressive than any predecessor.
The profile is sleeker. By lowering the hip points and therefore seating positions, the design team was able to reduce the car’s overall height without sacrificing interior space.
Striking character lines along the body augment the aggressive front and rear fenders, giving Camry a new level of sportiness.
The completely redesigned interior is functional and futuristic. Drivers have a sporty cockpit-style environment with gauges angled towards them while the front passenger is treated to a sense of openness.
The dashboard, instrument panel, centre console and door trims employ soft touch and premium materials with a mix of tones and hues. Quality stitching adds to the level of craftsmanship.
Re-engineered seats have improved ergonomics and comfort, contributing to more refined accommodation throughout.
Toyota’s latest in-vehicle display technologies provide integrated information with minimal distraction. Depending on the grade, there are up to three available interlinked displays: a multi-information display in the instrument cluster, a control panel for the audio, navigation and HVAC, and a 10-inch colour head-up display.
Camry has been available in Australia since 1983 with sales topping 930,000 cars – 705,000 four-cylinder cars, 46,000 hybrids and almost 180,000 V6s.
In addition, Toyota’s V6 Aurion contributed a further 111,000 sales, bringing the combined total well beyond a million.
NEW CAMRY PRICING*
All grades: premium paint $450
SX: panoramic roof $1,950
* Manufacturer’s list prices are provided for media purposes only and do not include statutory charges or other on-road costs.
** Maximum payable for standard scheduled logbook servicing (normal operating conditions) until first of 5 years or 75,000km (whichever occurs first) (up to the first 5 services). Excludes government & rental vehicles. Contact your Toyota dealer or go to toyota.com.au/advantage for other exclusions, eligibility and full details.
^ Results achieved in test conditions. Actual results may vary depending on driving conditions/style, vehicle condition and options/accessories fitted. Fuel consumption data provided for comparison purposes only. Source: ADR 81/02 combined cycle (litres/100km).
^^ Pre-Collision Safety System, Active Cruise Control, Lane Departure Alert, Automatic High Beam, Blind Spot Monitor, Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Hill-start Assist Control are driver assist features only and should not be used as a substitute for safe driving practices. Driver remains responsible at all times for safe driving.
# Toyota Link is available on certain vehicle models and grades only. Toyota Australia reserves the right to add, remove or modify applications. Toyota Link services rely on data from the driver’s compatible mobile phone and information provided by third parties. Availability is dependent on a number of factors, including the availability of third party information, mobile service, sufficient mobile data allowance and GPS satellite signal reception. Mobile usage is at the user’s cost. Further information is provided at http://www.toyota.com.au/toyotalink.
## Current navigation mapping database encompasses major capital and primary national road networks and offers some coverage in regional areas.