A look at Toyota's all-new Camry

By Iñigo S. Roces

Posted at May 06 2012 03:24 PM | Updated as of May 09 2012 12:01 AM

MANILA, Philippines -- Toyota Motor Philippines (TMP) held its sixth new vehicle launch for 2012 -- the all-new Camry. Following the all new Avanza, Prius C, Innova, Yaris and Land Cruiser 200, the new Camry, Toyota’s flagship sedan, caps a string of new vehicle unveilings for the first half of the year.

Named after the word “crown” in Japanese, the Camry hopes to lure new buyers with new developments in both its interior and exterior.

The “new era sedan,” as it is described internally by Toyota, employs a valiant stance and aerodynamic styling to exude a strong presence. The entirely new body departs from the old design with more angular corners, more muscular flanks and subtler touches of chrome.

It features a 3.5-Liter V6, 24-Valve engine with Dual VVT-i valve technology which provides a maximum output of 204kW/6,200rpm, and maximum torque of 346Nm/4,700rpm. The mid-level 2.4 liter 4-cylinder engine found in the outgoing model has now been upgraded to 2.5 liters.

The new Camry routes power through a 6-speed sequential automatic transmission now available for all variants. Left in automatic mode, the most suitable gear is selected according to the driving condition. A built-in manual mode lets the driver select when to shift for a sportier drive.

Accordingly, 16-inch disc brakes in front, and 15-inch disc for the rear, provide better stopping power. It is hidden beneath a redesigned 17-inch alloy wheels riding on 215/55R tires for a more dynamic look.

Ideal driving position

For entry and egress, the Camry employs a smart key system that can lock and unlock the doors, and leaves only a button to start the engine—all while the key is kept in one’s pocket. Once seated, the driver can easily adjust to his ideal position with tilt and telescopic steering adjustment as well as electric seat adjustment on the top of the line model.

The steering wheel is made of leather with wood grain material. It also gives the driver the full control of audio, air condition and a variety of information with directional pads mounted on the wheel. These manipulate information such as odometer/trip meter, outside temperature, average speed, cruising range, average fuel consumption and elapsed time displayed in the multi-information display in the instrument cluster.

As for entertainment, a touch-screen LCD provides style and ease of use to the center stack. Climate is controlled by a new three-zone temperature control system which can be regulated for the driver, front passenger and rear seats separately. To further enhance the air conditioning system, Toyota’s Nano-E technology provides a balanced ratio of positive and negative ions as well as purifies the air inside of mold, fungus, and dust. Nano-e are negative ions surrounded by water molecules. Compared to normal
ions, they last longer and provide a cleaner air flow inside the vehicle.

Safety features

The Camry is not lacking in safety with features like anti-lock braking system (ABS) and a brake Assist system, coupled with vehicle stability control (VSC) technology for maximum control in the most dangerous situations.

In inclement weather, high intensity discharge headlamps, combined with the automatic headlamp leveling device shines the light straight ahead in spite of the forward and backward tilt of the car while in motion.

Additional features like the adaptive front lighting system (AFS) enhances night time visibility by automatically directing the headlamp beam where the wheel is pointed.

Driver and passenger (supplemental restraint system) SRS airbags are offered across all variants, with the addition of side and curtain-sheild airbags for the top-of-the-line 3.5Q model.

Upon shifting into reverse, a reverse parking camera displays the view behind on the center LCD screen while side-mirrors adjust to provide a better view around blindspots.

The All-new Camry is offered in three variants -- all with white pearl color options: 3.5Q at P2, 082,000 and 3.5Q White Pearl at P2,097,000; 2.5V at P1, 681,000 and 2.5V White Pearl at P1,0696,000; and 2.5G at P1, 451,000 and 2.5G White Pearl at P1, 466,000.

Other available shades are silver metallic, beige metallic, gray metallic, medium silver metallic, dark steel mica and attitude black.

The new Camry is available in all of the 32 authorized Toyota dealers nationwide.

Pre-owned vehicles

In addition to launching the new Camry, Toyota took the opportunity to unveil its new Toyota Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles (TCPOV) program.

The TCPOV is a new program where customers can purchase certified pre-owned vehicles evaluated and maintained by Toyota.

To be certified, vehicles pass through a rigorous 203 point inspection process, examined with the latest technology by authorized assessors, and checked and conditioned by highly trained dealer technicians. Once certified, each vehicles comes with one-year limited warranty.

The TCPOV program also offers customers a fair trade-in value for their current Toyotas to purchase a brand new vehicle.

“With the new TCPOV program, we aim to reward our customers for all the years of support. With this new service we are able to practice the 'customer for life concept' where in the process from buying, to replacing a vehicle will be made available in a one-stop shop facility,” TMP president Michinobu Sugata said.

Three dealerships -- Toyota Bicutan, Toyota Balintawak and Toyota Iloilo -- have already been accredited in this first stage of implementation. Other dealer outlets are preparing to offer this program soon.