You cannot go anywhere within Australia without seeing a Toyota Camry on the road. The humble Toyota Camry is a car that for generations has embodied sensibility, stability, and reliability.
This is the first fully imported Camry in 30 years! Built in Japan the Mk8 Camry is longer, sportier and packed with heaps of extra goodies. Based off Toyota’s new global vehicle platform, this new Camry will be seen all over the world.
Toyota gave us the chance to experience the all new Camry SX V6 3.5L with the panoramic full glass roof! In go fast red with big 19 inch alloys; these are the biggest wheels ever fitted to a Camry.
The Camry has been one of the most popular fleet vehicles for Australian’s over many decades. The closure of the Altona plant does not mean you will not be seeing thousands of white Camrys on the road.
With the imported model being slightly more expensive than the Australian built Camrys the new safety features well outweigh the price increase and I’m certain you will see plenty of the all new Camry on the road in the future.
Toyota’s New Global Architecture (TNGA) platform is at the very heart of the all new 2018 Camry. This platform has also been used in the new C-HR which also handles well and is a joy to drive.
So what has changed since the previous model? Nearly everything! It’s 30 per cent stiffer, it’s 25mm lower, and with completely new suspension all round which helps deliver a fun car to drive.
The Camry is treading on the luxury saloon market with this very capable sporty revamp of the Camry! The 2GR-FKS engine is a 3.5L V6 that has been used in other luxury cars like the Lexus GS350 and shares lots of similarities to the engine seen in previous models of the Crown Athlete and the Mark X.
For the last three generations of the Toyota Camry you can see that Toyota has been making a concerted effort to improve and develop the Camry into what we see today. Safety features, looks, and interior have all been upgraded.
What caught my eye initially was the new aggressive front face of the Camry with styling cues taken from the Japanese Toyota Mark X GRMN.
With the longer body, the double moon roof, and the crazy new dash I was hooked! I’m normally not a fan of the Camry but this has opened my mind.
Gone is the boring Camry of yesteryear! Today Toyota has brought new life to a car that has been seen for many years as the quintessential accountants car.
The Camry SX is no slouch as its factory claimed 0-100 figure is 6.5 seconds and several car magazines have street tested this and have got the very close figure of 6.79 seconds.
I’m not saying this is a street weapon but it will definitely give a Commodore a run for its money! That said if Toyota did some weight stripping off this car it could be much quicker. Or if they wanted to take the market all they would need to do is make this car rear wheel drive and strap a turbo on the engine. Then they would own the gap in the market left by the exit of the SS Commodore.
The eight-speed automatic does a good job of getting off the line quickly although it does get a little lost if you accelerate hard, then lift your foot, and apply it again. However this can be overcome by the paddleshifters on the steering wheel.
It’s almost embarrassing to say but for the first time I actually enjoyed driving a Camry! I’m all for the changes! Their entertainment system is 90% there, its exterior looks phenomenal, and its performance level has been raised. If they added Apple Car Play and Android Auto plus some better UI design in the GPS area they would have the best package available on the market.
Take for instance Ford; the exterior design of their entertainment system is terrible but the features and ability of their units are class leading. People will buy a car just for its abilities to better interact with their phone.
The car market is changing rapidly and before we know it driverless cars will rule the world! Although we are not there yet the future is coming whether we like it or not. Car manufactures are scrambling to get cars to market quickly and the rapid amount of new in between models are starting to flood the market. I’m glad that the classic Camry remains in a form that is not too different from its original inception in the 1980’s.
The Camry now feels a lot larger with plenty of leg room in the back and more space up front. The SX Camry comes standard with high-grade LED front and rear lights, auto emergency braking (AEB), and lane departure warning.
The boot is massive and it could easily fit a pram or golf clubs if needed. Plus as a bonus you can fold down the back seats and fit extra long items in the boot.
The automatic high beam is another great feature that is the best when your on a long drive. As soon as you reach for the stick to turn your lights back to normal the system beats you and is ready to switch the high beams on as soon as the cars pass.
Toyota has done a great job tuning the suspension for Australian conditions. The car corners nice and flat with little to no body roll. It does not feel floaty or disconnected but rather it feels tight and tuned. The suspension can uncharacteristically feel rough over any deep pothole and this may be one of very few flaws that the Camry exhibits.
Have Toyota reinvented the Camry; or just merged the Aurion and Camry together, thereby dropping a badge and increasing the performance whilst improving the image of the well known Camry.
Whatever the case I’m glad they have improved the humble Camry. Much less boring than its predecessors and finally the Camry has a little spark in its step.
Thanks again Toyota for letting us get our hands on the all new Camry.