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The new Camry chucks the American way and gives a desi remix of space, looks and reliability.
The new Camry chucks the American way and gives a desi remix of space, looks and reliability. We like its new-found steering ability. So would make sense if you are in the market to buy a luxury car funded by your rich dad.
Comes naturally to Toyota cars. The new Camry isn’t very different. The platform is a carryover from the previous generation car so it is as plush and pliant for all its occupants. Suspension is solid and soaks up potholes well. Road joints are more heard than felt.
The 2.4-litre 167bhp petrol unit has been dumped for a 2.5-litre petrol engine that churns out a dozen horses more. Peak torque is also up by 9Nm. The Dual VVT-I tech, as seen in the smaller Corolla Altis, also makes its debut in the Camry. The car weighs nearly 1.5 tonnes, which means you cannot feel the upgrade in power vis-a-vis the earlier model. But that doesn’t mean the Camry is slow by any means. The 5-speed auto has been replaced with a six-speed automatic. This is no match on the dual-clutch gems we get from Germany but floor the throttle and the Camry feels agile for its size.
The Camry in India has always been chauffeur-driven so it’s one your dad buys, not you. The new car, despite the splash of chrome does little to change that aspect. It still isn’t modern space-age design or something that would qualify as uber cool. The Camry is inherently a tad too sophisticated to be cool although driving it is a different thing altogether.
So Toyota had a massive battle in the US over quality, which saw the finances go for a toss. But a year down the line, globally, it has had little effect on the Japanese giant. Despite car recalls in the US, it is still perceived as one of the best companies when it comes to automotive quality. In fact, in the US, a whopping 84 per cent of Camrys sold since the last decade, are still in use. Add a few notches to that if you talk of India. Overall fit-and-finish of the Camry is still great although we would have like the leather upholstery on the seat backs to be better finished –that’s the view for the owner, after all?
The Camry is much nicer in this department. Despite its size, a combination of well-weighted steering and good dynamics makes the car defy that notion. It no longer has the typical ‘drive-like-boat’ feel when it comes to cars its size. In fact the car sort of cocoons around the driver giving you the sense that you maybe piloting something much smaller, which is a good thing. This is one of the only aspects where the new Camry feels a bit younger.
Toyota thrives on making practical cars and the new Camry isn’t very different. There’s loads of room – more legroom now for rear passenger. Although that has come at the expense of boot space, still the reduction in the later isn’t much because you still get around 484 litres for luggage. And that’s more than adequate. The car is easier to manage now in traffic thanks to better steering feel. Ride is good on most surfaces and it is built the same way Toyota has been doing it for a long time now – strong enough to be passed on – in working condition - as an inheritance to the next generation.
The new Camry is still not available as diesel but expect it to return atleast 8kpl overall, which is not a bad thing for a car this size. Plus maintenance parts, though expensive, are not known to involve frequent replacements on Camry. This model is being assembled in India so urchasing cost has dropped a bit although a lot of parts are still imported so spare costs may not go down. But expect it to still have good resale value whenever time comes to sell any family inheritance.