Why the new Toyota Camry is turning heads
Toyota’s Camry might be a huge automotive success but few would admit to loving it. In its 35-year history, it’s been called everything from whitegoods on wheels to a car for cardigan wearers.
But the times they are a changing. The launch of Toyota’s 86 coupe in 2012 was the first inkling the Japanese maker was no longer satisfied churning out competent but uninspiring cars by the boatload. A wild-looking C-HR small SUV and surprisingly bold new Corolla have added weight to its self-described transformation.
There’s also an all-new Camry in showrooms and Toyota is using words such as ‘dramatic’ and ‘emotional’ to describe it. Has it lost its marbles or does its latest mid-sizer actually deliver on the premium mid-sizer promise?
Will I see it coming?
A newly squat stance, more dynamic form and edgy detailing endow the new Camry with unprecedented visual clout, even if it couldn’t be anything but a Camry thanks to various styling cues that link it with its predecessors. Forgive the odd bit of too-busy design and you might even like it.
Is it practical?
The Camry remains a ‘big’ mid-sizer with a sprawling back-seat space that can seat three adults without fuss. Broad, comfy seats and plenty of storage are other pluses, along with eye-catching design and quality feel.
Its sizeable boot and split-fold back seat also endow it with solid load-hauling abilities but, unlike Ford’s Mondeo, Holden’s Commodore, Mazda’s 6 and some other possibilities, you can’t opt for a more versatile wagon body.
What technology does it have?
Autonomous emergency braking and other to-the-minute safety aids are now standard on every Camry, and new-age gizmos such as LED headlights, head-up display and wireless phone charging have been added to the repertoire. But its many advances don’t extend to Apple CarPlay/Android Auto smartphone mirroring.
What’s under the bonnet?
The cheapest Camrys run a revised 2.5-litre petrol four-cylinder drivetrain that’s adequately responsive and economical but not remarkably so. The second drivetrain option, a new direct-injection 3.5-litre V6, is punchy but also thirsty, making the third choice – a new petrol/electric hybrid drivetrain with good performance and sub-5L/100km economy – the sweetest compromise.
How does it drive?
This is the most responsive, surefooted and fun-to-drive Camry yet, though the presence of even more dynamic rivals means it’s not the driver’s pick of the class quite yet. But its ability to quietly smother the craggiest of Australian roads will make it hard to pass up if comfort is a priority.
Three drivetrains and four trims (Ascent, Ascent Sport, SX, SL) mean there’s a Camry for a whole lot of buyers and budgets. The cheapest – the Ascent petrol – kicks off from a competitive $27,690, while the costliest – the SL V6 – starts from $43,990. Like all Toyotas, it’s covered by a three-year warranty/capped-price servicing deal.
How much can I save with a novated lease?
You can get into the new Camry Ascent Sport Hybrid for even lease with a Smartleasing novated lease. In fact, it’s the easiest and most affordable way to own and run a car.
With our buying power discount and instant 10% saving on GST, the Camry starts at $412* per fortnight, including finance, fuel, registration, full comp insurance, tyres, maintenance and roadside assistance.
Can we do you an even better deal on the new Camry Ascent Hybrid Sport? Request a quote and we’ll be in touch to personalise a Camry deal for you.