I have owned this Camry Atara S for 7 months, after purchasing it used with 13,000kms on the clock.
It is a very nice car to drive, and it is particularly good on the highway.
The handling is excellent, although the downside is a harsh ride at low speeds.
The engine and 6 speed auto transmission are a superb combination – quiet, smooth and unobtrusive. Gear changes are imperceptible.
The steering wheel paddles are effective and allow you to drive like an F1 driver.
Fuel economy around town is poor – around 10.5L/100km. On the highway at a steady 100kmh, this drops back to around 6 to 7L/100km.
So the overall fuel consumption is affected by whether you do more city driving or more country driving.
The Atara S engine, with it’s twin exhaust system, provides more than adequate power for all but street drags. It’s fast – for a Camry, anyway. Even fully loaded, it still has more than adequate power.
The seating and interior is good, but the electric drivers seat suffers from not having a memory reset facility.
This means you have to rest the seat manually every time someone else has been driving and the seat position has been changed.
This is a slow process compared to a regular manual seat, particularly if it has been moved a long way out of position.
The amount of electronics are disconcerting to anyone used to a simple vehicle.
Keyless entry is a step too far, for mine – I like the simplicity of keys. It’s disconcerting having the car light up as you walk past with the remote in your pocket. The lag when pressing the start button is something you have to get used to. It appears it’s caused by the electric steering system hydraulics being primed with pressure.
The foot-operated handbrake, high up on the left, takes some getting used to. I don’t see anything wrong with a simple hand-operated handbrake.
The foot-operated handbrake takes some getting used to when you’ve owned a centre-mounted handbrake model Camry for a lengthy period.
The sound system and hands-free bluetooth phone system is good.
The reversing camera is not particularly accurate due to poor lens shape – but it’s better than nothing.
Rear and side vision is poor due to the high waistline and high bootlid.
The front spoiler sticks out too far at the front bottom corners, and is easily damaged.
My vehicle is fitted with the optional radar-based reversing warning system, and it’s very good.
Overall, I like this Camry very much, it’s a big step up in power, smoothness, interior roominess, and improved braking, over the previous models.
The brakes are worth a mention on their own, they are fantastic. Just a touch on the pedal and you’re stopping so fast it’s surprising.
I’d have to say this Camrys brakes are better than my stepdaughters current model Subaru Outback, which has superb brakes.