The seventh-generation Camry has a new two-tier naming and styling structure. The Altise continues as the entry-level model, which is set to be a fleet favourite, while three Atara models – S, SX and SL – bring a sportier design, replacing the Ateva, Sportivo and Grande models respectively.
The base model Altise and range-topping Atara SL retain their old prices, while the Atara S is $1000 more than the Ateva and the Atara SX is $2000 more than the Sportivo.
The new Camry is backed by a four-year/75,000km warranty (previously three years/100,000km), while the first five services are capped at $130 per service.
Two slightly different tunes of a 2.5-litre petrol engine are offered in the new range, stepping up from the previous model’s 117kW/218Nm 2.4-litre unit. The Altise produces 133kW of power and 231Nm of torque, while the Atara models get an extra 2kW/4Nm for a total output of 135kW and 235Nm.
Despite the slight power difference, official fuel consumption is rated at 7.8 litres/100km throughout the range, while CO2 emissions average 183g/km.
Standard across the range is a new electric power steering system and a more refined suspension set-up. Teamed with better brakes, a stronger body structure and a new seat frame, Toyota says the new Camry takes a step forward in handling and ride comfort.
Seven airbags and electronic stability control should ensure the new Camry is alongside the safest vehicles in the medium class.
The 2012 Toyota Camry Altise is equipped with 16-inch alloy wheels (full-size steel spare wheel), a trip computer with Eco indicator, and an upgraded six-speaker sound system with steering wheel controls, Bluetooth phone and audio streaming, and AUX port, and USB input with iPod connectivity.
Along with the high-grade exterior styling and enhanced engine, the Atara S adds 17-inch alloys, fog lamps, smart key entry with push-button start, 6.1-inch touchscreen display with reversing camera, dual-zone climate control, and a premium steering wheel with paddle shifters.
The Atara SX gets a sports suspension tune, leather door trims and interior accents, sports pedals, rear spoiler, unique rear bumper and dark-tinted headlights.
Building on the Atara S, the top-spec Atara SL gets a leather interior, woodgrain trim, electric front seats with driver memory setting, 10-speaker JBL premium audio system with seven-inch touchscreen display, digital radio, satellite navigation with live traffic feeds, blind spot monitor, rear parking sonar, automatic high beam, rain-sensing wipers, and an electric rear sunshade.
Produced at Toyota’s assembly plant in Altona, Australian engineers played a significant role in the final production version of the seven-generation Camry. Body, chassis and electrical engineers from the Toyota Technical Centre in Melbourne contributed to the global design as early as 2006, and fine-tuned the electric power steering, blind-spot monitor and automatic high beam specifically for Australian conditions. The interior fabrics, colours and trim materials are also unique to local cars thanks to input from Toyota Style Australia.
The second-generation Toyota Hybrid Camry is set to follow the standard range, going on sale later in the first quarter of 2012, while the new V6-powered Toyota Aurion will join the local range before the middle of the year.
2012 Toyota Camry manufacturer’s list prices (excluding government and dealer charges):
- Altise – $30,940 (no change)
- Atara S – $33,490 (+$1000 over Ateva)
- Atara SX – $35,990 (+$2000 over Sportivo)
- Atara SL – $39,990 (no change over Grande)
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