The latest iteration of one of Toyota's best selling appliances.
- 2009 Toyota Camry Ateva; 2.4-litre, four-cylinder, petrol; five-speed automatic; sedan - $32,490
For years Toyota has been using its reputation to take advantage of the buying public, selling countless cars on the basis of rock solid reliability and perceived value for money.
Toyota released the new four-cylinder Camry to the Australian market in July 2006. It hit showrooms missing stability control – it wasn’t even an option (only standard on Grande) – along with reasonable fuel economy. Despite its shortcomings, people still bought it in droves.
Great styling and impressive value for money from its competition hit Toyota for a six and so here we are now, with the revised Toyota Camry.
At face value, it looks much the same. The only visible differences lie in minor headlight and taillight styling changes. It’s only when you delve deeper that you see exactly what Toyota has done.
Our baby blue test vehicle was still a treat to look at, despite the Camry’s three and a half year tenure in the Australian market.
Inside the cabin, Camry drivers will be familiar with the general layout. While the radio fascia has changed, the rest remains well-known territory.
Visibility from the driver’s seat is superb both front and rear. The thin A-pillars are great for city driving where cyclists and pedestrians are often lost in their girth.
A reversing camera is now standard fitment on both Ateva and Grande, further enhancing visibility during parking and low-speed manoeuvres. The reversing camera is integrated into the 4.3-inch LCD screen that controls the audio. Its small size makes it a bit difficult to see smaller objects, but is a step in the right direction considering the boot’s high waist line.
Safety features include: Dual front SRS airbags, front side airbags, front and rear side curtain airbags, Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Traction Control (TC), engine immobiliser and ABS brakes.
Priced from $29,990 for the Altise, the Ateva tested retails for an impressive $32,490.
At the helm, it drives just like a Camry is meant to drive. The steering is light and precise with brake feel firm and responsive. Cornering isn’t exciting with plenty of body roll and tyre squeal. Luckily, the Camry’s target demographic won’t be taking corners like Schumacher.
The Camry’s suspension is excellent. It soaks up all bumps thrown at it and rides well on both highways and B-grade country roads.
A five-speed automatic transmission transfers torque from the 2.4-litre, four-cylinder engine. Producing 117kW and 218Nm of torque, the engine rarely puts a foot wrong. The ADR fuel consumption of 8.8-L/100km was achieved according to the trip computer. When we refilled, we calculated closer to 9.5-L/100km, indicating a slightly optimistic trip computer. This is to be expected though, considering the car had all of 500km on the clock when we collected it.
The revised Toyota Camry hits the sweet spot for punters who couldn’t give a rat’s earlobe about performance, handling or image.
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