Owner Review

2013 Toyota Camry Altise review

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My father recently replaced his trusty Camry with a Land Rover Discovery Sport. He decided to give the Camry to me, and after 6 years of experiencing the car as a passenger, there was something oddly satisfying about the passenger finally becoming the driver...

The Camry is great for shopping trips and long cruises with the family, as there is plenty of space for both people and cargo. The air conditioning system is well optimised for Australia’s climate. Fuel consumption is par for the course, though the official figures are somewhat more optimistic than the reality. The ride is fairly smooth and power is adequate for a family’s needs, but driving enthusiasts will have to look elsewhere: it is a 4-cylinder Camry after all!

Although the cabin of this car is comfortable enough, it’s best described as “basic.” In particular, one area where the Camry Altise falls short is the infotainment system. While other trim levels of this generation Camry have a colour touchscreen, the Altise is left with a teeny tiny monochrome display that you find on calculators. At least this generation of Camry has a CD player if you’re one of those people who can’t get used to newfangled smartphone Bluetooth streaming!

Side, curtain and knee airbags are provided, but you won’t find modern active safety features such as AEB in this car. If you need these features, buy a car that was built more recently.

Parking this car can be a bit of a chore, due to somewhat limited visibility. Higher trim levels mitigate this via the addition of a reversing camera. I was able to eventually get used to the foot-mounted parking brake, but for a while, I found it inelegant. Odd design choice for what is supposed to be a completely ordinary car.

This car has served the family well for 6 years without any major issues, and I’m confident it will continue to do its job just fine, whether it’s puttering through the suburbs or embarking on the next big road trip. Spend enough time in one, and you might just be tempted out of a similarly-equipped medium SUV.

If you have $15k to spend on a second hand family sedan, a 2013 Camry Altise is a decent choice. Sure, this car has a reputation for being “whitegoods on wheels”, but if you can look past that stigma, you’ll find a comfortable family hauler that will serve you well.

That being said, you should seriously consider stumping up the extra coin for the keyless entry, superior infotainment and dual-zone climate control in the Atara S (though I personally prefer the styling of the Altise).