The Toyota Camry is consistently the best selling mid-size sedan in Australia – in fact in its class, Toyota sells more Camry’s than its seven closest rivals combined.
Just shown with a new face for the 2016 model year, we take a look at the current 2015 Camry.
It’s available in four petrol variants as well as two hybrid models – but the volume seller is the petrol and this is the sporty Atara SX.
The Camry is on par size wise with its closest rivals – just a touch shorter than the Mazda 6 same height and width, while it’s a tiny bit longer than the Subaru Liberty but not quite as tall.
The Camry interior is basic and no frills – in true Toyota style everything is laid out logically and is simple to use and easy to reach – with soft touch plastics across the top of the dash.
The car is due for a mid-life update in late 2015 but the 2014 facelift saw a new infotainment system added at no extra cost – and a reverse view camera is now standard across the range.
From the base model up every Camry gets a touchscreen display with tap, drag and flick functions similar to those of a smartphone or tablet. The 6.1-inch screen gives you access to your phone, music, satellite navigation and more.
The Atara SX gets leather accented sports seats and door trims, sports pedals and paddleshifters.
Compared to the previous generation Camry – there is considerably more room in the rear seats.
An extra 46 millimetres of legroom and extra elbow space added too.
There are plenty of storage nooks around the car – two cupholders and 4 bottle holders in the back here and rear seats are 60:40 split fold giving you options when it comes to making use of the cargo space.
Despite there being a full size alloy spare wheel under here… you still get 515 litres of boot space.
Its nice and wide, making it easy to load and unload.
The Camy’s 2.5-litre four-cylinder naturally aspirated engine is no firecracker but its smooth revving and lively enough in the mid-range, producing 135Kw and 235 Nm.
Its enough to provide a reasonably rewarding drive – though its 0-100 km per hour time is 9.8 seconds.
Toyota claims the suspension has been tuned specifically for Australian roads, but the Atara SX’s sports suspension can be a bit uncomfortable with stiffer spring rates and damper settings, the ride is fidgety and overly firm at times compared with its regular Camry siblings.
Its less compliant than other variants and gets a bit jittery over small bumps and ruts.
When it comes to the electric power steering – it lacks on-centre feel –it never feels quite precise and tends to wander resulting in small but regular corrections.
In terms of handling finesse and steering feel, its rivals the Mazda 6 and Honda Accord Euro do it better.
Road noise is quite noticeable over coarse-chip surfaces, but the Bridgestone Turanzas wrapped around the 17-inch alloys offer a decent level of grip.
All models are equipped with seven airbags, stability and traction control systems, anti-lock brakes with electronic brake force distribution and brake assist.
Fuel use is a claimed 7.8 litres per 100 kilometres but on our test loop of city, freeway and country roads, our figure was 12.1 litres per 100 kilometres.
The Camry has a lot to offer but its competing in a densely populated marketplace.
It’s rivals are numerous but Toyota has a reputation for reliability, and offers a capped priced servicing scheme that will set you back $140 every six months, with a three year 100,000 kilometre warranty.
It may not excel over the competition in any one area – but the basics are right – it’s spacious, with a decent engine and economically it’s fairly well on the money.