2016 Toyota Camry

Camry's entrustment

"15 million units sold worldwide and 150,000 in the UAE alone"

"The model is nothing less than a proxy to durability, reliability and comfort. No wonder, they just dominate the taxi fleet in the region!" said Ershad

"With a resale value so inviting, Toyota can rest assured with the superior position of the Camry among rivals"

"Front and rear of the Camry looks completely new"

Camry is sort of a benchmark in the segment and I am sure the rivals really hate it. I mean, the figures don't hide the fact: 15 million units sold worldwide and 150,000 in the UAE alone. Now 23 years in the UAE market, the model is nothing less than a proxy to durability, reliability and comfort. No wonder, they just dominate the taxi fleet in the region!

We took out the all new 2016 Camry "Limited" edition, which, by the way, comes from the United States. The remaining grades S, SE and SE+ are supplied from Australia. All the variants are offered in 12 colors. It's a tricky job to re-launch a model, especially when it is done just about three years after the last update. A mid-life refresh as you would expect is an understatement and I won't be surprised if anyone tells me that it look like a full refresh.

Let me not exaggerate the whole thing. The engine remains unchanged and the interior, more or less, is a slight upgrade. All the work was done to get the new shape and design. Our "Limited" edition tester had a few premium extras and they'll remain exclusive for retail sale only until the end of the year. So we know it's no taxi car.

Front and rear of the Camry looks completely new. The stylish grille and bumper is clearly the smartest move and is well complimented with LED beams and DRLs. The rear part looks cool, thanks to the tail lamp wrapped around into the tapered rear quarters

Moving inside, I first got a good feel of full support - literally. The front seatback height and the cushion shape have been revised for better comfort and hold. There's plenty of room inside as it was before. The cargo space is impressive and it gets better when the rear seats split and folded forward. Our tester had a 7 inch infotainment system, suede perforated-trimmed door panels with contrast stitched upholstery across the cabin and a 10 speaker JBL surround system for a top quality experience. Further, revised efficient A/C systems with independent left/right temperature controls boost up the ambience inside.

The new Camry features the same 2.5 liter four cylinder engine that produces 181 horsepower and 235 NM of torque. Power is supplied over a 6 speed automatic transmission set up which offer better power transfer efficiency and fuel economy. The suspension system is improved along with the newly developed EPS.

As for safety features, our tester has got 10 airbags and a host of inevitable traits: ABS, EBD, brake assist and a new enhanced VSC system. The rear view monitor coupled with rear parking sensors detect obstacles behind the car and notify the driver with a buzzer. The advanced collision safety technology is made to ensure occupant safety and to reduce pedestrian injuries.

Camry is already a smooth rider and there's no harm to overdo stuff on it unless it's for the better. The car is livelier and there's enough power for a daily drive sedan. The 6 speed automatic transmission has got flex-start control that proactively engages the lock-up clutch for better power transfer efficiency and cut down the engine speed, contributing to excellent fuel economy. You can't gauge that with a graph up front but I can confirm there wasn't any hiccup on gear shifts. The cabin was quiet and peaceful on city roads. The new electric power steering has a good on-center feel with flair of nimbleness. Toyota says that the suspension is improved and we buy that - as long as nothing goes wrong. The handling part has predictably improved as you would expect with such steering and suspension feedback. This isn't a C63 AMG to go tail as you like, but why not try it if it's your own car? There's no guarantee to see it go alright, but Camry isn't shy.

Verdict
You are either smart or dumb to re-do less. Luckily, Toyota falls in the smart category. They know the best things in Camry that deserve to remain: the chassis, stability and handling. They've only addressed the skin for better styling and the rest were standard upgrades. With a resale value so inviting, Toyota can rest assured with the superior position of the Camry among rivals!

Pros: handling, cabin room, styling, boot room, fuel economy
Cons: highest trim is too pricey
Rivals: Honda Accord, Nissan Altima, Hyundai Sonata, Mazda6, Volkswagen Passat, Kia Optima
Engine: inline-4 cylinders, 181hp @ 6000, 235Nm @ 4100
Transmission: 6 speed automatic, FWD
Performance: 0-100 kph: 9.5 sec, 8 L /100 km, top speed: 195 kph
Weight: 1520 kg

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