All photos by Toyota
You don't stay at the top of the sales charts by shooting blanks but rather hitting the Bullz-Eye, and Toyota did it again with the 2012 Toyota Camry XLE V6 Sedan. We had the chance to spend a week behind the wheel of this top seller that was redesigned and recharged for another sales crown dash. Things are looking good for the new Camry!
The bold new design of the 2012 Toyota Camry XLE V6 Sedan has turned the Camry into a real head turner for many reasons. When you first see the new 2012 Camry there is still no mistaking that it's a Camry, but the new look is a smart balance of sophistication and fun. The design conveys an "architectural statement" through crisp, precise character lines, while a more strongly curved door cross-section and more defined rocker panel molding (chrome accented on our XLE) give the Camry a more expressive appearance. Our test model was a striking Clearwater blue metallic that garnered compliments all around town. Also adding appeal to the exterior were projector beam headlamps with auto on and off, daytime running lights with on/off switch, folded heated power outside mirrors, integrated chrome trimmed fog lamps, side rocker panels with chrome inserts and dual chromed tipped exhaust. That's right, the new Camry has enough bling to get noticed but not too much to look cheap. The 17inch alloy wheels looked sharp and fit in well with the new athletic styling cues.
When you redesign the best selling car in America, you had better get the interior right or things can go south quickly. There is no doubt when entering the cabin of the 2012 Toyota Camry XLE V6 Sedan that the folks at Toyota were serious about keeping the sales crown in their possession. While featuring nearly the same external dimensions as the previous generation, the 2012 Camry offers a more inviting and spacious interior. A new dashboard design, modified seat locations, redesigned seats and "lean" door, pillar and headliner trim all combine to add both real space and greater perceptual spaciousness while also enhancing outward visibility. Repositioning the driver's seat and the standard tilt/telescoping steering wheel (tilt has increased 33 percent for greater driver comfort) also aid forward visibility and enhance the driver's positioning. Toyota had it right when announcing that the "three-dimensional construction and contrasting-material textures give the new instrument panel a feeling of depth, while the shapes themselves contribute to a more spacious cabin and improved forward sightlines. The prominently curved center cluster appears to float over the instrument panel, reducing its visual mass. Soft textures used on the upper instrument panel, upper door trim, door armrests and center console armrest contribute to greater comfort in the Camry. Stitching on the instrument panel soft padding and matching stitching-look trim elsewhere helps to create a sense of luxury. Aluminum-color and chrome trim are used judiciously." To say that the interior went upscale doesn't totally do the new Camry XLE justice as you can judge for yourself when you check out the car.
I have to say that this was the most surprising feature of the 2012 Toyota Camry XLE V6 Sedan and in a very good way. Along with the sleek and muscular look of the all new Camry comes the 3.5 liter DOHC 24 valve V6 option that delivers a powerful alternative for those who like that stuff! And with its more rigid body structure and modified front and rear suspensions, the Camry boasts improved steering response and a more comfortable ride overall.
The 2012 Camry is also lighter and stronger than previous models thanks to a greater amount of high tensile steel (440 Mpa or higher) and stronger high tensile strength sheet steel (590 Mpa or higher). The Camry XLE V6 is built to handle as well or better than much more expensive sedans and we see why this venerable sales leader keeps customers coming back. To assist drivers while driving they will appreciate Toyota's latest electric power steering (EPS) control system, which will offer more flexibility to steering-feel tuning. The system regulates power-assist response based on vehicle speed, and for the first time steering-input rate. The vehicle-speed sensing feature will provide light effort during low speeds, changing to moderate effort during higher speeds.
While having fun driving the all new Camry XLE, there are no worries with fuel efficiency as the new sedan with the V6 option came in at 21mpg in the city and 30mpg on the highway.
The Toyota Camry has been so successful that redesigning the car must have been a pressure cooker for the engineers at Toyota. After spending a week behind the wheel of the 2012 Toyota Camry XLE V6 Sedan we are convinced that this new Camry will continue to win the hearts of car buyers and provide a safe and stylish sedan for many. The car looks great but the interior and handling really scored high with us and at a sticker price of $33,105 for our loaded XLE V6 model, that's basically a bargain. With the styling stepped up a few notches, we're probably going to see new shoppers for the Camry and that's how you keep growing a nameplate!
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