Toyota today launched the new Camry in India at a price of Rs. 23.80 lakh. The Camry is an entry-luxury premium sedan that competes directly with the Honda Accord, Hyundai Sonata and Skoda Superb.
Toyota has been constantly updating the Camry every few years. It is one of the world’s best-selling Toyota models, but unfortunately in India it hardly finds any takers. One of the main reasons it wasn’t selling is because it is imported as a completely built unit, and that attracts higher duties (the car is priced at nearly twice what it is actually worth!). The other reason is that it lacks a diesel engine and the Indian market now has a distinct diesel bias across segments.
This time around Toyota hopes to set that right. The 2012 Toyota Camry will not be imported as a CBU, but will instead be assembled in India. The car was on display at the 2012 Auto Expo in New Delhi and the final production variant is pretty much the same as the display car.
Looks, fit and finish
The Camry’s dimensions haven’t changed compared to the model it replaces. Instead it gets an evolution in styling. The front gets an overdose of chrome, with twin projector headlamps. The overall design is squared off. The rear looks a little old school, with a chiseled out tail-lamp cluster. The boot has been lowered a bit.
The interior of the new Camry is very subtle, but at the same time luxurious. It gets plenty of faux wood and leather. It gets electric seats, with a unique feature. The front passenger seat can be moved forward and back using buttons on the seat back – easily accessible by the rear seat passenger. Push button start and a touch-screen infotainment system with dual zone climate control all come standard in the Camry. Interestingly, it also gets a lockable glove box! Two airbags and ABS are standard. Also read: Five new sedans in next five months!
Engine and performance
The Camry will come only with a 2.5 litre petrol engine that puts out 178 bhp of power. This is slightly more powerful than the earlier 2.4 litre engine. This is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. It’s pretty clear that Toyota considers the Honda Accord as its direct competitor and has hence bumped up power to match the 2.4 Honda Accord’s power specifications. It’s also in close contention with the Hyundai Sonata. Also read: New Toyota Camry to be launched on August 24
What we think
The Toyota Camry now has the potential to actually become the segment leader. Sales in this segment are quite mediocre anyway, and overtaking the Honda Accord should not be too much of an issue. With Toyota assembling the car in India, it now has the power to market the car more aggressively. The car will appeal to executives who want a spacious and comfortable entry-luxury sedan, and especially to those who like spending time in the rear seat. However, the new Camry also will appeal to those who chose to drive from time to time as well. Share your thoughts on the new Camry.