Anyone who has owned a Toyota Camry before will not be disappointed with the 2012 model. It lives up to the quality expected by this top selling car. Estimated price is between $21,500 and $27,500 which is actually a little cheaper than past models. This was accomplished by reducing the number of option and feature levels, as well as changing of some materials used in the building process. You will have a choice of a four cylinder and six cylinder model, which is the more expensive of the two. There will also be a Hybrid with a price around the $30,000 mark. This may look a lot like last years model, but there has been quite a bit a redesign in interior room, handling and trim.
Expected fuel economy for the 2.5L is approximately 25 MPG in city driving, and 35 on the highway. For the 6-cylinder these numbers do drop a bit, down to about 21 and 30 respectively. This is normal for a larger engine with more power and better acceleration. The Hybrid is expected to get near 40 MPG in real world driving situations.
The interior changes include a position change for the front seats to give a little more leg room for rear passengers. Materials have been changed and are of better quality and pleasing to the touch. Color choices have also improved. The L series offers standard equipment such as power locks and windows, mirrors, cruise control, split rear seat, Bluetooth and 6-CD stereo. Available on higher trim levels is the Entune touch screen radio that allows for streaming music and other great features like navigation and smartphone apps. Suspension improvements were made to address the long time complaint of Camry owners that the car was just not very fun to drive. Although the electric power steering still does have a poor responsive feeling that is common on most all past model years. Since this car has been a best seller for over 20 years, improvements are not on a huge scale, but rather incremental in scope.
The SE level includes all the above, plus 17 inch wheels, 18 inch with the V-6, heated mirrors, gof lamps, leather wrap steering wheel, HD and satellite radio, keyless entry/start system and voice recognition.
While the Toyota Camry has direct competition to the Hyundai Sonata, this car just feels to be higher quality. The acceleration is much better, handling wins hands down, and interior space is much better and easier to manage by the occupants. Fuel economy is just about equal now, which was not the case for the last few years.
Wind and road road noise levels have also been improved thanks to new low rolling resistance tires, a few body design changes and insulation.
So if you are in the market for a qualilty mid-sized sedan with good fuel economy, styling and ample power, then the 2012 Toyota Camry is well worth a test drive.
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