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All-new Toyota Camry arrives in PH market

Already based on the Toyota New Global Architecture

The Camry sedan is already in its eighth generation. PHOTO FROM TOYOTA

There was a time Japanese midsize executive sedans ruled the market. Back in the 1990s, the likes of the Honda Accord, the Mazda 626, the Mitsubishi Galant, the Nissan Cefiro and, of course, the Toyota Camry were extremely desirable automobiles that many car enthusiasts aspired to. These days, in a time when small crossover SUVs, subcompact sedans and midsize SUVs are all the rage, the midsize premium sedan with a badge from the Land of the Rising Sun has all but faded into oblivion.

Today, Toyota Motor Philippines wants to inject new dynamism into the segment as it officially presents the all-new (eighth-generation) Camry to the media—an event that was originally slated for December 3 but had to be postponed out of respect for the passing of TMP chairman George S.K. Ty. The full-model-change Camry, in other words, is now available in the country.

The new Camry has a lower center of gravity. PHOTOS FROM TOYOTA

Boosted by its predecessors’ robust sales haul of more than 19 million units over seven generations, this Camry is now built upon the so-called Toyota New Global Architecture, the Japanese automaker’s current product strategy for making “ever-better cars.” Simply put, the Camry has been designed and made to be fun to drive, with its lower center of gravity and sharper handling ensuring owners will want to drive the car themselves instead of being chauffeured.

Now measuring 4,885mm long, 1,840mm wide and 1,445mm tall, with a wheelbase of 2,825mm, the new-generation Camry for our market is powered by the 2.5-liter four-cylinder 2AR-FE gasoline engine that produces 182hp and 231Nm. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard for the two variants on offer (2.5V and 2.5G).

The 2.5V variant has 18-inch alloy wheels (17s for the 2.5G). PHOTO FROM TOYOTA

Among the standard features the new Camry is equipped with are 18-inch alloy wheels (17 inches for the 2.5G), four-wheel disc brakes, LED headlamps and daytime running lights, automatic headlamp leveling, LED fog lamps, follow-me-home lighting system, rain-sensing windshield wipers, high-solar-energy-absorbing glass, power side mirrors, and dual exhaust pipes with diffuser.

Those taillights are visually tasteful. We dig them. PHOTO FROM TOYOTA

Inside, the new Camry boasts these creature comforts: push-start system; heads-up display (2.5V); Sport, Eco and Normal driving modes (2.5V); three-spoke leather steering wheel with audio, phone, multi-information and cruise controls; leather seats (fabric for the 2.5G); power windows and door locks; automatic air-conditioning system (three-zone for the 2.5V and dual-zone for the 2.5G); seven-inch TFT multi-information and entertainment display (4.2 inches for the 2.5G); six audio speakers; four cupholders; electrochromic rearview mirror; LED rear personal lamp; power-assisted rear windshield sunshade with manual rear-door sunshades (2.5V); rear console box; illuminated entry system; door courtesy lamps; electric parking brake; and 12V power socket.

The new-gen Camry interior is richly appointed. PHOTOS FROM TOYOTA

And because this is Toyota’s flagship sedan, the new Camry is fortified like an armored vehicle (okay, not really, but you get the point). It has a total of seven airbags (two in front, two at the sides, two curtain shields and one driver-side knee airbag), antilock brakes with electronic brake-force distribution, brake assist, vehicle stability control, hill-start assist, emergency brake signal, clearance and rear sonar sensors, and security system with immobilizer and alarm.

A total of seven airbags will enable you to walk away from a serious accident. You’re safe here. PHOTO FROM TOYOTA

The all-new Camry has the following introductory prices:

  • Camry 2.5V – P1,992,000
  • Camry 2.5G – P1,806,000

You add P15,000 to either variant if you want the Platinum White Pearl paint job (P2,007,000 for the 2.5V and P1,821,000 for the 2.5G).

Besides white pearl, the new Camry can be had in two other colors: Attitude Black Mica and Thermalyte. Four other exterior hues are available on a per-order basis: Red Mica, Phantom Brown Metallic, Graphic Metallic and Burning Black Crystal Shine Glass Flake (yes, this mouthful).

Will this modern Camry succeed in reviving consumer interest in midsize executive sedans? We hope so. It has all the attractive ingredients we imagine buyers in this segment are looking for. If you’re one of them, we suggest you check out the car soon.

Vernon B. Sarne

Vernon is the founder and editor-in-chief of VISOR. He has been an automotive journalist since July 1995. He became one by serendipity, walking into the office of a small publishing company and applying for a position he had no idea was for a local car magazine. God has watched over him throughout his humble journey. He writes the ‘Spoiler’ column.