The all-new Camry is what Toyota calls a “New ERA Sedan”... accentuating the previous Camry’s core competencies of QDR and NVH suppression, while striving to appeal to buyer’s EQs. Did that sentence have you crying SOS? Good. That means I have your attention.
“ERA” is meant to suggest that the Camry will appeal to buyers both Emotionally and RAtionally. The rational side will value the mechanical aspects of the Camry. The carryover 273 hp 3.5 liter V6 and a 175 hp 2.5 liter four-cylinder engines now come standard with six-speed automatic transmissions, delivering up to 18% better fuel economy than before. Rationalists will also appreciate the care that went into repackaging the interior. Toyota have moved the steering wheel and pedal box forward and have scalloped out the front seatbacks to provide a very welcome increase to the cabin’s already considerable length. They’ve also slimmed the side pillars and have scalloped out the doors for more elbow space, too, but it’s the legroom you really notice.
On the emotional side, Toyota has strived to create a more upscale for the interior. I’ll skip describing the shiny reddish wood-grain in detail, because I still don’t like it very much. The leather, on the other hand, is fantastic. Toyota has wrapped the steering wheel, upper dashboard and various other surfaces with leather. Stitched leather. Along with the leather seats on the top-of-the-line 3.5 Q, it makes for fantastic ambience. The seats are what you expect Camry seats to be - soft, supple yet supportive. And did I mention the humongous leg-room yet?
The list of accessories, features and toys could fill an entire article, but they’re much as you’d expect if you’re familiar with the old car: Power front and rear seats, power steering adjustment, power window shades, back-up camera, HID, ABS, EBD, SRS, ETC. Worth mentioning are the new road-following headlights, and Nano-E air ionizer and purification system on the 3.5Q, which should make both driving and breathing a lot easier. The bit that excited me the most during the presentation, however, was the “modern binnacle hood.” Whoever engineered that bit of the car is a man after my own heart. The sun glare off the instruments was one of my biggest pet peeves on the old car. And boy does it look good wrapped in hand-stitched leather.
Appealing to both head and heart is Toyota’s QDR... Quality, Dependability and Reliability. Which goes without saying, as the Camry is, after all, the car largely responsible for that reputation. You’ll pay for the ERA sedan’s QDR in PHP's, to the tune of P2.082 million for the 3.5Q and P1.681 million for the 2.5V. If, on the other hand, you can live without leather or reclining rear seats, you can get the 2.5 G for a mere P1.451 million. Color options include Silver Metallic, Gray Metallic, Attitude Black, Dark Steel Metallic, Beige Metallic, Mica Silver Metallic, and for a P15,000 premium, White Pearl.
The competition from up-and-coming manufacturers might be cheaper, but I have no doubt the Camry will sell like hotcakes in the years to come.