We don't just talk cars ... we teach how to buy them.
Redesigned 2012 Toyota Camry
Features And Prices
(See Also: "How To Buy A New Toyota Camry At The Lowest Price")
The Toyota Camry has long been renowned for its comfortable ride, solid build quality and strong resale values. For the 2012 model year, the Camry was the recipient of a redesign that has added still more appealing virtues, including a more refined interior, a sportier exterior, livelier handling, improved fuel economy and a new Display Audio system that integrates audio, infotainment and navigation.
The new Camry sports a sharper exterior design with more angular lines and a more aggressive overall look. Inside, the layout and materials quality has been upgraded and design tweaks have produced more passenger room even though the vehicle hasn't changed in size.
And in terms of performance, revisions to last year's engines and suspension have improved handling and made the new Camry more fun to drive. At the same time, fuel economy was also increased to where the four-cylinder is now the most fuel-efficient in its class and the V6 now gets 30 mpg on the highway.
As part of its performance upgrade, the SE model now actually has manual control paddle shifters for the automatic transmission. Who heard of such a thing for a Camry?
However, this isn't to say the Toyota Camry is now a "sport sedan" ... not by a long shot. But its livelier driving dynamics have added a more engaging dimension to what had always been a rather soft, comfortable and uninspired ride.
As attractive as the new Camry has become, the midsize sedan segment is crowded with other worthy choices as well. Those shopping this segment may want to consider other top rivals to help make the most informed final buying decision. Those worth a look would include the Hyundai Sonata, the Ford Fusion, the Honda Accord, the Chevy Malibu, the Kia Optima, the Nissan Altima and the Mazda 6.
Trims, Standard Features And Options:
The 2012 Toyota Camry is available in four trims: base L, midlevel LE, sporty SE and upsacle XLE.
Standard features on the already decently equipped Camry L include power door locks, power-folding mirrors, power windows, cruise control, air-conditioning, Bluetooth, halogen headlights, a tilt/telescoping steering wheel, a tire pressure monitor, 16-inch steel wheels, an engine immobilizer, a full array of safety features (see below) and a 6-speaker CD audio system with auxiliary USB and input jacks.
The Camry LE then adds steering-wheel-mounted audio and Bluetooth controls, remote keyless entry, automatic headlights and the Display Audio system with its 6.1-inch touchscreen.
Moving up to the SE model adds a sport-tuned suspension, 17-inch alloy wheels, sport seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a leather-wrapped shift knob, heated exterior mirrors, foglamps and unique interior and exterior styling accents. SE V6 models come with an upgraded internet-based Display Audio system with navigation, satellite radio, HD radio, voice recognition and Entune smartphone integration. They also come with a more pointed front fascia, a rear spoiler and side skirts.
While opting for the top-of-the-line Camry XLE reverts back to the LE's suspension, it adds a sunroof, an 8-way power driver seat, a 4-way power passenger seat, dual-zone automatic climate control, heated exterior mirrors, foglamps and the Display Audio system with navigation and Entune. XLE V6 models also come standard with leather upholstery, heated front seats, an auto-dimming rearview mirror and a rearview camera.
In terms of optional features, most of the XLE's equipment is offered on the other models. Also optional on the XLE V6 is a premium 10-speaker JBL sound system integrated with a 7-inch touchscreen navigation system.
Engines, Powertrain And Gas Mileage:
Under the hood of the 2012 Toyota Camry is one of two engines. Powering most Camrys is a capable 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that delivers 178 horsepower and 170 pound-feet of torque. SE and XLE models can be upgraded to a smooth and powerful 3.5-liter V6 that's good for 268 horsepower and 248 pound-feet. All models are front-wheel drive and come with a 6-speed automatic transmission (the SE V6 also comes with manual control paddle shifters).
Gas mileage performance has been improved through engine and transmission revisions as well as a reduction in the overall weight of the vehicle. The four-cylinder engine has an estimated gas mileage rating of 25 mpg city and 35 mpg on the highway (up from 22 and 33 last year). Fuel economy of the V6 is estimated at 21 mpg city and 30 mpg highway (up from 19 and 28).
Standard safety features on all 2012 Camrys include stability control, traction control, antilock brakes (ABS) with brake assist, front side airbags, rear side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags, and knee airbags for both the driver and front passenger. In addition, a blind-spot warning system is an available option.
Government crash tests had not yet been completed at the time of this writing. However, although not directly comparable, the 2011 Camry was awarded perfect five-star-ratings across the board in all frontal and side impact occupant protection categories.
The Camry's cabin is attractive, roomy and well-constructed with higher-grade materials. It's simply become more modern and refined. And although the vehicle hasn't grown in size, changes in the design of the door panels and the center console have increased passenger space. Visibility has also been improved thanks to thinner front pillars.
The seating is comfortable and supportive both front and rear. The front seats have been made still more accommodating with a seat cushion thatís almost an inch-longer and a seatback that's just over an inch taller. The trunk's cargo capacity has also been upped to 15.4 cubic feet from last year's 15.0 cubes (14.5 in some trims).
Particularly impressive is the Camry's new upgraded audio system with Entune. It's a smartphone-connected service that offers features such as Bing's search engine, Pandora streaming radio, real-time traffic, sports and stock information. You can even reserve movie tickets or make a restaurant reservation. And although it's a touch screen, many of the features can be used via the new and nifty Nintendo-style steering wheel controls.
Although still not what one may call a dynamic performer, the 2012 Camry has indeed become a bit more athletic opposed to its previous fairly soft and mundane road manners. And thanks to a revised rear suspension tuning, the new Camry feels both more planted to the road while still being able to absorb most bumps and rough spots, resulting in a smooth and comfortable driving experience. It's a quiet, smooth and confident sedan that's an improvement on an already great car ... and with impressive gas mileage to boot.
While most drivers will be satisfied with both the power and overall performance of the new Camry, it's the SE, in particular, that has added the most to enhance the Camry's athleticism. It's equipped with 15% stiffer springs and 50% tighter shocks, along with a more direct electric steering program, larger sway bars and 18-inch wheels.
How To Get The Lowest Price:
Best Negotiating Tactic: Well, there's definitely a 'best way' when it comes to new car buying. If you want to get the best bottomline, out-the-door price you need to know exactly who to talk to at the dealership, how to make the contact and how to make this person eager to quickly drop prices as low as possible to get your sale.
Here's the details on exactly how to get the best price on a new Toyota Camry ... or any other car.
2012 Toyota Camry List And Invoice Prices:
L, auto: list price: $21,955, invoice price: $20,089
LE, auto: list price: $22,500, invoice price: $20,588
SE, auto: list price: $23,000, invoice price: $20,930
SE V6, auto: list price: $26,640, invoice price: $24,243
XLE, auto: list price: $24,725, invoice price: $22,501
XLE V6, auto: list price: $29,845, invoice price: $27,159