DALLAS, April 30, 2012 — Let’s face it, the Toyota Camry is a car we can trust. Little had to be done to it for Toyota fans to still favor this midsize sedan as their number one choice this year. For 2012, there have been a few small changes. A slight redesign makes it have better safety features and interior comforts.
Competition for the 2012 Toyota Camry includes the Honda Accord, Mazda 6, Hyundai Sonata, and even the Volkswagen Passat, with undoubtedly more of the European feel. But if you love America what is more American than the Camry, baseball and apple pie, even if it is a Japanese car.
The Camry trims include the L, LE, SE and the XLE trim. On the base L model you get 16-inch steel wheels, AC, power windows and mirrors, cruise control, a tilt-and-telescope steering wheel, split-folding rear seats, and audio goodies like Bluetooth and a six-speaker CD sound system. On the LE add auto headlamps, power locks with remote keyless entry, and a few more Bluetooth bells and whistles.
The SE has a sport-tuned suspension, 17-inch alloy wheels, fog lamps, heated exterior mirrors, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and sport seats. If you go for the V6 SE trim there are 18-inch wheels as well as keyless ignition and entry and navigation features.
The top of the line XLE is definitely worth a look with its much more relaxed suspension. Plus there are also heated exterior mirrors, sunroof, dual-zone automatic climate control, and an eight-way power driver seat. The V6 model of this trim also adds a rearview mirror, leather upholstery, a power front passenger seat, and heated front seats.
Of course you can also opt for additional features on the lower trims that are standard on the high-end XLE and a 10-speaker JBL audio system is optional for the SE and XLE or on the XLE V6. There is a top-of-the-line hard-drive-based navigation system to decide on as well.
Under the hood there are two engines to choose from with the base offering a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with 178 horsepower and 170 pound-feet of torque. The other engine option is a 3.5-liter V6 engine with 268 horsepower and 248 pound feet of torque. Either engine has front wheel drive and is six-speed automatic.
For safety, there are the standards like antilock brakes with brake assist, stability control, front- and rear-seat side, and full-length side curtain and knee airbags, the latter for both the driver and passenger. There is also a blind-spot monitoring system that comes in handy when changing lanes safely.
Inside, the 2012 Toyota Camry has more room than in years past and more elbow room, thanks to resized door panels.
In the past, the Camry has also been tainted by cheap plastic that was used in the interior, but with the redesign, it offers more decoration and a plusher feel over all.
Once behind the wheel, you can appreciate the driving capability of the 2012 Toyota Camry. Either the four-cylinder engine or the V6 will do the job, so it’s really just a personal preference. There is also the electric-assisted steering on all the trims now instead of just the hybrid version, so take note of the change there and the livelier driving due to this addition.
Taking the road, the 2012 Toyota Camry does it right and with that same dependability we have all come to know and love.
Should You Need to Know: Kudos for the backseat in the 2012 Toyota Camry since it offer mores support for the driver and passenger, making for an all around great ride.
Miles Per Gallon: The 2012 Toyota Camry XLE I drove came in with 25 miles per gallon in the city and 35 miles per gallon on the highway.
Cost: An added plus is the price tag, a reasonable $31,770 fora top-of-the-line car.
Rita Cook is a writer/editor with has over 1000 articles to her credit in the past 13-plus years. She is a frequent auto and travel contributor on a radio show in Los Angeles called Insider Mag Radio at KPRO 1570 am on from midnight to 12:30 a.m. Monday mornings.
She also contributes travel and auto to the Anthony Duva show, which can be heard live from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. EST every Sunday at www.unregularradio.com.
Cook is a member of the Texas Auto Writer’s Association, writes for the Dallas Morning News Green Living Section as well as artist profiles and www.greensourceDFW and spends much of her time on the road traveling or working on books.
Her latest book releases are both “Haunted Dallas” and “Haunted Fort Worth” from www.historypress.net. You can also follow Cook at Twitter at @ritacook13.
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