The 2012 Toyota Camry has been re-designed, but while it can be thought to have been upgraded, this vehicle is not a large leap forward. The all-new model has attended to some of our past complaints, especially regarding interior styling, features and quality.
But when it comes to overall styling and that tough “joy-to-drive” feeling, it has hardly moved the needle. That’s not to point out the Camry drops flat, however, since it’s an absolutely exceptional choice for the average buyer. The past formula worked, and the new version basically adds to the sum total.
This 2012 Toyota Camry SE is powered by a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 178 horsepower and 170 pound-feet of torque. A V6 with a more robust output of 268 hp is available as an option, though the vast majority of buyers typically select the four-cylinder. Power is sent to the front wheels via a six-speed automatic transmission that features manual shift paddles on the steering wheel.
For the sporty trim level in the Camry lineup, the SE’s unique suspension tuning does not compromise ride quality by adding unnecessary harshness, as some of the Toyota’s rivals do. Imperfections in the road are smoothed over, yet the body is controlled sufficiently so the car doesn’t feel disconnected from the road. Likewise, road and wind noise are abated, providing a fairly quiet cabin.
With the total redesign, the 2012 Toyota Camry SE surely is worthy of competing with the very best of the midsize family sedan segment. It doesn’t lead the class in any way, but neither does it lack for the fundamentals, particularly the stress-free driving experience. What the new vehicle lacks in enjoyment, it can make up for with the Camry’s customary feature-rich content and sterling status for reliability.