Once “the gold standard of mid-size motoring,” the Toyota Camry lately has lost its competitive luster due to “dull as dishwater” styling. But the best-selling car in America has—within its segment—suddenly leaped back into contention on the sex-appeal scale. “Your knees won’t get weak” when you first eye the 2012 Camry, but Toyota’s re-engineered flagship does offer sleeker exterior lines, dramatically improved fuel economy and handling, and an interior that “feels several classes richer.”
The remade Camry is an exercise in “refinement, not revolution.” Both the four-cylinder and V6 engines are carryovers from the 2011 model, though “subtle” engineering changes and the six-speed automatic transmission ensure that EPA ratings on the gas-powered models should be best in the mid-size class. Two of the eight models available are hybrids, which can travel short distances on battery power alone at 25 mph or less.
Every model delivers “the kind of drive you’d expect: smooth, comfortable, and quiet, and otherwise unremarkable.” The interior is improved, but also about as exciting as “your dentist’s waiting room.” Still, what do auto writers know? For us, this is simply the Toyota “that must sell well in order to pay for more interesting cars.”