Tomorrow is the launch of the new Toyota Corolla Altis which looks like a mini Camry and we thought its the best time to test drive the Toyota Camry and review it. When the Camry was initially launched it was a looker but as its aged off you can’t say the same. But it still looks stylish, not head turning though and Toyota should give it a small face lift to spruce matters.
The interiors of the Camry don’t give you the luxury car feel that you would expect. The front seats are plush, but the same can’t be said about the rear seats . There is int enough legroom that you would expect from a car from this class and the Accord feels much more comfortable to sit in at the rear. On features its evenly matched with the Accord with six airbags, ABS, EBD, BAS, leather seats, integrated music system, lumbar support, 8 way adjustable power drivers seat, rear AC vent, flat blade wiper to boast of. The Camry has a few more features like cruise control, steering mounted controls, HID lights, headlamp cleaner, auto headlamps, auto wipers but that alone can’t win the battle.
On the road the Camry is int as fast as the Accord, but it feels better to drive in day to day traffic. The 2.4L VVTi engine is reponsive and has good low end grunt. The gearing is short and precise. But once you start climb up higher in the revv range the motor starts to feel a bit strained. However the motor is good enough for reaching 100kmph in less then 10 seconds and nudging 200kmph with ease. Ride quality is excellent and the Camry feels very stable at high speeds. Braking is good but the Accord seems to be better when it comes to stopping and the Honda handles better as well. Not that the Camry is a bad handler. Both the Accord and Camry will return similar fuel efficiency figures of 8 in the City and 12 on the highway, the Camry being slighlty more fuel efficienct.
I must say i am a bit disappointed by this Toyota. Sure it does go about doing its job well and like all Toyota’s will last long but that’s not the point. When you buy a car which is priced around 25+ lacs, you expect much more and the Camry just doesn’t deliver. While it rides like a carpet, it does not match up to the Accord which is much more value for money being 5.5 lacs cheaper to buy. Toyota import the Camry and that has inflated the price. The Accord is newer, bigger, plusher, more modern, looks better and cheaper to buy. It also comes with the option of paddle shift gearbox which can make you feel like Lewis Hamilton when you are behind the wheel. There are no two thoughts that Toyota’s Camry just doesn’t match up and the Accord trumps it to emerge as the pick of this segment.