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Toyota Camry 2.4 A/T (Old)

14th Sep 2009 7:00 am

The Camry is the car you want to be in at the end of a long day — as soothing and effortless as a champagne jacuzzi

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  • Make : Toyota
  • Model : Camry

The main difference is the introduction of a 4-speed auto box. The auto transmission is controlled electronically (called Super ECT). Hill Sensing Control is another feature that improves the Camry’s performance on gradients. Cruise Control, a feature which on our roads is as useful as a fur coat in summer, can be operated from behind the new-look steering wheel. The Camry's gained slightly larger headlamps, with more chrome and four elements instead of three; the grille and bumper have also been revised. The rear is also sharper with new tail-lights.

Toyota calls the wing mirrors on the new Camry are called ‘hydrophilic’ designed to disperse water droplets that invade the glass area. These add some sparkle, but overall, it's a pretty insipid design, very American in its bulk and its cautious lines. The Camry's always been a fairly high car, but Toyota has just jacked it up by another 15mm, stiffening the springs slightly. The Camry uses MacPherson struts and a dual-link unit and is very well built.

There is a new leather steering wheel with neat buttons to tune the new six-CD changer which also has an MP3 set-up. The dashboard is of dual-hue and flows into a wood-covered centre console. The driver’s seat has electrical lumbar support and 10-way adjustments. The seats are supportive and high-set, and there's masses of space. The rear bench, so important in this class, is superb, with plenty of legroom, a perfect back-rest angle and excellent under-thigh support.

The plush leather interiors are safe as well. The new Camry comes with six airbags in addition to the two that were offered in the older one. Four new airbags spurt out as curtains in the event of an accident and are meant to prevent passengers getting injured during a side impact. Two small touches stand out: a sun-blind that shields the backs of rear passengers' necks, and the ‘Comfort Guide,’ a clip that prevents the rear seatbelts from chafing the necks of children or short adults. The parking brake lever is now foot-operated rather than by hand.

The Camry's comfort-oriented set-up comes to the fore here: it's a phenomenal cruiser, with a superb ride (even with the taller, stiffer springs) and is quite stable though the Camry tends to tramline and wander around at high speeds. The handling is unenthusiastic, but it doesn't bite — it just doesn't like being hustled. The vague steering is disappointing — it's usefully light in the city, but on the highway, it feels dead on-centre. The best things to do is throttle back, and enjoy the cloud-like ride; the suspension thumps over bad bumps. There's no traction control, unlike the others, but the ABS-equipped brakes are absolutely fantastic.

Toyota Camry 2.4 A/T (Old)
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