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2012 Toyota Camry

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2012 Toyota Camry Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 7.6

America's top-selling passenger car for the past nine years, the Toyota Camry receives a major overhaul for 2012. While the seventh-generation of the front-drive sedan retains its midsize status, a new look, new features and an even more people-focused personality are all aimed at infusing its well-honed practical persona with a new measure of emotional appeal that Toyota hopes will curry favor with younger buyers. Available in L/LE/SE/XLE trims with four-cylinder and V6 (SE/XLE) gasoline engines as well an impressively redone Hybrid variant in LE/XLE variations, the 2012 Toyota Camry will need every edge it can muster as it takes intense challenges from perennial arch-rival, the Honda Accord, as well as formidable foes like the Ford Fusion, Hyundai Sonata, Nissan Altima and also-new-for-2013 Chevrolet Malibu.

You'll Like This Car If...

Arguably better in every measurable way, the thoroughly tweaked 2012 Toyota Camry has what it takes to retain its already bountiful buyer base and make an even-stronger case for consideration by anyone seeking a top-rate midsize sedan with either conventional or hybrid power.

You May Not Like This Car If...

Its comprehensive list of enhancements notwithstanding, those with more avant-garde styling preferences still will find the 2012 Toyota Camry sedan falls short in the head-turning department, especially compared to the current sedan-class benchmark, Hyundai's high-profile Sonata.

What's New for 2012

The 2012 Toyota Camry sedan is a generational redesign that builds on the midsize sedan's historic strengths by complementing its practical nature with an even more modern character and better value at all trim levels.

Driving the Camry

Driving Impressions Toyota engineers diligently worked to improve the new Camry sedan's structure and suspension. More high-strength steel increases rigidity of the body while trimming weight – significantly on gasoline models and...

by over 230 whopping pounds on the Hybrids. Revised chassis components and new geometry give all Camry versions a more confident feel with better ride compliance and body control, changes that are particularly noticeable when the going gets twisty. Numerous new noise-abatement technologies also make the 2012 Toyota Camry far quieter over most roads. Without a doubt, the biggest beneficiary of the 2012 Camry remake is the Hybrid. With major mass reduction, handling dynamics on par with its conventional kin, and a redone Hybrid Synergy Drive system that finally has the engine/motor/transmission triumvirate speaking far more directly to each other, the most fuel-efficient Camry variant should have far greater consumer appeal regardless of the price of gasoline.

Upgraded Hybrid Synergy Drive (HSD)
Taking a much-needed next step in the greener arena, the 2012 Toyota Camry Hybrid features a comprehensively redone HSD system that's lighter, tighter and far more impressively integrated – improvements that yield more spirited performance under all conditions and a stunning 30-percent bump in key fuel economy numbers.

Toyota Entune
Still a work in process, Toyota's new Entune multimedia/telematics system already shows solid introductory capabilities and offers both a user-friendly interface and the promise of an ever-expanding group of downloadable apps that should make it a worthy state-of-the-art rival to in-car alternatives of its competitors.

2012 Toyota Camry Details
2012 Toyota Camry photo Interior

The redesigned 2012 Toyota Camry cabin adds both space and contemporary sophistication, highlighted by a leather-covered "layered" dash set off by trim-specific instrumentation and a center cluster inspired by portable music players. Headroom is up in all positions while aft passengers also gain significant hip and legroom. Other key plusses include more supportive front buckets and a revised lower cushion on the 60/40 folding rear bench seat that adds stretch space for the middle rider – although minimal padding still limits the center perch to part-time duty. Trunk space also is up, modestly in gasoline-powered Camrys; but by 2.1 cubic feet in the new 2012 Hybrid.

Exterior
2012 Toyota Camry photo

Although its external dimensions are virtually unchanged, the 2012 Toyota Camry's fully redrawn bodywork adds an edgier flair. The new sedan sports a bolder front and rear look with more expressive contours and character lines that impart a wider, lower look and a more wedge-like profile. Helping the cause are a host of subtle touches like mini-strakes on the mirrors and taillamps that channel air to improve stability, and new underbody work that further reduces drag. Unique front/rear/side-sill styling adds more cosmetic swagger to the Camry SE while blue-trimmed "Hybrid" and "HSD" (Hybrid Synergy Drive) badges visually define the most fuel-efficient 2012 Camry.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

Impressively packaged at all levels, even the base Camry L sedan offers numerous power assists, air conditioning, cruise control, AM/FM/CD/MP3/WMA audio with AUX/USB/iPod inputs, Bluetooth, Toyota's STAR safety system and 10 airbags. The LE adds keyless remote entry, multifunction steering wheel, and an upgraded Display Audio sound system. Moving up to the Camry SE nets you a dedicated sport suspension/wheel/tire package with unique trim, Softex covered sport seats and paddle shifters. The top-line Camry XLE sedan features dual power seats, dual-zone climate control, power moonroof and premium fabric or leather (V6-only) upholstery. Both the SE/XLE V6s add Navigation and Entune multimedia telematics, HD radio and SiriusXM Satellite Radio. The Camry Hybrid sedan offers LE and XLE trim-level appointments.

Optional Equipment

The 2012 Toyota Camry sedan's extras roster is confined to color choices on the L trim and a power driver's seat and moonroof on the LE. Upgraded Display Audio packages with Navigation and Entune – including a 10-speaker premium JBL system with energy-saving GreenEdge speaker technology – dedicated Convenience Packages and Leather-trimmed Ultrasuede Sport Seats with deluxe trim also are available on SE/XLE models, while SEs can be had with a power moonroof. Camry Hybrids offer a Leather Package, Moonroof Package and two tiers of JBL-enhanced Upgrade Packages, one with Navigation and one without.

Under the Hood

Focused drivetain revamps yield impressive gains in both performance and economy for all 2012 Toyota Camry sedans. Modest internal enhancements to the largely carryover 178-horsepower 2.5-liter four and 268-horse 3.5-liter V6 coupled with revised final-drive ratios in their standard 6-speed automatic transmissions, plus lower-rolling-resistance tires, help raise EPA city/highway numbers by three mpg on four-cylinder Camrys and one mpg on V6s. While its electric motor remains unchanged, a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine replaces the previous 2.4-liter in the Camry Hybrid, which also features lighter, more compact and better-managed electrical components – including a new battery pack and a CVT (continuously-variable transmission) automatic with new ECO/EV modes. While the total hybrid-system output rises from 187 to 200 horsepower, preliminary EPA figures – 43/39 mpg for the LE and 41/38 mpg for the XLE – reflect a huge 30-percent uptick in fuel economy.

2.5-liter in-line 4
178 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
(PZEV 173 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm)
170 lb-ft of torque @ 4,100 rpm
(PZEV 165 lb-ft @ 4,100 rpm)
EPA City/highway fuel economy: 25/35 mpg (6-speed automatic)


3.5-liter V6
268 horsepower @ 6,200 rpm
248 lb-ft of torque @ 4,700 rpm
EPA City/highway fuel economy: 21/30 mpg (6-speed automatic)


2.5-liter in-line 4 plus a 105-kilowatt Permanent Magnet AC Synchronous Electric Motor and Ni-MH battery pack
Engine: 156 horsepower @ 5,750 rpm
Battery: 141 horsepower 4,500 rpm
Total hybrid system (engine and battery): 200 horsepower
Engine: 156 lb-ft of torque @ 4,500 rpm
Battery: 199 lb-ft of torque @ 0-1,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 43/39 mph (LE with CVT automatic), 41/38 mpg (XLE with CVT automatic)

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2012 Toyota Camry Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.5
Out of 10

Based on 273 Ratings for the 2012 - 2014 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.5/10
    Quality
    8.6/10
  • Reliability
    9.3/10
    Performance
    8.4/10
  • Comfort
    8.5/10
    Styling
    8.4/10

I love this car!!

By on Friday, July 24, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 36,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Everything else"

Cons: "No customization on driver settings or sunroof"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Other than a few features missing from my car (e.g. sunroof, driver 1-2 settings), I adore this car. I don't like the body changes on the 2015, so I was thrilled when I found a 'gently used' 2014 SE Sport available for purchase. The 4 cylinder is torque-y enough to make it worth giving up the 6, meaning the gas mileage is awesome. ON the freeway, I average above the spec at about 40 MPH. The back seat is very roomy and the car is just gorgeous inside and out. I'm very proud to own this, above and beyond even luxury models. I also happen to love the cloth/leather mix of the interior. I love love love this car."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Great Car - Thin Paint

By on Thursday, July 23, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 32,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Very reliable, comfortable, great gas milage."

Cons: "Thin, easily chipped paint. I have a rust spot."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"My Toyota Camry 13 is a nice, reliable car. The bluetooth is a great option. There are two things that I don't like: the car rocks when I turn it off - forward and backward. The dealer has nothing to say about this and can't fix it. Secondly, the paint is as thin as nail polish. It chips so easily and I actually have a tiny rust spot on the hood. My 15 year old Camry never developed any rust at all."

Made me love Toyota!!!

By on Tuesday, July 21, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 31,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Reliable, Value, Fun, AMAZING RIDE!!!"

Cons: "Interior design"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"So I had never owned a Toyota nor driven one until this car...I was deployed and my wife needed a car, on leave she rented it while we were in a different state and fell in love...So we decided to buy. We purchased a 2012 Toyota Camry SE V6...we have everything except the JBL sound system. The sport suspension is amazing, the stock speakers are still incredible, amazing throttle response and extremely low IDLE with little to no noise...sometimes its so quiet i have forgot it was even on. Push to start and keyless entry are great, after while it gets nicer to know you can lock and unlock your doors without worrying about pressing a button or even starting your car in the winter and someone taking it! I love the fact the key must be in the car to start, very spacious both inside and drunk, the exterior looks sleek. Couple down falls i think about this car is with the SE we got the body kit to it and the front bumper like to pop off every once in awhile, just the drivers corner but you can easily pop it back into place. No memory seat and it would be good with about 2-3 extra inches between the front seats and back...Interior design looks less then flashy compared to some other sedans but still looks great."

Dependable car

By on Wednesday, July 15, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 55,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Very nice to drive"

Cons: "Not an AWD."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"Drove the 2010 model and traded it for the 2012 model. Very fuel efficient. Drove like an AWD car during winter. Very reliable car."

11 people out of 16 found this review helpful

Extremely Satisfied with the operation of this car

By on Wednesday, July 15, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 46,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Consistent 29 MPG over 46,000 miles."

Cons: "car is lighter than I wish it was."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"very pleased with the overall performance of this vehicle. I have strictly maintained this car, and even with three recalls (all done immediately/successfully) for minor items, I am convinced that the overall valve is maintained."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Unbelievable car.

By on Tuesday, July 14, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 40,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "see below."

Cons: "see below."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Voice activated, computer operated. Car is exceptionally quick, top speed over 140 mph, handles with one finger, smooth and soft ride, leather is excellent, stereo has great sound, overall, the car is absolutely beautiful inside and out..........NOW, FOR THE BAD NEWS..........if you open all the windows, the 'flutter' created from the exterior design will drown out the stereo......the bumpers and many parts are made of plastic, break easily and are costly to repair without insurance. The car is very expensive and seems to loose about 5% of value per year which is not too bad. Gas mileage is about 35 miles per gallon maximum and increasing at lower speeds. Gear shifter could be a problem due to ease of shifting from one gear to another. GPS is really a great touch and the rear view camera is worth its weight in gold."

3 people out of 5 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

Buying this car?