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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.
Favorite Features

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 178 Ratings for the 2012 - 2014 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.5/10
    Quality
    8.7/10
  • Reliability
    9.2/10
    Performance
    8.5/10
  • Comfort
    8.5/10
    Styling
    8.6/10

New Camry has design flaws especially in SE model

By on Monday, April 14, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 15,000

10 4.0
overall rating 4 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
4/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
6/10
Quality
2/10
Performance
2/10
Styling
2/10
Comfort
2/10

Pros: "More quantity for less price"

Cons: "Design Flaws (not defects), poor quality, Steering"

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

"I own the 2012 Toyota Camry SE 4 cylinder model & I regret buying the Camry & that too SE model in specific. If one is buying Camry then suggest read my below review & especially for SE version think twice because of experience on below issues. My below issues are exactly not defects but design flaws which even NHTSA will not force Toyota to resolve. So I have to live with those, no other option. I contacted Toyota for below problems & they just responded telling we have noted your issues under file number# and will make sure to fix in next iteration but no guarantees. They didn't make any effort to resolve these in my current car. The below issues are design flaws & missing attention to details read on… & please note that mine is single driver car & I use it smoothly & always maintain it more than what it requires. 1) SE model steering is unusually stiff & steering ratio is not correct & steering makes some gusss gusss sound... I do understand the SE is sports edition & hence steering is stiff but instead of designing it properly & differently for SE, Toyota just made it mechanically stiff. Firstly if you hear carefully then one can hear the mechanical gusss gusss sound on steering wheel rotation when taking off initially. This sound is the proof that they just made it mechanically stiff instead it should be motorized stiff which should vary based on the car speed. This kind of gusss gusss mechanical sound is not there even in Elantra sports edition which is also sports steering. Are you kidding me Toyota? On top of it being mechanically stiff rather than motorized stiff and not smooth, it has another big problem. Usually all stiff sports tuned steering require shorter steering wheel rotation but this one is opposite. It requires more rotation unlike other sports editions like in Accord or Sonata. So you will be presented with stiff sounding steering & top of it, it requires more turning effort when compared to other sports edition cars. Just imagine what it means to driving daily? Toyota didn't design the components & steering ratio properly for SE. One will not notice this in one test drive but definitely after couple of test drives or after owning it like me. 2) SE model suspension doesn't absorb all the bumps and more over slightest of tiny pot holes are also transferred into the cabin. I understand the SE is sports tuned & slightly 15% stiffer than regular Camry but that doesn't mean it should be designed badly? Even the slightest road irregularities like very tiny pot holes, a slight 5 mm thick line on the road / even some cases road markings (white yellow paint) are all translated into the cabin with a noise & feel as well. Is this the price you pay for $28,000 car? Sports Elantra does much better here & no way you can compare this with Sports edition of of Sonata & Accord. This is totally absent in New sports edition Accord/Sonata/Passat & which also have better handling & body roll than Camry according to experts too. Test all these for yourself and let me know if I am wrong. 3) SE model road noise is too much. I previously owned 2007 Sonata GLS & even in year 2012 its cabin & suspension sound was quite & smooth. But this 2012 Camry SE makes huge amount of Road noise & sometimes suspension sound too. I think what happened was for SE, Toyota made the suspension 15% strong & put the larger tires but failed to redesign the sound absorption/sound deadening accordingly. Other than Camry SE model this issue is not there on L, LE & XLE models. I can confirm that. 4) Ergonomics & Build Quality - Vibration issues, Windshield Glare, missing attention to details on all Camry models. I ask the readers to just do one simple test & Camry will fail instantly. Put all the Accord, Camry and Sonata in parking mode try to feel the vibrations through steering & gear knob. In Camry one can easily feel the steering wheel vibration and even the car vibrations too which new Sonata and Accord and Passat races ahead with flying colors. What happened to your vibration dampeners? Next Camry leaves lot of dashboard glare on to the windshield especially during bright/sunlight conditions, which I see Accord, Sonata do better job. Next let’s go to Camry instrument cluster. I wonder who is the engineer designed this instrument cluster? To save cost you have provided 2 push sticks to change instrument cluster settings like display, brightness, Avg Consumption etc. But that push stick control design is so poor that it lets in the dust easily because you people have holed it on to the cluster directly and that too without preventing/taking measure to make it dust/water proof. This in contrast to 2013 Accord/CRV they also have done the same thing but with difference that, they have insulated to make sure no dust/water goes inside the instrument cluster (dust/water proofing). See the difference between Honda and Toyota for yourself? This is still the case even in new Camry & one can observe it. Now my cluster has some dust inside of it, which there is no way to clean/rectify it. Kudos to Toyota design engineers. There are other issues too like power windows operation/feel is not as smooth as Passat and here Passat feels like built to last but Camry feels like built for only 3 years that’s when its warranty ends! So I have decided to sell my car just few months before the Warranty expires because I simply don't trust the build quality, missing attention to details & design flaws. Will never buy Toyota again & if anybody finds faults/wrongs with whatever I told then let me know, I can prove that I am correct in whatever I told above. Thanks, Chetan V Shirol"

Great value. Reliable, comfortable, very quiet.

By on Friday, April 11, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 19,000

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
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Great highway car...quiet, comfortable, great MPG"

Cons: "Some of the plastic is a little cheesy."

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

"Have had this for my LE for two years. It is a terrific highway cruiser. Very quiet at highway cruising speeds and the standard sound system is much better than I initially expected. The interior is so quiet at highway speeds, that we can have conversations without raising our voices...this is a welcome change from our Hyundai and Mazda. I get 26mpg overall (not much highway driving) and 36 to 40 on the highway during occasional longer trips. The 4 cylinder has adequate power (although I've never had it in the mountains...don't know how it will handle serious hills). Handling is fine, though not particularly sporty."

Very nice car equipped w/convenience pkg.

By on Monday, April 07, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 7,100

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "solid car"

Cons: "MPG is lower than expected for a 4cyl"

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

"4 cyl is noisey. Moderate road noise level. Steering is surprising responsive. Decent feedback Primarily used in around town driving, after 7100 miles the MPG is averaging 24.6."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Best sedan - value for money

By on Sunday, April 06, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 2,700

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
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "great gas mileage, decent power, good looks"

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

"Bought the new 2013 camry hybrid. Good city mileage and comfort. Happy and glad that i bought this car."

Not the same quality as early

By on Sunday, April 06, 2014

I owned and sold this car
Reason: quality of materials, safety

10 1.0
overall rating 1 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
1/10
Value
5/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
2/10
Performance
2/10
Styling
2/10
Comfort
2/10

Pros: "Inexpensive and reliable"

Cons: "Issues with worksmanship and safety"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 5

"I had a 2002 Camry and it was the best car I ever owned. It was reliable, had decent mileage, quality materials and for the time period I had it, I had equity in the car which was amazing. I bought a 2012 Camry having these same expectations of the car. What I got was a car with inferior quality cabin materials, air vents thathat smelled like fungus, and the fumes of gas in my car from a faulty gas cap design. On top of this, the cabin materials are already showing signs of wear, and the new crash safety ratings indicate the driver seat compartment will be demolished in certain crash tests. I ended up trading it in after a year and a half and eating $2k in negative equity but I figure it's better to have a safer car that doesn't stink."

1 person out of 2 found this review helpful

Not the same quality as early

By on Sunday, April 06, 2014

I owned and sold this car
Reason: quality of materials, safety

10 1.0
overall rating 1 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
1/10
Value
5/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
2/10
Performance
2/10
Styling
2/10
Comfort
2/10

Pros: "Inexpensive and reliable"

Cons: "Issues with worksmanship and safety"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 5

"I had a 2002 Camry and it was the best car I ever owned. It was reliable, had decent mileage, quality materials and for the time period I had it, I had equity in the car which was amazing. I bought a 2012 Camry having these same expectations of the car. What I got was a car with inferior quality cabin materials, air vents thathat smelled like fungus, and the fumes of gas in my car from a faulty gas cap design. On top of this, the cabin materials are already showing signs of wear, and the new crash safety ratings indicate the driver seat compartment will be demolished in certain crash tests. I ended up trading it in after a year and a half and eating $2k in negative equity but I figure it's better to have a safer car that doesn't stink."

1 person out of 3 found this review helpful

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