In what has got to be a record for daily international and local launches, Toyota has pulled the wraps off the facelifted Camry in the United States. Now in its third year on the market, the eighth-generation D-segment sedan gets a mild exterior redesign that hides a few upgrades underneath.
The blink-and-you’ll-miss-it nip-and-tuck is centred around the front fascia. The standard version (which we’ll get, so pay attention) gets a more defined centre air intake that juts out from the gaping maw, while the slim upper grille has been slightly tweaked. It also receives new 17- and 18-inch alloy wheel designs.
Meanwhile, the “sport” version gains bigger fake inlets at the corners, bookended by gloss black accents and underlined by a larger splitter. In America at least, the Camry gets a new Blueprint paint option to replace Blue Streak Metallic, while the sporty range-topping XSE variants gain a two-tone Supersonic Red and Midnight Black Metallic colour scheme. The TRD model has exclusive Ice Edge two-tone paint.
Inside, the centre console has been revamped, placing the new freestanding infotainment touchscreen above the air vents – just like the new RAV4. Depending on the trim level, the display measures either seven or nine inches across, with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and Amazon Alexa compatibility coming in as standard, as do free trials for SiriusXM satellite radio and a range of connected services.
On top of the aforementioned larger screen, the Audio Plus system also adds the option of a nine-speaker, 800-watt JBL premium sound system, which is fitted as standard on the top-tier Premium Audio with Dynamic Navigation. The latter also throws in a three-year trial for over-the-air updates.
Elsewhere, there are new decorative trim options across the board, with either linear dark wood inlays or patterned metal depending on the grade. The seats also feature a new “ratcheted” design, with the luxury-oriented XLE model coming with a new herringbone pattern for the leather perforation.
The new Camry is the first car in the US to come with the Toyota Safety Sense 2.5+ suite of driver assistance systems. This adds nighttime pedestrian detection and daytime cyclist detection for autonomous emergency braking, as well as oncoming vehicle detection at junctions. There’s also an emergency steering assist function that stabilises the car when the driver avoids a vehicle, pedestrian or cyclist.
Adaptive cruise control has also been upgraded, now accelerating earlier when overtaking slower vehicles for a smoother experience. Other standard features include lane departure warning, lane centring assist, automatic high beam, traffic sign recognition and the new rear seat reminder to alert the driver if a rear passenger has been left behind. Blind spot monitoring with rear cross traffic alert is optional and comes as standard on XLE, XSE and TRD models.
The US powertrain lineup has been retained and starts with a 2.5 litre Dynamic Force naturally-aspirated four-cylinder engine, producing 203 hp at 6,600 rpm and 250 Nm of torque at 5,000 rpm. The 3.5 litre V6, on the other hand, churns out 301 hp at 6,600 rpm and 362 Nm at 4,700 rpm. Both mills are mated to a Direct Shift eight-speed automatic gearbox, with the 2.5 litre unit also available with all-wheel drive.
Also offered is the Camry Hybrid, which utilises 176 hp/220 Nm version of the 2.5 litre engine that is paired to a 118 hp electric motor; total system output is rated at 208 hp. For the first time, the Hybrid can also be had with the XSE trim level.
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