Joel Helmes reviews the Toyota Camry Altise.
Generally when I review a car I like to get to know it really well before looking up the all-important price.
My reasoning for this is that I believe having this information beforehand can cloud my judgement.
Sure I generally have a pretty good idea of what the car I’m driving is worth but sometimes my overall opinion of a car can change, positively or negatively based on the final price tag.
I’m pleased to say that I was really shocked at the very reasonable price of the Toyota Camry Altise.
In fact I reckon this could be the value buy of the year.
Here you have an Australian built full-size sedan that’s brilliant to drive and will cost you from just $30,490.
The first thing that stands out with the Camry is the overall feeling that this is a car that has evolved rather than been designed.
Often cars that have a long pedigree such as the Toyota Camry, which as a model has been in existence for over 30 years, have had all the wrinkles ironed out.
Thus the 2012 Camry is a model that’s really hard to find fault with.
Under the bonnet you will find a 2.5 litre four cylinder petrol engine which produces 133kW and 231Nm.
The Toyota Camry Altise comes standard with a smooth six speed auto.
What can I say other than the engine gives you spirited, no fuss acceleration – even on hills.
Fuel consumption for a full size sedan is a very respectable 10.9 litres per 100 in the city; interestingly I easily managed 10 litres flat.
On the highway that drops to 6.0 litres for a combined total of 7.8.
The Camry rides beautifully, handles nicely and is just a pleasure to drive.
The steering in particular, while perhaps a touch on the light side is otherwise excellent.
The exterior styling is generally pleasant however I must admit I’m not a huge fan of the Camry’s rear.
One observation that stands out when outside the vehicle is just how nicely the Camry is put together and also the quality of the paintwork and chrome highlights.
Inside the cabin the Toyota designers have obviously tried to give the Camry a little more personality, the dash is a little ugly in my opinion but everything is where it should be and is easy to operate.
The steering wheel has a really nice feel about it and I’m pleased to say the armrests are nice and soft and this all contributes to making the cabin a pleasant place to be.
Generally the interior has a nice premium feel about it despite the inclusion of some hard plastic.
The well thought out interior also includes huge centre console storage areas and a very generous sized glove box.
The seats in the Camry Altise are extremely comfortable but could do with a little more under leg support for taller drivers.
Leg room front and back is extremely generous and the boot is enormous.
Also inside the cabin you’ll find standard equipment such as Bluetooth connectivity, USB and auxiliary audio inputs and cruise control.
For an additional $500 your Camry can be fitted with a reversing camera and 6 CD sound system.
Interestingly satellite navigation isn’t available, in fact the only other option you can get is metallic or pearl paint for an additional $400.
The Toyota Camry Altise boasts a 5 star ANCAP rating but just a 3 and a half star Green Vehicle Guide rating.
Summing it up the Camry is very hard to beat and I reckon it would represent great value even above $35,000.
To think you can jump into such a well put together, easy and pleasant to drive Australian built large car for just $30,490 is incredible.
NUTS & BOLTS
Engine: 2.5 litre four cylinder petrol delivering 133kW and 231Nm.
Transmission: 6 speed sports automatic.
Warranty: 3 years/100,000.
Safety: 5 star ANCAP