For those of you that have not owned an older Camry, you will not realize how much Toyota has "cheapened" the quality of the new cars. (Even the mechanics at my dealer have told me so. And those guys know!)
My other Camry is a 2005 model, and I can't believe how much better the interior looks and feels when compared to the new 2012. The new 2012 seats are smaller, tighter, thinner, harder... and the low quality plastic on the dashboard and door panels is an embarrassment! Even the steering wheel is worse.
Open the 2012 door, and you immediately notice how "light" and cheap it feels. My 2005 door is solid, heavy, and closes with a "thunk." Not so on the new 2012.
Honestly? Not much. The gas mileage is slightly better in the 2012... but that's because of all the weight they cut out? My 2005 Camry has much better build quality.
2012 interior plastic is poor quality. Door panels are light and flimsy. Dashboard feels cheap. Seats feel smaller and harder than in previous Camry models. Electronic steering is vague and boring. Wind and road noise is still very noticeable.
The gas mileage is better than your 2005 mostly because it is a much newer engine & transmission (2.5 vs. 2.4L), and 6 speed auto, vs 5 speed auto, not because of weight difference.
If interior is less than your 2005, consider the price and the fact that the safety of the 2012 is MUCH better than the 2005!
Stability control, traction control, crash ratings higher, more air bags, etc.
Better sound system also.
Funny, most of the professional reviews comment that the interior is good, especially compared to the 2007-2011.
They also say the noise levels are EXTREMELY low, compared to other cars in this class.
Why would anyone buy a car that they have not thoroughly tested is beyond anyone's guess? What you are describing as "bad" features are things that anyone could easily evaluate BEFORE buying this car. I drive the same car and I completely disagree with this comment. I have seen the interior of the 2005 Camry and it's not nearly as nice as the one in the 2012.
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