2012 Toyota Camry SE Long Term Test

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2012 Toyota Camry SE: Chicago Bound

December 06, 2012

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Our long-term Toyota Camry SE has a new owner and like the recently departed Acura NSX, it is going to an Edmunds.com employee. Marvin is an Edmunds sales representative in the greater Chicago area. He was looking for a comfortable and reliable commuter car for work. The Camry definitely fits the bill.

Marvin was in town for a company meeting and had the chance to inspect the car himself before making a final decision. The Camry met his expectations and we closed the deal after a short test drive. The "no haggle" selling price was our private party TMV of $21,546.

For reference, we paid $26,397 (plus tax and title), which means the Camry depreciated about 18 percent in the year we had it. That's low depreciation for one year and is a testament to its resale value.

Unfortunately, the Camry never made it to the 20,000 mile goal we set for our long term cars. Its final odometer was 17,201.

Marvin crunched the numbers and found that it would be less expensive to ship the car back, rather than drive it to Chicago. He will make arrangements with a delivery service in the next few days.

We wish Marvin well and bid farewell to our long-term Camry.

Final Odometer: 17,201 miles

Ron Montoya, Consumer Advice Editor

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2012 Toyota Camry SE: Or...

November 22, 2012

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Currently, I'm recuperating from a turkey overdose at the girlfriend's parent's house where we are discussing their next car. 

They drive so infrequently that fuel mileage is irrelevant, but they drive enough to want something nice. They keep asking about a 2012 Toyota Camry SE, like our long termer (they test drove one and liked the seats) and, while I like it, I 'm trying to suggest alternatives. Just to stir the pot.

But they've got some rules...

-Nothing American. I've tried to sell them on the Fusion but it's not happening. Their current car is 8 years old, American and failing. Their last domestic died at around the same time and they're over it. 
-Sedan or small crossover. Nothing with two doors, no hatchbacks, no three-row monsters. 
-Under $30K. 

Again, I like our Camry and it's a darned fine pick, but it's also taking the easy road. There's a nice Accord out for 2013. The Altima's good. Rav-4 and CR-V, too. And then there are all of the Korean cars! 

The Camry 's got a lot of traction here because of the brand equity and every other suggestion is fighting an uphill battle. 

What would you do? 

Mike Magrath, Features Editor

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2012 Toyota Camry: Low Profile

November 08, 2012

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Other than an LS7 exhaust or the occasional "War Pigs" at top volume with the windows down, I don't like cars to announce my arrival. I especially don't like auto dome lights that illuminate when I turn off the engine. I don't need the guy standing outside my car with shaved head, Warren Sapp jersey and Colt .45 tall boy -- my neighbor's buddy, he says -- seeing where I put my fat cash stacks before exiting the car. The guy wouldn't be so bad, actually, if he just wore #32 like a proper Raiders fan.

I also don't like horns that sound when I remote lock the car. They annoy me and I believe they annoy others, a wimpy horn especially. The Camry has a wimpy horn. But it also allows you to set the sounding volume when you remote lock the car. I RTFM, which told me to then RTF(Navigation)M, to learn how to access the settings menu. If you don't have the nav system, the dealer can customize the horn volume for you. But with the nav, you just dive down a few menus and lower the volume completely. Success. Only the ambers flash to confirm you've locked the car when walking away.

Next task: kill the auto dome light.

Dan Frio, Automotive Editor

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2013 Toyota Camry SE: The Case for a Dull Dashboard

November 08, 2012

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Although it's not made of hard plastic, the dashboard on our Camry SE looks like it is. Of course, this is an extreme example facing the sun, but the way it is reflected on the windshield is a constant irritant for me. This is why 99.9% of dashboards are dull, black, and often rubbery.

Chief Road Test Editor, Chris Walton

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2012 Toyota Camry SE: Feeling Patriotic

November 06, 2012

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Election Day always brings out the patriot in me. Exercising a basic component of democracy is important, whatever your political leanings may be. How did I celebrate? I drove to work in our long-term Camry, which just happens to be one of the most American cars on the market.

With about 80% of its parts made in the U.S. and assembled in Kentucky and Indiana, the Camry helps to keep Americans hard at work. To be perfectly honest, yeah, it feels a little weird to have a Toyota grab this honor. A Ford Mustang would certainly seem more appropriate, especially if I could do a burnout in front of my polling place, but alas, only about 70% of its parts are domestic.

Mark Takahashi, Automotive Editor

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2012 Toyota Camry: 15,000-Mile Service Complete

October 31, 2012

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(Photo by Mike Magrath)

Our 2012 Toyota Camry returned from its 15,000-mile service yesterday. As expected, the oil change was covered under Toyota's complimentary maintenance program. What we didn't expect was such a quick resolution to our steering wheel button problem... 

According to our advisor, the tech was able to get the buttons to fail. He said, "We've found that sometimes the audio systems in the new Camrys can be buggy. We reset the audio system and that seemed to fix the problem."

Our advisor added, "Also, remember that in order to use the audio controls while the car is in motion you need to hold down the 'mode' button. You don't need to do that when it is stopped, just when you're moving."

This last tidbit was news to me. It just doesn't make any sense. Look at the picture. What sort of hand pretzel is required to make that work? I think wires were crossed somewhere between somebody's mouth and his ears. Still, we didn't encounter the problem on the way back from the dealership. So, for now, it is fixed.

Mike Schmidt, Vehicle Testing Manager @ 15,959 miles

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2012 Toyota Camry: 15,000-mile Service

October 30, 2012

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(Photo by Erin Riches)

This morning we dropped our 2012 Toyota Camry off at the dealer. On the agenda was a routine 15,000-mile service and a fix for those semi-operational steering wheel buttons.

Toyota Care pays for the oil change. And we fully expect Toyota will also cover the steering wheel controls. Our fingers are crossed that it doesn't return with a "could not duplicate" excuse. More to come.

Mike Schmidt, Vehicle Testing Manager @ 15,956 miles

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2012 Toyota Camry: L.A. to S.F. Twice

October 29, 2012

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Our long-term Camry has been busy running back and forth between Los Angeles and San Francisco. Yes, that's the Golden Gate bridge back there.

During the trip the Toyota proved once again that this is the best Camry since the mid-1990s. And it's a great road tripper. Comfortable. Quiet. And economical. But also interesting to drive. For a few generations, Camry's have been so boring you couldn't remember driving the sedan ten minutes after climbing from its driver's seat. Not anymore. Our Camry SE hs plenty of personality. 

Our only issue during the drives were the occational miscue by its navigation system, which suggested a few questionable detours. After following the first two, we smartened up and ignored the rest.

Scott Oldham, Editor in Chief @ 15,821 miles 

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2012 Toyota Camry: The First 15,000 Miles

October 25, 2012

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Yesterday on Interstate 5, halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco, our long-term Camry SE broke 15,000 miles on its odometer.

Aside from the steering wheel mounted audio controls, which are only working some of the time, there are no problems to report at this time. And that MAINT REQD light is calling for the Camry's third oil change. It should get done next week.

Scott Oldham, Editor in Chief

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2012 Toyota Camry: Ready for an Oil Change

October 23, 2012

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Our long-term Camry SE has been busy driving from Los Angeles to San Francisco and back twice in just two weeks. In fact, it's northbound on Interstate 5 right now.

And then, just yesterday, this happened. The Camry is on a 5,000-mile maintenance schedule, and it has begun to ask for its third oil change by displaying this MAINT REQD light on its instrument cluster.

We'll get the service done next week back in L.A. and report to you how it all transpired.

Scott Oldham, Editor in Chief @ 14,886 miles

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Edmunds Insurance Estimator

The Edmunds TCO® estimated monthly insurance payment for a 2012 Toyota Camry in NJ is:

$230 per month*
* Explanation
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