2012 Toyota Camry SE: Passenger Perception
June 08, 2012
It's interesting how your perspective on a car changes when you've got passengers. Our long-term Camry SE for example, with livelier steering and stiffer suspension than the vanilla Camry, seems a no-brainer for our staff. And I'd never spared a thought for our SE's rigidity until chauffeuring the wife and kid around recently.
This is all relative to one's perception of the Camry, of course. Without thinking, you assume the Camry is a docile, compliant ride around town. The SE isn't exactly track-day ready, but neither is it a cream puff. It cleanly transmits vibration from those speed bumps you're trying to skirt at the local big box parking lot. Push the Camry out of a driveway onto the avenue with conviction and you'll notice the car's stiff rigging while watching your passenger hold steady on the door pull.
The Camry SE compromises as best it can, trying to balance a big cabin, fuel efficiency, benchmark reliability, and Lexus-lite highway manners with crisp and lively handling. Tall order for around $24,000.
Dan Frio, Automotive Editor