2012 Toyota Camry Long Term Road Test

2012 Toyota Camry SE: The Microwave Clock

February 29, 2012

Toyota Camry SE clock.jpg

It's a general Toyota policy that the vehicle's clock should be a stand-alone display. (Yes, I do know this.) Many people deride this display as the microwave clock. Stylish, it's not.

But it's quite functional. No searching around for the time buried somewhere in the Navi display, or worse, entombed in the reconfigurable display between the speedo and tach.

And changing the time (e.g., during Daylight Savings Time) is a breeze. I've had to bust out the book and RTFM on some cars just to do that simple task. 

The only thing I would change on this clock is to make it a nice analog model, but that might increase the cost too much when multiplied by 300,000 units.

Of course, many Camry owners...

Of course, many Camry owners are Boomers and parents of Boomers, and they want to know the time, and change the time, without any fuss. I know you Generation Z people don't even need a vehicle clock (or a watch for that matter) and will just check your phone for the time between sending SMS and Tweets.

But shouldn't this be a case where function triumphs form? Maybe we can have both with a nice, stand-alone analog clock.

What do you say?

Albert Austria, Senior VE Engineer @ ~4,200 miles

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Edmunds Insurance Estimator

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

$171 per month*
* Explanation