2012 Toyota Camry Long Term Road Test - Interior

2012 Toyota Camry Long Term Road Test

  • Full Review
  • Pricing & Specs
  • Road Tests (3)
  • Comparison (3)
  • Long-Term

2013 Toyota Camry SE: The Case for a Dull Dashboard

November 08, 2012


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: I Was Wrong

October 8, 2012

2012 Toyota Camry

A week or so ago, I complained about the Lexus GS350's cruise control stalk. I called it dumb or stupid or something else unflattering. Many of you got on me about it, calling the Toyota/Lexus stalk a stroke of genius. And you were right.

I don't know if it's the best solution out there, but after driving our Camry a couple hundred miles, I admit, it's damn handy. As an experiment, I set cruise on the way home from the office and tried to use the brake and throttle as little as possible. Combined with the Camry's paddle shifters, it was amazingly easy to maintain a fairly constant speed without braking, nursing the throttle or even accelerating via the cruise stalk.

It's easy to get a fluid dance going with the stalk and paddles. When closing in on the car ahead, push the stalk forward to cancel cruise, maybe downshift for some engine braking, open the gap a bit, then set a slower speed. If there's room to pass, grab a paddle to downshift, make the pass, then ease back into the slower lane.

There's a slickness to the stalk that you don't get with thumb-oriented steering wheel controls, and I further refined the technique on a round-trip to San Diego over the weekend. Not quite heel-and-toe, but fun enough for long drives.

Dan Frio, Automotive Editor

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2012 Toyota Camry: Definitely Broken Buttons

October 2, 2012

2012 Toyota Camry

Methinks Magrath was being optimistic when he decided our Toyota Camry steering wheel control buttons had fixed themselves.

I drove the Camry last night and this morning, and they were wonky nearly every time I restarted the car. Not the same level of wonky mind you, just intermittent enough to keep you guessing.

First, they didn't work at all. After I stopped at the post office and restarted the car, the volume button starting working, but only after I jabbed it several times. I stopped at the store 15 minutes later and restarted the car again. This time all buttons worked right away, and remained fully operational for the rest of my 90-minute drive.

We're planning to send the Toyota to service, but not until we get at least one more opinion--going for the full fail, maybe. Engineering Editor Jay Kavanagh's driving it tonight. We'll see how it works for him.

Kelly Toepke, News Editor @ 12,334 miles

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2012 Toyota Camry SE: Broken Buttons

October 1, 2012

2012 Toyota Camry

This odd, muli-function, multi-button contraption is supposed to adjust volume, track, mode and other basic systems on our 2012 Toyota Camry SE.

From Saturday morning until early Monday morning it did not. It just didn't work. I could still control the volume and track the old fashioned way -- by reaching.

For no good reason it started working again on my way into the office this morning. Fixed forever? I think so.

Mike Magrath, Features Editor @ 13,142 miles

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2012 Toyota Camry SE: I'll Make an Exception for the Center Stack Trim

September 24, 2012

2012 Toyota Camry

I'm on record here as not liking the randomness of our long-term Toyota Camry SE's interior materials -- way too much going on with all the different surface treatments in here.

But over the weekend, I decided that I like the simulated brushed metal on our long-termer's center console. It doesn't look that much like real metal, but it doesn't look bad and it doesn't look cheap. It just looks nice, and apparently, it's a perk of the SE model, as the Camry LE that was part of our recent Camry-versus-Accord comparison test had different trim. There's a photo Scott Jacobs took of the LE's console after the jump so you can see what I mean.

Also, over the weekend, I determined that I am fine with the ride quality on our Camry SE and, as a fussy commuter, wouldn't be tempted to buy an LE or a Camry Hybrid to get a cushier ride. I made my assessment while in traffic headed to the USC/Cal game -- the SE is compliant enough most of the time and any extra stiffness over impacts is balanced out by this version's sharper responses when changing direction. Alas, I don't have any photos of the Camry in Trojan livery, as we parked far from the Coliseum on a street that wasn't very atmospheric and hoofed it to a tailgate party. Actually, though, with its inky blue paint job, this particular Camry is more suited to Golden Bear fandom.

Erin Riches, Senior Editor @ 12,778 miles

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Toyota Camry SE: A Tale of Two Seats

September 20, 2012

2012 Toyota Camry

We've gone on and on about the immensely satisfying charms offered by the seats found in our Camry (shown above). Of course, our Camry is an SE model, which means it's equipped with upgraded sport seats.

We had a Camry from one of the lesser trims (the LE) in our garage the other day, and I was curious to see how its seats compare with the lauded, legendary seats found in our SE.

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2012 Toyota Camry SE: Still Looks Good to Me

August 27, 2012

2012 Toyota Camry

I thought some of the Camry's interior touches would lose their luster after seeing them for months on end. I figured the metallic accents would get dull and scratched while the contrasting stitching would just get dirty and unnoticeable.

I was wrong, at least so far. We're over 12,000 miles into this car and the interior still looks pretty sharp. I would expect most cars to look good after less than a year on the road, but sometimes the things that look most attractive initially are the first things that become noticeably worn.

Ed Hellwig, Editor, Edmunds @ 12,173

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2012 Toyota Camry: Thoughts After 650 Miles

July 23, 2012


Over the weekend I did another road trip with our Camry. It was pretty much the same route I did back in April when I compared the Camry to the Explorer, though this time round-trip. As I expected, the Camry was an appealing companion. A few thoughts on why follow.

Composed and quiet ride. The Camry's not the quietest sedan out there, but it's still pretty good. My wife and I could talk easily. Our kids slept in the backseat. Oh, and at one point, I had to perform some unexpected maneuvering due to a tire blowout from a semi-truck ahead of us. The Camry's not the sportiest out there, but the SE is composed enough, and certainly preferable (in this situation) to some of the other family haulers in our fleet, such as the Explorer.

Comfortable front seats. We've covered these before in various blog posts, but I'll still call it out. I could drive the Camry all day and still be comfortable.

Plenty of storage space. The cupholders are nicely sized, as are the door bins and center console bin. We never had a problem trying to find a place to put something.

Decent power and responsive transmission. Sure, it's just a four-cylinder, but I wasn't ever left wanting for power. Having the responsive transmission certainly helps, as it did driving over the I5's 4,000-foot Tejon Pass. (I haven't calculated fuel economy for the trip, but will do that later this week.)

The only things that I found to be negative were the dim-witted touchscreen interface and trunk space. Trunk space is certainly adequate, but because of the bracing at the front of the trunk (behind the rear seats) and the gooseneck trunklid hinges, it's not as optimized as I'd prefer.

Looking this over, it reaffirms to me what I summed up back in April. The Camry doesn't really excel in any particular area, but it doesn't drop below a B anywhere, either. And for me, that's pretty impressive.

Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor @ 11,372 miles

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2012 Toyota Camry SE: Third Vote for the Seats

June 20, 2012


Both Erin and Scott have singled out the Camry for its excellent seats and now it's my turn to jump on the bandwagon. After a two-hour stint behind the wheel yesterday I agree that these buckets offer excellent support and plenty of adjustability. They don't look half bad either, and in a Camry that's saying quite a bit.

I also noted that after nearly 10,000 miles, the interior still looks brand new. Not a big deal really, after all it's only been six months. Still, there are lots of shiny bits and stitched seams that I expect to show some wear eventually, so far they're holding up well.

Ed Hellwig, Editor @ 9,878 miles

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2012 Toyota Camry SE: Wide Write

June 04, 2012


Remember big armrests, the kind both driver and passenger could use? The Cadillac Fleetwood and Lincoln Town Car kind? The Camry has one like it. And I like it simply because it gives me room to set down a notebook and write.

For this job, it's handy to jot down notes after a drive or while filling up. Most modern cars offer no place to set down a pad and scribble, forcing you to balance your intellectual cropdustings on a knee or thigh.

By comparison, the Camry nearly gives you the surface of an oak desk, one that slides forward no less. The stitching's pretty nice, too.

Dan Frio, Automotive Editor

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2012 Toyota Camry SE: The Nook

May 29, 2012

toyota camry nook.jpg

During a recent trek in the Camry, my passengers in the second row were intrigued by the rectangular nook shown above.

One passenger thought it made an ideal holder for her sunglasses case. Another thought it provided a great resting place for his burrito. Another thought it could serve as an informal trash receptacle until the end of the trip.

How would you use the nook?

Warren Clarke, Automotive Content Editor 

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2012 Toyota Camry SE: Nice Materials

May 04, 2012


That's something I haven't been able to say about a Toyota -- any Toyota -- in quite some time. But our Camry with its $1,490 leather package inlcudes these "Utlrasuede" covered sport seats.

And they're genuinely nice.

Josh Jacquot, Senior editor

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2012 Toyota Camry SE: What's In There?

May 04, 2012


Today I discovered a hidden compartment at the back of the Camry's glovebox. As if to conceal something truly important, it's got two covers. This is cover number one.

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2012 Toyota Camry SE: Friend of Commuters

May 02, 2012


Earlier this week, circumstances necessitated that I wade right into evening freeway gridlock at an ill-advised time of day and drive to an unfamiliar part of town (not pictured above since I ended up parking in front of a bail bonds agency; instead, enjoy the gloomy Pacific coastline as seen from this parking lot in La Jolla, California).

When it was my turn to choose a car, I knew I was taking the long-term 2012 Toyota Camry SE if it was still available. It was indeed.

Although I profile myself as a lover of compact hatchbacks, I really like the Camry as a commuter car, and this particular SE model is set up just right for me. The simulated suede/leather driver seat is really comfortable. I like having a factory navigation system (especially since this one costs a little less), and I don't mind using Entune to get traffic data and Pandora integration (when I want it) -- it's a bit of a process, yes, but now that I have everything set up on my iPhone, it's easy.

More substantively, the 2.5-liter four-cylinder provides good throttle response in traffic, and for the most part, the six-speed automatic shifts when and how I want it to -- I never really think, "hey, I'd like a manual in this car."

Ride quality is comfortable enough over the rain-grooved concrete slabs on the 405 freeway. And while steering feedback isn't so great, the ratio feels right for the car and the steering offers good precision in normal traffic.

Honestly, it's the overall experience that keeps me coming back to Camry. No one of these attributes is particularly special on its own, but they come together in our SE in a way that I really like.

This overall-ness stood out to a lot of us who participated in the recent 2012-'13 Midsize Sedan Comparison Test. No doubt, the Camry's a great package for commuters -- trouble is, the Hyundai Sonata offers darn near the same experience and, even when you adjust for equipment, it's cheaper. Of course, that doesn't mean I wouldn't buy the Camry if it was my own money.

Erin Riches, Senior Editor @ 7,858 miles

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2012 Toyota Camry: Child Safety Seat Fitment Test

April 16, 2012


After the underwhelming results from testing child safety seat fitments in our Ford Explorer a few weeks ago, I figured I'd try out our Camry next. After all, it is a family sedan.

Toyota versus Britax, read on.

As usual, there's not much to report about the Recaro booster seat pictured above. It fits fine, although I quickly realized that our Camry's rear head restraints are fixed and not removable. That means the booster seat isn't flush with the seat back. Not a huge deal, though it's more noticeable with a front-facing child seat.

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2012 Toyota Camry: Somewhere for Everything

April 09, 2012


I love it when cars offer places for all my stuff between the front seats, facilitating grab and go. Yes, even though I carry a big purse, I still need a spot for my garage key card, iPhone, the occasional smoothie and, in our 2012 Toyota Camry's case, the key fob. And the Camry has all that, including a felt-lined change drawer and the storage areas in the door. So even when you have a passenger, you don't have to get creative with where you put your paraphernalia.

1) Front of the gearshifter: perfect for smartphones (it's where the USB/aux jacks are located), keys, wallets, and stuff that you'd otherwise put in a cupholder if both weren't already taken.

2) Cupholders

3) Shallow dish with door for keycards, change, keys.

4) Huge center console

It's something car owners adapt to with regard to their own cars. You don't have a change drawer or a bonus storage area forward of your gearshifter? No big deal. But if you jump in a bunch of different cars like we editors do, you learn to appreciate extra storage when it's offered.

Caroline Pardilla, Deputy Managing Editor

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2012 Toyota Camry SE: Point of Visual Interest

March 19, 2012

toyota camry dd.jpg

This is one of my favorite parts of the Camry's cabin. Love the nicely grained surfaces, the crisp white stitching and the clean metallic accents.

Huge, huge step up from the previous-generation Camry, whose cabin had all the visual appeal of a pair of hospital scrubs. Function is important, but form is the icing on the cake. Nice to see that Toyota got the memo.

Warren Clarke, Automotive Content Editor @ 5,577 miles

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2012 Toyota Camry SE: White Light

March 19, 2012

toyota camry n1.jpg

While it might not stand as a particularly imaginative choice, I dig the white illumination seen in the Camry's cabin after dark. It's easy on the eyes, and lends the cabin an air of Zen-like tranquility when the sun goes down.

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2012 Toyota Camry: Get the Leather-Wrapped Wheel

March 15, 2012

Camry Steering Wheel Grip.jpg 

The steering wheel in the Toyota Camry is one of the cabin's better features. Largely, this is because of the smart layout of its entertainment controls. It's also pretty comfortable to hold.

However, that's only when you opt for the leather-wrapped wheel. Notice how the leather nicely meets the silver plastic? Well, with the standard wheel I sampled a few months ago, the lack of leather reduces the thickness of the grips at 3 and 9. That means that silver plastic is essentially raised and tends to dig into your thumbs.

You probably would've wanted a leather-wrapped wheel anyway, but here's another reason to.

James Riswick, Automotive Editor @ 5,525 miles 

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2012 Toyota Camry: Bumps

March 12, 2012


The next block down from my house has two really annoying bouncy rubber speed bumps. It doesn't seem the type of block that needs speed bumps. It's not highly trafficked or tempting to drive quickly, nor does it have a lot of kids playing outside. But I guess the neighbors got together and petitioned for them. I would think they would have more important things to complain about, like the guy who keeps six Crown Vics parked on the block for spare parts. But whatever. If you don't have annoying neighbors then you probably live in the middle of a field somewhere.

I was driving our Toyota Camry slowly over these bumps with a 6'1" passenger sitting next to me. He hit his head on the ceiling over both bumps. Even though the Camry has been redesigned for 2012, the front headroom allotment is unchanged from the previous model at 38.8 inches. At 5'4", the top of my head comes pretty close to the headliner as well. But not close enough that I have to worry about bumping my noggin.

Front headroom in the Camry is lagging behind most similarly sized cars. It's nemesis the Honda Accord offers 41.4 inches. Here's a chart showing how other midsize sedans compare to the new Camry:

2012 Toyota Camry 38.8 inches
2012 Chevrolet Malibu 39.4 inches
2012 Ford Fusion 38.7 inches
2012 Honda Accord 41.4 inches
2012 Hyundai Sonata 40.0 inches
2012 Kia Optima 40.0 inches
2012 Mazda 6 39.4 inches
2012 Nissan Altima 40.6 inches
2012 Volkswagen Passat 38.3 inches

Donna DeRosa, Managing Editor @ 5,119 miles

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2012 Toyota Camry SE: Serious Sun Visors

March 09, 2012


Now that's some coverage. OK, nobody needs pull-out sun shades that block the rear-view mirror, but having enough flexibility to take up the gap between the mirror and the visor is nice. And the Camry certainly offers that utility.

And then there's side protection... 

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2012 Toyota Camry SE: Good HVAC Controls

March 01, 2012


Sure, it's not as simple as manual control systems can be (three knobs, three buttons), but this setup appeals in its own way. First, the fan speed and temperature knobs flanking the buttons are huge and solidly built. They don't squirm around in your hands like the cheaper controls in our Juke did. Also, the most critical mode buttons are huge.

Simple and effective.

Josh Jacquot, Senior editor

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2012 Toyota Camry SE: I Love this Seat

February 27, 2012


I know Erin Riches has already sung the praises of the Camry's driver's seat. Well, I've decided to second the motion.

I'm 5' 11", 185 lbs and I love everything about this seat. Its shape. Its size. Its placement. And its adjustability. I like the density of its padding, the feel of its upholstory and really like the way it looks with the contrast of its white stitching and its suede-like inserts.

Toyota is getting its game on. 

Scott Oldham, Editor in Chief

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2012 Toyota Camry SE: Are You Fooled? Do You Care?

February 17, 2012


Since our Camry is a super sporty SE model it comes with metallic trim. Or should I say, "metallic-like" trim?

You see, this is really just plastic made to look like metal. Actual metal trim would cost too much and most likely weigh more too. This is pretty convincing stuff at first glance, though.

Made me wonder if most people really care what the trim is actually made out of provided it looks good. It's still better than plain old grey plastic right? In this case, I'd say "yes" give me the plastic "metal" trim.

Ed Hellwig, Editor

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2012 Toyota Camry SE: Keep the Change

February 14, 2012


No, this is not an innovative feature. It is not something that no other car in the class has, nor is it anything even remotely new. But that doesn't mean I can't commend our Camry for its conveniently located change holder, a felt-lined one at that.

Various family cars have attempted to reinvent the change drawer over the years and most of them failed. I don't need separate, spring-loaded cylinders for my dimes, nickels and quarters thank you, just somewhere to toss coins when they throw them my way at the drive thru. No need to over think it and thankfully Toyota didn't in this case.

Ed Hellwig, Editor

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2012 Toyota Camry SE: Useless Cupholder Contraption

February 07, 2012


Oh, I know, this plastic piece does serve a function of sorts, it just doesn't do it very well.

Snap it into place and you get spring loaded thumbs that theoretically hold your drink in better. Need more room? Just pull it out and you get one gigantic receptacle that could possibly hold three drinks if you're really that thirsty. 

In reality, the spring loaded thumbs don't grab all that well and when you pull the thing out it doesn't really give you that much more room. Would much prefer a more basic setup that concentrates on doing one thing well instead of two things poorly.

Ed Hellwig, Editor

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2012 Toyota Camry SE: Best Camry Driver Seat Ever

February 03, 2012


My experience with the Toyota Camry goes back a few generations, and in all that time, I never liked the driver seat in any of the cars. Space was never the problem -- I'm 5-foot-10; most cars are designed to fit someone my size. Rather, it was the shape(lessness) of the seats themselves usually combined with a lack of firm support and adjustability.

The driver seat in our long-term 2012 Camry SE rights pretty much all of those wrongs. The shape is great for me, and there's ample adjustability (I can raise the seat without being dumped toward the pedals, I can telescope the steering wheel toward me, etc.).

And although I'll need to take a longer trip to know if the seat is really supportive enough, it felt fine during the drive to San Diego.

Erin Riches, Senior Editor @ 3,333 miles

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2012 Toyota Camry SE: Cabin's Kinda Noisy

February 02, 2012


I'm not sure my 250-mile trip to San Diego this week really qualifies as a road trip, but it was my longest stint in our 2012 Toyota Camry SE to date. In general, I like the changes that happened to the Camry during this redesign -- the more controlled ride quality, the extra precision in the steering. And I still think our car rides comfortably enough for an SE model.

But I sure wish the cabin was quieter. The previous two generations of the Camry were really serene, really sealed off from the noise of highway travel; although, in fairness, the last couple older-gen Camrys I drove were LE models.

Our SE is not serene to my ears. I felt like I was hearing everything around me, as if someone had pulled out some of the sound-deadening material. It was like being in an Accord or Altima.

Of course, I could be wrong about all this (I went to a few too many concerts with mosh pits back in my youth), so we'll have to see what other editors have to say as we rack up more miles.

Erin Riches, Senior Editor @ 3,333 miles

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2012 Toyota Camry SE: Textures

January 30, 2012


This year's all-new Camry has a much-improved interior. I think you'll agree when you enlarge the picture above.

I like the way each of the textures work together in our Camry SE. A padded and stitched dash is a welcome surprise in a car of this class. The plastic elements blend in well as do the brushed aluminum pieces. There is a nice symmetry to the gauges and dials.

What do you think about the interior of the new 2012 Toyota Camry?

Donna DeRosa, Managing Editor

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2012 Toyota Camry SE: Ten Things I Like About You

January 27, 2012


I've had some nitpicks with the new Camry but overall I like it very much. Here are some things I appreciate about this car:

1. strong seat heaters with a scrolling adjuster
2. roomy interior and trunk
3. good pedal placement for a person with short legs and small feet
4. excellent headlights
5. nice stitching on the padded dash
6. comfortable optional leather-trimmed seats
7. firmer than expected suspension
8. overall five-star safety rating
9. much improved interior materials
10. simple clean gauge design

Donna DeRosa, Managing Editor

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2012 Toyota Camry SE: OG Ultrasuede Seats

January 25, 2012

  Toyota Camry SE seats.jpg 

Our long-term 2012 Toyota Camry SE has leather-trimmed Ultrasuede sport seats. They're part of the $1490 Leather Package which includes those seats, leather door trim with seatback pockets, heated driver and passenger seats, and 8-way power driver's and 4-way power passenger seat.

They are functional and look racy. But I really like these seats because they remind me of my 2001 Lexus IS 300 (nee Altezza). That ultrasuede center section in my IS felt smooth, and wasn't too hot in the summer, or too cold in the winter.

So I love the ultrasuede in our Camry's seats. But not nearly as much as I loved my OG Altezza.

Albert Austria, Senior VE Engineer @ ~3,100 miles

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2012 Toyota Camry SE: AUX Friendly

January 17, 2012


In my last Camry post, I noted a small annoyance. This time around, I'm pointing out a small perk.

A few other cars in my memory banks have this feature, and I hope more are to follow. This little bin has the USB and auxiliary audio jack built-in (sorry for the blurry photo, but it was dark and the Mountain Dew was starting to give me the shakes).

If I had an iPod in addition to my iPhone, I could simply leave it in the car. It'd be out of sight of prying eyes, yet easily accessible. Now, if it had a lock of some sort to keep the valets in line, it'd be perfect. Sure, some other cars (Audi mostly) put the USB in the glovebox, but what happens if you need to do a quick reset?

Open letter to other manufacturers: Please do more of this. Thanks.

Mark Takahashi, Automotive Editor

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2012 Toyota Camry SE: Wobbly Knobs

January 17, 2012


The interior of the latest-generation Camry is a definite improvement over its predecessor. Soft-touch surfaces abound and the stitched and padded dash lend a slight upscale air. But the climate control knobs? They can use some help.

I noted in a previous post that I appreciated the big legible typeface on the infotainment pod, and I stand by that assessment, despite the fact that Magrath called me an old feeble man because of it. But the climate control knobs and buttons seem like they were plucked from an old parts bin.

The quality of the plastics on the silver knobs and buttons remind me of a child's toy. They lack a substantial feel and have a slight wobble when touched. The detents also have a plasticky feel. The black buttons are fine, and perhaps that's why I'm nitpicking the silver controls.

I've always been a proponent of the three-knob climate control layout, but the Camry's doesn't bother me that much. Then again, if our long-termer had automatic climate control, this wouldn't even be an issue. I normally just set it and forget it.

Mark Takahashi, Automotive Editor

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2012 Toyota Camry SE: Clean Set of Gauges

January 03, 2012


I'm not usually one to comment on something as simple as a gauges cluseer, but hey, my last post was about a slightly ill-fitting piece of trim on the dash so anything goes these days. This time I'm going to commend the Camry people for the simple, yet still classy looking set of gauges in our Camry SE.

All too often, the designers of otherwise nondescript sedans try to liven things up with overly busy gauges. Here, they added some nice textures but otherwise went with a fairly basic design. It looks good, it's easy to read everything at a glance and blends in well with the rest of the interior. At night, the needles get cool, blue backlighting that's much better on the eyes than the overly bright white lettering in our Kia Optima.

Overall, the Camry is a pleasing design that favors simplicity over flash. Nice.

Ed Hellwig, Editor 

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2012 Toyota Camry SE: Getting Picky About Quality

December 28, 2011


We're often criticized for harping on build quality issues with domestic vehicles. So, in the interest of fairness, and reduced overall whining from the peanut gallery, I figured I would take a moment to recognize a lapse in build quality in our new Camry.

As you can see, the trim piece on the passenger dash vent does not fit squarely on the dashpad. There's a little wiggle room there toward the top. Not much, but it's not perfect.

Ed Hellwig, Editor

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2012 Toyota Camry SE: Fancy for a Family Sedan

December 23, 2011


If you saw this detail shot and someone asked you what car it was from, what are the chances you would say "Toyota Camry"?

I'm figuring pretty slim. Or maybe none. The interior of the previous Camry was far from elegant. In fact, it was one of the more bizarre mixtures of colors and textures I've ever seen in a family sedan.

Toyota redeemed itself this time around with a more traditional design and higher quality materials. It's no Audi, or even a Lexus, but it's far more inviting than I expected. Surprising how far a little stitching goes when you're not expecting it.

Ed Hellwig, Editor

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2012 Toyota Camry: Not Enough Room to Maneuver

December 14, 2011


Due to a major life event, I now wear a ring on my left hand every day. And every time I adjust the power driver seat in our long-term 2012 Toyota Camry SE V6, I realize how little room there is between those controls on the side of the seat and the door panel.

The panel includes a pretty generously sized door bin in the revamped Camry, and it kind of sticks out. My ring also kind of sticks out. And so it invariably scrapes against the plastic panel. It's not the nicest plastic, either.

And so in this case, I would prefer the Camry offered less storage space in this location, so the panel wouldn't extend out as much, so I'd have a little more room to maneuver my hand when adjusting the seat. Even without a ring on your finger, these quarters are tight.

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2012 Toyota Camry: For Grownups

December 12, 2011

Toyota Camrydriving.jpg

This weekend I had our 2012 Toyota Camry as my ride about town. As a comfortable conveyance to run my errands, it performed well. I stuck to surface streets, hit up brunch in Mid-City, a party in Hollywood, Christmas card shopping.... Nothing too exciting. Cushy seats, effective seat heaters and decent power made it all bearable.

Only thing is that the Camry didn't feel like me. Ever put on a piece of clothing that so wasn't you? Think the Big Lebowski being forced to wear a suit. That's sort of how I felt in our Camry. It was too "grownup" for me.

Not that that's a bad thing. I can appreciate how it would work well for small families or my parents what with its roomy interior, decent mpg (25 city/35 highway/28 combined), conveniences (Entune) and plush ride. Folks who just want to get from Point A to Point B will like the Camry.

But I want a car that makes my heart skip a beat. Where you can feel the road and get a thrill from driving it. Again, not that the Camry is bad, I'm just not ready to grow up.

Caroline Pardilla, Deputy Managing Editor @ 1,606 miles

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2012 Toyota Camry SE: Seat Heater Report

December 08, 2011


These are the first seat heaters I've seen with a scrolling adjustment. Most cars have on/off, low/high, or multiple distinct levels. The Camry has this scroll that you can stop anywhere in between greater and lesser.

I had them on full, of course, and I can report that they get nice and toasty. I have no need for the lesser end.

Donna DeRosa, Managing Editor @ 1,481 miles

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