UMW Toyota Motor has launched the all-new Toyota Camry earlier today at the 2018 Kuala Lumpur International Motor Show. Built on Toyota’s latest TNGA (Toyota New Global Architecture) platform that promises better ride and handling, and easier integration of advanced driving aids, this all-new Camry promises to be the safest and best handling Camry ever, if you can accept the RM 189,900 asking price (excluding insurance).
For this generation, the previous 2.0-litre Dual VVT-iW-powered model has been retired, likewise the 2.5 Hybrid model. Only the 2.5V model remains, powered by a naturally-aspirated (2AR-FE) Dual VVT-i engine that produces 184 PS at 6,000 rpm and 235 Nm at 4,100 rpm.
Drive is transferred to the front wheels via a 6-speed automatic transmission.
On discontinuation of the popular tax-deducted hybrid variant, company president Ravindran K. explained, “As the decision has been made to import the all-new Toyota Camry from Thailand, the vehicle will not be entitled for the EEV incentives. Therefore the price would be much higher than before and it would not be competitive enough for our customers.”
The RM 189,900 asking price might be steep for a Camry considering the previous Camry Hybrid tops out at RM 177,800, but you do get a lot more for your money, including many features that are not found in a higher range Mercedes-Benz C200 or BMW 318i - that is if you can look past the badge.
Like the new turbocharged Toyota Harrier (from RM 238,000), the all-new Camry comes equipped with Toyota Safety Sense, which includes the full suite of advanced driving aids systems - Pre-Collision System, Lane Departure Alert (LDA) with Steering Assist, Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC), and Automatic High Beam (AHB).
You also get Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) with Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA), Hill-start Assist Control (HAC), Emergency Stop Signal (ESS), and tyre pressure monitor. With such a high level of active safety systems, vehicle stability control (VSC) and seven airbags is a given.
Inside, you get a huge 10-inch full-colour Heads-Up Display and a 9-speaker JBL audio system that also includes a subwoofer, an 8-channel Class-D amplifier providing 800W of power, and Clari-Fi sound processing technology.
The leather seats include an 8-way power adjustable, 2-position memory function for the driver. Adding to the wow factor is an electrically adjustable steering column that automatically retracts every time the car door is opened, aiding access to the driver’s seat.
There’s also a Qi wireless charger for compatible mobile devices and three USB ports (two in front, one behind).
A completely revised chassis setup, including a new Parallel Axis Electric Power Steering System (EPS) and revised suspension promises to deliver what Toyota claims to be a best-in-class ride and handling.
Still think that it's not worth the money because, at the end of the day, it's still just a Camry, albeit a very talented one? You're not alone but don't be too hasty in forming an opinion before experiencing the car first hand. Prior to the car’s unveiling at KLIMS 2018, we were given a rare opportunity to sample the all-new Camry. You may read our review here.