By Cars.com EditorsFebruary 13, 2012
About the video
Cars.com's Kelsey Mays takes a look at the 2012 Toyota Camry. It competes with the Hyundai Sonata and Ford Fusion.
(upbeat music) <v Announcer>Cars.com auto review. (upbeat music) Hi, I'm Kelsey Mays for cars.com. The Toyota Camry had sales dip a little bit last year, but it still took the crown as America's best-selling sedan. It's been redesigned for 2012.
Family cars are getting better than ever. And the Camry will see some stiff competition this year, but the incremental changes should help it remain a household name for many years to come. Certainly a must drive car if you're shopping this segment. We'll show you why. (upbeat music) Length, width, and wheelbase remain the same as before. The headlights look more reshaped than totally redesigned, but the body is all new. That becomes a little more noticeable when you get around to the tail and see the taillights. They kind of have this boomerang shape. A little more interesting than the taillights on the old Camry. You pop the trunk and there's 15.4 cubic feet of cargo room. Up front, there's a much more layered approach to the dashboard now. There's not this sort of one form wraparound like the old Camry had. Some of the materials are actually pretty premium. There's a simulated leather trim atop the dashboard. It looks kind of nice from afar. Little things, like the way the climate controls operate, the way the gearshift goes from park down to drive, have a nice, solid feel. Unfortunately, you lose things like one touch windows for all four. Now it's only drivers. That was kind of a nice premium touch in the last Camry, but a lot of big things still get it right. Good sight lines all around. The window pillars aren't too thick. There's a lot of storage areas here. Underneath the center controls there's a little pocket here. A nice big center console here, wide glove compartment too. So plenty of utility up here for a family car. Backseat has a little bit of cost-cutting here. There's a hard panel up here where you might put your elbow, but overall pretty roomy. Not as roomy as the back seats in the Honda Accord, the Volkswagen Passat, which are just huge, but definitely enough room. This is where I would sit to drive. As you can see, I've got a few inches of knee room to spare. Engines carry over from before, with a capable four cylinder and a powerful V6. Both have a six speed automatic, which shifts pretty responsively, and gas mileage is up now to about 28 miles per gallon in combined city/highway for the four cylinder. About 25 miles per gallon overall for the V6. Not bad, especially for the base four cylinder. There's also a Camry hybrid, which gets gas mileage in the low forties. Pretty good there. Not as good as the new Ford Fusion hybrid. Better than the Hyundai Sonata and the Kia Optima hybrids. Overall, refinement has improved. The steering can still be a bit mushy at times, but it's less twitchy on the highway than in the last Camry. The suspension is a touch firmer than before, but overall ride comfort still pretty good. And the brakes are much improved now with larger four wheel discs and better braking field. (upbeat music) But the competition is heating up. It's more appealing than ever to cross shop cars like the Kia Optima, the Hyundai Sonata, the 2013 Ford Fusion, against this sort of conservative looking Toyota. Does the Camry have enough refinement baked in to maintain its lead? We'll have to wait and see. <v Announcer>For more car related news, go to cars.com or our blog, kickingtires.net.