Cars

The All-New Toyota Camry Looks Good Whether You're a Driver or a Passenger

The eighth generation of Toyota's flagship midsized executive sedan adheres to the Japanese carmaker's New Global Architecture.
IMAGE PJ Caña
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There are some car owners who would cede driving duties to a chauffeur when the everyday hassles of doing it themselves—traffic, parking, etc—become too much. At a certain point in their careers, men and women can afford to let somebody else take the wheel while they settle comfortably in the back, perhaps to do some work, use their mobile phones uninterrupted or maybe catch some zzz’s. 

On weekends though, these same car owners prefer to drive themselves, enjoying the feeling of taking command of the vehicle.

That’s the takeaway officials of Toyota Motor Philippines got when they introduced the all-new Camry to the local market on Thursday, December 20. Based on a survey they conducted, the midsized executive sedan fits right in with this segment of car owners—those who prefer to have chauffeurs during the workweek, and enjoy road trips by themselves of their families during the weekends. 

First introduced in 1983, the Camry has since sold over 19 million units and is now on its eighth generation. It underwent a full model change and has been re-engineered under Toyota’s New Global Architecture (TNGA). 

Significant changes from the old model include a lower center of gravity and a new, more modern exterior styling that its chief designer Akira Kubota calls “sensual smart confidence.” The two-piece grille is lower and wider and is accentuated by 18-inch alloy wheels.

Inside, engineers put the comfort and convenience of both driver and passenger in mind. There are speed-sensing power door locks, one-touch power windows, and automatic climate control. Passengers at the back can enjoy butterfly-type headrests, power recline and a “capacitative touch panel” that basically controls air-conditioning and sunshade without having to reach over the front dashboard.

Toyota executives said the Camry will be available in the country either with a 2.5 G or 2.5 V Dual VVT-i engine. Six-speed automatic transmission and Drive Select Mode between Sport and Eco ensures that the Camry not only looks good, it performs even better.

According to TMP executives, the Camry has been the market leader in the midsized sedan segment for years although there has been a noticeable decline in consumer preference. From 286 units of the Camry sold in 2017, the number has gone down to 160 units as of November this year. TMP points to the cyclical nature of the model, with customers waiting for a newer Camry to be introduced before buying. As such, TMP says they expect more robust sales next year, targeting about 40 to 60 units sold per month in 2019.

As for the entire local automotive industry, TMP Vice President for Management Services and Corporate Planning Rommel Gutierrez, who is also the current president of the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines Inc. (CAMPI), says they are optimistic local car sales will pick up about 10 percent in 2019 after an anemic 2018.

The all-new Toyota Camry’s suggested retail price starts at Php1.80 million for the 2.5G and goes all the way up to Php2 million for the 2.5V.

 

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About The Author
Paul John Caña
Associate Editor, Esquire Philippines
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