Car reviews - Toyota - Camry - Altise sedan
Toyota's new Camry sheds its slab-sided styling but does it lament the loss of a V6?
24 Nov 2006
By CHRIS HARRIS
AS Aurion marches off to conquest the likes of Commodore and Falcon, emasculated Camry sits and watches from the sidelines, grieving the loss of the V6 engine that once beat heartily under its bonnet. But wait. Surely a Camry shouldn’t be as good-looking as this? What happened to the slabby sides and awkward rear? And what’s all this extra space inside? And just look what you can cram into that boot! Camry might have become a four-cylinder only, but it’s a car that offers a lot more than its gumby but competent successor. More space, more safety, more equipment at basic level. And it enhances the familiar on-road competence with a chassis proudly manipulated by Australian engineers. It's still a mass-market car, but the new Camry is just as sure-fire a bet as any of its predecessors. And the styling is sure to be more widely acceptable.
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Toyota CamryReleased: September 2002
Ended: July 2006
Family Tree: Camry
The previous model Camry offered both V6 and four-cylinder power in seven variants: the Altise 2.4, Ateva 2.4, Sportivo 2.4 and V6, Altise V6, Ateva V6 and Azura V6. It was a somewhat confusing array of model names that did nothing for brand identity. Despite this, every Camry model was spacious and handled, as well as stopped, effectively. Legendary Toyota reliability was also a strong selling point. The 2.4 developed 112kW at 5600rpm and 218Nm at 4000rpm while the V6 pumped out 145kW at 5200rpm and 284Nm at 4400rpm. Both engines were known for their solid, if unsurprising performance. Visually, the car looked dumpy from certain angles, particularly the rear, and the wheel tracks look too narrow for the body. The pick of the models was the Sportivo, with some subtle suspension and steering adjustments that proved popular with wannabe Fangios.
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