Print 55 comment(s) - last by EricMartello.. on Oct 5 at 10:40 AM

Toyota Camry SE
Toyota is finally going to catch up to the competition

Toyota is known for producing boring family sedans and SUVs that appeal to a large audience. The company is also known for its fuel efficient Prius family of hybrid vehicles. Vehicles like the Prius/Prius c manage to achieve 50mpg on the highway thanks to a fuel-sipping gasoline engine backed with a continuously variable transmission (CVT) and an electric motor/battery.

Toyota has largely ignored making significant advances in its traditional gasoline engine/powertrain department; with efficient transmission/engine offerings lagging the competition (the Toyota Corolla still uses a 4-speed automatic transmission when the competition has moved to 6-speed units and CVTs).

However, no longer will its traditional vehicles take a backseat to its hybrids according to Takeshi Uchiyamada, Toyota's product development chief. "By 2015, through improvement in the engine and powertrain alone, we aim to achieve a fuel-efficiency improvement of 10 percent to 20 percent on the models adopting the improvements," said Uchiyamada.

The Toyota Corolla still uses an archaic four-speed automatic transmission and lags behind the competition in fuel economy

Competitors like Ford have already embraced direct injection and turbocharging across much of the produce range (see EcoBoost), and Toyota is following suit. Toyota plans to introduce a direct injection version of its 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine (this new engine will first see duty in hybrid models). The engine will also find its way into vehicles like the Camry, RAV4, and Venza.

In addition, Toyota will also introduce a 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder engine that will likely take the place of the 3.5-liter V6 currently found in midsize Toyota sedans and crossovers.

Toyota is also looking to add 6- and 8-speed automatic transmission to its vehicles. This should help vehicles like that aforementioned Corolla with its archaic transmission boost fuel efficiency ratings. The company will also add CVTs to more of its models, a move that has long been championed by Nissan. Nissan provides CVTs in everything from its tiny Versa subcompact to the large Pathfinder crossover.

All of these moves largely see Toyota playing catch-up with the rest of the automotive industry. Toyota has for too long placed all of its fuel efficiency eggs in the hybrid basket, while neglecting its bread and butter vehicles. With the competition now fiercer than ever, it now looks as though Toyota has finally realized that not everyone wants to purchase a hybrid in order to get increased fuel efficiency.

Source: AutoWeek

Comments     Threshold

This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

RE: Finally
By Brandon Hill on 10/3/2012 3:06:53 PM , Rating: 0
The Camry seems like a REALLY well crafted set of compromises to hit price, fuel economy, safety, reliability, size/comfort, power, juggling all that stuff in a semi-reasonably priced car has GOT to be hard, and it was my favorite drive of everything I tried (to my surprise, because I didn't like how they drove at all 10 years ago when I last tested a Toyota).

Compared to the rest of the class, the Camry is a solid "meh". In MT's latest comparo, it came in 5th out of six competitors. It's no longer the benchmark for this class.

"This car is just so cynical. Horribly executed, and not a drop of passion anywhere. Interior looks like it was designed by the accounting department. Monochrome display for the HVAC system could have been developed in the '70s. The knobs are cheap, the buttons are cheap, everything is built to the lowest price."

Febbo isn't alone. Writes Seabaugh: "Did Toyota even try? Seems like they just phoned it in. Cabin has way too many hard plastics, a shoddy infotainment system, a dash so shiny it reflects into the windshield in direct sunlight. This is the McDonald's of cars: billions and billions served. But that doesn't mean it's good."

Back to that underwhelming interior. Yes, the abundant room is there, but so are squeaks, rattles, and noises we've never before heard in Camrys. Our test car's dome light was falling out. And what's with the humongous circular toggles on either side of the giant steering wheel? "I feel like I should be firing missiles," writes Evans.

Febbo was clearly the most irked by the Camry, so let's give him the final say: "I'm confident this is the worst car I've driven in months. The Malibu might come up shorter in some respects, but at least Chevy put forth an effort. The Camry is offensive partly because it's so far under Toyota's potential."

There are SO many better choices in this class, but the lemmings keep going to the Camry.

RE: Finally
By Reclaimer77 on 10/3/2012 5:15:01 PM , Rating: 5
Motor Trend is made up of proven Detroit homers who apply a double standard to imports while extolling the virtues of domestics. Even during the horrendous 1980-1999 period where domestics had the reliability and styling of a 50 year old hooker on meth.

Not sure if the Camry ever got their "car of the year" award, but it's been a more solid car for decades than pretty much any piece of Detroit crap they've tried to foist on the public.

Speaking of crap, the Passat takes first place? Have you looked at VW's reliability and customer satisfaction ratings? Yeah no thank you.

Brand recognition goes a long way. The Camry has been a solid family mover for decades, with good fuel economy.

RE: Finally
By Masospaghetti on 10/4/2012 12:35:31 PM , Rating: 2
MT is so biased towards the domestics...which is why the Passat got 1st place in their comparison (despite the slowest acceleration and worst fuel economy) while the Malibu got dead last. /sarcasm

RE: Finally
By Nutzo on 10/4/2012 12:59:34 PM , Rating: 2
I'd never buy a GM or VW due to the poor reliability.

My current Camry (2002) is over 10 year old and other than normal fluid changes & maintenance, I've spend less than $200 on repairs (replaced a failed AC relay and a worn out motor mount). Even the brakes lasted over than 70K miles of mostly city driving, which is more then 2x better than any other car I've owned.
Alot of people may look at the Camry as boring, but I conside reliable transportation and good resell value (even after 10 years) as more important.

"If you look at the last five years, if you look at what major innovations have occurred in computing technology, every single one of them came from AMD. Not a single innovation came from Intel." -- AMD CEO Hector Ruiz in 2007

Most Popular Articles5 Cases for iPhone 7 and 7 iPhone Plus
September 18, 2016, 10:08 AM
Laptop or Tablet - Which Do You Prefer?
September 20, 2016, 6:32 AM
Update: Samsung Exchange Program Now in Progress
September 20, 2016, 5:30 AM
Smartphone Screen Protectors – What To Look For
September 21, 2016, 9:33 AM
Walmart may get "Robot Shopping Carts?"
September 17, 2016, 6:01 AM

Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki