Herald Sun - Motoring - - FIRST DRIVE -

PRICE Ex­pect the cost of all Cam­rys to go up as the new model is im­ported from Ja­pan. The com­pany has been sub­si­dis­ing the cost of the out­go­ing lo­cally built model to help move cars and keep the fac­tory open. Toy­ota will have to ne­go­ti­ate hard to bring the base hy­brid here for $32,000, which is still up $1500 on the cur­rent car.

TECH­NOL­OGY All Cam­rys pick up ac­tive driv­ing aids, in­clud­ing au­ton­o­mous emer­gency brak­ing, lane-de­par­ture as­sist, auto head­lamps and adap­tive cruise con­trol. The touch­screen also grows from 6.1 to seven inches in the base cars, with higher-spec ver­sions us­ing an eight-inch screen and head-up dis­play.

PER­FOR­MANCE Claimed fuel use is down from 5.2L/100km to about 4.5L, de­spite the new Camry‘s mar­ginal in­crease in com­bined power from 151kW to 155kW. The auto has been dropped in favour of a CVT; most won’t no­tice any dif­fer­ence.

DRIV­ING The cur­rent Camry is com­pe­tent; this one is con­vinc­ing on the road. The rear sus­pen­sion is now multi-link rather than struts and pro­vides a more com­posed ride, at least on smooth US roads. Its new chas­sis helps it change di­rec­tion with more con­vic­tion and pre­ci­sion.

DE­SIGN Toy­ota has stamped its new “pre­mium” ap­proach all over the ex­te­rior, with sharp creases on most pan­els. The much-im­proved in­te­rior look and feel puts it on a par with the lat­est con­tenders in this class.

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