Toyota Camry V6
Damien O'carroll – not easily impressed – finds the Camry V6 adds excitement to Toyota's mainstay model.
While the Toyota Aurion was a thoroughly competent car that went up against the Holden Commodore and Ford Falcon in the “Big Aussie Six” segment, it was never as interesting as the competition. Neither was the Toyota Avalon that preceded it. The Camry is the latest Toyota to be built on the company’s new TNGA (Toyota Next Generation Architecture) platform that we have previously experienced under the Prius and the C-HR small SUV. Stretched for use under the Camry, the TNGA platform is more rigid than the previous Camry platform, enabling Toyota to situate the seats lower which, in turn, has meant the designers can lower the roof and bonnet, giving the Camry an athletic, sportier new look. And what a look it is too. Easily the best looking Camry in some time, the new car has hints of Alfa Romeo Giulia (yes, really!) around its flanks while retaining a familiar Toyota family grille at the front. The V6 gets some chrome-tipped dual exhausts which enhance its sporty, aggressive stance, while the black mesh grille and sports bumper at the front set things off nicely. Inside things are familiar, but noticeably more swoopy and stylish. High quality materials are used throughout and the V6 is impressively well equipped, with features like wireless phone charging, voice recognition and SUNA satellite navigation coming standard. The new platform has also lowered the Camry’s centre of gravity, giving it improved driving dynamics, helped along by a more complex double wishbone suspension set up at the rear and significantly revised front Macpherson strut suspension at the front. This makes for a Camry that is more lively and responsive than the previous car, though the driver is always aware of the power and torque being directed through the front wheels to the road. This time there is even more power being pushed through the front wheels – 224kw to be precise, along with 362Nm of torque. The revised 3.5-litre V6 is a smooth and powerful unit that, delivers brilliant power in a straight line, while the new eight-speed automatic transmission is equally smooth and refined. The V6 comes standard with 19-inch alloy wheels, a sports exterior styling package, front and rear parking sensors, sports tuned suspension, a boot spoiler, a twin exhaust system, sports front seats and LED headlights and daytime running lights. Keyless entry gets you in the door, and there’s the almost obligatory start button. The interior environment is controlled by dual zone automatic air conditioning, a seven-inch colour multi information display, an eightinch touchscreen infotainment system. The driver has a leather steering wheel and eightway power driver’s seat adjustment. The Camry V6 is a beautifully refined car that packs high levels of equipment and safety features into a body that can actually be described as attractive. Something that you couldn’t always accuse the Camry of before.