The new 2012 Toyota Camry offers a nicer interior, more standard features, and improved gas mileage to make the bestselling car in the U.S. even better—but it has strong competition coming down the road.

The new 2012 Toyota Camry offers a nicer interior, more standard features, and improved gas mileage to make the bestselling car in the U.S. even better—but it has strong competition coming down the road.

2012 Toyota Camry

Still No. 1
Still No. 1

The new 2012 Toyota Camry offers a nicer interior, more standard features, and improved gas mileage to make the bestselling car in the U.S. even better—but it has strong competition coming down the road.

Overview
Overview

Toyota has improved the front-wheel-drive Camry, the top-selling car model in the U.S. for 13 of the last 14 years, by making numerous small, incremental changes. The result is a much nicer, airier interior, better fuel economy, and impressive multimedia systems, at a price that in most cases is lower than before. Our verdict is that shoppers can go out and buy a new Camry with few hesitations. However, the Hyundai Sonata, Kia Optima, and new VW Passat are all worthy of consideration, too, and new versions of the Nissan Altima, Honda Accord, Ford Fusion, and Chevy Malibu are due out next year. If you wait, something even more to your liking may be on the way.

Interior
Interior

The dash is more stylish and the cabin has a roomier feel than before thanks to seat and pedal repositioning and the reshaping of the seatbacks, doors, and headline trimmer. Trunk space is 15.4 cubic feet, and all versions now have 60/40 fold-down rear seats.

Engine/Drivetrain
Engine/Drivetrain

The choice of power plant is between a 2.4-liter, 178-horsepower four-cylinder engine and a 3.5-liter, 268-horsepower V6. The Camry is front-wheel drive only. The only transmission is a six-speed automatic (with paddle shifters available on the SE).

Performance
Performance
Motor Trend clocked the V6-powered Camry SE at 5.8 seconds in zero-to-60 runs, 0.4 seconds faster than before, almost as fast as the VW Passat (5.7 seconds), and well ahead of the Hyundai Sonata 2.0T (7.0 seconds).
Fuel Economy
Fuel Economy

The four-cylinder Camry is rated to get 25 miles per gallon in the city, 35 on the highway, 28 on average. Mileage drops to 21/30/25 with the V6. Ratings for the Hyundai Sonata are 24/35/28 with the base engine and 22/34/26 with a turbocharged four-banger.

Safety
Safety

The Camry doesn’t yet have government crash-test ratings but standard gear includes braking assist and electronic brakeforce distribution, stability and traction control, and 10 air bags, including cabin-length side curtain bags and knee bags for driver and passenger.

Price
Price

Starting price is $22,715, rising to $30,605 for a V6-powered XLE. The 2012 Camry has been selling for an average of $24,657, according to the Power Information Network, vs. $21,926 for the Malibu, $23,332 for the Sonata, and $23,542 for the Accord.