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The all new Camry has upped the sedan’s desirability quotient by a few notches thanks to it’s styling and new TNGA architecture. An OER Review  

Los Angeles at night. Long exposure shot of blurred bus speeding through night street.

The Camry was introduced to Oman and other GCC market in 1992 and has over the years been amongst the best selling cars in the region. The sedan’s quality, durability and reliability (QDR) proved to be a big reason for the car’s runaway success. While the Camry was an ever reliable sedan, it was faulted for being a bit tepid and low on oomph. But the new Camry addresses the issue fare and square. The effort got off to a tentative start with a more-extensive-than-usual mid-cycle update for 2015 but reaches full flower with the all-new eighth-generation car.

 Eye catching style  

To start, there’s the styling. The new car is longer, lower and wider, giving it a slightly lower-slung profile. Up front there’s a swagger in the visage marked by a pinched upper grille and a gaping lower maw. The bottom edge of the fascia flares outward, as do the rocker panels; the shoulder line kicks up behind the rear doors; and a crease slashes across the C-pillar and extends back to the decklid spoiler. The new Camry’s styling looks better and sharper.

The interior is funkier too, with a dashboard with a three-dimensional design bisected by a wavelike trim piece. The triangular center stack angles toward the driver, while on the passenger’s side the dash curves away to create a greater sense of spaciousness. The gloss-black region into which the central touchscreen is integrated provides today’s requisite smartphone-mimicking appearance, but it retains enough knobs and physical buttons to make for easy operation.

Toyota’s latest Entune 3.0 infotainment system debuts here, and its biggest upgrade may be the company’s standard app-based navigation system, which works through a connected Apple or Android phone with the Scout app installed to deliver real moving maps and turn-by-turn directions just like an in-car nav system.

The nearly two-inch-longer wheelbase helps preserve interior roominess, including generous rear-seat legroom and knee clearance, even as engineers lowered the roof and the seating position. They also lowered the hood and the beltline to avoid the feeling of sitting in the bottom of a barrel. This Camry is more adventurous with colour, too, with the gray and tan interiors using multiple hues, while a red-and-black scheme can be had in the XSE.

New architecture

It’s not just appearances that have changed; much of the hardware is new, as the Camry moves to Toyota’s TNGA architecture. Both engines are fresh, as well, although their layout and displacements are familiar. The direct-and-port-injected 2.5-liter inline-four has a longer stroke and a higher compression ratio than the previous four-cylinder, and it boasts variable valve timing that is now electrically actuated on the intake side. Output climbs from 178 horsepower and 170 lb-ft of torque to 203 and 184—or 206 and 186 in the XSE with its quad exhaust outlets, a Camry first. A 176-hp version of the same engine pairs with an electric motor/generator in the hybrid.

A V-6 also returns, displacing 3.5 liters, the Camry V-6 makes a robust 301 horsepower versus 268 before, along with 267 lb-ft of torque, up from 248. Both engines trade their previous six-speed automatic for a new eight-speed unit, but the hybrid continues with the same mechanical arrangement that creates a pseudo-CVT.

In addition, the all-new Camry employs an advanced collision safety technology designed to not only ensure occupant safety but also to reduce pedestrian injuries. In addition, the 2018 Camry has been equipped with Hill-start Assist Control (HAC), which assists driver in preventing low-speed collisions caused by rolling backwards while attempting to set off on an incline.

Additionally, the all-new Camry features six SRS airbags, including driver and front passenger airbags, front-side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags that help reduce the collision energy imparted to occupants’ heads in the event of a side collision. Also, it is provided with three-point Emergency Locking Retractor (ELR) seatbelts with pre-tensioners and force limiter for the driver and front passenger, along with three-point Emergency Locking Retractor for the rear seats. Overall, the all new Camry offer everything that you expect from the best seller and more.

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