Let’s take a look at a Camry’s Korean competitor, the sleek 2.0L Kia Optima K5. It produces 165 hp and is mated to a 6 speed automatic transmission. The century sprint is completed in a decent 10.9 seconds. In comparison, the 4-speeder Camry churns out 148 hp and it goes from 0 to 100km/h in a leisurely 12.5 seconds.
A formidable competitor from Europe comes in the form of the handsome Peugeot 508. It is powered by a multiple-award winning 1.6-litre Turbo lump. The 156hp sedan sprints even faster, going from 0 to 100km/h in a brisk 9.2 seconds. As compared to the Camry, it helps the owner to save on road tax too. Getting a European drive does not mean paying more upfront nowadays. The list price on sgcarmart for the 508 Allure Plus version is $160,800 while the 2.0L Camry is priced at $161,988.
I am not sure if it is a wise choice for Toyota to put more attention on the 2.5-litre model, given that the automotive world is talking about downsizing now. Even the Americans are going for smaller engine capacity. An excellent example is the 2013 Ford Fusion (Mondeo in Europe), which is now available with a 1.6-litre petrol variant.
Does Toyota have the ability to do more for the 2.0-litre Camry? It certainly has. The Japanese automaker has a 2.0L engine codenamed 3ZR-FE which features Dual VVT-i technology. Even better would be the 3ZR-FAE with Toyota’s latest Valvematic technology.
The Corolla Altis is powered by a 1.6-litre Dual VVT-i (1ZR-FE) engine. It sounds strange that its bigger and more expensive brother, the 2.0-litre Camry, is powered by a technologically less advanced engine.
Let’s hope that Toyota does the right thing when the time comes for the Camry to receive a facelift. And please replace the 4-speed automatic with the 2.5-litre's 6-speeder as well.