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Should Toyota do more for the 2.0L 2012 Camry?

By SYF77 on 17 Apr 2012

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The all new 2012 Toyota Camry has just arrived at our shores. It is available as a 2.0L, 2.5L and 2.5L hybrid. According to a recent interview conducted by sgcarmart with the Camry’s Chief Engineer, Mr Michihiko Sato, the 2.0L powerplant is carried over from the previous Camry without any additional changes. Like its predecessor, the 2.0L Camry is mated to a 4-speed automatic transmission. The 2.5L version gets a more advanced Dual-VVT-i power plant.

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According to the interview, Toyota chose to enhance the 2.5L instead of the lower variant (2.0L). However, with the onslaught of the Koreans and Europeans, can Toyota afford not to upgrade the 2.0L model?

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.

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Written by SYF77
I have been a car fanatic since 1989, when my father was changing our family car then to a Toyota Corolla 1.6 GL fitted with a Twin Cam 16 valve engine that was carburetor-fed, a big deal back in those days. The automobile technology and industry fascinates me and I hope to broadcast these interesting developments to everyone out there through this blog.

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Proton_neutron Apr 17 2012 06:36 PM
There's a fair market share between the outgoing Camry 2.0L and 2.4L. So it's safe to say current Camry drivers will be more than happy to upgrade to the Camry 2.5L (Only $6k more) with no qualms. In fact, some of them may have already upgraded to the Lexus GS250 or better still, the Lexus GS350.
Mecontle Apr 17 2012 08:58 PM
non turbo car will slowly disappear the future belongs to turbo & very small cc engine
Jetabout777 Apr 18 2012 12:04 AM
The camry is a joke. In light of Singapore's situation, AD still dares to launch a lukewarm model.
Heartbreakid Apr 18 2012 12:44 AM
Japanese are still day dream. 4 speed in a 2.0-litre for a new model. Why it seems like they wanted to force buyers to buy the 2.5 litre model instead. For me, I will give it a miss and go for continental with more specs, tech and frugal on fuel. No thanks to these Japs conservative mindset. They can carry on and screw themselves up,
ER-3682 Apr 18 2012 07:30 AM
Toyota is a very lasting car,i am still driving my 8yrs+ Camry,125,000km of rough driving,the only parts i changed are the A/C compressor & coil,rear shocks...no others...can a German car do this.??
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