Here’s Uncle New 2012 Camry – Pricier, Uglier, Old Tech

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Apr 03 2012
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Toyota’s seventh-generation Camry, a model which has been synonym with “Uncle’s Car”, is here (espected in June, just 2 months away). This model is the same as the new model in Ukraine whereby the Toyota Aurion is badged as a Camry. Toyota Malaysia website was loaded with teasers, yesterday with the new Camry’s specification and today with the estimated price. When the Korean and Continental cars are churning out mind-boggling designs with all the bells and whistles thrown in, Japanese carmakers seems to be complacent with their past success, at least in Malaysia.

New 2012 Camry Exterior 1New 2012 Camry Exterior 2New 2012 Camry Exterior 3

Now, let’s look at the specification – the new Camry comes with 2.0E, 2.0G and 2.5V models. Both the 2.0 litre models come with (old) 16-Valve DOHC VVT-i engine producing 109 kW (148 PS) at 6,000 rpm, while the higher end 2.5 litre model which generates 133 kW (181 PS) at 6,000 rpm is using 16 Valve DOHC with Dual VVT-i & ACIS. Fine, maybe the Japanese has mastered the ancient art of “If It Ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix It”, hence the old engine technology.

However one would foam at mouth when the supposedly “luxury car” model is paired with merely 4-speed Super ECT & Sequential Shifter transmission. Only the 2.5-litre gets the 6-speed Super ECT transmission with Sequential Shifter. Maybe Toyota Malaysia, namely UMW, thought they could rob die-hard fans, Malaysian-Uncles, with such specification that they would have no choice but to choose the highest spec-2.5V model which cost an estimated cool RM183,000 for a piece of the latest Camry. The lower spec 2.0E and 2.0G models are estimated to cost RM152,000 and RM160,000 respectively.

New 2012 Camry Exterior 4New 2012 Camry Exterior 5New 2012 Camry Exterior 6

Obviously this is a brilliant plan to trick the Uncles (and Aunties) especially with the push-start feature, sun shades for the rear and side window, Bluetooth hands-free and even 4 Airbags are available only in the 2.5-litre model (2.0-liter models have only 2 Airbags). So if Uncles try to show off his mini features as mentioned, he has to pay for the premium (RM183,000). And do we have to mention the prices for all the models have been increased compare to previous models? Sure, the Yen has appreciated so we can’t expect the Japanese not to increase the price, can we (*grin*)?

As much as the new Camry (or rather UMW-Toyota) attracts unwanted criticisms on the internet over its daylight robbery with such pathetic specifications and unbelievable price, you can bet your last penny that Uncles would be fighting tooth and nail for this car, thanks to the Japanese-cars-are-good mentality. In fact, we should thank former premier Mahathir for his far-sighted Look-East policy decades ago, never mind that the old man was tricked by Mitsubishi into buying their near-obsolete engines and technology to transfer it into his pet project Proton.

New 2012 Camry Exterior 7New 2012 Camry Exterior 8New 2012 Camry Exterior 9

Indirectly it creates great resale-value with cars such as Honda and Toyota. Of course those Uncles thought it was a steal owning a (cheaper) Camry as they mistaken the model as on the same class as BMW and Mercedes. Can you imagine what could happen if Mahathir adopted Look-West policy instead? Maybe BMW 3-series and Mercedes C-Class would cost RM180,000 while Camry would cost you a leg and an arm at RM260,000 (*tongue-in-cheek*).

New 2012 Camry Interior 1New 2012 Camry Interior 2New 2012 Camry Interior 3New 2012 Camry Interior 4

The new Camry doesn’t look any luxury if you judge by its exterior – it’s fugly. OK, they may use rejected Lexus design for its front but it immediately give away when you look at the rear, not to mention the boring interior. Maybe UMW-Toyota has forgotten that there’s a new kid on the block – Volkswagen. At RM183,000 for the new Camry 2.5 litre, one can look into Passat 1.8I-TSI (turbocharged engine) selling at RM184,888 (CKD only RM173,888) with more bells and whistles than the former. Of course if you still prefer a Japanese car, Honda Accord and Nissan Teana could be your consideration, with couple of thousands as loose change.

New 2012 Camry Interior 5New 2012 Camry Interior 6New 2012 Camry Interior 7

Heck, if you care to compare the number of airbags, latest technology for both engines and transmission systems, interior design and features, and whatnot, you actually have tons of options in the market at the price revealed by UMW Toyota. It’s amusing that when other carmakers are packing their models with lots of airbags and at least 6-speed transmission, Toyota chose to rip-off Malaysian buyers instead. I supposed they never learn from their once-famous-but-now-loser-Sony to Apple iPhone story.

Toyota Camry 2012 Price

Honda Accord PriceNissan Teana PriceVolkswagen Passat Price

But wait a minute – maybe UMW and Toyota thought it would better to make more profits since accident rates in this country is enormously high (so why bother with more airbags) and Uncles and their twins Chow-Ah-Bengs wouldn’t know how to use touch screen GPS and DVD and push-start feature anyway so wood trimming is sufficient to make them grinning from ear to ear. Consumers need to be more intelligent and should start buying Continental cars to send Japanese carmakers running for their money. Resale value will automatically increase when there’re demands so go figure.

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we waited months for the all new camry but our dissappointment is very real its unimaginable. i think the vsc is also not there which i feel is important for a car like camry.

Dude you are honest and right. Like your take on the new camry. Just hope the estimated price will not be final. and really hope that UMW toyota malaysia would at least maintain the same price for the E and G model . as for the 2.5v another 0.1 cc with an additional cost of almost RM5-10K? hmm interesting..

@ Daniel, why hope the price of the 2.0 will be maintained? Are you seriously considering 150 – 160 k for this car?
2 airbags, 4 speed cogs and a underwhelming engine…

Spend your hard earn money elsewhere and give these old barons a kick in the face.

Want a car of similar size? K5 Optima anyone?
Want a car of similar price? VW Jetta would be a gem.

Enough of these crappy offering from local Japanese car distributors.

With the NAP there is no way you can get affordable non-malaysian made cars. there is actually a price fixing by the auto cos. you will not see much difference with all brands. nevertheless you also get strip down versions of these so-called branded cars but at high prices. remember the exact US or fully imported model camry costs double the price in malaysia. a camry with full specs costs < 20k US and convert with RM it will be RM60-70k but do you know how much a fully imported costs (300k+-). Only Malaysia Boleh/doh.

Better ride a bicycle or walk.

Good article! Living in the land of tolls sure make us M’sians richer then our southern neighbour.

Yes, certainly the new 2012 Camry has come out with a slightly expensive price tag as compared to some of its key rivals, however the new exterior and interior cabin designing looks quite appealing.

I used to be an uncle and ah beng. No longer, because i realised that they ought to be taught a lesson. But, unfortunately the Ah Bengs still out number the logic. Maybe they are too stupid to really see value in technology…….

The Koreans r coming,the koreans r coming.

Camry, really only for uncle, and to those who don’t understand spec but only think of brand value.

no doubt talking reliability and spare part support, camry is famous of it. k5/sonata still need time to prove on this.

Compare to Toyota Altis 1.8G spec, I think the “ALL NEW 2012” Toyota Camry 2.0G spec is way too LOW spec, OUTDATED engine and UNSAFE on less-ideal road!! Well, please see the below comparisons for the spec [pls note that despite these 2 cars is on different segment, but I’m pointing the comparison on the spec, rather on segment of the car]:

Toyota Altis 1.8G spec VS Toyota Camry 2.0G spec

1) Dual VVT-i with ACIS VS DOHC with VVT-i
(New engine) VS Old & Outdated engine)
(More power & torque) VS (Less power & torque)
(Consume less fuel) VS (Consume more fuel)

2) Super CVT-i with 7-Speed VS Super ECT with 4-speed
(better fuel efficiency) VS (less fuel efficiency)
(Advance gear box) VS (Old gear box)

3) Safety on less-ideal conditions (such as on rainy day, slippery road & uneven surface road)
– with VSC & TRC VS – without VSC & TRC
(MORE SAFE!) VS (UNSAFE!)Hope God will bless you then!

MY PERSONAL CONCLUSION: Driving a Toyota Altis 1.8G is seems to be MORE SAFE on the road than driving a New Toyota Camry 2.0G!! Yet, you need fork-out additional RM35,000 for a LOW spec, OUTDATED engine and UNSAFE “ALL NEW 2012” Toyota Camry 2.0G!! UMW TOYOTA is very “BRILLIANT” on “hiding” the above spec comparison when come to promoting this New Camry! You don’t see info of VSC & TRC in 2.5V (indeed 2.5V equipped with VSC & TRC, but not for 2.0G or 2.0E). No “comparison” info means less awareness to the potential buyer, especially those Uncles!!

Well, I’m also a Toyota car owner at the moment. But to upgrade to this New Camry, I would put on hold until UMW TOYOTA upgrade the spec of this Camry or look for some other cars. Simply Not worth buying this New Camry at these kind of LOW spec and OVER-PROFIT by UMW TOYOTA!

In fact, couples of days ago, one Toyota salesman told me that there was quite number of cancellation of booking order for this Camry 2.0G or 2.0E. Simply b’cos the potential buyer disappointed with this LOW spec Camry. To buy 2.5V with HIGHER spec is overpriced at RM181K!
In fact, couples of days ago, one Toyota salesman told me that there was quite number of cancellation of booking order for this Camry 2.0G or 2.0E. Simply b’cos the potential buyer disappointed with this LOW spec Camry. To buy 2.5V with HIGHER spec is overpriced at RM181K!

Toyota Camry 2012 2.5 is a junky interior. Worse than an 70’s car interior. I think a sin toy car had a better look. Positive Toyota supporter turn out very, very diss appoint. Being cheated. I bliv anyone bought this monster camry will felt nightmare. They treat us a stupid and foolish who came from an unlisted countries. This is Toyota Malaysia. Boleh

Most ugly interior 2012 Camry Malaysia. Designer for this grandfather vehicle must be a man from country never ever manufacture car or else must be a kid. Night driving lighting are horrible. Led match with 1960’s green illumination. Garmin gps is the 1st generation. 15years ago. Most expensive piece of vehicle. I think never in my future trust this dealer or manufacturer. Far ridiculous.

I like and agree with your assessment of the new Camry especially the 2.0 variant. I posted at Star Motoring my comments which is similar to your comments and that Passat is a better car and they deleted my comments! If you read their review, it is more like a Camry ad. Keep up with your no nonsense and honest reviews!


I am a die hard supporter of Toyotas and have been driving them for years. I currently own a Vios and Altis and have been waiting with high expectation for the new Camry to complete my stable of Toyotas. But what a great disappointment! Boring design, old technology with missing VSC and TRC safety features despite higher asking price. Even an “uncle” like me deserves more. Guess what, I have decided to “jump ship” and have booked a Passat instead. So good bye and my best wishes to Toyota.

2012 camry exterior look like 2003 model ! disappointed !
top designer is resign ? toyota , please design properly, dont be arrogant, purchase eye is bright, you give us chance to looking for another brand…

I drive a Camry. Yes, it is boring. But it is safe, reliable and comfortable. It is easy to sell 2nd hand. Camry is a no worry car.

Dear all, this is a TRUE STORY. Test drove the Passat CKD with a friend of mine who drives 2.4 Camry, not the latest one tho. At the end of the session, this friend of mine decided to hand over his camry to his father as a gift. And he booked the Passat.

This review, although its like kicking die hard Toyota fans on their balls but it also very true. If ur budget is around 150k check out peugeot 508 or optima 5. And if ur budget 1.8k then try out passat. Allow me to add a little fact here. The jap car although the power output is similar eg Camry and passat, continental car max torque kiss off at very low rpm as compare. Meaning u don’t have to press real hard to accelerate quickly, resulting in lower fuel consumption and engine roar.

What on earth are Toyota thinking ? the new Camry has a hideous angular front even without the Ah Beng add ons and the new model has gone backwards technically by removing SC and T control. Also only 3 year guarantee with only 1 free service – these guys are arrogant in the extreme thinking that the general public are gullible enough not to look elsewhere. My bet is that the next version will be more rounded and have all the bells and whistles to compete with the Koreans, Germans and French and anyone who buys this sadly lacking interim newcomer will end up with the Camry that nobody wants to buy second hand.

check out carlist – year end sales for camry averaging RM10k discounts. I spent about 7 hours driving last weekend and noticed less than 5 new 2012 Camrys OTR. Personally, i think, the sale must be very bad!

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