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Old 16th September 2012, 18:29   #1
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Default We go for the 'Kanmuri' - 2012 Toyota Camry Ownership Review

We go for the 'Kanmuri' - 2012 Toyota Camry Ownership Review-1-img_0716-custom.jpg

The Decision Making Process.

Let me give you a glimpse of the decision making process and the background. Till today I have driven almost all the car marques all over the world except the F1 and very fancy ones like Pagani or Bugatti. So I am little aware of the various brands, their strengths and weaknesses and their philosophy, the DNA etc. I have owned also a couple of marques over the past few years. My Beamer is almost 3 years old , my Toyota Corolla is now almost 7 years old. On this background I decided to go for a new car.

I was looking for a car for myself. My daily commute is approximately 24 kms. From my home in South Delhi to the Supreme Court ( 12 km one way ) and back. I have not employed any driver for myself. (My better half has the driver ). I had no constraint of budget. I was looking for the petrol car only .No diesel cars for me.

There were several other criteria. I was looking for a car which would have a comfortable ride ( I did not consider any SUV or Crossovers ). A cocooned cabin. Good (proven) after-sales service. New Delhi being a city with extreme climate, a good air condition was the basic need. In recent years there has been a constant water logging in various areas of Delhi even with what we consider normal rain in Pune and Mumbai. I have seen many fancy marques coming down to a grinding halt in the water logged areas. Many of my friends and their expensive cars have suffered in these rains recently and the experience has left them shaken badly bruised and the repairing costs are mind boggling. So the car had to have a decent ground clearance and a reliable machine. And lastly, looking at the worsening traffic scenario, it had to be automatic.

I considered and test drove almost all the cars in the price range from 20 lacs to 1 crore. A quick overview : Mercedes E Class was out as it has a poor air conditioning. I mailed and also confirmed it with Hormus as he owns one. I already have a Beamer in 5 series. I did not like the driving position and low ground clearance of Audi A6. Overall, the entire German trio was out as I already have an experience of their qualitative niggles, horrible after sales services and monstrous maintenance costs to say the least. After experiencing a hooligan high with a beamer for last few years I was looking towards more sedate driving experience. I did consider 2 brands very seriously. The first was Volvo. I have dreamt of owning a Volvo since I was kid. However, S60 was out as my wife felt that it was cramped ( especially the back seats and a low ground clearance ). I liked XC 60 but I wanted a petrol and it was a crossover but not a sedan. I did not like the ride quality of S 80. I wanted their V8 petrol but they have discontinued it in India. At least that what I was told. So Volvo went out of consideration. Next was Jaguar. What a beautiful cars they make. We both liked XJ and I considered it very seriously and nearly finalized the same .But the car was too big for our parking area. However low ground clearance was the main problem. Then a dear friend in Pune called me to tell me that he had purchased XJ recently and it had developed a serious problem. He was consistently in touch with the company but to no avail. Thats how Jaguar also went out. (Primarily nobody likes to face these problems after paying such a hefty sum for the car). Team BHP has many horror stories about Skodas. I did not even consider the brand. As far as Honda is concerned, I never liked their suspensions. My wife and kid had liked the Accord and was OK for the same. Neither did I consider Passat as it did not have petrol.

There was no question of even considering buying either a Hyundai or a Maruti. So I had put my decision of buying the car in suspended animation for last more than 6 months. Then came the news that Toyota was launching the new Camry in India. I was mildly intrigued. Toyota s ways are strange indeed. I have been following their footprints since their launch of Qualis and its success. I need not tell the knowledgeable members the story which is already well known. I was happy with 2006 corolla more than my beamer. However I had decided that I really had no need to buy the car. When I had a mid term review of my financials, my CA suggested me that I should buy the car to avail the tax benefits . Thats how the process received an impetus again.

Then came up the turning point. I was invited for the launch of Toyota Camry on 24th of August. Meanwhile the Toyota people were successful in getting a booking amount from me which was fully refundable. On 24th evening, I reached the venue of the launch and I was just going through the BHP Forum when I received my first shock. The price. There was an official review on BHP and the ex show room price screamed at me Rs. 23.80/- Incredulous. The official review also lamented on the lack of several necessary features . I was taken aback. Then we had a launch. The car was/ is an absolute stunner in flesh. The pearl white and black were displayed. It had an astonishing presence. My little son was on cloud nine. My wife who is normally very cautious and my not share my enthusiasm was ecstatic. I was mystified. We had have test drives of so many cars which were class apart than Camry but this car evoked such a strong emotional response in both of them. I also found that the interior was indeed luxurious. The backseat extremely comfortable and the space inside was phenomenal. I spoke to Michihiko Sato, the chief engineer of Camry who was present there at the launch. According to him, the Toyota has studied the driving conditions of the continent and has according launched the car with the required features. It did not cut any ice with me. Then dawned the realiziation that as usual, they have launched the car in its bare minimum form and most probably they will launch the car with full bell and whistles within 2 to 3 years as the facelift. (I believe this is what they have done with almost every variant that they have launched in India. When we came back home, I was on the verge of cancelling the booking. However We sat back and mulled. The buy was necessary for tax planning and in order to avail depreciation. The reliability and the peace of mind was assured. Some of my friends who were called for the pre launch testing vouched for its astonishing ride quality and the hush in the cabin even when they drove it for a little while. And then the official review by Jaggu sealed the deal. Especially the part about the driving and the engine. Kudos to you guys, I believe that this is the most reliable forum which is a mine of correct information. Frankly I went for reliability and peace of mind than the status symbol and the outright performance.

The Car arrived on 13.9.2012 at showroom and We took the delivery on the same day at 11.45 am.

This is how the OTR worked.

Rs.23,80,000/ ex show room price.
Rs. 2,38,000/ Road Tax.
Rs. 91,329/ Insurance. (However I got it done by United Insurance at Rs.61,254/)
Rs. 24,146/ Toyota Accessories.
Rs. 10,452/ 3M Body Care Package.
Rs. 12387/ Toyota Car Care Package.
Rs. 8266/ Registration and other charges.
Rs. 214/ HSRP Number Plate.

Rs. 27,35,289/ Total OTR.

We go for the 'Kanmuri' - 2012 Toyota Camry Ownership Review-2-img_0713-custom.jpg

The Equipment Levels.

This is a big letdown. That what I personally feel. Toyotas have played a spoilsport when it comes to the equipments and the gizmos. In the recent years it is seen that manufacturers like Hundai are pampering the buyers with every conceivable gizmos starting from their little cars. If one compares to that it is really a sad story. Toyota has given the powered seats. A cheap looking DIN touchscreen which would not go with the class of this car. No ESP and traction control. No sunroof. Only two airbags. And a shocker that it does not even have a rear sunshade. I inquired with the dealers. They are also at loss explaining as to why Toyotas are not offering these essential features. My car did not have the reversing camera when I took the delivery as it was simply not available. It was fitted after a week or so. I did not expect them to be so stingy on the car which costs nearly Rs.28 lacs OTR Delhi.

The exterior and Interior.

The car has an amazing road presence. The build quality is top notch. Unlike the lighter Toyotas to which we are accustomed to, this is a very well built car. The styling is sharp. It reminds one of Lexus.The doors shut with a reassuring thud. My only worry is its protruding chin spoiler which I feel is vulnerable. As far as interior is concerned, this time Toyota has given a classy and qualitative interior. The combination is tasteful. The materials used are of a very high quality. The powered seats are fantastic but front could have done with more underthigh support. The cabin is very practical with a good amount of storage areas. There is a phenomenal space inside. The back seat is very comfortable as it also has a huge space , a flat floor and a good head room. The egress and ingress is very easy. The doors open wide. The best point as far as the rear seat is concerned is its high hip point. It is the most comfortable car for the elderly folks.

The ergonomics are very good. Everything is handy, can be used easily. No quirks here. The dual zone airconditioner is very powerful and cools cabin in no time. The rear A/C vents also help. ( Poor air-conditioning is one of the main factors as to why I did not consider many high end cars. In extreme climate like Delhi it can be the deal breaker ) Even you get used to the foot hand break.

The optitron meter is nice to read. Its blue glow is pleasant. There is also a Eco Fuel Gauge. The driving position is very comfortable and is easy to find the one which suits you . The overall ( all round ) visibility is exceptionally great. The rear visibility is not so great where the rear view camera comes handy. The side mirrors are good but could have done better with a little bigger size.

Initial Driving Impressions.

I have completed 600 kms while writing this report. My daily commute is aprox 24 kms. The Supreme Court is 12 kms one way. The car has been mainly driven at day. There were stretches when the car touched 100 for a brief period. Mostly it is driven through the dense traffic of South and Central Delhi. The conditions of several South Delhi roads is terrible because of monsoon. The Central Delhi roads are comparatively better. The engine is silky smooth and in completely silent. The power deliver is very linear and there are no surges of power or spikes. It is my initial impression that the car is little wanting in acceleration . But since this is the period of running in and I am driving it carefully and with light foot, I will be able to confirm it once 1000 kms are reached. The slow speed ride is outstanding to say the least. It gets better and better once the speed increases. There is complete silence in the cabin as the minor and major bumps and broken tarmac is dealt with the pliant suspension in a manner which leaves the occupant unruffled. It glided over the broken roads and we did not feel the impact of the same inside. There is a complete silence inside the cabin. The moment the windows are up and closed, the occupants are cocooned in a manner which I did not expect from the Toyota. All the controls are ergonomically placed and are very easy to access. The car is very easy to drive. The steering is OK but neutral. It does not give you the feedback which otherwise you expect. The brakes are adequate and seem to be powerful but they are not yet tested in any contingency. Overall the build quality is top notch. I was able to get a fuel economy of 9.2 in the start stop Delhi traffic for the first week.

However a rather peculiar thing happened when I crossed 600 kms. The throttle response suddenly improved and the engine felt lot more tractable. There was a marked change in smoothness and the power delivery which I felt. Now it feels that the car has opened up. (this is from a perspective of a lay man. Knowledgeable members can put a word or two about the same. )

I did only one drive at night. I had taken the car to noida around 10 pm for a drive. The car felt planted on the road. The ride quality got better and better and at high speeds it is simply outstanding. It glides effortlessly on broken roads and tarmac and pot holes. One can hear the muted thuds inside the cabin but the passengers are unruffled. The HID lamps are very good. The high beam halogens also seem to be adequately powerful. However I will be able to give the feedback only once I drive on the highway through the night.

However the big surprise was handling of the Car. I have been accustomed to boring Toyotas till today. This car comes as a pleasant surprise. In no way it is in the league of BMW or any of such cars but it has bettered its handling and the drivability. One can now has much more confidence while driving this car.

The biggest surprise of the entire package after 600 kms is the FE. I am yet to believe the readings and taking it with the pinch of salt but for last 100 kms or odd it has been giving me FE of 12.3 to 14. But I must clarify that I leave around 7.30 in the morning when the traffic is yet to catch up and return to my home/office around 4.30 noon. Still the figures are astounding. I am attaching the photo taken by me at today noon.

We go for the 'Kanmuri' - 2012 Toyota Camry Ownership Review-img_01171-custom.jpg

These are the initial impressions. I will post more as I will gather more kms on my speedometer.

Last edited by Rehaan : 5th October 2012 at 16:48. Reason: Blanking plates on request
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Old 5th October 2012, 09:56   #2
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Default Re: We go for the 'Kanmuri' - 2012 Toyota Camry Ownership Review

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Initial Ownership Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 5th October 2012, 10:37   #3
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Default Re: We go for the 'Kanmuri' - 2012 Toyota Camry Ownership Review

Let me be the first to congratulate you. The new camry looks absolutely splendid. It reminds me of the old lexus. The interiors too have gone through significant changes. Having owned and sold the older version , I can safely say this looks like a far more mature and upmarket product compared to the model i had.
The USP of this car remains the rear bench and i am sure it is even better than the one in the older model. Congratulation and ride safe.
oh , and some more interior pictures please.
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Old 5th October 2012, 10:38   #4
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Default Re: We go for the 'Kanmuri' - 2012 Toyota Camry Ownership Review

Congratulations Chinmoy for bringing home the new Camry, I think yours is the first on the forum. Your experience in owning/driving multiple brands has led you to a wise decision. Compared to Hyundai Camry definitely feels starkly deprived of some features which are normally standard for this segment, but when it comes to peace of mind Toyota still rules the automobile sector (I am sure you would agree with me).

The FE figure is surely amazing. Please post more pictures of the interior.
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Old 5th October 2012, 10:47   #5
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Default Re: We go for the 'Kanmuri' - 2012 Toyota Camry Ownership Review

Many many congratulations chinmoysc on owning the mini Lexus. Toyota's reliability and toughness is hard to beat and emulate. You will have many years of trouble free driving with this sophisticated beast. Toyota is one brand which I/we can always purchase even with eyes closed. The car does have amazing street presence which is unparalleled by any of its contemporaries.

Though you have rightly pointed out the stinginess of Toyota in skipping many essential features and luxuries for a car of this class and cost. And although you did not consider a Skoda Superb due to its horror stories and I believe you are fully right to do so, but is the new Camry worth the 9L price differential from the Superb is a matter for debate for some other day.

In the end, one thing you can be sure of and that is the bullet proof reliability that the Toyota brand brings. Keep revving and drive safe...

Last edited by dkaile : 5th October 2012 at 10:51.
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Old 5th October 2012, 11:40   #6
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Default Re: We go for the 'Kanmuri' - 2012 Toyota Camry Ownership Review

Congratulations on what I believe is the first 2012 Camry in Team BHP. I suggest hiding the number plate in the photos. Wish you many safe miles in the Camry!
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Old 5th October 2012, 11:49   #7
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Default Re: We go for the 'Kanmuri' - 2012 Toyota Camry Ownership Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by chinmoysc View Post
This is how the OTR worked.....Rs. 27,35,289/ Total OTR.

A cheap looking DIN touchscreen which would not go with the class of this car. No ESP and traction control. No sunroof. Only two airbags.
And a shocker that it does not even have a rear sunshade.

My car did not have the reversing camera when I took the delivery as it was simply not available..
Chinmoy,

I took delivery of my car on the 2nd of September. It was a case of head over heart. My previous car was a much more enjoyable drive (Skoda Octavia vRS) but with limited rear leg room. Since I am chauffered I decided to get replace my Octavia with a car that offers more to the rear passenger.

In a car of this class, in addition to the items you listed I would have love to have a Head's Up display, Adaptive headlights that rival the Superb/Laura, a memory for the electrically adjustable seats, a Sport mode (The Camry does have Sequential Mode), a way to turn the irritating reverse warning sensor off, a 12V outlet in the rear seat (along with one in front arm rest). Additionally the parking brake is foot mounted not a hand brake.

Were you charged extra for the reverse camera? Is the reverse camera integrated to the display. My dealer told me that the reverse camera would mean a seperate display for the camera so i opted to not have it.

Lastly, Chinmoy, you are lucky, in Mumbai the OTR price exceeds 31 lacs (thanks to duties and taxes).
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Old 5th October 2012, 12:08   #8
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Default Re: We go for the 'Kanmuri' - 2012 Toyota Camry Ownership Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by chinmoysc View Post
The Equipment Levels.

This is a big letdown. That what I personally feel. Toyotas have played a spoilsport when it comes to the equipments and the gizmos
Welcome to the forum Vakil Saab (I presume you are an advocate at the Supreme Court).
I was driving the new Camry yesterday and could not help but wonder at how stingy Toyota has become in equipping the car.
2 airbags? The Swift has them.
No reverse cam? The Scorpio has it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by chinmoysc View Post
The biggest surprise of the entire package after 600 kms is the FE. I am yet to believe the readings and taking it with the pinch of salt but for last 100 kms or odd it has been giving me FE of 12.3 to 14.
Now that is a revelation. I managed to squeeze out 11kmpl but that was in peak traffic conditions.

Tell me, why didn't you consider the Superb or the Passat? I feel they are wonderful cars.

Happy Motoring..!!

Last edited by n.devdath : 5th October 2012 at 12:10.
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Old 5th October 2012, 14:38   #9
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Default Re: We go for the 'Kanmuri' - 2012 Toyota Camry Ownership Review

Congratulations on your new ride. I was waiting for someone to really post an ownership review of the Camry because it might be something I might consider when I get rid of the Corolla by the financial year end. Nevertheless what I really enjoyed was your logic to steer clear of the Mercs, Audis, BMWs and even the Jag. It would come as an immense surprise to many of the costs of maintaining these cars in our country they can really be HUGE.

Nevertheless what I really want to know is the huge difference in the FE figures you showed you achieve after your 600 kms in South and Central Delhi and the ones mentioned in the official review by Team BHP. One of the major cons for me when I read the Camry review was the dismal FE mentioned in the review however, if your Camry stays around these numbers in future I think it will seal the deal for me. Await your future updates on the car and wish you happy motoring with your Kanmuri !
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Old 5th October 2012, 18:50   #10
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Default Re: We go for the 'Kanmuri' - 2012 Toyota Camry Ownership Review

Chinmoy, did you consider the Toyota Prius and the Nissan Teana? If yes, then what factors went against them compared with the Camry?
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Old 5th October 2012, 18:54   #11
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Default Re: We go for the 'Kanmuri' - 2012 Toyota Camry Ownership Review

Congrats on the buy
New gen camry is an excellent propositon considering your requirements.
Also liked the fact that you did not jump the diesel band wagon (which seems to be the current trend)

Comming from one camry owner to another , "she will serve you well" .

Regards,
Vinay
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Old 5th October 2012, 20:06   #12
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Default Re: We go for the 'Kanmuri' - 2012 Toyota Camry Ownership Review

Congratulations! You have done a very logical purchase, and i really like the crisp review report also. The Camry fits perfectly for your needs, short daily commutes where comfort and reliability are the key factors, nothing ever would come close in this price bracket. The FE figures are very doable, its just matter of going smooth with the right pedal.

The sudden opening up feel might be due to the ECU auto programming itself to the driving style, or it can be a cooler ambient air?? But yes these cars will open up a lil bit once they reach around 3-4k kms.

Do update us on the rear seat comfort also, once you get a chance to experience the same, this was something i couldn't cover in detail in my short test drive with Camry
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Old 6th October 2012, 01:59   #13
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Default Re: We go for the 'Kanmuri' - 2012 Toyota Camry Ownership Review

Congrats for the new Camry.I believe yours is first on the forum. Imposing road presence, I must say. Post some more pics, especially of the interiors.
Most of the Camry owners would spend their time in the rear seat. You can maybe re position the brand as a driver's car.
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Old 6th October 2012, 08:34   #14
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Default Re: We go for the 'Kanmuri' - 2012 Toyota Camry Ownership Review

Did not the petrol only Sonata (new) appeal to you. It comes loaded with gizmos as you have mentioned about Hyundai. And what about Nissan's teana?
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Old 6th October 2012, 16:52   #15
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Default Re: We go for the 'Kanmuri' - 2012 Toyota Camry Ownership Review

Were you charged extra for the reverse camera? Is the reverse camera integrated to the display. My dealer told me that the reverse camera would mean a seperate display for the camera so i opted to not have it.

Navin,

Toyota gave me a package of accessories which costed me around Rs.24,000/ which included the rear view camera. Since it was not available at the time of delivery, it was fitted later though I paid for it while taking the delivery. The wiring was already done. Only camera was fitted later. It costed me Rs.9386/.

It is integrated in the display itself. The resolution is very ordinary. I have not found it of any use at all.

I read somewhere on this forum that your cars have the best of ICE. Have you done any change in Camry ?
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