Long-term update: 2012 Toyota Camry SE tech review
The gadgetry found in the top version of the latest 2012 Toyota Camry is the most advanced it has ever been for the Camry. Generally, GCC-spec cars for various brands are stripped down for maximum profit while keeping the price low, but Toyota has finally gone ahead and offered up a fully-loaded version of their bread-and-butter midsizer in the form of the SE Plus. So no one can complain about lack of features any more, as long as they’re willing to pay for it.
Nothing is particularly new here. The Nissan Altima got a keyless starter button back in 2008, while the Honda Accord came with optional navigation since 2010. So the new Camry is essentially playing catch-up with the competition.
We do like the implementation here though, and it’s very easy to use. If you’ve ever been in a Lexus IS 300, you’d also realise that it’s pretty much the same touchscreen, with some colours changed here and there.
The Camry had no issues connecting with our crappy HTC Sensation phone, so it should be compatible with any Android mobile.
It even comes with Bluetooth streaming audio, something that is still missing on some expensive luxury cars.
There’s also a USB port hidden away under the dual-zone auto a/c, with a space to keep your iPod or whatever, so there are no messy wires sticking out of the dash.
The DVD slot is hidden away under the screen itself, which automatically slides away at the press of a button. We didn’t even find this until months later, because we generally don’t use DVDs any more.
The stereo and phone can be controlled via those cancerous bulges on either side of the steering wheel. We never really got used to them.
With a Toyota Camry SE Plus, you really do get sort of a previous-generation Lexus experience, right down to the programmable maintenance reminders. Nowadays, even the cheapest Lexus costs Dhs 40,000 more than the price of this Camry. So if you don’t care that you’re driving a Camry, this is the cheapest Lexus you can currently buy.
Original Mileage When Borrowed: 5,883 km
Latest Mileage To Date: 8,300 km
Latest Average Fuel Economy: 11.3 litres/100 km
Cost of Latest Problems: Dhs 0
Cost of Latest Maintenance: Dhs 0
Total Non-Fuel Running Cost Since Borrowed: Dhs 0