First drive: 2016 Toyota Camry in the UAE

First drive: 2016 Toyota Camry in the UAE

2016 Toyota Camry Limited in the UAE

It seems like just the other day when Toyota launched the 2012 Camry to much fanfare. So it seems prudent that the “all-new” 2016 Camry isn’t exactly all-new. Just launched today in the UAE, we took one for a brief spin around the cluttered “New Dubai” area.

The latest Camry features completely new body styling, with unique touches such as the full-face grille and the crescent fog lamps. It’s a great-looking car, especially in the deep red of our top-spec model. However, as the saying goes, “familiarity breeds contempt,” and once the base model starts popping up as taxis (with a different grille), no one’s going to take a second look at a new Camry, red or otherwise.

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On an interesting note, the top “Limited” model that we drove is imported from the United States, while the other three lower trim levels still come from Australia. Toyota says the U.S. version has a lot of features that they wanted to offer here, for those willing to pay the premium for the Limited.

From what we could see, the interior is largely unchanged from the previous model, but the Limited exclusively gets an upgraded 7-inch touchscreen multimedia system, a JBL stereo and leather/alcantara combination upholstery. It’s very spacious inside, with a big boot and all the cup-holders a discerning midsize sedan buyer could want.

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Other features on the Camry Limited include LED headlights, 17-inch alloy wheels, rear camera, dual-zone auto a/c, smart keyless entry and start, sunroof, ESP, navigation, rear spoiler, 10 airbags and more, all of which are also available on lower-trim variants.

Still powered by a 181 hp 2.5-litre 4-cylinder (178 hp on the base model) and mated to a 6-speed automatic, the Camry drives with familiar ease. The acceleration is acceptable for daily-driving, and the gearbox seamlessly shifts when it’s supposed to.

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On the road, we found the car to be very smooth-riding and impressively quiet, maybe more so than the outgoing model. There’s no real need to upgrade to a Lexus ES if this is how all Camry versions ride. We didn’t really find the time or space to push it around corners, but in manoeurvres around town, it seemed generally stable and adequately agile, just like the previous model. The steering is on the lighter side but with a bit of heft and feedback, while the brakes do their job fine once you get the hang of the light pedal.

The 2016 Toyota Camry feels more like a midlife refresh than a ground-breaking new model, which is perfectly fine as it doesn’t need to be any better than it is, for the market it is targeting. It’s very spacious and comfortable, with decent power and handling for its class. What’s there to complain?

For UAE prices and GCC specs, visit the Toyota Camry buyer guide.

What do you think?



  1. That is interesting we an option to purchase the US version, I think that is one to go for… mainly due to a better quality interior.

  2. I take mush’s reviews seriously…. Yes US version is much better even the built quality but most of the features are standard here except stereo and leather seats. I am driving Camry LE 2012 where in UAE I had 2013 SE but surprisingly I found US built more stable, quick and better on corners. I think the XSE US grade is better option for UAE…..

  3. 18inch wheels on the XSE can affect ride quality…

  4. Both 2012 SE and 2015 XSE has 18″ rims and with low profile tires which actually gives more grip. By the way it is not Al futtaims’s customized low cost model. I was surprised after coming to Canada to see even civic’s grades specially coupe.

  5. with regards to the design, i think they pretty much failed and played it too safe.

    the corolla and avalon look great, but on the camry the new toyota-style looks too boring and outdated..

  6. actually resembles honda accordish….

  7. Base Honda Accord …

  8. any way personally I like it.. it is one the better models Toyota has introduced, the new fortuner (to be released) and Hilux really look good

  9. Toyota have played safe with their design. The car is indeed pleasing to look. Not to forget the fact that with Toyota comes reliability, and that too with a higher initial cost.

  10. The interior seems downright cheap. The size of the dash buttons seems to come off a tractor! Shall have a test ride the next time I use a taxi.

  11. The 2016 Mazda 6 seems to be a good deal than the camry. Its fully loaded.

  12. A nice looking car but sadly it’ll become a taxi 🙁 which is the reason I never consider a camry

  13. Still Mazda6 2.5L Full option is better than new Camry. Camry’s front face lift got more boring than the previous version. Also it does not offer additional safety features which are standard in Mazda6. Bet Camry’s handling will not even stand any close to Mazda6. No manually shift auto trnasmission !! Come on Toyota…
    And still the Non-Japan production is highly priced…Many out there just want to be sheep in herd. Will never think or decide different but will happily go for a model that they do see every day as taxis..

    • Hope you are mazda fan

      look at the roads …see the ratio (even after omitting the taxi crowd)… majority wont be wrong … i presume

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