Toyota Camry Review: For the Modern Man (Updated 2019)

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The Camry has been given a sporting facelift that is hard to ignore.


Back in the days, the Toyota Camry was the undisputed choice when it came to large family cars or a ride with a feel-good factor. In fact, it is very plausible that every successful SME owner would have driven one at some stage in his or her career. You could think of it as a trademark for the low-profile private business owner that is looking to make a statement without being overly flashy. This time however, the Camry has been given a sporting facelift that is hard to ignore. 


Contrary to previous generations that were more unassuming, the latest Camry sports a vastly different look now – a huge grille with sleek headlights sit on the front of a longer and lower body, flanked by massive 18-inch wheels (16-inch on the Camry 2.0) and an unconventional yet somehow appealing tapered boot lid round the back. A far cry from its lower-profile predecessors the first time you set eyes on it. 

Both the Camry 2.0 and Camry 2.5 are 4,885mm in length, 1,840mm in width and 1,445mm in height. Importantly, the wheelbase has been extended by 50mm, resulting in a decent value of 2,825mm and providing ample space for the modern businessman (or woman) and their growing family.


Ample space for a growing family

The comfort level of yesteryears’ Camry has also been carried forward, supplied by electric seats in the front (driver-side memory) and leather seats for the passengers in the back. Legroom is at a premium thanks to the aforementioned increase in wheelbase. Toyota has a neat trick up its sleeves this time, as hidden in the front seat’s headrest are buttons that will allow you to move the chair out of the way to create even more space!  

The instrument panel is as straightforward as it gets, with analogue dials and a digital display. Like a majority of the Japanese brands available locally, the nine-inch infotainment unit stands alone without the integration of the car’s drive functions. To make up for that, SatNav, factory-fitted reverse camera and mobile connectivity are available, although the Toyota Camry 2.0 also gets a locally-fitted unit that does the job just as well. 

Decent boot space with a pass-through

Boot space is decent at 493 litres, with a pass-through that fits longer items such as golf bags for that weekly trip to the country club. Or the endless grocery runs to feed a growing family, of course. 


Both Camrys are slightly different in the engine department, with the Camry 2.5 fitting a 2.5-litre engine and eight-speed auto while the Camry 2.0 is driven by a carryover drivetrain with a six-speeder.  

The 2.5-litre, four-cylinder NA engine is merged to a new compact 8-speed ‘Direct Shift’ UB80E automatic jointly developed by Aisin that power the front wheels. Giving you 207bhp and 250Nm as well as a 100km/h in 9.2 seconds, you can be assured that you will arrive on time for those crucial business meetings. 

Delivering a comfortable ride

While the focus is on delivering a comfortable ride, the Camry is fairly agile given its size. Going hard around corners still affords you a sense of consistency and groundedness, which is exactly what is needed to resist body roll. Steering, while not super sharp, is still an obvious upgrade from the previous variations.  


Yes, running a business requires adept risk-taking, though that does not necessarily mean your ride should too. With the Camry, you can put your fears to bed, as it has been awarded a 5-Star Safety Rating from the New Car Assessment Program for Southeast Asian Countries (ASEAN NCAP). When your car boasts key safety features such as the Pre-Collision System (PCS) that has been proven to prevent accidents, that is pretty much a given. This is thanks to shape recognition capabilities of a forward-facing radar as well as a camera that warns drivers of potential collisions before applying the brakes. Likewise, the Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC) helps to maintain a safe distance from traffic ahead, courtesy of the same radar.  

A car that negates risk


All in all, the 2.5 costs just $4000 more than the 2.0 (more details in the tables below). On one hand, it is a fair deal given that you’re paying for a newer, more powerful engine and better gearbox. On the other hand, that extra money could also fetch you a nicer kit. Hence, it will be a test of your business acumen when weighing up the pros and cons between both variations.  

Toyota seems to be attracting new buyers with the latest sporty outlook and neat handling of the new Camry, and it wouldn’t be a surprise for the uninitiated to sit up and take notice. Yet at the same time, existing fans would still be able to recognise all the hallmarks of what made the Camry so popular over the years. 


What we like
- Luxurious feel
- Large telematics touchscreen
- Extremely spacious
What we do not like
- Lack of automatic boot for auto close
- Drive shaft even though it is a front wheel drive
Editor’s recommendation
The Toyota Camry has successfully done a full model change that is significantly sportier and aesthetically better looking compared to its predecessor. It does not feel you are getting a second class car as compared to equivalent continental class cars, yet the cost savings are substantial.



Toyota Camry 2.0

Toyota Camry 2.5





In-line 4-cylinders / 16 Valve

Max Power

165hp at 6,500rpm

206hp at 6,600rpm

Max Torque

199Nm at 6,400rpm

250Nm at 5,000rpm

Fuel Efficiency



C02 Emission





$149,988 (with COE)

Weight & Dimensions

Toyota Camry 2.0

Toyota Camry 2.5

Length x Width x Height 

4,885 x 1,840 x 1,445mm



Kerb Weight



Gross Vehicle Weight



215/60 R16

235/45 R18

Performance & Transmission

Toyota Camry 2.0

Toyota Camry 2.5

Transmission Type

U761E (6AT)

UB80E (8DAT)

Front Suspension

Macpherson Strut

Rear Suspension

Double Wishbone

Brakes: Front/Rear

Ventilated Disc / Solid Disc


Toyota Camry 2.0

Toyota Camry 2.5

Steering Wheel

3-Spoke Leather / Manual

3-Spoke Leather / Power + Memory


D + P + Side + Curtain + D Knee


Auto Dual Zone

Cruise Control




Toyota Camry 2.0

Toyota Camry 2.5

Toyota Safety Sense



Electronic Parking Brake


Emergency Stop Signal


Intermittent Wiper

Rain Sensing

Anti-theft System

Alarm + Immobiliser

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