Toyota Camry SX proves that the Camry can be comfortable, refined, well-made, surprisingly quick and most of all, fun.
The all-new Toyota Camry has been a ground breaking car both for the Camry nameplate and Toyota as a brand. The Toyota Camry has developed a reputation for being reliable, comfortable and frugal, but it was often bought by people who simply needed a car rather than those who enjoyed driving. But things are changing. Dramatically.
When we drove the four-cylinder Camry SL we loved pretty much everything about it: the comfort, the space, the styling, the value and shock horror, it was a joy to drive.
We had few criticisms of the new Camry, perhaps our only main gripe is that we felt that the 2.5 litre four-cylinder engine carried over from the previous model just felt a little done compared to the rest of the package. It wasn’t underpowered per se, but didn’t quite offer the same satisfaction as the rest of the package. Enter the Camry V6. Or the Camry SX V6 to be exact.
The Camry SX models are the sporty siblings in the new Camry family, and you can have your Camry SX with either the four-cylinder which is priced from $33,290 plus on roads or the V6, as tested here, from $37,290.
Standard equipment levels are generous, with highlights including: adaptive cruise, autonomous emergency braking, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, LED head and tail lamps, wireless charging for your phone, leather trim, satellite navigation and alloy wheels. They only items that seem to be missing from the package are blind spot monitoring and seat heating.
Now for that engine. Under the bonnet of V6 Camry models lies a 3.5 litre donk that produces 224kW @ 6600rpm and 362Nm @ 4700rpm. The engine is married to an eight-speed automatic that sends power to the front wheels.
As the figures suggest, the engine is a high-revving unit, but it’s also ever so smooth and very, very quiet. Acceleration is swift and effortless. Overtaking dawdling traffic is a cinch and, once you’re away from the hustle and bustle and on a favourite driving road, the Camry V6 newfound athletic personality comes to the fore.
Dynamically, it shares the same balance and tactility as its four-cylinder sister, but there’s also the addition of a sharper throttle response – put your foot down and the V6 will quickly power you out of a corner and deliver you to your next one. And the engine always seems to encourage you to push the throttle pedal just a little closer towards the carpet.
Engine noise is virtually obsolete inside the cabin, unless you really need to get a lick on, in which case the engine note progresses from a murmur to a throaty bark. Road noise is well suppressed, too.
Surprisingly, the V6 isn’t equipped with start/stop fuel saving technology and Toyota cites an official combined fuel consumption figure of 8.7 litres per 100 kilometres. We averaged around 10.8 litres per 100 kilometres on a combined cycle. Not ludicrous for a car of this size and with this sort of performance, but it does show there is a slight premium to pay over the four-cylinder model.
What we like:
- V6 offers fantastic performance and completes the Camry as a driver’s car
- Impressive dynamics
- Good equipment levels and strong value
- SX looks the part
Not so much:
- Blind spot monitoring should come standard on SX
- Wireless charging pad was intermittent at best
- Overall build quality is great, but there was an annoying rattle/vibration in the dashboard of our test car
- Some interior plastics look a little cheap
Sale or no sale?
Yes, we’d absolutely buy a Camry SX V6. Toyota has hit the nail on the head with this genuinely sporty, fun to drive and high quality package.