feel and stance from the Far East works in Yankeeland as well as in
In its fifth generation Camry model, Toyota recreated the car extensively,
beginning from an extensively revised floorpan which has added not
just to the overall length of the car but has also given it a lengthened
wheelbase and liberated a lot more cabin space.
The Camry measures 4815mm in length and is a wide car at 1795mm, longer
than the Mercedes E-class and near about on par with it. The superstructure
made of high tensile steel panels with impact absorbing front and
rear deformable zones built in makes for an outstandingly rigid chassis.
is a sign of the times that even in the US of A there is an emerging
trend towards better handling, precise turning and sure-braking automobiles.
Toyota has not always had major success in Europe with the Camry,
its smaller models much better suited to the Continent and therefore
more successful there. But with the Camry Toyota has managed to put
together a package that gives it the right sort of hardware to run
on. Up front, Toyota has kept faith with the MacPherson strut set-up
but these have been worked on in areas like revised (harder) spring
rates and damper settings. The suspension also makes do with stiffer
bushes for the lower arms while the anti-roll bar has been reshaped
in the interests of stiffening it up further. Toyota say that this
makes for great steering feel and stability.
At the rear MacPherson struts are at work yet again but this time
with a dual link set-up. The struts feature offset coil springs while
new generation hub bearings can withstand more loads and in turn offer
better stability in the handling and braking chores.
Overall the Toyota engineers have gone in for suspension components
designed with specific geometry that not only gives longer suspension
travel but also low unsprung weight making for a better handling and
stable automobile when on the move.
One of the items which surprised us concerned the brakes. No not that
they weren’t working or inefficient but Toyota has fitted ventilated
disc brakes up front which are smaller in diameter than the solid
discs on the back wheels - 220mm dia in front as against 250mm dia
at the rear with what the company calls anti-fade pads. This detail
apart the Camry employs an anti-lock braking system with Brake Assist
to help sense emergency braking scenarios and take quicker corrective
The Camry rides on very stylish 15-inch seven-spoke aluminium alloy
wheels shod with 205/65 R15 rubber. Our test car came with Japanese
Dunlop SP Sport radials. This is near par for the course but Toyota
has to be complimented over going in for tubeless rubber, just like
Mercedes-Benz while some of the others in this class yet do not want
to make the move up - technologically - in this area.