2012 Toyota Camry

2012 Toyota Camry

Episode 3102
Auto Value and Bumper to BumperTire Rack "The Way Tire Buying Should Be"

The Toyota Camry is not only America’s favorite car, but has long been the benchmark for mid-size family sedans. But, in recent years, recalls, natural disasters, and new rivals like the Hyundai Sonata, have put the Camry on the defensive. Well, now the Camry is switching to offense with an all new 2012 edition. So let’s see if the Camry should stay a winner.

The 7th generation, 2012 Toyota Camry aims to keep you safe, secure, but also entertained during your efficient everyday drive. That last part foretells an alteration in Camry philosophy as Toyota wants this new era sedan to attract a younger, more tech savvy, as well as environmentally conscience, family car buyer. But, the new Camry has to first appeal to the visual senses before it can lure more youthful customers into the showroom. Rather than go for a swoopy look like the Hyundai Sonata, the Camry designers took an edgy, if still very evolutionary path.

Our Red Metallic Camry SE test car exudes modern cues with strong character lines, flatter sides, and a wider stance. The front end looks ready to inhale the road with an aggressive, spoiler-style, three port lower inlet. The wide, sharply contoured headlights connect a shorter mesh grill. Other Camrys, including the Hybrid, have an attractive two-bar chrome grille and a large single port lower opening. Wedgy fog lights are standard only on the SE and XLE. With a full length shoulder line up top, rocker panel extensions below, supported by handsome 18-inch alloys, the SE’s profile looks appropriately sporty. Same for the rear view with a trunk lid spoiler, sculpted lower facia, and dual chrome exhaust tips. Other models are less overt, but all include huge, talon-shaped tail lamps that are definitely distinctive.

Unlike newer competitors the Camry still offers a V6. The carryover 3.5-liter in our SE rates 268-horsepower and 248 pound-feet of torque. The base engine is the familiar 2.5-liter I4 with 178-horsepower and 170 pound-feet. Both the 4 and 6 are manual mode 6-speed automatic only, although the SE does add paddle shifters. The Hybrid’s 2.5-liter has been revamped for more efficiency, with a combined hybrid drive CVT output of 200-horsepower, a boost of 13.

Hybrid fuel economy jumps to 43 City and 39 Highway, now handily beating the Ford Fusion Hybrid. But, that’s due more to the new Camry losing weight, honing aerodynamics, and adding more efficient tires, than just powertrain tweaks. Even with carryover engines the I4 government ratings of 25 City and 35 Highway are up 3 mpg each, with the V6 gaining one each at 21 City and 30 Highway.

Every new Camry generation brings more comfort and luxury. While both exterior and interior dimensions have barely changed, the cabin feels bigger and is richer. The handsome dash is dressed with better materials and even real stitching. Details are more artful. The hooded, overlapping gauges with twin LED readouts are crystal clear. Switches are oversized and easy to reach. The user friendly center console puts the shifter and cupholders side-by-side. Bluetooth is now standard on all Camrys, along with a USB port with full iPod integration. But, a backup camera is an option.

SE and XLE V6 Camry’s includes a 6.1 inch touch screen for navigation, stereo, trip functions, and Entune. Entune, Toyota’s new multimedia system, links with smart phones for apps access to and Pandora and Bing as well as traffic, weather, and sports schedules. 10 airbags protect all those front and rear, while all seats more comfortable. Rear legroom is up slightly in the back, with standard split 60/40 folding seatbacks. Cargo volume is up slightly to a reasonable 15.4 cubic feet.  

Driving alongside the Columbia River and on the twisty roads near Roslyn, Washington, we were impressed with the Camry’s effortless ride and competent composure. With the hybird’s electric steering now across the board, we found quick response and good feedback. The front strut, rear dual link suspension is up to every mission this car should typically endure. The car is also amazingly quiet. Our SE is the sportiest model, with a firmer suspension tuning and tauter ride, yet it still delivered a drive you can handle all day without fatigue.

And, here’s more good news. Most 2012 Toyota Camry prices are the same or lower than last year. The high volume LE drops $200 to $22,500. The SE at $23,000 is $965 less, while the XLE dives $2,000 to $24,725. Even the Camry Hybrid begins lower at $25,900, or $1150 less than before.

The 2012 Toyota Camry continues as a well focused solution to American family sedan needs. Only now it’s younger looking, more luxurious, more tech-savvy and more fuel efficient, plus for core buyers, less expensive. If that doesn’t put rivals on the defensive, we don’t what will.

Specifications

  • Engine: 3.5 liter
  • Horsepower: 268
  • Torque: 248 lb-ft
  • EPA: 25 mph city/ 35 mph highway
2024 Porsche Cayenne Turbo GT 1

2024 Porsche Cayenne Turbo GT

It’s An SUV On A Track, Deal With It

Episode 4325
Auto Value and Bumper to BumperTire Rack "The Way Tire Buying Should Be"

When we started testing cars 43-years ago, hot rod SUVs like this Porsche Cayenne Turbo GT were not on our radar. Back in those days, utility vehicles were trucks and Porsches were cars. But times have changed, and the only place to make sense of it all is at a racetrack, so hop in and join us for some high-performance haulin’.

Now, most would say the high-performance SUV is a relatively new phenomenon, but we’ve been testing them for over 30-years now, going back to the GMC Typhoon. If you don’t remember that one, we’d suggest Googling it, purely for the nostalgia of it, as this 2024 Porsche Cayenne Turbo GT is on a totally different level.

This SUV is an SUV in shape only, as a lot of its hardware as well as the driving experience are much more akin to a pure sports car… ah la the 911.

Starting with the Coupe version of Porsche’s largest SUV, which benefits from a mid-cycle styling refresh for ’24, the Turbo GT adds a carbon-fiber roof, big wing with side planes, rear diffuser, and a sport exhaust system with titanium tailpipes.

2024 Porsche Cayenne Turbo GT Dead Front
2024 Porsche Cayenne Turbo GT 1/4 Front
2024 Porsche Cayenne Turbo GT Profile
2024 Porsche Cayenne Turbo GT 3/4 Rear
2024 Porsche Cayenne Turbo GT Dead Rear
2024 Porsche Cayenne Turbo GT Exhaust
2024 Porsche Cayenne Turbo GT Carbon Fiber Roof
2024 Porsche Cayenne Turbo GT Engine
2024 Porsche Cayenne Turbo GT Badge
2024 Porsche Cayenne Turbo GT Badge 2
2024 Porsche Cayenne Turbo GT Dead Front2024 Porsche Cayenne Turbo GT 1/4 Front2024 Porsche Cayenne Turbo GT Profile2024 Porsche Cayenne Turbo GT 3/4 Rear2024 Porsche Cayenne Turbo GT Dead Rear2024 Porsche Cayenne Turbo GT Exhaust2024 Porsche Cayenne Turbo GT Carbon Fiber Roof2024 Porsche Cayenne Turbo GT Engine2024 Porsche Cayenne Turbo GT Badge2024 Porsche Cayenne Turbo GT Badge 2

Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control is also included, making body-roll almost non-existent; and with the help of a new two-valve air suspension setup it was all traction all the time through the high-speed turns of Savannah’s Roebling Road Raceway. Though unlike last gen, if you’re aggressive enough with the throttle, you can get the rear to step out on you a little. Rear-axle steering is also included and the best praise we could heap on steering feel and feedback through corners is that it feels like a Porsche.

Tires are also wider than before: 315/35 Pirelli P Zeros in back, mounted on 22-inch GT Design wheels. The brakes behind are comprised of enormous carbon-ceramic composite discs with monster yellow calipers…

…and they truly were impressive on track, hauling this 5,000-pound, luxury-minded performance utility down from triple-digit speeds lap after lap without wavering.

This SUV is an SUV in shape only, as a lot of its hardware as well as the driving experience are much more akin to a pure sports car... ah la the 911.

Equally impressive is the powerplant that initiates those high speeds, Porsche’s 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 which cranks out 19 horsepower over last year for a total of 650; torque output remains the same, at 626 lb-ft. All-wheel drive is standard, as is an 8-speed automatic trans, which helps the Turbo GT get up to speed in a hurry; 3.1-seconds to 60, to be exact. That’s a couple of tenths slower than the first-gen Turbo GT we tested 2 years ago, but we’ll chalk that up to testing that one on a well-prepped drag strip versus this trip down Roebling Road’s slippery front straightaway on a 40-degree day. And it gained time back quickly, as our 11.3-second quarter-mile time was only a tenth slower, finishing at 124 mph.

Other notable changes for ’24 include a new dash and control layout for the interior. The highlight is a new 12.6-inch curved digital gauge display; it’s joined by a central touchscreen that sits higher up and is nestled into the dash more than before.

2024 Porsche Cayenne Turbo GT Dash
2024 Porsche Cayenne Turbo GT Front Seat
2024 Porsche Cayenne Turbo GT Cluster
2024 Porsche Cayenne Turbo GT Climate Controls
2024 Porsche Cayenne Turbo GT Center Display
2024 Porsche Cayenne Turbo GT Rear Seat
2024 Porsche Cayenne Turbo GT Trunk
2024 Porsche Cayenne Turbo GT Dash2024 Porsche Cayenne Turbo GT Front Seat2024 Porsche Cayenne Turbo GT Cluster2024 Porsche Cayenne Turbo GT Climate Controls2024 Porsche Cayenne Turbo GT Center Display2024 Porsche Cayenne Turbo GT Rear Seat2024 Porsche Cayenne Turbo GT Trunk

No more actual shifter in the console, as it’s been replaced with Porsche’s toggle switch gear sector which resides on the dash to the left of the touchscreen. That means a new console layout with additional storage space and new controls. While none of that helps lower lap times, it all provides a much more useful and better overall environment than before, for that time spent behind the wheel commuting or just sitting in traffic.

Front and rear seats are comfortable yet sporty feeling; and while it does do a lot of SUV-like things pretty well, the coupe body shape does limit rear cargo capacity to 20.3 cubic feet, expanding to 52.4 with rear seatbacks folded; and the central-mounted exhaust does negate adding a tow hitch.

No matter how you look at it, the Cayenne Turbo GT is an insane vehicle, but it also comes with an insane price tag, starting at $197,950. So essentially, that’s six-figures worth of high-performance hardware jammed into an already impressively capable standard Cayenne… an SUV made much better with comprehensive updates front to back for all ’24 Porsche Cayennes.

It easily remains the standard bearer for luxury-minded utility vehicles, evidenced by recently earning our Drivers’ Choice Award for Best Luxury Utility. But it’s this 2024 Porsche Cayenne Turbo GT that really impresses the most as the ultimate track-focused SUV money can buy. You may not need it, but you know you want it!

Specifications

  • Engine: 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8
  • Horsepower: 650
  • 0-60 mph: 3.1-seconds
  • Starting Price: $197,950
  • Transmission: 8-speed automatic
  • Torque: 625 lb-ft.
  • 1/4 Mile: 11.3-seconds at 124 mph