Wednesday, August 24, 2011

2012 Toyota Camry: Mirrors Chrysler's Philosophy with the 300

On Tuesday Toyota released the seventh-generation Camry. The first vehicles are expected to hit dealerships
in October. While we were all hoping for a more dramatic design, Toyota decided to play it safe with America's best-selling car for over 12 years. Prices will be lower than they are on the 2011 Camrys. For starters, at $22,500, the LE model is down $200 from the out going model. Starting at $23,000, the SE model is down $1,000 from the 2011 model. And the top of the line XLE model sheds $2,000 off the pricing, coming in at $24,725. As a result of this pricing, customers can now get more Camry for less money, according to the senior executives at Toyota. 

A hybrid model will be in the line up too. Pricing on the Camry Hybrid LE will be down $1,150 to $25,900. The new XLE hybrid also receives a price reduction. Pricing will start at $27,400; this is $800 less than the current hybrid with an upgrade package.

Besides the styling and price repositioning, the redesigned Camry will offer improved fuel-economy, a more engaging driving experience, the availability of an electronic blind-spot system and a new Entune Multimedia, which offer support for engaging mobile apps, such as Bing, OpenTable, and, along with accessing useful travel-related services, such as live weather, traffic, fuel information (location and price), stocks, and sports.    

Toyota is hoping that this vehicle will fend off such competitors as the stylish Hyundai Sonata, the Audi-like design of the Kia Optima, the sporty looking 2013 Chevy Malibu and the Ford Fusion. Also a new Honda Accord is on the way too.  Just wondering: Has Toyota taken a page from Chrysler with the 300? While the exterior design looks basically the same, the vehicle is totally refined from last year's model, offering an enhanced driving dynamic and loads of high-tech safety features.

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