2019 Toyota Camry XSE V6

A family sedan with muscles



  • 관리자 (leo@koreatimes.net) --
  • 02 Jul 2019

By James Park


   Take a closer look at the taxicabs ferrying passengers all over the Greater Toronto Area. You’ll notice not a few of them are Toyota Camrys.

   Camry possesses all the qualities of a quintessential cab. It is reliable, roomy and relatively fuel-efficient. In other words, this mid-size sedan can confidently toot its horn as a dependable everyday mode of transportation.

   When it first waded onto North American shores in early Eighties, such qualities were enough to propel this automotive equivalent of the Maytag washing machine onto top of the sales chart.

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In terms of reliability, however, the rest of industry has more or less caught up. These days, no manufacturer can sell cars on dependability alone. Toyota knows this and since about decade ago, when Mr. Akio Toyoda took over the company’s reins, Toyota has strived to make cars that can also appeal to the heart.

   This change in attitude has also transformed the hitherto conservative (read boring) Camry. No longer is it stoically generic, able to hide in plain sight in many shopping mall parking lots.

   No, the all new Camry proudly displays its flamboyant new skin and is pleased with itself for all the attention it’s getting. Some would say the exterior is tad overdone, but there’s no denying it’s attracting second and third looks.

   As before, the Camry lineup can be distinguished by models with ‘L’ in their moniker and those with ‘S.’ Side profile and the back end are mostly same between the two but the LE and XLE, the luxury models, have the front fascia with horizontal lines reminiscent of baleen whales.

   The sport models, SE and XSE, are decked out with creases and blacked out chain-link patterned grill that looks suitably more aggressive but at the same time, little bit busy.

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The naturally aspirated 2.5 litre four producing maximum 203 horsepower fits in as the base power plant. This engine also mates to an electric motor to provide motivation for the hybrid models.

   The buyers of XLE or XSE can opt for the more powerful 3.5 litre V6 that kicks out maximum 301 horses and 267 lb-ft of torque. Now we’re talking. The smooth-shifting eight speed automatic delivers power to the front wheels.

   The XSE V6 provided to this writer definitely gives off younger vibe compared to the XLE test-driven in the fall of 2017. Aside from the more belligerent face, the sport model also gets stylish 19-inch alloys, tauter suspension setting and the steering wheel mounted paddle-shifters. As well, switch the drive mode to Sport and the fuel-mapping becomes more aggressive, engine sound gets little louder and the steering weight heavier.

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   Whereas Honda Accord and Hyundai Sonata, Camry’s greatest rivals, have all switched to turbocharged four-cylinder engines, this writer commands Camry for carrying on with V6. Force-fed fours can punch above their weight class in torque but none can deliver power as smoothly as a V6.    

   In everyday situations, the Camry XSE V6 never lacks power and more than that, its handling characteristics ain’t too shabby, either. It has firmer suspension than XLE but not enough to upset the passengers. XSE does decent job of impersonating a sports sedan but at the end of the day, it remains a comfortable family sedan.

   Standard equipments include head-up display, dual-zone automatic climate control, JBL premium audio, navigation, panoramic sunroof, heated leather seats, etc. Only option happens to be the $255 paint job.

   It also comes with plethora of electronic nannies as Dynamic Radar Cruise, Auto High Beam, Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection, Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist, all grouped into Toyota Safety Sense package.

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Compared to the previous model’s decidedly mundane interior, the new car ups the ante with stylish and more artistic design touches. The infotainment system with 8-inch touch-screen is easy to use and supports Apple Carplay.

   Those concerned with fuel-efficiency would obviously go for the four-cylinder mill, but the V6 satisfies with plenty of power and the ‘easy confidence’ that comes with it. In either case, the XSE pushes on with all things the Camry is known for, but with newfound sporting flair. (James Park is a member of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada.)

 

2019 Toyota Camry XSE V6

Price: $39,990

As tested: $40,245

Engine: 3.5 litre V6

Power: 301 hp/267 lb-ft

Transmission: 8 spd auto

Drive: FWD

Fuel: 10.5 litres per 100km (city), 7.1 litres (highway)

Best: smooth power, dependability

Worst: exterior bit overdone

Competition: Honda Accord, Hyundai Sonata, Mazda6, Nissan Altima

 

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