We all know the Toyota Camry is a good car. Strong, reliable and impeccably well built.
There’s a lot to like about it, the Camry is good looking, has loads of space up front, in the back and in the boot.
It’s cheap to run and drives pretty well.
It’s a big seller for Toyota, in fact it’s the best selling medium size car in the country, it has been for the past 23 years and it still accounts for 44% of all sales in the segment.
The Toyota Camry is also a big favourite with fleet buyers.
Under the bonnet is a long serving 2.5 litre 4-cylinder engine that produces 133kW and 235Nm, the dual exhausts on the Atara model up the power to 135kW.
It’s hooked up to a decisive six speed automatic gearbox, and while the power train doesn’t set the world on fire, it does an acceptable job of hauling the 2100kg Camry around town.
Toyota claim 7.8 litres of standard unleaded per 100km. After a week of mainly city driving we saw figures hovering around 9.2 litres per 100km…while not class leading, respectable enough.
The ride is compliant and the steering is nicely weighted.
It’s not a car you’d be wanting to take to a racetrack, and it won’t have you hunting out windy mountain roads, but it’s a predictable and competent handler.
The interior is beautifully screwed together and the architecture of the cabin works well. The materials used are good quality and inside the cabin is a pleasant place to be.
Visibility is excellent all round and the driving position is comfortable in big, electrically operated leather seats.
Of course it’s got a 5 Star ANCAP safety rating with more airbags than you can poke a stick at.
Toyota have upped the value equation with the new edition of the Camry Atara SX, adding a heap of kit for an extra $1500.
So what do you get? Well to start with it certainly looks a little more sporty than a garden variety Camry thanks to some groovy looking 18 inch alloy wheels and some red inserts on the spoiler and front grille.
A sportier suspension tune gives the SX it a bit more of a poised feel compared to the garden variety Camry, without compromising the great ride.
Inside there’s a new, larger 7-inch screen that drives a new JBL Premium audio system with digital radio, and there’s a bigger 4.2 inch display in the instrument cluster.
Sat Nav is also standard on the Camry Atara SX, along with gear shift paddles behind steering wheel, auto headlights, cruise control, keyless start, bluetooth, chrome exhaust tips, LED daytime running lights and voice recognition that actually works.
You also get a rather classy automatic rear window shade that goes up and down with the flick of a switch, adding to the privacy for back seat passengers.
The Toyota Camry Atara SX also gets parking assist with graphical display thanks to front and rear parking sensors.
Summing it up; the Camry Atara SX is pretty well priced at $31,990 before on road costs.
Sure it’s a substantial premium over the base model (which starts at $26,490), but it also looks a lot better and has an edge when it comes to power and handling.
All in all you could do a lot worse than the 2016 Toyota Camry Atara SX, and while it’s not the most exciting offering on the market, it delivers quality family motoring, and it will continue to deliver for many years to come.
NUTS and BOLTS – 2016 Toyota Camry
Engine: 2.5 litre petrol developing 135kW and 235Nm
Transmission: Six-speed Automatic
Safety: Five star
Price: from $31,990