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New Car Review: The 2010 Toyota Camry

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By Bob Plunkett

2010camry We find a clear lane down the Pacific Coast Highway while steering the latest edition of best-seller Camry, the Kentucky-built mid-size sedan of Toyota.  Our shapely Camry XLE, containing a new four-pack engine and more sophisticated equipment for safety, navigation and comfort than you can quickly enumerate, takes over the winding road, dominating the asphalt with rock-solid stability expressed through precisely carved turns and spurts of speed down the infrequent straightaway.

Not only does the car propel its riders in a confidence-inspiring manner, but it envelops them in an elegantly stylish package which contains a host of safety gear and luxurious cabin features to position the car close to the realm of Lexus, Toyota's elite upscale line.

The four-pack plant qualifies for Ultra Low Emission Vehicle (ULEV-II) status and delivers fuel economy numbers as high as 33 mpg, a definite plus to this eco-friendly ride.

The exterior package of Camry seems sleek and shapely, yet it reflects subtle lines and subdued paint shades in the manner of an upscale vehicle.  And Toyota has tapped into the Lexus bag of NVH (noise, vibration, harshness) tricks to insulate and isolate the passenger compartment of Camry from external discord and mechanical chatter.

Elaborate safety systems, either passive or active, appear as standard equipment with this car.  Passive safety measures include a reinforced structure with crumple zones to absorb and diffuse energy from a sudden impact along predictable paths but also deflect the force away from the passenger compartment.  The cabin is surrounded by hidden air bags, up-front inflators for front seats plus seat-mounted side air bags and one more to shield the driver's knee, then curtain-style air bags tucked above side windows.  On tap to help stop the vehicle are four disc brakes tied to the anti-lock brake system (ABS) with electronic brake-force distribution (EBD).

Additional electronic vehicle controls include vehicle stability control (VSC), which corrects lateral skidding, plus traction control (TRAC) to check wheel spin and a brake assist (BA) system to add maximum braking pressure during an emergency stop.

Entry issue Camry stocks plenty of gear from power controls for windows and door locks and mirrors to cruise control, a tilting steering wheel with audio controls and 16-inch steel wheels with P215/60R16 tires.  Price points for the 2010 Camry look favorable, beginning at $19,395 for base Camry with the new six-speed manual transmission.

For more information see Road &Travel Magazine's Toyota Buying Guide or visit toyota.com


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