Top safety score for incoming Camry

Camry faithful are set to see a new-gen model with more safety and comfort features than ever before.
Wednesday November 22, 2017

By Richard Bosselman

TICKING off every assist available to the new-generation Camry, on sale here in March, has brought immediate reward.

Toyota New Zealand has now acknowledged the car’s impending on sale, but prefers to remain vague about the exact specification heading this way.

That position appears to have been undermined by its equivalent across the Tasman and also our national crash test authority.

Toyota Australia, which seems set to take more or less an identical lineup to that coming to this country, and chose to yesterday spill the beans on the safety specification for the new model.

By chance, its confirmation of a very high level of active and passive aides came on the same day the independent crash test authority for New Zealand and Australia cited the model as being worthy of a very high score – and also picked particular aspects of its safety shield for praise.

The Australasian New Car Assessment Programme (ANCAP) has delivered the car the maximum count of five stars. It also determined the car scored 36.16 out of a possible 37. While that is virtually on par with the previous Camry’s score, accredited in 2013, the test has toughened.

The 64kmh frontal offset destructive test achieved 15.16 out of 16, and perfect scores in the soon-to-change pole test (2/2), the side impact test (16/16).

The five-star rating applies to all engine variants, the four-cylinder, six-cylinder and hybrid.

The agency praised Camry for its full array of collision avoidance features including autonomous emergency braking (Pre-Collision Safety System in Toyota-speak) and adaptive cruise control – both firsts for Camry – plus a reversing collision avoidance and both lane keeping assist and lane departure warning, which ANCAP says will be standard on all variants.

Toyota Australia has indicated that the car doesn’t stop there. Every version also packs seven SRS airbags, vehicle stability control, traction control, ABS anti-skid brakes with electronic brake-force distribution and Brake Assist, Hill-start Assist Control, Brake Hold and Trailer Sway Control.

Auto high beam, all-speed cruise control, front and rear parking sensors, rear cross traffic alert and rain-sensing wipers appear on the higher grades.

As previously reported, another headline grabber is that the car is the brand’s first sedan to be built off its Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) a platform we’ve experienced already in NZ under the C-HR.

The Camry gets an all-new design inside and out, and more room too thanks to a wheelbase that’s grown 50mm to 2825mm. Toyota claim the TNGA allowed for a 40mm lower bonnet height and thinner A-pillars for improved forward visibility, it also, Toyota claims, makes for up to 30 percent improved torsional rigidity.

Other firsts for the new Camry, including direct fuel-injection engines, double-wishbone rear suspension, 19-inch alloy wheels, drive mode select, LED head lamps, an electric parking brake and 10-inch head-up display an opening panoramic roof.

Some derivatives will deliver wireless cellphone charging and it is

The first model to debut Toyota’s new infotainment unit, though this doesn’t offer Apple CarPlay or Android Auto connectivity – Japan’s No.1 steadfastly refuses to buy into that.

In spruiking to Australian media, Toyota Australia also talked up the car’s greater visual appeal and a fun driving experience “with rapid acceleration and crisp handling” and pointed out that the cabin has a more premium look than its predecessors.

The other change for NZ-bound Camry is that it no longer comes from Australia – that sourcing point ended with the Altona factory’s shutdown last month – but from Japan.