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2012 Toyota Camry XLE (photos)

The Toyota Camry update shows improvements in style and stability, but the biggest move forward is in the cabin tech. Toyota includes its new Entune system, along with improved navigation, audio system, and voice commands.

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Wayne_Cunningham.jpg

Wayne Cunningham

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The Camry has been a bread-and-butter car for Toyota, selling very well, so the 2012 update is not changed radically from the previous generation. In fact, Toyota keeps the same engines, but adds new cabin tech and some design flair.

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The previous-generation Camry had a bump on the front, topped by its badge. That bump has been deemphasized for 2012, and more aggressive-looking intakes sit below the bumper. Toyota also made the A pillars thinner for better visibility.

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CNET's review car came with Toyota's 3.5-liter V-6, which makes 268 horsepower and 248 pound-feet of torque. Most people will probably want to go with the available 2.5-liter four-cylinder, which gets better fuel economy. Although we find the new Camry Hybrid is a perfect mix of power and stellar fuel economy.

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The Toyota Camry's success is partly due to its practical size, easily fitting a family of five in a spacious cabin.

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The ride felt solid, but not luxury-car soft. It dealt well with road imperfections. Toyota has also improved overall stability.

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The trunk is quite large, and could easily fit multiple CNET editors.

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Toyota improved the interior of the Camry, using stitched leather over the dashboard, for example.

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The rear bench seat has ample room for three.

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Toyota's biggest strides with the new Camry were in cabin tech.

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Toyota maintained a very predictable driving feel.

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Rather than going digital, Toyota keeps analog gauges in the instrument cluster.

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The Camry's six-speed automatic transmission comes with manual and sport modes.

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This chunky controller on the steering wheel lets the driver adjust volume and make selections from the infotainment system.

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Toyota has a number of head unit options for the Camry. This fully loaded version includes a navigation system with maps stored on a hard drive.

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Voice command works very well with the infotainment system and lets drivers ask for music by artist or album name.

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Toyota increased the quality of its maps in this new system.

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The navigation system gets traffic data through its satellite radio connection, using it to dynamically route around traffic jams.

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The destination entry screen employs large icons with a nice aesthetic treatment.

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You enter addresses using this touch-screen keyboard with predictive text.

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The infotainment unit includes a number of data functions, such as weather, movie times, and gas prices.

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The gas prices function lets the driver pick a gas station, then have its location fed directly into the navigation system.

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The Camry comes with iPod integration and Bluetooth streaming audio.

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The stereo has built-in HD Radio, and can receive multicasts. Drivers can tag songs for later retrieval through iTunes.

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Entune is Toyota's new app integration system. It relies on a paired smartphone's data connection to power its apps.

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Using Entune's Pandora interface, you can pick stations from your personal account and give songs the thumbs-up or thumbs-down.

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With the iHeartRadio app, you can tune in to a wide variety of Internet radio stations.

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With Bing search you can search for a specific term, and find local businesses and places.

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The Bing listings bring in ratings, when available.

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With the OpenTable app you can make restaurant reservations while on the go.

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The MovieTickets.com app not only shows schedules from nearby theaters, but also lets you buy tickets for a showing.

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The rearview camera in the Camry shows distance lines overlaid on the live image.

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The blind-spot detection system lights up an icon in the side mirror when another vehicle is in the Camry's blind spot.

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