Kicking off from $27,690 before on-road costs for the Altise-replacing Ascent, the eighth-generation midsizer was expected to only just sneak in under $30,000 due to its Japanese sourcing and increased standard specification, which includes AEB Autonomous Emergency Braking and Lane Departure Warning, adaptive cruise control, LED headlights and upgraded multimedia system.
Additionally, the expected bestselling Ascent Hybrid enters at $29,990, which is $500 less than the outgoing equivalent despite gaining a completely new petrol-electric powertrain system offering significantly more power as well as much lower fuel-consumption figures.
Toyota is also predicting big things of the newly-minted Ascent Sport with private buyers, as it also bumps in at a tenner under $30K. It adds niceties like a body kit, larger touchscreen, sat-nav, parking sensors all-round, dual-zone climate control and keyless entry/start.
However, it is worth noting that the latest model’s recommended retail pricing is $1200 more than before – and up to $4000 above the more-realistic promotional prices touted for the runout model; for well over a year the Australian-built Altise was advertised at $26,990 driveaway.
While Toyota acknowledges the new Camry will struggle to match its predecessor’s volume numbers – year-to-date sales are actually up nearly 10 percent to just under 20,500 registrations, compared to just 3000 units for the second-placed Mazda 6 – it still expects to comfortably lead the medium segment in Australia.
“Camry will continue to play an integral role in our sales aspirations going forward,” according to Toyota Motor Company Australia sales and marketing manager, Sean Hanley.
“We did have a very aggressive pricing position with [the old Camry]. [We are prepared] for some volume reduction, and there is no doubt about that, [but] this car will continue to drive Camry to be the number-one selling mid-sized sedan in Australia.”
As reported previously, the 2018 Camry scores the box-fresh Toyota New Generation Architecture first seen in last year’s Prius and the C-HR small SUV, gaining all-new suspension (including a double-wishbone rear set-up) as well as a completely re-engineered 3.5-litre V6/eight-speed auto combination delivering 224kW of power and 362Nm of torque.
The latter, replacing the Aurion in the Camry line-up, begins at $37,290 plus on-road costs for the SX, stretching to $43,990 for the range-topping SL.
2018 Toyota Camry pricing
- Ascent - $27,690 - (plus $1200)
- Ascent Sport - $29,990 - (minus $200)
- SX - $33,290 - (minus $200)
- SL - $39,990 - (plus $2550)
- Ascent - $29,990 - (minus $500)
- Ascent Sport - $31,990 - (minus $1200)
- SL - $40,990 - (plus $550)
- SX - $37,290 - (minus $6700 over Aurion)
- SL - $43,990 - (minus $6,450 over Aurion)