2021 Toyota Camry facelift brings upgraded styling and safety

Petrol V6 axed, prices increase across the board

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The 2021 Toyota Camry has received a significant refresh across the model line-up that focuses on sharp new styling, hybrid powertrains and added safety features. 

Prices have increased by a minimum of $2000 across the entire range, and as much as $4700 for the top-shelf SL.

This is also the first Camry in more than five decades that won’t be offered with a six-cylinder engine, with the Japanese automaker confirming the retirement of the V6 power plant. 

The front fascia of the facelifted sedan has received some significant tweaks, and the styling between models has been differentiated further. 

The entry-level Ascent has been fitted with a more restrained, modest front bumper and grille design, featuring silver accents around each edge of the lower air inlets. 

This is in stark contrast to the Ascent Sport, SX and SL models of the Camry, which score a much more aggressive overall look, with blacked-out accents, additional small grilles sitting on either side of the badge, body-coloured front spoiler and a larger, honeycomb-style mesh grille. 

Wheel sizes and styles will also vary depending on the model, with the Ascent and Ascent Sport coming equipped with 17-inch alloy wheels, while the range-topping SL gets 18-inch wheels and the sporty SL sits on blacked-out 19-inch alloys. 

With the aforementioned six-pot gone, there will be just two different powertrain options available on the new Camry. 

The base Ascent will come with a naturally aspirated 2.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine that produces 152kW and 243Nm. 

Power will be sent to the front wheels via an eight-speed torque-converter automatic transmission, and fuel economy is rated at 6.8l/100km on the combined fuel cycle. 

All other models will be fitted with a hybrid drivetrain that utilises a 2.5-litre four-cylinder Atkinson cycle petrol engine and a pair of electric motors, producing a total power output of 160kW.

Drive will also be sent to the front wheels via an electronic continuously variable transmission (eCVT) and depending on the model, fuel consumption ranges from 4.2l/100km - 4.5l/100km on the combined cycle. 

Inside, the refreshed Camry scores a new nine-inch touchscreen display in every model except the base Ascent, which makes do with the existing, pre-facelift seven-inch touchscreen. 

The bigger touchscreen has also been repositioned to sit higher on the dash above the air vents, which Toyota says will allow for easier access and better visibility.

As standard, all models feature the latest generation infotainment system that includes a digital radio, Bluetooth connectivity, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, and myToyota apps including Waze and Stitcher. 

The Ascent Sport gains additional interior features such as integrated satellite navigation with steering wheel controls. 

Go for the more dynamic SX, and other features such as sports leather-accented front seats, revised sports suspension, steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters for the eCVT gearbox, and additional leather-accented trim are added. 

The top-of-the-range SL scores heated and cooled front seats, electronically operated boot release, electro-chromatic rear-view mirror, nine-speaker premium JBL sound system, and a glass panoramic roof.

The new range of Toyota Camrys are also the first to be offered with the Toyota Connected Services safety feature. 

This system employs a Data Communication Module (DCM) that is capable of automatically calling a 24/7 Toyota Emergency Call Centre, which can relay the location of the vehicle in the event of a collision or if an airbag deploys.

Other new safety features that come equipped as standard across the model range include; road sign assist, emergency steering assist, lane trace assist and intersection turn assist.

These new features work in conjunction with an established list of other driver assistance features such as autonomous emergency braking, pre-collision system with pedestrian and cyclist detection, auto high-beams and active cruise control. 

As is the case with the rest of Toyota’s vast passenger car catalogue, the new 2021 Camry comes with a five-year/unlimited-kilometre warranty and capped price servicing for the first five years/75,000km. 

2021 Toyota Camry pricing: 

Ascent 2.5 petrol automatic – $30,990

Ascent 2.5 hybrid CVT – $33,490

Ascent Sport 2.5 hybrid CVT – $36,290

SX 2.5 hybrid CVT – $39,190

SL 2.5 hybrid CVT – $46,990

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