Consumer Reports Gives Coveted “Recommend” Status to 2012 Camry

The 2012 Toyota Camry has been awarded Consumer Reports’ coveted “recommended” review. The Camry is the best-selling sedan in the U.S. market but Toyota models have received less-than-favorable reviews from Consumer Reports in recent years. Consumer Report’s review of the 2012 Camry, which went on sale in the U.S. this past October, will appear in its February issue.

According to Consumer Reports, the revamped 2012 Camry offers “a nicer interior, more responsive handling, and better fuel economy than before.”  With an overall fuel economy of 27 mpg, the Consumers Union publication says the new Camry “ties with the Hyundai Sonata for the best fuel economy among conventional gasoline-powered family sedans.”

Favorable reviews from Consumer Reports are highly coveted by automakers due to the publication’s reputation for objectivity. The publication accepts no advertising and purchases every vehicle it reviews.

Although Consumer Reports had historically given Toyota vehicles high marks, that changed in 2007 when the publication announced that it would begin scrutinizing the brand more closely due to issues it found with the Lexus G6, and Toyota Tundra pickup and V-6 Camry sedan.

In August, Consumer Reports declined to recommend the 2012 Honda Civic. In its review, the publication characterized the model as “insubstantial” and “cheap.” In October, Honda Motor Company announced that it is considering a mid-cycle refresh of the Civic.

The Toyota Camry has retained the title of best-selling car in the U.S. for 13 of the last 14 years but has witnessed a slip in sales in recent months. U.S. sales through October fell to 275,004 units, a 7.4 percent decline when compared with the same ten-month period in 2010.

The decline in Camry sales is in part due to production, delivery delays and parts shortages caused by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.

Toyota hopes to sell 360,000 Camry’s in the U.S. in 2012. Toyota sold 473,108 Camry sedans in the U.S. in 2007 at the peak of the model’s popularity.

Generally speaking, the 2012 has received favorable reviews from automotive journalists. Edmunds has praised the revamped Camry for the high scores it has received in numerous crash-safety tests and for its roomier interior. The Los Angeles Times also noted the Camry’s improved handling and performance. The new Camry is also receiving high marks for its more-conservative styling. The Camry arguably has more classic lines than its closest rivals in the midsize market, including the Hyundai Sonata.

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