It’s appropriate that the all-new eighth-gen Toyota Camry comes in a shade that’s called Attitude Black Mica. It’s a variation of a Pearl Black finish that looks elegant and sporty at the same time.

But the Camry’s newfound attitude comes not from a new paint color; it comes from a compelling new styling that’s downright aggressive and menacing. Upscale sister brand Lexus might be sporting that very bold and distinctive spindle grille, but Toyota is ready and able to play the grille game just as well.

And it’s the biggest air intake opening ever seen on a Toyota—heck, in any sedan. The all-new Camry’s blacked-out treatment takes up most of the front bumper, and is further made more mean-looking with LED headlamps that look like angry eyes and a highly stylized V-shaped grille.

The side view continues the sporty theme, with strong character lines on the doors and an almost un-Toyota-like sexy shoulder line on the rear fenders. Both front and rear fenders also get thick flat openings that add a stronger visual element and effectively frame the handsome alloy wheels and generously sized tires (235/45R-18 in the V variants).

Chief Designer Akira Kubota calls this “Sensual-Smart Confidence”—an approach which seamlessly melds the athletic accents in the sheet metal with a sleek and modern body shape—creating an emotional design. It took over 19 million units and 35 years of evolution for the Camry to reach this design standpoint. And the latest iteration is an absolutely magnificent specimen.

Toyota’s New Global Architecture (TNGA) is built upon two pillars—Core Strength and Emphasized Personality—both of which are present in the design and engineering of the new Camry, enhancing its agility, stability, and visibility. A lower center of gravity combined with a new suspension system (MacPherson struts front/double wishbones in the rear) results in the new Camry’s sharper response and handling. The strengthened ring structures around its body frame makes the vehicle more stable and sturdy, especially at high speeds on undulating roads. By reducing the thickness of its instrument panels and lowering the hood, cowl, and beltline, the new Camry’s forward field of view is greatly increased.

The new Camry’s spacious and richly appointed interior is aligned with the “Sensual-Smart Confidence” design concept, leading to a truly luxurious cabin. All seats are clad in smooth genuine leather, and provide ample legroom for everyone. Both driver and passenger comfort are taken into consideration, as the model features a 3-zone automatic climate control with speed-sensing power door locks and one-touch power windows. The illuminated entry system also welcomes all occupants into the sumptuous interior with tasteful, high-grade but indirect illumination.

Enjoy a swifter ingress as the premium sedan comes with Smart Entry and a Push Start System that has key-linked memory: automatically adjusting the driver’s seat and outside mirrors according to one’s preference. Inside the cockpit, the driver cruises with ease through an engaging dashboard that has a seven-inch Multi-Info Display (with high-resolution six-speaker Mirrorlink Apple/Android-compatible audio system) and Heads-Up Display. At the back, chauffeured executives can relax in premium luxury as the rear seats come equipped with butterfly-type headrests, power recline, and a Capacitive Touch Panel that controls the air-conditioning and sunshade.

Propelled by the robust and fuel-efficient 184ps/231Nm 2.5-liter Dual VVT-i engine, the Camry offers a smooth driving experience. The 6-speed automatic transmission gives freedom of choice through Drive Mode Select, letting you cruise between Sport and Eco modes. The new Camry also assists the driver in higher speeds by adding the Highly Responsive Upshift Control and Blipping Downshift Control, both activated in S mode to allow for extremely fast shifting without reducing engine braking and lowering shock. A floor-mounted pedal moves in coordination with the driver for more natural feedback and enhanced control of the vehicle.

The new Camry also scored a definitive 5-star ASEAN NCAP rating, making it one of the safest passenger cars in the market. Aside from its seven airbags, the Camry features rain-sensing wipers, Hill Start Assist, Vehicle Stability Control, ABS, and Electronic Parking Brake.

The new Camry comes in three elegant colors: the aforementioned Attitude Black Mica, Platinum White Pearl, and Thermalyte. For those who seek refinement with bolder emphasis on personal style, four more colors are available on special order: Red Mica, Phantom Brown Metallic, Graphite Metallic, and Burning Black Crystal Shine Glass Flake.

The new Camry starts at P1,806,000 for the 2.5 G entry-level variant, goes up to P1,821,000 for the 2.5 G Platinum White Pearl, before moving up to P1,992,000 for the 2.5 V, and finally, P2,007,000 for the 2.5 V Platinum White Pearl. The Camry is far from dirt cheap, but it certainly gives you a lot of luxury, performance, and more importantly, attitude, for the money.

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