Powertrain – Malaysian-spec Camry finally gets Dynamic Force
Despite being a mid-life facelift, the 2022 Toyota Camry now gets a completely revamped powertrain, in the form of Toyota’s Dynamic Force engine.
In the new Camry, the Dynamic Force engine comes in at 2.5-litres, outputting 209 PS and 253 Nm.
Out goes the dated 6-speed automatic, as it has been replaced by an equally-new 8-speed unit, mirroring a similar powertrain configuration in the Lexus ES and Toyota RAV4.
With the new Dynamic Force engine under the hood, the Camry’s total output is toe-to-toe with the turbocharged Accord. The downsized-but-turbocharged 1.5-litre engine in the Accord outputs 201 PS and 260 Nm, mated to a CVT transmission.
While low-end grunt of the Camry loses out to the turbocharged Accord, the Camry claws back with superior mid-range acceleration, pulling harder than the Accord’s tiny engine. At such speeds, where the Accord’s turbocharged engine runs out of breath, the Camry continues to surge ahead.
That said, although prices of road tax is irrelevant for buyers of D-segment sedans, the Accord offers a lower road tax (RM 90 vs RM 867) compared to the Camry.
Exterior – Looks may be subjective, but the Camry is regal
Changes to the updated Camry’s exterior aren’t as drastic as the powertrain improvements.
The most noticeable change are the new dual-tone 18-inch alloy wheels, mildly resculptured front bumper, and dark tint on the tail lights.
But the most appreciated update isn’t the new looks, but rather the inclusion of keyless entry on the front passenger door. It was a sore point of the pre-facelift Camry, and we’re pleased to see that Toyota has addressed that shortcoming.
The Honda Accord on the other hand, offers a sleeker fastback design compared to the traditional three box-shaped Camry.
Like the Camry, the Accord also gets 18-inch alloy wheels, albeit with a blockier design.
Interior – Lots of quality-of-life updates for the Camry
Improvements to the Camry continues inside – a new floating-style infotainment system replaces the previous unit. Along with it comes support for Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, putting the Camry on par with the Accord.
Further separating itself from the Accord is the inclusion of an automatic tri-zone air-conditioning system. Yes, tri-zone, as passengers behind can now control the Camry’s air-conditioning system via a central control system, mimicking the Lexus LS.
The downside is that the Camry’s infotainment system is surprisingly sluggish, very uncharacteristic for a Camry. Music playback via Spotify was lagging whilst Google Maps was running, further detracting point from an overall pleasant cabin.
No such issue in the Accord, as the infotainment system is reasonably snappy and devoid of any incompatibility issues.
Despite having one speaker less than the Accord, the Camry's JBL sound system sounds better than the Accord, though not much a wide margin.
Safety – They’re on par
Being the flagship sedan for both brands, safety kit is nicely decked out to the brim on both the Camry and Accord.
Both D-segment contenders offer autonomous emergency braking, forward collision warning, adaptive cruise control, and lane keeping assist. While both the Camry and Accord offer rear cross traffic alert, the Camry adds Auto Brake feature to its RCTA suite, preventing a rear-ward collision when reversing out of a parking lot.
In place of the Camry’s blind spot monitor, the Accord offers the slightly more ingenious LaneWatch camera instead, which feeds a live video stream onto the infotainment display, eliminating potential accidents involving blind spots.
In real-world driving conditions, as part of the Accord's Sensing ADAS suite, its Adaptive Cruise Control and Low Speed Follow offers far smoother braking and acceleration compared to the Camry's TSS.
Ride and Handling – There’s no match for TNGA, but..
Make no mistake about it, the Toyota Camry and its TNGA platform makes for a very formidable pair.
During our colleague’s time with the updated Camry, they noted that the Camry offers a very surefooted handling prowess, with the ability to track corners better than most D-segment sedans. The Camry also offers far more comfortable seats than the Accord.
Even before the update, the Toyota Camry was the best-selling D-segment sedan in 2021. With the new Dynamic Force engine and enhanced feature set, the updated 2022 Toyota Camry will certainly continue its momentum as the de-facto D-segment sedan in Malaysia.
Granted, there are still areas in which the Camry could have been better. Its sluggish infotainment system and somewhat busy ride detracts from an otherwise excellent sedan.
If the updated Camry isn't your cup of tea, perhaps you should give the Honda Accord another look. With its turbocharged engine and smooth CVT transmission, the Accord is ideal for those who wants to adopt a forced-induction lifestyle.
Sealing the deal for the Accord is its impeccable ride comfort. Surprising as it may sound, the Accord is still our choice to be ferried in.