I bought this 2019 Toyota Camry 2.5V in September 2019. Back then, it retails at RM197k with discounts ~RM 5k. I was 31 years old then, never in a million years I thought that I would be getting an "uncle's" car at such an age.
Prior to this car, I previously owned a 2010 Proton Inspira 2.0P. That car had everything I need; bullet proof reliability, ride and handling that is above average. Even 9 years on, I still had no problems with it, and it was running well. Changing it would mean that I need to look for a car that ticks all those boxes. What it lacked, was safety. It didn’t come with vehicle stability assists, and my next car would need to have the latest safety features (AEB).
The cars that fall into my consideration would naturally be the Honda Accord (9th generation), the BMW F30 318i and the Toyota Camry XV70. Back then, I had a budget of RM ~ 180k which makes this Camry out of my budget. However, knowing that the Camry would be relatively reliable and problem free in the long run, I don’t mind stretching the loan a little more to purchase the Camry.
I planned my purchase since January 2019, however I only made the purchase in September 2019 as I was initially fix-ed on getting the 10th gen Honda Accord. However, it never seem to arrive and I couldn’t wait any further.
I subsequently arranged for a test drive for the 2019 Toyota Camry in August 2019. Once I test drove it, I know I wouldn't want to wait for the New Honda Accord, and it practically blew away the BMW 318i and the aging Honda Accord. I made my booking and took delivery of the Toyota Camry 1 month later.
Stepping inside the 2019 Toyota Camry for the very first time was a very pleasant surprise. The electric memory steering adjustment for tilt and telescopic, and memory seats that moves automatically each time I start the engine really gives me the feeling of being "special". The seats were very comfortable too. Driving it home, I know I made the right choice. It feels solid, planted, and comfortable at the same time.
I have been using it for 10 months, clocking around 20,000 km. Being a Toyota, it was relatively problem free, except for some on/off rattles.
The Pros :
Comfortable ride with good handling. Usually we have to pick either a good handling car with bad comfort, or a comfortable car with good handling. This is not the case for this car. It has the perfect balance between the two.
JBL Sound System
It has an impressive sound system, considering that it comes stock with this car. Nothing in the price range comes close to it.
Good Fuel Economy
Yes, it may be an old engine with old transmission, the 2AR-FE's FC is good, roughly 10-11kml in town driving and may even reach 16km/l on highways.
Really useful and feels premium, I now rarely look at the instrument cluster and makes driving in bad conditions less stressful and can focus on the road.
Electric Power Steering Adjustment with Memory Function
Easy access in an out of the car, and allows me to have a really nice driving position
Advanced Driver Assist System
Adaptive cruise control and AEB, once you are used to having these systems, you won't want to drive another car without these systems anymore.
Lack of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
It is available as an software update (retrofit by Toyota) in Australia and America. However, it is not offered here despite having the same head-unit model.
Adaptive Cruise Control Half Baked
It will disengage at less than 39km/h, even though the hardware is capable for stop/go traffic. (Australia models get All-speed ACC)
Non Foldable Rear Seats
Would be very helpful for the on/off large items that I might need to transport.
Lack of 360 Degrees camera
It can be hard to judge the front distance at time, as it is after all a D segment sedan.
Absence of Rear dashcam
UMW Toyota made the effort to include a front dashcam as standard but missed out on the rear unit unlike other cars in their line-up.
My journey with the 2019 Toyota Camry 2.5V
I have been driving this 2019 Toyota Camry 2.5V for the past 8 months, with roughly 20k km on the odometer. The ownership of this is relatively uneventful. Service is easy, especially with the Toyota App for appointments. Other than that, I did not have to make any modifications. This is what I was expecting, a good car that is safe, comfortable and free from major issues.