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Toyota Camry

ACV36R/MCV36R Camry

Toyota logo1 Sep 2002

By CHRIS HARRIS

The fifth generation Camry was again clearly American-market inspired, but its gangly looks and utilitarian interior haven’t stopped it selling very strongly.

Perhaps the most changed model since the first locally made Camry of 1987 (the product of a $350 million investement), the 2002 version adopted the front-wheel drive Australian Avalon platform as well as a significantly larger and roomier four-door sedan-only body.

The popular wagon variant vanished (replaced by the Corolla wagon and Avensis Verso people-mover), while the ageing 2.2 four-cylinder engine bit the dust for a powerful 112kW/218Nm 2.4 DOHC 16V VVT-i (variable valve timing) unit, along with a worked over 3.0 DOHC 24V V6 now producing 141kW and 279Nm.

Both offered a four-speed auto or five-speed manual gearbox.

An 11-strong model range started with the base Altise and included the Altise Sport (from September ’03), Ateva, luxury Azura and sporty Sportivo. The latter two also received slightly more powerful V6s – producing 145kW/284Nm.

This Camry has also proved to be a significant export success.

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