After Japan, Australia becomes the latest recipient of the eighth-generation Toyota Camry. There, the reworked Camry will be available in three powertrain versions (four-cylinder and V6 petrol as well as hybrid) and in four trim levels (Ascent, Ascent Sport, SX and SL), with prices starting from AUD27,690 (RM86k) from the entry-level Ascent to AUD43,990 (RM137k) for the range-topping V6 SL. Prices exclude on-road costs, of course.

The Australian line-up mirrors the United States’ in terms of powertrain choices, beginning with the base 2AR-FE 2.5 litre engine. The naturally-aspirated four-cylinder lump produces 178 hp and 235 Nm of torque and is paired to an improved six-speed automatic transmission. This engine can be had in all four trims, but interestingly, the same engine equipping the Ascent Sport, SX and SL trims make two horsepower and four Nm more.

Next in line is the mid-level Camry Hybrid, which is powered by a new A25A-FXS 2.5 litre four-cylinder petrol mill with D-4S direct-injection. The engine alone makes 176 hp at 5,700 rpm and 221 Nm from 3,600 to 5,200 rpm, and is paired to an electric motor that makes a maximum of 118 hp at 4,500 rpm and 202 Nm from zero to 1,500 rpm. The combined system output is 214 hp, and its combined fuel consumption is 4.2 litres per 100 km. The Camry Hybrid is available in Ascent, Ascent Sport and SL trims.

Toyota Camry SX

The 2GR-FKS 3.5 litre V6 on the other hand, can only be had in SX and SL trims. The direct-injection engine with VVT-iW makes 300 hp at 6,600 rpm and 362 Nm of torque at 4,700 rpm, and is paired with an eight-speed direct-shift auto. The 3.5L V6 effectively replaces the Aurion.

All three engines feature a variable cooling system (with electric pump for the Hybrid), full variable oil pump and cooled exhaust-gas recirculation. In fact, all engine variations will get Toyota’s Drive Mode Select (Normal, Eco and Sport; Camry Hybrid adds EV mode), but only the 2.5 and 3.6 V6 petrol lumps get downshift blipping control. Yup, you read that right.

To recap, the new Camry Hybrid is a complete rework and rides on the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) platform. The company says the platform enables greater design freedom, gives better driving position and improved dynamics due to its lower centre of gravity and greater torsional rigidity (up by 30% compared to its predecessor).

Toyota Camry Ascent (top left), Ascent Sport hybrid (top right) and SL hybrid.

Highlights include improved driving dynamics, courtesy of a new suspension setup – the front gets MacPherson struts and the rear benefits from independent double wishbone suspension. The wheelbase is now 50 mm longer than the old model, and ride height is down by 25 mm. Toyota says all these make the car drive better and look better (thanks to the lower stance and wider tracks) as well. The Camry SX is the sole trim that comes with a stiffer stabiliser bar.

As for equipment, the entire Camry range in Australia gets bi-LED headlamps and LED daytime running lights, although the SX and SL feature more premium graphics for the DRLs. These two also get full-LED tail lamps, while the Ascent and Ascent Sport settle for LED combination lamps. All SL trims get powered sunroof (an additional cost option for the SX), but only the Hybrid SL gets full glass moonroof.

The Camry SX gets a set of 19-inch alloys, the largest factory-fitted wheels to ever grace the sedan. It also wears an aggressive bodykit and smoked tail lamps on the outside, while the cabin dons powered sports seats for the driver and front passenger. The Ascent and Ascent Sport get 17-inch wheels, while the top SL trim sits on 18-inch alloys.

It’s not short on safety either, with pre-collision system, Lane Departure Alert, Active Cruise Control, Automatic High Beam, Blind-spot Monitor, Rear Cross-Traffic Alert, Hill-start Assist Control, Trailer Sway Control and Brake Hold fitted onboard. Availability is of course subject to the variant of choice, but Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) is standard for all.

Meanwhile, the Australian-bound Camry has just been awarded the five-star crash safety rating by ANCAP, and it’s standard for all variants. It scored top points in the destructive pole and side impact crash tests, and notched 15.16 points out of a possible 16 points in the frontal offset test, which replicates a head-on crash.

All Camry models sold in the Land Down Under now come from Japan, ever since the automaker ended its production in Australia.

GALLERY: 2018 Toyota Camry Ascent


GALLERY: 2018 Toyota Camry Ascent Sport

GALLERY: 2018 Toyota Camry SX

GALLERY: 2018 Toyota Camry SL