From the editorial office to the Toyota representative office, only ten minutes on foot. By car, the path is much longer and longer - the Moscow authorities' enthusiasm for one-way traffic turned the uncomplicated route into a tangled maze, which takes almost half an hour in the afternoon. Hello to environmentalists!
However, we are not going to shake or pollute the air, but we want to "walk" one of the best sellers of the Russian Toyota Camry market to a new attraction - the site of the future Toyota plant in Shushary. This is a bit before reaching St. Petersburg, just opposite Pulkovo Airport. Recently, the first stone was laid there, with the first person of the state (see the section "Economics")! On the way back we look at the training ground - we will drive along familiar turns, weigh, measure, and recall, because just recently (ZR, 2005, No. 4) we compared the ward with Nissan Maxima.
Given: a solid sedan with a three-liter engine and automatic transmission, a gas tank "to the eyeballs" and a distance of 700 km to St. Petersburg. To get there without refueling, it is necessary to keep within 10 l / 100 km. Complicated? Not really. If you move smoothly and turn off the air conditioner, the on-board computer "Camry" will show a flow rate below 8 l / 100 km. You will adhere to reasonable savings without embarrassment in comfort, it will come out a liter more. In general, on one tank to Peter - not a problem. Although you can burn 12 liters per hundred, but then, most likely, fork out for speeding tickets. There are enough radars in the traffic police …
Each car has its own main feature - “Camry”, of course, comfort. Even the broken roads seem smooth, as if recently laid asphalt. Pendants swallow small and medium irregularities efficiently and soundlessly, and their energy intensity allows them not to be afraid of waves or steps in the place of road repair. The sound of tire rolling and engine operation is equally thoroughly suppressed. With the climate control turned on, I can only guess about his idling when looking at the tachometer.
In motion, noise appears after 4000 rpm. But the aerodynamic sounds are not made "at the root" - after 120 km / h they are emitted by the average body pillars. However, we are not in a hurry, on the first day - only driving. It (counting from the MKAD) took exactly eight hours. Not bad!
A long trip without stops is the best way to appreciate the comfort of the seats. We do not criticize leather upholstery - once it has been laid down for prestige, let it be. An adjustable backrest is what you need, but after a couple of hours I mentioned a short, flat and hard pillow with an kindly, quiet word. In a pair, she needs a big soft ass, but what about those who have not grown this?
WHAT IS THERE IN SHUSHARA?
The Shushary signpost is easy to find, but finding the site of the plant is still not easy. Remembering the solemn event, they identified the road by fresh cover. Everything, as in the reports, is a patch of asphalt among the swampy lowlands. We did not find hordes of excavators - life on the site was personified by the Emchees UAZ and two in marsh boots armed with metal detectors. Before digging anything, you need to check whether the heritage of the Great Patriotic War, which rusts in the surrounding reeds, will hinder. One way or another, construction began.
The photoshoot in Shushary is over, we need a more effective nature. White nights are in full swing, the bridges are open, the alumni who have gone on a walk parted - it's time for a ceremonial shot. Now a bird will fly … But a curse flies from the photographer - economical St. Petersburg power engineers turn off the backlight of the bridge.
A long summer day also needs to be used in full - we are going to Kronstadt. The road through the dam will certainly allow you to make a few shots. And the truth is that one local “acropolis” is worth it!
The way home is already without saving - we just go as we want, of course, with an eye on other road users and speed limits. The result is still below 10 l / 100 km. At half-past seven on the Moscow highway, at two o’clock already in Dmitrov. Will have to work!
We didn’t get the maximum speed at Camry, but otherwise the dynamics of acceleration correspond to expectations and statements. The brakes weren’t too impressive, despite the optimal effort and pedal movement. A fly in the ointment was presented by ABS - on a flat road its action is rude, although impeccable. On a wavy surface, when the car sways, and the wheels are ready to tear off the asphalt, the microprocessor logic fails, the braking distance grows by 5-6 m.
It is difficult to make complaints about the steering too - sharp enough and understandable for mountain serpentine, the steering wheel does not bother at high speed, up to a maximum of 220 km / h. However, there is a comment on the position of the steering wheel: on most European counterparts it is regulated not only by tilt, but also by the length of the column.
We will describe the behavior of Camry on the road in a succinct manner: calm. Toyota is in no hurry to follow the fast movement of the steering wheel, leans in and with a noticeable delay takes the maneuver. Attempts to change the trajectory too actively lead to the front wheels sliding out. Even with disabled
VSC stabilization system to drive Camry into a skid is not easy, and the car is pulled out of it easily.
Interesting observations of the gearbox, which on the highway seemed very smart. At the training ground, its switching is perceived as “smooth and timely,” but by no means fast.
Corresponds to the stated figures and the amount of luggage - a rare event. Maybe it’s not very convenient in shape, but you can’t find equal to it in capacity. Enough space and a full spare wheel with alloy wheel.
The main market for Toyota Camry is the American one, where it has multiple sales records. Of course, bestseller production is organized in the United States. True, the popular Camry as a family car. This status is explained by the price overseas - from $ 18, 195.
I am convinced that the American road of motorization for Russia would be much better than the European one.
Statistics of sales of Toyota confirms these ideas: American in the spirit of "Camry" (although Japanese assembly) in Russia sold twice as much as European "Avensis".
The Camry of the Russian assembly is unlikely to be noticeably cheaper than the current one, although it is likely to be the next generation model: by 2007, it’s time to update the popular car.
One can guess about her appearance, but no doubt that it will be a large and comfortable car with a reasonable price. The question is rather different - will there be enough buyers in Russia for the new Camry …
Toyota Camry - not the latest technological advances and not ceremonial figures impress, but their adaptability to Russian realities.
+ Spacious interior, voluminous trunk, comfortable and energy-intensive suspension, rich standard equipment.
- Swinging on rough roads, insufficiently clear operation of the stabilization system and ABS on rough roads, lack of individual equipment.
The current modification has been released since 2001. In 2005, restyling was carried out. Assembly "Camry" in Russia is planned since 2007.
Engines: gasoline 2.4 and 3.0 liters (152 and 186 hp).
Transmissions: 5-speed manual (for 2.4 l), 4-speed "automatic".
Options: R1, R2. With a 3.0 liter engine, only the maximum R1.