Judging by the number of units plying our roads, the Toyota Camry is the king of Singapore’s mid-sized saloon segment. Although considered bland by keen motorists (a minority within the driving populace), the Camry’s popularity endures because of its roominess, restfulness and reliability — traits sought after by ordinary motorists who just want a soothing drive to and from the office or home. The all-new model promises to continue delivering these qualities, but with more panache.
Taking on the Toyota in this contest is Germany’s Camry – the Volkswagen Passat. Apart from its upmarket styling, the Passat also aims to convert (and possibly excite) Camry fans with its advanced powertrain and compelling performance.
Aiming to make a name for itself in this story is the relatively lesser-known Renault Latitude, tested here in range-topping Privilege spec. A French “Camry” created for Asia, this Gallic number has mixed ancestry (its parents are Renault and Nissan) and an unusual upbringing (“born and raised” in South Korea). The Latitude’s key strengths are its Euro-centric design, generous equipment and gentle manners.
Can the mighty Camry hold its own against its two rivals, inside its own comfort zone? Settle down, get comfortable in your chair and read on.