thtupid

2012 atara sx

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Hello all. So i finally got a new 2012 atara sx (that 0% finiancing deal is awesome really). Originally i wanted an ex demo but 0% finiancing was too good to turn away.

So i thought I'd give a little review. I'm no pro driver and I'll probably compare everything to my old corolla but here it goes...

I've had the thing for over a week now. I'm no car expert but the first thing I noticed was how darn quiet the whole experience is. I dont have much in terms of experience sitting/driving cars...but my old 2005 corolla was very noisy when pushed. And NVH wasn't the best. The camry's wind noise is almost (to me anyway) non-existant although tire roar was louder than i expected. Another thing about the noise is the low rev sound of the engine. At under 2000rpm or so the thing sounds a little gurgle like whiney whirl sound. It's not very nice really but then once you get past 2000rpm the sounds gets all throaty and deep. Surprisingly good for a four banger really.

To me the steering is also very nice. It feels like steering one of 'em wheels on a playground around the carpark and there is some feel when at speed. A lot better than my old corolla. I like. Power is more than adequate. I had a car full of ppl (well they were ladies though...as opposed to a car full of blokes for tennis in the old corolla) and the thing moved along as if they weren't there. When i was driving the corolla I struggled to get up to speed on the freeway...very scary indeed.

Things I dislike...

The ride quality is the only thing I dislike about the car. It's pretty much similar to the old corolla...a little firm. Well, the old corolla was harsh at times and you could feel the pot holes and little stones. I thought the atara would be different but it's pretty much the same so that was a little of a let down. I swear it felt better on the test drive but I guess not. It's not unbearable but something I have to get use to. Also not very nice is the sound system. It just feels like a regular toyota sound system with a big touchsreen. Nothing special. I thought it'll have at least something to display pictures but I dunno how to access it atm with my usb...The fixed headrests too give a psychological points deduction (overseas models have adjustable) and I thought 'em rear seats could lean back also. But i'm wrong.

The "carbon fibre" look strip garnish thing on the dash feels a little iffy too as well as the garnish on the gear stick and the arm rests. It looks okay but just feels cheap. And there are only two real cubby holes...I like my cubby holes!

All in all I'm very fond of the thing. It looks amazing inside and out (I think so anyway), drives like a gem, the seats are darn comfy (the electric seats are a nuisance though...coz i sleep a lot in the car reclining it all the time is annoying) the boot is huge the ride is quiet the steering wheel is cool the smell of a new car...hope this can help people in deciding on whether or not an atara sx is right for you. If I had a choice...i'd take all the looks of the sx on the ride of the other atara's (as in the lip spoiler, rear lower bumper, blacked out headlamps, plum like and black "leather"). I don't think the "sports" suspension is worth it. Maybe it will later on when i have more confidence in driving the thing (it's huge) but for now it doesn't add to the overall experience.

Also, I regret it now but I dont believe that the finiance shortfall insurance is worth it (it's like about 780 bucks or something). Apparently if you total your car and your insurance pays an x amount, the insurance will cover the gap of that and the amount left on our finiance. Problem is, if you do total your car early on, your insurance would give you a new car anyway I think...I may be wrong...and if you do total it later on towards the end of the 4 years i think you'd have payed off enough of the loan to have no gap anyway (when compared to the market value of the car). Very stupid of me.

Sorry this is a bit long winded!

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i think this should be over on the 'camry' section.

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Congrats on the purchase, I drove one a while ago and it was pretty good, I really wanted a new car after driving it.

The firm ride is all down to the sports suspension. It will keep you on the road, so you can corner quikcer :) but your likely to faceplant the window while doing so.

How do you like the paddles?

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Haha no i sleep by myself during my lunch break. Or when i'm with my gf when we have nothing else to do and are tired. Sleep as in shut eye...not you know...

And thanks Charlie! I dont dare drive it enthsiastically enough yet to make use of the sports suspension although on Saturday when i was going to the strawberry farm I almost missed the entrances/roads a few times and had to make a quick turn which ended up okay. Safe ones of course no tire squeal or anything...the paddles are fun as! They actually hold gear quite reasonably i find but if i shift too early up the car ignores me. Also I hate it when it engine brakes too in normal drive mode. I'd be stopping slowly then all of a sudden the car jerks a little and slows a whole lot more than I had anticipated which makes me adjust my braking. Quite annoying and wasn't there with my old corolla.

Also it's been about 3 weeks/1 month now and I have failed to dip below 9.0L/100km average on fuel consumption despite doing a lot of freeway driving. There have been times when i just felt like listening to the engine rev but most of the time I try to be as frugal as i can but i'm still nowhere near the claimed 7.8L/100km.

btw Thanks whoever moved this back over to where it belongs!

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Congrats on your purchase thtupid. Just a little heads-up for you, when you take it in for your first service (1 month inspection), ask the service department if they could kindly plug in their Global Techstream laptop and set the option for you to remotely wind down the drivers window (in Customise Options/Power Window). Comes in handy on a stinking hot day to let out a bit of heat before getting to the car. To operate, press and hold unlock on your smart keyfob, after a second or 2, it should pull the window down. Works for down only, not up (i.e. if you try and press and hold lock). It works on drivers window only, as it's the only one with auto functionality (Toyota cost-cutting, grrrrr).

Edited by pinzvidz

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Oh really? I've already done my 1k service :(. I think i will ask them to do so on my 15k one then thanks! Does it work with the moonroof too? Also would you know if the sound system supports having display pictures? Because there is an option in the setup to turn it on but I dunno how. Do i need to have an ipod to do it? It sucks though i can't play videos with the sound system either.

What other options are there to be able to program do you know?

What i also find odd is the intermittent wiper. Maybe it's coz i'm ignorant but with all the other cars I have ever driven more frequent is when you turn the knob down and less frequent is up. It's reversed in this car. hehe.

Thanks so much for the tip though I will definitely have it looked at!

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Does it work with the moonroof too?

Good question. Ask them to check under moonroof in the options list when they go to program your window.

Also would you know if the sound system supports having display pictures? Because there is an option in the setup to turn it on but I dunno how. Do i need to have an ipod to do it? It sucks though i can't play videos with the sound system either.

If you have an Android phone, take a look at this Vaistech's iVIC.

What other options are there to be able to program do you know?

Most stuff you can adjust on the setup/vehicle screen on your stereo. There might be one or 2 additional things that can be adjusted that you won't see on the screen and that need adjusting on the GTS laptop. Have a look in the back of your owners manual for all the options (customisable options).

What i also find odd is the intermittent wiper. Maybe it's coz i'm ignorant but with all the other cars I have ever driven more frequent is when you turn the knob down and less frequent is up. It's reversed in this car. hehe.

That's normal for the majority of Toyota vehicles.

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What does GTS (as in the laptop you're talking about) stand for? hehe. Did you get your window done too? That gadget install thing looks cool. I dont think i will be doing it anytime soon. Maybe if possible I'll upgrade to the entune thing if it comes out and fits the car (and if the price is right...doubt it though).

Oddly though, I am finding a strange noise now on hardish acceleration. It's like this high pitch whirring noise...like that of a supercharger or a remote control car. This high pitch spinning noise that rises with the revs. Only hear it on second gear and up to about 4th. Hope it is okay. Otherwise the car has been so good! I finally reached 8.3L/100km once. So i think the car is capable of 7.8L/100km but it will take a lot of patience. There is just no power whatsoever under 2000prm. And 6th gear is totally useless for accelerating. It's just for cruising/coasting on the freeway really I think.

Edited by thtupid

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GTS = Global TechStream.

Not yet for the window, I'm waiting on our new AVV50R Camry Hybrid h to ship up from Melbourne. Hopefully it will be at my dealership next week.

I don't think we're going to get Entune in a hurry...

I've driven a few Ataras now, I think that noise you're hearing is pretty normal. They have a nice exhaust note under acceleration around 5K RPM.

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Congrats on the purchase, I've got an Atara SL and that 'high-pitch' whirring noise is quite normal, I've done about 16,000k's now and I'm still in love with my car!

Awesome Purchase!

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Thanks! Grats on your purchase too! I'm jealous of your sound system! Do you get a lolly wrapper sound too? Dont you love how non existent wind noise is? hehe

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Okay so it's been 7k on the odo now. So far it's been fantastic other than the dirt and dust everywhere inside and out...i guess i shed quite a lot of skin...am getting use to now the length of the car and will never get bored of the paddles.

What annoys me the most though is that sound! It's so intruding i hope it will get corrected at the service...wish it wasn't normal. It's not always present anyway. Just after 10-15 minutes or so. Also another gripe is that the gear stick is starting to come loose...i mean the knob at the top is moving. I dont want to rotate it too much to "tighten" it in case i bust something. Hopefully they will stick it back properly or something again at service.

Otherwise I'm lovin' it! I miss having rear windscreen wipers though...

I will post one last one after service. After that my car is officially "old news". hehe

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I've owned my Atara for 1 year and 1 week. All my driving is around the suburbs. No peak hour. No traffic lights. Average trip is around 20 minutes. I reset my gauges every time I fill the tank. I average a fuel consumption rate of between 11.8 and 12.4 litres per hundred. My local Toyota Service Department tell me this is quite acceptable. I am wondering if this is correct, or if I have some type of fault with my vehicle.

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Hello Steve. What is your driving style like? Hard on the acceleration? You like your air con? Use the paddles much and keep it on as low a gear as possible? Tires deflated? I'm no professional but I think driving style has a lot to do with it too. Braking later, inflated tires, easy on the accelorator, no air con all helps to decrease fuel consumption i think (I have no idea why the instantaneous fuel consumption shoots up with the brakes are applied though). I only average 9.1 despite a lot of freeway driving and occasional extra squirt to overtake/coz i can kind of thing. But i do drive with the aircon on all the time just about (really dont reccomend it if you have dry eye syndrome). You get the high pitch whirring noise too?

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Thanks for your reply to my excessive fuel queries. I try to drive as sedately as possible. I alternate between e10 and regular unleaded petrol but have never tried premium. The pedal has never been down to the metal yet, as opposed to the brake pedal which often sinks as low as the carpet,(Toyota service say this is acceptable too) . The air is on about 50%of the time and I only used the paddle shifters during the first week of owning the car, just to see if they worked. Since then I just leave it in drive. Tyre pressure is checked monthly and always seems to be ok. I've never had the high pitch whirring noise but just this week the car has developed a metallic ticking noise, which seems to be coming from the gear stick area, when the car is being accelerated from a standstill.I hope it goes away but I've got my doubts.

Maybe I should drive a bit harder through the gears and see what happens to the fuel consumption.

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Hello. Could it be the e10? My understanding is that e10 is not as efficient as regular unleaded. I dunno what the metal clicking noise is. Sometimes i get a crunching sound but i think that may be normal...have you tried going to another dealer to get a second opinion on your issues?

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Hello. Could it be the e10? My understanding is that e10 is not as efficient as regular unleaded. I dunno what the metal clicking noise is. Sometimes i get a crunching sound but i think that may be normal...have you tried going to another dealer to get a second opinion on your issues?

The fuel that you fill affects your petrol consumption as well, I usually fill 95 or 98 in my 07 Camry and get between 9.9 and 12 depending on my driving style, however when I fill e10 in the tank it seems to stick around 13-14L/100kms. Also depending on how you drive, I seem to get further on 95 and 98. I drive about 500kms p/w and have a bit more than 1/4 of my tank left.

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Hello all. It's now been 6 months now and I have done my fist 15k service and so my car is now officially old news. So to see it off being a "new car" I will write my final thoughts.

I think first up, the negatives. The very annoying whine. I am pretty sure that it is not normal simply because it's not always there. And now after the service, it seems worse. They did offer me the opportunity to show a technician/mechanic what I mean by the whine though by taking one on a test drive. So when I find the time I will do that. And on noise, tire roar is quite bad especially on the freeway. Under 80kms it's virtually silent on smoothish roads but above that it is quite obtrusive.

The car, although to me is amazing, is realistically not very good value compared to the new stuff that has come out since November 2012. For example, the new Mazda 6 is a fantastic looking car (albeit being a bit too large for a "medium car"). I am also pretty sure that it is a better "drive" too compared to the camry and it also happens to be better equipped and for a cheaper price than the atara sx. If I wasn't such a Toyota fan, I would definitely get the mazda 6 over the camry hands down. Also the new commodore. Gee it looks fantastic (minus the remote control car look of the antenna) and the spec sheet is truly amazing. But what does my atara sx have that is "special"? Nothing really. I have faux leather which doesn't really matter to me anymore coz I have seat covers, a pretty average sound system with a big display that does nothing but display, reverse camera which is standard in almost every other similarly priced car, stiffer suspension which took a lot getting use to...the only saving grace for the sx, in my opinion, is the blacked out head lamps and the plastic kit around. Other than that I would definitely get the atara S and just get the rear bumper replaced and chuck on a lip spoiler coz realistically the atara sx really isn't worth it money wise.

The sales experience felt a bit lacking too. I basically bought the car on the same day after test drive. Although I would have gotten one anyway, it would have been nice to have a little shop around. I'm sure I got a good deal. But it's just a matter of a small feeling of regret. What if I got a better deal? What if I was sterner? Maybe I was too soft on the day. Also the sales person gave his word verbally that he would get me a Toyota sports jacket or jacket of some kind. It wasn't on the contract but now that the guy has left the place, another salesperson told me I will not be getting a jacket anymore since it was not on the contract. Also, the "free wash" at service time seems like nothing more than just a high pressure hose spray down. There is still so much build up of brake dust on the wheels I'd have preferred they didn't clean it at all. At least then it would have looked uniform grey (which looks nice with the blue).

And lastly for the gripes; the economy. Although I am much better than car advice's >12l/100km, I have not been able to do any better than 9.1L/100km. Yes I do drive with the air con on most of the time but I also do drive a lot of freeway and I am not too big a rev head.

Having said all that though, I don't regret getting the sx one bit. I totally love the thing. I would go to the toilet at work and sometimes just gaze and the machine that I have bought and just admire the effort Toyota people have put into making it. The engine is truly fantastic. It feels so strong throughout the entire rev range and with the transmission all so smooth there are times when I just don't feel the shifts at all. The paddles also allows me to hold gears quite well to. Which is surprising since I have read about the previous aurion's "manual shifts" to be nothing more than just a gimmick. Of course 6th gear is totally useless for anything under 70kms an hour but above that it just makes the ride that much smoother. Although 9.1l/100km is quite different from the claimed 7.8, it still is pretty good as it let me do about 600kms on 3/4s of the tank.

Maybe it's a size thing but now that I am physically use to the stiffness (humans can adapt to almost anything really), the car is very comfortable. It is also very easy to drive now that I'm use to the size. The camera really helps a lot and, when I jumped into my mother's echo the other day, I was looking for that the missing rear view camera screen and pressing the missing foot pedal for the "hand brake". Yes I do prefer a hand one, but a foot one is a lot better than say, in my opinion, an electronic one that is nothing than a button.

Finally, to me the car looks absolutely fantastic. It is modern and conservative yet handsome. I mean it's no alfa, or even a kia optima but to me it's still very pretty. I particularly like the formula one esque two front teeth on the lower front bumper and the diffuser underneath the car. And the rear bumper too. The lip spoiler justs adds proportion to it all. I also like how the boot area is a little pudgy compared to the longer front end...almost like the superseded lexus gs (but without the aggressively sloped glasshouse).

At the end of the day, I am very happy with my car. It feels like a real car as opposed to my previous corolla. I also feel that, although it's not entirely "new" (ie the platform, suspension setup and overall design), this generation of camry seems like a step in the right direction. I can't wait to see how good it would be next generation will be with better kit and an updated 2AR-FAE (as opposed to the non direct injected engine). I am disappointed though with the equipement level. Always have been. The atara S is a much better proposition if purely looked at in monetary terms. Also, If I wasn't a toyotaphile, I would have gotten a mazda 6. But the fact is, I am a toyotaphile and I love my car! It is awesome and I don't regret not getting an aurion (it is so dissapointly ugly compared to the previous gen). Thank you all for reading!

Edited by thtupid

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The fuel that you fill affects your petrol consumption as well, I usually fill 95 or 98 in my 07 Camry and get between 9.9 and 12 depending on my driving style, however when I fill e10 in the tank it seems to stick around 13-14L/100kms. Also depending on how you drive, I seem to get further on 95 and 98. I drive about 500kms p/w and have a bit more than 1/4 of my tank left.

Im unhappy with my fuel consumption. I seldom hit the freeway so the comsumption is alot. Between 11-13 and for a 4cyl it's heaps. I might try 95.

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Forget E10 - it's false economy. Put 36psi in your tyres and it will handle better and help the economy as well as making them last longer!

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I have 40psi, anylower and i feel the car is pulling too much.

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