By on July 18, 2006

front1.jpgDespite Toyota’s “when does a car become more than a car” zenvertising, Camry folk treat their rides like a household appliance: use, admire occasionally, forget.  For the 2007 model year, America's favorite four-wheeled conveyance has become… a stylish appliance.  That said, the new Toyota Camry is no Sub-Zero ‘fridge or Dyson upright.  For all its extensive improvements, the model has sacrificed much of its traditional depth of character on the altar of style and profit.  In fact, the new Camry raises an important question: has the perennial mid-size sales champ finally let down its guard? 

Our inquiry starts with the sheetmetal.  The automobile that once defined mid-market inoffensiveness now pays lip service to high priced sports sedan standards– like Kenny G dorking-up a John Coltrane classic.  The Camry’s new schnoz says Mazda 6- albeit an older, overweight version with multiple neoplastic lesions.  The Camry’s back end is pure BMW-Bangle– though Chris and Co. wisely treated their over-sized taillights to high dose design-studio chemotherapy, and Toyota didn’t.  On the positive side, 16" rims hide the Camry's added height, and its cab-forward stance speeds up the biggie-sized silhouette.

interior2.jpgThe grandiosity continues within.  The Camry’s once frumpy interior now sports a spizzarkle of curves, two-tone plastics, fake aluminum and premium cloth trimmings.  (Quasi-brougham velour front seats mock Recaro's finest.)  At first sight, the hard plastics seem tucked away.  Look a little closer, feel around a bit, and the quality subsides.  The passenger side dash and window switchgear flaunt inconsistent, Hyundai Excel-ish gaps.  The dash-to-console trim needs a good automotive orthodontist.  The petro-chemicals’ unyielding character speaks of factories even GM would fear to frequent.  Rounding out the Camry LE’s shit list: chintzy door handles attached to tin-can portals that shut with all the reassurance of an Enron 401k.

All is not lost; the Camry’s interior comes with the model’s hallmark (velvet-flocked) coin tray and a trick dashboard storage binnacle.  The cargo hole offers an MP3 connection and a false wall to hide the associated wiring while in play.  The Camry’s wheel-mounted buttonology is welcome, but gives mixed messages.  The left side implies "you're stupid" (with four words to describe a single button) while the right proclaims "you're cheap" (with a non-functional plastic plug).  The trunk is a marvel of packaging efficiency; complete with built-in bottle holder, easy close deck lid, embroidered trunk mat and convenient seat release pull knobs.

side1.jpgA quick drive confirms the Camry as a complete killjoy.  Although Toyota’s engineers have stiffened the chassis and placed MacPherson struts and gas shocks all ‘round, push the Camry LE into a corner and it shoves back.  Excessive body roll, copious understeer and numb steering give the model all the dynamic appeal of a Stannah Chair Lift.  Grippy V-rated rubber notwithstanding, lose adhesion and there's no turning back (or forth).  If you like a lick of speed, it’s best to order the optional stability control; the Camry LE is only an emergency maneuver away from sudden impact. 

While this whip has no road-hugging flava, the ride is supa-smooth.  Potholes, speed bumps and rough pavement are no match for this softly sprung baby-Lexus.  The power stats seem fairly dire: 158 horses @ 6000 rpm and 161 ft.-lbs. @ 4000rpm.  But thanks to its VVT-I engineering and crisp, wide-ratio five-speed automatic, the Camry’s standard 2.4-liter four-pot serves-up surprising amounts of grunt throughout the powerband, with minimal noise and thrash.  A leggy top gear makes highway cruising a thoroughly effortless exercise.  Even without considering the Camry’s admirable fuel economy, its power train is more than merely adequate for all but the [displaced] performance junky.

back.jpgIf the Camry’s moves fail to entertain, the jukebox-themed stereo illumination (Miami Vice turquoise) gets the party started. Drag racing dB freaks take note: the JBL Audio system pounds out 40-acres of bass, with enough mids and highs to impress all but an IASCA fiend.  The JBL-sourced goodness illuminates the Camry's single largest flaw.  While the woofers put out like a drug-hazed orgy, they vibrate the rear package tray with gay abandon. But that's not all folks. On uneven pavement, our test whip produced a deep-seated dash squeak only remedied by the stereo's extra wattage.  Keep in mind, this hallmark of Toyota quality had all of 3000 miles on its odometer.

Given the current mechanical problems with the Avalon, massive worldwide recalls and our tester's quality shortcomings, the question must be raised: is Toyota cutting too many corners?  For over a decade the Camry LE consistently provided the American consumer the four-wheeled equivalent of the FDIC. Now that a Ford Fusion SE offers tighter panel gaps, unique style, strong V6 power and uber accident-avoidance adhesion for the same 24-large; now that Hyundai’s in the hunt, Toyota's breadwinner may no longer have a "lock" on the high quality, high value sedan market. 

[Toyota provided the vehicle reviewed, insurance, taxes and a tank of gas.] 

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109 Comments on “Toyota Camry LE Review...”


  • avatar
    Frank Williams

    I’ve never understood the Toyota quality cachet. One of the worst cars I ever owned was a mid-90s Camry, purchased new. The rear windows rattled, the dash came loose from the firewall (!), the rear shocks squeaked and it made many other strange, seemingly random noises. Since Toyota only offered a 12 month/12000 mile warranty at that time I was faced with the prospect of having a lot of out of pocket expenses to keep it from falling apart. I traded that POS after a year and lost a lot of money on it. But I don’t think I lost nearly as much as I would have spent trying to keep it together over the next few years!

  • avatar
    misterbozack

    The question is this: is Toyota too big for it’s own good? Seems like they may be suffering from “we’re so good we can be the king of the auto industry” syndrome instead of focusing on what got them the reputation for quality and value they’ve spent the last 50+ years building. Of course, they’re still galaxies ahead of the General, Billy Bob Ford and Dr. “Z”ero.

  • avatar
    Jonny Lieberman

    The other question is: here in Los Angeles, out of ten cars on the road, how many are the new Camry?

    Between 2-3 — these suckers are everywhere.

  • avatar

    Here in Wisconsin the question is: What color is the Camry going 54 mph in the left lane of the freeway?

  • avatar
    socsndaisy

    Yeah Frank, what you said!
    I also had a toyota and I swear that little pile of dung hated me. As a Mazda 6 pilot Sajeev, I must disagree on one little point. This plati-beeked accountant mover’s shnoz is as much inspired by Abe Vigoda’s mugshot as it is my Mazda.
    And while I will admit that Toyota can turn out the new designs quicker than “Billy Bob Ford”, this latest camry demonstrates well that a Fusion is clearly worth the wait.
    Speaking of galaxies MrBozak, Id take a old 60s Galaxie500 over this camry even as a daily commuter. Did I just offer up a TTAC comparo there Sajeev?!

  • avatar
    stanshih

    “The Camry???s new schnoz says Mazda 6- albeit an older, overweight version with multiple neoplastic lesions.”

    Bravo Sajeev. It’s writing like this that relegates me to the comments section =)

  • avatar
    chandler

    Nice review Sajeev, but I beg to differ: the last Camry was the perfect model of mid-market offensiveness. It’s the car driven by the type of person who doesn’t know much or care much about their auto because they don’t know much or care much about anything at all.

    With the black grille of the SE, the new Camry is nearly an attractive car, but the body-colored pug-nosed snout of your LE tester is revolting.

    Now that you’ve reviewed the Camry, would you care to comment on the car in comparison to the LaCrosse you wrote on a few weeks ago?

  • avatar
    WhateverJustCrashIt

    Gentlemen, you are all missing the point. If anything, Toyota’s Camry is pointing out 2 things we all know but hate to acknowledge. The first is that in the American marketplace, style is king. People will tolerate sub par engineering for a whip that looks like all that. If anything, the rise of aftermarket parts empires has certainly shown that people are inclined to spend thousands to even force their cars to be all that and a bag of potatoe chips. The second is that Toyota is just entering the next phase that all larger companies seem to go through. I like to call it sloth. Toyota is just getting overconfident. They are letting some quality and engineering details slide for the sake of saving some almighty dollars. The disease will get worse as they try to raise profit whilst raising their prices under heading of ???quality???. Who does that sound like? GM anyone? The good thing is that if this is a downturn in their corporate thinking, these failures will give GM , Ford, and anyone else smart enough to the opportunity, wiggle room to claw their way back to the top. When Toyota sees this, they will reinvest in their previous ways, and so the cycle will go on and on.

  • avatar
    Schmu

    I have long touted yota reliability, but it does seem that after tehir price restructuring, that got them all these sales, has adversely affected them. I really dunno, I dont think they will keep the crown long the way things are looking. I love the fusion, aside from a competitive engine. The thing that keeps me away is that it is a Mexican car. I am not anti-mexico, but I will not buy an non-us-made-car. my honda was built in ohio, my chevy was built in detroit, my old ford was American…I will not buy a foriegn made car. I really do not care about part content arguments either. It doesnt do the ‘domestics’ any good to say we can finally compete, but we have to use cheap foreign labor to do what you can here domestically. I am off topic. move the fusion to the US,a nd I will consider it above the camry.

  • avatar
    bunny

    It’s simply stupid to expect a good handling car out of the Camry LE. Every car has it’s own target consumer group. You may not fit that group, but then you should not try this car in the first place.

    If you need style and handling only, then just buy a Mini Cooper or Civic Si for the same amount of money. People buy Camrys for the roomy back seats and smooth ride. Thus, to do Camrys justice, why not invite 3 couple tall people to be your $24k car passengers and drive 300 miles non-stop and ask about their opinions?

    As for Fusion or Sonata, they may be better than the current Camry in many ways. If they can keep up the effort, they will be able to replace Camry’s status in 20 years. Just remember how Camry got here. It was never the No. 1 car. Instead, it has been better than the average even in its worst forms, 30 years in a row.

  • avatar

    Finally…someone tells it like it is on the Camry. I looked at one of these when I was car-shopping, and I was woefully underwhelmed by not only the quality, but the outer redesign. What was Toyota thinking with that hideous, bulbous front end that looks like an unidentified bug bite with a plasticky chrome logo. The seats had all the appeal of Sajeev’s aforementioned Orthodontist’s office.

    Though the Camry has always been the vanilla of vanilla, the new model looks and feels like a half-hearted attempt to appease people who have migrated to Nissan or elsewhere. All the techy advances in the cabin seem like they were just thrown in, save for the Aux input on the radio.

    Personally, I feel you went a little lightly on this vehicle’s fit and finish. Toyota seems to have perfected the art of Bob Ross-style monotone in automotive building. Guess they aren’t learning from GM…eh? Nice write-up, Sajeev.

  • avatar
    starlightmica

    It’s the car driven by the type of person who doesn’t know much or care much about their auto because they don’t know much or care much about anything at all.

    We bought the prior-gen Camry LE soon after it came out, because it was one of the scarce affordable cars at that time offering economy, good rear-seat space, and available side curtain airbags. Didn’t care to take a chance with VW reliability with the smaller Passat, and the Altima wasn’t as well thought out.

    And yes, it hasn’t let us down in almost 5 years.

  • avatar
    Hutton

    It’s simply stupid to expect a good handling car out of the Camry LE

    Wrong. In a highly competitive marketplace, it’s simply stupid for a car not to have good handling… especially if it would be safer, and more fun (it would)… and especially if Toyota wants to be #1 (it does).

    For the record, the Mazda6, a Camry competitor, offers a pretty good dose driving fun to go with it’s practicality… why expect less from Toyota?

  • avatar
    chanman

    A more important point of comparison would probably be the Camry’s main competitor for decades – the Accord.

  • avatar
    JSForbes

    “Wrong. In a highly competitive marketplace, it???s simply stupid for a car not to have good handling??? especially if it would be safer, and more fun (it would)??? and especially if Toyota wants to be #1 (it does).

    For the record, the Mazda6, a Camry competitor, offers a pretty good dose driving fun to go with it???s practicality??? why expect less from Toyota?” – Hutton

    It wouldn’t be smart if you were sacrificing ride quality (one of the Camry’s selling points) for said performance. There are a lot of people (most of the American public) who could care less about handling.

    All I’m saying is, I can see why Toyota would design it that way. I would never buy one personally.

    Sajeev, does it at least handle better than a Taurus?

  • avatar
    Frank Williams

    JSForbes: “There are a lot of people (most of the American public) who could care less about handling. ”

    Sad but true. That’s why you see most car companies touting the number of air bags they install to protect your noggin when you inevitably have an accident, instead of focusing on making their car handle better so you can avoid accidents. And your average American car buyer would rather rely on air bags than learn to drive properly.

  • avatar
    dolo54

    These cars are an eyesore! None of the shapes seem to connect or even have anything to do with eachother. I think Toyota dropped the ball with this one. The Camry has always been for people who just want reliable comfortable transportation that they can count on. There was no need to try to make it look interesting, but they certainly couldn’t have done worse than this.

  • avatar
    Hutton

    The look may be a bit much right now, but you will inevitably see so many of these things on the road that it will just seem normal and boring again within a matter of months.

  • avatar
    nweaver

    Wait a year: lets see what Honda does with the new Accord…

  • avatar

    I’ve always thought the Accord looked much better than the Camry. Toyota does seem to have a problem designing the rear 1/4 of a car…

  • avatar
    Rizo

    I had the previous generation Camry for a week as a rental car. It took all my abusings with grace and dignity. I had a lot of fun punishing it on and off road.

    Above all, my wife loved it in everyway that I hated it.

    I can see why a lot of people buy a Camry.

    I’ve seen two different new generation models on the road (and I can’t care enough to look for the details): There is one model that has a bunch of cheap looking (aftermarket?) plastics slapped on. It makes me want to puke everytime I see it. The other is more basic and I could stand it if I was given enough sleeping pills.

    However, with all the crap looking GM cars on the roads, I would say Toyota is going to sell a lot of these. I’m sorry, but North Americans simply don’t have any taste as apparent of their choice of clothes, cars and housing styles.

  • avatar
    geozinger

    Wow, it’s going to be fun watching all of the Toyota faithful defend themselves…

  • avatar
    stanshih

    Rizo: “However, with all the crap looking GM cars on the roads…”

    I’m going to have to reiterate my personal feeling that ALL the models GM has released post 2004 have clean, crisp exteriors with tight gaps and are all un-ugly.

    G6, Solstice/Sky, Escalade/Tahoe, Equinox/Torrent, Impala, Lucerne, LaCrosse, HHR, DTS, STS, Cobalt, H3, upcoming Acadia, Aura.

    Cobalt’s the weakest of the bunch, but still OK and the HHR is polarizing, but there’s a pattern here. GM’s fleet is quietly becoming the least ugly line out there (with the exception of Volvo and VW, perhaps)

    Honda: The new civic is clean, but the shape is weird. Ridgeline=Aztek. Element tries to be ugly which is OK.

    Nissan: Maxima looks like overgrown Ion. Not good. Altima with the supermarket rocket ride tail lamps were always silly.

    Mazda: Oversized Mazda logo everywhere and plastic grills gotta go.

    Ford: 500 and Fusion = late 90s Passat and Jetta beaten with ugly stick and left with wide panel gaps.

    Chrysler: OK until that new Sebring. Yikes.

    Hyundai: would comment, but can’t even remember what their cars look like.

    In summary, although GM isn’t making too many head-turners, they aren’t making any head-turn-awayers either. They released about 10 un-ugly cars in a row which is no small feat for any automaker. But then again they need to keep this up for a long while to atone for Skylark, Cavalier, Aztek, etc.

  • avatar
    Sajeev Mehta

    Jonny: same thing in Houston, Camrys are everywhere. Course we all know there’s a good reason for this, they keep their drivers relatively happy.

    socsndaisy: since you mentioned it, my first car was a ’65 Galaxie LTD hardtop, black on black, swing-away wheel and all. Sweet ride, even with no A/C or power brakes. I’d wet myself if I could get a $24k Fusion and a $24k Camry for a back-to-back comparo test.

    chandler: compared to the LaCrosse CXL, the Camry doesn’t ride as well and might induce massive understeer a little quicker. The Camry probably feels better because of its super-rigid chassis, while the LaX rolls with a chassis that dates back to 1989. (someone correct me if I’m wrong) Neither are especially great, and weeks separated the test drives of the two…so its hard to be fair.

    WhateverJustCrashIt: excellent perspective on the situation.

    bunny: the Camry LE should handle just a little better. Its so softly sprung it almost floats over certain bumps, and its lack of balance is a safety issue (without active handing) when a 16 year old takes Mom’s Camry LE and understeers themselves into a ditch. Or into oncoming traffic.

    Heaven forbid someone puts cheaper, harder tires on it after 20,000 miles. Then the band-aid will be gone!

    Put a set of bald tires on the Camry and you have a Ford Explorer/Firestone tire situation, sans rollovers.

    JSForbes: the last Taurus I drove was the Ovoid Orgasm, a used 1996 model. It had nice steering feel and somewhat controlled body roll…it was a nice, strange looking car. Interior was about a bazillion times better in fit and finish. That was a long time ago and the Taurus met Jac Nasser’s knife after that, so I can’t really help ya there. Maybe I’ll go drive a new one before they totally disappear. :)

    geozinger: loyalists need not defend their product, its track record is stunning and been worth the premium over its competitors for years. Toyota is good about fixing things, and now they have a lot to chew on.

    Thank you all for reading and commenting, have a wonderful day.

  • avatar
    tincanman99

    Lets realize one thing about the Camry – its an appliance with wheels. Toyota knows its market very well. An inoffensive, boring machine that rolls. At that it excels. Dont expect it to handle, dont expect it be all that quick and dont expect it to have interesting colors. This is an appliance, end of story. This car is for the same group of people that buy the same house, same furniture and generally the same crap as everyone else. Yeah its boring but who cares, it runs.

    If you want an edgy car thats got it going on you are shopping at the wrong car company.

  • avatar
    chanman

    Not the first time I’ve heard about the plastics situation, other reviews have mentioned the silver plastics and the horrifying fake wood plastic on some different trim lines.

    Sajeev’s problems with his car aren’t unique either; from the Canadian Driver first drive “Fit and finish on most of the cars we drove was excellent, though the LE model I sampled had a badly misaligned dashboard panel and a storage compartment door that made scratchy noises when opened and closed.”

    Then and again, as the first year of the current run, I have to wonder if/when they’ll rework it. Hopefully they won’t wait until the mid-run update to do so.

    As for old Camrys – there might be those that are POS, but 10-year old ones in good condition are still selling for up to a third to a half of a new 2007. People are just willing to shell out a lot for one of them, considering that just a few thousand more puts one into new compact car territory.

    Those not too keen on the appearance of the 2007 might be amused by this bit revealed by the Assistant Chief Engineer of the 2007 Camry: “Toyota’s research revealed that the outgoing Camry was rejected for its looks more than any other midsize sedan”

  • avatar
    vallux06

    Sajeev,

    Ah, that deep seated rattle in the dashboard!! My wife has it in her ’06 RX400h, I do have it in my ’06 SC430 daily commuter. Now you have discovered it in the latest itineration of the Camry as well. Might this be a wide(r) spread Toyota gremlin??

    I had tears in my eyes, to see my wifes car with barely 300 miles on the pavement, gutted with the dash completely apart to locate and fix the rattle!! How will this dash hold up over the next, say, 36,000 miles?? I shudder to think about it!!

    I believe there is a “service bulletin” out for the RX, the GX and the IS from Lexus (as stated my SC has it too). Now, has the Camry joined the list?? I see a follow-up in investigative journalism there!!!

  • avatar
    bunny

    When I just read some guy claiming all GM cars look good after 2004, I thought let’s not discuss styling any more. Please. It will get us nowhere. Let’s just focus on quantative aspects of the car.

    Get back to handling. Do you guys realize there’s the Camry SE for that purpose? According to Road and Track, it’s acceleration, skipads and slalom scores either match or exceed that of the new Passat. Let the numbers talk.

    As for the softness of the LE’s suspension, I have to say that you need to drive on a typically poorly maintained Canadian highway to fully appreciate its merits. A Lamboghini would certainly be torn apart under the same circumstances.

    Camry is the most selling car in the United States. Face the fact. Most buyers are satisfied. Some people bash it without considering the context, to show that they are different and more enthusiastic about cars. Only very few know what they are talking about. The rest are just “me too” people.

  • avatar
    Sajeev Mehta

    vallux06: That rattle drove me nuts all week, I feel your pain.

    I had to drown it out with the stereo, but not too loud, otherwise the parcel shelf would join in on the fun.

    Oh, what a feeling!

  • avatar
    Sajeev Mehta

    bunny: its not about performance-savvy handling, its about avoiding an accident. Sure the SE is a better performer, but the LE is the volume leader, and it needs to handle better to avoid crashes.

    Like I said before, once the OEM tires wear out and someone goes to Walmart for low-buck replacements, this becomes a serious problem.

    And the roads (clay foundation) in Houston aren’t much better than frost-attacked Canadian roads. I’ve been on both (Edmonton, Calgary, Saskatchewan, etc) and they all suck.

  • avatar
    geozinger

    Sajeev,

    I never said the car is bad.

    I implied that you have opened up a hornet’s nest.

  • avatar
    Sajeev Mehta

    geozinger: I know you didn’t, I wanted to mention that the Camry brand has (so far) earned its good reputation.

    But yeah, lets see what unfolds after this. :)

  • avatar
    chanman

    Vallux, I guess now we know which products share the same fastners up front now! This is the downside to otherwise efficient high parts-commonality under the skin – if the new widget doesn’t work, it becomes an issue across widely differing models that happen to use that part.

  • avatar
    ktm

    bunny, most Americans are stupid. When you live in a country where a majority of people think the sun revolves around the earth and don’t believe in evolution (do some Google searches and be amazed), you have to seriously question their intelligence.

    Soft, wallowy handling is indicative of the 1980s and early 1990s American cars. The Japanese modeled their cars after the Europeans which all have firmer suspension and crisper handling. Hell, most European brands tone down the suspension for the American market. Apparently the majority of our overweight population has all of their fat in the heads and not in the asses….

    You want a car to be able to handle an emergency maneuver and not hit its harmonic frequency, jiggling over the road like Jello.

  • avatar
    o_fizzle

    I lived in Toledo, Ohio most of my life and I currently reside in Houston; Houston roads are worse.

    In terms of appearance, I found the last generation Camry to be boring and plain, but this new version is just ugly. It looked nice and sporty in the pictures that were leaked out before it’s debut. It’s a completely different story in person. I particularly detest how the tail lights bulge outwards from the body.

    Again, when it comes to looks, I think the Fusion, Mazda6, and Hyundai Sonata have this Toyota beat.

  • avatar
    Jonny Lieberman

    Bunny:

    Road and Track? Better than Passat? Um…

  • avatar
    mannypeligroso

    I can’t believe all the negative comments about the new toyota camry.You people are just camry haters.I don’t pay much attention to these reviews because they are very biased and convince consumers into believing there is a problem with the car when the real problem is the writer who wrote the article.A good review is based on a standard of tests done on the car including performance,reliability,safety,leg and head room and such that it is compared with other models in its class.The author of the article fails to mention any or very little regarding these points and rather makes personal judgements than pointing out the facts.The fact is the toyota camry has almost a perfect rating from last years model based on a review from consumers reports and its not suprising that it is the best selling car in the US. The 07′ model is expected to have a perfect review since improvements like side air bags were included as a standard rather than the optional side airbags offered from last years.That is the reason why I choose consumer reports before buying anything.They are unbiased and very reliable.

  • avatar
    bunny

    Sajeev:

    All the “avoid crashes” arguments need proof. Show me research data, please, that Camry LE is more likely to crash (than Sonata or Fusion) due to poor handling.

    The attitude that “I am too good a driver for a Camry” is more dangerous than poor handling itself. If your look at IIHS crash and injury study, Toyota Prius is safer than most cars you can imagine. A subtle driving style weights much more than handling.

    ktm:

    Claiming “most americans are stupid” is getting cynical. I am a Canadian, by the way and I am not fond of Bush.

    It is the consumers who are ultimately right. Non-Americans can either beat them or join them. Toyota and other companies have decided to provide products that Americans want; nothing wrong with that.

    If Americans are truly stupid, they will go extinct by the theory of evolution (which I support). But then, do you realize that most Asians (Japanese+Chinese) like Camrys too? Maybe only the Germans understand enough about cars to be left alive. Certainly sound familiar.

  • avatar
    Hutton

    ^ mannypeligroso… sarcasm? (i hope)? if so, that’s pretty funny.

    If not… ummm…. if you want to know about leg and head room, go sit in a Camry. there’s only about 10 bazillion of them, so I’m sure you could find one.

    As far as I’m concerned, a good review is an honest opinion from a trusted source. Not a comparison of specs that can easily be found on each company’s website.

  • avatar
    Sajeev Mehta

    bunny: all things being equal (same Houston roads, same speeds, same smartass driver) its pretty obvious the Camry LE is more likely to understeer its way into serious trouble. Then again its just my opinions, ya know. :)

    A simple thing like, for example, a slightly larger rear swaybar would remedy the problem, with little change to the car’s overall ride characteristics.

  • avatar
    mannypeligroso

    Hey hutton,I suppose you never read consumers reports.Check out the review for the 07 model.I believe a review was completed in july. Any eduated person would know it is the place you would check out before buying anything.This is a trusted source rather than the author of this article.They are professionals and do vigorous testing to point out facts and flaws.The camry has no flaws at all.You can check for yourself.I do not rely on company specs at all.Consumers report is independent group and nothing to do with toyota.Again only an educated person would know that this the most trusted source before buying a car.

  • avatar

    The Camry has no flaws at all? Wow! The perfect car! Who knew?

  • avatar
    chandler

    bunny: oh dear. Proving Godwin right again, are we?

    While it would be fascinating to develop a statistical comparison that could shed some significant light on the relation between a car’s handling and crash rates, there are likely too many variables to come up with a good comparison. As you point out, driving style has a lot to do with it, and if the Camry attracts the type of customer who drives very cautiously, then that may very well overshadow any other difference you try to measure. This is especially true because the cars you’d want to compare against (e.g. Mazda6, Passat, Legacy) probably attract a driver who is interested in a more “sporty” vehicle. Given that I think it’s fair to give some credence to what a reasonably skilled driver has to say about the ability of the vehicle to handle well enough in an emergency situation.

  • avatar
    Hutton

    My car has more flaws than communism… but who cares when you’re having fun?

  • avatar
    chandler

    mannypeligroso: You know, I’m an educated person, but until you put it this way, I never quite saw the virtue of Consumer Reports’ reviews.

    In fact, I’m inspired to start a publication devoted to the unbiased and accurate review of food – call it Consumer Digestion. I’ll apply a battery of neutral tests to measure the food objectively on parameters like delivery time, nutrition, price, expected keeping time in open air, and safety. Once a year I’ll put out a review issue where Jimmy John’s is crowned the best of all foodstuffs. Restaurants which offer fresh fish will suffer greatly due to concerns about food safety. And you should never, ever eat beef.

  • avatar
    mannypeligroso

    Well I’m soory if I came out sounding a little sarcastic.Its not true a good review comes from ones opinion but rather than the tested facts and then making an opinion based on those facts.The writer fails to do that. Its just that I did not like the way that people buy into the bogus stuff in unreliable sources like the stuff the author wrote in the review.I am not a camry lover or hater.In fact I don’t even own one.People read these reviews not realizing that they are unreliable so they hear something good that is based on ones opinion rather that seeing the hardcore tested facts from a reliable source.Then they buy something a car,air conditioner phone or whatever hearing something good in a review and then a month later it breaks down.My advice is to rely on a reliable source and then compare the pros and cons and see if its suitable for you.That is why I do not recommend that you pay attention the the writer of the review whether its good or a bad review.Try a trusted source like consumer reports.Give you an example I was going to buy a volkswaggon toureg and saw good reviews in road and track but then in consumer reports this truck had a bad rating.My friend has on and its always at the mechanic now.He wished he never brought it.Alot of these writers and car magazines are competitors,sponsors or whatever about a review they give and have their own personal agenda so be careful not to trust them.Go to consumers reports magazine.The camry has an outstanding review.Its a very reliable car. Just giving friendly advice

  • avatar
    ktm

    bunny, I was not inferring that you were a typical American, only that you really can’t base ‘right’ on buying the buying habits of the typical American. Consumers are not always right; customers are always right (and only applies to how you run a business).

    Consumers are running out and buying Prius’ for increased fuel economy and paying a premium for the car. Does that make a Prius the right choice for fuel economy? Nope, considering the Civic HF got significantly better fuel economy over 15 years ago. Many diesels get just as good mileage as a Prius, but the Prius has been heralded as the technology of the future.

  • avatar
    Sajeev Mehta

    “Alot of these writers and car magazines are competitors,sponsors or whatever about a review they give and have their own personal agenda so be careful not to trust them.Go to consumers reports magazine.The camry has an outstanding review.”

    Sorry Manny, I’m never gonna give a car with ill-fitting interior parts and squeaks/rattles an “outstanding” review.

    Not a chance.

  • avatar
    mannypeligroso

    Hey Sanjeev I understand the ill fitting interior parts may not appear appaling to you and maybe even others.However that is your opinion and should not be reflected as a fact in your review.You fail to mention that as an opinion and fail to provide and evidence behind the rattles.Look you can say a lot of good or bad stuff about the camry but if you are writing a review please be careful in your writing.You have no supportive data and evidence in your review such as a a recall about a specific problem or any evidence whats causing the rattles.Where did you hear them and what moment did you hear them?You fail to mention also thing like the model tested whether its an le 4 cylinder or le 6 cylinder.There is a big difference.I bet you haven’t even tested the car.Where do you set the parameters before giving a review.Where is the data supporting your claims like the 0-60 mi acheived in seconds,the braking distance,the measurements for the leg room and head room and etc ?You seem very unprofessional in your writing skills.

  • avatar
    Happy_Endings

    The Camry used be the perfect car for people who didn’t care too much about what they drove. It was bland, sure, but it was reliable, had a great re-sale value and had a few nice options to it. Just put the car in drive and forget about it. Now, Toyota has ugli-fied it and, according to some, it has a lot of flaws. You do get the feeling Toyota is resting on it’s laurels and is hoping the name of “Camry” will keep people buying it.

  • avatar
    johnnycam

    Manny – relax – its just a car review – not a scientific publication and anyone who reads those will know they contain lots of BS and bias – I am certain that Consumer Reports shares in that.

    I appreciate the review – if I was in the market for such a car, I would certainly find the review helpful, but not definitive. No review, including the “scientific” CR can be definitive for anyone. There is no bible for cars, but for cars, I do worship at the house of fun. Pass on the Camry – I will stick with my 86 MR2 when Toyota knew fun. Sanjeev, Robert et al, keep up the good work!

  • avatar
    Sajeev Mehta

    “Hey Sanjeev I understand the ill fitting interior parts may not appear appaling to you and maybe even others”

    Who finds ill-fitting parts appealing? You? Consumer reports?

    “You have no supportive data and evidence in your review such as a a recall about a specific problem or any evidence whats causing the rattles. Where did you hear them and what moment did you hear them?You fail to mention also thing like the model tested whether its an le 4 cylinder or le 6 cylinder”

    If you read the article you’d see it was a four-cylinder and the rattle surfaced on uneven pavement. Not potholes, not glass smooth roads…

    “I bet you haven’t even tested the car.”

    Shhh! Don’t tell Toyota that, they handed me the keys and assumed I actually drove it.

    Have a nice day.

  • avatar
    Captain Tungsten

    Sajeev: The LaCrosse platform dates back to the fairly comprehensive revision of the GM W platform in 1997, starting with the Grand Prix. I dont’ know what that says about GM’s platform development skills, but there you are.

    manny: How much did you pay for that Camry?

  • avatar
    vallux06

    Sajeev,
    chanman
    mannypeligroso

    There is INDEED a service bulletin out, from Toyota/Lexus to all service managers/writers, regarding a fix for the rattle problem, stemming from the frame of the nav/stereo unit “interfering” with parts of the HVAC. To be taken care of at the first complementary service. Internal man hours re-impursed to the dealer from Toyota: 4hrs.
    Car effectivly “hors de combat” one day, if the customer is lucky. As always, the proof of the pudding is in the eating!!

  • avatar
    chanman

    Going back to someone’s mention of a Mazda 6, the 6’s low height always makes it looks smaller than Camrys, Accords, and Altimas to me. In fact, sometimes it looks as though the Mazda 3 is larger overall, although slightly narrower. Does someone have the actual dimensions handy?

  • avatar

    Ladies and gentlemen…we have a lemming…blindy following consumer reports because someone else told him to…

  • avatar
    Frank Williams

    If, as Manny asserts, “Its not true a good review comes from ones [sic] opinion but rather than the tested facts” Consumer Reports shouldn’t be making any subjective statements in their reviews. Let’s see what “tested facts” this “trusted source” reports on various cars:

    Audi A3 – “the steering is too light at low speeds”

    Impala – “The 3.9-liter V6 … sounds coarse”

    Camry – “quiet, comfortable, and refined”

    Charger – “ride is stiff and frequent ride motions make the car feel unsettled … overly light steering makes this large car darty and demands constant attention”

    Accord – “some road noise is noticeable”

    Ford Five Hundred – “emphasizes comfort and good ergonomics over performance and style”

    Buick LaCrosse – “not a huge leap forward … rear-seat room is tight, with meager knee and head room”

    I didn’t see any empirical data to back up these statements in the reviews I took them from. It all sounds like someone’s opinion – which is exactly what it is. So why is their opinion more correct than Sajeev’s or anyone else’s?

  • avatar
    socsndaisy

    Actually Chanman, the Mazda is bigger in just about every way. If you parked a 6 next to the 3 you would immediately know.

    Even more suprising is that the 6 is equal or larger in passenger volume than the previous camry as well. Go with the five door version and there is no contest. You could cram more issues of consumer reports into a mazda five door than even the new camry and that would the stuff that dreams are made of for some people!

  • avatar
    mannypeligroso

    You have a good point johnnycam and I certainly agree with you.But pertainting to Sanjeev’s article I think he is unfair and does not deserve the privelage for making such a review.It is very faulty and misleading.It seems very biased. It seems like he did very little research on the car from the view taken in his article.Look at the kind of foul language like he says ”rounding out the camry le shit list ” It is obvious that this is a biased review from the language.His article is so misleading that it gives the notion that the camry is the worst car out there.He hardly mentions most of the good stuff.A good review is not just a review but is fair and balanced,you must identify the good and bad and let the reader make the judgement.The claims about the rattle are not even true,when I ask where were the rattles coming from he doesn’t indicate where it is coming from in the car,the passenger side,driver side but where? Instead he mentions it is on uneven pavement.Also,I think the plastic interior look awesome and some may agree with me and some may not.If its such a bad car then why is the best selling car since the last eight years and why does it have such a could resale value? Don’t pay attention to the article,it obvious the writer is a camry hater.

  • avatar
    Sajeev Mehta

    “The claims about the rattle are not even true,when I ask where were the rattles coming from he doesn’t indicate where it is coming from in the car,the passenger side,driver side but where?”

    Sorry, I assumed you actually read the article, as I specifically said “our test whip produced a deep-seated dash squeak.”

  • avatar
    mannypeligroso

    Hey Sanjeev.I read your article but you have to admit you’re really unfair in your review.Its give the impression that it is a very bad car.Try to be fair.You need some major improvements in your writing skills.Theres a lot of good things that give the camry an excellent rating.Don’t take my word for it but did you know that new 07 model has excellent ratings from other reviews as well besides consumer reports,road and track rated the camry as the winner between the honda accord and mazda 6,you can check it for yourself.

  • avatar
    Sajeev Mehta

    Manny:

    First, the name plastered over this article is Sajeev, not Sanjeev. Yeah I know Sanjeev is a more common Indian name, but it ain’t mine. LOL

    Second, I wrote SEVERAL nice things in the article. Did you read the part about the trunk? That’s a very important item for many consumers and Toyota NAILED it.

    But overall I was disappointed: $24,000 is a lot of money for a four-cylinder sedan with the problems I mentioned. That’s too many, especially for a Toyota.

    That’s my opinion about the car and I am entitled to it. Thanks for not agreeing with me and speaking up about it. :-)

  • avatar

    Sajeev…

    Are you really going to sit here and answer every post from manny? If the guy has reading comprehension problems, why should you babysit?

    Your review was fair, balanced, and objective, despite sarcastic bits. You’ve explained yourself well, but please, don’t repeat yourself. You don’t have to answer to this guy.

    -R

  • avatar

    . . . especially since manny needs to get back under his bridge before the Billy Goats Gruff come along.

  • avatar
    Sajeev Mehta

    Ronin317: When someone says “you seem very unprofessional in your writing skills” while neglecting to read the article’s answers to their questions…well, I tend to take that personally.

    Its one thing to disagree or think I’m a lousy writer. (that’s cool) Its another to think I wasn’t covering the basics when I actually did.

    But yes, I know we’ve officially beaten a dead horse so I’ll shut up now. :)

  • avatar
    DharmaDog

    manny,
    give it a rest.

    First you pan Sajeev for being subjective. Then johnnycam shows you that your beloved CR is also subjective. Then you change tactics and reply that Sajeev must be a “Camry hater.” Is anyone that has something bad to say about a Camry a “Camry hater?”

    Furthermore, how can you say the rattle doesn’t happen? What about the other poster that said he has the same rattle in his TWO Lexuses? What about the service bulletin that was posted earlier. Is everyone here conspiring to make this up?

    The fact that the Camry has done well historically has no impact on the new model. It is a new car, with a new interior that apparently has some problems. Sajeev is not the only source reporting this.

    Chandler had a good analogy with his Consumer Digestion idea. You can measure the vehicle or food objectively all you want, but at the end I want to know how the car feels/looks/sounds and how the food tastes/smells. Consumer Reports is not the end-all-be-all for car reviews. I’d trust them to provide solid reviews for appliances like a vacuum or toaster, but their methodology misses the details that allow good cars to be more than appliances. That is why I value TTAC and writers/reviewers like Sajeev.

    If you are looking for sunshine and rainbows in your car reviews there are great magazines out there that get paid to produce them that you can read.

  • avatar
    geozinger

    Sajeev,

    Actually, I expected the hornet’s nest to be much larger.

    Admit it, you did this on purpose, didn’t you? You figured out a way to drive traffic to the website while Farago was having his gall bladder turned into pate, yes?

  • avatar
    mannypeligroso

    I think you guys are taking this very personal. Hey Ronin I think you’re an idiot for taking this personally over a car.I don’t think you have read any of the previous questions I posed to sajeev.So please refrain for calling it a comprehension problem.I am simply pointing out the fact that the review is very biased,there are some good things sajeev wrote but his consistent badgering of the camry proves that it is a very biased and unfair review of a car that is expected to be the best selling for the tenth year straight and win the competitors test in its class.I am not expecting good remarks about the camry but a fair one that also points out the flaws.Also Sajeev,the le 4 cylinder is not $24000,its around $18,500.

  • avatar
    Frank Williams

    mannypeligroso,

    1. You state: “Any eduated [sic] person would know it [Consumer Reports] is the place you would check out before buying anything.” If this is true, why are you reading it? Your spelling, grammar, punctuation and limited grasp of basic syntax indicate you don’t meet your own requirement.

    2. For our edification, and since you’ve taken Sajeev to task for sharing his perspective on driving the 2007 Camry, just how many 2007 Camrys have YOU driven?

    3. If the answer to #2 is more than zero, please share with us your fact-backed, data-driven, test results-based, totally unbiased and unopinionated review of it and its capabilities. Remember – anything that refers to any sensory input that isn’t backed by empirical data is just opinion so you can’t use the words “feels,” “sounds,” “looks” or any synonym for these totally subjective terms anywhere in your review.

  • avatar
    Sajeev Mehta

    “Also Sajeev,the le 4 cylinder is not $24000,its around $18,500.”

    $18,500 gets you a stripped CE, not a loaded LE. Mine stickered at $24,000 with JBL audio, moonroof, floormats, alloy wheels, etc…Toyota photocopied me the window sticker on my test car.

    I’d also like to know about #2 on Frank’s list.

  • avatar
    dean

    Manny hasn’t been around TTAC for long, obviously, if he doesn’t realize that TTAC reviews are not merely a recitation of manufacturer specifications and a few acceleration test results. And when he presents an example of a positive review of a vehicle (Toureg or however the hell you spell that) subsequently panned by CR, and blames it on advertising, then he really does not understand TTAC.

    And the irony of a guy that can’t formulate a paragraph, capitalize proper names, or leave a space (or two) following a period or comma, criticizing Sajeev’s writing is hilarious.

    For the record, Sajeev, I found your review to be very fair. You raised very legitimate issues with the car (the Truth), while giving ample praise where it is deserved. The Camry itself set the bar in its class — you wouldn’t be doing your job if you didn’t hold them to it.

  • avatar
    mannypeligroso

    First of all Frank,I make about half a million dollars a year working as a trauma surgeon so I think I am more smarter than you think.To your question I driven my sons camry plenty of times and just love it.I will certainly see what sajeev will have to say when the camry is expected to win the best selling car this year.The car has already won 1st place in its class.And the ratings and reviews on the camry are very high up to now.Most car magazines like road and track,motor trend,consumer reports and websites like edmunds and cnet give the 07′ camry an excellent review.Go check for yourself so its very hard for me to believe that someone like sajeev that tested the car can give it a bad review.

  • avatar

    Clearly my earlier comment was too vague. I apologize. mannypeligroso is trolling. ‘Trolling’ is deliberately injecting false and/or inflammatory statements into an otherwise reasonable discussion in hopes of provoking people to react. In this case, it worked.

  • avatar

    . . . and if you have any doubt that mannypeligroso is just jerking our collective chains, just read the post above my last one.

  • avatar
    mannypeligroso

    If yoy read my comments Mark I never made any false or inflammatory statements.All of the statements about the camry are true thats why I said don’t take my word for it but check it out yourself.I am not provoking people to react at all as well.I am simply stating my opinion as many people are entitled to.

  • avatar
    chanman

    See! This is why we can’t have nice things!

    (like forums)

  • avatar
    capdeblu

    As the owner of a 2003 Camry I have to comment on this article. The Camry is a great car but it is not a Porshe. So one has to drive it with this in mind. For example do not go around a sharp curve at 80 mph.

    But the Camry easily and effortlessly cruises on the highway at 80 mph. The 4 cylinder engine in mine has plenty of passing power and gets good mpg. The interior is quiet and comfortable. And very reliable with almost 80,000 miles on it. It had never had a mechanical breakdown.

    There are a few minor gripes. The steering wheel squeeks. I had to replace the tires at around 50k as they hydoplaned in the rain. The new tires fixed this problem. And one of the power windows quit.

    But overall I would definitely buy this car again and would recommend it to others.

  • avatar

    I just want to reiterate that I’m not going to get into a pissing contest with an obvious troll, trauma surgeon or not.

    Sajeev…rock on, brother.

  • avatar
    socsndaisy

    Robert and Sajeev,
    Im happy to pay the fee in that I too am “more smarter”. Can we immediately institute the Wile E Coyote…SUPER genius Award for the comments section?

  • avatar
    Sajeev Mehta

    A Trauma Surgeon who is “more smarter” than Frank originally estimated, that is.

    capdeblu: thank you for your relevant pro-Camry comments. If you ever get a chance to check out the 2007 model, give us a holler sometime.

  • avatar
    doctorv8

    Sajeev: Another great article. Your critique of the bland Camry was just as entertaining as the articles you’ve written on Ruf Porsches and Corvette Z06’s.

    Manny, please enlighten us on where you practice as a trauma surgeon, for if your surgical skills are even slightly reminiscent of your writing skills, we’d all be “more smarter” to have our car accidents and gunshot wounds treated elsewhere.

    Having been through medical school and residency training, and no doubt analyzing many scientific journal articles during your career, I would STRONGLY suggest you now do a little research into your beloved Consumer Reports research methods. Their survey methods leave much to be desired, and would be laughed at by anyone familiar with statistical analysis.

  • avatar

    Read this:

    http://www.allpar.com/cr.html

    ‘Nuff said.

  • avatar
    morphwvutuba

    “like Kenny G dorking-up a John Coltrane classic.”

    “…with all the reassurance of an Enron 401k.”

    “…four-wheeled equivalent of the FDIC.”

    Love it.

    If kg does even TRY to blow a Coltrane head, he must die.

  • avatar
    Kamikaze

    Manny should STFU, or be banned.

    That is all.

  • avatar
    PeteM143

    Manny,
    I find your comments silly and completely unfounded in reality. There is nothing wrong with being a Camry booster. If you like ‘em, good for you! I agree with Sajeev. I travel extensively in my business and happened to drive a Camry ( last year’s version) and found it uninspiring. I find the ’07 Camry’s styling hideous. ( that’s a subjective opinion, thank you very much). If the interior is as poorly executed as Sajeev describes, then Toyota deserves a heaping plate of criticism for tarting up their best seller.

    Lastly,
    If you expect anyone to take you seriously, go back to school and learn the language. Your grammar makes us wonder how you possibly could have passed the medical licensing boards. If you are a really a doctor….

  • avatar
    john43

    Hey pete.I have to agree with mannypeligroso.I think he has a valid point.The article does seem very inaccurate cosidering that most reviews if not all have gave excellent remarks about the new camry.Sajeeve’ s comaparison of the camry is absurd.Edmunds gives it a 9 out of 10 and motor trend indeed rate the camry the winner among honda accord and mazda 6.I happen to be an owner of an 07′ camry and like the interior,the rattles are nonexistent and the car is so smooth that it seems like a lexus.I would highly reccomend the new camry le to anyone.

  • avatar
    mannypeligroso

    Hey pete,I am entitled to my opinion,you can call it what you want silly or whatever as you are entiltled to as well but please do not cross the line by telling me to go back to medical school and learn the language.It gives you no right to insult me personally or anyone.Its very sarcastic and I do not appreciate that.I came to this forum to give my opinion about sajeev’s article and thats all but never crossed the line by insulting anyone in that nature.

  • avatar

    Settle down and stick to the topic gentlemen, or I’ll pull the plug.

  • avatar
    flytoget

    Robert,

    I’d love to subscribe. Count me in… A true fan.

  • avatar
    alorchip

    Sajeev –

    You say, “Now that a Ford Fusion SE offers … uber accident-avoidance adhesion for the same 24-large….” How can you claim this? The last time I looked the Fusion did not offer Electronic Stability Control as an option at any price, whereas the Camry does. Those of us concerned with safety will praise the Camry for that. What a shame that for Camry competitors, Ford for Fusion and GM for Impala do not offer ESC as options at all. And how unfortunate that a car reviewer will ignore this feature, which the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety says should be standard on every car, and claim that the Fusion offers “uber accident avoidance adhesion.” What is the objective standard for your statement?

  • avatar
    mannypeligroso

    Notice some of the errors in Sajeeve’s article

    ” If you like a lick of speed, it???s best to order the optional stability control and extra airbags ”

    To my knowledge,all 07′ camry models comes standard with driver,passenger and side air bags.There’s no need to order extra air bags.I think I have proved that Sajeeve’s article is inaccurate.

  • avatar
    Sajeev Mehta

    alorchip: I was referring to the Fusion’s built in suspension dynamics, not the electronic nanny that is stability control. I like stability control for most drivers out there, but its no replacement for a well tuned suspension. That’s why I said what I said.

    To my knowledge,all 07 camry models comes standard with driver,passenger and side air bags.There’s no need to order extra air bags.I think I have proved that Sajeeve’s article is inaccurate.

    mannypeligroso: bravo, I’ll have Farago remove the airbag part, leaving the stability control part in. But why did you say I had “errors” in the article when you only found one? Got something else for us?

  • avatar
    Areitu

    Maybe once upon a time, there was a big discrepancy between well built cars and badly built cars. Now that gap has closed significantly and Toyota might be riding the coattails of their previous success.

    I’ve always felt that Hondas were actually a bit better put together than Toyotas and that they aged a bit more gracefully. My friend’s ’99 camry has seen 150,000 of adolescent abuse. The interior has come apart in quite a few places (Coincidentally, they are the same trim pieces in my parents’ early model LS400) but I’ve seen similarly treated Honda Accords that feel just fine.

    I think some of the best-built mass produced cars were the 70s-80s Mercedes. Simple, uncomplicated, built like a tank.

  • avatar
    taxman100

    The older Mercedes were great – the new ones not so much.

    However, I’m of the mind that no matter how much money one may make, I cannot see any reason to spend more than about $35,000 on a car – in fact I’ve never spent over $20,000, and I pay cash for mine and drive them a minimum of six years.

    If you want old style simplicity and comfort that is built like a tank – head on down to your Lincoln-Mercury dealer, hand him about $18,000, and drive away in a new Grand Marquis.

  • avatar
    crackity jones

    The current Accord looks better, drives better and felt better to us, and was $3,000 cheaper, than the revised Camry. So we bought one.

  • avatar
    carsickgeek

    The new Camry may not be an Autobahn burner, but jeez, what a pleasant car. A work colleague just got a 2007 4-cyl model. The interior is easy on the eyes, the ride is smooth and soothing and it’s hard to believe that’s a four-banger toiling away under the hood.

  • avatar
    chanman

    It’s the same 4-cylinder as the last gen Camry. The new engine is the 3.5 L 270 hp 6-cylinder. (270hp in a Camry? What is the world coming to?)

  • avatar
    n2f

    Ummm, not to throw too much of a wrench in the works but it seems possible to me that the new front end on the Camry may be driven by more than stylistic concerns (or patent lack there of, IMHO).

    If there are any followers of the NASCAR cult reading this forum; aren’t Toyota supposedly bringing a car into The Series to compete against the Big Three American automakers?

    If so, perhaps this big nose thing is aimed at a better aerodynamic end-result for their “stock car”? Or maybe it was an Avalon…

    But I digress. Thanks Sajeev for a well-written and informative article. Refreshing to see not everyone has had a drink of the Kool-Aid.

  • avatar
    rjwillis

    The last Camry I drove — a 2006 4-cylinder — sucked out loud. Just nothing about it at all that said anything other than, “appliance.” Possibly the least fun I’ve had driving a car since my high school girlfriend’s ’63 Rambler station wagon.

    Serious question: Why shouldn’t a family car have decent acceleration and handle well? It sounds like Toyota has refined its anti-fun bars and MacPherson-slush suspension for ’07.

    And yeah, that’s a NASCAR-styled front end, no doubt. You can see the headlight stickers and the big “CAMRY” letters going across that front-bumper.

  • avatar
    Sajeev Mehta

    The front end relating to NASCAR is possible, but NASCAR uses spec bodies (correct me if I’m wrong) so it doesn’t matter what the carmaker’s stock car looks like. Witness the Dodge Charger at the dealer and the one on the track. I still think its more along the lines of “smooth jazzing” out a sports sedan standard.

  • avatar
    NamDuong

    These reviews are a little arbitrary, don’t you think? You make the Camry seem like a crappy car, but the LaCrosse like the perfect one!

    Here’s what I have to say about your review of the Camry’s exterior: Sure, the Camry might have an awkward and complex exterior, but that’s what makes it stand out, and gives it prescence. It’s got subtle lines and interesting design not found on any other vehicle, something that’s necessary for long-term aesthetic appreciation. Take Gisele Bundchen (or whatever) At first glance, her features don’t seem as harmonious and graceful as, say, Charlize Theron, but Gisele’s the one with the multi-million dollar modeling contracts. Her interesting face, with its long and slender nose and pronounced jawline, is what makes her different, and makes her stand out. Same with the new Camry. The creases of the tail and bulbous snout and slit-like headlamps aren’t necessary harmonious, but give the Camry lots of personality and makes it stand out. It also, in my opinion, gives it a strange but profound beauty. Saying that Toyota’s nose is Mazda and the tail is BMW, is like saying the LS460’s tail is Honda Odyssey, and it’s nose Scion xA.

    bah anyways i gtg. Nice token praise of the trunk. Really:P

  • avatar
    Sajeev Mehta

    NamDuong: You really think my LaCrosse review was positive? Tell that to the folks over at http://www.cheersandgears.com. The token praise for the Camry’s trunk was scorn for the LaX, and it didn’t go over well.

    http://www.cheersandgears.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=10106&st=0

    The Camry looks bloated and stricken with cancer, with little relation to any well-proportioned, healthy woman. Of course design is subjective but you gotta admit its fun to discuss.

  • avatar
    NamDuong

    oh, i don’t see mazda anywhere on this thing, except for the badge placement and maybe the headlamps are slim like the 6, but doesn’t it seem to more resemble like the infiniti FX?

    Oh, btw… I see this in most/all new toyotas and lexuses: the center console has no wood whatsoever, all plastic, but the place where the shifter is (i don’t know the name for it) like a long plank of wood. i don’t like it. :( Toyota’s so quirky! I love it.

  • avatar
    Sajeev Mehta

    Nah, the FX is too flat and planar to be a Camry influence. (in my opinion)

    Maybe look at it this way: pretend the Mazda 6 was a person. Imagine you treated it to a Flying J truckstop buffet every day for a month. The hood buldges, headlights, grille, lower bumper, badge placement stay in the same locations, but get fatter and clumsier. And give it cancer. Ta-da: there’s the new Camry. Zoom-zoom?

  • avatar
    Stepjam

    What a review! What writing! What metaphors! Bravo!!!

  • avatar
    Seth

    I am a bit stumped by the comparison to Fusion. Fusion is not in the same league as Camry. This is the same pitfall that most people (journalists, auto bosses, midsize buyers laden with buyer’s remorse) fall into. If that sounds ridiculous, ask any family who occasionally had to shuttle 5 passengers (short and tall). Width of the car is a limitation of the chassis. As far as the value goes, You see the v6 in fusion is largely irrelevant to driving dynamics inherent to large crowded city. All you will notice after a long stop and go traffic is how large your fuel bill is. Its the steering response, cushy suspension and low NVH levels that get the attention not to mention the high quality cabin. Ofcourse, low(er) fuel bill also helps.

  • avatar
    Sajeev Mehta

    not to mention the high quality cabin. Ofcourse, low(er) fuel bill also helps.

    Okay, then price a four-cylinder Fusion with the same options and watch the price differential grow. A higher quality cabin? The dash rattle, parcel shelf buzz and misaligned dash and door panels aren’t the mark of a high quality automobile. Never.

    Sorry, I don’t buy into the “crowded city” arguement and I’m a native Houstonian. Take a turn at 20mph in any environment (outside of bumper to bumper traffic where you can’t) and you’ll notice a big difference between a Camry LE and its more balanced competitors, like the Fusion.

  • avatar
    Chuck D

    Drove Saabs and Volvos long before they became yuppy badges. Autocrossed them too. Now have three Camrys one with 15×7 Borbets, strut tower bar, kraut shocks, and a brake upgrade.. sends BMW boys back to dealerman for tuneups. OK the Gen 4 V6 IS a rare 5 speed, but it is fast, trouble free and flys under the radar. Oil gel??? Toyota has been fixing cars with 25,000 miles on them and the FACTORY installed oil filter, usnally the minivan. You know the drill, it is “unmanly” to even CHECK the oil in the wife’s car. It has often been said by people who know as opposed to those who bloviate that the Gen 3 Camry was about as well built as one could ask for back then. We have one and I agree.

  • avatar
    romanjetfighter

    I just got a 2009 Camry LE yesterday. I bought it without test-driving it or even looking inside of it because I was just too excited to get my first car (I passed my driving test less than 24 hours before) and it’s a Camry so you can’t go wrong, right?

    -The steering wheel is a bit too skinny and feels hard, compared to my mom’s 1996 Camry.
    -The steering feel is non-existant and it’s super light. Upside – easy to maneuver.
    -The seats fabric is nice and grippy.
    -The turn stalk/window controls don’t move with buttery consistancy.
    -The doors, imho, DO thunk with reassurance, and it doesn’t feel cheap. Not as solid and vaulty like my friend’s 2007 C230, but that’s 10k more.
    -Misaligned plastic dash.
    -I like the combination of projector and reflective lamps in the headlights.
    -Turn radius is nice.

    Overall, I think it’s a good car, but they could’ve done a better job. Thank god for good resale value! I’m unloading this fucker once I graduate college! Don’t understand why LE is 1k more for just keyless entry and one power seat, though.


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