By on December 15, 2008

As a number of you saw, I drove and review the 2010 Ford Mustang GT. I really liked it. Good car, etc. Naturally, of course, I expected TTAC’s so called “Best and Brightest” to discuss the finer points of my review. After all, Ford has sold nine million Mustangs and I just called the new one the best ever. This after they put me up in a fancy-schmantz hotel and fed me great food and free booze. More scandalously, the new for 2010 Mustang still sports a (gasp) live rear end. And I loved it. Glowing review, etc. But, instead of focusing on the latest pony car from my friends at the Blue Oval, the conversation degenerated into, “My Crown Vic can out tow your Camry.” No, really — that’s what people were talking about. And you know, if that’s what the people want, that’s what we’re going to give ‘em. In the blue corner, hailing from Georgetown, Kentucky and weighing in at 3,280 lbs, the sleeper from the far east, the barbiturate to my Viagra, sexless on wheels, Toyota Camry! And in the red corner, a car so great it’s no longer sold to the public (unless you live in Kuwait), featuring both Watt’s linkage and a four-speed automatic, the car that’s older than some of our readers, Ford Crown Vic! Let’s make this a fair fight. And then let’s never speak of either car again.

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59 Comments on “Question Of The Day: Crown Vic or Camry?...”


  • avatar
    Lokki

    I can’t speak directly to the Crown Vicky, but I rented her brother the Mercury Marquis last weekend for a roadtrip that required seating for 5.

    1. The Hertz representative tried to get me to upgrade from the Marquis to a Camry… so there’s one opinion. Only when seating for 5 was stated an absolute necessity did the Marquis get her (reluctant) concurrence.

    2. The car was laden with all the options available up to and including heated outside mirrors.

    3. It was well bolted together.

    4. It was horrible to drive. The steering was disconnected from anything as far as either of us driving could tell, and I actually had a passenger begin to become sea-sick from the floating.

    Conclusion – A fairly well built feature laden POS. I think the rental agent was right – unless you positively, absolutely, have to have seating for 5 (or have to tow a trailer all the time) get the Camry.

  • avatar
    crackers

    Lokki,

    You raise an interesting point about the tendency for those old barges to float. My wife gets motion sickness in those types of cars. I remember the old Ford commercials where a young lady would write calligraphy while the car was crossing a washboard. They actually though being decoupled from the road was a good thing.

  • avatar
    no_slushbox

    The Crown Victoria wins.

    The Camry is not the best Midsize – FWD – Unibody – V6/I4 car on the market. (I don’t keep track of this much, but I hear it’s the new Mazda 6).

    The Crown Vic / Grand Marquis is the best Midsize – Live Axle RWD – Body on Frame – V8 car on the market. (As a technicality it is also the worst, but don’t be a hater).

    I can’t think of anyone that I would tell to buy a Camry (I would say Sonata / Mazda 6 / Civic instead), but if someone wanted a midsize car that could tow boats and drive over curbs I would have only one answer for them.

    And the P71 Police Interceptor package cures the floaty suspension.

    However, if someone does not need to tow and drive over curbs, and only wants cheap performance, the Mustang is a much better choice.

  • avatar
    BlueEr03

    I would like an explanation on the picture… how the hell does that happen?

  • avatar
    carlisimo

    As much as I dislike soft suspensions (I drive a Miata with springs more than twice as stiff as stock), I’d say the Camry is just within the limits of acceptability. As a passenger, it’s nice and comfy, and it doesn’t give me motion sickness. (In the past, Bonnevilles and Town Car limos have made me sick.) As a driver it’s poor in long sweeping curves, and the brake pedal in the previous generation was terribly mushy (new one’s fine), but it’s not bad in the city. Basically, it’s got barely-sufficient damping and barely-sufficient steering feel.

    The Crown Vic has less of each. Far less of each. When cops are fishtailing all over the place in movies, I no longer think it’s because they’re bad drivers…

  • avatar
    no_slushbox

    I just noticed the cop car says Buffalo Grove; if that’s Buffalo Grove, IL that’s the town just north of me. Sweet. The BG police are generally mentally unbalanced.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    That’s a great photo.

    how the hell does that happen?

    I’m going to guess that both cars were braking hard. That puts their noses to their ground and lifts their tails. With the rear of the Camry raised and the nose of the Crown Vic lowered, the tail of one ends up on top of the front bumper of the other, and momentum does the rest.

    When I’ve seen this before, it usually involved a passenger car rear ending the SUV, with the differences in bumper height leading to the SUV sitting on top of the hood of the car. However, that usually causes the SUV bumper to slide straight toward the windshield, which isn’t a pretty sight.

  • avatar
    John Horner

    I’m not a fan of the Crown Vic or the Camry, but if forced to choose between them is would be the Camry for sure. If you need a tow vehicle, get a truck.

    For all of its size, the Crown Vic has horrible packaging and isn’t terribly comfortable. The placement of the spare in the trunk is so old school it makes me chuckle.

  • avatar
    seoultrain

    Pch, it was actually after a traffic stop and the elderly driver put the car and in reverse and floored it.

    video here:
    http://jalopnik.com/5071476/watch-a-police-car-make-love-to-a-camry-now-with-video

  • avatar
    ctoan

    no_slushbox

    Winner in a slow race
    Also, the Crown Vic is not a midsize car, it’s a large car. If you remove “body-on-frame” from that list of attributes, it’s in competition with the Chrysler 300, which for whatever its other flaws, is probably the better vehicle.

  • avatar
    no_slushbox

    ctoan:

    By any measure of usable space it is a midsize car. The G8 and Charger/300 do win out if towing and curb hopping are taken out of the cheap RWD sedan list of requirements.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    Great link, Seoultrain, thanks.

    I guess that when you’re that age, you can get away with just about anything.

  • avatar
    Demetri

    I can’t think of one thing that I like about the Vic over the Camry. You know, for a car as big on the outside as the Crown Vic, it isn’t very big on the inside.

  • avatar
    doctorv8

    I’d take the Vic any day. It has character, genuine old school charm, a V8 that gets fuel economy within a hair of the Camry’s V6, and is virtually bulletproof. Aftermarket solutions to the floaty ride are dirt cheap and effective.

    To those who didn’t grow up with such cars, and therefore don’t value the nostalgia of the last true American RWD V8 cruiser…let’s look at the purely practical perspective….The 4.6L/4 spd auto combination is tried and true in millions of fleet vehicles over the past 17 years, silent, capable of mid 20s mpg on 87 octane, and will probably go 300,000 miles without any major issues.

    Sure it’s harder to parallel park than a Camry…well actually, maybe not, since it doesn’t suffer from the high deck induced rear blindspot afflicting most everything built in the past 5 years.

  • avatar
    Joe ShpoilShport

    If the Camry is an I4 and a stick, that’s the choice. If you gotta have an automatic, ya gotta have a V8.

  • avatar
    Turbo G

    Give me a Marauder (which is kind of a pimped out Crown Vic with the two generation ago Cobra motor) and I would take it any day over a Camry.

  • avatar
    KnightRT

    Well then. You’re too late, I believe I’ve already made my opinions known..

    Were in not for the word cap in Jonny’s review, it might never have occurred to me to defend the honor a Camry. I hate the car, but it deserves respect.

  • avatar
    redrum

    “a V8 that gets fuel economy within a hair of the Camry’s V6″

    That’s stretching it. Camry V6 gets about 18% better mileage in both city and highway, and is around 2 seconds quicker from 0-60 (Camry is mid-6s, Crown Vic is mid-8s).

    2009 Camry V6:
    HP 268@6200
    Torque 248@4700
    19 mpg city/28 highway

    2009 Crown Victoria:
    HP 224@4800
    Torque 275@4000
    16 mpg city/24 highway

  • avatar
    vanderaj

    The Crown Vic POS I get every week from the airport home or the newish Marquis I get to ride in when I get a “town car” up in PA universally suck. I get a bit motion sick in them, and both feel like they’re crabbing across the road. If it was just the BWI POS fleet, I’d say that all of the Crown Vic taxi fleet POS were universally in one accident too many. But, no, it’s also the practically new and well maintained Marquis. I hate the ride.

    You Crown Vic folks really should get a chance to drive the Ford Falcon from Australia. It’s way faster than the Crown Vic, got a bigger trunk, more leg room front and rear, about the same shoulder room (60.0 in to Crown Vic’s 60.1 in), and goes well even in V6 form.

    The Crown Vic’s pathetic 4.6 gets 220 hp. The *lowest* spec V6 4.0 Falcon engine gets 195 kW, or 260 hp, and the Falcon weighs less. The Turbo V6 gets 240 kW, and the Boss V8 is theoretically 300 kW.

    More importantly, the Falcon has independent suspension all round, excellent road manners, a tight turning circle, and the last time I drove one (the series before the current FG model), excellent steering feel. Best of all, you don’t feel sick or like it’s about to grow a shell and step sideways into the next lane.

    The taxis in Australia are nearly universally Falcons. Most of them do a million or so km before being totalled for the last time. There’s a cross-over version, a station wagon, and various utes in the same range. So lots of choices depending on your needs.

    They also tow well compared to both the Camry and Crown Vic.

    thanks,
    Andrew

  • avatar
    njgreene

    Older than some, or older than most?

  • avatar
    Dave M.

    I go with the Camry. It became THE vanilla middle American sedan around 10 years ago, taking the place of the Malibu/Lumina and Taurus. And much more reliable overall. Except for that sludge issue and the perennial power window switch replacement.

  • avatar
    taxman100

    I drive a Grand Marquis as my daily driver, and I had a 2008 Toyota Avalon for a week over Thanksgiving in California.

    On paper, the Avalon looks like the better car. After driving that Avalon for a week and then getting back in the Grand Marquis, there is no comparasion. The Grand Marquis rides better, has far better road isolation (a good thing to me), quieter, and much more solid feeling. It will also last longer. It will easily go over 100 mph, and has good torque off the line, so I don’t really care what it’s 0-60 mph time may be.

    What is considered “road feel” in a front wheel drive vehicle is really the engineering limitations from packing everything onto one set of wheels, and the resulting feedback from engine and transmission vibration.

    People just don’t know a good thing anymore.

  • avatar
    eh_political

    The Camry would be lethal injection, the Marquis (de Sade), the electric chair. As such they represent punishments, not choices.

  • avatar
    Davekaybsc

    Frankly I’d rather walk than drive either. The Vic drives like something from 1908, and the Camry is an utterly soulless driving appliance.

    There’s no excuse for buying a Camry when there are cars like the Mazda6 and Nissan Maxima. FWD can be at least mildly entertaining provided its made by the right company. See Civic Si, Mazdaspeed3, etc.

    It’s amazing to think that the V8 dinosaur in the Vic can be out gunned by a 4-cylinder. Not just turbo fours, there are naturally aspirated fours that make more horsepower than that. Talk about pathetic.

  • avatar
    Conslaw

    Unless you’re a cop, I’d go for the Camry over the Crown Vic. That being said, I had the choice at a Hertz lot this summer to either drive a Camry or a 2008 Ford Taurus SEL for a week. I took the Taurus, and I’m glad I did. The Taurus swallowed up our family of four and a week’s luggage, had a smooth ride and plenty of pep. The air conditioning handled Tucson’s 110 degree summer heat without a problem. Fuel economy was 28 highway and 22 overall. The built-in compass came in handy.

    Though the Taurus is a size up on the Camry, the two cars are price-competitive after discounts and incentives. Neither one is much to look at.

    My next rental car, from Budget, was a stripped Chrysler 300 that had been ridden hard and put away wet. It was more BLAH than bling. I can’t think of anything other than a Sebring that does less to promote brand equity for Chrysler than a stripped 300.

  • avatar
    rudiger

    no_slushbox: “I just noticed the cop car says Buffalo Grove; if that’s Buffalo Grove, IL that’s the town just north of me. Sweet. The BG police are generally mentally unbalanced.”+1. The BG cops used to have a real bad habit of parking on traffic islands between residential four-lanes to capture speeders at the exact place where the posted speed limits would drop. I can personally verify this from the few times I ever had to drive a rental through that shithole some years ago. I doubt the tactic has changed and my guess would be that photo is the end result of exactly that type of speed trap.

  • avatar
    hwyhobo

    I have a displeasure of driving rental Camrys from time to time. They are unaccomplished in anything. Their handling is mediocre at best, interior room is lousy for a tall driver, visibility is mediocre, fuel efficiency is so-so. It wallows worse than Crown Vic. Breaking is downright scary – spongy at first, then nosedive.

    I also drive Crown Vics, and I would take one over a Camry in a heartbeat. At least it’s good front room, excellent trunk, and overall nicer ride.

    BTW, like Conslaw, for rental, I would rather take a Taurus over either Camry or Crown Vic.

  • avatar
    DeanMTL

    The Crown Vic is the ultimate expression of classic cool. They’re nearly impossible to find on the used market in Montreal.

  • avatar

    Funny… the guys stirring the pot in Jonny’s other thread didn’t even show up to this staged fight.

    For the record, I thought your Mustang review was great. Now where’s the booze you smuggled out? Share!

  • avatar
    Johnster

    I’m seeing a few used, low-mileage 2008 Crown Vics showing up. They all seem to have the fancy aluminum wheels and they all seem to come in hideous shades of paint, peach metallic or aqua metallic or something else purid. Some have leather interiors. Don’t know where they’re coming from, but they don’t seem to be police or taxi specials.

    In this case, I’d go with the Camry as the least hideous of the two choices offered.

  • avatar
    PeteMoran

    @ vanderaj

    The Australian Falcon has a 4L I6, and can now be had with an insane high pressure turbo and intercooler package.

    Ford Performance Falcon F6

    We have all sorts of fun down here.

  • avatar
    bowtieboy

    I’ll take the Crown Vic, add some Bilstein shocks and Addco sway bars and have a excellent car that will run forever and be fun to drive. No car sickness with the Bilsteins!!

  • avatar
    Phil Ressler

    Funny, I turned this same question around in my mind throughout the 1990s when renting cars, but from a different angle. I’d be handed keys to a Camry or Accord, and once rolling, could never help but ask myself why *anyone* would buy one of the Camcord twins when instead they could have a Crown Vic for similar cash. As both of the transplants grew fatter and softer, the question only got more acute.

    Then in 2003, the Panther platform underpinning the Town Car, Vicky and Marquis got rack & pinion steering, Watts Link migrated to the rest of the line from Town Car, and the front frame members were hydroformed. Well before that the platform got a modern SLA front suspension. The combination made Panther’s classic low-tech layout feel and drive modern.

    Among the cars in my past was a 2004 Mercury Marauder that I still regret selling. Blessed with the Mustang Mach 1 mill, which was essentially a production version of the original SVT 32v hand-wrenched Cobra engine, plus a heavy-duty Ford AOD-E juice drive programmed for *firm* shifts and mated to a high-stall torque converter and shorter gear set in the pumpkin, the Marauder showed how much performance potential lived in the bones of Panther, without sacrificing big sedan utility. It also added big brakes, 18″ staggered wheels shod with Bridgestone KDWs. Konis on all four corners, too. And stiffer springs and bushings. The Marauder had the platform’s long-wheelbase lope while driving smaller than its real dimensions. I had a lot of fun chasing sports cars through SoCal’s canyon roads, baffling many who wondered what the big Ford was they couldn’t shake. It didn’t stop there. Marauder had 3″ stainless pipes flared out its backside, burbling mellifluous Ford V8 music at cruise and idle, morphing into four-cam scream at speed. Great at 75mph, the Marauder truly settled into its groove at triple digits, or 99 if you don’t like felonies.

    Shortly before, I had back to back trips, one business and the other vacation, that juxtaposed a week with a Lexus LS followed by a week with a same-year Lincoln Town Car. The TC by this time had been considerably buttoned down due to the steering change, the stiffer frame, and Ford having upped the specs on dampers. Not ever a fan of Lexus, I nevertheless had not expected to like the Lincoln at all, yet I far preferred it over the competently sterile Lexus. The big Lincoln was distinctive and relaxing, while the Lexus completely lacked charisma and was barely distinguishable from generic unibody cars.

    But what I discovered won the day for Lincoln, was The Zen of the Lincoln Town Car. The 4.6L was detuned for horses, but torque was always right there. The Lincoln was solid and imperturbable, comfortable yet controlled. The old wallow was gone. With the Lincoln, the whole psychology of driving changed. The urge to compete throttled back. You really are the big fish others leave alone. Even the big Benzes and Sevens are reduced to traffic’s joust. In a Town Car, you’re above it.

    Marauder shared the platform and size, but I found it not to have the Lincoln’s Zen. Which was just fine. The firmer-still suspension was part of it, but the heart of loss-of-Zen was the 302hp 32v, silky-spinning mill. With it’s whirling cammy heart, the Marauder’s mill strained against the reins. It wanted to *run*. It always wanted 20 or 30 mph over the gait of prevailing traffic. It craved felony speeds. And it had the chassis, rubber and discipline to handle it. With it’s french-stitched grey leather, woodless interior, and perforated seats, the business of driving was plainly purposeful. My Marauder test drive was taken with a salesman who was a multi-decade SCCA racer. He wanted to show me what he could do with the car before turning it over to me. We bolted out of the lot, headed up to Mulholland Highway and shot west, down darkened ribbon under an inky night sky, at 70+ regardless of surface or turns. The Marauder was sure-footed, strong, tight, composed. Yet I could sit behind myself with no penalty to my 6’3″ frame. It traded the Town Car’s Zen for the grail of driving smaller than it was. I went back and wrote a check. The bonus was that the 32v Ford music sang from the tailpipes so nicely that Maserati drivers complimented me on the tone.

    Many of the essential qualiiies of the Marauder were available for much less in the Crown Vic Sport. No, you don’t get the four cam mill. Tires/wheels were 17″, not staggered, on all corners. You didn’t get the Marauder’s Konis nor the same brakes. But the shift points for adjusted, the spring rates a little stiffer, with appropriate adjustments to dampers, and the rest of the platform’s 2003-up goodness was inherited.

    Camry/Accord/Malibu, et al, have won the milquetoast public’s affection for what a car should be, but milquetoast markets are usually / often mistaken. Crown Vic is the better car, made so by Ford’s continual refinement, when others would have completely stagnated the platform. Solid axle? Get over it. As Car & Driver’s inimitable Trant Jarman once wrote: “What’s wrong with a solid axle? It keeps the tires perpendicular to the ground.” A solid axle’s mass just has to be managed and located. Watts Link, the right dampers and it’s all good. Plus it’s easy to slip a Torsen in it. That’s the other beauty of Crown Vic — the aftermarket. It’s almost as rich as Mustang’s. After all, Panthers have Zen, and then there are fire-breathing Kenny Brown huffed monsters. With cop cars, and their civilian imitations in between. With a Crown Vic, you can be whomever you want to be: gangster, FBI agent, statesman. It’s what a magazine once called an “Official Car.” There are no fantasies lived in a Camry and its ilk.

    Phil

  • avatar
    SupaMan

    I’d take the Crown Vic taxi from that Queen Latifah movie. Talk about pimped.

    Otherwise, the Camry gets my vote. It’s quiet, rides well (the Vic is floatier in my opinion)and when pushed, handles decently. It’s no Accord or Mazda6 when it comes to sportiness, but then again, it’s no Crown Vic/Grand Marquis when it comes disconnectedness, road feel or spongy brakes.

    And please….if you need to tow, get a Tacoma or Ranger.

  • avatar
    Bunter1

    I guess I could care less but the public has spoken as clear as can be on the subject…

    The last few years the CV was over 90% fleet.

    I think every person that bought a CV new at a dealer must be prowling the forums ready to jump anybody that attacks the “Holy Car”.

    Bunter

  • avatar
    barberoux

    Drove both; liked neither. CV was huge, very, very old fashioned, and it was lousy to drive. It wallowed. You didn’t drive it you just nudged it in a direction and it kinda went that way. Best to drive on a freeway since the ride was smooth and disconnected from the reality of driving. Handling is not a word used to describe the ride. Camry was built well and the ergonomics were good. Everything worked as it should and it was easy to operate and understand all of the controls but the car was soulless. It handled much better than the CV but was still disconnected from the road. Both were boring cars made for those who dislike the driving experience and want to be isolated from the realities of the road. My vote would go towards the Camry since the CV was such a anachronism. At least the Camry seemed built in this decade but built to not offend anyone.

  • avatar
    KrisT

    In many ways i’m not well qualified to answer this. I’m pretty certain I have never clapped eyes on either. Having said that if I had just got a new girl friend I think the Crown Vic would be preferable. Benchs seats? and I think that woofly engine note stirs something primal…..

    Something else that just struck me..its name is oddly regal, Crown Victoria?. Marauder seems to have much greater overtones of freedom, power and erm molestation

  • avatar
    Stingray

    I vote for Crown Vic…

    Or a 96 Caprice with a LT-1.

    Paint it cabby yellow, put some cobra heads (on the Ford) or LS-X power plant in the Chevy.

    Do I have to explain it’s a V8? V8 sound & torque >>>> V6

    I can even perform a CNG conversion and be green… and hold spare space in the trunk.

  • avatar
    Gottleib

    PeteMoran—-I really like the Australian Falcon, I think its time I relocate to Australia.

  • avatar
    doctorv8

    Phil: Great article. You should publish that one yourself.

  • avatar
    Mud

    I own 2 vics, a 95 CVPI (165K), and an 02 HPP (92K). There is a substantial difference with these over a generic Grand Marquis in terms of handling as well as a few extra horspower. Both of these are alternated as daily drivers. They have been a couple of the most economical and dependable vehicles I have ever owned. Don’t even get me started about daughter’s A4.

    The 4.6 is well proven engine in terms of driveability and reliability. It’s not a high hp engine, but has good torque and gets the job done. Combined city/hiway mileage of the 95 is 21mpg and 22 mpg for the HPP. It is not uncommon for these cars to log 200K+ miles without major repairs. Yes, they are “old-fashioned” and not too flashy but they get the job done. I’m not sure what’s wrong with that exactly. They are easy to repair and parts are plentiful. I do all my own work on all of our cars and this is an important feature to me. I much prefer a RWD platform, I don’t really know why this is such a big stumbling block to many. We also own several FWD vehicles – domestic, japanese, and german – and I haven’t seen a big advantage to that driveline setup.

    Funny comment about it being the Holy Car but I am thinking that most of the more passionate responses probably come from owners. It doesn’t matter to me who likes/dislikes them, but I find that in most cases, if you ask actual owners their view they are generally pleased with their cars. I think that actual ownership views count more and are more telling than general opinions on any vehicle. Most of the opinions I read have nothing to do with the reality of day-in and day-out ownership.

    I don’t really have a view on the Camry because I don’t own one, but we do own (similar type?) an 08 Accord for the wife. I think the Accord is also somewhat maligned by many of the best and brightest here, so maybe I am just out of the cool car loop. I travel enough to have driven a lot of vehicles, including several Camrys. They were ok, but I never felt bad getting back into the Vic at the airport. I say drive what you like, dunno why all the debate.

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    Also, the Crown Vic is not a midsize car, it’s a large car.

    Only if you’re very short and rather squat. It’s a big car for short people, not a genuinely big car. I can fit, quite easily, in a Camry’s driver seat and I’m 6’8″/250lbs. I can’t get my knees to clear the steering wheel in a Town Car, and they bash the seventies-style protruding dash on every opportunity. Foot room? What foot room?

    And it gets worse: the rear seat space is there, but the backrest angle is bad for just about anything except lounging and the seat cushion short. The seat is also ass-on-the-floor, so if you’re moderately tall, you’ll eat your knees and lose thigh support. It’s like your grandparent’s sofa, only suspended on jello.

    And speaking of suspension: it must be a tie between this and the Kia Amanti for the Worst Body Control Award. I know you can add cop shocks to address the problem, but then you get what feels like a mid-90s pickup truck, which would be a good fit, because the car drinks fuel at about the same rate, and delivers about the same power. Yes, it’s a V8. A pathetically weak V8 that’s much slower than the Camry’s V6

    The old, 200hp, CVT-equipped Five Hundred outclasses this car in every sense of the word. A Camry? Any day of the week.

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    Do I have to explain it’s a V8? V8 sound & torque >>>> V6

    Have you heard the anemic wheeze of your average Crown Vic or Town Car? Felt its listless torque?

    Now, drive a Camry SE V6. Just put your right foot down to the floor. What were you saying about sound and torque again?

    These cars have exactly one major virtue: total cost to own, if you’re a fleet buyer. They’re cheap to fix and suffer abuse fairly well (though the electrical and control equipment isn’t any better). There is, though, a reason why people don’t buy them, and it’s the same reason people buy Siennas and Caravans instead of E-Series and GMC Savanas: they really suck as daily drivers.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    The Camry is dull, but efficient. It will retain its resale value better than the Crown Vic.

    The Crown Vic is just awful to drive, at least in civilian form, with overboosted steering and a floaty suspension. For all of that displacement, it feels listless and unmotivated. On the whole, it is more notably crude than the Camry.

    They are both reliable, though, and the Crown Vic may be more durable over time. If my goal was to beat the absolute crap out of the car, as the cops are inclined to do, I’d prefer the Crown Vic for that sort of duty. But since I’m not a cop and don’t spend much time driving over curbs, I’d use my own cash to buy the Camry, if forced to choose.

  • avatar
    John Horner

    ” …. 2008 Ford Taurus SEL …. ”

    The current Taurus should win awards, and sales, as being by far the most car for the money on the market. Decent handling, excellent ride, massive interior space and so on. Why ANYONE buys a Chevrolet Impala instead of a Taurus is a mystery to me.

  • avatar
    seby86

    I’m 22 years old and I seem to hold a secret admiration to panther platform vehicles. I cant quite seem to explain exactly where this admiration sourced from, but It may have started with a cash car I purchased 4 years ago after graduating high school, a 1994 Lincoln TownCar Sig. Sure, the transmission possessed a rogue gear within it which proceeded to pulverize its internals, leading me to purchase a used CrownVic P.I. gearbox which bolted right up and increased the fun factor by a noteworthy percentage. And sure, the rear end sagged so low (infamous TC taildrag caused by dry-rotted airbag suspension) that any police officer would of been tempted to check the boot for any unfortunate concrete-shoed individuals destined to sleep with the fish (which i’m sure is why the mafia had a taste for the car). And sure, I had to keep 3 quarts of oil in the glovebox with me at all times because the engine devoured oil so alarmingly fast, that if i were to keep them in the trunk, the engine would be in danger of blowing its head right through the hood in a brilliant display and smoke and flame waiting for me to retrieve the oil from the cavernous trunk in which many of my possessions have been lost in its mysteriously dark abyss, never to be seen again ( including the full-sized spare tire).

    But, there was something about this car that won my heart over. For a car with such road isolation and muteness and the aformentioned lack of “character” described by the above “renters” of the vehicle, this car had a shining personality that only an “owner” would be able to discover, embrace and appreciate after a period of time. Even now that I drive an “always happy to please” elegantly styled 5th generation 6spd maxima that is twice as fast, 3 times more fun to drive, and sex appeal that isnt in the negative figures, i will always have a place in my heart for these cars. Always.

  • avatar
    P71_CrownVic

    Crown Vic hands down…….here’s why:

    The Camry can only dream of having a reliability record as long as the Crown Vic. Toyota can only dream of building a car that will do 100K of severe police use and then go on to do another 200-300K as a Taxi…with only routine maintenance.

    The Crown Vic is a proper car with a full frame underneath, a V8 under the hood, and PROPER RWD…

    The Crown Vic will get 30 MPG on the highway, seat six and hold all of their stuff…the Camry will not.

    When it does come time to do routine maintenance, it is very easy to work on and parts are cheap.

    And lastly, Crown Vic drivers are not as stuck up as Camry drivers.

  • avatar
    wmba

    Drove one of these Crown Vics recently. Not the ultra modern rack and pinion steering (ooo-eee) and Watts linkage rear axle a la Aston Martin DB4GT of James Bond fame model. A 2000 model, privately owned.

    Directional control — approximate.
    Handling — none
    Power — good for the first 50 feet.
    Seating — execrable (is this why cops have back problems?)

    Sum up — a blast from the past. Suitable for those who prefer driving to be a numb-inducing experience. But a certain sort of character nonetheless, just because of the size, and the pride that comes from shepherding it successfully between the lane marker lines, er, most of the time.

    Toyota Camry? Yawn…..

    Here’s a topic for a future QOTD. Who hangs fuzzy dice, deodorizers or some other object from the rearview mirror, what model of car do you drive, and do you wear your cap sideways or backwards?

  • avatar
    rpol35

    I’m with P71_CrownVic; it’s badda-bing time for the Camry!

  • avatar
    KalapanaBlack

    Minor point, and a bit late in the game, but I work for Hertz, and I can tell you the Camry is below the Crown Vic/Grand Marquis in our pricing structure.

    Camry = fullsize (“Impala or similar”)
    G. Marq. = premium (CV, GM, Avalon, Lucerne [nee LeSabre], etc.)

  • avatar

    All of you people are old and senile. Stop arguing over old fart cars, this is an auto-enthusiasts site, damnit! Discuss BMW Vs. Audi. Again. In detail. With links.

    Oh, and Lincoln Town Car Signature L FTW…

  • avatar
    Bunter1

    I’m starting to think the CV is like a Super 7.

    OK, maybe it is the anti-Super 7.

    The general public doesn’t want either of them.
    (Keeping in mind that at the end the CV was nearly all fleet sales)

    They find almost every sedan on the market better suited to their needs.
    That’s a simple fact.

    Enthusiasts of the the 7 and the CV can point to specific attributes that they value that draw them to the product.

    That’s valid. No problem.

    However there is a difference.
    Seven owners do not seem to think that the public’s differing priorities is indicative of flaw in the public.

    They know they are the odd man out. Heck, they revel in it.

    CV nuts seem to have some sort of need to have the rest of the population validate their choice.

    Guy’s, it’s great if you like your Vics. Enjoy.

    The rest of the world moved on. A lot of them to (Horrors!) Camrys (they bore me also).

    You’re odd ducks w/ odd tastes. That’s cool (hey, I love Sevens, I’m weird).

    Just stop pretending you represent some sort of “ultimate truth” in sedans.

    You don’t. Get over it.

    Bunter

  • avatar
    86er

    The Panther platform was last relevant in 1985 or so, and here we are in 2008 going on 2009 and we’re still talking about it.

    Hmm…

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    The Camry can only dream of having a reliability record as long as the Crown Vic. Toyota can only dream of building a car that will do 100K of severe police use and then go on to do another 200-300K as a Taxi…with only routine maintenance.

    That’s like saying a Camry can’t go 200-300K towing boats. Or rock-crawling. Or racing at 200mph. Or driving underwater.

    Normal drivers do not do that sort of thing, and as such it’s a non-sequitur argument to claim that it’s a problem. They don’t drive like asshats the way taxi drivers do, they don’t hop curbs, perform PIT maneuvers and/or use their cars as ad-hoc barriers and battering rams.

    Similarly, most people won’t drive 200K in a Crown Vic without being utterly sick of how awful a car it really is to live with daily. Does that make the Vic a less capable police car? No. So why criticize the Camry for not being able to do things that a Camry was not designed to do.

    Driven like a normal commuter car, a Camry can last 200K or more with normal maintenance. If I had to drive a Vic for 200K, I’d drive it off a cliff in frustration long, long before that.

  • avatar
    Qusus

    Here’s the real question, why are there are there a disproportionate amount of really tall people on TTAC?

    And I agree with my 6’8 250 pound friend over there, while the Crown Vic’s durability is impressive, it’s really not relevant given that we’re evaluating cars on the basis of their performance in real-world driving; not their usage as taxi’s and police cars etc. In that sense the Crown Vic is really kind of an awful car, I still remember getting carsick in the backseat when my friend had one.

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    Here’s the real question, why are there are there a disproportionate amount of really tall people on TTAC?

    Tall people are smarter, multitalented, morally superior, more compassionate and better looking.

    And modest, too

  • avatar

    I’ll stand up at 6’3″ to psarhjinian’s answer.

  • avatar
    Bunter1

    I feel like a 6 foot dwarf.

    Bunter (the small)

  • avatar
    Alcibiades

    Phil Ressler’s write-up shows why the Panther wins. There is nothing to love about the Camry. It’s a car for people who don’t like cars. The Panther is for people who are interested in and like cars. And as Sajeev pointed out so eloquently, it has a brick-house swagger that no other car made today has.


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