Toyota Camry “quickie”

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That’s right.
I got the chance to do a quick test drive of the all new Camry. So here is what I think…

The car I drove was a 2.4 Liter XLE. No options.
That means no leather or navigation.

I have to say I wasn’t disappointed by the interior. After seeing many pictures of in in the past few weeks.
It does look great in person. And the rear seat is extremely roomy.
The car I drove had cloth. And it is good enough so you don’t need to get leather. Although the V6 XLE comes standard with leather.

The gauges look great. And expensive
The JBL stereo sounded excellent. And the dual climate control even has steering wheel controls.

Once under way, the 2.4 Liter is, as expected, super quiet. So much so that most people won’t be able to tell they are not driving a V6.
And it has enough power for 99% of the population.
The only time I could have used a bit more was getting on the freeway. The power builds quickly, but it is just not there right away. But hey, you do get 24 mpg in the city…

The 5 speed auto is extremely smooth and responsive. Downshifting as often as needed, and quickly.
The ride is smooth but never too soft. And the steering is feather light and precise at the same time.

I came out very impressed with the new Camry.
It really is a car that you buy for yourself, or your family. Not to impress the neighbors.
A very good car for a decent price.
It is the most refined car you can buy for the money.
I just wish it looked as good outside as the Fusion. Or even the new Sonata. It doesn’t.
It is barely out and it already is completely anonymous in the streets.

But as an actual purchase, if you are looking for a good car, you couldn’t do much better.
Great interior, great ride, great engine and transmission. One of the best resale value… Etc…

Just wait a few months to get the usual “at least $3000 ” off the MSRP.

Conversation 12 comments

  1. On the press release, Toyota claimed they improved the handling on the 2007. From your review, it sounds like they have. Any idea whether the BASE model Accord or BASE model Camry handles better? (The car magazines currently give the nod to the Accord.)

    Alas, I don’t have the budget for the XLE. I am sure the mechanicals are the same, but the interiors are surely not. Did you take a look inside the LE and, if so, how does its cloth compare to the XLE.

    My heart is still leaning towards a Charger, Magnum, Impala, or Malibu. There was a surpising, and depressing, news article in the Detroit News that said the Magnum’s sales have slowed down so much, that they are on the “slowest inventory turnover” list. Takes the better part of a year to get one off the lot. Any idea why? Wagons are the kiss of death?

  2. I must say, that while this particular Camry does look super-nice, it doesn’t make me dissappointed that I went ahead and got my Honda Accord EX. The Toyota looks great inside, but no nicer than my Accord (in my opinion).

  3. Markweb,
    I didn’t see an actual LE yet. But I hear the handling is similar to the XLE, and it was just fine.

    I drove a 2.4 Liter Accord a while back, and I find the engine in the Camry much more refined.
    I can’t tell much difference in the handling. In normal driving that is…
    The car magazines take these cars on test tracks and that makes no sense.

    As far as I know, there aren’t that many difference inside between the LE and XLE.

    The XLE just adds wood trim, better cloth, and more features standard. (like cliamte control, poer seats)
    But you can still get JBL, sunroof etc… on the LE.
    Same engine and Auto.
    It is basically the same interior.

    If you want an LE, wait a few months and you’ll be able to get one for under $18 000. Just like the 2006.

    I am surprised about the Magnum. It seems to be loosing steam faster than the Chrysler 300.
    The 300 Wagon might have sold better.
    But remember, Dodge still has a pretty louzy image, more so than Chrysler, in people’s mind.

    I have to say I really like the Magnum but I could never get a Charger.

    Good luck.

  4. I test drove the 07 camry le v6 yesterday at a dealership here in scottsdale az. I really like toyotas but I have to say that I was not that impressed with this car. It just didn’t seem like a 27k toyota. The steering is numb just off center, constant corrections were required. It rode smooth but frankly the handling wasnt as good as my 03 accord. There was plenty of body roll. The engine seemed to “throb” at idle but it only had 30 miles on it so it wasn’t broken in but it seemed louder at full throttle than expected. It also wasn’t as smooth as expected. The interior was the biggest disappointment to me and this is really just personal preference….but all of the “little things” seem cheap. The sunglass holder didn’t have the engineering that my accord has, the door below the radio seemed chintzy…again not as nice as my car and the drivers door didn’t close with a solid sound and actually felt cheap. The key on my accord looks like a piece of artwork but toyota key looks almost identical to the crappy chrysler keys that are out there now. I could care less how good a car looks on the outside because i spend all of my time on the inside but the camry does look like a lot of different styling themes all jumbled into one…oh, and the dash plastic is a big turnoff and not nearly as nice as the previous generation. The seats are comfortable and the driving position is excellent but as much as I want to trade out of my accord I can’t find anything else better! The dealership refused to deal as well, 27k sticker and 27k out the door. They say that it handles better (and it does compared to the old one) but drive it back to back with a 3 yr old accord and the accord is definitely the better drivers car.

  5. You Honda is only 3 years old.
    You should wait for the all new Accord in 2008 (Fall 2007 or before)
    I think Honda will come up with something great.

  6. The Camry may not be the best-looking car in the bunch, but it certainly is the best-seller, isn’t it?

  7. Haven’t yet seen the new Camry except photos, but I have no regrets about buying the ’04 Accord EX-L.

    The Accord’s 4 cylinder engine is smooth and quick–hard to believe that the Camry’s 4 is more refined, but I guess it’s possible.

    Every time I drive the Accord I like it better–great interior, too. Feels like a luxury car at a family car price, too.

    Just bought gas tonight and averaged 26 MPG in mixed driving. No complaints about that!

  8. I do like the new Camry…nothing spectacular, but a nice middle of the road sedan. Vanilla America will buy the crap out of it.

    What is up with the light blue plastic on the dash??? Makes it look like a cheap Audoivox stereo from Wal-Mart!

  9. Best Seller, does that mean best car??? Remember when the Taurus was a bestseller, The Ford Truck is a best seller. The Altima will eat this shitbox whole

  10. markweb,

    i recently test drove an LE 2.4 automatic. in person, the car looks pretty decent (especially in the back) but its grille is still pretty weird. The interior, if a bit bland, is excellent. i really liked the floor of the back seat- there is no hump for the exhaust and there was plenty of room (but be aware that there is no arm rest back there). though the car had “option combination B”, it still had ABS, and a 5-speed transmission (both features rare in the class). the car just sort of glided over bumps and it was altogether a very soothing car. but i dont know what it would feel like if you ever had to perform an emergency maneuver.

    i also test drove an accord, a sonata, and a fusion. In short, i like the sonata best because of its value and how it did everything the accord could for the most part. it also looks pretty classy. the fusion felt really heavy and make a lot of clomping sounds.

    i hope that helps 🙂

  11. Thanks to all who posted their test drive impressions.
    I have yet to drive the Sonata.
    I muat say I was a bit dissapointed by the interior at the auto show.
    But carsdirect has loaded models (LX Sunroof etc) for well under $21 000.
    Hard to ignore when you’re in the market for a good mid sized sedan…

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