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Toyota Camry 2006 and earlier

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  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    Alright, I'd really like to know what changes, however subtle, to expect for the Camry for 04. The 04 Solara is going to have side airbags standard, something I'd like to see on the FAMILY oriented Camry (Curtains will be optional on the Solaras). Does anyone think the rumors about the 3.3L V6 going into the Camry SE are true? At first, I completely disputed the information... but upon thinking about it... the Solara will produced for the first time right alongside the Camrys in Kentunky starting NOW.

    Thoughts/opinions?
    ~alpha
  • dudleyrdudleyr Posts: 3,447
    I hope ABS is finally standard. It seems pretty hard to get right now unless you get a top end model. Of course many car makers don't feel those buying less fancy cars want safety. I am suprised they haven't gone back to bias ply tires and 4 wheel drum brakes for the base models - after all "nobody wants to pay for safety"
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    What part of the country do you live in? Most of the basic LEs around here- NJ- have the $300 ABS option and sticker just under/over 21,000 depending on the other common options- floormats (CF), etc.

    ~alpha
  • dudleyrdudleyr Posts: 3,447
    SD - and I have never seen (or heard of) a manual tranny LE (my prefrence) with ABS. Of course I am in truck country. There is one Toyota dealer in town and they generally have 2-3 Camrys - the next closest dealer is about 180 miles away.
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    Sorry buddy. I cant imagine having a dealership that only has 2 or 3 Camrys on the lot. You may be able to special order one, though. Perhaps it will make you feel better to know that the manual LEs around here almost never have ABS, or at least I have never seen one. My previous post was referring to LE autos.

    You may want to try an SE manual- perhaps those are more likely to have the ABS option.

    ~alpha
  • steveb84steveb84 Posts: 187
    Yes, 3.3L with 5 speed Auto.
  • coolguyky7coolguyky7 Posts: 932
    It doesn't make much sense for Toyota to be using three engines for the Camry at one time.
  • lok888lok888 BostonPosts: 1,775
    Yes. It is a Camry in Thailand. If you go to www.toyota.co.th and click on English version icon at the bottom of the screen. You will see everything in English. In addition to the HID, you will notice the dashboard which similar to those on the Lexus vehicles. BTW, HID is listed as a safety feature. You also see the tail lamps assembly are extended to the trunk lip area. Many nice stuffs are standard or options on Camry like power rear sunshade, back up sensor and built-in air purifier.

    Like in most of the Asian market, Toyota offers two engines on Camry: 2.OL and 2.4L (both 4 cylinder engine) and V6 in some Asian countries. Many auto manufacturers offer 4 cylinder engine because of it has better gas mileage (average gas price is over USD$4.00 per gallon in most Asian countries and even higher in Europe). Most importantly, the owners pay less government tax and registration fee for cars with less engine displacement.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,692
    Do you mean to say they will still use the 3.0 in LE/XLE? And the 3.3 will only be for SE?

    Makes sense from the point of view of making the SE a true sport model - having more power than the rest of the line - but it would be the first time Toyota has ever done 3 engines for Camry at the same time...I wonder if they will not just use the 3.3 Camry-wide for '04 (for the 6-cyl option).

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • lok888lok888 BostonPosts: 1,775
    I doubt Toyota will put a new engine on 2004 Camry. It properly gets some facelift, some minor interior improvements and add some standard features. For the last two generation of the Camry (1992-1996 and 1997-2001), Toyota is pretty much stick with 5 years cycle on Camry and their vehicles and with no change on the engine and drivetrain.
  • steveb84steveb84 Posts: 187
    Yes, there will be the current 4 cyl and V6, then the SE V6 gets the 3.3. There is a first time for everything.
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    I appreciate your info. It makes sense to me at least, for Toyota to offer 3 engines- after all, all 3 are produced at TMMK facility anyway. I like the idea of the sporting model offering a hp/torque advantage over the more family oriented the LE and the upscale(ish) XLE.

    ~alpha
  • lok888lok888 BostonPosts: 1,775
    steveb84 - Thanks for the info. I am sure this is accurate since you work for Toyota. It will be the first time for Toyota. And I think it is a good idea they can share the same engine on different Toyota vehicles like RX300, Sienna, Solora or maybe the next Camry.
  • coolguyky7coolguyky7 Posts: 932
    Toyota just recently stopped making the Highlander engine in Georgetown, perhaps clearing room for the 3.3 liter engine.
  • scottdudescottdude Posts: 177
    One of the things I like about these Town Hall forums is reading about other peoples experiences in owning and test driving cars. This has really helped me narrow down my choices as I decide to buy a new car. Today I had the chance to test drive three cars at one of those credit union rental car sales: a Camry, Altima and Pontiac Vibe, all 2003 models with a/t and 4 cyl engines. I was able to take these cars out on my own (with no salesperson) for very extensive test drives (about 45 minutes each) on city streets (including some old brick ones) and the interstate. I thought I’d post my impressions on the cars in their respective topics here in the Town Hall. I guess some might say that test driving a rental car may not be fair because it is not the same as “brand new” and may have been abused, but I look at it as a way to see what a car might be like after it has several thousand miles under it.

    Camry
    I test drove the LE version, but it still had a lot of features like power windows, cruise control, etc. I can see why Camry’s are so popular. This is a very solidly built car that does all the basics right. It was amazingly quiet inside, had a comfortable ride and accelerated well. Inside it felt “big” and all the controls were easy to use. I don’t have too much else to say about the car, except that although it was fine, there really wasn’t anything that exciting about it. I could not see myself getting excited each day about going to work in this car. I guess I need to decide if that is something I can live with.
  • masspectormasspector Posts: 509
    I recenty toured TMMK. If anyone has any specific questions, let me know and I will try to answer them. It was a pretty cool tour and was well worth the effort to go. They are currently making the camry and avalon. They recently dropped the 03 sienna and are tooling up for the 04 solara.
  • coolguyky7coolguyky7 Posts: 932
    The Camry beat the crap out of the Accord in May in sales, considering the Accord's redesign although countered by Toyota's big sales push with incentives. Camry had 43,732 units sold versus Accord's 37,210. Year-to-date through May, Camry has 170,531 against Accord with 163,059. Camry's lead isn't that great, but May put Camry ahead of Accord...I think Accord was ahead in April. The Corolla nipped at the heels of Accord by 1,280 units in May.
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    One of the reasons that my dad loves taking our 02 Camry to work is because it significantly reduces the stress of a long commute through New Jersey. The Camry is not a drivers car, even in SE form (though its handling is quite good with the stiffer suspension). It is, however, an excellent family car, and a car for those who dont want to attack a winding road, but instead prefer value, comfort, reliability, and tranquility.

    ~alpha
  • gonkrazgonkraz Posts: 19
    drmp Jun 3, 2003 6:48pm

    If anyone has any ideas as to what a custom seat cushion (referenced in above link) would be or how to obtain one please post information. My 03 XLE seat bottom stops a good four to five inches back from the bend in my knee and is causing me all kinds of ergonomic problems. For my husband the seat is just fine. But as luck would have it I am the primary driver. If anyone has any experience/advice that I could draw on I would REALLY appreciate it. I am willing to try anything. Car is great but selling it for any reason this soon would be bad financially this soon out. Thanks, Gonkraz
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,692
    Camry for best-selling sedan this year. It has been selling strongly.

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • lok888lok888 BostonPosts: 1,775
    I think so. I am sure the latest factory incentive, cash back and low APR financing help them sell a lot of Camrys. I and my wife's friend just bought a 03 Camry SE a week ago. We missed the Washington's Birthday sale event but we bought ours in the latest summer sales event. I am sure there will be one for summer end sales around Labor Day.

    On the other hand, Honda year end sale only happens once a year with not too low APR on Civic and Accord. I think many past and potential Honda customers are losing confidence and faith on Honda because of its latest transmission and mechanic problems and slow on production on some high demand vehicles and mostly sold at MSRP.
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    I think it helps that the new Camrys are perceived as having increased value compared to prior generations, and have shown Toyota's attempt to reverse the evident decontenting of the 1997-2001 MYs.

    Food for thought:
    A 1994 Camry LE 4 cyl auto with ABS stickered at $20,900 in 1994 dollars.

    A 2003 Camry LE 4 cyl auto with ABS (and floormats) stickers at: $20,844 in 2003 dollars.

    Certainly, though I would agree that the 92-96 Camrys were the most solidly constructed and best stylistically, there is no doubt in my mind, having had every generation of Camry excepting the first, that the current is by far the best riding, quickest, most fuel efficient, safest, quietest, and most capable handler of all the 4cyls. we've had.

    (87 Base, 91 DX, 95 DX, 97 LE, 00 LE, 02 LE- first two were 4 year leases, next three were 3 year leases, and the 02 is a purchase.)

    ~alpha
  • I was being sarcastic about the "isn't it just great" part. Why? I bought a 2003 Camry SE V6 half year ago and now they're offering a more powerful 210hp engine with 5 speed automatic transmission. Darn!

    As you might already know, I live in Canada. I have just checked the Canada's Toyota website and I looked at the specs. It clearly says that the engine size is still 3.0 (as opposed to 3.3 in which I have read in the past few discussions). Perhaps the 3.3 is offered elsewhere?

    If anyone knows the improvement in speed (0-60) with the VVTI please post a message here. I want to see what I have sacrificed by buying my car half a year early. My own reaches 60 in 8.1 seconds. I also would like to know if fuel economy is better with the new 5 speed automatic transmission. Is the car more quiet on freeways?

    I've found that my own gives out a pretty loud grunt when it reaches 140 km @ 3000 rpm or so. I'm guessing that the new V6 VVTI doesn't do that.

    My guess is that Toyota will stop selling 3.0 engines without VVTI once they get rid of them in their lots. My prediction is that there will only be two engines in the future available for the Camry. The 4 cyl VVTI and the V6 VVTI.

    I have read in another discussion here saying that VVTI and VTECs are cheap ways to improve power. I won't comment on that because I've never driven a car equipped with them. Their reasoning was that BMWs never equips their cars with them. Any comments on this?

    Finally, I am just wondering if the price will go up for the V6 Camry with the added VVTI.
  • everydayeveryday Posts: 53
    So you're that guy doing snow? angels in the middle of the street of that Camry SE commercial!
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    It happens. Automakers constantly make changes to equipment, powertrains, etc. Our 02 LE had power drivers seat and keyless entry as extra cost options. Now, they are standard.

    The speculation regarding the 3.3L V6 in the Camry is not as to it being the engine in the SE V6 now, but rather, starting for the 2004 MY.

    "I have read in another discussion here saying that VVTI and VTECs are cheap ways to improve power. I won't comment on that because I've never driven a car equipped with them. Their reasoning was that BMWs never equips their cars with them. Any comments on this?"

    These systems are technologically advanced, not "cheap" ways to improve power, if by "cheap" you mean "easy way out". BMW DOES use advanced valve timing systems, which I believe are called "VANOS". I will check this for you. What BMW DOES NOT DO is turbo or supercharge their engines, as the Bravarian King believes THAT is a "cheap" way to produce more power. OTOH, MB uses extensive supercharging.

    I can't speak to the Candian Market, but the VVTi V6 has been on sale in the US since February. The old V6s are no longer on the lots, at least not here in the high volume central Jersey area. I do not believe there was a price increase for the new engine. In fact, I'm virtually certain.

    ~alpha
  • Thanks for your input. Now I understand what the other guy meant when he said "cheap" power.

    You should be glad that your 02 LE engine was all new and Toyota should be using them for the 4 cylinder Camrys for awhile. At least you only missed the chance to have standard keyless entry and power driver's seat.

    I, on the other hand, missed the chance to drive a more powerful car! I really want to know how much faster/powerful it is when it comes out.

    Enjoy your 02 Camry LE (WITH VVTI)!!! haha, sorry if I overexaggerated that. But I wished I had it in mine too!
  • masspectormasspector Posts: 509
    Coulda, shoulda, woulda. I have to go with alpha here. Things change. How could anyone in late 02 know that toyota was going to make this change? Toyota dealers may not have even known.

    I know it seems like you had the worst timing. It is not like you are talking two model years apart on your car and the newer one, it was a matter of a few months. That is why I always suggest extensive research and looking at cars for at least a few months. I would never buy a car on a whim or do it in a few days time.

    I OTOH was lucky. I started my search for a camry when the old v6 was still around and the newer one was just coming out. I, like you would have, decided to ignore the old v6. It was older technology and only a 4 spd auto and they were not being discounted any more for being older tech from what I could tell at the dealers. I drove the 4 and the 6 and decided that the 4 was fine and the 6 was not worth the extra $3000.

    Sorry you missed out, you can always trade or at least go for test drives to see if you can tell any difference. Just file it away as a lesson learned. LOOK real hard, before you leap.
  • artc1688artc1688 Posts: 7
    Just bought a 03 Camry LE last week. Very happy with the car and forgot to purchase a mudguard...
    Anyone knows of a discounted place for a Camry mudguard?

    Thx
    A
  • lok888lok888 BostonPosts: 1,775
    Beside ebaymotors, I would try www.camelbacktoyotaparts.com in AZ. I just ordered several OEM accessories for my 03 SE. like all-weather mats ($65), mudguards ($55), wheel locks ($31) and cargo net ($25). If you local dealer cost you less than $60, go for it. $55 is the lowest I have found.
  • drmpdrmp Posts: 187
    I went to a local upholstery shop and asked for some kind of custom made color-matched seat cushion at the front portion of the seat bottom. It resulted to a longer seat bottom with slightly raised front portion that follows the contour of my thigh. Very very comfortable. Hope that helps.
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