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Toyota Camry 2006 and earlier



  • deerlake7deerlake7 Posts: 170
    Drove a '02 XLE V6 today and after the magazine commentaries about the new Camry being dynamically more aggresive and appealing to a younger demographic, I'm disappointed. On the plus side, I like the extra room and the more "open" feeling of the cabin. Also, although somewhat lacking in horsepower, Toyota's V6 is a pretty sweet engine. On the other side, although looks are in the eye of the beholder, I found the exterior too much like the Avalon (which I think is ugly) and the dash looks like Toyota got someone from GM to style it. From a driving standpoint, it seemed pretty much like you'd expect from Toyota, smooth, quiet and rather dull. Overall, it made me feel 20 years older than I already am. After driving the '02 Camry, I'm going forward to purchase a '02 Passat. Although I'm sure the new Camry will do well, especially with current Toyota owners, I think the new Altima is going to steal some sales from Toyota and if Honda keeps its value pricing and implements a few tweaks on their '03 redesign, it should be a tight sales race.
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    Yes, I concur with Cool that the power ratings on the V6 are a recognition of what the engine can really do on regular gas and achieve ULEV status. The engine can produce more power, but at the expense of going to premium fuel [reference the ES300]. In any case, the real question is how the car feels on the road, and the V6 should have nothing to apologize for in that context.

    Like many people on this board, I have lots and lots of ownership experience in both Toyota and Honda products. I find the differences to be more subtle and less polarizing than some posters here imply. In our most recent buying decision, the tie-breakers were the superior comfort of the Accord seats, and generally nicer interior and more useable trunk. Our '01 Accord EX V6 sedan is noticeably quieter than the '98-'00 models of the same car, but certainly not up to the standard of the Camry. And of course, our car rides more firmly than any Camry, but also returns a very slightly better handling feel as a result.

    I'm just under 6 feet and about 175 lbs, but long in the legs for my height, and as I mentioned in a previous post, the seats in the current Camry "cut" me in the thighs because of inadequate length of the seat cushion. This was a big reason for selecting the Accord, but unlike some who have discussed their opinions here, I don't regard this choice as a religious one. I will certainly try the new Camry eagerly, but would probably forego any decision about a change until the '03 Accord is released, and I have a chance to try the new Altima, as well.

    Mac, I think it's legit for anyone who cares about the car to say their say, no matter how close they are to a buying decision. What bothers me are strongly held opinions based on magazine writeups or looking at to withhold judgment until one has a chance to try the car [and the competition] in person.

    Anyway, to wrap it up: I think raw horsepower is the last reason to pick any one of these cars over another. The 4 cyl Camry was indeed noticeably weaker than its competition [though always smooth and quiet], but now that seems to be addressed. I think the spotlight moves to other characteristics of the cars in this class...
  • teoteo Posts: 2,508
    "If you are one of those piggish testosterone driven car drivers who has the need for horsepower, then go buy one of your stupid 3.8 liter gas guzzling George W. Bush anti-environment 300 HP vehicles!"

    Some tid bits for your info:

    * The 3800 Series II V6 has a fuel consumption rating of 19 MPG city and 30 MPG highway.

    * The 3800 V6 is sold in two flavors: Normal aspirated (200 HP and 225 pounds of torque) and Supercharged (240 HP). There are none 3800 V6's that currently produce 300HP in stock form.

    * The 3800 V6 is already ULEV certified since the 2000 model year. Prior to 2000, the 3800 Series II was already LEV certified for emissions. Not a bad milestone for a engine whose basic design dates back from 1962.

    * The HP rating of the 1999 3800 Series II V6 was 195HP (LEV) rating. It went up to 200,205 and 240HP in 2000 with full ULEV certification. (Unlike the Toyota that went down in HP to achieve ULEV status? Non sense!)

    * The 3800 V6 has been selected among the 10 best V6 engines in the world by Ward's automotive (1995,1996 & 1997).
  • jimxojimxo Posts: 423

    Those 300+ HP gas guzzlers were produced when Bill was in office. Presidents don't determine HP, manufactures do based on what consumers want. Take a look around and see how many big gas hogs are in your neighborhood.

    By the way the 240HP V6 in the 2002 Altima is 19/23. I am not sure if its a gas guzzler, but at least its the same as a 4x2 Highlander which is a Camry on steroids (MT).

    As for GM being a leader in fuel economy give me a break. I could list pages of cars and light duty trucks that suck gas. As a courtesy to the others here I will stop here.

    Do not bring American cars into this discussion. They don't compete here, this is between Toyota, Honda and Nissan. That goes for Saturn as well.
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    Wait, we're talking about Camrys here folks. It seems to me that the majority on this board are self considered auto enthsiasts, and men, for the most part. Newsflash: Even in the SE guise, you aren't Toyota's main focus. This is a family car, catering to those who want room, refinement, safety, and reliabililty. My mom has an 00 Camry 4clyinder and absolutely loves it, doesn't give a damn about horsepower or what kind of statement the interior makes. I recently asked her what she liked about it... "decent stereo, afforable payments, solid feel, ABS". To that end, my DAD also loves that car, probably for the same reasons.

    Get past the enthusiast aspect, that's not where the Camry is targeted and never will be. The SE just provides some variation and spice.
    Personally I'd love an SE V6 fully loaded available with a manual tranny, for 26K or whatever the Altima is going for. But we are not the majority apparently (HI-- 80-90% of Camrys are 4cyl) and so Toyota will not be losing too much sleep. Want performance and need a Toyota, get a Celica, or need to haul the family? Wait for the Matrix.

    This car is going to kick [non-permissible content removed], and to that extent, its still only a car. If you don't like it, dont buy it. But all this "this should be different, that needs to be changed, etc." is BS. From all the comments that have been made, it seems we'd all like to see something with the styling flair of the original Lex SC, the power of 911, the space of an Avalon, the handling prowess of a BMW, the refinement of a Mercedes, the bullet proof reputation of Toyota, and the price of a Hyundai. Keep frekin dreaming.
  • teoteo Posts: 2,508
    I concur with you. Leave George W alone!. Actuallly Bill, Al and friends were the promoters of the gas guzzling SUV culture of the 1990's.

    Guess who were the TRUE enemies of the environment...

    back to the topic!
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    This is not a political board and political sorts of comments really aren't part of what we are doing here.

    So I'd like to thank everyone for leaving that sort of thing aside and continuing to talk about the Camry here.

    Sedans Message Board
  • jimxojimxo Posts: 423
    Let me take a stab at it.

    Big oil?

    Hey if I recall the Camry was criticized in the mid-nintys for not having better fuel efficiency.
  • har1bushhar1bush Posts: 207
    By the way the 240HP V6 in the 2002 Altima is 19/23.

    the announced mileage I think was 19/26... same as the Maxima, but probably still recommended to use premium fuel. I think the Camry and Accord's 20/28 mileage aren't all that far off from the Altima's though, considering the higher power output.
  • jimxojimxo Posts: 423
    You are correct Altima is 19/26, even better.


  • mmccloskeymmccloskey Posts: 168
    Yes, lets get back to the topic of this particular forum - the Camry.

    I stopped by my local Toyota dealer on the way home this evening and they had a XLE V6 out back that was still in its factory wrapping. It was Lunar Mist w/stone leather interior and loaded with everything except Nav. The sticker was 30K + - a staggering sum in relation to what you can get for the same $ from other manufacturers. I must say the car looks quite nice in person. The 16" alloys (standard on the V6) are similar to the Avalon's and provide a better visual balance over the standard 15" wheels that I've seen on the LE model. The interior looks a bit more upscale that the LE with some rather hoakie looking wood trim slathered on the console and door pull/window switch area. Reminds me of the Avalon with a bit more 'tailored' look overall. I am interested in seeing a loaded SE since that comes with fog lights, chrome tipped exhaust, spoiler and 'metallic-style' trim vice the 'wood' in the XLE. I wonder if auto-climate control will be an option or package on the SE as my present vehicle has this (2K Solara SLE) and like it over the rotary type controls.

    In summary, I doubt the styling alone will attract the 'younger' buyers Toyota is hoping for, but this car will surely steal some sales from the Avalon since they are built on the same platform.

    M. J. McCloskey
  • coolguyky7coolguyky7 Posts: 932
    Hi everyone! I just got back a few minutes ago. I sat in an LE and looked at the XLE. Boy was it nice! The Camry sits very high least in my opinion...and that's what I love about it! The interior feels so spacious by tossing out that luxury style sweeping control panel. The sunroof is really wide, at least compared to the Solara. The speedometer and tach looked kind of small but not bad. No complaints. the armrest was nice and the center console was huge! Power outlet is located inside just like the Avalon. The cupholder is different. In teh same location as the last generation there is one solid door that flips up and slides down in a seamless effort. Stereo and AC are within easy reach and convenient located. The rearview mirror allows full vision of the back window. Quality of the materials feels and looks better up close. Salesman came up to me while I was sitting in the LE. First words out of his mouth were, "Great, isn't it?" "Absolutely, I love this car," I replied. I saw the aspen green, white, and desert sand colors. Aspen is quite unique as Toyota hasn't really had any recent colors like it. The dealer didn't have the SEs which were what I was really looking for. The front seats felt big, supportive, and comfortable. Can't wait until I can drive one of these babies!!!
  • iontrapiontrap Posts: 139
    So, can you open the trunk with the keyless remote?
  • mirthmirth Posts: 1,212
    coolguy, never tell a salesman you love the car. ;-)
  • fiery1fiery1 Posts: 31
    On an XLE V6, with the package 7 (GU code) with vehicle skid control, brake assist + driver/passenger side AND curtain airbags ... and package 6 (GV) with leather, premium 6-disc changer, power seats, power moonroof, and mats, the MSRP for the average XLE is $29,509. They all have the wood trim and the steering wheel control for the trip computer items. The current 2001 MSRP's with the HZ package (no VD package (skid/trac) and no curtain airbags for 29000 anyway before the HZ package discount). Seems it is simply the addition of the safety and handling features that are currently not available on the 2001 that brings the MSRP pricing upwards.

    Yes, it is rather benign for styling but it is really not a racecar or styling maven. Remember how conservative Toyota is. I suspect once we drive the 2002 SE versions, we'll be WOW-meisters. There will be a lot of SE and XLE V6 cars around at first, lots of them with NAV and traction and loads of extras ... Toyota seeing what sells fastest.

    Keep in mind that the mainstream cars -- the LE with the starter package (keyless remote + power seat) still MSRP's for pretty much what the 2001 did. $21019 as compared to 20948 for the 2001, same features.
  • venus537venus537 Posts: 1,443
    The previous (very late) evening I saw the 2002 Camry for the first time and thought it looked pretty darn good. Since it was dark I really couldn't see the interior. So I went to the dealership before work so I could sit inside the car and see how I liked the interior. Overall I think it sucks. I was convinced the interior would at least get up (if not better) to Accord standards in terms of design and quality of materials. No such luck. The gauges are awful. They're so bad that this alone will stop me in my tracks in terms of future consideration. I can't be alone in my opinion. They're terrible. Right.
  • inkyinky Posts: 370
    Saw a dark red SE, it looks good. The sporty trim and suspension may make it OK, can it be had in
    V-6 form with the 5 speed? If not, forget it. Again, I hate Gulf States, $1,500 of trinkets and junk added to each car. Overall, I like the look.
  • armtdmarmtdm Posts: 2,057
    Correct, Camrys are not for enthusiasts, they are family sedans. I have a 92 SE (when SE was a great model) but would not buy another, why. Simple, I have outgown the family sedan and want something sporty with power and also something different. Call it mid life crisis etc but people change. Reminder, the US is a graying population, baby boomers are now in control not the 30 somethings that want a family car so to be number 1 in the future I am not sure a fmaily sedan will do it. Toyota may be coming to the same issue at Cadillac, only in reverse, a car only for young (under 45) families needing good reliable transportation or little old ladies that want the same thing. The Solara was an attempt but it needs another 50 HP to be a contender!

    I have also had two recent Maximas, 95 and 98 company cars. They have it all over Camry, unbelievale V6 engine.
  • mirthmirth Posts: 1,212
    I agree with armtdm. I, too, was looking for something sporty, so I was going to completely ignore the Camry. But then Toyota said that they we're going to make the '02 Camry more exciting for enthusiasts, so I thought "Great, sportiness plus a rock solid car - best of both worlds." (My parents owned 3 Camrys and they almost never had a problem with them.) But then they came out with this thing, which is still a great family car but doesn't do anything for enthusiasts. I just think Toyota didn't deliver on their statements, that's all. If you want a family sedan, it's still a great car, but I doubt it'll be for me. I'll still try it out, though.
  • ravvie4meravvie4me Posts: 110
    I guess if Toyota used flimsy, too-shiny plastic on the dash and vinyl-like material for leather, the Camry would be up to Accord standards, right? As it stands, the Camry is better overall than the so-called "standards" of the Accord!

    While I haven't experienced the 2002 Camry as of yet, I have compared Camry and Accord in the past and the conclusion I have come to was the one above, Toyota uses higher quality materials (always have) and has a better feel and look than an Accord, which would explain the price difference between the Camry and Accord. I personally think that the Camry interiors are top notch and will continue to be.

    I have seen the pictures at and I have to agree with coolguyky7 and say that Toyota has a winner (and Accord killer) on its hands here.

  • mackabeemackabee Posts: 4,709
    Maxamillion1, I have not seen or heard anything official on an SEV6 5spd. I would not doubt they do produce it in the future. I also imagine the XLE will be available with fog lights later down the model year. I glad I started a bit of conversation with my comments. I seem to do that quite a bit, as I used to do on the inconsiderate buyers forum. Which I started by the way. No arrogance, just confidence.

    : )
  • talon95talon95 Posts: 1,110
    And the "flimsy, too shiny" plastic and "vinyl-like leather" must have been what prompted Motor Trend and Road and Track magazines to comment on the refined, upscale interior on the Accord...

    As much as I disliked the dashboard on the current gen Camry, the new one is even worse.
  • does any one know when the new Camry will be
    crash tested. Love the avalon, but the 3 star
    in the crash test for the driver's seat was
    shocking. The previous avalons did better on
    the tests.
  • s852s852 Posts: 1,051
    I wonder what is the problem with this guy and constant Honda bashing?
    He is frequently making a point to say that the new Camry is an "Accord killer." Says that Hondas are cheap and flimsy and have vinyl-like leather and cheap quality is "a known Honda trait" and on and on.
    I don't see what he is talking about. The Accord interior does not look any cheaper than a Camry interior and looks a little more sporty.
    I think the TL interior is not as good as some other 30K cars mostly because of very fake looking woodgrain trim on the sides of the center console and some parts that are obviously straight from the Accord's parts bin, but I don't see any unusual cheapness in the appearance of the interior of the Accord itself compared to similar cars, including the Camry.
    Someone can have a preference in what looks better to them, but after the 4th post of childish Honda put-downs, it is getting annoying.
  • venus537venus537 Posts: 1,443
    gimme a break, you're in denial. Can't wait until you see the gauges. Even you can't be that bias to think they're anything but an eyesore.
  • canccanc Posts: 715
    "And the "flimsy, too shiny" plastic and "vinyl-like leather" must have been what prompted Motor Trend and Road and Track magazines to comment on the refined, upscale interior on the Accord..."

    I, like Ravvie and Coolguy, agree that the Accord is subpar to the Camry's. You state that Motor Trend and Road and Track had positive comments about the Accord's interior, yet these are just subjective comments made by the people who test drove them for a little while and then moved on, and whose opinions are of no greater value than what we discuss here. While the Accord is undoubtedly a great car, it has to do its homework to compare itself to the Camry's interior, even the new one.
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    Went down to the only Toyota dealership with 02 Camrys in my area and test drove the "bread and butter" LE 4cyl auto with the following options: ABS, keyless, pwr drivers seat, alloy wheels, a few odds and ends. MSRP: $22,358, which is reasonable IMO. Its nice that the 6 speaker CD/Cassette is now standard.
    First of all, both myself and my girlfriend (also 20yrs old) think this is a kick [non-permissible content removed] car, especially for a family sedan. Distinctive exterior styling (except the rear). The 15inch alloys looked great as far as stock rims go, and the interior (I honestly have no clue what you others are thinking) is really impressive. I like the chrome logo on the steering wheel, and the center stack is logical and attractive. I inspected the car for a good 10-15mins after the test drive, and the seams and fit of all interior and exterior panels was perfect. Peculiar how small the pass. airbag door was, though, looks a bit strange. (perhaps just cause we are used to way big pass airbag doors from Toyota- can anyone say 94-97 Corolla?) The instrumentation is different- I liked it very much, although I was skeptical at first.
    Compared to my mom's 00 LE 4cyl, the new 4 has plenty of power, and doesnt need to rev as high to get up to speed, accordingly. It felt as quick, if not quicker than, the Accord EX 4 I recently drove, so I'd put a 0-60 time right around 9.2 seconds, if I had to guess.
    I'm really impressed with this car overall, although I still think it sucks that there's no SE V6 manual, and that alloys arent standard on XLE 4cyls (but 16in. wheels are).
    No doubt, another Toyota winner. By the time I'm serious about getting a new car (around spring/summer next year) I'll seriously be considering this Camry (well, probably an SE manual 4 cyl) the new Altima, and the Matrix, if not others. I guess time will tell, but yea, this is an awesome car.
  • Ravvie4me, get the facts straight. In all car reviews and anecdotal remarks from owners and from my own experience, the Accord interior is way better in their execution, materials than the Camry. Camry's interior is good, nothing wrong with it but Accord is just better.

    If you are going to bash Accord's interior here, you might as well support your statement with facts. Or should i add that perhaps you just dont have the right sense to see what is better and what is not because of your bias thinking? Or your taste is far more inferior than everyone else around here. Either way, as someone suggested, go to and take a full course and then come back when your done.
  • ilovestsilovests Posts: 16
    Please open your mind towards the Automotive world. I frequent this forum and would continue to keep my Alero over the Camry any day. Not only do I have a V-6, Sunroof, Spoiler, 16 Wheels, 10x better style (IMO), tight suspension, and great build quality all for $18k. (make that 17.5k)

    The only major benefit that Toyota has is that it is slightly larger, and obviously has better resale. My insurance is much less, and I have a 5yr 60mile warranty.

    I am not in any way suggesting to anyone that the Alero is better for them, just I do not appreciate comments such as "American cars do not belong here" I feel my Alero stacks up very very well to the Camry.
  • canccanc Posts: 715
    I think Ravvie was simply stating that he didn't like the interior as much as in the Camry, as did I. Please refrain from using derogatory remarks such as "go to", since the nature of a discussion forum is to express one's opinions about a product. I respect that you find the Accord's interior better, but many people here differ from what you think.
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