The Toyota Camry is one of America's most-favored mid-size sedans. The reasons are simple. It boasts room for five adults, can be ordered with a powerful and smooth V6, and comes with the reputation of solid Toyota reliability.
The current-generation Camry debuted in 1997 and 2000 marks its first major facelift. The styling of the '97-'99 Camry was generally considered quite plain, so the new nose and tail this year are more than welcome.
The Camry can be equipped for rugged family life, or plush luxury touring. There are plenty of options to choose from, but you'll have to watch what you order if you are on a tight budget. There are three different trims: base-level CE, mid-level LE, and the top-level XLE. Some of the more notable options include side airbags, traction control, a premium sound system, leather interior trim, and a power moonroof. ABS is standard on XLEs and LEs equipped with a V6 engine.
The Camry's 3.0-liter V6 is a fine engine, and it produces 200 horsepower and 214 foot-pounds of torque. Acceleration is solid, and opposed to the Honda Accord or Mitsubishi Galant, the Camry's V6 can be ordered with a manual transmission. Braking is swift and sure with the antilock system, and Camry hangs on well in corners despite rather meek all-season radials.
Inside, controls and gauges are laid-out nicely in a flowing dashboard. The switches and stalks all have a solid and proper feel to them. Storage areas are abundant and feature a deep center console, door bins, and dashboard bins. Front cupholders, the feature by which all cars are truly measured these days, accommodate 20-ounce bottles of your favorite beverage. The only negative is that you might find the seats uncomfortable.
The Camry works exceptionally well as a family sedan. Fully optioned, the Camry is considerably more expensive than its domestic competitors, but given the Camry's sales success, it seems most Americans consider the Camry to be a worthwhile investment.