First Drive: 2007 Toyota Camry

Discussion in 'OT Driven' started by N8, Apr 5, 2006.

  1. N8

    N8 This fucking guy.

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    First Drive: 2007 Toyota Camry

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    Loosely translated, the Japanese term 'tumara nai' means "that which is boring or uninspired." And according to Koji Sato, who worked as Assistant Chief Engineer on the 2007 Toyota Camry, it pretty accurately describes every generation of the company's bread-and-butter sedan since the nameplate's introduction in 1983. It was also the one thing the 2007 Camry development team wanted to eliminate from the sixth generation of a car that has become the backbone of the Toyota brand.

    Sato admits it was a radical decision to basically redefine the Camry with this newest iteration, but one that had to be made in order to keep the Camry ahead of the game in the midside sedan segment, the biggest and most competitive slice of the North American automobile market.

    The most obvious difference between this Camry and previous versions is the styling. For the first time, here's a Camry that's looks kind of, well, cool.

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    Sato said Toyota's research revealed that the outgoing Camry was rejected for its looks more than any other midsize sedan, so the look of this new car has far more in common with the latest models to come from the company's Lexus luxury division than any other current Toyota. It's a change Sato said Toyota hopes will make people actually want a Camry for more emotional reasons, rather than purely for the model's reputation for durability.

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    The 2007 lineup also brings with it the first Camry model that can truly be considered sporty. The SE model designation isn't new, but the previous generation Camry SE was little more than an appearance package, with barely-there improvements in suspension tuning. This time around, the SE's chassis tuning is the real deal. Spring and damping rates are notably stiffer - drive a new Camry SE back to back with the value-priced LE or loaded XLE, and the difference is dramatic - and coupled with Toyota's new, 3.5-litre, 270-horsepower V6, the new suspension turns this latest Camry into the first of its kind to offer any kind of driving satisfaction. LE and XLE models also get new suspension tunings, and while they're far from sporty, they do offer a supple and well-damped ride.

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    The SE continues to be the only Camry offered with a manual transmission, but only with the 2.4-litre four-banger carried over from the old car. Optional in the SE and standard in the LE is a five-speed automatic, while V6 versions - LE V6, SE V6 and XLE V6 - get a new six-speed automatic.

    Prices start at $25,800 for the LE; the SE goes for $26,605 with manual transmission and $27,950 with the automatic. MSRP for the LE V6 is $29,400; the SE V6 costs $32,010 and the range-topping XLE V6 is priced at $37,425. The SE V6 is actually a few hundred dollars cheaper than the 2005 version, but it's alone in that respect. The biggest change is the XLE's price, which is up more than $4,000 from 2005, and to within about $2,500 of what the 2005 Camry-based Lexus ES330 went for.

    A hybrid Camry will join the lineup for the first time this Spring. It will be powered by a 2.4-litre four-cylinder mated to an electric motor, and will sell for $31,900.

    Toyota can be excused for the price hikes, though, as the new Camry is more car for the money. Overall length is the only dimension that remains the same. The new Camry rides on a wheelbase that's 55 mm (2.2 in.) longer, and width is up 25 mm, or about an inch. While the extra width and wheelbase should translate into a larger interior, Sato said he and his colleagues chose instead to create a more open-feeling interior and eliminate unnecessary space. It's an approach he said resulted in an interior that's larger in key areas and smaller in less critical areas, but wherever they may have taken that space away from, it's not obvious to the naked eye. The car is very spacious and a lot classier inside - even in basic trim levels - than the last generation Camry.

    Fuel consumption ratings for the new Camry range from 9.6 L/100 km city and 6.4 L/100 km highway for the manual-transmission SE, while four-cylinder automatics are rated at 9.8 L/100 km city and 6.5 L/100 km highway. Ratings for V6 models are 10.7 L/100 km city and 7 L/100 km highway.

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    Fit and finish on most of the cars we drove was excellent, though the LE model I sampled had a badly misaligned dashboard panel and a storage compartment door that made scratchy noises when opened and closed. :eek4: Sato noted these anomalies and said he'd point them out to his colleagues back in Japan. He confirmed that the cars Toyota supplied for the media event were production versions, but don't expect many that make it into showrooms to have similar problems.

    As implausible as it seems, Toyota's designed a Camry that's better in every way than the car it replaces. It looks better, is bigger inside without casting a larger shadow and offers far more driving satisfaction than any
    Camry that's come before at prices (for most models) only slightly higher than those of the old car.


    Trying to fix something that was far from broken to begin with is a risky proposition, but in my opinion, the changes Toyota has made to the Camry guarantee it will remain the mid-size sedan benchmark.

    At a glance: 2007 Toyota Camry
    Type: Mid-size four-door sedan
    Price: $25,800-$37,425; Hybrid (available Spring 2006): $31,900
    Freight/PDI: $1,240
    Available: Now

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  2. N8

    N8 This fucking guy.

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    I'm still not the biggest fan, but it's an improvement over the last generation. :hs:
     
  3. Genocide

    Genocide Why does my W look like a peace sign?!

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    The back is way too much like the new civic coupe
     
  4. Jim311

    Jim311 New Member

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    Are those prices Canadian? Cuz 25k seems a bit steep :hs:
     
  5. N8

    N8 This fucking guy.

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    The back looks a LOT like the current gen Sonata. :eek3:
     
  6. N8

    N8 This fucking guy.

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    Yes, but consider that the exchange rate is only ~15% now. :hs:
     
  7. N8

    N8 This fucking guy.

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    :fawk:
     
  8. SoKo

    SoKo New Member

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    YOU ARE NOT TRI...wait..fuck
     
  9. losbastardos

    losbastardos Pass me the ringer, Knave; we’ll hand it down. OT Supporter

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    jesus, it's priced in A4 territory....
     
  10. SirLumina

    SirLumina New Member

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    I fail to see how this isn't as bland as the old Camry. I guess copying Mazda styling cues in the front in a piss-poor manner makes your boring ass sedan "sportier." Propping the ass up like a drunk coed about to get reamed is also sporty I suppose.

    Typical Toyota reliability and features will continue to make this a bread and butter 40+ age group sedan. Not a bad group as they have plenty to spend. But I don't see people under that age desiring this.
     
  11. daNattyFatty

    daNattyFatty New Member

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    i'm not a fan of the wheels
     
  12. StarBai

    StarBai Mahmoud Ahmadinejad can suck my left f'ing nut. OT Supporter

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    Accord > Camry ftw.
     
  13. black jesus

    black jesus OT Supporter

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    why didn't they just go ahead and shit in the floor?
     
  14. black jesus

    black jesus OT Supporter

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    btw, the front is all fucking gayed out.
     
  15. Tard Carnival

    Tard Carnival New Member

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    Still boring/uninspired, and too expensive (even with prices in Canadian).
     
  16. 2ofdem

    2ofdem OT Supporter

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    Its a camry noone cares.
     
  17. krott5333

    krott5333 Guest

    I'm 22 and I drive a Camry.. couldnt be happier.
     
  18. krott5333

    krott5333 Guest

    okay faggot. Lets be like the rest of OT, and sackride the overpriced and underpowered 350z instead :coolugh:
     
  19. Tard Carnival

    Tard Carnival New Member

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    The fact is Toyota is too comfortable being where they are, and they're not going to do anything to rock the boat as long as it's still working.

    That's why a mild facelift like this and ACTUALLY OFFERING A MODESTLY SPORT-TUNED SUSPENSION ON ONE MODEL become such huge news to auto journalists. :o
     
  20. SirLumina

    SirLumina New Member

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    Camry is a great car. It's just uninteresting as hell. Absolutely no personality. Although my friend picked up a custom one fitted with rims and a better grill and LCD screens w/ DVD player in the headrests and it doesn't look too bad. Actually I think the old Camry was actually sportier in some ways. The grill's overbearing ugliness due to it's high intrusion on hood space kinda negates any of the sportiness that was intended with the rest of the front end.

    And it seems like they kinda cheaped out on taillight design.
     
  21. krott5333

    krott5333 Guest

    Mines a 2000, which, personally, I think has the best looking rear end of any of the camrys.
     
  22. krott5333

    krott5333 Guest

    it looks great from the side, but that contour on the sides of the grille that goes down to the bumper is kind of weird looking :dunno:
     
  23. krott5333

    krott5333 Guest

    they shouldve made the headlights straight across, like on an audi a8, instead of sloping up
     
  24. SirLumina

    SirLumina New Member

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    Personally, I think those were godawful, mainly because it looked basically the same as the 1993 rear. I like the last rear before this one, looks sportier than the rest IMO.

    To each their own.
     
  25. 2ofdem

    2ofdem OT Supporter

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    Ok sorry Ill be interested in the most boring family car ever to be invented now.
     

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