Spacious, comfortable, but underpowered and ugly
Timing belt broke at about 195,000km
Two exhaust valves burnt out at 215,000km
Water was leaking through the wind screen during heavy rain.
The Camry was a pretty spacious and comfortable car to drive. I mainly used it to get to work and it did an excellent job. I also used it for the occasional weekend trip with the family, to give the "family car" a rest.
It was fairly well equipped for a 1984 car, with power mirrors, -windows and -steering, "kind of" central locking, air conditioning and mags. and even in 2002, when we bought the car, it was all still in working order. That's not always given in an 18 year old car.
The interior survived the first 18 years without any major blemishes, looked very well and the seats were still surprisingly comfortable.
The 2 litre 4 cylinder engine was a bit weak for a car of that size and overtaking could give you a bit of an adrenaline rush at times, when the oncoming traffic gets closer and closer, while you're not getting anywhere.
I only had two major problems with the car. The first was two burnt out exhaust valves at about 215,000km. I had all valves replaced that time in the hope to get some more life out of the engine. Unfortunately, this was not the case and around 220,000km, I suffered a broken piston ring and this time, I refused to pay a lot of money to get a 20 year old car fixed, so I gave it away for a carton of beer. If it ever got back on the road, I don't know.
All in all, it was a good car and apart from being underpowered and quite frankly being butt-ugly, there was nothing to criticise about it. If you can get your hands on one of the few decent looking models that are left and you don't need a high powered engine, go for it.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 26th March, 2006