1995 Toyota Camry LE 2.2 5SFE from North America
Most fuel efficient Lexus ever built
As my mechanic say, "this car owes me nothing" at this point! Nothing really abnormal or unexpected has gone wrong. Still trying to figure out what happened to the clearcoat on the horizontal surfaces. But for now, you can still see your reflection on all the other surfaces, including the tires... I see this on too many cars built in the 90s and early 2000s.
The only unexpected thing that happened was the coolant temp sensor basically just got old, and caused the car to run richer than it needed. On warmer days, this would be an issue. Forgot to replace the coil (probably the original one at 190,000ish) -- and the car reminded me of this -- but was actually still running on the tow truck bed. I drove it off the bed and parked it... and drove it to the repair shop the next day (coast into neutral - rev a little at the stops.)
A/C clutch went out -- slowly. Plenty of warning from 221,000 until about 225,000. Got a replacement that had 105,000 miles at the time of install... mine had 117,000 when I bought it.
I owned a Carina in Japan -- and a Japanese friend of mine told me a few secrets about Toyotas and many Japanese cars for that matter -- and they do keep their cars for over 10 years now.
Handling and performance? This car can be an appliance -- or a sleeper. It's a blank slate. I've upgraded the suspension... and notice the difference. Tailgaters have too... The exhaust had to be upgraded because the car was simply too quiet.
Add snow tires, and I keep up with the 4x4s and AWDs no problems, especially on the snowpack.
Not built for racing (from a standstill) -- but will pull strong up hills, not exceeding 3000 rpms. The ECT (adds 1000 rpm to the shift point) was a smart idea to add to a 4cyl car.
I'm used to getting 25-27mpg in the city, and pulled 35 on a trip to Yellowstone from Denver with a roof-rack and a passenger.
I'm on track to do over 30,000 miles this year, which will set a personal record for any car I've had including this one. In defense of "some" domestics, I did 2 years straight of 25,000 miles in a mid-80s Ford Thunderbird. Well built, solid car for the most part. I think most of the well built domestics are RWD. I've kept up with the service.
The irony now is this generation Camry seems to be much better than cars built after 2002. I've kept up with the service -- keep the interior showroom clean -- and am now faced with an interesting dilemma. I've only made one or two payments for the three cars I've owned, so years of car payments for me?... never have, and don't plan on it. So, the saying, "the best pre-owned car is the one you already own," becomes even truer. I can eventually buy a reman transmission and engine with 100,000 mile 3year warranties from a very reputable company -- and spend $7500 or so. I'll still be paying for what the average new car owner pays for (gas, tires, brakes...)
If aliens abducted this car tonight, I would go out and buy another one -- but silver or white.
Or, I would consider something from a different world, like something with AWD, a 5 speed and maybe a turbo, as long as the head-gasket doesn't fail at 100,000 miles.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 5th November, 2010
5th Nov 2010, 21:34
If your car is working good, hang onto it! The new Toyotas are of much lower build quality and to be avoided. You have one of the good old Toyotas, the ones they built their reputation on. Some of the new Toyotas are hurting their reputation. Hyundai now makes better quality cars than Toyota for a fraction of the price.
6th Nov 2010, 10:20
Where do you base your claims? Have you had newer Toyota's that have failed or are you just going by media hype that says they are so bad? Considering I just read Forbes article on 7 clunkers to avoid, and ALL of them are domestics, I would think Toyota is a bit better than you are claiming they are. Forbes listed the 7 domestics as unsafe, unreliable and very poor on resale. Toyota's still top Consumer Reports list of reliability, despite the recalls. They still rate higher than any domestic for reliability.
Unless you have a Toyota and are having trouble with it, your claims are unwarranted. I own a Toyota and know many others who drive Toyotas. No one has had any issues with them, and they are all very reliable. The recall mess is an overblown media circus. You can find millions of recalls in any car line if you research it. It gets old when people assume poor quality when they have little or no experience with the brand they bash, and are going by internet stories as their source.
And how are Hyundais a fraction of the price of Toyota's. They have actually gained quite a bit on the pricing scale. Yes you can get a stripper Accent for ten grand if you want crank windows and no AC, but on average their cars are pretty close to Toyotas. Go check their sites...
6th Nov 2010, 11:45
"These claims are based on EXPERIENCE."
Well, my experience with domestics, mostly GM, are the same. So who's right? I think GM has always made sub par vehicles and still continues to do so. Reports and articles are still in agreement with this fact! Toyota, on the other hand, is still ranked higher in reliability, even after the recall fiasco!