A comfortable, slow, non-descript car
Alternator was dying (really loud whining sound); replaced it before it died completely for $300. It was 7 years and some change then.
The fabric on the interior of the C pillars (on both sides) detached from the place where it meets the window. I didn't have any super glue at the time I decided to fix it, so I used some wood glue and it looks pretty good. I couldn't stretch it back to where it was before, so there is some white showing at the top, but it looks pretty good.
My dad bought one of the last Camrys on the lot when the 2007 Camrys were coming out, so he got around $3500 to $4000 off the MSRP of $22,000. It was his daily driver for around 6 years, until he bought a new Honda Fit and I bought the Camry from him. So far it has been the most maintenance free car I have owned.
Overall the car is very comfortable and has a pretty soft ride. It also has very light steering (both things I like), but I know that a lot of people don't like these traits in cars.
It is VERY reliable. The most reliable cars my family has had have been Hondas and Toyotas. My Dad had two Toyota trucks in the past (Pickup and T100) and they were virtually trouble free. We also had a 1999 Toyota Sienna, which we had for 12 years, and the only problems were radio failures (multiple times) and the air conditioner broke at about 11 years old. We also had a Honda Civic that started making a sound around 11 years, and that, combined with the TERRIBLE Honda rust around the rear wheels, made my dad buy the Camry. So far there have been no mechanical failures with the Camry, just regular maintenance (oil changes at 5000 miles, tire rotations etc.).
The Camry also has a lot of nice features that come in handy such as the 60/40 split folding rear seats, the rear armrest with cup holders, standard CD player, outside temp. gauge, the TWO 12 Volt power outlets in the front, and more.
While there have been no mechanical problems with the Camry, there have been some annoying cosmetic problems.
First, is the fabric coming apart on the C pillar (see above).
Second, is I will find little specks of surface rust (which is normal I guess in the Midwest, but it is still annoying) that I have to rub out with white rubbing compound.
Third, is that the headlights started to oxidize after around 5 years. When I bought the car, I tried using a headlight restoration kit, which did not really improve the headlights. The problem was later fixed with some Meguiers PlastX, but this problem wouldn't have existed so early if they would have just used glass or higher quality plastic instead of the cheap plastic for the headlights. 5 years old is just too early for headlights to start yellowing.
Fourth, is when you try to accelerate after almost stopping, the car waits for a second then lurches forward after you press the gas. For example when I drive to a stop sign and do what everybody else does - almost stop - then accelerate, the car lurches. I think it is just the gearing between 1 and 2, but it makes me seem like I have no control over my right foot to everybody else in the car.
Fifth, is that to accelerate quickly at all you have to floor it. The car is not fast. If I ever have to accelerate quickly in an emergency, I am not sure that this car would be able to handle it, especially if I have people in the car with me.
One last good thing that I forgot to mention, is that there are two milk jug holders in the trunk, which is very nice, because it stops milk from crushing other food on the way home (and this is also useful for keeping used motor oil IN milk jugs from spilling on the way to AutoZone).
I just changed the oil at about 90000 miles, and have done nothing else to the car. I have been getting 22-23 MPG in driving with almost no time on the highway, so that is pretty close to the EPA 24/34 ratings.
I am at 97000 now. The alternator was dying so I had to get that replaced at $300. Nothing else has happened since then.
It is colder now and my car sits outside overnight, so the warm up time, with the minimal highway driving time puts my gas mileage around 18-19. During the Winter I usually expect this, and during the Summer I get 22-23.
I also recently Seafoamed the car, and I got a lot of the carbon out of the engine. I can't really tell too much of a difference, but I like to think that I did something good for my car by doing that.
I am also finally giving in and replacing my headlights with some replacements from Amazon with good reviews. I can't look at the fogged up ones anymore. I think I stated that I fixed the problem in the review above, but they fogged up again. Anything I try lasts for a little while, then they fog up again.
Overall this car has been very reliable and I plan on running it for as long as I can (and it's a Camry so I'm hoping for 200,000 before I get rid of it. I have a friend who had 2001 and 2003 Camrys, and the 2001 made it to 196,000 and the 2003 (same body style as the 2006) is still kicking at 202,000 miles).
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 15th July, 2012