2011 Toyota Camry LE 2.5L DOHC inline-4 with dual VVTi from North America
Solid transportation that works perfectly for everyday life
In the nearly six months that I have owned the car, nothing has gone wrong.
I purchased this used Camry to replace a new 2014 Mazda 3 hatchback that had given me nothing but problems since purchase. I was tired of constant dealer visits and was completely disgusted with the car, and decided to just cut my losses while I was ahead and go back to the brand I've always trusted: Toyota.
I've owned 2 other Toyota's (a 1996 Corolla, and a 2006 Corolla) and I had great experiences with both of them. So far, although it hasn't been very long just yet, this Camry is no exception to that rule.
Overall, the driving experience is exactly what you would expect: easy going, non-intrusive, and somewhat boring. The handling is actually more compliant than the soft ride would lead you to believe, but the steering is typically devoid of any real feedback. This is also by far the largest vehicle I've ever owned (always had small compacts and sub-compacts) so I have found that it can be difficult to place it just right on the road and in the corners, but it's not really enough to bother me and I'm pretty much used to it by now. I will say this, when my Mazda wasn't in the dealer getting fixed for the umpteenth time, it definitely handled better.
The ride quality is excellent. Easily the most comfortable car I've owned. I used it to go to a concert in Louisville, KY shortly after buying it. It carried me, a friend, and a weeks worth of luggage for two people just shy of 2,000 miles round trip without complaint. The 2.5L four cylinder handled the highway beautifully, happily cruising along at 75-80 almost the whole way with no issues. The highway RPMs are kept low by the 6-speed automatic, and passing is made easy by relatively quick downshifts. The only time I felt like I could have used just a little more power was when driving through the steep mountain passes in western Pennsylvania, where the thin air and steep grades did have the 4-banger working a little harder. That being said, despite the high speeds we traveled at and the steep terrain, it still averaged 35-36 MPG for the whole trip.
My regular driving takes place on mostly rural back roads with some light city/highway driving mixed in. I only drive about 25 miles a day to and from work on average. Under these conditions, I average about 33 MPG. The tank is large enough at 18.5 gallons to allow me to go a little over 2 weeks without filling up.
The only gripe I can say I have is the somewhat jerky nature of the transmission in city driving situations. The transmission never slams into gear or makes any noise, however I've found that careless throttle application at 30-40 MPH (right where the torque converter starts to go into lock-up) can result in some bumpiness. I've found that the best way to avoid this is to simply apply the throttle slowly and easily, giving the transmission time to transfer in and out of lock-up. I've gotten so used to doing this now, that I can honestly say I haven't felt it jump at all since probably the second week after buying it. I would probably actually have to try to get it to do it again.
The Camry does exactly what it was designed to do. It blends into life seamlessly and does its job without complaint. I have no regrets on my decision to take a bit of a hit on the (unfortunately) poorly built Mazda 3 to get myself into something that's just a whole lot easier to live with.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 9th November, 2014