We own 2-3 new or almost new cars (maybe a year apart) in our household at any given time. First time ever to have all new domestics as far as adults... however our teen has an older Civic (car 4 at our home). Call it the way it is. I liked imports and domestics before. I guess it's hard to classify mixed new ownership other than to say it's significant when you lose faith in one. Then you are deemed an import hater. Imagine that.
My husband was in the car business for 30 years, and he often said that it (quality) depended on the day the auto was manufactured. Monday was not a good day and neither was Friday. He handled American cars, either General Motors or Ford, and was on Ford's board for two years as an outstanding rep for a large car leasing company. He handled over 3000 autos in their fleet, and came to the conclusion that Toyota did a better job than most American engineers in building autos.
Now I have read about their sludge/oil problem and I wonder. I have a 6 cylinder Toyota Camry LE and am wondering if I'll be caught up in this deal. It is interesting how things change.
To 15:18: Having been cursed with a Honda Civic, I know all too well how easy it is to become turned off by a bad apple in the barrel. As a mechanic I found the Civic one of the most unreliable and poorly put together cars I've ever seen. Still, I do test drive imports from time to time to stay abreast of what is going on with them. No import has impressed me as much as our domestics. And no, I'm not an "import hater". I'm a guy who hates having to fix my own cars all the time, or hassle with a dealer. I'd rather just buy them, drive them 150,000 miles and trade them. I've never managed that with ANY of our imports.
If you have had any previous Camrys and now have a 2007, compare the repair history and then know where to look next time for the next new car. I even bought a few more new ones even with issues cropping up before I made my own personal determination on what to buy. You can have 1 with isolated incidents, but have 1 or 2 more exact same car equally ordered. It quickly answers that question.
@20th Dec 2008, 00:39.
There is no sludge problems on newer Camry vehicles. It's just the Toyota bashers that are posting fake reviews on this and other sites. I know there were a settlement case where about 3000 owners complained about sludging on their Toyota vehicles equipped with the 2.2I4 or the 3.0V6. This was cars sold between 97 and 02. Considering that Toyota sold millions of cars equipped with the 2.2 or the 3.0 in this time period, I'd say that even then this is a marginal problem and you'd be unlikely to experience this problem even if you own a 10 year old Camry.
All the same, Toyota handled this OK and fixed most engines for free (Did Chrysler/Dodge do the same thing on their infamous 2.7V6? I think not.)
Most people experiencing sludging are those purchasing motor oil at 2$/quart at Wal-Mart or driving in very hot weather where the engine oils "cooks" and turns into the tar like substance called sludge.
There have been major sludging problems with several Toyota engines as well as very uneven combustion chamber temperatures. These problems are caused by poorly designed cylinder heads and there is no quick fix other than trading the car in on a more reliable vehicle (such as Ford or GM).
I met a cab driver who claimed he got 1,000,000 miles out of a 95 LT1 Chevy Caprice. He claimed he went through 5 transmissions but the engine was never replaced or rebuilt.
I think the Japanese import owners with many issues, short warranties, have their hands full on here, let alone leaving the nest and moving over to the superior new domestic models.
The issues you read on here on domestics seem to be real old ones, likely used when they were first bought, and then buying real small vehicles with an emphasis on gas afterwards.
I like to read consumeraffairs.com with mechanical issues on newer imports. I see the cheap cars as basic appliances.
It's not just the duration of the warranty. Have you been into any dealer and asked them to honor the warranty? "You caused the damage" and voided the complaint and warranty. "You did not regularly service your vehicle at our dealer or an authorized mechanic, therefore the warranty is void. A lot of fine print and slick service managers keep the dealers afloat. Time tested Hondas, Toyotas and a few others are the best bet.
Yes... lack of import service/durability is why I have 2 new domestics parked in our driveway today. I have had extensive follow up calls, great communication and satisfaction requests. Will never be taken for granted again.
I'm so sick of the "foreign vs domestic" trash talk. Most people on here probably don't even know that most Toyotas are made here in the ol' USA by American workers so they're not 'foreign'. Toyotas are far better in reliability than any Chevy or Ford. Trust me, I've dealt with both.
1:06 trust you, we do not know you. I would say track your own personal service records on the last 3 vehicles purchased new and use as a guideline on your next purchase. If you do not knew who owned your vehicle if it was not purchased new... this recommendation is contaminated. Buy new and track will give you the best answers.
@22nd Dec 2008, 11:37.
The car in question is a Camry with the I4, which has better than average reliability records for ALL model years, and is probably one of the best purchases around.
16:55 the answer is yes and argumentative... I took my business up the street and bought new domestics. I bought 2 new vehicles within 9 months... I have never seen such great follow up calls on my domestics. It's nice being appreciated, and better yet not sitting alongside the road.
I just got a Consumer Reports January 2009. On page 51, it shows the 4 cylinder Toyota Camry LE has average "predicted reliability." Also the 6 Cylinder Toyota Camry XLE has average reliability.
The cars with better than average reliability are Accord, Camry Hybrid, Optima, Sonata, 4 cyl Malibu, Fusion, Milan, 4-cyl Pontiac G6.
Other cars that the Camry is now in the company of in terms of having average reliability are Jetta 2.5, 4 cylinder Chrysler Sebring, V6 Malibu, Taurus, Sable, Saturn Aura, Impala, Charger, LaCrosse.
Problem rates for modern new cars are really quite low. An average in 2009 would have been way above average 20 years ago. If you like the I4 Camry, I would not hesitate to buy one just because it is now just average in reliability. I read in a car magazine that 89% of Camrys sold are the 4 cylinders.
I think a lot of Camry buyers just want a nice family car without any worries on repairs. But it is not the standout in that regard that it once was.
But if you are looking for something a little more performance oriented, which I would guess would be relevant here since this is a comment on a review on a V6 Toyota Camry XLE, there are other choices on the market that combine 6 cylinder performance with better handling. Or if you are more into the 6 cylinder with a $3500 lower price, the Korean offerings look attractive.