Original reviewer with an update.
Ah, it's good to be home. My Camry performed flawlessly on our long journey. It carried all four of its passengers and all of their luggage in comfort. Long drives are easy in this car. Everyone had plenty of room to stretch out and relax. Set the cruise control at 65 MPH, and this baby just cruises right along.
The part of New Hampshire we stayed in was very mountainous. All of the town's roads were extremely hilly. I found that when descending a steep hill, this car automatically downshifts for improved engine braking. I really like that it does that. Helped save the brakes for sure. When climbing a steep hill, moving the lever over to 4th gear cures any transmission confusion. Just gotta keep it out of overdrive.
Just had my first oil change performed at 37,000 miles. Switched to synthetic oil (have always used it) and had the tires rotated. No issues to speak of.
Original Reviewer with an update.
41,000 miles now, and almost time for the next oil change. Only issue it gave me since my last report, was it wouldn't eject a CD from the CD player (had to shut the car off and then turn it back on again, then it ejected the CD) but it only did it once. I thought it was a bit strange, but since I got my CD back, I just didn't question it.
I usually trade in my cars at around 130,000 miles or so (yes, the Hyundai went sooner, but I really did not want to put a clutch in it if I was only going to drive it for another 12,000 miles). But I like this car so much, I really want to see how far I can take it. I'm planning on driving this one until it just doesn't drive anymore!
46,000 miles on my Camry now. No issues to speak of. Got my best MPG so far; 37 MPG highway. Very good for a car of this size. I average 35 MPG.
Original Reviewer again!
Just had my oil changed again at 47,000 miles. The technician noticed that the driver's side drive axle CV joint boot was ripped. I brought the car back to the dealer, expecting a battle (the car is still under warranty until 100,000 miles.) The dealer did not put a fight about it like I expected, and instead immediately set up an appointment to have it repaired. I was very pleased.
I got a free loaner car while my Camry was being repaired, a 2011 Toyota Camry LE 4-cylinder. It's essentially identical to my Camry, so I figured I'd write a little comparison between the two.
I have to say, if I could've afforded it, I probably would have liked the newest Camry even better. For starters, the new 2.5L 4-cylinder is silky smooth (more so than the 2.4L in my Camry) however, it lacks any enjoyable sound to it. I know it seems ridiculous to say that about a Camry, but my Camry's 4-cylinder actually makes a nice little growl at higher RPMs, this new 2.5 just kinda whirrs. It does however have a noticeable power increase over my 2.4L. The 2.4L in my Camry makes 158 HP, while the 2.5L in this makes I believe 170. Acceleration is definitely improved over my Camry. I felt no difference in off-the-line low-end torque.
The new 6-speed transmission is excellent. You can never feel it shift when you let it work on it's own. Selecting sport-mode can add some fun (and I do wish my Camry had this feature), but the transmission doesn't always listen to you. It upshifts automatically if it thinks you've held a gear too long, and doesn't always allow downshifts. When it does downshift, it isn't quite as smooth as I would expect. It isn't a painful, hard kickdown, but you can definitely feel it. On the highway, selecting 4th gear and pushing the throttle halfway makes overtaking a breeze. My overall recommendation, let the transmission do the work for you, because there is little reward for rowing your own.
Handling is about the same as my Camry. Steering feel is what really improved. While my Camry has a vague steering feel, this '11 feels much more direct. Still has some of the typical Toyota vagueness, but overall much improved. The ride feels about the same, but road noise is quieter, and suspension noise has been significantly reduced when compared to my '09 Camry.
Interior quality is probably what I noticed the most. When you compare my '09 to this '11, you can really see that Toyota did slack off a bit in the quality department for the earlier model XV40 Camrys'. While my '09 Camry's interior quality certainly isn't bad, the '11's is visibly better. Fit and finish is better, and materials seem to be of higher quality.
Wow, this turned into a bit of a review didn't it? Well, I was impressed with the '11 Camry. I wish I could've afforded one when I purchased my '09 used this year. I'm still however very happy with my Camry, and I'm very pleased to see that Toyota stood behind its product, and did the right thing by taking care of my complaint immediately.
My Camry has 55,000 miles now, and just had its oil changed again today. I was hearing some tire noise, so I had the tires rebalanced at the same time, which took care of the problem. At my next oil change, 60K, I'll be having the factory recommended 60K service performed.
I noticed a slight knocking noise when traveling down a bumpy road the other day. It was definitely coming from the rear, looked up complaints on this noise online, and found a TSB for the rear shocks. Apparently on some '09 Camry's, the shock bumpers were found to have been installed upside down, which can cause the knocking noise. Not sure if this is my problem, but I will be bringing it into the dealer to have it checked out soon. Based on my current experience with this dealer, I don't expect much trouble. Other than this noise, I have no problems to report.
With the colder weather settling in here in New England (finally), my gas mileage has gone down as usual (I let my cars warm up for a bit longer than most people in the winter, so it's my fault, but I like to have heat when I get in my car!) I've been averaging about 31 MPG now. Actually, not really that bad considering my Hyundai would drop down to 32 MPG from a usual 40.
The dealer was unable to find the source of the knocking sound, and stated that they couldn't really hear it either, but that they checked all of the suspension components and found them to all be functioning properly. The visit didn't cost me a penny. My Camry's VIN code didn't fall under the TSB/Recall I found. But, they were very courteous, and told me that if I still hear and I feel uncomfortable with it, to bring it right back and they will do there best (once again) to try to find it. The noise hasn't gotten worse, so I'm not very concerned. And again, it only makes the noise on very bumpy roads. Unfortunately, there are a lot of those in my small hometown.
We got our first real winter storm here in New England this weekend. I picked up my Camry right in the middle of the storm actually, just to find out how it would perform in the snow. While I can say that it is certainly not as good as my Hyundai was in the snow, it's not bad. The larger tires on this Camry are most likely the reason for its fair performance. This is one of the largest cars I've owned, so while I am used to front-wheel drive cars in the snow, they were usually very small with skinny tires that cut through the deep stuff much easier. My youngest son's Corolla had no issue climbing the slight hill up my driveway (albeit with snow tires), and my oldest's Saturn with regular passenger tires made it right up as well. I was left spinning my tires, and my son had to take out my mother's CR-V and tow me up. First time I've ever gotten stuck in a front-wheel drive car!
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