I totally agree with this, it's not a domestic/import thing, it's a MODEL thing.
If you want 200K + out of a domestic, buy a TOWN CAR; ask any cabby driving one with odometer readings I never saw on my Mercury Cougar (trans blew at 115K... should've bought a TOWN CAR, not necessarily a TOYOTA).
Now my friend's Toyota COROLLA just blew up at 186K. Wish I ever could get that kind of life out of a car.
Toyota quality has been dropping drastically for over a decade. No longer remotely reliable. Check out the top-rated Ford Fusion or the new Chevy Malibu if you want quality and reliability. You will also be helping America's economy by buying from an American company.
That would be great. Let's only have a praise review on every make and model. I prefer to be forewarned and seek competitive make and model advantages and disadvantages in my price range. That means imports and domestics at a specific price range I am buying, new or used.
So where does this belief that "Toyota quality has been falling" come from? Our newer Toyotas have been much the same as they always have: They tend to run for 200-250,000 miles without a problem and do so easily. Just yet another reason why Toyota is now once again the world's largest automaker.
A small Toyota owner is likely not in the market for a new Town Car or a new world class Cadillac. With gas at 4 bucks a gallon, cheap transportation is likely the motivator. And income level. What will be interesting to see if we will be reading of more issues due to increased service intervals. Gas is high, and people are stretching the budget for oil changes at proper times. I even read of people selling used vehicles and commenting that there's a hundred dollars of fuel in the tank as a negotiating plus. I remember my family going on long trips on weekends. Never a moment's worry over fuel. They still drive very nice cars, but shorter commutes.
Many of today's Toyotas aren't... small. In fact, check out some of the specs on the interior spaces of their medium sized sedans. They're basically the same as many of the older full sized cars, including the now-defunct Crown Vic and Town Car.
An awful lot of people who have done well financially, also drive more economical cars, not because we have to. It's more that it doesn't really make much sense to go around driving a behemoth vehicle that gets poor fuel economy, just for the sake of spending more money. I'd rather spend money on other things - like a couple bottles of nice wine, or maybe a vacation or whatnot.
It also has to do with changing consumer preferences. A long time ago it was popular to buy huge floaty cars with gargantuan trunks. My Grandmother still likes those type of cars, but then again, she is from a generation that liked that sort of thing. That has changed, and most people these days would prefer to drive something more economical. Just because something is big, doesn't mean it's automatically nice. That's sort of like saying that a huge bottle of cheap perfume is a lot better than a small bottle of nice perfume.
Does no one read anymore? Virtually all automotive media have for years been reporting the drastic decline in Toyota quality. Has no one read or heard of the 24 million recalls!
Actually more grandparents are driving Camry models. I see the shift over time to minivans and now crossovers. Active families need space. Maybe when we retire, we can buy fine wines.
I just took my family to Disney World in a crossover for a vacation. With luggage for 2 adults and 2 children, it was perfect. The small import trunk is not ideal. If we flew for 4, it would much higher. I also see 40 year old wanting some style as well as room. If you are a commuter, maybe the Camry works. But with 3 or 4 people on a trip, it doesn't.
I own a 2010 Camry LE Auto. It was affected by the recall, and the TSB was done twice, but it still lurches. The technicians say that the car is within calibration.
You can floor the pedal and it will either take off (expected), just sit there (as in not go at all, as if it was parked), or go as you would expect it to. If you feather the pedal, same exact thing.
It doesn't matter how hard you push; you never know if you will ram the vehicle in front of you. The uncertainty really kills the car. It has other faults (i.e. blind spots, poor seating position) that I could live with if the pedals just worked the way they were supposed to!
This is our second Toyota, and our first one was the car from hell. Toyota has some good designs, but we've gotten the 1/1,000,000 lemon both times. No more Toyotas for us. Two worst cars we ever owned.
So far I am unaware of any so-called decline in Toyota quality, and if there was a decline, they wouldn't still be listed in various reliability reports as being one of the best brands.
Yet another way to put it is a small bottle of very cheap perfume is not as good as a larger, premium upscale bottle.
No, Toyota medium size sedans interior specs are about the same as a Malibu or Fusion.
I recently went on a road trip where a late model Camry was rented. I drove the car and sat in the back seat. The interior space was not even close to a Town Car, which I own, or even a Park Avenue, which my father owns.
Go to consumeraffairs.com and read.
Maybe that's why they make crossovers. I bought my mother a Malibu new in 2002. It now has 70000 miles on it. It drives nice, but on a long trip, I will pass. I will take the 21 MPG in my crossover vs room and luggage space. Remember, Toyota made the Sienna for a reason.
Yes... there are consumer sites that show people complaining about cars of all makes and models. Those aren't really related to the overall quality and reliability lists. All car makers make a few lemons. It's just that companies like Toyota make less of them.
I'm the author of this review.
If you go back and read my original review, you will see that my previous car was a Grand Marquis.
I will speak from experience, and tell you that the Grand Marquis had a lot more interior space than the Camry that this review is based on. A Camry also does not seat six.
Also an update:
I don't own this car any more. Traded it for a 2012 Altima. Now only time will tell if I decide to purchase another Japanese car.
Some people are rather interested to read about engine sludging, trans issues, air bags, braking issues. Apparently you are not one of them. I used to possess that mindset as well. It's just hard to believe quality issues are even possible. I switch back and forth, imports-domestics. Since the factory does not buy my cars for us, we leave on quality issues. At the moment I am off imports over trans loss.
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