6th May 2015, 08:18

That's if you stay stock. For under 2k you can put in a Hotchkis suspension to made your old muscle car handle like a new one. Or put a Gen 3 crate in. I think your 0-60 times are low, especially with a W-30 option. We just did a 57 Chevrolet with modern fuel injection and added air. But again this is a simple family sedan review. There are sports sedans out there. If you are going in that direction, you may want to look at BMW, Audi, and Acura with more performance and refined suspension options. Not just geared for a soft ride.

6th May 2015, 23:13

The point of my last post was to compare stock cars from one era to another - which as admitted wasn't really fair, but still impressive given that a boring family car like a V6 Camry is at this point so much faster than pretty much the majority of the muscle cars of the 70s.

Sure - most people would elect to drive the muscle car. But on a recent trip I rented a Chevy Cruze, and that thing was pretty fun to drive and had boatloads of torque and pep. It's nice that these days even the typical middle class family can own a car that can lay down some serious rubber if so desired...

7th May 2015, 11:58

In the interim the muscle cars have progressed. Up and over 600 HP on the big 3. Blistering acceleration. So buy a new Dodge Challenger or Shelby if you like a performance car and have a hot foot. Comparing to the 60s isn't as exciting as comparing to the technology and developments since. To me it's embarrassing to be peeling rubber in a Camry or even a Cruze. The very rare muscle car owners from the 60s and early 70s likely are more likely polishers than racers today, with their considerable investment. I don't believe cars like the Camry are in this segment. It's a good car for an average owner to realize dependable transportation. That's not a bad thing. Breaking motor mounts and punishing a drivetrain ill suited for hard acceleration and abuse is not.

7th May 2015, 21:54

6 seconds is impressive regardless of any car. Besides - you know what's more of a kick when it comes to speed? Sleepers. Sure - if some guy shows up in a fire-breathin' maxxed out new Mustang or Charger, then the expectation is that the car will of course be fast. Way more surprising that a car like the Camry would also be fast... as in yeah, it's not as fast as some of the muscle cars, but it's not that much slower either.

Actually what's more impressive are cars like the Tesla Model S, which will easily whip pretty much any muscle car very easily. Instead of having some massive engine with all that rotating mass to overcome, the Model S has ALL of the torque immediately. These cars have routinely been shown on the track absolutely blowing those cars away.

8th May 2015, 03:06

Toyota has skimped on a lot more than the interior.

To name a few: engine sludge, premature frame rot, transmission computers, cam shafts that break in half, and ABS failure on certain models. It's not like every single Toyota has these various problems, BUT they were unheard of in the '80s and '90s, not to mention the recall fiasco a few years back.

As far as GM in the '80s, I think you are selling them short. The first wave of front-drive models were all under-engineered, but improved over the years; it was almost a 50/50 shot that you got a junk, or a decent car. On the other hand if you had a mid-size or full-size body on frame (the cars GM knew how to build), you were in good hands.

8th May 2015, 10:27

I definitely realize that this is a Camry review. Now we are on the Tesla S performance Signature. This runs 96k to 106k. Entering this price level you have some serious considerations. You are now touching super car pricing.

I look at all cars. If there's a new design element, I am up for mixed car ownership. Even reading up on a Camry. Some of us want a new car that we can drive to the mall, a bar, grocery stores and everywhere. I would rather risk a car door or shopping cart ding with a moderate priced vehicle. Driven with common sense and less attention as well.

I have a couple of very fast vehicles. I enjoy some brief spirited driving, but mostly the handling. Preserving my driver's license is another factor. Burning rubber-hard acceleration is known as street exhibition. A ticket I had once and do not wish a repeat. There's tracks and places for that. Just enjoy your car and drive with good sense. Don't break any motor mounts.

8th May 2015, 17:21

I've seen those same comments before. Toyota and Lexus are up at the top of the reliability charts for a reason. Do Toyotas have problems? Yes. That's not the point. The point is how MANY total have problems. They have less than other brands, so there you go...

As far as the earlier FWD attempts by GM, well to be fair the Big Three had only ever made RWD cars with the rare exceptions of cars like the Toronado. European and Japanese companies had been making FWD cars for decades. So any problems that had been present before had long been worked out. The early offerings from the Big Three in FWD form were atrocious. The 4-banger GM used was good by itself (the "Iron duke"), but the transmissions were terrible and had lots of problems.

It's really only been since around the mid-2000s that GM and Ford finally got serious about their small and midsized car products. A lot of that change came from decisions to use more global platforms and cars. The Chevy Cruz is sold in the EU, Asia and the US. The Ford Focus and Fiesta were sold in the EU for decades before finally coming to the US. Having less platforms to deal with makes the manufacturing process much easier. Given that most of these cars had originated in the EU and had been there long enough to work out the bugs, by the time they came here they were already good cars.

The Camry is about as apple pie as they come. It was initially sold to the US from Japan, but since the late 80s has been produced in the US with an increasing number of US components, to where it is now a majority US-sourced car. The Camry does not sell well at all except in the US. It's available in few other markets. So over time it has become more and more 'Americanized' to a point where it looks like a Buick. Take the badge away... and it's just another big American family sedan. Complete with cheap plastic interior.

8th May 2015, 20:33

Maybe Japanese Cherry Pie. Come on, it's not a domestic. The big 3 are Apple Pie. Gas was cheap for many decades in America. Driving a V8 was common and I still prefer them today. There was a bleak gas shortage period in the mid 70s. Most I knew then drove VW Bugs, Novas, and AMC was very popular. I even felt the Omni, Horizon and Chevette were popular for a while.

Thankfully we have great car choices today. Some are up to 750 HP from the big three. You can run cats today that do not rob HP and all the dismal anti pollution devices were figured out. As well as early attempts at 5 mph bumpers. Both import and domestics.

The mid 70s until really the late 90s were a time I would rather forget with most vehicle choices. The mid 70s had the Trans Am and the Nissan Z cars - they were about all I liked. 2015 has excitement again.

As far as Apple Pie, the big 3 are the more appropriate nomenclature.