2nd Jan 2011, 23:16
I just recently replaced my old 93 Pontiac Bonneville with the 3.8 GM engine, with a 99 Camry with the 2.2 L 4 cylinder with 111,000 km on it.
The old Pontiac had rust issues and the headliner had fallen down because of years of being in the tropical heat in Mexico. With over 300,000 kms on the old girl, she still used less than a litre of oil between changes, had plenty of get up and go, and got 24 miles to the U.S. gallon on the highway.
I can't get any better with my Camry, which I find hard to believe considering the Toyota has 6 years newer technology, is smaller in size and has 2 less cylinders and a lot less horsepower. According to www.fueleconomy.gov, a U.S. government website, the Camry is rated at 28/gal highway and the Bonneville at 26/gal highway. I suppose 24 is a realistic real world mileage for the Camry, however I wonder how these people calculate that their Camrys get 30-35. Wishful thinking?
Considering the disappointing economy and lack of luxury features of the Camry, I am rather disappointed I went that route, rather than maybe going with a Regal with the 3.8, which would have been thousands of dollars cheaper than the Camry. After a trip to Vancouver Island over Christmas, which got hit by a five day, once in 35 years rainstorm, I discovered the trunk of the Camry had 10 gallons of water in it!
I am finding it hard to find reasons to like this vehicle.
3rd Jan 2011, 15:58
You cannot compare a Bonneville to a Camry, the Bonneville is a much better car for the money.
Like you said, the fuel economy is about the same, but you have much more power on the freeway.
I have driven Camry's, and they feel cheap and unsafe, not to mention noisy at highway speeds.
Why people will pay 2 or 3 times more for a Toyota is beyond me. They require expensive maintenance to be reliable, and you are driving a cheap economy car.
Must be a status thing or something, trying to be better than your neighbor with an expensive economy car that offers less luxury and comfort than a cheaper domestic.
3rd Jan 2011, 17:11
"I suppose 24 is a realistic real world mileage for the Camry, however I wonder how these people calculate that their Camrys get 30-35. Wishful thinking?"
I'm very sorry you got taken in by a myth. My friend's 4-cylinder RAV 4 gets 19 mpg on the highway. All Toyota's are very over rated in both reliability and gas mileage. Our large domestic SUV gets better highway mileage than my friend's RAV 4.
As for used cars, nothing beats a good, solid domestic Ford or GM. A co-worker of mine just bought a mint 1998 Pontiac Bonneville with the 3.8 engine and only 69,000 miles for just $3500. The car only had 69,000 miles. A GM service department checked the car out before he bought it, and told him it should be good for another 200,000 miles. That beats the heck out of paying ten grand for a piece of Japanese junk that won't last 6 months.
31st Jul 2012, 09:22
Don't get me started on that engine and the EGR valve problems... maybe the earlier ones were OK, but the later 3.8 were prone to head gasket and EGR problems that would leak coolant into the cylinders. Cost owners 1000s in needless repairs for an issue GM refused to acknowledge.
1st Aug 2012, 11:15
The 3800 never had head gasket problems. Intake yes, but head gaskets are unheard of on that great engine.
1st Aug 2012, 11:33
Yeah - so sorry they bought into the "Myth" or whatever. So sorry that Toyota is continually ranked at or close to the top of annual quality and reliability reports year after year. So sorry that basically every single Toyota we've ever owned was owned well past 200,000 miles without any major problems.
1st Aug 2012, 16:51
Refused to acknowledge?
This problem was corrected from 2003 and beyond. It may have taken a couple of years, but also Toyota didn't correct their sludge problem overnight either.
1st Aug 2012, 20:04
I had the 3.8 Bonneville, and it was better than our Acura Legend. We had the Pontiac 3.8 in our IO boat as well.
2nd Aug 2012, 13:44
I never owned a Ford or GM that had any problems. Also never had an import that DIDN'T. Guess what we drive now?
3rd Aug 2012, 13:42
I just reread the original review on top. Then yours. Gut wrenching seats to enjoy for 200,000 miles. Sounds real appealing.
4th Aug 2013, 00:38
I've had my Toyota Camry for almost 3 years. When I purchased it, it had roughly 285,000 kms on it, and it now has 340,000 on it. I am constantly driving it around. I have never had any major problems with it, nor have I had to replace anything but a muffler and brakes.
My car is 12 years old and still runs like new. It is a very reliable and safe vehicle, and it has never let me down before. It is great on gas, and it pumps the beats pretty good too for factory.
So anyone who dislikes this vehicle and thinks it's an "Asian piece of crap" should look again. Did you ever consider that maybe you didn't take care of it?? It doesn't matter what type of vehicle it is if you have no idea on how to maintain a car. Well first off maybe you should not be driving, and secondly of course a car is going to go to crap a lot faster than one that is properly maintained.
4th Aug 2013, 21:25
The import myth is losing its hold on car buyers in America, and I was ecstatically happy to read that GM actually outsold Toyota in JAPAN in June!! Even the Japanese are wising up.
And although they are incredibly biased in favor of Japanese cars, Consumer Reports picked the new Chevy Impala as the best sedan in the world. The Ford Focus is once again the best selling car on Earth, and J.D. Power chose the new Lincoln MKZ as the most appealing mid-sized luxury car.
As a loyal American, I am happy to see American automakers building the best cars on Earth.