By Hafriz Shah
This car needs no introduction. Just look around your neighbourhood or shopping centre carpark and you’ll see a few around. It thoroughly outsold its competitors in the same class, most of which boasted better equipment levels and more powerful/modern drivetrains – but did not have a Toyota badge on their grille.
Perhaps it’s the familiarity but the six short years since this generation ceased production have not been kind to the Camry’s styling. It seemed to have gone through an accelerated aging spurt when the newer, more contemporary replacement was launched at the end of 2006. To me, at least, it looks much older than it is though some might say that with age comes grace. It’s your call.
On the inside, swathes of leather and faux wood (given that the owner had taken good care of) will still impress prospective buyers. It might not have all the latest fancy gizmos but at its core lies a dependable and robust climate control and audio system that will quite possibly outlive time itself.
The rear legroom is massive (believe it or not, the wheelbase of the Camry was longer than the Mercedes E-Class of the same period!) and along with the comfortable and supportive seats, it will make for a decent car to be chauffeured around town in. Those who prefer to drive themselves will not be disappointed either as the driving experience is above-par.
Two 4-cylinder engine choices were offered – 2.0 litres and 2.4 litres. The smaller engine with 147 bhp and 190 Nm would be the better pick as it offers enough grunt slotting through traffic and occasional highway sprints – plus not incurring the higher roadtax of the 2.4.
Prices have slowly tapered down over the years but it’s a Toyota so best-in-class residuals are pretty much guaranteed. And if you buy a used one today, you will still enjoy its strong value retention for some time, along with the reasonable maintenance costs. Which makes this car one of the safest choices you could make.
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