2007 Toyota Camry
Editors' note: Toyota issued a recall for vehicles of this model and year on January 21, 2010 to replace the accelerator pedal mechanism, which has been known to get stuck, causing unintended acceleration. For the latest recall information, please visit the Toyota Web site.Toyota asserts that the all-new 2007 Toyota Camry's looks are a bold and assertive answer to the ordinary styling of the previous car. Toyota may be attempting to respond to critics who consider the Camry an appliance approach, as opposed to making an emotional appeal, to the car business. But Toyota's conservative approach with the Camry has earned it the top sales spot for a passenger car during eight of the last nine years. The new design allows a roomier cabin with a host of fine features. Both four- and six-cylinder engines have added power with good fuel economy and excellent emissions ratings. An auxiliary audio input is standard, and Bluetooth is available separately from the navigation package.
Upside: The new Toyota Camry is smooth and quiet over a variety of road surfaces, and handling is precise without punishing occupants with a harsh ride. The four-cylinder engine has adequate power for family chores and delivers 25mpg/34mpg (city and highway, respectively) fuel economy with a standard transmission. For added enthusiasm, the 3.5-liter V-6 from the Avalon model provides 268 horsepower, enough to surprise some sports sedans at a stoplight. All instrument trims feature backlit Optitron displays and an oil change reminder. All audio systems have MP3 and WMA playback capability, digital sound processors, and an auxiliary input for iPod and other portable audio devices. Bluetooth and GPS navigation are available as options.
Downside: For buyers who seek emotion in their ride, the Camry is still more sensible than arousing. Four-cylinder fuel economy with the automatic transmission, Toyota's most popular combination, has decreased slightly in highway EPA rating despite a change from five to six speeds. That's in vivid contrast to the gain in both power and economy of the six-cylinder offering. Base prices remain competitive with other midsize offerings but quickly escalate with the addition of comfort and convenience options.
Outlook: Despite aggressive competition from Kia with a similar-size, full-featured entrant at a lower price and Ford's competent new Fusion model, the Camry should keep its first place title. The buttoned-down styling is clean and contemporary, and the quality remains class-leading. Camry will also include that will help position the popular sedan as delivering high economy and leading technology. Finally, the addition of useful features will appeal to careful shoppers.