Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
August 15, 2013
Answer: This vehicle in 2012 sold 404,886 units, making it the best selling passenger car in the U.S. for the past eleven years
Question: What is the Toyota Camry?
Why has the Toyota Camry been the best selling car in the U.S. for eleven years? After spending a week with a 2013 Camry XLE four-cylinder, I might have the answer to this question.
The Camry's exterior design doesn't take any real risks. You won't find any distinctive sculpting, bold character lines, sloping roofline, or any other design cues that happen to be the hot thing at the moment. Toyota designers took the last-generation Camry, cleaned it up a bit by giving it some more tone and smoothing it out. I found it to be a nice looking vehicle.
Inside is somewhat a mess. The overall look feels somewhat dated with a mismatch design, hard materials in places where you think there should be soft-touch materials, and somewhat dated climate control interface. This isn't a good sign considering Toyota had just launched this generation of Camry for the 2012 model year.
There a few good points to the Camry's interior though. All of seats are very comfortable and there is a surprising amount of head and legroom for the front and back seat. Toyota's Entune infotainment system is one the easiest systems to use and provides a wide selection of audio choices and applications (such as Bing, OpenTable, and Pandora) you can access. I just wished the system was a little bit quicker when moving around the different functions and the screen did not wash out as easily in daylight.
The 2013 Camry sticks with the tried and true four-cylinder, V6, and hybrid powertrain lineup. My XLE tester came equipped with the 2.5L four-cylinder with 178 horsepower and 170 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with a six-speed automatic that routes power to the front wheels. The engine and six-speed transmission might the bright spot in the Camry since its a very smooth and refined affair. Plus, I found the engine to provide enough power for daily driving. EPA rates the 2013 Camry XLE four-cylinder at 25 City/35 Highway/28 Combined. During my week with the Camry, I got 30.2 MPG.
Competent would the perfect word to describe the Camry's ride and handling. The suspension does a great impression of doing a big sedan ride as it smooths over bumps and road imperfections. The Camry does exhibit some lean and roll when cornering, but how many Camry drivers are going to push their car to the limit? Not many.
Why do many people buy the Camry? Well, partly its due to the Camry being a good car. Its not the most stylish, nor fun to drive. What the Camry does right is the basics; offer a vehicle that seat four comfortably, provides a comfortable ride and very good fuel economy, and a pricetag that doesn't hurt the bank. There is also the long standing reputation the Camry has built over the years. Looking for a vehicle that is reliable and worryfree? You want a Camry. Those two items have made the Camry a perennial breadwinner for Toyota.
However, the current Camry is just average. Back in the early to mid-nineties, if you wanted the best midsize sedan, you went to the Toyota dealer and pickup up a Camry. Now with the likes of the Ford Fusion, Nissan Altima, Mazda6, Hyundai Sonata, Kia Optima, and Honda Accord, the 2013 Camry is riding on its reputation and name. I understand why many people get the Camry, but you doing yourself a great disservice by not looking at others. The midsize marketplace is as strong as it ever was.
To sum up, the 2013 Toyota Camry is a good car and many will buy it. However, there are a fair number of vehicles who are much better and deserve a look.
Year - 2013
Make – Toyota
Model – Camry
Trim – XLE
Engine – 2.5L DOHC 16-Value w/Dual VTT-i Four-Cylinder
Driveline – Front-Wheel Drive, Six-Speed Automatic Transmission
Horsepower @ RPM – 178 @ 6,000 RPM
Torque @ RPM – 170 @ 4,100 RPM
Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 25/35/28
Curb Weight – 3,245 lbs
Location of Manufacture – Georgetown, Kentucky
Base Price - $24,855.00
As Tested Price - $29,570.00* (Includes $795.00 destination charge)
Leather Package - $1,675.00
Convenience Package - $1,195.00
Display Audio with Navigation and Entune - $1,050.00