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2014 Camry SE rental


ponchoman49

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Just turned in a weekend rental of a 2014 silver Camry SE 2.5 with automatic and black interior with painted silver contrasting.

The drive- in two words mediocre and forgettable. The 2.5 was enough engine to get you there and the 6 speed shifted smoothly. Handling was a mixed bag. Steering felt like it was Novocain injected with numbness and little feedback. Driven conservatively the SE with it's 17" tires does well enough and feels somewhat sporty. But driven at the limits is where it all falls apart. The tires howl in agony and there is much body lean. braking was competent but hardly class leading. The 2.5 got up to 60 in a middling 9 seconds flat with 9,200 miles on the clock and 8.7 in Sport mode which trails most other competing mid size sedans with here more powerful 2.4 and 2.5 engines. Even Ford's 1.6 Ecoboost feels gutsier. Mileage was a mixed bag. City driving saw 22. Highway runs were no better than 32 going 73 MPH and the average worked out to 27. Nothing bad, nothing to stand out here.

The exterior- a bit to plain and slab sided for my liking but not offensive. Note that most others competitors use either a character line/lines or a bodyside molding/rocker flare to add some contrast to the tall plain doors. This car has a modest lower rocker flare that gives this car a low to the ground stance. Just watch out going into a shopping center and scrapping on those water ditches.

The interior- a let down in more ways than one. This is one area Toyota screwed the pooch. Starting with the seat material which was likened by several passengers to sand paper it was very cheap looking and feeling. The driver's seat it'self was okay in comfort for the first hour but grew a bit hard there after. The headliner felt like a wafer thin piece of cardboard with cheap spray on fabric- are we close here Toyota? The floor carpet was equally thin and cheap. The all black with no color contrasting interior was very dull and abysmal. the only contrast was the silver painted on plastic in spots which BTW was already wearing off on the PRN lettering from the floor console. The glove box was large enough in size but it's light was nearly useless. On a positive note Toyota finally fixed the ridiculous flimsy A-pillar moldings that used to pop right off in your hands and are now much more snug. However the equally lame and poorly fitted pieces on either side of the lower dash still are held in place with plastic clips and come off easily when pulled on as does the upper center dash vents. Yes a slight pull and it slides right out easily. I guess this is good for cleaning purposes but makes me wonder how long those cheap plastic clips will hold up after several years exposed to the sun. On another positive note- rear seat legroom is better than average. Another negative- the dated single zone climate controls which keep you and your passenger either too cold or too warm once settled in.

Features- another big letdown. For close to 26 large I found it unforgivable that this car lacked a power driver's seat. It also lacked remote start, retained accessory power, dual zone climate controls or even automatic climate controls, rear seat HVAC controls, lighted visor mirrors, a telematics system, XM radio, no navigation of any kind, exterior rear view mirror puddle lamps and no lumbar support for driver or passenger to name things that stuck out in my mind that should be std for this car which is one one trim level below the highest XLE model.

Safety/technology- Now that the 2014.5 has been rolled out with improvements to the structure for better crash test results, the Camry no longer is taken off the list for this reason but it is not a top safety pick. The expected list of safety features abound with ABS/traction control, stability control, side and curtain airbags etc. The Toyota Entune is another mixed bag. While easy to use it's interface looks dated and is sometimes slow to respond. Worse harsh sunlight washed it out to the point of a faded blur.

Weird problem- My tester exhibited a strange glitch where one cold morning it didn't want to start. Click click click. The battery somehow drained it'self to the point of not being able to start over night. Luckily I had my battery charger on hand and let it sit for a good hour and that got her going again. This problem did not resurface the following two days thank goodness but was still questionable as it could have left me stranded or an hour late for work if it had been a work day. I reported this problem to the rental agency so that they could have it checked out.

Summing up- neither fish nor fowl and quite bland. This car was a bit of an eye opener on how Toyota is basically selling on perceived quality and past experiences. If your looking for a sports sedan look elsewhere. If you want quick performance get the V6 model as the base 2.5 is a bit slower than it's competition. If your looking reasonable room/comfort, a low lease payment, and could care a less about features like a power seat, remote start, nav etc and place more value on rear seat room than this might be the one for you. For me I would look elsewhere starting with a Fusion SE with appearance package or an Accord Sport with the Mazda 6 a good alternative.

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Hey we just got a 2014 Camry SE (likely 4-cylinder they don't badge anymore, and I doubt Enterprise would blow money on a V-6, especially ours) except its gray. For today's pathetic standards 'in the name of safety', the seats were comfortable, yet somewhere between firm and rock-hard. Would I buy or recommend this car still? Hell no, and the same goes for any modern Malibu that's not the 1997-2003/2004-05 Classic or the 2008-12 models, which never should have been redesigned as hastily as they were, but by no means perfect, or levels of the 1982-90 Celebrity in any case.

Back to the Camry, I'm amazed that this doesn't even have SiriusXM Satellite Radio, Illuminated Visor Mirrors, standard Single-Zone Manual Air Conditioning, and I don't think it has a Power Driver's Seat...none of those are excusable, and its got a really high tail masked by vastly underwhelming styling/design...how did this get let out of the design studio amidst competition as the stylish (but time will tell for reliability/longetivity) Hyundai Sonata/Kia Optima, Mazda 6, Subaru Legacy, etc.? All of which I would and do choose/recommend in this category of today's mid-size sedans as opposed to quarter or half-baked crapcakes such as Camry and Malibu. Least the Camry's got an easyish to use touchscreen (why?) stereo, still has a CD player (not everyone has Smartphones nor wants them-I don't) and an outside temperature display, but other than that and the room and by-today's-standards comfortable seats and glass made in America and not China or Mexico when the car's built here (looking at you, Chevy Sonic/Cruze/Impala and Buick Regal, among many others), but I don't find a whole lot to recommend Camry in this generation-and there are a couple I actually like!

Edited by Mule Bakersdozen LS
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Even the 2015 concept they showed of the camry is no better than the current ugly mug of the 2015 camry. These auto's are just the most boring bland ugly appliance you can get out in the market place today.

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These are squishy drones of an appliance, with a decent reputation, hence the sales. But in the last 2 generations especially the build quality and finishing has been so poor, they almost feel and look like Chinese budget cars. Will you ever have engine trouble or mechanical issues? No, but that's the case for almost every new car anymore.

The last gen was so sloppily built inside, you'd get in and every one had a different alignment of dash, console and door parts, and none were ever the same. Then the rattles started.

You go from a soft and sloppy Camry...which some people like...to even something like a basic Accord and all of a sudden it's "whoa. Does this car cost $10k more?" Where the Honda feels engineered, the Toyota feels cheap and rickety. Some people love the squish and the engines you can't hear, and have had 3 before, so they overlook it.

But as even Consumer Reports said on a recent video...come on, America. You still buy Camry's in such immense numbers...WHY? The only reason you should ever buy one is for whatever reason you have blinders on and cannot look at anything else or even imagine the idea of going to a different brand dealer.

Goes to show you how a well done past reputation can still take you places, even if you are a complete mess later in life.

Edited by caddycruiser
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These are squishy drones of an appliance, with a decent reputation, hence the sales. But in the last 2 generations especially the build quality and finishing has been so poor, they almost feel and look like Chinese budget cars. Will you ever have engine trouble or mechanical issues? No, but that's the case for almost every new car anymore.

The last gen was so sloppily built inside, you'd get in and every one had a different alignment of dash, console and door parts, and none were ever the same. Then the rattles started.

You go from a soft and sloppy Camry...which some people like...to even something like a basic Accord and all of a sudden it's "whoa. Does this car cost $10k more?" Where the Honda feels engineered, the Toyota feels cheap and rickety. Some people love the squish and the engines you can't hear, and have had 3 before, so they overlook it.

But as even Consumer Reports said on a recent video...come on, America. You still buy Camry's in such immense numbers...WHY? The only reason you should ever buy one is for whatever reason you have blinders on and cannot look at anything else or even imagine the idea of going to a different brand dealer.

Goes to show you how a well done past reputation can still take you places, even if you are a complete mess later in life.

:word:

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The insides are pretty bad.....co worker had a 14' rental where a door trim was coming off.....at 23k...

I have a client who traded a 2010/2011 Camry XLE V6 loaded except no nav, with 30k on it for a new Acura RDX. I then resold the same car a month later to a guy who drove 4 hours from Virginia for it, and traded another old 2001 Camry. Perfect scenario.

But that new one...driving it back from the first owner to the dealer was telling. In that, you had no idea you were in a car. Not soft to float and bob, but so soft you feel nothing, the steering eventually does something, and despite being what I always read was a gutsy V6, the car and engine are so quiet, it didn't feel that way. Completely the reverse of any kind of emotional or "this is a nice car" sensation. That's why you get a Camry. The inside is the cheapest of any midsize car, from plastics, to poor fits, to strange black "push snap fit them in" switches, etc.

Yet, the second owner from Virginia simply loves the car. He likes cars enough but a Camry has been with him for so many years, he's used to that "it's a Camry" and the new one is a nice upgrade over the last.

But the driving dynamics...there are none...the build quality...it's Chinese car like...and the overall car, it's simply watered down vanilla pudding. Just test drive anything and everything else out there before you buy one :thumbsup:

Edited by caddycruiser
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