2007 Toyota Camry
There are 49 user reviews for the SE V6 trim shown below
- Near perfect car, at least for me
- Dealers won't deal
Have been researching sedans on the Internet for a year now, as I'm planning to replace my 2001 Buick LeSabre by August when my extended warranty runs out. Have two small but rapidly growing kids, so need decent rear seat room, and am looking for a nice combination of power, comfort, handling and value.
My short list after researching and test driving a lot of cars, before release of the Camry, included the Audi A3 DSG, VW Jetta GLI DSG, Infiniti G35 sedan and Sonata LX V6. Of these, my preference was for the Sonata. The DSG system on the VW products is impressive, enabling a 200 HP engine to achieve 0-to-60 times in the mid-6's with excellent MPG, but VW's reliability record and assembly problems worry me, and the rear seat room is barely adequate. The Sonata LX has the best combination of power, safety, comfort and features at a great price (around 19,500 including freight with current rebates), but the handling is definitely boatlike and the AT a little weak.
The new Camry is Toyota's answer to the Sonata: nice styling, excellent power, relatively decent MPG (though not as good as the EPA figures), lots of standard safety features, and a better ride than the old Camry. I test drove both the LE and SE V6's and could definitely feel the difference in the suspension and handling. The SE handles nicely, almost as good as the MazdaSpeed 6, which would be on my list if available with a manual transmission.
Like the MazdaSpeed 6, the spoiler and extra body molding on the SE is understated, enough to give the car a sharper look without looking like a teen toy. The MazdaSpeed beats the Camry on brakes and has a definite edge in handling, but it's a smaller and slightly more expensive car.
I like the S (sport) setting on the Camry's 6-speed AT. The Jetta and A3 (same car, really) have that feature as well, though the difference in setup is more pronounced on the VW. You leave it in D for ordinary driving to get the best MPG, and switch is to S when you want to make full use of the horses. The VW DSG is so slick that it's actually faster 0-to-60 than a competently-driven MT. The Camry's S setting isn't quite that tight, and I'd like to see a stronger distinction between S and D in future models. Still, it's a nice feature, and the 6-speed AT is smooth, clearly better than the Sonata's.
The problem is that the Toyota dealers aren't dealing. They know they've got a hot car and are milking it. Dealer upcharges in my area are common. They'll go down to invoice and then take the difference out (and then some) from their offer on the trade. Which means that a comparably equipped Camry LE costs $5500 more than the Sonata, and if you want the the SE, which usually comes with extra junk, it'll run quite a bit more. While it's possible that I'd get some of that back in resale, the SE just isn't worth that much. If I have to pay that much, I'll go for a G35 with the end-of-year discounts due to the model change.
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