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Discussion Starter #1
Toyota Camry:

The look: The Camry isn’t bad looking, in my opinion. It’s a better looking car than the Altima, the Saturn, and the Accord, at least. The interior is nice, on par and similarly laid out as the Accord, but a but “richer” feeling, perhaps.

The drive: After discussing the minor differences in suspension and wheels of the different models, we got in an LE model with a 6 cylinder. The very first thing I noticed was that it felt as if I had to turn the wheel more than I wanted to at low speeds – the exact same feel I had in the Lexus ES300. that makes sense, though – the top model camry (XLE) is pretty much the same car as the Lexus ES300, and there’s not a big difference among different models of Carmy.

The Camry was total isolation from the road. There was no body roll, no noticible weight transfer. It cornered well and had very good pickup. The car did what you wanted it to, but did so as if it were a separate entity – there is no connection to driving in this car. It’s transportation, and it does a damn good job of it.

Conclusion: The camry has commoditized transportation. It’s like your refrigerator – it does it’s job, and it does it’s job well, and it’s not something you normally think about.

Zip. Zip. Buckle. Tug. Tug. Okay, flame suit is on.

I liked the Camry. It’s not sporty by any means, but it excells at what it was designed for. The Camry is what the Accord desperately hopes to be.
 

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Reading Topic: Test Drive: 2003 Toyota Camry

I too find the Camry to be attractive. And yes the Camry is what the Accord desperately hopes to be. :)
 

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Replying to Topic 'Test Drive: 2003 Toyota Camry'

Ohhh...you two are asking for it. I can't believe you went there.

I totally disagree with you guys on this one. I drive an Accord and my father drives a Camry. I hope the Accord never becomes a Camry. I feel much more connected to the road in my Accord than I do in my father's car. That thing is boooring! Accord owners usually get so used to the feel of an Accord that they don't like the Camry when they drive it. Honda knows this. I doubt very much they're trying to be like Camry. Why would they? The goal of both Toyota and Honda with the Camry and Accord, respectively, is to sell the most of these cars they can. The one who sells the most in this segment(not counting fleet sales) is the winner. The Accord out sold the Camry last year. It must be doing something better. Why would it want to be a Camry? To sell less? To loss all those people that like it better than the Camry? Nope.
 

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Reading Topic: Test Drive: 2003 Toyota Camry

Now see, The 2003 Accord I drove was isolated, anything but sporty, but not as nice, not as smooth, not as transparent as the Camry. There is no doubt the Accord is closer in blood to the Camry than an Altima or '6. But, where I felt noticible weight transfer on accelleration of the Accord and screeched on a turn a bit, the Camry just kind of hung out, let me do what I wanted to, and isolated me from it. There is no question in my mind that the Camry is a more refined automobile.
 

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Reading Topic: Test Drive: 2003 Toyota Camry

The 2003 Camry XLE that I drove was so isolated that I didn't know if I was on the road or floating above it. That’s what the Camry is good at. The Accords I've driven are not like that. You feel the road more. Maybe you just got a bad Accord :).

Anyway the point I took objection to was saying that the Accord wants to be a Camry. I don't think that’s it at all. In fact pretty much every magazine review I’ve seen has placed the new Accord higher than the new Camry. And every single last one of those placed the Accord higher than the Camry when it comes to the "fun to drive" factor. So I think most people see it my way :D So there!

I don't think the Camry is what the Accord wants to be at all, but rather the 6 is really what the Accord wants to be as far as driving feel goes.
 

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Replying to Topic 'Test Drive: 2003 Toyota Camry'

QUOTE
Originally posted by AliAL


            The 2003 Camry XLE that I drove was so isolated that I didn't know if I was on the road or floating above it. That?s what the Camry is good at.  The Accords I've driven are not like that.  You feel the road more.  Maybe you just got a bad Accord :).[/b]
I'll agree with your Camry points. I, personally, felt absolutely no connection outside the car in the Accord, either (except for the aforementioned wheel screech and weight transfer). Saying I felt the road in the Accord more than the Camry is like saying I liked my soybean soup better than my tofu soup.

QUOTE
Anyway the point I took objection to was saying that the Accord wants to be a Camry.  I don't think that?s it at all.  In fact pretty much every magazine review I?ve seen has placed the new Accord higher than the new Camry.  And every single last one of those placed the Accord higher than the Camry when it comes to the "fun to drive" factor. So I think most people see it my way :D  So there![/b]
I'll agree the Camry has a "0" in the fun to drive department, but I would also say that about the Accord.

QUOTE
but rather the 6 is really what the Accord wants to be as far as driving feel goes.[/b]
Based on what I've read, I'll agree to that. But, if that's the case, the Accord fails miserably, horribly.

The sedans in this segment fall into two classifications: sporty (and wanna-be's); and luxury (and wanna-be's). The Accord significantly leans into the luxury half, and it doesn't do this as well as the Camry.
 

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Replying to Topic 'Test Drive: 2003 Toyota Camry'

QUOTE
Originally posted by applejax

..either (except for the aforementioned wheel screech and weight transfer)[/b]
I'll give ya that one. I had a similar experience test driving the 2003 Accord that I've never felt with my 1999 Accord. I heard tires screaching going around the on-ramp but couldn't really feel what was happening. Didn't appreciate that.
 

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Reading Topic: Test Drive: 2003 Toyota Camry

I rented a loaded Camry when I was on vacation in Naples, FL this week. It gave me the opportunity to compare it to my 6s.

The Camry:
Not very attractive exterior (IMO). Looks like a hungry bass to me.
Extremely high quality everywhere. No panel gaps to speak of, no real NVH at all. However, my 6 is very, very quiet as well.
Extremely well made on the interior, probably better made than the 6. The switchgear in my 6 is a little better, but the overall quality of materials in a Camry is slightly better. The dash in the Camry is Lexus quality.
The Camry is decidedly bigger than the 6. Tons of room everywhere. It's a great car for most American physiques.
The 6 has better cupholders (haw).
The trunk in the Camry is about the same size as the 6, as far as I could tell. Both are terrific.
The Camry has a couple of eronomic glitches: cruise control stalk and trunk release being most noticable. But everything else is smooth and tight. The radio controls are clearly better than the 6's, IMO. The stereo is not nearly as good as the 6's Bose, though.
The V6 engine in the Camry is ridiculously smooth. I mean dead silent. There is a sense of total engine sound isolation in this car.
The Camry's AT transmission is very, very smooth. Liquid upshifts and downshifts. However, the Mazda's is getting to be almost as good, now that I have some miles on it.
The 6's brakes are clearly superior.
The Camry wallows in corners. It's not as bad as a Monte Carlo, but bad. This is not a car for someone who likes to tear shit up on occasion.
This car was very nice for a cruise along the ocean with the sunroof open.


All in all, the Camry is a very, very well made Buick. If you're looking for a comfortable, roomy car that will last basically forever and don't particularly care for going around curves at very high rates of speed, look no further. The Camry is a relaxed, stress free car that I truly liked. I'll probably buy one next time around.

If you're average sized (I'm 5-10, 195 lbs) like me, like how a 3 series looks, like to drive out in the country at high rates of speed for no particular reason and under 35... I'd say the 6 is a better bet.
 

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Reading Topic: Test Drive: 2003 Toyota Camry

I agreed with your review until the Buick comment. That's an insult to Toyota. :p

Although it does seem as though Toyota is going in that direction...
 

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Reading Topic: Test Drive: 2003 Toyota Camry

I drive a 1994 Camry V6 XLE (hey, at least it has a spoiler!)... I want to get a 6 soon though. Of the 20 or so cars I'd maybe consider, the 2003 Camry is nowhere on the list. In fact, none of what Toyota currently has really suits me now.
 

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Replying to Topic 'Test Drive: 2003 Toyota Camry'

QUOTE
Originally posted by chindo


            QUOTE
Originally posted by applejax

Although it does seem as though Toyota is going in that direction...[/b]
What do you mean??? [/b][/quote]

Toyota has the technical knowledge to make exciting, sporty cars (such as the Supra, MR2, etc.). Lately, though, cars such as the Camry (or should we simply say the absence of a sports sedan?) and the Celica have become quite sedate, along with the rumored demise of the MRS have helped move Toyota from a sporty Japanese company to a luxury, sedate Japanese company.
 

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Reading Topic: Test Drive: 2003 Toyota Camry

Yeah, I have to agree. I personally love Toyotas. I grew up in Toyotas. I really wish that they would make a true sports car soon. Hopefully, the long rumored return of the Supra would fulfill that.
P.S. It seems that many people dislike the Celica here, why?
 

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Replying to Topic 'Test Drive: 2003 Toyota Camry'

QUOTE
Originally posted by chindoP.S.  It seems that many people dislike the Celica here, why?[/b]
1) Butt ugly (I know, subjective opinion)
2) Underpowered
3) overpriced
4) Did I mention ugly?

The car is just weird and certainly nothing special. I think the overly aggressive design is what kills it. At least for me it does.
 

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Reading Topic: Test Drive: 2003 Toyota Camry

1. I think the Celica is one of the best looking in its class
2. The Celica is quite underpowered, however, it is relatively light weight. Therefore, it can keep up with the RSX Type S (direct competitor). Besides, the car handles great.
This argument although legit really depends on the priority of the person, I mean we all love the Mazda 6 and almost every other car in its category is more powerful.
3. I guess this is what happens when you are an established brand.
4. Yes, yes you did. :)
 

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Reading Topic: Test Drive: 2003 Toyota Camry

Why I don't like the new Celica:

1. U-G-L-Y
2. I drove one, and was not impressed. Granted it was an automatic, but even strictly speaking of that aspect, the automatic was terrible.
3. I'm not a big guy, and am usually quite comfortable in [insert almost any small car here]. I felt very cramped in the Celica. Very cramped.

What I always thought would have really kicked some butt is to take the mid-90's Celicas (gorgeous, simply gorgeous cars); equip them with the GT engine (a 6-cylinder, I believe) and make them RWD. Now that would've been a nice car.
 

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Reading Topic: Reading Topic: Test Drive: 2003 Toyota Camry

Actually, they also could add a performance AWD version. The early 90's GTS (200hp, AWD) has quite a cult following and a tightly knit community wrapped around it.
 
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