What's New for 1996
The 1996 Toyota Camry remains virtually unchanged from last year's model. Minor engine adjustments mean that the four-cylinder is fully compliant with all on-board diagnostic standards, and is now certified as a transitional low emission vehicle power plant. Additionally, the interior of the DX line gets a new seat fabric, the LE Sedan is available with a leather package, and the Wagon can now be ordered with a power-operated driver seat.
The 1996 Toyota Camry makes a lot of promises and delivers on most of them. Reliability and ergonomics remain the cornerstone of Toyota's commitment to the U.S. market and the Camry exemplifies both of these.
The Camry is designed to fill the needs of the family; it does so in a way that doesn't leave consumers wanting. Interior space is adequate, and allows comfortable seating for five; backseat passengers will appreciate the scalloped front seats which creates more knee room. Trunk space is generous and the liftover height is not too imposing. Since this is a Toyota, gauges are laid out in a logical manner and all of the controls are within easy reach. High quality fabrics and supportive seating areas guarantee that a long distance ride will be comfortable.
Unfortunately for the Camry, exterior styling doesn't match up to its comfortable interior. Despite a minor facelift in 1995, the Camry hasn't undergone any real change since its overhaul in '92. This doesn't mean that the Camry is exactly ugly, just that it is beginning to look a little dowdy next to its competitors.
This brings us to our main gripe about this car. We know that it is dependable, comfortable, and well engineered, but for the price, (around $22,000 for a base V6 and much higher for the SE or XLE with any options) you can get into a fun-to-drive BMW 318i, a stylish Ford Taurus, or an affordable Mazda 626. In fact, the mid-sized market is positively gluted with great cars at a reasonable cost. So, although the Camry is a good car we recommend shopping around before you make any definite decisions on this high-priced wonder.