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Lower price than last year, contemporary design, Toyota dependability, future resale value, ultimate family sedan
Cheap-looking front fascia detracts from otherwise rich styling, still priced slightly higher than main competitors
Available Camry Models
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Toyota plays the market conservatively with the all-new Camry, giving consumers exactly what they want; a roomy, attractive, feature-laden car with available V6 performance and the promise of excellent reliability as well as resale value. The 1997 Toyota Camry is the new standard for midsize sedans.
The Camry is the new standard for midsized sedans. It has room inside for five adults, attractive yet conservative styling, exceptional pep from an available 24-valve 3.0-liter V6, and a price that doesn't break the bank so long as options are kept to a minimum.
Toyota is going after the number-one sales spot with vigor. The Camry is larger and more powerful than last year, but costs less money. Coupe and wagon models have been dropped from the lineup, and consumers can opt for the V6 engine on base CE models for the first time. Antilock brakes are standard on all but the most basic Camrys, and an integrated child-safety seat is optional across the board. Buyers of V6 models can order traction control for inclement weather.
The new Camry can be equipped for rugged family life, or plush luxury touring. Options on higher-grade LE and XLE models include a premium sound system, leather interior trim, and a power moonroof. With the V6 engine, the Camry accelerates strongly. Braking is swift and sure with the antilock system, and Camry hangs on well in corners despite rather meek all-season radials.
Inside, a two-inch increase in wheelbase has allowed designers to maximize space, creating a larger Camry than ever. Controls and gauges are laid-out nicely in a more flowing dashboard than the previous car boasted. Camry CE sticks with a fixed-mast stereo antenna, but LE and XLE get an in-glass antenna, which reduces wind noise. Storage areas have been increased also, and a tissue holder is built into the center console. Front cupholders accommodate 20-ounce bottles of your favorite beverage.
Is the Camry the perfect family conveyance? Not out of the box, but it's close. We'd opt for a lightly-loaded CE with the V6 engine, add some aftermarket aloy wheels, and do a bit of suspension and tire work to create the ultimate sleeper of staid bread-and-butter sedans.
Laura's old car was costing her a small fortune every month for gas and repairs. She didn't even want to drive her kids to the park any more. But buying a new Kia Soul changed all that.