This is not a race car, it is a practical approach to simplicity that was perfected by Toyota. There is a reason these cars sold like crazy. My dad even called it a baby Lexus when I bought my 1995 Toyota Camry V6 XLE back in 2001. I purchased the car with 110,000 miles on it, and being the rolling stone that I am, I put 168,000 more miles on it before selling. While I owned the car I put Tokico HP blue shocks on it with Eibach springs(popular combo back then). The man I sold the car to took on look at this 278,000 mile car and drove back to Maryland from Michigan in it. He was so pleased. Being an easy car to work on, having 188hp, and the very high quality leather interior truly did make this a car to remember, and I may buy one for the kids, 12 years after selling my XLE.
This was a great car. My parents bought it new in 1995. It had ample power (V6) and good fuel economy. I recall 22 mpg city and 29 mpg highway. It needed a new timing belt every 60,000 miles. As it aged it needed periodic repairs. Once I had the head gasket repaired. It occasionally needed axle boots. And some other function needed repair. But it was very comfortable to drive, had good visibility, and I thought the repairs were warranted for its age. I sold it at 189,600 miles. It was driving fine. I could just as well have kept it.
I bought my Camry station wagon in 2002, when the car was 7 years old, and now it has about 208,000 miles on it. It's the ONLY reliable car I've ever owned. I own a small business, and after my having removed the rear seat cushions, the cargo space was huge. Has needed standard repairs and replacements, but some were to replace parts that have lasted 21 years!
I had planned to keep it another 10 years, but it got totaled recently. The loss was huge to me. She had no book value, but the reliability of a Camry is priceless. If you're not concerned about resale value, I would think you can keep a Camry running forever.
I was getting about 21 city/32 highway, due to my carrying a huge load of heavy tools and building materials, not any fault of the car.
I bought my wagon at the age of 7, with 97,000 miles on it. It was the only reliable car I've ever had. Sure it needed repairs, but it never left me in a lurch anywhere. And I never had to replace the same part twice, except for tires .Some of the parts I replaced recently were still OEM parts. Now it has 208,000 miles, and I would have kept her another ten years, but I totaled her last month. They stopped making the wagon in 1996, so here will never be another like her. But I still see them on the road. From the technology point of view, nothing was digital except the radio, and she came with a cassette player, but at that time, most of my music was still on cassette. The other controls are simple and easy to figure out.
I bought this car for $3500 cash when it had about 80K miles on it. I have put $100K+miles on it over the years. I keep all repair receipts. Over the past 2 years I have probably sunk $1000 a year into maintenance/repairs, mostly maintenance - tires, decided to paint, timing belt, struts, new radiator etc. The AC and heat are amazing, rear defrost amazing, reliability not perfect but pretty great. No complaints. I have noticed lately when accelerating the automatic tranny hesitates around 45 MPH- I do not gun it, I barely let off the gas a bit and it shifts fine. I heard this from another long time owner, who did the same thing. Comparing to a car payment, this car is very inexpensive- low tag registration due to it's age and much lower car insurance as well. Unless you need a fancy car for clientele, this engine and body type are are excellent mode of transportation- point A point B- that is what a car is for. I do not travel for a living, but have taken long trips in this car- I am small and love the ride- it is more squarish so I can see out easily. My husband is large and tall and does not think it is all that comfortable for his long legs. Overall a smashing great car!