Still Best in CLASS and Value after 4 Years, 58XXX
written on 07-09-2013
SE 4dr Sedan (2.5L 4cyl 6A)
"I just purchased a 2013 Camry SE with a MSRP of $25,398 for $19,877. I drove 620 miles to buy at this price as dealers in St. Louis area wanted $3,000 more! The value of this car speaks for itself. I am a car nut and the Camry SE's looks, handling, ride, 6 speed trans with paddle shifters and interior are all SUPERIOR to anything in it's class. I also like the touch screen radio/trip computer with steering wheel controls. I drove a Hyundai Sonata (Cheap and unrefined compared to the Camry and steering hunts on the highway) and the new Honda Accord Sport (CVT very loud and unrefined not a CVT fan), bumpy ride, and cheap interior materials). The Camry SE after 4 years and 58XXX miles is still a no brainer. Oil/Filter changes and tire rotation every 5,000 miles and new tires at 50,000 miles is all it has needed in the service area!
After 46,000 miles, this car is every bit as good as the day I bought it. It's fast, responsive and tight with the SE package and the mileage has exceeded my expectations at 31.8 combined. On my 2nd set of tires (Goodyear Fuel Max) which seems to have improved mileage at the expense of a bit more road noise. No problems AT ALL with this car except for the musty AC smell many owners have complained about. This goes away after a few minutes however, and I do not consider it a problem. Local dealer has been excellent to work with on maintenance. (Hendrick Toyota) This is the best car I've ever owned and although I am always lusting after new cars, I would be crazy to let this one go. My neighbors think so too. There are 3 more on my street like mine!
I bought my Barcelona Red 2013 Camry SE last August and have enjoyed the car immensely! I recently went in for the 10K Service, which so far services for the first two years of the car are paid by Toyota. The car's ride is excellent, however the car does not absorb some of the badder bumps on the road due to the sports suspension. Handling is good, not too much lean in turns, and goes where you point it. I drove the other non SE Camry models and the ride in those was too soft and mushy. I fully expect this car to be reliable and long lasting - I tend to keep my cars forever.
I picked the Camry SE over other sedans in it's class after driving the Fusion, Charger, and the Malibu. The reason I picked the Camry was based on options and price. Our has just about every option except the v6. It has the moon roof, leather, nav and rear back up camera. The sticker was 27,000 and some change but the dealer took off 3,000 right off the bat. So for 24Gs we got a sporty car with paddle shifters that is fun to drive. The 4 banger feels much bigger and shifts smooth. Car feels and rides like a $40,000 lux sedan. The car rides very well and is quite on the highway. It is the first Toyota we have owned and I can say it wont be the last. Sorry Ford.
I traded in a 2011 Mini Cooper S Clubman with a manual transmission for this car, as I wanted something more comfortable, with rear doors, that shifted its own gears and didn't break as much. I'm into cars, and painfully picky, so I drove the 2013 Lexus ES 350 (a little cramped and a lot expensive), the 2016 Honda Accord V6 (uncomfortable seats), a 2013 Toyota Avalon XLE Touring (excellent car, but couldn't justify the premium vs. the Camry) a 2015 Ford Fusion SE with the 2.0 turbo (a little sluggish, wild variation in noise, vibration and harshness from car to car). I ended up buying a 2013 XLE V6, certified used with 16,700 miles, for $20k. It's a luxury car in terms of performance and comfort: It's electric car-quiet around town, the V6 is ridiculously powerful and fast, and the seats are EXCELLENT, with lots of adjustments and terrific lumbar support. I can get into a great driving position in about 10 seconds after someone else has driven the car. The tires I got were Bridgestone Turanza EL400s and they're just awful - get the Michelins if you can. The Bridgestones are bumpy for the first few miles after sitting overnight (I think because they develop flat spots), they don't have much grip, and they're noisy. That said, the car's handling isn't bad... it's not the Mini, but it's predictable and the steering has good feedback, with no numb spot on center - it's easy to drive quickly. It understeers into sharp corners, and you can hear the tires complain, but it works. I knew that going in and don't mind; I'm middle-aged and I don't race around corners anymore (plus, that's not why you buy a Camry)... but I do like to go from 0-speed limit in a hurry and this V6 engine is one of the greats for that. On a related note that nobody talks about, you can shift the auto transmission manually, and it works really well. Put it in 2 on an entrance ramp, get the revs up to 3,000 and stomp on it, and you'd better be holding on tightly. Seriously. Other "useful in the real world" stuff: The back seat is huge and comfortable, there's lots of storage and plenty of 12-volt power outlets, the keyless entry and ignition is one of those things you can't give up once you have it (if you have the car for 5 years, you'll get to skip pulling your keys out of your purse or pocket at least 3,600+ times), and the backup camera has those alignment lines that help you hit a parking space dead center. I'll get less than the 25 MPG combined, and I don't care. The rush of the V6 is well worth it. My plan is to replace the terrible tires with Michelin Primacy's, drive this thing until it's tired, then give it to my kid so she can drive it another 150,000 miles. I think the car's just an amazing value. In short, the Camry is the best-selling car in the world, and the V6 XLE is the best Camry. Update: I asked the dealer, Acton Toyota of Acton, MA, to swap the Bridgestones for Michelin Premier A/S and they did! They didn't charge me for the tires, just the labor for mounting and balancing... this dealer is truly excellent. The tires make an enormous difference in the ride: they're quiet, smooth, and handle much better.