After stretching the budget to buy that new-to-you family car, the last place you want to visit is an auto repair shop. The Toyota Camry may not be your ultimate “dream machine”, but it is unlikely to give you too many restless nights worrying about repair bills.
Completely redesigned for the 2007 model year, the sixth generation Toyota Camry is a little wider and lower than its predecessor and has a longer wheelbase. In Canada, Camry LE was the base edition and it came with a 2.4-litre four-cylinder engine and a five-speed automatic transmission. This four-cylinder engine is essentially a carryover and offers a thrifty 9.8 L/100 km city and 6.5 L/100 km highway fuel economy.
A sportier Camry SE came with a five-speed manual transmission mated to the 2.4-litre engine and the five-speed automatic and a V6 engine were options. It also came with upgrades to the suspension, front seats, 17-inch alloy wheels, various trim additions and fog lamps.
LE V6 was the next step up the trim ladder and came with a new 3.5-litre six-cylinder that can produce 268 horsepower. It replaced a 3.3-litre V6 in the previous generation Camry and came with a six-speed automatic. Fuel economy is rated at 10.7 L/100 km city and 7.0 L/100 km, which is also good, considering the power provided.
The top-line Camry XLE uses the same powertrain and came with leather upholstery, dual-zone automatic climate control, a Smart Key system with push-button start and lots of other goodies including a rear window sunshade.
There’s also a well equipped Hybrid edition of Camry, which was originally priced between the four- and six-cylinder versions. It uses a version of Toyota’s full-hybrid electric drive (as in the Prius) system that is combined with the base 2.4-litre four-cylinder engine and a CVT transmission. The combined output of the gas engine and electric motor is equivalent to 187 hp and fuel economy is a super-frugal 5.7 L/100 km whether in the city or on the highway.
You have to watch for a small ‘ready’ light on instrument panel to indicate that the Camry Hybrid is ready to move forward or back. Primary propulsion is generally in a noiseless electrical drive mode. It may seem a little weird at first, but you do get used to it. The hybrid battery pack (positioned behind the rear seatback) also reduces trunk space by about a third.
Camry Hybrid was voted the 2007 Canadian Car of the Year by members of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC). The four-cylinder Camry also won a category award for Best new Family Car (under $30,000). Camry Hybrid initially accounted for about ten percent of all sales and resale values tend to be higher than its gas engine siblings.
The 2008 Toyota Camry was essentially a carryover. The changes were mostly minor for 2009, other than the addition of Electronic Stability Control as standard equipment on all but the base LE trim.
The 2010 model year brought a revised front grille, bumper, wheel designs, front headlamps, and LED taillights. A new 2.5-litre four-cylinder replaced the 2.4-litre and came with a six-speed automatic transmission, which improved fuel economy. Stability control and traction control became standard on all models. Other than the deletion of the manual transmission edition, no significant changes were made for the 2011 model year.
This generation Camry did well in crash tests performed by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and got Good ratings in its front, side and roof strength (rollover) tests. It slipped to a “marginal” test rating for head restraints.
Other than some cooling system issues with the 2.4-litre, four-cylinder engine, the Camry has a very good reliability record based on Consumer Reports owner surveys. It consistently gets rated at the top of its vehicle class.
Summary and Competitors
Like its predecessors, the Camry enjoys a solid reputation for dependability and continues to be a sought-after used car buy. Resale values tend to be higher, but that’s the price you pay for popularity!
Typical Used Prices: 2007–2011 Toyota Camry
Year Trim Level Price Today (April 2014)
2007 LE 4-cylinder $8,000 to $12,000
2008 LE 4-cylinder $10,000 to $14,000
2009 LE 4-cylinder $12,000 to $16,000
2010 LE 4-cylinder $14,000 to $18,000
2011 LE 4-cylinder $16,000 to $20,000
These prices are an approximate guide, based on advertised autoTRADER.ca asking prices at the time of publication. There are a number of factors that can influence the actual value of a vehicle and these include: vehicle condition and mileage; previous use and accident history; local market demand. A complete mechanical check should always be performed by a reliable auto technician prior to purchase.
Safety Recalls & Web Link
There are five safety recalls on this generation Toyota Camry. They included power windows, a brake light switch, brakes, the gas pedal and driver’s floor mat. Buyers should contact a Toyota dealer to ensure all recall repairs are up to date and register as the vehicle’s new owner.
Autos.ca review quotes & links
2007 Toyota Camry LE: “For 2007, the redesigned Camry is available with the same four-cylinder engine and a new, optional 3.5-litre V6 with a lot more horsepower. I’ve tested both engines, and my preference still stands: as wonderful as that new V6 is, the four-banger is still the best value.”
– Greg Wilson, Autos.ca
2009 Toyota Camry Hybrid : “In stop-and-go traffic, the Toyota hybrid system shines, as it allows you to drive the car on battery for a several kilometres, depending on the battery’s state of charge. Air conditioning, audio and lights work as usual. Why waste fuel?”
– Paul Williams, Autos.ca
AutoTRADER.ca Owner Review
I’ve had a 4-yr lease with my car, and I’m going to be buying it out in a few months. This car has been trouble free and aside from the regular oil changes and tune-ups (pay the extra and get the synthetic oil changes at $75 each), this car has been amazing.
My kids are both involved in sports and we drive a lot. The gas savings is unbelievable, and with a mid-size car it is incredible how we can fit two hockey sticks, a hockey bag, two kids and a dog comfortably. Who knew?
The 2010 Camry Hybrid has a smaller trunk than the 2011 – they made that improvement and it’s a good one. However, if you have the opportunity to land a good deal on a 2010, don’t let the smaller trunk hold you back from taking advantage of this great car.
No problems doing 120-130 km/h on highways – and while I’m not going to be drag racing or first off the line – it has plenty of power for me on the road.
– KelwnaCmryHybrd on 01/31/2014