Used Vehicle Review: Toyota Camry, 2007 2011 used car reviews toyota reviews hybrids green reviews greenreviews auto articles
2007 Toyota Camry; photo by Russell Purcell. Click image to enlarge

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Toyota Camry Reviews

By Chris Chase

The Toyota Camry is arguably one of the best-trusted vehicles in North America, an honour it earned by generally being well-designed, practical and reliable. It’s the kind of status that creates terrific brand loyalty, encouraging past and current owners of the model to keep coming back for more.

The sixth-generation Camry, which went on sale in 2006 as a 2007 model, brought the usual improvements demanded by a picky, fickle marketplace: a new, 3.5-litre V6 made 268 horsepower, a big bump over the 2006 model, and the base 2.4-litre four-cylinder boasted four more horsepower, with 158 total. The four-cylinder’s five-speed manual and automatic transmissions were carried over, but the V6 got a new six-speed. A hybrid model was offered for the first time, pairing the four-cylinder with an electric motor, a combination that made 187 horsepower.

The two-door Camry Solara, carried over from its introduction alongside the previous-generation, was carried over; it will be covered in a separate review.

Used Vehicle Review: Toyota Camry, 2007 2011 used car reviews toyota reviews hybrids green reviews greenreviews auto articles
2007 Toyota Camry; photo by Russell Purcell. Click image to enlarge

Fuel consumption improved too, with the new V6 bringing the biggest improvement, to ratings of 10.7/7.0 L/100 km (all ratings city/highway), while the four-cylinder/automatic combo’s figures were 9.8/6.5 L/100 km. The Camry Hybrid’s ratings were 5.7/5.7 L/100 km. By 2008, the four-cylinder/auto’s ratings were down to 9.5/6.2 L/100 km.

A new, 2.5-litre four-cylinder in 2010 models cut consumption to 9.0/6.1 L/100 km, when paired with a newly-available six-speed automatic. That car’s highway number improved to 6.0 L/100 km in 2011, while the V6′s consumption dropped slightly to 10.6/6.8 L/100 km.

The manual transmission was dropped from the Camry line, with little fanfare, in 2011.

Part of the reason for the Camry’s success has been its almost unfailing record for reliability, but this sixth-generation model demonstrated that Toyota was indeed fallible.

Used Vehicle Review: Toyota Camry, 2007 2011 used car reviews toyota reviews hybrids green reviews greenreviews auto articles
Used Vehicle Review: Toyota Camry, 2007 2011 used car reviews toyota reviews hybrids green reviews greenreviews auto articles
Used Vehicle Review: Toyota Camry, 2007 2011 used car reviews toyota reviews hybrids green reviews greenreviews auto articles
2007 Toyota Camry; photos by Greg Wilson. Click image to enlarge

The biggest reliability problem has to do with an oil line on the V6 engine that supplies hydraulic pressure to the variable valve timing system. If something does go wrong with this rubber hose, the best case scenario is an oil leak, but the worst case is a full-on rupture that causes the engine to haemorrhage oil. Take a look at this thread at CamryForums.com, and this one on the same topic at SiennaChat.com.

Four-cylinder cars aren’t perfect either. In this thread a number of owners of 2007 models talk of excessive oil consumption. Note that this is purely anecdotal, and knowing how people love to complain, it’s possible this isn’t a serious problem at all, but simply a fact of life with the 2.4-litre engine. If it is a widespread phenomenon, it could be related to Toyota’s recommendation of light-viscosity 0W20 or 5W20 motor oil, likely chosen to increase fuel economy.

The six-speed transmission in V6 cars is known for a “shift flare,” where the transmission slips slightly between gears, allowing the engine speed to increase briefly. A technical service bulletin (TSB) released by Toyota in 2007 said that the dealer was to reprogram the transmission in affected cars, and if that didn’t work, to replace the transmission. Apparently, this TSB was a follow-up to a previous campaign that prescribed replacing a hydraulic valve body in the transmission, or, again, replacing the entire gearbox. Click here for details. Here’s a video from Youtube that illustrates the problem. This isn’t the first Camry automatic that has exhibited untoward shift behaviour; the previous-generation V6 Camry (and Lexus ES) was known for a transmission software problem, too.

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