Toyota Camry

The Toyota Camry was originally introduced as a compact car in 1980. A ""narrow-body"" and ""wide-body"" version of the vehicle appeared over the years.

The Toyota Camry continues to perform well in the U.S. market and is still sold as of 2012.

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About the Toyota Camry

The Camry name is from the Japanese name Kanmuri, meaning ""crown"" and the Toyota Camry certainly is a crown in the Toyota line. The Camry is the top-selling vehicle in North America and at different times, performed well in Australia and Asia. The company eventually discontinued the Camry in Japan and Europe in 2004 due to low sales.

The Camry is the best-selling car in the U.S. for several reasons. The Camry continues to show quality in interior and exterior build. Inside the car, it is comfortable and roomie. Outside the car is smooth and not flashy. Current reliability has come under fire somewhat due to recalls of the vehicle in 2010 for a sticking-throttle issue. Interior plastics have felt a bit cheap in current models as well.

Toyota Camry Features

The 2012 Camry is available in four trim levels including the base Camry L, the Camry LE, the Camry SE, and the Camry XLE. A hybrid Camry is also available.

Two separate engine models are available on the standard petrol Camry cars. A 2.5-liter four-cylinder DOHC 16-valve dual VVT-i engine produces 178 horsepower at 6000 RPM and 170 lb-ft per foot at 4100 RPM. The 2.5-liter is available standard on the Camry L and the Camry SLE and is an option on all the other models. A 3.5-liter V-6 DOHC 24-valve VVT-i engine that produces 268 horsepower at 6200 RPM and 248 lb-ft at 4700 RPM is available as an option on the SE and XLE models.

All models have a six-speed electronically-controlled automatic transmission with ECT-i and sequential shift modes. All vehicles also have MacPherson strut front suspension and gas-filled shock absorbers and stabilizer bar. Power-assisted ventilated brakes are also standard on all of the vehicles.

The exterior features differ between trim models. The Camry L is the only car to feature the standard projector-beam headlamps without the automatic on/off feature. The LE and XLE trim models have the same lamps and do have the automatic on/off. The Camry SE includes black sports trim.

The SE has several sport features on the exterior that set it apart from the rest including a sport front mesh grille and integrated spoilers. Color-keyed heated mirrors are shared between the SE and XLE. A noise-reducing front windshield is also shared between the SE and XLE models. A dual-chrome tipped exhaust is the same story.

Inside the car, experts give mixed reviews. Some of the plastic on the standard models feels a bit cheap. Features are a bit slim as well. The XLE is the only version with the dual climate control system. However, all of the vehicles have a 60/40 split on the back seat for extra cargo space.

Toyota Camry Evolution

The first narrow body vehicles were introduced in 1982. The first was the V-10 that ran between 1982 and 1986. A 2.0-liter 2S-ELC I4 and 2.0-liter 2C-TLC turbo diesel I4 were available in North America.

The V20 model was introduced between 1988 and 1991 in the U.S. This model had an all-wheel drive system called All-Trac. The engines were also upgraded to the 2.0-liter 3S-FE I4 and a 2.5-liter V-6 was introduced as well.

The V30 version ran between 1990 and 1994 throughout the world. This was the first vehicle designed for international markets. A four-wheel steering version was made available in 1991 and was sold with a 2.0-liter V-6 engine.

The V40 ran from 1994 to 1998. It had updated anti-lock brakes and dual airbags as standard.

Wide body versions were first introduced in 1991. The XV10 ran from 1991 to 1996. These cars had pinpoint turning and harder, sportier steering. A two-door coupe, four-door sedan, and a five-door station wagon were introduced.

The XV20 ran from 1996 to 2001 and was available as a four-door sedan or a five-door station wagon.

The XV30 ran from 2001 to 2006 with a more power engine than in previous models; a 2.4-liter, 3.0-liter, and a 3.3-liter V-6 was available.

The XV40 is the current body model of the Toyota Camry. These are the most powerful and sturdy model of the Camry made available. A new Camry L starts at $21,955, the LE at $22,500, the SE at $23,000 and the XLE for $24,275.

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