Friday, January 22, 2016

Unbeigable: 2007 Toyota Camry CE

Making yesterday's list of unlikely manuals is the sixth generation (XV40) Toyota Camry, a car that can be best described as a reliable and cheap 2000s version of a 1990s Buick.  It is not a remotely sporty car to drive in any circumstances, styling is bland, but it should get you to your destination every day with minimal fuss and a little bit of fuel 'n' oil.  Find this 2007 Toyota Camry CE here on eBay offered for $7,991 from a dealer in Houston, TX.

I've spent some time behind the wheel of one of these sub $20k when brand new) modern Camrys and I can tell you that the brakes are mushy, steering is loose, and visibility is awkward (really big angled A-pillars swallow entire cars on a standard US 4-way stop intersection...and forget seeing anything out of the porthole in the back), but the ability to get to and from your destination with a big load of people or junk is commendable. The stock radio is a strange backlit piece exported from a classic Star Trek set, the seats are flat, but otherwise everything is pretty simple and fit the basic definition of a "car".

What makes this Camry a bit more than the average beigemobile is the fact that a 5-speed manual shifter sits between the front seats (Toyota switched to a 6-speed manual for the base Camry in 2010).  It puts about 158 horsepower from the stock 2AZ-FE 2.4 liter 4-banger to the front wheels.  The 2AZ-FE isn't a bad engine, and a few from the factory suffer from excessive oil consumption -- but Toyota (startlingly) did the right thing and offers a free fix to all owners through 2016 regardless of miles.

See a...yawn....what was I talking about?


  1. Beware of steering rack leaks which you can;t see unless you pull the rubber boat back.

  2. Wow, this is really random! I can't believe they made this.
    Anyone elsa read Grassroots?
    grassrootsmotorsports camry

    1. That's hilarious; first I've seen of that project!

      I am fixing/flipping a nice '98 Camry myself but it's the standard 4-cyl/auto. Everything is very straightforward and easy to service. The engine is laid back against the firewall, making it the only FWD car in my recent memory that doesn't have the engine cantilevered out over the front axle, surprisingly.

      I have to admit the GRM car looks decent on the uprated rolling stock.

  3. Don't know that I'd be too confident in this car....
    eBay rating of about 66% for this dealer...


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