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ROAD & TRAVEL New Car Review: 2007 Toyota Camry

2007 Toyota Camry Road Test Review:
Lures Buyers with More, More, More

The 1979 fuel crises encouraged a number of Americans to purchase smaller, fuel efficient cars including the Honda Civic, Honda Accord and the Toyota Corolla. By the end of 1980, the Japanese auto industry displaced Detroit as the world's biggest car maker, producing 12.7 million vehicles. When the "vanilla" Toyota Camry was introduced in 1983, its engineering quickly gained a reputation for reliability. The people who bought a Camry preferred it for its durability rather than for its looks.

ROAD & TRAVEL New Car Review: 2007 Toyota Camry Exterior

For 2007, the newly redesigned Camry is a photogenic alternative to the BMW 3 Series, Lexus ES 350, Nissan Maxima, and the Honda Accord in its $18,270 – $27,820 price range. The '07 Camry has something that other cars in its class have not, the choice of a Hybrid engine that achieves 40/38 mpg. This fact alone should win fresh converts in today's gas conscious world, but the rapturous new styling, longer wheel base, and refined comfort should continue the success of the Camry based on merit alone.

If you walk around the streamlined figure of the 2007 Camry, you'll notice the new romanticism of Toyota design. The new shape is unmistakably masculine, smooth, muscular, chivalrous, and sporty in character. The integrated bumpers, larger than normal headlights and dual crease hood lines make the front look as if it's draped in fine Italian apparel. Although the new "look" may seem a bit strange at first, it quickly becomes all the more likable. Certainly, the new aesthetic captures more of the urban swagger that was missing in previous iterations.

The new Camry’s romanticism is also shared by the Generation Y go-getter, the Toyota Yaris. A lot of time and effort has gone into crafting both cars. Even the under body, including the wheel wells, have been meticulously sculpted to minimize drag and maximize fuel efficiency. Aerodynamics for the 2007 Camry is the lowest ever at 0.27 Cd resulting in better fuel efficiency. The rear taillights are cleaner, integrated one piece units, placed higher up to serve the needs for safety without compromising aesthetics. The resulting sensual aesthetic of the Camry articulates a reserved sensibility of a more expensive Lexus or BMW.

The '07 Camry succeeds in making the intimate atmosphere found within the car a more relaxing experience. Elegantly tailored seats, ergonomically placed shifter and refined high quality plastics, communicate luxurious elegance instantly. Passenger room has increased due to the lengthening of the wheel base by 2.2 inches. The large, tactile dials communicate vehicle information, and are easy to read. The only drawback is the "steering feel," which could be better; but since the Camry is a family sedan rather than a sports car, this is to be expected. If you prefer a more responsive steering input/output, we recommend trying the Nissan Altima, but in terms of aesthetics – the Camry wins that battle hands down.

Lastly, everything works inside the Camry as it should with dogmatic precision. Power windows roll up, doors get locked and unlocked, and the multi-adjustable seats with lumbar support are comfortable for long drives and all such items are standard equipment in every trim. Additionally, safety items include rear seat Child Restraint System, anti-lock ABS system, and Advanced Airbags that take into account the severity of collision to appropriately inflate the bag(s), all of which are standard items. We suggest getting the side air bags as worthy additions and the vehicle slip control for better handling on wet roads. As it appears, Toyota executives have taken the time to find out what's in the hearts of the modern American car buyer.

ROAD & TRAVEL New Car Review: 2007 Toyota Camry Interior

When it comes to choosing the engine for the completely redesigned '07 Camry, it's good to know you have three very different choices. Many drivers may prefer the 2.4-liter, four cylinder 158 horsepower engine, in either the LE and SE trims, or opt for the 3.5-liter V-6 with an energetic 268 horsepower engine. But the surprise of the day is the Hybrid, which delivers 192 horsepower while averaging 40 mpg. Additionally, all vehicles feature the drive-by-wire system to monitor pedal input for greater efficiency, and the VVT-I (Variable Valve Timing with Intelligence) technology derived from Toyota’s F1 program for better breathing room lower and higher in the RPM range. If that weren't enough, all engines are made from lightweight aluminum to reduce weight while providing plenty of pep for passing rapidly, or safely merging in traffic.

The year 2007 marks the emergence of a new romanticism in car design for the Toyota Motor Company. The manufacturer celebrates its 70th anniversary this year with the launch of two new models: the 2007 Camry and the Yaris. If you're considering a midsize sedan, the Camry is the stylish, well-mannered automobile that bestows luxury at an affordable price.

2007 Toyota Camry Won ICOTY Sedan of the Year:
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