GoAutoLogo
MENU

Car reviews - Toyota - Camry - CSi sedan

Our Opinion

We like
Reliability, handling, roomy interior, practicality
Room for improvement
Dull design inside and out, adequate only four-cylinder engine's performance, short equipment list

Toyota logo15 Feb 2001

EXECUTIVES from Toyota Australia promised a cheaper Camry with the launch of the current series in August, 1997 - and they delivered.

The base four-cylinder model, the CSi, is one of the lowest-priced cars in its class.

The CSi does miss out on a few of the bits and bobs that come standard on other models, such as a driver's airbag, but the Camry does represent good value.

Apart from having a bigger body than its already wide-beamed predecessor, the car comes standard with remote central locking, an engine immobiliser, driver seat height adjustment, split/fold rear seat, cupholders and a radio/cassette.

The audio system produces good sound but the control buttons are too small and fiddly.

The car's exterior looks are pleasant if not inspiring. The same can be said of the square-shaped dashboard which even looks a little old-fashioned in the blandly generic grey interior.

The ergonomics are generally fine and the seats firm and comfortable, although the front seats could do with a little more thigh support.

Adjusting the seat back is a simple process with the latch providing infinite control via one lever.

Rear-seat passengers will find plenty of leg and elbow room - in fact the Camry and its arch-rival Magna are by far the biggest models on sale in the medium market.

The rear seat, like those in the front, is firm but comfortable and head room is fine.

The car's longer wheelbase (up 50mm) and higher roof have given front-seat passengers more space with front legroom up 8mm and headroom improved 5mm.

In terms of suitability for family needs, the Camry scores over its rivals by having the largest boot of any locally-made model.

Getting into the car is not as easy as it should be with the exterior door handles difficult to grasp. Everyone who drove the car found their hand slipped awkwardly on the cheap-looking plastic handle.

Four-cylinder models make up the majority of Camry sales and are powered by a slightly modified version of the 2.2-litre engine used in the previous model.

Modifications to the engine have produced more low to mid-range torque while a direct ignition system has helped reduce exhaust emissions.

The engine now develops 94kW and 187Nm of torque.

Start the car and the familiar Camry four-cylinder whine is still in evidence but once on the move this engine is quiet and subdued.

Performance is good rather than outstanding but no doubt it will satisfy most Camry buyers. Only near the top end does it get loud and a bit breathless, but it is never too harsh.

The manual gearbox is mated to a well weighted, progressive clutch although the shift itself is rather notchy.

Overall, the new Camry is more wieldy than the old model.

At any speed it impresses with rock-solid stability which makes it an easy car to point down the highway. The steering is firm and feels just right.

Handling is biased towards understeer but it is well controlled and the ride, while on the firm side, is comfortable and controlled.

But it is the lack of road and suspension noise that impresses most.

Build quality is also at the top of the locally-made tree.

Yes, this Camry is a very good car. It sits at the top of the medium market and yet there is still a question mark over its desirability.

It again misses out on that almost inexplicable, intangible quality that stamps it as a car for enthusiasts. Perhaps it is just too efficient.

Click to share

Click below to follow us on
Facebook  Twitter  Instagram

Enquire on or Test Drive a New Camry

Customer Terms and Conditions – New Car Lead enquires

Agreement

This is an agreement between GoAutoMedia Pty Limited ACN 094 732 457 of PO Box 18, Beach Road, Sandringham, VIC, 3191 (“we/us”), the owner and operator of the GoAuto.com.au website (“the website”) and the person wanting GoAuto.com.au to provide them with a lead for the purchase of a new car (“you”).

By completing a New Car Lead Enquiry, you agree to the terms and conditions and disclaimers and acknowledge the policies set out below.

Terms and Conditions

  • In order for us to effect a lead you must you must complete a New Car Lead Enquiry (“Enquiry”).
  • We will call you as soon as possible after you complete the Enquiry and certainly no later than the next business day. When we call, we will discuss with you your new car requirements.
  • You consent to our passing on the Enquiry and your requirements to an appropriate authorised motor car dealer as a lead.
  • We will contact you again in approximately eight days following your initial enquiry to check on the progress of the Enquiry.
  • While we will provide the dealer with the Enquiry and details of your new car requirements, we take no responsibility for what happens after passing on that material as a lead.
  • You acknowledge that we are a new car information service providing new car editorial information, pictures and prices to our customers as a guide only. Any new car prices published on the website are the manufacturers’ recommended retail prices and do not include delivery charges and on-road costs. Any authorized motor car dealer to which we pass on your Enquiry as a lead will provide you with full details of the price at which the vehicle will be sold to you.
  • You acknowledge that we do not sell motor vehicles. Any sale of a new car to you by a dealer after we have passed on your Enquiry to that dealer as a lead, is a sale by that dealer not by us.

Privacy Policy– New Car Lead Enquires

  • We take privacy very seriously. We understand that you will only complete an Enquiry if you can trust us to protect your personal information and use it appropriately. Our policy is to ensure that the personal information collected when you make an Enquiry is only used for the purposes of connecting you with an authorised motor car dealer.
  • We do not on-sell information collected from you or any other customer.
  • From time to time, we may email you with information or promotions that may be relevant for car buyers. You will continue to receive communications from us unless you tell us that you do not want to receive any advertising or promotional information in the future by unsubscribing from these communications.
close
* Denotes required field
** Australian inquiries only
*** Prices exclude on road costs and dealer delivery fees

Camry pricing

Motor industry news

GoAutoNews is Australia’s number one automotive industry journal covering the latest news, future and new model releases, market trends, industry personnel movements, and international events.

Catch up on all of the latest industry news with this week's edition of GoAutoNews
Click here