GoAutoLogo
MENU

Car reviews - Toyota - Camry - CSi V6 wagon

Our Opinion

We like
Balanced chassis, smooth V6 engine
Room for improvement
No interior release for tailgate

Toyota logo27 Jun 2001

TOYOTA followed up its overtly American-look 1993 to 1997 Camry station wagon with a far more subtle version in May, 1998.

With its stylised shape, the Camry wagon loses a quantity of practical loadability compared to its more boxy predecessor.

Thankfully the flat-folding rear seat means it is still possible to load 1.8m-long objects - ideal for those weekend trips to the furniture store.

Surprisingly, there is no interior release for the tailgate.

The split fold seats also have a lap sash belt for each passenger and a head rest while child seat webbing straps can be clipped into the back of the seat upright rather than strung from the roof or the rear of the load floor.

Intrusive suspension towers rob the wagons of useful floor space compared with, say, the Mitsubishi Magna. A handy load cover which is easily and quickly removed is a boon as is a higher opening tailgate, which for taller people means fewer unfortunate meetings of mind and metal.

The best news from a driver's perspective is a balanced chassis, which did not happen of its own accord.

Intensive tuning by Toyota's Australian engineers has provided the wagon with benign road manners, allowing the driver to make full use of the grunt available without dissolving into unseemly lurching and wallowing.

Although the four-cylinder, 2.2-litre engine can be found wanting in terms of outright power and overtaking acceleration on the open road, the super-smooth quad camshaft, 3.0-litre V6 is as polite and refined as you will find.

It produces off-the-line and mid-range acceleration that could leave you wide-eyed in awe.

There is a penalty to pay in terms of some muted torque steer on the V6 model but the speed-sensitive, power-assisted steering is better balanced on this car than the regular power assisted set- up on the four-cylinder. It is still pleasantly firm but can be tiring after an extended period slogging through the city.

Both models are quiet and well insulated so suspension noise does not intrude, although tyre rumble is noticeable.

The adaptive shift automatic transmission fitted to the V6 car is a handy addition, offering slick up and down changes, and instinctively picks up the tempo when the driver fancies a bit of a rev.

Inside, you would be hard pressed to spot the difference between the base four-cylinder CSi (the V6 is optional) and the significantly more expensive V6-engined Vienta VXi.

The extra cash all goes into the power and drive train. In the interim, you could also look at the models in between - the CS-X which comes in above the CSi but only as a four-cylinder or the dual-airbag, ABS-equipped Conquest (a kind of Holden Acclaim competitor), available in four-cylinder or V6 form.

As well built as Toyotas are, our V6 test car came with a minor trim panel rattle and the door handles on both test cars are still the same slippery customers encountered on the sedan.

The lift-up flush handles are too shallow and slippery on the underside to get a good grip and it was not just female manicures that felt the sharp tang of fingers flying violently off the handles.

Overall, the Camry wagon is a well fettled and, in V6 guise, a genuinely desirable drive.

Whether the new styling suits your purpose is up to you but there should be few complaints from drivers looking for an agile chassis or refined, playful engine.

- Automotive NetWorks, 05/07/1999

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.