Car reviews - Toyota - Camry - Vienta Executive sedan
V6 power and smoothness, refined and capable dynamics, spacious and family-friendly interior, usual Toyota quality, reliability and durability attributes
Room for improvement
Wilfully dull styling inside and out
1 Aug 2003
TOYOTA moved the Camry upmarket with the release of the new "wide body" version in 1993. It was sold as a sedan or station wagon with three levels of equipment and either four or six-cylinder engines.
This gave the Camry a total of 15 model variations and it competed for sales in both the medium and full-size sectors.
The Vienta badge was used to distance the more expensive six-cylinder models from the lower priced four-cylinder range.
The Executive was the entry level to the four-model Vienta range and was marketed to attract fleet and company sales away from Toyota's Australian six-cylinder rivals.
The Vienta Executive equipment list has the basic essentials such as power steering, central locking and a two-speaker AM/FM radio/cassette. Air-conditioning and anti-lock brakes were optional.
Toyota upgraded the equipment levels in April, 1994, and the Executive was dropped from the range.
Inside, the Vienta has almost as much interior space as a full- size Australian car with well shaped and supportive front bucket seats. The rear seat back is split 40/60 and folds down for interior access to a large boot.
Toyota used a high tech, multi-valve, all-aluminium, 3.0-litre V6 in the Vienta. It is powerful, with 139kW, has ample torque and is economical for its size. The only transmission available was a four-speed automatic.
The Camry has independent suspension all round using MacPherson struts and coil springs with anti-roll bars at the front and rear.
The steering and handling are much better than previous models while the ride remained good even if it did not quite match that of the Magna.
Holden also sold the Camry - rebadged as the Apollo - through its dealer network. But the Apollo was not anywhere near as popular as the Camry and equivalent models can be bought for slightly lower prices.
The Camry has been on the road for over five years and has proved to be reliable and trouble free. Running costs per kilometre are among the lowest for a front-wheel drive car. This has helped retain value and hold prices up.
It is an excellent choice of transport for the family with a combination of almost full-size interior space, good quality and a smooth V6 engine.
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