1999 Toyota Camry SXV20
Reasons why I bought this car
I need bigger cars for long journey back to my hometown in Kedah. Using Sentra 1.6 manual for the travel during each school holidays warrants a better car in terms of spaciousness and easy drivability. So after testing a few cars like Cefiro, Honda Accord and Camry, I chose to buy Camry as the car fits my requirement better.
Car selection process
- I had a budget of below RM30k.
- Models that I have considered include: Honda Accord, Nissan Cefiro
The Toyota Camry has a large boot, spacious cabin room. In addition, the ride is comfortable. The design is simple but has all the important equipments essential in a car. It has an auto air conditioner, power steering, power electric seats and auto cruise. On the safety aspect, it has SRS airbag for front passenger and occupant and ABS. The design of the cabin is also simple and easy to use. Maybe for some, the design can be considered as dull or not exciting but for me, practicality is more important. Another aspect is that Toyota is built to be a robust car so maintenance wise should not be a problem.
- I have already done 290,000km.
I love the car. For long journeys, the experience is nice for casual driving. As the power to weight ratio is on the low side, you won't have a spirited pickup whatsoever which is not my priority currently. Climbing Genting hill will be a sad experience as even Kancil can overtake anytime, but it is not designed for that. But for highway cruising at the speed limit, the power is more than enough.
Seating position is also a good point for this car. I can drive a whole day long without any fatigue as the electric seat makes it easy to find the perfect setting. I still remembered when I owned a Vios, travelling back to my hometown will result in back pain when arrived. its not a fair comparison right?
The suspension is on the soft side soaking most bad road condition effectively, resulting in a pliant ride that impresses most of my friends. Sadly steering response is not as sharp as I like though with the steering feels lighter than it should be. At a bad road condition, the steering wheel wobbles a bit more than normal. Also at high speed, I feel the steering lighter than I prefer. Another issue is the wind noise which is quite higher than normal at cruising speed.
For a 20 years old car, it is remarkable that major parts of the car are still genuine, for example, the air conditioning system still original and functional. The drive shaft and the engine mountings also never been replaced. Engine still no obvious vibration detected. In short, maintenance wise very positive.
Pros & Cons
- Spacious cabin and boot
- Soft and comfortable ride quality for a 20 yrs old car.
- No major issue on maintenance. Major parts still genuine
- Good equipments come as standard, like cruise control, electric seats, auto air conditioning, airbag and ABS.
- Bad power to weight ratio resulting in sluggish pickup especially at cruising speed.
- Excessive wind noise
- Average steering feel and response.
- Bad fuel consumption.
Total Score: 3
Quality & Features: 4
Ride Comfort: 4
Fuel Economy: 3
Price & Cost: 4
To sum up, the Camry will stay with me for a long time. It is a comfortable car for long travel, spacious enough for my family and my luggage. It has all equipments that I need for in a car and low maintenance. That's all I need.