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About the Camry
A retired long-distance cruiser in the family, 1999 TOYOTA CAMRY 2.2GX in Sky Blue(a colour that only available for the Camry from 1997 to 2001 line up) this colour sometimes appear in silver during a cloudy day. It was officially brought in as an Australian spec by Toyota Malaysia as the 2nd generation (XV20) Camry here in Malaysia. But in the US, they called it as the 4th gen because of the Camry actually started as a narrow body version which we don’t get in Malaysia until the first generation wide-body version (XV10).
This car is paired with an Inline-4 engine (5S-FE) matching to a 4-speed automatic transmission producing 136 horsepower and 199Nm of torque. The Camry has been with the family for almost 2 decades and has gone through countless destination and still is a very comfortable car to ride with. The car has been restored recently(exterior paint, reupholster leather seat, change out every suspension component, interior dashboard and door card detailing) No planning to make any modification to it, as to keep the original look.
Everyone knows the quality build of Toyota in the ’90s. Most of the part where we often contact is made out of soft-touch material, such as dashboard, steering wheel, armrest, gear selector and door panel are covered with leather. Even until passed 21 years, the dashboard doesn’t show any sign of crack(touch wood) and the interior doesn’t even rattle when going through rough roads. But of course, they are still hard plastic at the bottom part of the door panel which I don’t really mind because you rarely touch them right?. Door considerably heavy and the rear door are able to stop at whatever angle while still having the ability to hold them on a slope.
It equips with a 2.2 Litre EFI DOHC 16 Valve Inline-4 engine (5S-FE) mated to an Aisin 4-speed (ECT) Electronic Controlled Automated Transmission(A140E) sending power to the front wheel (some market having AWD version). It produces 136 horsepower at 5200rpm and 199Nm of torque at 4400rpm but most of the torque comes from the low end, which makes overtaking and merging into highway speed easily. The 0 to 100km/h sprint time is just over 11second (as tested). But why talks about performance when you’re in a Camry? It is made for comfort, reliability. The engine and the transmission are bulletproof as long as you maintained regularly, the car still has the original engine in it with 245k km on the clock and only changed engine mounting and valve gasket once recently due to little leaks from the top, but those are common for an engine that is placed slightly slanted, wear and tear parts. The engine is driven by a belt, so every 100k± km of mileage and so on, the timing belt needs to be changed together with the water pump itself. The 5F-FE engine was a non-interference design which means that it is less likely for the piston to strike the intake or exhaust valve in case of a timing belt failure, and it also uses a port injection which reduces carbon build-ups.
Some DIY stuff has been done to the engine bay (Polished valve cover, polished exhaust manifold cover and cleaning up the cast-iron intake manifold)
Features on the Camry
Not really fancy compare to cars nowadays. It came with 4 wheel disc brake with ABS, 6disc CD player, cruise control feature, two powered front seats with lumbar support adjustment on the driver side, 60/40 split fold-down rear seat, powered auto folding mirror, automatic climate control, power antenna(I bet lots of you forget or don’t know what is this) basically is a motor-driven antenna in the back of the trunk for the radio to goes up or down when you switch on or off the radio.
Little quirk on the Camry
The Ride Comfort
As the XV20 Camry rides on Global Outstanding Assessment (GOA) body, it is equipped with MacPherson struts at the front and trailing arm type multilink at the rear, the Camry, of course, is crafted without compromise for the ride comfort. The suspension is more toward the softer side and having a long suspension travel that absorbs most of the imperfection on the road and the rear seat is very comfortable, easily fall asleep in the rear seat when going for long-distance drive. Of course, the body roll is quite significant when you drive through corner like a maniac but still, the car is still very stable on highway speed. The rack and pinion power steering are not as sharp and agile, with addition, the car riding on 15-inch rims(205/65R15) which have a super thick tire sidewall. The braking pedal feel is very linear, so the passenger doesn’t jerk so much at the rear nor the front seat.
A fairly big trunk with 518L and a big opening which is able to fit larger objects more easily. Fits plenty of stuff and a full-size spare underneath the cover, for longer items, the rear seat can be folded down config to 60/40 split but still, the trunk floor is not completely flat when the seat is folded down.
My best fuel mileage is 800km from a 70Litre tank for 80% highway and 20% city driving. For full city driving alone, the highest is roughly 500km on a full tank.
Mods on car
Gentex auto-dimming rearview mirror (OEM supplier for most of the car brand out there) and a custom led third brake light.
Pros & Cons
• smooth drivetrain and transmission
• ride comfort
• spacious trunk
•what is handling?
•wind noise on higher speed
•body parts getting harder to source
Quality & Feature :4/5
Fuel Economy :3/5
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