Basic information about my car
2009 Toyota Camry 2.4V, RM130,000 (bought in 2011)
Reasons why I bought this car
I was looking for a newer car to replace my aging 1996 Volvo 940 which had served me well. Being a fan of large sedans, the Toyota Camry was the obvious choice at that time. I had owned two Honda Accords in the past, but was set on the Camry this time due to its looks.
Car Selection Process
I had a budget of RM 150,000
Model(s) that I have considered include: Nissan Teana, Honda Accord, Volvo S80 and VW Passat
I like the design of Camry. It was ahead of its time and was more "Lexus" like than Toyota. The Honda Accord and Nissan Teana were no where close to the Camry. I also wanted a spacious sedan, and while the Passat was an excellent car to drive, it fell short in the real estate area.
I have already done 178,000 km
I have owned the car for nine years now, and it has the typical Toyota DNA - reliability is number one. It has never broken down or left me stranded. Other than routine maintenance, only the shock absorber and front brake disc needed replacing. Everything else is original, even the refrigerant in the air conditioning system has never been topped up. This translates to super low running cost.
Pros & Cons
Ample interior space, zen like interior with NVH levels encroaching into Lexus category. Super smooth power train, with 2.4L and 5 speed auto. 11 years later, it is still as smooth as the day I got it with no signs of slowing down. Even the transmission still shift without a slightest hint of judder.
Features are good for its time (cruise control, navigation, rear powered sunshade, push start button, DVD player, HID headlamps)
This was the pre-TNGA days of Toyota. Handling is on the soft side, and definitely not for spirited driving. I improved the ride slightly by installing stiffer shocks. It helps a bit, but overall, the suspension is tuned for comfort.
The new TNGA Camry is a whole different story...
Total Score: 4
Quality & Features: 5
Ride Comfort: 5
Fuel Economy: 4
Price & Cost: 4
One of the best sedans that I have ever owned. It is one complete package - Good looks, ample interior space, superior NVH, and sufficient power to move. I enjoy my long distance highway runs - with a quiet interior, I get to enjoy my music better. With the comfort level, I can drive even longer without feeling fatigue. Fuel economy is also excellent on highway if you keep it below 140kmh. For city driving, it has good low end grunt to get it moving, and with a whisper quiet, vibration free idle, getting stuck in traffic jams are not such a bad thing in this Camry. While it is catching up in age (14 years since it was launched), the design remains timeless, and still commands a premium in the used car market. While I have my eyes set on the new Camry, I think I'll be driving this one for a few more years!