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    Thread: How about them 8-speed Camrys?

    1. Member Stevo12's Avatar
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      12-02-2019 11:36 PM #1
      Last month, I drove a 2019 Camry LE rental car between CT and Montreal for work. During that trip, I admired how good the mileage was - near 40 MPG average, reminiscent of our beloved Skyactiv Mazda3 - and how well the Camry dealt with the piss-poor roads in Canada, unlike the rental car I'd driven a couple weeks prior (Hyundai Elantra).

      Fast forward, with the advent of my sub-$1k GMT800 purchase, I'm thinking of a potential replacement for the Frontier, since the daily driver mileage and lack of cabin space are getting to me. Since we'd gotten the truck 5 years ago, my work situation has changed (better commute + work from home during bad weather + we now have a Subaru) and I'm no longer putting mileage on a beater car to justify the relatively poor mileage of the Frontier. In addition, the Subaru that we replaced our 35 MPG Mazda3 with has been averaging 22-23, and needless to say we miss having a vehicle that can do 400+ miles to a tank. Not to mention that our trip car function now rests with a 12-year-old Subaru (which, knock on wood, has been a good car so far).

      Between work, daycare runs, and school I'm still doing about 300+ miles a week mostly in the Subaru. My wife has the short commute, so she's been using the truck, but the hills and local driving are killing the mileage, which has plummeted down to about 16 MPG in recent months.

      So, enter the Camry. At first, we were looking for minimal cash outlay for a Frontier replacement, which landed us in the 2015-2016 range. But I then remembered the 2019 I drove, and took a look around and saw that 2018 SE's (mostly ex-rentals) are just a little bit more, so today I carted the family down to the dealership to have a looksee.

      Drove the SE, and I liked it. It felt more composed than the LE (which felt a little wallowy in some conditions) but still very smooth-riding. The half-pleather seats were nice, and it's kinda nice having a vehicle that was designed in this decade. The 8-speed snaps off shifts pretty nicely, and since it has the same combo as the LE I drove, I know the mileage figures hold up - I was able to drive from CT to Montreal, go back and forth between the plant and the hotel for a couple days (about 15 miles each way) and make it back into NY before I had to gas up. Best part, there's actually room in the front seat in front of the kiddo, who's in a rear-facing car seat for at least another year and a half.

      I'm looking for something that rides well, is easy to maintain, and easy to look at. For those reasons, I keep coming back to the Camry SE.

      So far, the only downside is that the SE doesn't come with heated seats, which is kind of a bummer. But other than that, the mix of features on the SE has what I'm looking for - good headlights (LED), adaptive cruise, CarPlay (can be upgraded on this 2018, which the dealer offered for free) and auto up/down windows. I know these are all common things, but again, I've never owned a car designed in this decade. Since 2019 is winding down, better now than never, right?

      Between the trade value on the truck and the sale price of the Camry, with nothing down we're at $160/mo with the dealer. Car in question is an ex-rental with 38k miles - seemed clean enough. The fuel cost should take care of some of the difference, and the maintenance should be less over time than maintaining a 4WD truck. The Camry should easily be able to handle day trips and weekend overnights to Grandma and Grandpa's. If we need any more space or inclement weather capabilities, we have the Subaru. My wife will take over the Subaru and I'll be driving the Camry.

      Anything I should be weary of with these? I figure with as with any automatic, transmission needs a drain/fill every 40-60k miles. I see that these new Camrys take 0W-16 oil, which given a quick look on Amazon is kinda expensive to DIY - so maybe oil changes will be another thing that can be taken off my plate. I figure that being a Toyota, the brakes and suspension will wear like iron and won't need attention for a long time.

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    3. Senior Member Lwize's Avatar
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      12-02-2019 11:49 PM #2
      If you're looking at 2019 Camry SE ex-rentals, why go with a high-mileage one out of warranty?

      I'm not sure about CT, but Hertz has plenty of 2019' SE's with 10K-20K miles, so you'd get the balance of the 3/36 new car warranty.
      And prices are only $18-20K.
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      12-03-2019 12:13 AM #3
      You can also go on Toyotanation to ask as well:

      https://www.toyotanation.com/forums/...tion-2018.802/

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      12-03-2019 12:14 AM #4

    6. 12-03-2019 01:26 AM #5
      Quote Originally Posted by Stevo12 View Post
      I figure that being a Toyota, the brakes and suspension will wear like iron and won't need attention for a long time.
      Of the Toyota products I've been around, I felt like the stock shocks always went a little earlier than expected. No major leaks either. Just stopped soaking up the bumps as well. Thankfully, they're only $50 ea or so. I don't know if they've recently rectified it, but if KYB is still supplying em, probably not.

    7. Member Yuppie Scum's Avatar
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      12-03-2019 01:47 AM #6
      Had a rental last year. I didnít mind how it drove, but the infotainment was awful and I couldnít find a comfortable seating position whatsoever. They have AA/CP now at least I think.

      Accord blows it out of the water though.

    8. Member Camviet's Avatar
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      12-03-2019 02:31 AM #7
      All new Toyota's come with Safety P Sense stuff, so if you need to replace your windshield or have front end damage affecting sensors, you will need to have them adjusted, which usually stems to 2 hours of dealership labor if you're paying out of pocket. Some insurances are getting better with covering these expenses as they see the potential safety risks of leaving them be.

      The transmissions aren't quite as synced or smooth as some other 8 speeds on the market, but nothing atrocious. Computer reflashes are available for transmission shock upon re accelerating from a stop/low speed. Blind spot monitoring can sometimes activate and stay on when a vehicle is not present, fixed by new sensor and reflash. Ongoing investigation about tight steering intermediate shaft and transmission side plate leak. These newer engines with direct injection, as with all manufacturers, are louder than the older counterpart. Excessive knocking from vacuum pumps are also being addressed. Toyota seemingly can't get front timing cover sealing surfaces right since the 2GR V6. I've seen and resealed two (inner) front timing covers on the motor offered in the Camry (both were in Rav4's surprisingly).

      Oil changes are recommended every 10k miles, and seemingly, the lighter oil is working. I've seen a handful of 100k+ mile Camry's that show very low signs of wear and tear from oil analysis, and but of course it's expected with any car that's doing mainly highway mileage. Toyota doesn't recommend automatic transmission fluid exchange, but an inspection at 100k miles. Use your judgement and factor in cost of fluid, determine when you would feel comfortable with changing transmission fluid. Like most manufacturers, it's advertised as a life long fluid. I would change it at least once before 120k miles. Coolant is recommended at 100k miles, spark plugs @ 120k miles.

      In reality, what do you REALLY need to worry about? Tires, brakes, fluids and filters. Keep your alignment straight and stay away from junky tires.

      I also believe the LE has a slightly larger fuel tank than the SE trim? It may only be for hybrids, but I remember pulling that piece of info for a salesperson who's customer wanted a vehicle she only need to fill up once a month and travel 600+ miles on a tank. Hard to compete with the old hybrid Camry's that had a 20ish gallon tank.

    9. 12-03-2019 05:43 AM #8
      Quote Originally Posted by Camviet View Post
      Toyota doesn't recommend automatic transmission fluid exchange
      Ah, the ol' "lifetime fluid". That's right, the lifetime of the transmission.

    10. Member Stevo12's Avatar
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      12-03-2019 07:30 AM #9
      Thanks for the info.

      Quote Originally Posted by Lwize View Post
      If you're looking at 2019 Camry SE ex-rentals, why go with a high-mileage one out of warranty?

      I'm not sure about CT, but Hertz has plenty of 2019' SE's with 10K-20K miles, so you'd get the balance of the 3/36 new car warranty.
      And prices are only $18-20K.
      Iíll check those as well. The SE I drove was supposedly CPO although we didnít talk much about the CPO program so I donít know if itís being offered to me as such.

      We had gone to this particular Toyota dealer because they had a 4G Prius that we were looking to compare back to back (wife was interested in that) but after looking at the Camry, we decided we didnít want less space than that. Iím not tied to a particular dealer but in my mind Iím thinking that a Toyota dealer stood a better chance of reconditioning said ex-rental ahead of time, if there was anything wrong with it to begin with. I donít recall seeing many (if at all) SE models from the local Hertz sales lot but Iíll take another look.

      Quote Originally Posted by Yuppie Scum View Post
      Had a rental last year. I didnít mind how it drove, but the infotainment was awful and I couldnít find a comfortable seating position whatsoever. They have AA/CP now at least I think.

      Accord blows it out of the water though.
      Accord and Legacy are also on the list to check out, but Hondas have always had a flintier ride than Camry, and I donít think the cost of ownership for the Legacy will be quite so low as the what the Camry will supposedly deliver.

      Does a 9G Accord blow a 18 SE out of the water? Because thatís whatís available in my price range when I took a look last night. Not a lot of 10Gís around.

      I like CP now that they have Google Maps functionality, and supposedly the non-CP 2018 radio can be updated (and the dealer offered to do it for free)

      Quote Originally Posted by elmo3 View Post
      Ah, the ol' "lifetime fluid". That's right, the lifetime of the transmission.
      BTDT...if fluid went in, it should be able to come out and have more put in, so I will find a way

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      12-03-2019 08:26 AM #10
      Not sure what the exact budget is, but if range is a priority a Camry Hybrid will get about 700 miles to a tank from my last check. They're a little faster too. The regular Camry is so fuel efficient though I feel like the operating savings are marginal. That's all I know about them. They seem like good cars. Wish they offered the panoramic moonroof across the range.

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      12-03-2019 08:28 AM #11
      How much are they selling the 38k mile car for? How much is a new one? Do the math and figure out how much having 38k miles and roughly 2 years of being driven like a rental save you per mile and per year of ownership. Usually Toyota's hold their value so well that with the discounts offered (especially now in December) you don't save a whole lot buying slightly used.

      I didn't think they could CPO vehicles that are already out of warranty but maybe that's changed, I'd check closely on that as well though.
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    13. Member Stevo12's Avatar
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      12-03-2019 09:10 AM #12
      Quote Originally Posted by ND40oz View Post
      How much are they selling the 38k mile car for? How much is a new one? Do the math and figure out how much having 38k miles and roughly 2 years of being driven like a rental save you per mile and per year of ownership. Usually Toyota's hold their value so well that with the discounts offered (especially now in December) you don't save a whole lot buying slightly used.

      I didn't think they could CPO vehicles that are already out of warranty but maybe that's changed, I'd check closely on that as well though.
      They certify up to 6 years old and 85,000 miles.

      Typical car dealer shenanigans meant they just quoted the payment - $160/mo for 48 mos. I back-tracked based on the rate (3.49% APR) trade ($12,500) and fees ($499 conveyance, 6.35% sales tax, $200 VIN etch, $198 reg) and came up with a $17,650 sales price. MSRP on a '20 SE is $26k - as far as I can tell, the '18 is no different than the '20 save for CarPlay which was added in '19.

      The discounted new vs. used debate is what pushed us into a new Mazda3 back in '13 that served us well for 6+ years. But back then, gas was $4/gallon so fuel-sipping cars were all the rage, and used were selling for near new. I don't think that's the case here. My FIL also recently bought a Camry, but he got the XSE model. Sticker was $30k, he got it for $28k, so my guess is that a new SE would still be ~$24-25k. At $17.6k for the used one, I think used is the way to go here.

      Given how my LE rental car "drove like a rental" at 9k miles: mismatched tires, wheel shake at speed, drivers window that only rolled down halfway - these are things I should be able to pick up on a test drive. Didn't get that with this one, although the interior detailing job left some to be desired. There are enough of these in the area that I'm going to start emailing dealers to see if they can at least match the price I got yesterday.

      I know I'm forgoing conventional wisdom, but I like to keep in mind that lease vehicles also can get treated like rentals, but instead of getting the occasional business traveller who just wants car to get to the airport, or a replacement for a car in the shop, it gets treated by the same bad owner because it's "just a lease" and a Toyota at that. People who care and treat their Toyotas well don't lease them - they buy them.

    14. Member fireside's Avatar
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      12-03-2019 09:17 AM #13
      Quote Originally Posted by Stevo12 View Post
      Last month, I drove a 2019 Camry LE rental car between CT and Montreal for work. During that trip, I admired how good the mileage was - near 40 MPG average, reminiscent of our beloved Skyactiv Mazda3 - and how well the Camry dealt with the piss-poor roads in Canada, unlike the rental car I'd driven a couple weeks prior (Hyundai Elantra).

      Fast forward, with the advent of my sub-$1k GMT800 purchase, I'm thinking of a potential replacement for the Frontier, since the daily driver mileage and lack of cabin space are getting to me. Since we'd gotten the truck 5 years ago, my work situation has changed (better commute + work from home during bad weather + we now have a Subaru) and I'm no longer putting mileage on a beater car to justify the relatively poor mileage of the Frontier. In addition, the Subaru that we replaced our 35 MPG Mazda3 with has been averaging 22-23, and needless to say we miss having a vehicle that can do 400+ miles to a tank. Not to mention that our trip car function now rests with a 12-year-old Subaru (which, knock on wood, has been a good car so far).

      Between work, daycare runs, and school I'm still doing about 300+ miles a week mostly in the Subaru. My wife has the short commute, so she's been using the truck, but the hills and local driving are killing the mileage, which has plummeted down to about 16 MPG in recent months.

      So, enter the Camry. At first, we were looking for minimal cash outlay for a Frontier replacement, which landed us in the 2015-2016 range. But I then remembered the 2019 I drove, and took a look around and saw that 2018 SE's (mostly ex-rentals) are just a little bit more, so today I carted the family down to the dealership to have a looksee.

      Drove the SE, and I liked it. It felt more composed than the LE (which felt a little wallowy in some conditions) but still very smooth-riding. The half-pleather seats were nice, and it's kinda nice having a vehicle that was designed in this decade. The 8-speed snaps off shifts pretty nicely, and since it has the same combo as the LE I drove, I know the mileage figures hold up - I was able to drive from CT to Montreal, go back and forth between the plant and the hotel for a couple days (about 15 miles each way) and make it back into NY before I had to gas up. Best part, there's actually room in the front seat in front of the kiddo, who's in a rear-facing car seat for at least another year and a half.

      I'm looking for something that rides well, is easy to maintain, and easy to look at. For those reasons, I keep coming back to the Camry SE.

      So far, the only downside is that the SE doesn't come with heated seats, which is kind of a bummer. But other than that, the mix of features on the SE has what I'm looking for - good headlights (LED), adaptive cruise, CarPlay (can be upgraded on this 2018, which the dealer offered for free) and auto up/down windows. I know these are all common things, but again, I've never owned a car designed in this decade. Since 2019 is winding down, better now than never, right?

      Between the trade value on the truck and the sale price of the Camry, with nothing down we're at $160/mo with the dealer. Car in question is an ex-rental with 38k miles - seemed clean enough. The fuel cost should take care of some of the difference, and the maintenance should be less over time than maintaining a 4WD truck. The Camry should easily be able to handle day trips and weekend overnights to Grandma and Grandpa's. If we need any more space or inclement weather capabilities, we have the Subaru. My wife will take over the Subaru and I'll be driving the Camry.

      Anything I should be weary of with these? I figure with as with any automatic, transmission needs a drain/fill every 40-60k miles. I see that these new Camrys take 0W-16 oil, which given a quick look on Amazon is kinda expensive to DIY - so maybe oil changes will be another thing that can be taken off my plate. I figure that being a Toyota, the brakes and suspension will wear like iron and won't need attention for a long time.
      Off topic but what kind of miles do you have on your frontier and what are they offering you for trade?

      It's a 2014 SV CC with the value package, correct?

    15. Member Stevo12's Avatar
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      12-03-2019 09:26 AM #14
      Quote Originally Posted by fireside View Post
      Off topic but what kind of miles do you have on your frontier and what are they offering you for trade?

      It's a 2014 SV CC with the value package, correct?
      Yup, it's a '14 SV crew cab 4x4 with 62k miles, $12,500 trade value. I looked up KBB while I was in the dealer and it said $12,200 in "Good" condition, which says it can have some cosmetic defects, which this truck definitely has - still have the dented tailgate from when my hitch popped off the ball last year. So, it's not exactly mint but then again it looks like values dropped a bit from the ~16k or so I remember it being last year.

    16. Member Crispyfritter's Avatar
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      12-03-2019 10:08 AM #15
      I'm a huge fan of the Altima in this class ( yeah, I know), but the Camry actually seems to represent a better value up until 2019. They ride well enough (my only point of reference is my mom's 2012 Hybrid XLE) and have decent room in them. The Altima was restyled for 2019, so they are a bit more money than the equivalent Camry. I'm a big fan of the 2018 Altima, though I preferred the looks of the pre-facelift (2016 or so), and the smoothness of the CVT is what sold me on it. We would regularly get 40 mpg out of our 2014 Altima and I much prefer the seats of the Nissan to the Toyota.

      I'm not saying you should get the Altima over the Toyota, but its worth a look, as the 2018 and older represent a pretty good value. Although I don't think you can get Carplay in the Nissan. That may be a deal-breaker, as we have it in our Hyundai, and my wife insists that its a must-have in her replacement vehicle.

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      12-03-2019 10:30 AM #16
      The MPG numbers are kind of blurry here back in the days of the original FAMILY CAMRY But what I see looks good with those numbers. Even if that had to be one of the worst Family Camry's to drive. I believe the EPA used a different rating system in 1983 nonetheless it's 31/43 mpg city/highway with the four-speed overdrive automatic transmission, sounded good, even if its 4 banger only churned out 92 HP.


    18. Member Stevo12's Avatar
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      12-03-2019 10:36 AM #17
      Iíve rented enough pre-2019 Altimas to say that while I appreciate their virtues of a big, cheap car - it drives a generation behind the new Camry because it is. Not knocking it, just how it is. Iíve been looking forward to the new Altima, just havenít gotten one yet.

      Granted those rental Altimaís were base models and yes they drove well, but I think the Camry drives better still. Time to turn in my enthusiast card?

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      12-03-2019 10:58 AM #18
      Anecdata, but damn near everyone I know who has had a recent 4 banger Nissan has had CVT problems, including the last gen Altima & Rogue. My BIL's Versa killed 2 transmissions- he just got rid of it last week actually. I would not mess with anything equipped with a JATCO CVT.

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      12-03-2019 11:00 AM #19
      If you can stretch your budget to around $23K-$25K, I would give the current Accord Sport 2.0T a look. When we were shopping for a car for my Wife last year, we drove the V6 Camry and the Accord Sport 2.0T. I prefer the appearance of the Camry, but found the Accord drove a lot nicer; mostly from a performance perspective. Plus, it's available in a manual.

    21. Member Samson's Avatar
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      12-03-2019 11:17 AM #20
      Quote Originally Posted by CTK View Post
      Anecdata, but damn near everyone I know who has had a recent 4 banger Nissan has had CVT problems, including the last gen Altima & Rogue. My BIL's Versa killed 2 transmissions- he just got rid of it last week actually. I would not mess with anything equipped with a JATCO CVT.
      I have a QX60 loaner right now (3.5/CVT), and while it's smooth and invisible 95% of the time (plus indicated 23 city MPG in a 4,500lb SUV), it sucks the other 5%. Reversing smoothly on an incline is still beyond its capabilities. It rolls forward unless you give it a healthy dose of throttle. It also stutters occasionally and, this morning, it decided to stay at 2k for several minutes for no reason. Unless you're doing an eCVT like the Toyota hybrids, I'd lean towards step gear automatics.

      Anyway, I'd go Camry over Accord/Altima. I say that having only driven a couple Accord 2.0ts. They were fine, but I imagine the Camry is more comfortable and better made. The SE (hybrid...) would be my pick.

      As far as buying an ex-rental is concerned, just get it checked first. The warranty is good. I'm starting to think that my recent off-lease purchase was treated like a rental, at least mechanically... but it also has a good warranty, as I found out after a week of ownership.

    22. Member adrew's Avatar
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      12-03-2019 11:33 AM #21
      Yeah, I probably won't buy another CVT, either. It is fine here in Texas but it sucks in the mountains.

      Re: the Camry -- I would try to find a leftover 2019 and bargain hard on it.

      Edmunds says you can get one a couple hundred under invoice ($24k) but I had no issue getting our Corolla for $500ish under when I went in on the last day of November a few years ago. Combine that with 0% for 5 years on the '19s and the payment would be about $215-$220. The only thing I can think of is that if you go new I would expect they might not be quite as generous on your trade... but I'd trade a couple grand over 5 years to only have my farts in the seats and for a perfect alignment (every rental I've ever gotten seems to have had a curb jumping habit).

      If you get a new one, the first two oil changes will be free (you get a free one every 10k up to 25k miles, and a tire rotation every 5k). But afterward, Walmart has 5-quart jugs of Mobil 1 0W-16 for $25 (it takes 4.8 quarts). You can also use 0W-20 if 0W-16 is not available, but they want you to put 0W-16 in at the next oil change.
      https://www.walmart.com/ip/Mobil-1-0...-5Qt/747116534

      There are a decent number of them left:
      https://www.cars.com/for-sale/search...62520&zc=06101

      Last edited by adrew; 12-03-2019 at 11:43 AM.
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    23. Don't be me. Don't be a 'Rick' Cabin Pics's Avatar
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      12-03-2019 11:42 AM #22
      Quote Originally Posted by adrew View Post
      Yeah, I probably won't buy another CVT, either. It is fine here in Texas but it sucks in the mountains.

      Re: the Camry -- I would try to find a leftover 2019 and bargain hard on it.

      Edmunds says you can get one a couple hundred under invoice ($24k) but I had no issue getting our Corolla for $500ish under when I went in on the last day of November a few years ago. Combine that with 0% for 5 years on the '19s and the payment would be about $215-$220. The only thing I can think of is that if you go new I would expect they might not be quite as generous on your trade... but I'd trade a couple grand over 5 years to only have my farts in the seats and for a perfect alignment (every rental I've ever gotten seems to have had a curb jumping habit).

      If you get a new one, the first two oil changes will be free (you get a free one every 10k up to 25k miles, and a tire rotation every 5k). But afterward, Walmart has 5-quart jugs of Mobil 1 0W-16 for $25 (it takes 4.8 quarts).
      https://www.walmart.com/ip/Mobil-1-0...-5Qt/747116534

      There are a decent number of them left:
      https://www.cars.com/for-sale/search...62520&zc=06101

      This also gets my vote.

      Ignore MSRP this time of year. Speak to a couple salesman and find out what you can actually get into the car for.
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    24. Senior Member Sporin's Avatar
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      12-03-2019 11:51 AM #23
      I can't really comment on the financials but we drove the new Camry when we were car shopping last year and I really liked it. But this is my wife's primary daily commuter and she wasn't into a long traditional sedan again (we went with a used RAV4 instead).

      The only issue I had with the Camry was that you really needed to load it up to get the features we wanted (push-button start, heated seats, etc). Other than that, I thought it was comfortable, peppy to drive, and the high highway mpg was very enticing. I don't mind the looks. I would HAPPILY own a used one of this generation.

      I think there has been a reflash on the transmission already though, so make sure that has been done.

    25. Member nyexx's Avatar
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      2018 Accord Sport 2.0T 6MT
      12-03-2019 11:51 AM #24
      You may want to consider the Mazda 6 since you had a great experience with the 2013 Mazda 3.

    26. Member
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      20 years of German cars led to this: 2016 RAV4 hybrid, 2020 Prius Prime
      12-03-2019 11:57 AM #25
      Just throwing a curveball at you.

      If you can get over the eye searing looks, check out the Prius Prime. The base model comes with Apple carplay, heated seats AND heated steering wheel, adaptive cruise, remote key sense, LED headlamps/taillamps. It rides really smooth. It's very comfortable and pretty big inside. We take is most of the time instead of the RAV4 for family use, we can do a Costco run with two baby seats and two adults no problem. The trunk is bigger than the new Camry. I'm a car guy and actually enjoy driving it. It is slow however. Depending on incentives in you area, a new 2020 might be cheaper than a used Camry.

      If you're driving 300 miles a week over 7 days, and are able to plug it in each night, you can probably manage to only fill up the tank once per month. I've only filled the tank ONCE since July and that's because I drove from Montreal to Toronto and back

      edit: It does wallow on the highway with the stock 15'' 195/65/15's that I'm running on Michelin Xi3's. I installed 225/45/17 in the summer and it tracks really nice and is super comfy.

      Good luck, Camry is a great choice if you go for it.

      Last edited by Dubveiser; 12-03-2019 at 12:04 PM.

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