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Toyota Camry, Sedan
#229 of 1079 Best buy: 2009 Camry V-6 - Pass on 4 cyl
Apr 23, 2008 (7:23 am)
After testing a new 2008 Honda Accord V-6 with its "run on 3 cylinders at cruising speeds" technology and wind and road noise so bad that I had to turn the radio up to drown it out, I purchased a 2009 Camry 3.5 Liter 268 HP V-6 with its smooth as silk Lexus drive train. I drive 80% highway (55 to 75 mph) and 20% city and I was hoping it would get the same 30 mpg as my 1997 Camry. Using Shell "top tier" (high detergent) premium gasoline to take advantage of the timing advance feature which improves power and gas mileage over regular gas, after over 1,000 miles, I have gotten 36 - yes that's thirty six - miles to the gallon. Consumer reports rates the 158 HP 4 cyl Camry as "underpowered" and the EPA ratings don't take into account that you practically have to "push the pedal to the metal" to go up a steep hill. My 1997 Camry V-6 always got better mileage than my friends' Camrys with the 4 cyl. My 2009 V-6 gets better mileage than my neighbor's 2008 4 cyl Camry which is driven 90% highway and 10% city due to the nature of his job. And the mild engine vibration due to the design nature of all 4 cyl engines to me is annoying as heck. My 2009 Camry V-6 drive train is quieter, smoother, and more powerful than my wife's 2002 Lexus ES300 (3.0 Liter 220 HP V-6.)
The two problems with the 2007 V-6 - Oil consumption and transmission "flash" between shifts" are solved as follows: There never was an oil burning problem - the crankcase capacity was increased to from 5 to 6.4 quarts in the 2007's because they run hot to meet EPA requirements and many Toyota dealers and Quick Lube shops were only putting in 5 quarts when the oil was changed. Because the oil is so clear and splashes up on the dipstick holder, I can only get a a good read on the oil level when the car has sat level in the garage overnight. Thus far, the oil level has not moved from the "full" marker in over 1,000 miles. The transmission fix was taken care of in a TSB (there was a recall letter for it) and the new ones have the "fix" built into the six speed automatic transmission.
As for premium versus regular gas: here in Kansas City - regular is $3.59 a gallon and premium is $3,79. That's a 5.6% increase in cost that delivers about a 10% increase in gas mileage so it is actually cheaper to run premium fuel than regular.
#230 of 1079 Camry XLE 09 V6 vs 4 cylinder
Apr 23, 2008 (9:33 am)
Mr. Mackabee...since your knowledge of the Camry seems to be vast and respected on here, I wanted to ask your true honest opinion of which car you would buy given the opportunity...a Camry XLE 09 V6 or a 4 cylinder. I am planning on buying one or the other this summer and need some expert advice. Thanks in advance for your help! I will mostly be driving in the city, but some longer trips on the interstate will be made as well. Also, I am looking for a nice "plush" type car to last a long time. Besides the obvious horsepower, do you think the V6 drives altogether better than the 4?
#231 of 1079 Re: Camry XLE 09 V6 vs 4 cylinder [maine2305]
Apr 23, 2008 (12:04 pm)
Thank you for the kind words. If given the choice I would take the V6 but in SE trim. Imho this trim level is very underrated by the typical consumer. It drives very nice with the sport tuned suspension which is tuned tight but not so tight that every time you hit a bump you feel it down your spine. The 6spd tranny with the sequential shift mode is a lot of fun. Having said that and your driving mostly city and an occasional trip then I would recommend the 4cyl. Either one would be fine. Just a matter on whether you want to spend the extra money for the 6 cylinder.
#232 of 1079 Camry with auto dimmer rearview mirror
Apr 23, 2008 (4:50 pm)
I am planning to buy Camry 09 LE with auto dimmer rearview mirror as the only additional option. But the dealer told me that the option is not available as part of LE V4 in my area. Checked the toyota website and there also doesn't show that option in my zip code.
Is it true? Does anyone has a Camry LE V4 2009 with auto dimmer in N New Jersey area?
#233 of 1079 Re: Camry with auto dimmer rearview mirror [rajeshd]
Apr 23, 2008 (5:58 pm)
You can order the car and get the options that are available for Camry LE's even if the local dealers normally don't get those options.
My local dealer in California, told me I could not get VSC and JBL on an LE in California. The Build Your Toyota website doesn't show that combination in the pre-configured 4 cylinder LEs in my zipcode or any other zipcode I tried in California.
Then I went to another dealer across town and saw more than one of them on the lot with my own eyes despite what the previous dealer said and the website indicates.
Check the sticker. It shows California, and it shows the optional JBL stereo and VSC :
The photo shows the bluetooth controls on the wheel and also shows the manual non-XLE/non-hybrid a/c controls.
Most Toyota dealers don't want to bother ordering anything other than cars equipped with the regular popular packages of options showing on the website. However, they can order any options that are available for the trim level if they make the effort.
#234 of 1079 Re: Camry with auto dimmer rearview mirror [rajeshd]
Apr 23, 2008 (6:31 pm)
You can get electrochromatic mirrors as dealer add-ons, or do it yourself. Can purchase these mirrors (and better) on the internet.
Have an 07 LE, and dealer put the mirror on, hardly took any time.
#235 of 1079 Re: Camry XLE 09 V6 vs 4 cylinder [mackabee]
Apr 23, 2008 (7:09 pm)
Please read my post #229 on this subject. If you buy one off the lot - and not order it special - at least in the Kansas City area - you can buy the V-6 for the same or less than the underpowered 4 cyl. Your fuel cost will be lower and if you "strike while the iron is hot" you can take advantage of everyone's fear of high gas prices and unfounded perception that the 4 will get better mileage than the V-6. The SE does have a better handling package than the LE or XLE, but the ones in stock generally are equipped with all kinds of "who wants it anyway" options which drive the list price from about $24,600 to $30,000. I paid $300 UNDER dealer invoice for my 2009 LE V-6 because the dealers are trying to cut existing inventory of V-6's. I even got the exact color I wanted (magnetic grey metallic) and get more compliments on the car than any I have ever owned. As for the XLE standard 6 disc CD player versus the LE one CD player - who cares - the LE comes standard with an mp3 player and an ipod plug in so you can have 1000 plus songs at your fingertips. If you don't have an ipod or equivalent, go buy one with the $500 you don't have to pay for the 6 CD Disc player.
#236 of 1079 Re: Camry XLE 09 V6 vs 4 cylinder [paul3637]
Apr 23, 2008 (8:45 pm)
The four cylinder will get better mileage. If you drive mostly highway driving it may not be that much better though.
It's not as if you can buy the V6 cheaper than a 4 cylinder and the V6 resale will get worse if gas prices keep rising over the next few years like they have been rising over the last few.
#237 of 1079 Re: Camry with auto dimmer rearview mirror [rajeshd]
Apr 23, 2008 (8:47 pm)
As someone already posted the auto dimming mirror can be installed at the dealer. Also there is no such thing as a Camry LE V4. It's an inline 4 cylinder engine not a V.
#238 of 1079 Re: Camry with auto dimmer rearview mirror [mackabee]
Apr 23, 2008 (8:49 pm)
The dealer can add some of the options like the auto dimming mirror and alloy rims, but it's much more expensive that if those things were factory installed.