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2007 Toyota Camry LE 4-Cylinder Review

 

The Ubiquitous Driving Machine

A three-quarter front view of a 2007 Toyota Camry LE 4-Cylinder

In short: A well-equipped, fuel-efficient family sedan

Other versions of Toyota’s ubiquitous family sedan may get all the headlines, but the four-cylinder model shown here is the one you’ll see streaming out of Toyota dealers in droves more often than not. It doesn’t have the Hybrid model’s revolutionary gas-electric powertrain and fuel economy that breaches the 40 mpg mark, nor does it sport the V6 model’s 268 horsepower. Instead, the four-cylinder LE provides just enough of what most drivers expect from personal transportation: a quiet ride with decent power, good gas mileage and enough creature comforts to make the daily commute tolerable. Plus, unlike its rather dodgy predecessors, this Camry is actually pretty good looking.

Although 158-horsepower doesn’t seem like a lot for a 3,300-pound sedan, the four-cylinder’s ample amount of torque gets the Camry going in a smooth, effortless fashion, which makes the V6 model’s 110-horse advantage equal to using a pneumatic drill when a hammer would suffice. Better still, the 24 city, 33 highway fuel economy is better than for some of the vehicles on our Top 10 Small Car list like the Dodge Caliber and Suzuki SX4. This goes to show that Toyota’s talents with fuel efficiency go beyond its hybrid models.

2007 Toyota Camry LE 4-Cylinder

Dynamically, the Camry is nothing special with competent, yet uninvolving handling. Nobody will ever consider the Camry sporty, but most of its buyers won’t be looking for it to be anything more than a smooth-running transportation appliance. Although a 5-speed manual is offered on the base Camry, they are especially hard to find and for good reason—a manual Camry would be like a Maytag with a manual “beat your clothes over a rock” option. It’s a safe bet Camry buyers consider changing their own gears a similarly archaic practice.

Inside, those same buyers will find quality materials and an ergonomic design that’s both attractive and user-friendly. Radio and HVAC controls are large, mounted high and legibly marked. The mp3-capable in-dash CD changer has dedicated folder buttons to make seeking through massive collections of music easier. An auxiliary audio jack is also standard, hidden conveniently from prying eyes in a forward compartment under the HVAC controls. The interior in general is spacious and covered in soft plastics and a nice suede-like cloth, although a leather-wrapped steering wheel would have been nice.

A full docket of safety equipment is standard, including front, side and side-curtain air bags and a novel driver’s knee air bag. Our LE test car came with the optional traction and vehicle stability control systems.

Since its debut, this sixth generation Camry has been a runaway success. It’s driving out of showrooms faster than its top-selling predecessor and at a price closer to sticker. Although that’s better news for Toyota and its dealers, consumers can rest assured that this bread-and-butter family sedan has been improved upon in every way—particularly in the styling department. Our tester’s blah goldy-beige paint isn’t very indicative of this, but the new sculpted lines are a big improvement and are pretty similar to the Lexus GS. The four-cylinder Camry might not pin your passengers to their seats like the V6 model, nor can you show off that trendy Hybrid badge, but for those looking for a competent, comfortable automotive appliance, the Camry LE would certainly make a best buy.

A three-quarter rear view of a 2007 Toyota Camry LE 4-Cylinder

Warranty/Service: 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty; 5-year/60,000 powertrain warranty.

QUICK SHEET
Base Price: $20,775 /As tested: $24,638

Technical Specifications

Vehicle type: front-engine, front-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door sedan

Engine: 2.4-liter inline-4
Horsepower: 158 bhp @ 6000 rpm
Torque: 161 lb-ft @ 4000 rpm
Transmission: 5-speed automatic

Curb weight: 3,307 lbs
Wheelbase: 109.3 in
Length/Width/Height:
189.2/71.7/57.9 in
Turning circle: 36.1 feet

Brakes: four-wheel disc with ABS and electronic brake assist
Suspension:
independent front and rear
Traction: optional traction control, optional vehicle stability control

Safety: front air bags, front side air bags, side curtain air bags, driver's knee air bag, tire pressure monitor

0-60 mph: 8.8 seconds (est.)

EPA City: 24 mpg
EPA Highway: 33mpg


Likes: Powerful four cylinder; fuel efficient; improved looks; comfortable and well-equipped interior

Dislikes: Little driving excitement; no leather steering wheel with cloth interior

Check out other Toyota models

Visit the Toyota website

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