2010 Camry (842)

This week we’re looking at a 1992 Toyota Camry V6 LE 4-door sedan with 205,000 miles on the odometer. I would have guessed 502,000 miles, but could I be dyslexic? What a junk never-the-less. I wanted to look at what a car becomes when it is used and abused. It was purchased and used most of its life in New Jersey so the many harsh winters have added to the use and abuse. Then I got to thinking of my 1997 Dodge Ram 3500 dual wheel with over 260,000 miles. Some say that the Cummins diesel engine is just broken in about that mileage. 18 wheel trucks with Cummins diesel engines will easily do a million miles before needing any real care.

It is appropriate to use the Camry for this OLD car review because it has become so popular with a cult following for Toyota products. If you are one of those and have a story of your Toyota and want to share it, write me. Most of the folks who love foreign made cars and trucks tend to discount American made products unfairly. At this year’s LA Auto Show Ford showed off its dominance with the largest and most impressive display that outshined everything else. Yes, even Toyota. Funny how American car makers have finally begun to regain the trust of American car buyers over the past couple of years. I believe the turnaround for Ford was due in large part to the fact that most people were impressed that Ford refused any Bail Out MONEY. God bless American ingenuity and independence. Ford will be remembered fondly for snubbing the Federal Governments attempts to take control.

Camry has been one of the most popular of Toyota’s model offerings in America and they were the top dog in the automotive world. I like the New Camry but I now dread getting back into this old worn out 1992 dog.

Handling & Performance:

Rickety and rattle trap is a good description of this Camry but that’s not all bad, since all those squeaks and rattles kept me awake on the long drive home. The brakes were smooth but I didn’t dare turn too many switches for fear that something would break or fall off or it would stop running altogether. My accounting professor in college defined depreciation as “Old age, Obsolescence or Use” and if that is a fair definition this Camry is fully depreciated and is not long for the road.

I thought – do I dare take this over a mountain road for a test that I do with most every new car I review. Nah, not a chance with this one, because something is liable to break and I’ll end up down a 1,000 foot cliff which I doubt would be much good for either of us.


This Camry still looks good from a distance and that just goes to show you that you can’t judge a book by its cover.

Conveniences and comfort:

It’s got a lot of stuff that was available back when it was new, but some stuff doesn’t work any longer. The windows ceased to function, the seats are worn and the springs are painfully evident. The radio has since been replaced with a cheap knock off from Pep Boys. It was really depressing and I reflected on how I have come to expect everything to work since I review New cars mostly. I even feel I should be able to count on it to deliver perfect service, but after many years and miles that expectation is unrealistic. Cruise Control is one of those features that I can’t live without, so I was happy to find it still worked well.

It didn’t have navigation but with this car I was happy to get anywhere even if I were lost.

Fit and Finish:

It was good when first assembled new but the close tolerances are starting to annoy each other.


I don’t know what a tow would cost these days but that may be the best investment at this juncture. I wouldn’t even want to donate the car to charity. That wouldn’t be very charitable.

Consumer Recommendation:

Both of my trucks are still running. The 1997 Dodge Ram has well over 260,000 miles (I stopped looking at it at 200,000) and the 1984 Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck also has over 200,000 miles. Take care of whatever you drive and it is likely to last longer than you need it.

Recognized Competition:

Toyota Camry, Mitsubishi Galant, Hyundai Sonata, Chevrolet Malibu, Saturn Aura, Pontiac G6, Kia Optima, Mazda 6, Mazda Tribute, Nissan Altima, Mercury Milan, Ford Fusion.

Good News:

It made it to 205,000 miles; annoying seat belt reminder bell doesn’t work.

Bad News:

It’s limping badly and might have to be shot.

Standard Equipment:

3.0 liter 185 hp V6 engine, 4-speed automatic transmission, air conditioning, power windows and locks, seating for 5, audio with cassette player, driver airbag.  I’m sure there is more but I can’t find it. With this car I was happy to have a AAA membership.

Gas Stats:

$3.07/ Gal avg. Dec 1, ‘10


for more information.

18 City and 26 Highway MPG


MSRP $19,228 New. $2,300 Kelly Blue Book – a real stretch for this one.

Your comments are welcomed. My e-mail is joe@atthewheel.com
Copyright © 2010 – An Automotive Love Affair

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