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2013 Toyota Camry Pros, Cons, Prices
And How To Get The Best
(See Also: "How To Buy A New Camry At The Lowest Price")
When it comes to midsize sedans, the Toyota Camry has long been one of the very best choices on the planet. And while the competition from worthy rivals has certainly heated up in recent years, the newest Camry could very well be the top-selling car in America this year thanks to its well-proven reputation for reliability, quiet and comfortable cabin, smooth ride and impressive fuel economy.
In fact, the Camry was totally redesigned last year with an upgraded interior, a more stylish exterior and enhanced driving zest. And new for this year, the 2013 Camry raises the ante with several additional standard features, highlighted by a 6-inch central display screen for all models, as well as further upgrades to cabin materials.
2013 Toyota Camry SE
But even while the new Camry may have a lot going for it, before making a final buying decision prospective owners should not only consider its appealing qualities, but measure the possible impact of its potential drawbacks as well. And if one then decides to proceed with a possible purchase, it's essential to also have a rock-solid plan for getting the best possible price (see the "How To Get The Lowest Price" link below).
Lively engines: The Camry's base engine is a 2.5-liter inline-4 that produces 178 horsepower and 170 pound-feet of torque. While certainly not a speedster, this engine competently moves through the gears in a fairly uncommon way for a four-cylinder family sedan.
Also available (optional on the SE and XLE models) is a 3.5-liter V6 that pumps out 268 horsepower and 248 lb-ft of torque. This engine may very well be best-in-class thanks to its exceptional combination of smooth and comfortable refinement along with brisk acceleration when needed.
Powering the Hybrid is a 2.5-liter 4-cylnder gas engine coupled with a battery-powered electric drive system that delivers a full 200 horsepower. Mated with a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT), the Hybrid is actually slightly quicker than the base four-cylinder, so there's really no performance penalty for those who choose to go green.
Very good fuel economy: The EPA-estimated gas mileage for the four-cylinder Camry is 25 mpg city and 35 mpg on the highway, among the very best in this segment. And the fuel economy for the V6 is also an impressive 21 city and 30 highway.
Of course, the Hybrid blows these numbers out of the water with a rating of 43 mpg city and 39 mpg highway, despite its better quickness than the regular gas-powered four-cylinder. The gas mileage for the Hybrid XLE drops a bit to 40 city and 38 highway.
Smooth and quiet ride as well as capable handling: The Camry has always offered a comfortable, smooth and quiet ride, so no surprise there. But with last year's revisions, all models now display improved body control and more confidence in the turns as well. And the sport-tuned SE, with its wider tires, firmer suspension and sharper steering, elevates the Camry's handling abilities near the class leading Honda Accord ... and all without hurting the Camry's high marks for ride quality.
Even the base model is well-equipped: There's an abundance of standard features. Even the base L trim comes with power windows, power mirrors, air-conditioning, cruise control, Bluetooth, a 6-inch display screen, a tilt/telescoping steering wheel, a trip computer, split-folding rear seats and a 6-speaker audio system with a CD player, satellite radio, HD radio, a USB/iPod interface and auxiliary input.
And "luxury" is available as well. Opting for the XLE model includes an 8-way power driver seat, heated exterior mirrors, dual-zone automatic climate control, a sunroof, the Entune infotainment system and foglamps, while XLE V6 models add leather upholstery, heated front seats, a power passenger seat, a rearview camera and an auto-dimming rearview mirror.
Roomy backseat: The rear quarters are huge for this class, offering generous amounts of leg and headroom for taller passengers. Along with the Accord, the rear accommodations are the best in the segment ... your passengers will thank you on those long trips.
Strong safety scores: In government crash tests, the 2013 Camry was awarded an overall score of five out of five stars. While not perfect, it's overall rating consisted of four stars for frontal-impact protection, five stars for side-impact protection, and four stars for rollover protection.
2013 Toyota Camry SE interior
Entune smartphone integration isn't available on the L or LE: While the good news is that a 6.1-inch touchscreen display is now standard on all Camrys, on the L and LE models it's primarily used to operate the stereo and display your Bluetooth phonebook. It does not include the new Entune smartphone software which uses your smartphone as a platform for a number of useful mobile apps such as Pandora and OpenTable.
Both the Entune system and navigation are only available on SE and XLE models. In addition, only the XLE offers the availability of the premium 7-inch touchscreen with a hard-drive-based navigation system.
No manual transmission or all-wheel-drive models: While the 6-speed automatic transmission is a very good one, some driving enthusiasts may be disappointed by the lack of a manual transmission option. There also isn't an all-wheel-drive model for those in snowy locations.
Still some interior quality issues: Last year's upgrades and this year's door panel improvements have addressed many of the quality deficiencies of the previous generation, but there are still a few left. While the cabin remains impressively comfortable and quiet, the base cloth seating is adequate at best and there are still some hard and lower quality plastics used in the instrument panel, most noticeably in the L and LE models.
Not as stylish as some rivals: Again, the exterior styling was nicely improved for 2012, but Toyota is not trying to portray its pride and joy as a bold sports sedan, because it isn't one. Competitors such as the Kia Optima, Mazda6 and Ford Fusion have a sportier look.
The new Toyota Camry is a functional, fuel efficient and capable midsize sedan with a proven track record for reliability and above average resale values. Whether you're in the market for dependable commuter transportation, a family sedan, or a car large enough to comfortably accommodate five adults, the 2013 Camry remains a top pick.
Even so, it is always a good idea to also consider other top rivals before making a final buying decision. Both the Honda Accord and the Nissan Altima offer somewhat sportier qualities, while the Hyundai Sonata offers a similar level of refinement and appealing value. Also worth a look are the Mazda 6 and new Ford Fusion for their sharp designs and well-balanced performance.
How To Get The Lowest Price:
Best Negotiating Tactic: Well, there's definitely a 'best way' when it comes to new car buying. If you want to get the best bottomline, out-the-door price you need to know exactly who to talk to at the dealership, how to make the contact and how to make this person eager to quickly drop prices as low as possible to get your sale.
Here's the details on exactly how to get the best price on a new Toyota Camry ... or any other car.
Also, For 'Used' Car Buyers ...
Those of you in the market for a used car may want to check out this article about how to buy a used car at the lowest price. It details a super effective buying method, one that often beats down prices to wholesale levels.
And somewhat related to this, here's another excellent method that identifies Price-Distressed Cars Right On Dealer Lots. These are vehicles they are so desperate to unload they would welcome your wholesale offer.
In addition, you can also try Open-To-The-Public Auto Auctions in your own geographic area. While there can be a lot of junk vehicles at these auctions, there are often absolute gems sprinkled in as well. This article reviews what to expect at open-to-the-public car auctions and how to locate them at no cost in your own area.