Her and His Reviews

April 16, 2008

2009 Toyota Camry XLE
2009 Toyota Camry XLE

There are always two sides to everything, right? Well, the truth is there are many more than that!

To keep our car reviews innovative, we are providing you with not just one, but two points of view – Her and His perspectives.

Anne Matt
MSRP: $31,900
MSRP: $31,900
The Camry XLE handles well, as any Camry does. The 3.5 liter, 268 horsepower engine allows for good handling, pick up and grab of the road. One thing you definitely want in a car is the ability to pull into traffic quickly and be able to pass granny on a two-lane highway. With 268 ponies and 248 lbs/ft of torque, you will have no problem doing either.
Fuel Economy
28 mpg/highway and 19 in city. Available in a hybrid, estimated 34 mpg. 28 mpg/highway and 19 in city. Available in a hybrid, estimated 34 mpg.
The Car
There is no surprise it’s the top ranked selling car in America – its appeal and functionality is universal. As a shorter driver, I appreciate the adjustability of seat, power tilt steering wheel, and middle storage console.

Nice touch for cargo capacity with the 60-40 split fold-down rear seat. Speaking of rear seats, the comfort is normal, however, on the XLE version, there is capacity for seats to tilt back another 8 degrees for greater recline and comfort.
Historically, the Camry is one of the most reliable and comfortable cars ever made. It has been the hallmark of Toyota for years and they just keep making it better. Its closest competitor is the Honda Accord, which is smaller and lower to the ground. My Camry rode with the comfort of the Lexus that it is modeled after for at least $10,000 less.
Seven (7) airbags. Holds 3 child car seats. Seven (7) airbags. Holds 3 child car seats.
DVD NAV system to get me where I need to be when I need to be there. Equipped with an auxiliary audio jack for plugging in an MP3 compatible device. Push button easy start is miraculous. Bluetooth allows for hands-free cell phone use. 8 speaker audio system and 6 CD changer allows for kicking out the tunes. The sound system rocks and the touch screen is intuitive, as well as crisp. My biggest complaint is that satellite radio is not an option, which means you have to buy a receiver and hook it up separately instead of being able to drive it off the lot with one. Since I love satellite radio so much, this may be a deal breaker. My favorite technology appointment next to the GPS is the Smart Key. This key automatically unlocks the car as you approach and locks it when you leave. Just press the start button when you get inside and take off.
Aesthetics & Styling
Attractive design, myriad of exterior and interior color choices from sporty (Barcelona Red) to sophisticated (black or Magnetic gray). Heated leather seating and walnut trim. The exterior styling is right on the mark. The flared fenders and light areas set this car apart and give it a look that rivals the Avalon and the stance helps give it a comfortable ride. If you like something more sporty, the SE version comes with a rear spoiler, dual exhaust, a honeycomb grill and 17" alloy wheels.
36 month/36,000 mile; 60 month/60,000 on the power train. 36 month/36,000 mile; 60 month/60,000 on the power train.
Non-tangibles / Other
An over-talkative (and must I say ‘very nice’) salesman talked about his life, his marriage, his travels for 25 minutes straight. He did not ask me one question other than “How are you today” and “What do you think about the ride.” If you are considering a hybrid but don’t want to give up on size or luxury, take a look at their hybrid model. It is loaded with options for the same price but with a 4-cylinder engine. For the money, this car beats all others in its class and you can’t touch a German car with these features at this price.