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2006 Toyota Camry LE (Video Clip)

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Michel Deslauriers

Looking forward to 2025!

2006 Toyota Camry LE (Photo: Michel Deslauriers,
I've seen the future. No, better yet, I've driven it. This is the car I'm going to buy 20 years from now. When my grey hair will start falling out, my kids will have moved away, and my aging body will fear stiffly sprung sport coupes, I'm going to get myself a Camry.

I'm exaggerating. You can appreciate the virtues of this sedan even though you're no where near your retirement. But most of the Camry's qualities seem to be targeted towards an older audience. And, not surprisingly, the average Camry buyer is over 50 years of age.

What exactly do they like about this big sedan? Let's see.

Take a walk around this car, and you'll likely fall asleep looking at it. It's not that it's ugly, in fact, it actually looks quite handsome. I really like the 4-bulb headlamp clusters, by the way. However, there is something funny about this car--it never registers in your short-term memory. I had trouble finding it in parking lots. I got cut off several times, both on the street and on the highway. You get the idea.

2006 Toyota Camry LE (Photo: Michel Deslauriers,
So, that means you can barrel down the highway in this stealth Camry and go unnoticed by just about everyone. And although the LE model is powered by the low-level 4-cylinder engine, it is actually quite powerful. This 2.4-litre, 16-valve unit produces 154 horsepower and 160 pound-feet of torque. The 5-speed automatic that's bolted to it makes wonders of what is modest power for a big mid-size sedan. The transmission makes it easy to request one- or two-gear downshifts. By the way, if you prefer a manual transmission, there is a 5-speed available in the 4-cylinder Camry SE only.

No one will ever convince me that this engine isn't powerful enough for everyday driving, as it makes the V6 engines look like a waste of money. In addition, I obtained an average of 9.9L /100 km, which I consider excellent at a moment when all the odds are against me: it's winter, there's snow tires on the car (more friction means more fuel consumption) and, well, my heavy right foot is almost ever-present.

2006 Toyota Camry LE (Photo: Michel Deslauriers,
The handling of the Camry is what you should expect from this type of sedan. The ride is soft and the suspension dampers the slightest bump with a floaty feel that prevents your inner organs from complaining. The P205/65R15 tires flex a little during cornering and contribute to the sedan's modest body roll. It's nothing to get worried about, because the Camry always feels confident. It's just that if you're in a hurry, the car will hint that it doesn't like being hustled. It also brakes pretty well despite a disc/drum setup.
Michel Deslauriers
Michel Deslauriers
Automotive expert