2014 Toyota Camry


2014 Toyota Camry SE
$23,740 base MRSP
22/35 MPG (advertised)
24 MPG (real-world, over a week of driving)

Overall Impressions:

This is a nice car–better than expected (but not without its foibles). Still…I could live with this car on a daily basis.

Of course the Camry has received a huge face-lift for 2015 (and the front looks wonderful in comparison to this car). The question is whether that has altered any of the interior ergonomics that are so critical to the TMS.

For those that want this model–better hurry. It’s still on Toyota’s website (and likely in dealer stock) but that won’t last too much longer.

Me–I’d love to get a drive in the 2015.

TMS (Tall Man’s Score): A-

Headroom: A-

Had to put the seat all the way down (which puts your legs/knees at a funny angle, sitting almost flat on the floor).

So–a bit uncomfortable, but sufficient headroom.

Mirror Location: A-

The mirror can be swung up far enough out of the way that it is passable. Sure it could be better, but Toyota at least didn’t put the stalk in the middle of the windshield as do so many other manufacturers.

Headrest: C

The headrest spoils this car–you do have to recline the seat to be comfortable. Having said that, perhaps it’ll be improved in 2015.

Legroom: A-

Nice legroom, but they have that “hump” in the floor by the seat (but thankfully it’s not as bad as it is in other cars, like the Ford Fusion).

Seat Comfort: A-

Nice seats. Comfortable, and with nice support. Quality materials as well.

 Vehicle Review

Engine: B+

A bit buzzy and noisy on acceleration, but really not too bad. Has sufficient pickup, and seems relatively refined when cruising.

Transmission: B+

A nice transmission, but the manual mode with the paddle shifters was a mystery. You could downshift or upshift and the dash indicator would show another gear, but the car wouldn’t shift (so in essence you needed to go by seat of the pants as the dash indicator was often wrong).

I understand why Toyota did this (don’t want you to over-rev or lug the engine) but if you’re not going to shift, then have the dashboard indicate the true gear, and not change the number just because I tapped the paddle shifter.

Traction control also a bit strange, as it turns itself on (even after it’s been manually turned off). Then again, not too many Camry owners are likely to have a lot of track days….

Interior: B+

Nice interior. While filled with plastic, it has a higher quality feel than comparable cars–with one notable exception. The plastic “brushed aluminum” trim scratches easily. The center console is trimmed with this, and it very much detracts from the appearance of the interior (especially with a few scratches as in my rental).  Hopefully Toyota will change this for 2015, as it really mars an otherwise attractive interior.

There is a rattle though from somewhere in the back (sounds like maybe the trunk release cable). Not something I’d expect from Toyota, and it mars an otherwise quality feel for this car.

Visibility: B+

Decent visibility, with windows all around.

Unfortunately you still have no idea where the nose it, given the sloping hood. Yet almost all cars now have this flaw, so can’t hold it against Toyota too much–everyone is chasing that last elusive MPG.

Electronics: B+

Nice electronics. Good blend of touch screen with some tactile buttons and dials so you don’t have to worry when wearing gloves.

Backup camera is standard, even on the lowest trim models. (Thank you Toyota–wish other manufacturers would follow suit).

Utility: B+

It’s not an SUV, but has a nice trunk. And four doors. A nice, midsize sedan.

Appearance: B-

The 2014 model looks like every other mid-size sedan. But that 2015–Toyota really restyled the nose nicely–wonderful looking car. Hope the rest of the car (and the interior) are also just as enticing.

This could be a really nice car for 2015.

 Miscellaneous Musings:

Really like the way this car presents itself and drives. Has a nice drivetrain (and if all you do is put it in “D” you won’t notice any of the quirks). Interior and seating position are nice.

Just wondering what that 2015 will be like.

Well done Toyota, well done.

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