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The car that won't be noticed

This article is from our archives and has not been updated and integrated with our "new" site yet... Even so, it's still awesome - so keep reading!

Published on Fri, Nov 23, 2012

By: The LACar Editorial Staff

Neither H.G, Wells nor Ralph Ellison have anything on the Toyota Camry

By Roy Nakano Remember those commercials where a bank touted how its customers never really noticed it? That’s the way they wanted it—none of the usual complaints one hears about business banks. No accounting mistakes, no long lines, none of the things one often hears about the competition. That also describes the owner relationship with the Toyota Camry. It’s exceedingly reliable, and durable, but it’s also inoffensive, easy to enter and exit, easy to drive, with all the controls where they should be. It’s not just predictable, it’s invisible.

2013 Toyota Camry XLE

That description carries over to Camrys you see on the road. The car is attractive enough not to stand out. It’s the perfect getaway car. When Ryan Gosling tried to evade the police in “Drive”, he would have been better off with a Camry. Practically a quarter of the cars on the streets of Los Angeles are Camrys. It’s the proverbial invisible car. Claude Rains would have driven a Camry had one existed back in 1933 when “The Invisible Man” hit the silver screen. H.G. Wells has nothing on the Camry. Nor does Ralph Ellison. Driving a Camry extends that sense. Nothing is unpredictable. If you take a turn too sharply, the tires provide an audible but linear warning. Braking is predictable. Acceleration in our four-cylinder car is perfectly adequate, but certainly not remarkable. The ride is comfortable and the seating is spacious. The noise levels are about on par with other family sedans, which is say that the car is reasonably quiet.


The cabin has some nice touches, like the stitching on the dashboard. The faux walnut appliqué is present, but it’s tastefully done and not excessive. The interior is otherwise quite humble. Nobody will mistaken it for a Lexus. Even the name of the vehicle reflects Toyota’s most conservative side. For Toyota in America, it all started with the Crown—Toyota’s flagship car since its introduction in the USA back in the late 1950s. In the mid-1960s, Toyota introduced its breakthrough car, the Corona, which is Latin for crown. The Corona was followed by the Corolla, which is Latin for little crown. And what about Camry? Evidently, it’s the English language pronunciation of the Japanese word for crown, kanmuri.


For the one who is afraid of cars that break down, go too fast, stand out from the crowd, and have too many idiosyncrasy, there is the Camry. It does exactly what it’s suppose to do, and do it for many, many miles without breaking down. Everything is where it’s suppose to be. It’s the car you can slip on in the morning and not know it’s there. It doesn’t try to be noticed, and for a significantly large segment of the public, it’s exactly the car that is wanted. SUMMARY JUDGMENT “You can see me. Nobody sees me, do you hear me? Nobody sees me. I'm invisible.” – Claude Rains in “The Invisible Man” For more information about Toyota products, go to

Toyota\'s 2.5-liter DOHC 16-valve four-in-line engine

SPECIFICATIONS Name of vehicle: 2013 Toyota Camry XLE Price: $22,055 (base L model) $24,725 (base XLE model) $29,510 (XLE model as tested) EPA fuel economy ratings: 25 city/35 highway (miles per gallon) Engine: 2.5-liter DOHC 16-valve four-in-line with VVT-I engine Transmission: 6-speed ECT-I automatic Drive configuration: Front-wheel drive Steering: Electric power-assisted rack and pinion Drive configuration: Front wheel drive Transmission type: 6-speed EXTi Automatic, Steering wheel mounted paddle shifters Suspension: Front: MacPherson struts, stabilizer bar Rear: MacPherson struts and springs Dimensions Overall length/wheelbase: 189.2 inches/109.3 inches Overall width: 71.7 inches Overall height: 57.9 inches 3 Year/36,000 mile Bumper to Bumper 5 Year/60,000 mile Powertrain 5 Year, unlimited mileage corrosion perforation 24/7 Roadside Assistance, 2 years/25,000 miles

Claude Rains wants a Camry

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