We often look at our vehicles as appliances. They take us to point A to point B without much drama. We go to work, earn our keep, and go home in our appliance.
There’s nothing like doing errands, meetings, doctor appointments, and not getting into trouble with a trusted old friend.
That “trusted old friend” is a car – as it should be.
We often look at our vehicles as appliances. They take us to point A to point B without much drama. We go to work, earn our keep, and go home in our appliance. We go to the grocery store, see our doctor, and tend to family matters.
That’s it…or, is it?
For those of us who do not own a vehicular appliance, we have to improvise. You read this before, right? We have many choices to accomplish the want of transportation. How you make the time to accomplish all of the above is as simple as scrolling through your smartphone device and making the right choice to fit your budget.
Some conveyances work. Others, not so much. You fight against time, flexibility, obligations, and everything else life throws at you.
That is why you reach out for a “trusted old friend.” Something you can count on.
Therefore, I took another spin on the Rental Car Roulette. This time, it landed on another gray Toyota Camry LE sedan. You’d think I’d be sick of them – but, no.
This 2022 example had over 17,500 miles on the clock and was turning fuel economy figures well over 30 MPG. Both represent the Camry’s great combination of efficiency, space, and proven reliability.
Everything I pointed in early write-ups about this generation of Camry holds true. It is easy to drive and operate. The seats provide decent comfort. The 2.5-liter four-cylinder does a good job shuttling around town, as well as cruising on longer stretches of highway. In all, turning an average of 33.0 MPG in my care – which points to the Camry’s efficiency.
What more could I tell you about the Toyota Camry?
Well, there are a few points to be made. Sometimes, it’s the little things that you notice which induce smiles. I recall the Camry’s shifter being short. We’re talking MX-5 Miata short. Even on this one-step-above-very-basic sedan, a short-throw automatic looks like a lot of fun. It is, but you only put into three places: Park, Drive, and Reverse.
That alone points to the decree laid down by now-former head of Toyota, Akio Toyoda. He wanted his vehicles to no longer be boring. The days of the Toyota appliance needed to evolve into exciting, eye-popping, technologically advanced machines that invite drivers and passengers alike to have a great experience with their vehicle.
He’s right, you know. That is why I enjoy every Camry I’ve driven – rented or not.
What it has accomplished in this short time together was important in its own right. It took me to an event that I covered for the magazine at Target Field. It took me to a meeting for a future issue of the same magazine in Robbinsdale – where I used to live, ironically. And, it took me to my podiatrist in West Sant Paul for a check up on my left foot. Along the way, I was able to accomplish the last “catch up” errands I needed to do after my discharge from the six weeks inside the healthcare vacuum.
There are some who point out that the current Camry has run its course. After debuting in 2017 as a 2018 model, Toyota held true to its handsome shape, accessible interior, and solid set of drivelines. That includes Hybrid, V6, and all-wheel drive models.
While some have derided generations of Camrys as dull, boring, and simply milquetoast, this one seems to get plenty of respect. Look at some of the sportier Camrys. The TRD is a great example of a cool Camry – lowered, blacked out wheels, a subtle rear spoiler and aero kit.
In turn, Toyota has taken this current generation’s shape and molded it onto a NASCAR Cup Series chassis. The result was Kyle Busch taking his Toyota to two Cup Series Championships. Additionally, Toyota has won 21 races on NASCARs top circuit.
I’m sure this won’t be the last Camry I will drive.
DISCLAIMER: Vehicle rented by Victory & Reseda
All photos by Randy Stern