1988 Toyota Camry

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chicagotribune.com
Toyota has added an all-wheel drive Camry for mid-year.

All-wheel drive is the same as four-wheel drive, it`s just thatautomakers fear motorists will equate four-wheel drive with the sometimesharsh ride and handling in four-wheel drive utility vehicles. So they referinstead to the smoother sounding all-wheel drive terminology. To be different,Toyota calls it All-Trac.

The secret to the success of a four-wheel drive car is that it doesn`tlook or act like a utility vehicle. Toyota`s intent with the Camry All-Tracwas that it be ``unobtrusive, a car with better wet weather traction that you don`t have to climb up into like a truck.``

The Toyota Camry all-wheel drive sedan rides and handles as if it`s asedan first and foremost with four-wheel drive thrown in for good measure.

With full-time four-wheel drive, Camry`s front and rear axles turnindependently, unless the going gets really bad and you push the switch thatlocks the center differential for maximum wet weather traction. If it weren`t for the lock switch and graphic lighting up to tell you it`s engaged, there`s no telltale sign or feeling that you`re in a four-wheel drive machine.

You don`t get the utility vehicle look outside, either. To preserve thesedan look, the Camry body was raised only one-half inch for four-wheel drive clearance. You`d better think twice about going off road or into deep snow or sand with that clearance.

All-Trac is offered in Camry Deluxe and LE models. Both come with 5-speed manual transmission only. No automatic until this fall. We test drove thefour-wheel drive Camry LE.

The four-wheel drive Camry is powered by a 16-valve, 2-liter fuel-injected engine rated at 115 horsepower. The new 2.5-liter, 24-valve, 153h.p. fuel-injected V-6 introduced in the front-wheel-drive Camry sedan andwagon would be preferred for a performance boost but isn`t available in 1988. The 2-liter with 5-speed is EPA rated at 22 miles per gallon city/27m.p.g. highway, which compares with 26/32 without four-wheel-drive. You paythe price at the gas pump for having all four wheels working to add traction. Camry is built on a 102-inch wheelbase and is 182 inches long overall.It`s roomy, comfortable and quiet. Rear trunk room is very good, rear seatroom isn`t bad for adults, except those with long legs.

Standard equipment includes power brakes and steering, tilt wheel,digital quartz clock, AM-FM stereo with power antenna, color keyed bumpers,dual remote outside mirrors, tinted glass, rear defogger, reclining bucketseats and full-size spare tire.

Antilock brakes are available on front-wheel-drive Camry with the V-6engine but not on the car with All-Trac because the antilock brake systemisn`t compatible with four-wheel drive, Toyota said.

The Camry All-Trac Deluxe starts at $13,828, the LE at $15,448, roughly$1,800 higher than the same models without the system.




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