I've been driving since I was 14, and owned a car since I was 16. I've owned 15 cars, 13 of which have had manual transmissions. When I turned 50, I bought an automatic, and after 3 months it bored me...
I've been driving since I was 14, and owned a car since I was 16. I've owned 15 cars, 13 of which have had manual transmissions. When I turned 50, I bought an automatic, and after 3 months it bored me so I gave it to my kid and bought another manual.
Now I'm 55, and decided I was ready to try an automatic again. I wanted something really fast, with very good milage and reliability, but was like...a couch. I cross shopped an Accord V-6, Mazda 6, and the Camry V-6. The Honda is nice, but I didn't care for the ergonomics, and the Camry has been beating it lately in reliability. The Mazda has great handling dynamics, but the 4 cylinder engine doesn't touch the V-6 engines of either the Accord or the Camry. So I got a Camry, 2014 (and a half). It's the SE (Sports model) with nav, back up camera, JBL stereo, leather, heated seats, etc.
The SE model handles better than regular Camrys. You aren't going to win a race in the twisties against a Miatta (I've owned one of those, too), but it isn't bad. On the highway, it's a blast. I can be cruising along at 70, floor it, and it goes MUCH faster. Granted, it isn't going to beat a late model Mustang or Camaro, but it has more power than 85% of the cars on the road. As it's a Camry, you could drive through a parade and no one will be able to identify it.
The styling is pretty bland, which is ok in terms of cops, but I'm quit pleased with the internal space. Nice, comfortable seats (I wanted a couch and got one), plenty of room, and everything is where I want it to be. It has one of the best electronic interfaces I've encountered in a modern vehicle. Everything is intuitive, there aren't a ton of buttons, and everything works as it should.
I'm really funny about mileage. I want to go fast and not pay for it. Audis and BMWs are sportier, but they take premium gas, and generally, don't get great mileage. Lord knows they aren't as reliable as Toyotas. I am constantly calculating my mileage, and calculate what I get out of every tank. Thus far, I'm averaging between 28 and 31 MPG. I drive fast, but I rarely floor it. And when I got to pass someone, I have total confidence I've got the power to do it.
I bought it used, with rather high miles (43K) for a 2014, but it's Toyota certified, so I have 12K or 12 months bumper to bumper and 100K on the drivetrain. I got a good deal, according to my bank, so I'm happy.