So my first experience with Toyota was when I was in Junior High and Mom n Dad brought home the 1989 Toyota Camry LE, in Silver. We loved that car, and took it out all through my teenage years. That was the date night car. After graduating from college it was time for me to find a decent and reliable car of my own, and I was looking at Honda Accords and Nissan Maximas. This was around 1999, and I ended up getting a 2 door 1994 Toyota Camry LE with the moonroof in Dark Silver. Oh man, this car was my baby...It made it with me through 10 years of college, moving to three different states, several road trips, and a whole lot more. It had been an amazing car, but was time for it to go as it was reaching close to 200,000 miles and had weathered the storm for so many years. Then, the test driving began. I have test driven a variety of different makes and models, including Nissan Altimas, Maximas, a Honda Accord 2 door, and 4 door, a Mazda 3, and a Mazda 6, a Hyundai Sonata, as well as a brand new Ford Taurus.
Guess what, I went with a 2007 Camry SE V6 in the Dark Ash color.
Keep in mind, I actually was looking at and hoping to get a new Honda Accord or Nissan Altima, but in the end, I just couldn't convince myself that they compared to this Camry. I will explain.
Nissan - Very cool cars, with great handling and superb acceleration. The push button start is a cool feature, and the continual acceleration is pretty sweet. The car sticks to the road and corners great but with that also came a lot bumpier of a ride. You could feel every crack and pothole and bump in the road. Now some people may like this, but I wanted a smoother ride. The Maxima was better and roomier for that matter since the Altima felt cramped (I am 6' 4" though), but I couldn't get over the size of the car (She's got a fat A#%). Plus the sight lines for me were a little off. Both were very noisy.
Honda - Aside from the sales men being deaf and not listening to a word I said, my experience with Honda was pretty good. I really like the new body style of the Accords (Especially the 2 door) and the interior was awesome, with the color options I wanted and the roominess to feel comfortable in. The car handled very well, but not quite as well as the Altima did in my opinion, and like the Nissans, the car was very noisy. Loud engine, and road surface noise were up there. The road sounded like it was right there, so much that I almost wanted to look down and see if they had gone to flinstone style floorboards, ha! The acceleration seemed slow compared to that of the Nissans or especially that of the Camry SE V6.
Mazda - cramped, loud, rough ride. Mazda 6 was better, but still loud, dull looking interior, and honestly, the body style could use a little work.
Ford - Okay, I know, Ford Taurus? What? But, for those of you who haven't seen the new Ford Taurus, go check one out. Ford got a kick in the rear to step up it's production and it shows, but in all honesty, while the new Taurus is an amzing car for sure, it is only in it's first year of this production. And, considering the models over the past 10 years have been, well, you know...I just wasn't ready to throw down on an untested vehicle yet.
Hyundai - old ones were blah, and the new ones were really nice, but, same as Ford. Maybe in 4 or 5 years.
Toyota Camry SE V6 - WOW!!!!!!!!! I love it!!!! Color, the ride, the comfort, the interior, the dash, the noise, the speed, the CAMRY!
I thought I was leaving the Camry and Toyota Family, but like I said before, after test driving all those other makes and models, the writing was on the wall, clear to see. I wonder if I will ever own another vehicle besides a Camry?