Your regular reminder that the Toyota Camry is bloody good

90s cars New cars Toyota

I've nicknamed it the ‘Tatty Camry’. The lacquer peel is so bad, I've switched from Turtle Wax to Head & Shoulders on washday. And the alloys prove that diamond cut wheels aren't forever. Sorry, Dame Shirley. 

To most onlookers, it looks like a banger. Or, in American parlance, a beater. A car owned by someone who can't afford to drive something better. Less just stepped out of the salon, and more just one step away from the scrapyard.

I bought it in December 2019. Two previous owners. 123,500 miles on the clock. £350.

Since then, it has passed five MOT tests first time, completed 10,000 miles without fuss or drama, and kept its head when all all about it were losing theirs. It's why I believe every fleet needs a Toyota to add reassurance and dependability.

I even lent it to a friend in need, who called it “so smooth and wafty”, before enjoying a “lovely floaty journey up the M42”. He enjoyed three weeks in the company of the Camry, although I suspect the 3.0-litre V6's love of a drink came as a bit of a shock. Still, every car has a weakness.

It's entitled to the odd drawback, because the pros outweigh the cons. There's an overriding sense that the XV20 Toyota Camry will never let you down. Look after it, and it'll look after you. I've never owned a car that delivers such an aura of reassurance. Forget perceived quality, because the Camry delivers actual quality.

But why the unexpected ode to the Camry? Two reasons, really. Or rather, two posts on X, or whatever we're supposed to be calling Twitter.

The first was from Hilton Holloway via his @Studio5054 account. Posting a photo of an XV20 Camry, he said: “Somebody around these parts has an R-plate Camry, and I can only imagine the peace of mind it delivers. One of the world's greatest cars, a high-point in mass production. (I did a mini drive for Car on a 2.2).”

You're right, Hilton, the peace of mind is wonderful.

And then today, the always excellent Car Industry Analysis posted a graphic which shows the success of the current Toyota Camry. Even in the era of the SUV, the Camry remains a hugely important car for Toyota, maintaining its position as the world's most popular mid-size saloon.

As Car Industry Analysis posted: “Long live the Camry!”

And if the evidence of Petrolblog's R-reg Camry V6 is anything to go by, the Camry stands every chance of doing just that.

Main image © Wheelsage