HondaToyotaToyotaHondaHondaToyotaToyotaHonda – 2

Toyota Camry 2007

Last time around it was a strenuous search for two whole months. And as other fellow desis adviced I ended up with a 90’s Toyota Carolla.

Just today when I was thinking to car shop, I ended up in a Honda showroom. I was looking to buy the post-2002 Honda Accord in it’s magentic grey color. And I found one with moon roof and stuff. So that was a used one and costed more than some of the new ones they had in stock. Confused with the dynamics of US car market, I wanted to really look-out few more places before I nailed down on something. On the way home, I decided to drop into a Toyota showroom.

Driving the Corolla for a year, I started liking the Toyota brand and their service. And they are much flexible in terms of accessories than the Honda guys. But the dark greyish honda accord was mesmerizing me on the another end. The latest 2007 model of Camry was in the showroom. Though I didn’t have a big liking for Camrys, the latest model had some of the best curves and an affordable price tag to it.

So I found a magnetic grey Camry. Unfortunately(!!) it was loaded with some amazing accesories which I wouldn’t like to pay for. It had moon-roof, surrond sound bluetooth, 8 speakers which spilled 440 watts and mp3/wma compatible 6 CD changer. I made no sense to me to have mp3 and 6 CD changer together. Being the latest version, released just over a month back, they didn’t have enough of the metallic grey that I liked. They convinced me with a loan option. What else ? I bought it and drove home listening to Kaathal Ithuthaan Athuthaan Endru Ketkumaa.

Was it a good decision or not ? Let me see what I feel like tomorrow morning.

56 thoughts on “HondaToyotaToyotaHondaHondaToyotaToyotaHonda – 2

  1. Hi Lg,

    Congratulations for your new car. Hope you would love drive now 🙂

    BTW I am not caught up in HondaToyotaToyotaHonda syndrome 🙁

    I donno how to escape from this syndrome…..

  2. Hi,

    It was a typo it is “not” not it is “now”. To re phrase

    BTW I am now caught up in HondaToyotaToyotaHonda syndrome 🙁

    Sorry for occupying the space

  3. After a long time – this is the most muscular looking Camry that I have seen till date! Congrats on your new car… I would love to lay my hands on this one, if my pocket permits.

  4. LG – the back curves of toyota resemble the 2004/05 model of honda accord.
    i own a 05 camry. no dilemma in deciding this one.

  5. Oh yes ..the ever familiar ….confusion.
    same here ..lazy ….am caught in this too…just that I might be one step further ..its between the Hybrids from toyota and honda 🙁
    btw, how affordable was affordable i.e. how much did it finally cost u ?

    -A

  6. Guru,
    Did you take a look at the new honda civic coupe? completely re-styled and all and drives like a charm too. (umm, yes, that’s my new car). congrats on the camry though. that’s the same car my roomie has 😉

  7. That’s a good car – I’m driving the ’05 Camry. Not sure if the ’07 model is available in Singapore yet but it would make a good upgrade.

  8. Desi crowd dont look beyond Camry-Accord. If somebody is adventurous, then possibly a Nissan or Mazda. While no doubt that Camry-Accords are good — some of the American Brands are actually good values (though not as new cars – as they depreciate faster). I like 2-3 year olds – (gasp) – dare I say – new Malibus. They were even tanked #1 per JDPower Survey as having better Quality than Camry/Accord. Just check their site out.

  9. LG – I dont know if you are married and have a kid or you are single – I would have bought a mini . . .

  10. “Kaathal Ithuthaan Athuthaan Endru Ketkumaa”

    Your thought of this post and the essence of these lines goes in parallel.

    Nice car. Have great rides.

    – Lakshman

  11. Chicagoguy: I would take exception to the “Desi crowd dont look beyond Camry-Accord.” statement. It is all demand and supply and VFM (Value For the Money). Most immigrants from Asia (since this is a trend that is not limited to us desis) are used to driving economy cars back home (if at all) and are used to sky rocketing fuel costs in their country. So when they shop for a car, their first question is the mileage, unless it is someone like me who wants to go fast too. So if you line up all the cars in the decreasing order of their mpg rating, the Hondas and Toyota will figure at the head of that list with the highest mpg. Lower down the list would come the Nissans and the Mazdas (likely order, IMHO) and then the American cars.
    Now the next question that Asians want to ask is – how long will the car last. Do the same thing as the first question, and you will PROBABLY find the same order as above. I drive a 94 Subaru that I bought cheap at 120K miles. My mechanic advises me not to even think about selling it till it gets to 200K miles. And if at all I sell my car before 200K miles, I would still go for a Subaru because for around $25K, i get standard all wheel drive, decent mileage (around 22/27 mpg that I get even now with my 10 year old car) and awesome performance in a car that will probably not be as reliable as a Toyota/Honda, but will have more value for the buck than a comparable American car.
    I have friends that drive 175K plus Toyotas and Hondas. Am not sure the Chevy’s and the Fords will last that long. In fact, aside from the jingo-ism, I am not sure what the average American car’s USP is. I rent cars from Enterprise all the time for work related travel, and I find their Sentras and Altima’s (yes they have a limited number of imports available to rent) much more economical than their Malibu’s and Impalas. So, IMHO, I find the talk of a “desi car syndrome” irrelevant.

    Hemanth: Yes, the Mini, particularly the higher end John Cooper tuned S versions.. *sigh*. But sadly, under the influence of our American pals, people have started classifying compacts like the Mini as “chick cars”! These people need a solid lession in the Mini’s racing heritage!

    Lazy: Thalaiva, Did you check out/consider/test drive the hybrid Camry?

    Oh btw, is it just me or more and more desis driving the 3 series Beemer? At least here in NJ it is a common sight!

  12. Anantha,
    excellent point! Most desis here in OC also seem to be driving Beemers – both the three and five series :(. as far as the “chick car” label on the mini, screw them. go get it!! Minis rock. I had a test drive once and I couldn’t believe the handling of that car!!

  13. Sriram: Yup, the Mini rocks. The handling is mainly because of the absence of any overhang. The wheels are right on the four corners and the weight distribution and the low center of gravity aids to the stability factor as well. Throw in all wheel drive, a turbocharger and you have a superb rally car, which is how the Mini’s got hot in the first place in the 60s and 70s! The same quality goes for the VW Golf/Rabbit too. The only negative I can see about the Mini is that, with it being a European car (it’s a BMW owned brand), parts are not cheap and you can’t trust the neighborhood mechanic here. It’s so exclusive that when my boss in Ohio had to do some unforseen maintenance (she was one of the first BMW Mini owners this side of the Atlantic), the loaner vehicle she got was a BMW X3 SUV!!!!

  14. Lazy,

    Good Choice. My two cents:
    If you are going for a used car, do not opt a Honda due to the reason that this is a fast car and the previous users might have taken it to the limits.
    Toyota is reliable, but bit pricey.
    I feel that Nissan (Altima) is the best value for money in the Used Car segment. Now slowly this is also moving into the Toyota/Honda segment (being over priced for a used car) and slowly Mitsubishi is taking this slot.
    I hope people are aware that Mazda is a ford owned car now. Even though I have not heard any complaints on Mazda, I do not want to go near it since it is Ford owned.
    In new Car, my first choice would be Toyota Camry. The 07 Camry is really great in looks too.

    Lazy,
    It would have been more fun if you had waited for all of us to give our two cents…. You would have gone crazy and shelved the idea of going in for a new car :)))

  15. I dont think jingoism is one factor which has kept Ford / Chevy going. That way, RCA should have stayed a competitive force as against Sony, Panasonics in the consumer electronics area. Alas, not so! I see Americans (as opposed to Desis) buy stuff irrespective of their lineage (i.e. where it is built). Reason also why American industry has been / has to be globally competitive and doing well too.

    I dont want this blog to turn up as Honda/Toyota – v/s – American cars argument. Just wanted to put a word across.

    Just look up JDPower survey – Malibus rank higher than Camry / Accord. In fact, it’s #1 in the Midsize car segment.

  16. My 2 cents worth…having driven a range of cars in the last 15 years…nothing in the world beats the feel of cruising in a continental car…which inevitably sets the standard for safety, comfort, style and simply, an awesome experience. These features are emulated by most Japanese & Korean makes, often resulting in reasonably good & safe models… that always leaves a feel that something aesthetic is missing. Anyway, enjoy your new toy…safely!

  17. Erh..guru ji..u can follow ur conscience on what it wants more..or do the ini mini miney mo technique..or still can’t decide..well write it onto the sheet of paperz n let God decide…weeeeee!

  18. Chicagoguy: Again, I dont mean it personal, but I wouldn’t place too much emphasis on the JD Power Survey, because I have had services that have topped the JD Power rankings and have performed miserably (my last cell phone service for example). The idea here is that, if you are one of the customers in the 100 that has one of the 80 defects noticed in those 100 customers, you are still screwed. And GM’s Fastlane blog has a month old post (about JDP’s Initial Quality Survey) by their North America VP for Quality which mentions 11 GM vehicles that placed in the top 3 in their respective segments and the Malibu is not on this list. Mebbe your info is based on a past JDP survey (I think 2003, based on an old link on Carfax.com), but as of June 2006, there is no way that a Malibu is going to beat an Accord or a Camry. I’d love to be proven wrong though, cos as one wise man said (on celluloid that is) – “Inparmation is wealth-u”

  19. Lazy: One last comment and I will keep quiet. I am feeling sleepy after a heavy lunch and this is what will keep me awake for sometime. And then I will be at peace.

    Chicagoguy: One thing though, as I browsing on the JD Power page, I found that the Chevy Malibu had topped 2005’s Vehicle Dependability survey for the “Most Dependable Car”. This is no surprise though, given the test data. JD Power says that – “The 2005 Vehicle Dependability Study is based on responses from 50,635 original owners of 2002 model-year cars and light trucks.”. And guess who topped the Survey in 2002 for Best Entry Midsize Car in Initial Quality? Looking at that Carfax link, we find that it was the Chevy Malibu, that’s who.

  20. //I donno how to escape from this syndrome…..//

    Narasi, Now way you could escape this. Just live with it.

    //Honda Accord is my dream car. And life says “Dream on, Son //

    Keerthi, And it also adds, “Re-asses you dreams. Look at Camry 07” 🙂

  21. //this is the most muscular looking Camry that I have seen till date! Congrats on your new car… I would love to lay my hands on this one, if my pocket permits.//

    Rubic , Yes it is and its really good looking. Thanks for the wishes. And dont wait for the pocket to permit. After all our pockets are filled with plastic money that is so damn flexible for such a buy.

  22. //the back curves of toyota resemble the 2004/05 model of honda accord.//

    Surya, Exactly. That’s one reason why I went with this camry. Infact i wanted to buy a post 2002 accord in the first place.

  23. //can the cars audio system be connected to an ipod?//

    fazal, yes you can. in this camry you have two auxilarry ports and some space to dock your ipod.

  24. //same here ..lazy ….am caught in this too…just that I might be one step further ..its between the Hybrids from toyota and honda :-(//

    Ani, Don’t even think. Camry hybrid is for the masses. it costs you 26k base price and its 5K straight less from accord’s hybrid version. go for it. read the review at edmunds.com.

  25. Ferrari, Nandri-naa !!

    //Did you take a look at the new honda civic coupe?//

    Sriram, Actually civic was the first car i intended to buy. in any case, ippo naama bachelor illa naina. so cant buy a coupe. that’s ruled out.

  26. //buyers like you should also consider Hyundai Sonata….its a big hit in the US.//

    Arun Vis, Yes Sonata dazzles. Infact the version i saw in india was around 18lakhs and was damn neat. infact one of the classiest in that band of cars.

  27. //you should pay more attention to your grammar :-)//

    Anon, Thanks for pointing it out. it’s not a common complaint here. usually they say its spell mistakes that are prevalent here. but know it seems like i’m getting worse. will check it before i post. and yeah, blame the time pressure !!

  28. //07 Camry, I have been starring at the pics of that car for months//

    Nitin, Thanks. Actually i should say without banda that its pretty neat.

  29. //I’m driving the ’05 Camry. Not sure if the ’07 model is available in Singapore yet but it would make a good upgrade.//

    Innocent blood, i have no clue but it is certainly good to upgrade. after all 05 version was bland beyond complaints.

  30. //If somebody is adventurous, then possibly a Nissan or Mazda. //

    Chicagoguy, Nissan is now becoming de-facto desi car in the US. May be Mazda is in the adventurous lot.

  31. //Erh..guru ji..u can follow ur conscience on what it wants more..or do the ini mini miney mo technique..or still can’t decide..well write it onto the sheet of paperz n let God decide…weeeeee!//

    Mas, Good that i didn’t by your clear advice. I went by my instincts. I donno if i’m still right or wrong. certainyl the car is good.

  32. //Did you check out/consider/test drive the hybrid Camry?//

    Anantha, Actually i missed in knowlingly. i didnt want to go above 25K for any car and hence. reading the reviews camry hybrid seems to be best sedan on hybrid as of date. yep, i clearly missed it.

  33. //I am feeling sleepy after a heavy lunch and this is what will keep me awake for sometime. And then I will be at peace.//

    Anantha, By the way did you haver pongal for lunch.

  34. //It would have been more fun if you had waited for all of us to give our two cents…. You would have gone crazy and shelved the idea of going in for a new car :)))//

    Ganesh, certainly. good i didnt do it.

  35. //These features are emulated by most Japanese & Korean makes, often resulting in reasonably good & safe models… that always leaves a feel that something aesthetic is missing.//

    Mani, And I would agree completely.

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